The latest issue of Christianity Today, carries the article “The tragic death of Fred Phelps,” The first sentence, short and crisp – you’re toast, reads “Death is always a tragedy.” What! Then no more singing in church those idiotic songs “You’re my greatest treasure” and “I want to be where you are” – that is, dead.
What is a tragedy. It is an event that ends in despair, no hope, lost for eternity. Don’t Christians today know that, feel that in their tripes? Now here’s an avoidable tragedy: Christianity Today refrain from talking such tripe and draining the life out of the blood of Christ, which so many Christians accuse Fred Phelps of doing.
A question: Does God hate people? I was surprised to hear Al Mohler expressing himself about God’s love in a similar vein to the above writer: God loves everybody. In his You Have Been Warned—The “Duck Dynasty” Controversy, Mohler says:
“In a statement released before his suspension, Phil Robertson told of his own sinful past and of his experience of salvation in Christ and said:
‘My mission today is to go forth and tell people about why I follow Christ and also what the Bible teaches, and part of that teaching is that women and men are meant to be together. However, I would never treat anyone with disrespect just because they are different from me. We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity. We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other.’
Those are fighting words, Phil. They are also the gospel truth.” Fighting words? God loves all humanity? Hates no one? Sweet thought but not so? Here is Matt Slick on the question:
Psalm 5:5, “The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes; Thou dost hate all who do iniquity,”
Psalm 11:5, “The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates.”
Lev. 20:23, “Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I shall drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them.”
Prov. 6:16-19, “There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 A false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.”
Hosea 9:15, “All their evil is at Gilgal; indeed, I came to hate them there! Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house! I will love them no more; All their princes are rebels.”
“Are these verses, asks Slick, hard to read? Do they make you feel uncomfortable? They should. God hates sin. But, He does not punish sin. He punishes the sinner. Sin cannot be tied up and thrown into a fire. It cannot be put in a box or glued to a stick. It is rebellion. It is rebellion in the heart. It is breaking God’s Law. Sin occurs inside the heart and mind of people. Therefore, God must punish the sinner. Why? Because He is both Holy and Just and the person who sins offends God. God’s Holy and Just character will not allow Him to ignore this offense.
“The sobering fact is that God is so holy and righteous that He hates the sinner (Psalm 5:5; Lev. 20:23; Prov. 6:16-19; Hos. 9:15). Some say that we should say that God only hates the sin but loves the sinner. But, the above scriptures speak contrary to that. But it is also true that He is love (1 John 4:8). It is better to accept the love of God found in Jesus than to reject it and suffer His wrath.”
What then does John 3:16 mean when it says “God so loved the world?” It certainly does not mean “God loved the soooooo much….” It means “God loved the world (not Mars) in such away that he gave his son so that those believing in him will be given eternal life. And – the next bit – those not believing are condemned already. I wonder if “enough already” was originally coined by a Jewish Arminian.
In one of the writer’s sentences (repeated below) in the Christianity article, the Apostle Paul’s “us” refers to believers, not the “world,” not even to the US.
“They (The Phelps family) followed an angry god who hated sinners, not the God who sent Jesus who “proves His own love for US in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” (Romans 5:8).
As for the writer’s “Tell someone today that God loves them,” that’s at best Arminian confusion. As for the reason given “Do it because the world will talk about a man who hated in the name of “God”: So God may not really love the one you’re deceiving? Such a plan is arguably worse than telling Tom, Dick AND Harry that “God has a great plan for your life.” Health and happiness?