God Hates Phil Robertson

That’s what the good people at the Westburo Baptist Church believe. He is going to Hell like everyone else in the world outside their church. Here is the story at Tellmenow.com.

You may be familiar with the Westboro Baptist Church from Kansas, the so-called church that goes around the country with “God Hates Fags” signs that they wave while protesting at the funerals of our fallen soldiers? Well, now they want to protest TV’s Duck Dynasty.

One would think that these gay-hating nuts would be all in favor of Duck Dynasty’s Robertson family due to the recent controversy over Phil Robertson’s comments on homosexuality. But, no, they hate them, too.

Certainly the gay-hating “church” is in agreement with the way that most media types mischaracterize Robertson’s comments about the act of homosexuality, but despite that, church members want to protest the Robertson family. I suppose they imagine that the publicity is better than their so-called principle.

Of course, Phil Robertson noted that the act of homosexuality (but not gays as people) is listed in the Bible as a sin. The Westboro people agree with this–as do most Christians. Still, they have criticism.

Church spokesmen criticized the Duck Dynasty family saying, “the Phil Robertson’s [sic] of this wicked generation are the very reason that fags run this nation” and that the country is “hurtling toward her destruction.”

Apparently the Westboro Church now wants to protest the season premiere of season five by protesting on February 1 outside the New York offices of the A&E network on.

Season five of Duck Dynasty premiers on January 15.

Jael Phelps picketing Trinity Episcopal Church...
Well, I am not too fond of them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t think the writer of this piece understands what the Westburo Baptist Church really believes or is trying to accomplish. Phil Robertson, like most mainstream Christians, seems to believe that homosexuals are sinners in need of God’s love and forgiveness. He has said that he is not in the business of determining who is going to Heaven or Hell. The members of the Westburo Baptist Church are  hyper-Calvinists who believe that God has already decided who is to be saved and who is to be damned. As gotquestions.org explains,

The members of Westboro Baptist Church are quick to assert that those they name are going to burn in hell. The problem with this is that although we are to measure others’ actions by the Word of God and encourage fellow believers toward maturity, we are never to make a judgment about another’s salvation (Matthew 7:1-2). Jesus warns His disciples against proclaiming the guilt of others before God. To be a condemning judge of others is to show that one is still under the condemnation of God. We are not the absolute standard. We are not the final word on the matter. To make such a dogmatic pronouncement is to usurp the place of God.

The vehemence with which Westboro Baptist Church denies God’s compassionate love for all people and declares others’ position of salvation reflects their belief in hyper-Calvinism. Calvinism states that man can do nothing to save himself from judgment; God elects those He will save (Romans 8:29-30). Hyper-Calvinism takes this further, saying since God alone elects those He will save, witnessing is futile. It also denies the concept of common grace—the beneficence God shows toward all His creation by providing good things (Matthew 5:45b) and holding back evil. This is a dangerous misconception about God’s grace that leads to great anxiety and doubt of a person’s own salvation. Westboro Baptist Church’s extreme hyper-Calvinism also explains why they do not care about offending people. They believe if a person is elect, he/she will believe, no matter what. They believe if a person is non-elect, he/she has absolutely no possibility of salvation. Therefore, hateful, angry, and vehement rhetoric does not matter, as it could not possibly change a person’s eternal destiny. Westboro Baptist Church rejects the idea that offending people could turn them away from faith in Jesus Christ.

To put it another way, they do not believe that God hates fags because they are homosexual. They believe that people are homosexual because God hates them and wants to throw them into Hell. Since Phil Robertson presumably does not believe that God hates homosexuals, he is part of the problem.

Westboro Baptist Church Anti-Jewish Picketing
They are branching out. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Obviously, the tenets of the Westburo Baptist Church are not in the mainstream of Christian doctrine, even within the Calvinist tradition. In fact, I believe their beliefs to be heretical. God hates sin, but He does not hate the sinner and certainly does not wish for anyone to be lost. After all, He gave His only Son to keep people out of Hell. But then, I suspect that it is really all about doing what gets them attention, not what God wants.

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India Defeats Polio

Here is a bit of good news, for a change. It has been almost three years since there has been a case of polio in India. Once India has been confirmed to be polio free for three years, the disease will be considered eradicated in India. I read this story in the Times of India.

India marked three years since its last reported polio case Monday, meaning it will soon be certified as having defeated the ancient scourge in a huge advance for global eradication efforts.

India’s polio programme is one of the country’s biggest public health success stories, achieving something once thought impossible thanks to a massive and sustained vaccination programme.

Health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, along with global groups who have been working to eradicate the virus, hailed Monday’s anniversary as “a monumental milestone”.

“We have completed a full three years without a single polio case and I’m sure that in the future there won’t be any polio cases,” Azad told reporters in the capital.

Smiling and flashing a V for victory sign, he added: “I think this is great news not just for India but the entire globe.”

With the number of cases in decline in Nigeria and Afghanistan, two of only three countries where polio is still endemic, world efforts to consign the crippling virus to history are making steady progress.

“In 2012, there were the fewest numbers of cases in endemic countries as ever before. So far in 2013 (records are still being checked), there were even less,” Hamid Jafari, global polio expert at the World Health Organization, told AFP.

“If the current trends of progress continue we could very easily see the end of polio in Afghanistan and Nigeria in 2014.”

This is wonderful news. It is too bad that India’s neighbor Pakistan does not share India’s good fortune.

There are also reasons for caution in India, with the virus still considered endemic in neighbouring Pakistan, where vaccinators are being killed by the Taliban which views them as possible spies.

A fake vaccination programme was used by the CIA to provide cover for operatives tracking al-Qaida chief Osama Bin Laden, who was killed in Pakistan by US special forces in May 2011.

It is unfortunate that the CIA decided to use that particular cover for its operatives, although I understand  that the Taliban believes vaccination to be un-Islamic and would probably be killing vaccinators anyway.

 

 

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