How We Are Like Westboro Baptist

You’ve heard of the Westboro Baptist Church.  Led by Fred Phelps, it’s a small congregation (made up mostly of Phelps’s family members) near Topeka, Kansas.  It’s an independent church, started in 1955, that has grown quite noisy in recent years.  Their big thing is hate.

They hate gays (their website is, Jews, and the American military.  They hate Barack Obama (they claim he is the antichrist) and the Catholic Church.  They hate Mormons and Muslims and corporate tycoons and, well, to be honest, they hate the whole wide world.

I’m not kidding.

On their website, they have a link to a page called “God Hates the World.”  On that page you’ll find a map of the world.  You can click on any country and learn why God hates that country.

And they don’t just have a web site.  They physically carry their hate in the form of picket signs to the four corners of the country.  Church officials admit that the congregation spends $200,000 a year flying members to funerals and the sites of the most unspeakable tragedies so they can condemn the suffering victims to hell and proclaim them deserving of God’s punishment.

You might think we “normal Christians” have nothing in common with the Westboro Baptist Bullies.

If you do, you’re wrong.

On October 5, 2011, Fred Phelps’ daughter, Margie, announced via her Twitter account that the church would be picketing Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs’ funeral.  She used an iPhone to create the tweet.*

Wait.  An iPhone?  An Apple iPhone?

Wouldn’t that be like badmouthing Hugh Hefner while holding a subscription to Playboy?

Or blaspheming Anheuser-Busch while having your fridge stocked with Bud Light?

The thing we have in common with Westboro Baptist is that we, too, are sometimes inconsistent.   Our walk doesn’t always match our talk either.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what you believe–true, false, or plum crazy–you undermine your message if you aren’t consistent.  The apostle Paul said, “You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too.  You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too.” (1 Corinthians 10:21)

Right now, what is going on in your life that isn’t consistent with what you say you believe?

*Reported by both CBS News and the Washington Post.





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9 Responses to How We Are Like Westboro Baptist

  1. Steve Jones says:

    When I saw the title I was all ready to disagree. Wound up in agreement :o). Thanks for the reminder to be consistent.

  2. Bob Tremblay says:

    So very very true.

  3. Klaus Roetsch says:

    Oh my gosh, Pastor Mark!

    You are right on the edge … I was worried where you where heading too … But once again, conclude on the side of our Lord’s direction. Walk the Christian walk and talk the Christain talk. Thank you for the profound message.

    Klaus & Donna

  4. Marg says:

    Yes Mark if you can walk the talk the it is well! Thanks for the nudge

  5. Barb Paton says:

    Thank you, Mark. Grabbed my attention and made me think. Consistency is something Rich and I talk about and work hard at bringing to our walk with the Lord. It’s a fact that people are watching “us” waiting for us to show the least bit of inconsistency in our “talk” and our “walk.”
    Thank you again, for another excellent blog.

  6. Barb Atteberry says:

    When our three boys were growing up we lived in a small town and quite active in church. Every time our boys left the house I would say, “Be on your best behavior and watch what you say and do because people are watching you”. And believe me in our small town everyone knew what your kid was doing. So, it isn’t just for adults, children from the beginning need to be taught this very valuable lesson : your walk has to be consistent with your talk. One of those three boys is your blog writer.

    • Dolores says:

      Hello Mrs. Atteberry,
      We at Poinciana Christian Church thank you for raising such a fine
      young man. He is wonderful to have as our worship leader. He and Marilyn
      are a blessing to each one of us. Mark certainly throws out information to
      make me think he is talking directly to me. Sometimes I don’t like that but
      we would like to keep him anyway. (smile)

      God Bless you and your entire family!
      The Mager’s

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