Within the last few weeks we heard about the death of the "reverend" Fred Phelps, pastor of Westboro Baptist church in Topeka, Kansas. Just as he was ignominious in his life, so in his passing he has stayed so. Now, it is not with glee or derision I make this statement, but let us consider the Word of God. Proverbs 10:7 . . . The name of the wicked shall rot. and another proverb "If a mans ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. For example, if I say the name "Mother Theresa" an image and vision of a life of love, giving and service comes to mind. Even in our internet age, if I said "Billy Sunday" someone could get a great deal of information about him and determine that he was a great voice for God. Now, what if I said the name "Joseph Gobels" ? It also wouldn't take long to determine a name that sitll has a rotten stench many decades later.
I find it a real tragedy when a person claims Christianity yet makes his church and presence odious before the general population. Consider the story of I Samuel and the sons of Eli the priest, who were such hypocrites that people hated going to the tabernacle and worshiping God. I Samuel 2:11-17
True light will scatter the darkness of sin. Even if a person has a correct doctrine and is hated by society, he or she will still have some peace and a following of members. For the most part, they will even garner respect. ( Proverbs 16:7)
Such is not the case with the late Mr Phelps.
He was a prophet, but not a prophet for good and righteousness. As I pondered the media circus that were his last few hours, I also thought of another figure that I wondered about back in 1995. the singer / rapper Eric Easy E wright. he was also a prophet like Fred. they were both prophets of the devil. they each had a message and the message was of destruction, division and derision.These two men were from opposite social economic and ideological backgrounds, but preached a similar message: confusion.
Easy E glorified a life of sex, drugs and crime. He is considered to be the godfather of gangster rap, was hugely popular with the young in the 1990's. He lived a short life in the fast lane and died of AIDS related pneumonia.
Fred Phelps claimed to be a christian, pastored a church and spent a great deal of time misrepresenting Christianity and spread hate by bashing the military, gays and anything related to his idea of sin.
Now it's true, God hates sin, but hypocrisy is sin too. isn't it?
Furthermore, do we preach Christ to the unbelievers or try to treat the symptoms of sin??
The last I remember, Jesus is the Great Physician!
Easy E lived and preached what he believed, and at least had happiness in his chosen life style!
My question I wondered was this: Who cries for Easy E?
Now I ask the question again:
Who cries for Fred Phelps?
The time of funerals and mourning finds many that cry, but several weeks, months or years later, who cries for the wicked? Is their memory so quickly extinguished, like a candle snuffed out in a dark room?
When I considered Phelps' death I thought of the Nathaniel Hawthorne story Young Goodman Brown. he was a young married man who journeyed out of his small new England village and met the Devil on the way. He had found out that the entire village had made a pact / or sinned and paid homage to the Devil. Upon his return he was cold, hard, critical, unfriendly and uncaring. When he died not a person had a good word to scribe on his tombstone. Will that be the case with Phelps?