Founder of Westboro Baptist Church Fred Phelps dies aged 84
Fred must have been as much hated as Osama bin Laden. America loves its heroes -- rightly -- and Fred poured scorn on them. But I wonder if any of those who condemn him have actually listened to any of his sermons? He was an old-fashioned hellfire preacher who was careful to support everything he said by reference to Bible texts. He was perhaps the last remnant of a once-dominant American preacher tradition.
There is no doubt that he aimed to shock and he certainly achieved that but theologically he was literally correct. Fred didn't whitewash the Bible. He preached it. And if you doubt that read Romans chap. 1 to get God's attitude to homosexuals and Ezekiel 33 for God's expectation of his representatives. God's representatives had a duty to warn the ungodly about their sins and any failure to warn was itself a deadly sin. Fred accepted that duty and discharged it. There was nothing wrong with Fred's theology.
And if you think Fred was going over the top in warning that whole nations who defended homosexuality would be destroyed by God, ponder the fate of the tribe of Benjamin. The homosexuals of Gibeah set in train a series of events which brought down great wrath and destruction on their tribe. The tribe of Benjamin was almost wiped out when it would not disown its homosexuals (Judges chaps. 19 & 20). America now is in a state of decline too. Does it too need a moral reformation to save it? Was the election of Obama a triumph of the Devil? Fred was in no doubt about all that.
If you believe in the Bible (I do not) Fred was right. He was a faithful servant of his Lord. I sometimes wonder if there are any real Bible students left
Fred Phelps, who founded the Westboro Baptist Church known for its anti-gay sentiments and protests at soldiers' funerals, has died, his son said on Thursday.
The 84-year-old, who founded the church is 1955, died of natural causes in Kansas at 11.15pm on Wednesday, according to church spokesman Steve Drain.
Previously he said that that Phelps was being cared for in a Shawnee County facility.
His passing comes just days after another son, Nate Phelps, took to his own Facebook page to announce that his father was 'on the edge of death' at Midland Hospice house in Topeka.
Nate Phelps, who left the extreme Christian sect 37 years ago, said his father was excommunicated in August 2013 from the church for advocating more kindness toward its members.
Three of his own children ex-communicated their father, according to WIBW.
'I'm not sure how I feel about this,' Nate Phelps wrote on Facebook. 'Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way. Destroyed by the monster he made.
'I feel sad for all the hurt he's caused so many. I feel sad for those who will lose the grandfather and father they loved. And I'm bitterly angry that my family is blocking the family members who left from seeing him, and saying their good-byes.'
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).