Fred Phelps, former pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka Kansas has died. Phelps was 84, and was under hospice care at the time of his death. Phelps was best known for taking church members, mostly family, to various events, including funerals of military personnel killed in Iran and Afghanistan, to picket against homosexuality.
Phelps and his church were party to some of the most disgusting and cruel public displays of religious hatred ever seen in the United States. The group would regularly announce plans to picket, possibly to generate publicity for themselves, but then fail to attend. They did picket many funerals and other public events, always working to obtain the most attention possible for themselves. Phelps for many years led the group at various protests.
Recent reports indicate a power struggle within the church, between Phelps and his family, resulting in Phelps being excommunicated from the church in 2013. He died in hospice care Wednesday, March 19, 2014. Reports say there will be no funeral, and no memorial.
It is hoped the death of the family’s patriarch will moderate their zealotry and hatred, but there is no indication coming from the Westboro Baptist Church that any such movement will occur. We fully expect the WBC to continue their hatred and public displays of religious intolerance in the future.
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
UPDATE: I don’t think the “Church” has quite learned it’s lesson. This from the WBC on Phelp’s death:
Fred W. Phelps, Sr. Has Gone The Way of All Flesh, And Has Died on March 19, 2014
Westboro Baptist Church Issues the Following Commentary:
Psalm 2:1 ¶ Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
The world-wide media has been in a frenzy during the last few days, gleefully anticipating the death of Fred Waldron Phelps Sr. It has been an unprecedented, hypocritical, vitriolic explosion of words.
Do they vainly hope for the death of his body? People die – that is the way of all flesh:
Psalm 90: 9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.
10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten [that would be 70]; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years , yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away …
12 ¶ So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Our lives are like a vapor; like the flower of the field that comes and goes in its season. The fact is, that God almighty is the one that appoints the precise measure of that season. He fashioned each of us according to his righteous, unchangeable will and he will dispose of each of us at his pleasure. Consider the scripture:
Deut. 32:39 ¶ See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.
Heb 9: 27-28 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
So – the death of Fred Phelps’ body, a man who preached a plain faithful doctrine to an ever darkening world, is nothing but a vain, empty, hypocritical hope for you.
It’s like every journalist in the world simultaneously set aside what little journalistic integrity they have, so that they could wait breathlessly for a rumor to publish: in-fighting, succession plans, and power struggles, oh my! How shameful! You’re like a bunch of little girls on the playground waiting for some gossip!
Listen carefully; there are no power struggles in the Westboro Baptist Church, and there is no human intercessor – we serve no man, and no hierarchy, only the Lord Jesus Christ. No red shoes, no goofy hat, and no white smoke for us; thank you very much.
No board, no separate decision making body, just humble servants of God – qualified according to the scriptures, and chosen by the church – privileged to feed the sheep for a time. 2500 years ago, the Prophet Jeremiah described this tabloid journalism quite well:
Jeremiah 20: 10-11 For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. [who cares if it’s true: we’ve got our twitter machines all ready to go!] All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him. But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.
Remember that the Lord Jesus Christ warned us that a man’s foes will be they of his own household: So again, there is nothing surprising about these shenanigans, spurred on by faithless, ax-grinding, God-hating deserters of the cross, and it amounts to nothing but vain, empty, hope.
God forbid, if every little soul at the Westboro Baptist Church were to die at this instant, or to turn from serving the true and living God, it would not change one thing about the judgments of God that await this deeply corrupted nation and world. That is the pinnacle of your hopes, and by far the most vain. Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, or the power of God.
There is only one hope for any human – inside or outside of this little church – that God gives you repentance unto salvation. We pray that the Lord will do just that for any of our enemies whom he has predestined to eternal life. And for those who are truly the enemies of God – ordained of old to such a condemnation – we pray his righteous wrath and vengeance, wherein we rejoice.
Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!
Some serious hate going on in that “church”, I think.