Monday, December 13, 2010

Picket Fences

Once again the Westboro Baptist Church has made national headlines. As usual, they’ve shined an unflattering light on Christianity.

The fringe church from Kansas is mostly made up of family members of the founder, Fred Phelps. To put it bluntly, they are wackos! The Westboro faithful travel around the country picketing funerals of dead soldiers. They feel that the brave men and women deserved to die because in fighting to defend America, they are fighting for a country that defends homosexuality.

This past week the Kansas Crazies picketed the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards. They had two reasons to slam Mrs. Edwards. First, they believe that her choice to have two more children after the death of her beloved son, Wade was a rebellious act. She should have—in their view—accepted God’s decision to leave her with just one child. Secondly, Elizabeth Edwards defended the rights of the homosexual community.

The Westboro group has been in my community a number of times to picket funerals of our local hometown heroes. How can they afford to travel across the country spreading their hatred? Well, they stir up anger and rage and invariably someone ends up taking a swing at one of the picketers. They then file an assault and battery charge in court and they win monetary damages!

A Christian is supposed to be a Christ-follower. Can you imagine Jesus walking up to the mourning Mary and Martha and saying, “Your brother Lazarus was a sinner and he deserved to die. Now stop your whining and shape up or I’ll see to it that your life is cut short just like that of your brother’s”? Of course not!

We are on the front lines of a real battle—the fight to defend our Lord’s reputation. Of course He doesn’t need us to do that for Him, but the world needs to see Jesus with skin on. That is who we ought to be.

As I see it, there are two ways to battle the Kansas Crazies. First of all, speak up. These people are NOT Christ-followers. They are radicals who are slandering the name of Jesus. Secondly, go out and be salt and light to a world in need of love and comfort. For every act of hatred perpetrated by the Phelps family, we need to offer up dozens of acts of kindness.

Some motorcycle enthusiasts have formed a group called, The Patriot Guard Riders. Whenever the Westboro group comes to town with their picket signs, the Patriots rally their members together to also attend the funerals. They line their bikes up, peacefully stand side by side, and form a loving barrier between the grieving family and the picketers. What an amazing group of men and women! They become a living breathing picket fence—surrounding the families with love and protection from the enemy.

Now get of the pew and be Jesus with skin on. Defend the defenseless, love the unlovable, bandage the hurting, and speak the truth! Get off the pew!

1 comment:

  1. and learn scripture really well or you will be just another nice person