Pastor Gone Wild!

I was reading this morning about Fred Phelps, the so-called Pastor of a very misguided Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka Kansas, and their plans to picket the funerals of the people who lost their lives in the Minnesota bridge collapse.

What a freaking nut job!

This so-called Pastor has been quoted as saying “The attack of 9/11 was an act of God’s vengeance” and now he is making the statement, “God made the bridge fall because he hates America, and especially Minnesota, because of its tolerance of homosexuality.”

So, with my blood boiling, I decided to look a little further into the Rev. Phelps and found this disturbing press release from Westboro Baptist Church and their Pastor.

So…while reading about this church and it’s leadership, I began to think…Is this what Christianity is about? Is this what God would want us to do? Is this why Jesus was beaten, bled and died…so that some idiotic, misguided, moronic imbeciles could go around shaking their fists in the air, holding up their hate-mongering picket signs, and claim they are doing God’s work, and spreading God’s word?

I also wondered, where are all the ODM (Online Discernment Ministry) Blogs railing against this idiot and others like him? Where are the odious posts from Apprising and Slice crying out against Phelps and others like him? Why are they not calling them into question like they have Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Dan Kimball and others in the Emerging Church Generation?

A good friend of mine once stated about such behavior as Phelps demonstrates, “If that is Christianity…I want nothing to do with it”. That is the part of this whole thing that irritates the crap out of me. The kind of non-sensical behavior of these zealots are demonstrating does nothing for furthering the kingdom of God. If anything, they cause non-christians to question it.

Yes…I believe homosexuality is a sin, but I also believe that the love, mercy and grace of God can call a man to repentance. I don’t believe that you have to wave a sign in their face filled with hate to get their attention. I believe that we are supposed to hate the sin, but love the sinner.

I could write so much more on this subject, but I won’t.

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About Jimmy Eldridge

I am a husband, a father, a son, a brother and most of all, a follower of our most gracious savior Christ Jesus. Who are you following?

29 thoughts on “Pastor Gone Wild!

  1. I’ve never read so much hate on one 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper. There are so many evil messages and contradicting statements, but the one that gets me is the simple generalization, “Typical Minnesotans.”

  2. “Where are the odious posts from Apprising and Slice crying out against Phelps and others like him?”

    Jimmy, having spoken with you before I know you’re intelligent enough to know that to compare e.g. Phelps and Warren would be to commit the fallacy of the false analogy.

    “Why are they not calling them into question like they have Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Dan Kimball and others in the Emerging Church Generation?”

    The men you mentioned above (apples) are in the very mainstream of the American Christian Church while Phelps (oranges) is (at best) at the very outer edge of the lunatic fringe akin to so-called “Christian” white supremist groups. Make sense?

    I can’t speak for Slice but as far as I’m concerned I don’t think people who would follow a Phelps would have any interest in reading what I have to say. *placing tongue firmly in cheek* Psst, (whispering) I’m not sure they even know how to read. 😉

    And Movie Dave, I’m so sorry to disappoint you.

  3. Um… weighing in here…

    There are leaps of logic in your remarks relating to the ODM’s. I would not attempt to speak for ALL such ministries, but as for Slice, and Apprising: their focus, their intent, is basically to unveil to the Christian community the fallacies and falsehoods of those posing as ‘credible’ ministers of Jesus Christ who have found quite a bit of respect in the Christian community, and large following, but whose gospel does not hold water biblically, and who are, in reality, leading great swelling numbers of people to embrace a false jesus and a false gospel, with serious repurcussions to come, if not detected and corrected.

    Fred Phelps, by comparison, is clearly a religious crackpot not to be taken seriously, and not likely to draw a following of any kind. (Do you see crowds anywhere hailing this man — news sources and magazines making reference to him as “America’s Pastor”? or listing him among the 25-50 most influential Evangelicals in America?

    What folks like Ingrid and Ken are ddoing is warning the flock (and the unsaved) away from the Pied Pipers of the day, who, posing as true shepherds of the sheep, have gathered to themselves a huge following, but who are in reality leading an increasing number of adherents away from the truth of God’s word, and into the embrace of ‘another jesus’, ‘another gospel’… of which the Apostle Paul emphatically concluded that those teach such are worthy of damnation, for presenting a soul-damning counterfeit of the truth. These types of religious leaders are doing untold damage to the hearts and souls of men and women not only in America, but around the world! The red carpet treatment awaits them wherever it is they go. Their popularity knows no end (except among a remnant of believers who recognize the false gospel they are preaching).

    Fred Phelps brings dishonour to the name of Christ, to be sure, but he hasn’t the drawing power of a Rick Warren, a Rob Bell or a Brian McLaren. The damage done by him can only be minimal by comparison to the reach and effect of these popular false shepherds and teachers.

    Surely you recognize the difference.

  4. Don’t get me wrong….I am by no stretch of the imagination saying that all of the men that have been deemed ‘Emergents’ are all right…or wrong for that matter. Further…I don’t really care a whole heck of a lot what the ODM’s say about them…as long as you can back it up with FACT…not fiction.

    To my way of thinking, and I know that there will be some that will disagree, Phelps can cause more damage to the cause of Christianity than some of the fore mentioned ‘Emergents’. Simply because we are dealing with perception. People look at Phelps and say…’christians are a bunch of quacks’…where as some could look at ‘America’s Pastor’, as you said, and they may actually be attracted to Christianity…..a stretch? Perhaps.

    Maybe I am flawed in my thinking….if I am…prove it to me and I will listen.

    Hey Ken…thanks for stopping by.

  5. Hey right on back Jimmy,

    Perhaps we look at it this way. You said: “Phelps can cause more damage to the cause of Christianity than some of the fore mentioned ‘Emergents’.” From the standpoint of unbelievers looking in, maybe.

    But from the viewpoint of what the Christian faith actually is, which is where I feel called in the AM/CRN part of my ministries, in my estimation the others are doing far more damage. So in my view the Lord is angry at the deteriorating condition of the once for all delivered faith.

    And, in my opinion, because He is the power to regenerate people is not there as it should be, which needs to be corrected first before any unbelievers will be properly converted.

    Therefore I strongly disagree Phelps is causing “more damage,” though I would agree with you that those who appear mentaly unstable such as Phelps do cause some damage.

    It is because I am led in this way that I focus my time on what seems to me God’s greater concern, the purity of His Church. Not wishing to argue here, my personal conviction would essentially be the opposite of e.g. Rob Bell in that I believe the Church needs to do a better job of helping someone realize they are “out” so they will then understand why they need to get “in.”

  6. To answer your question . . . no, this is not what Christianity is all about. I think it’s pretty obvious this guy has issues. I really don’t think we need an ODM to figure that out for us. Just because they haven’t written about this guy doesn’t mean they’re for him (*ahem Mr. Moviepastor*), and actually Slice has now, so there you go! :o)

  7. I guess as a native Kansan who has come into contact with members of this cult before while they were picketing on my university campus and even at a pretty conservative church I was visiting with a friend, I forget that there are still people out there who don’t know who he is or what he stands for. I wish that even fewer people did! As much as He Who Shall Not Be Named craves media attention–and the more negative, the better–I have to wonder what would happen if the reporters and bloggers just ignored him for a while, or at least would stop publicizing his site and giving him more hits.

  8. Shauna,

    Interestingly, my very good friend Timmy Gibson pastors a church in Olathe Kansas called Olathe Life Fellowship.

    He wrote a post several months ago here on Relevant Christian entitled “Why Christians Suck”. In that post he was refering to the infamous mister Phelps.

  9. Merry,

    You are right…we don’t need an ODM to tell us that Phelps is a major nut job.

    However, to think that this guy is not dangerous or harmful to the Christian cause could be considered naive.

    My point is….I believe that someone like Phelps can be more harmful to the Christian faith than some of the ‘Mainstream Emergent Pastors’ ever thought about being. Mainly because of perception.

  10. OK – Phelps is a NUT and ODM’s arent for him. Sorry I said that. Cheap shot. Forgive me? Let me ask this – Why are they against me? What part of the gospel have I not proclaimed clearly and loudly in my sermons at Church? What did I do (besides say I liked a movie someone didnt or used a word like crap or suck that someone disapproved of?) Some say emergents hurt the cause of Christ or water down the gospel. How have I done that?

    Jesus Christ is the ONLY Son of God. He was fully God and fully man. Man is hopelessly lost in sin, and all sinners will be judged at the last day. The penalty for sin is death and one day hell. God chose to punish his son Jesus on the cross as a substitute for the sins of the world. Anyone who repents from sin, believes in Jesus in his heart and confesses him with his mouth will be saved, forgiven and have eternal life. Those that do not believe – wont. The gospel is good news that no one has to die and everyone can be forgiven!

    My point being I and my church preach the gospel and teach the scriptures. We sing music that has a very Rock Edge and use a band to lead that singing – but sometimes actually sing a hymn, although it might be played on a guitar. We dont have a dress code because thats not the gospel – and I usually preach in Jeans but I wear the best ones I have if that makes any difference. At our baptism celebration we choose to have a fellowship meal and give it some kind of name to promote it – but the bottom line is Jesus Christ and him crucified – and like Paul I am determined to know nothing else and preach nothing else.

    Ken – Im sorry if I did or said things to make you angry (or Ingrid or other bloggers who feel they should attack what I am doing) Honestly I’d rather be able to say we are friends and on the same team and preach the same message but we use different methods. Can we do that? How can you and I (and slice and others) strike a productive dialog that will further the gospel message and further the saving many souls. Or am I too emergent somehow to be used by God?

    Feel Free to email me privately. You can find the contact info on my blog. You can find what we believe on my church website (www.crosspt.cc) and you can even listen to my sermons and see if they are Christ centered and biblically sound or not.

  11. Dear MoviePastor:

    I think the problem that a lot of us have with ADM’s (Anti-Discernment Ministries) is all of the commands in the bible that tell us to watch our doctrine closely. It sounds like you are asking Ken for an example of “Why are they against me?”. I just ran out to your church website for the first time and looked around a little. Just in the first two minutes I found your church plugging a secular Rock song (see your YouTube video) that the group (Nickleback) describes like this: “Savin’ Me addresses a man in prison who wants to be saved and a fallen angel who must return to earth to be forgiven for his sins”. What kind of theology is that? Doesn’t that bother you? You guys jack up ‘relevance’ to a blinding degree, in which you don’t seem to be able to discern a whole bunch of other important biblical things. At least, that’s the way we see it.

    PS: The reason I don’t waste my time on Phelps is that he is an OBVIOUS wolf. The biggest threats to the Church have always been wolves that look like real sheep (or shepherds). Phelps isn’t one of those. Nobody is fooled by him.

  12. Or Maybe they just don’t like you Dave, because you’re not exactly like them. If the WODM (WANNABE online Discernment Ministries) want to truly be discerning they should start with discerning between essentials and non-essentials. I believe Dave, that despite your hard exterior you want people to like you. These people simply cannot because they are Pharisees. If you don’t look them, walk like them, talk like them you are apostate, new $evangelical$ and whatever other horseshit they can call you. Right now, they are more concerned about the fact that I offended their ever delicate olfactory senses by using the word for equestrian fecal matter.
    Just let them go. They say Phelps is an obvious wolf, I say they’re not that far behind. They’re angry fundamentalist.
    More importantly, look at the New Testament and tell me who looks like them?

  13. Jim from Old Truth,

    I would have to disagree with you about Phelps. Sure…as Christians who have been in the faith for a while, we can see Phelps for what he is….my argument is, what about those who are not Christians? Would’nt the ‘perception’ of Phelps being a stereo-typical Christian be more adverse to the cause of Christianity?

  14. Jimmy:

    I see your point. I agree, the Phelps types really do make it more difficult for those of us as we evangelize. We have a guy who drives around our city in a black herst with a loud speaker on it, yelling “repent or die”, etc. Non-Christians however, are not the target audience of ODM blogs. Maybe you are right about Phelps being the stereotype Christian, but I suspect there are too many SUV-driving megachurch soccer moms out there for that to be the case.

    Hey ?Mark?:

    Yes, I am a total Pharisee angry fundamentalist. How did you know? 🙂
    Here’s the official Pharisee theme song that we sing down at the Pharisee club:
    [audio src="http://www.oldtruth.com/PhariseeSong2.mp3" /]
    Here’s my picture:

    Here’s me sneaking into your church in a disguise:

    Sorry, I don’t have any photos of people trying to see how far they can stretch their Christianity and yet still call themselves a Christian, otherwise that might work well for you. I’m heading out to my anger management class now, do you want to come along? We can talk about the 5 points of Calvinism while we drive 🙂

  15. I’ve got to say I’m with Mark. I don’t really see a big difference between Slice/AM and Phelps. I do see a difference but not much. Now, I know they’re going to to get all fired up over that type of characterization but it is what it is.
    Sure Phelps is further down the path (a long ways) but I see the same type of hyperbole and exaggeration from them.
    As for Lynn, I cannot accept her statement. My question for her is who’s warning Christians about those sites? They are (IMO and I can share mine too) are the wolves in sheeps clothing. As they often say, it isn’t personal.

  16. Hi Mr. Moviepastor,

    I’m sorry you feel like everyone is against you, I’m not sure how true this really is, but I’d like to share a couple of thoughts, hopefully in love. 🙂

    First, it looks like you have a fun blog going on there. I know it’s probably all your tastes and preferences, but it seems pretty secular; some Christians might be offended by that. Actually I should say some Christians are offended by that. It’s good that you teach the gospel. I’d be a little worried if you didn’t. But I really think it’s HOW you preach the gospel that matters. What if a person who knew nothing about Christianity stumbled across your blog and read it. Would he see a difference between Christians and the rest of the world? Would he want to know more about Christianity or would he reason that if Christians are exactly like the rest of the world (listening to the same music, watching the same movies, etc.) there’s no point in bothering? I KNOW you’re trying to be relevant with pop culture, but sometimes TOO much relevancy isn’t such a good thing anymore, and I think that’s the point the ODM’s are trying to make.

    Second, I’m not even going to defend the ODM blogs you were referring to such as Slice and Old Truth. Why? Because they seem to see NO need to defend themselves! Just like people may not like your blog, there are people who don’t like their blogs. But these ODM’s don’t seem to care. They KNOW what they believe, and they’re not trying to please people, they’re just trying to get the truth out. And that’s the difference I see between them and you. Whenever someone writes a blog “against you” as you put it, you’re immediately on the defensive, writing long comments on other people’s blogs about how you can’t see what you’re doing wrong. Now I’m not saying being on the defensive is a bad thing necessarily, but first you’ve GOT to know what you believe and stick to it. And sometimes when someone says something against you, no response at all is the most mature response you can give. Again I’m NOT trying to be mean to you or anything, I just wanted to share those thoughts. Thanks.

    Moderators- sorry this is so long and off-topic!!!! 🙂

  17. Thanks MoviePastor, if you are ever in my neck of the woods – drop in and we’ll see a movie together. It’s going to have to be PG though 🙂

    Joe Martino, other than the discernment required to determine that “ODM’s are the true wolves”, is there any discernment that you think is helpful or important for Christians? Do you acknowledge the commands and concerns that Paul had for Timothy about doctrine, deceivers, and discipline? When I read your stuff online, my impression is that you seem to see no spiritual danger in anything other than overbearing Christians. Are there any false beliefs, or cults, that you think Christians should watch out for? Also, doesn’t the whole idea of “ODM’s are mean and uncharitable” seem to evaporate when you say such mean and uncharitable things about them? I mean, a wolf indicates that Ingrid is (worse than) a false believer; that’s quite a statement.

  18. Jim, I purposely left your stuff off since I have only read your blog a handful of times. I am well of aware of the implications of my statements regarding Mr. Silva and Mrs. Schuelter. I’m curious why is it “mean and uncharitable” to say what I believe to be true about them? I believe they are leading people down a pat that is directly contrary to the idea of Grace.
    Yes Jim, I believe that discernment is required. I’m not sure that calling someone “apostate” (again, I don’t know if you do this or not so I’m not saying you) because they don’t believe in the five tenants of Calvinism is what Jude had in mind when he was talking about contending for the faith. I see a lot of a misleading on those blogs.
    I’m not here to get into a long debate on this topic. I just happened to click over and I saw the discussion going on. I saw what Mark had to say and I agreed with him.
    If you come back with a “give me your list” I’m not going to do it. I’ve done it on other parts of the web. I found it doesn’t usually do all that much good. So now, I’m going to go eat a Peach and go swimming.

  19. Joe Martino said: “I don’t really see a big difference between Slice/AM and Phelps. I do see a difference but not much. Now, I know they’re going to to get all fired up over that type of characterization but it is what it is.”

    Nope. Not fired up. 🙂

    And: “I’m curious why is it ‘mean and uncharitable’to say what I believe to be true about [Mr. Silva and Mrs. Schuelter]?I believe they are leading people down a pat that is directly contrary to the idea of Grace.”

    Doesn’t sound mean and uncharitable to me. Looks like a sincere opinion. Now happen to I disagree and counter that I believe instead that it iz you and Rob Bell who are the ones leading people down a path that is directly contrary to the idea of Grace.

  20. Thanx Joe. Though there is likely more to come, I’ve already responded at Apprising. I also know Dan’s seen it and of course we disagree.

  21. Jim – you’ll have to head south – 2 places I never want to go are places that have 11 months of winter and hell. The movie’s on me. Im sure I can find a PG movie we’d both enjoy. Its on me! I read your “about” section on your blog. Email me – we have something in common – sort of.

  22. You are so totally right. That “pastor” and his “church” are not the example of Christ, and are a disgrace to follower’s of God.

  23. Phelps is what I call “flat earth”. Like arguing with a proponent of the flat earth society, it’s just not worth the energy it’s so far out!

  24. What??? You mean the Earth isn’t flat? 🙂

    Hey Henry…you’re right….when I read the article and read up on him….just made my blood boil.

    I really enjoy your blog.

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