Westboro Baptist teaches that Jesus failed

Gryphen shares a remarkable video from Russell Brand’s talk show on FX. The manically odd British comic interviews two guests from Westboro Baptist Church, the infamous “God Hates Fags” sect:

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The guests are Tim Phelps and Steve Drain, and Brand shows them enormous hospitality and patience. He checks his audience, reminding them that “It does take courage and bravery to come in front of a room full of people you think almost certainly don’t agree with you, so let’s hear what they’ve got to say.”

And the fascinating thing here is that Brand actually does give us a chance to hear what they’ve got to say with more clarity and precision than the group’s chanting, slogans and litigation-baiting provocations usually allow. Here’s a bit of a rough transcript from the video above:

PHELPS: Since you promote sin, you hate all these kind people in your heart.

BRAND: I don’t. I love them.

PHELPS: That’s why he applauds your sin, because he hates you all.

BRAND: I don’t applaud any sins what’s hurting people or yourselves.

PHELPS: You encourage them, and then they burn in Hell for eternity. That’s not very loving.

DRAIN: When the Lord Jesus Christ said to love your neighbor as yourself, you love your neighbor as yourself by warning them when their sin is taking them to Hell. And, as a matter of fact, if you fail to warn your neighbor, you hate your neighbor in your heart. So by a Bible standard, we love you all. And I know you can’t believe that from your goofy Hallmark standard, but from a Bible standard, we love you, and he [Brand] doesn’t.

PHELPS: From a Bible standard, he hates you. And you probably hate each other.

Their language is slightly more blunt and provocative than the usual, but the idea Phelps and Drain are saying here is commonplace in evangelical churches, sermons, blogs and Facebook postings. It’s the idea that people are sinners, and that therefore the most loving thing we can do for them is to tell them the truth about their being sinners. This is the idea that Sarah Bessey delightfully and thoroughly dismantles in that post of hers I linked to yesterday: “In which I tell you the truth about telling the truth.”

It’s remarkable, and disturbing, how many times in this interview we see that Westboro Baptist, apart from its nasty signs and slogans, is not all that different from mainstream American evangelicalism.

“Why did you come here?” Brand asks his guests, and their answer presents a clearer picture of Westboro’s concept of evangelism:

DRAIN: It’s our duty.

PHELPS: To warn these people to stop sinning.

DRAIN: The Bible says this, “Cry aloud, spare not. Lift up thy voice like a trumpet. And show the people their transgressions.” How do you show people their transgressions without making it crystal clear what the manner of your sin is? God hates fags. I know it’s not — oh, dude — I know it’s not popular. But we’re not making this stuff up. It’s right in the Bible.

That bit, too, will be utterly familiar to anyone who has spent time in evangelical churches or reading evangelical blogs. “I know it’s not popular … it’s right in the Bible,” is a time-honored defense-mechanism employed when others recoil at our morally appalling behavior or statements. It turns their proper horror at what we’ve said or done into a badge of honor — enabling us to ignore both their revulsion and the cries of our own conscience that they have a point.

The passage Drain quotes there, by the way, is from Isaiah 58. It’s right in the Bible — you can look it up. I love this passage which does, indeed, describe things that God rejects as well as things that God loves. There’s not a word there about homosexuality. The transgressions the prophet cries aloud and lifts up his voice to show the people in Isaiah 58 are these:

  • you “oppress all your workers”
  • you quarrel and fight and strike with a wicked fist
  • you point the finger and speak evil
  • you fail to “loose the bonds of injustice … to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke”
  • you fail “to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house”
  • you “hide yourself from your own kin”
  • you fail to “satisfy the needs of the afflicted”
  • you “trample” the sabbath by doing all of that on God’s holy day.

That’s another Jubilee passage. It does not support Steve Drain’s point, his theology, or his understanding of sin, righteousness or piety. But then that’s true for nearly all of evangelicalism, so it would be unfair to single out the Westboro folks for criticism on that point.

Some more from the interview:

DRAIN: We’re not talking about a base human passion like you or I might feel. Like you and I might hate each other. [Pantomimes trading punches with Brand] It’s simply …

BRAND: Just so you know, I love you.

DRAIN: I know, I love you too. It’s simply God’s fixed determination to punish the wicked in Hell for their sins. Because He can. Because He’s God. Because He’s sovereign.

BRAND: [laughing] Because he can! That’s very good. OK …

DRAIN: Exactly.

BRAND: OK, so … it’s simply God condemning what is objectively and indefatigably wrong. That’s what it is … I understand now.

PHELPS: Well put. Well put. Other than the accent, very well put.

BRAND: This is how this language is supposed to be spoken. Cheeky.

Throughout the interview, Russell Brand is the same brash, kinetic goofball he tends to be in front of an audience (whether it’s Aldous Snow or Arthur, I don’t know how to distinguish Brand from the character he plays). But I give him credit here for allowing these folks the chance to clearly state what they believe and for genuinely listening so that he is able to summarize what they believe in words they find accurate and agreeable.

Elsewhere in the interview, Brand attempts to engage his guests’ views and to argue with them a bit. Russell Brand would not be my first choice for defending Jesus from the Westboro Baptist Church, but he winds up doing better than I expected. Some of what he says is pretty vapid, but he also takes a few stumbling steps toward something like a Christ-centered hermeneutic of love.

On one level that’s unfortunate, because Brand is in many ways the embodiment of the straw-man stereotype “Bible-standard” evangelicals invoke in order to avoid understanding what a hermeneutic of love entails. That phrase — “hermeneutic of love” — conjures up for them a picture of someone who looks and sounds a lot like Brand. A liberal. An over-sexed hippy blabbing squishy, fuzzy, feel-good sentiments about love.

That’s an odd response. A reflexive opposition to talk of “love” is odd to begin with, but then there’s the stubborn rejection of biblical teaching by people supposedly devoted to “Bible standards.” Jesus said that love is the essence of “all the law and the prophets.” The Apostle Paul wrote that “love is the fulfillment of the law.” That’s a hermeneutic of love directly from Jesus and Paul.

And the rejection of a hermeneutic of love as “liberal” is anachronistic — ignoring that this is a teaching that goes back to the early church. Here’s one of my favorite clear statements of a hermeneutic of love, from notorious theological liberal St. Augustine in his dangerously liberal tract On Christian Doctrine:

Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbor, does not yet understand them as he ought.

The other problem with regarding a hermeneutic of love as squishy, fuzzy and feel-good is that doing so utterly misperceives and misrepresents what love means. For Christians, the ultimate expression of love can be seen in the cross. That’s not a picture of something warm and fuzzy or feel-good. Or read 1 Corinthians 13 — Paul’s hymn to love as “the most excellent way.” It’s a beautiful description of love, but who can read that and think it’s something easy or comfortable or squishy. The most excellent way is a lot harder than that.

But unlike the Westboro/evangelical claim that love just means telling sinners the truth about their sinfulness, love is actually something we humans have access to — something we are capable of. Absolute certainty of absolute truth is not. It’s not an accident that Paul’s famous statement about the epistemological limits of humans — “For now we see in a mirror, dimly … now I know only in part” — is there in the middle of his hymn to love, a necessary part of his argument for the supremacy of love.

Despite Russell Brand’s theological shortcomings, though, he comes across like Karl Barth compared to his guests from Westboro Baptist Church. He deserves credit, again, for providing them a platform to state their views with precision. That allows us to see those views with greater clarity and thus to identify just where they go wrong and just where Westboro’s theology departs, disastrously, from Christian doctrine.

Westboro Baptist Church teaches that Jesus Christ failed. None of what they believe makes any sense if Jesus Christ has triumphed over sin. Thus we can see that, according to Westboro Baptist Church, Jesus Christ did not triumph over sin.

Sin, for the Westboro cult, has not been conquered. Jesus gave it his best shot, apparently, but he failed. So now it’s up to us — we must battle against sin, which still has the upper hand. We must live in fear of sin and in fear of death, and we must warn others to live in fear of sin and death, because Jesus was unable to conquer either of those things.

That is, technically speaking, heresy. For Christians, it’s actually a form of blasphemy.

But set aside the theology and just consider what it would mean to try to live according to Westboro’s beliefs. It means being miserable. It means being dominated, at all times, by fear of sin and death.

That’s no way to live. Such fear is, in the words of Isaiah 58, a kind of yoke or oppression.

Jesus Christ has conquered sin. Break every yoke and let the oppressed go free. Jubilee.

  • AnonymousSam

    It’s simply God’s fixed determination to punish the wicked in Hell for their sins. Because He can. Because He’s God. Because He’s sovereign.

    If this was true, then it would be my duty to oppose God with every fiber of my being and Phelps is simply suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.

  • Daughter

    Fred, this was absolutely beautiful. I think this is why I have moved away from the self-righteous religion* of my past – because there was always so much I didn’t know, but I could clearly see love among people who didn’t share my beliefs. You’re absolutely right – we cannot know perfectly, but we can all love.

    * I didn’t know quite how to word that. I’m African-American, from a Church of Christ background, so “conservative fundamentalist” doesn’t quite fit. We were certainly conservative theologically, but the Church of Christ tends to hold itself apart from other evangelical groups, and as African-Americans, we were always Democrats.

  • Magic_Cracker

    ICAII: Here’s a link to the the Fred Phelps bio Addicted To Hate by Jon Michael Bell. It makes for horrifyingly fascinating reading.

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

    I got about halfway through but by then my tolerance was shot.  Kudos to Brand for not eviscerating them & just letting them fall on their own swords, but dang it is painful to watch those two guys set up verbal traps for themselves (“you don’t get to define God’s love!” says one, leaving Brand the easy pick-up “neither do you!”) & generally flail around like morons.

  • Albanaeon

    I wonder how their Jesus is going to react to all the people these jackasses turned off to his message by their antics?  Pretty sure that’s against The Rules too…

  • David Starner

    I think I could deal with the Sovereign God  punishing all the disobedient. It’s not my choice for a world, and I wouldn’t call such a being good, but a person has to play the cards they’re given, even when that’s less then pleasant. It’s when it gets combined with the whole “God loves you” and “you’re supposed to love God” things that it gets really dark and creepy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Unemori/100001112760232 Ann Unemori

    Talk about being “holier than thou”! Jesus failed, so these wingnuts are determined to take up the flag and carry it into the fray, and then…? Well, they’re going to feel justified that This Is God’s Way, as this is also the way to meet a LOT of persecution. 
    I keep getting the feeling that the Westboro wingnuts actually enjoy all this tomfoolery and disgust, that if everyone suddenly embraced them and agreed with their hateful thoughts, all the fun would be over.

    Masochist: Beat me, please beat me!
    Sadist: No!

  • MMorse

    “Sin, for the Westboro cult, has not been conquered. Jesus gave it his best shot, apparently, but he failed. So now it’s up to us — we must battle against sin, which still has the upper hand. We must live in fear of sin and in fear of death, and we must warn others to live in fear of sin and death, because Jesus was unable to conquer either of those things.That is, technically speaking, heresy. For Christians, it’s actually a form of blasphemy.”

    This is an interesting comment, and one I’m not sure I agree with. Reinhold Neibuhr, to give one good example, was firmly convinced that humanity had not “conquered” sin which still had, if not the upper hand then surely a strong hand. He believed that sin was something we were all stuck with, and needed to confront and discuss and resist. He believed that the idea of there being an unstoppable progression toward equality, prosperity and enlightenment was poppycock, and that humanity was capable at any time of reversing moral course and doing terrible things to one another.

    I know Fred doesn’t do the comments section, but I’d like to throw this out there to the other commenters and readers out there: Is Reinhold Neibuhr a blasphemer? Am I interpreting Fred’s comments here poorly/wrongly? Does sin have to be eradicated for Christ’s sacrifice to matter – especially when its quite obvious that sin has NOT been eradicated?

    *Fun fact(?): I’ve read that the word “sin” comes from translating the Hebrew term for “to miss the mark.” No idea if that’s true, but I like it.

  • Eamon Knight

    Bible standard

    Why do fundamentalist do this? The adjective form is “Biblical”.

    (Yeah, I know: tangential and pedantic. I’m an atheist who cares more about English  grammar than Christian doctrine.)

  • Eamon Knight

     ….and of course, I am a victim of the internet law that says any post complaining about grammar, spelling, or usage, must itself contain an error.

  • MikeJ

     There’s a bit about not being a stumbling block to others. Usually it’s used when you want to do something fun that church elders can’t find a specific problem with. “Sure, we know there’s nothing wrong with it, but what will those other people think?”

    I’ve never heard it used with people who were actively turning people away from the church.  It’s always much more about the right people being in charge of what you do, even in a church that believes in “priesthood of the believer.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Unemori/100001112760232 Ann Unemori

    As long as you can avoid becoming a dreaded Grammar Nazi, you’ll probably do okay.

  • MikeJ

    You sound like one of those whiners from the Democrat party.

    My pappy was dumb as a stump, and his pappy afore him, and his pappy afore him. If you ain’t dumb as a stump too, you’re a god hating communist.

  • AnonymousSam

    The problem is, they’re defining disobedience rather broadly too. In their books, I’m pretty sure 99% of the world’s population is going to Hell. That turns God from inexorable justice to evil petty tyrant.

  • MaryKaye

    I don’t think that Fred is saying that sin does not exist, but that sin does not separate a person from the love of God; which seems like a pretty mainstream Christian idea (to this non-Christian, anyway). Otherwise, since all people are sinful, God wouldn’t actually love anyone, which makes the idea of a loving God pretty hollow.

    I’m sick of hearing hate miscalled “tough love.”  Tough love is setting boundaries.  It’s telling the alcoholic “You vomited on the sofa, you clean it” or “If you want my company you have to be sober” or “That thing you did, it really hurt me.”  It’s not telling the alcoholic “You’re a worthless person and you deserve to suffer.”  I don’t think there is any conceivable situation in which that’s a loving thing to say to someone.

    My father is ministering to a gay friend who has probably-terminal cancer.  If God thinks Papa should be mean to him instead, well, then Papa is a better person than God is.  And that’s a pretty piss-poor God; not the one my father believes in, for sure.  As a Pagan I get to pick my gods, and I wouldn’t touch that one with a ten-foot pole.

  • http://willbikeforchange.wordpress.com/ storiteller

     I think what Brand did – and what Fred points out – is subtler and more important than just letting them fall on their own swords.  It’s easy for mainstream evangelicals to say, “Oh well, we’re different from Those People.  Obviously, we’re not hateful” when the Westboro Baptist Church is being over-the-top awful.  It’s much harder for them to say they disagree with some of the fundamental points the Westboro Baptist Church has when they calmly explain them and they don’t look all that different from many other evangelical preachers.

  • JustoneK

    Rules are for the unsaved masses, not us Good Folks.

  • Jan-Stephan

     @MMorse:disqus :
    If i still got my protestant doctrine right, then man is unable, completly unable, to conquer sin. He even is, as Luther rights in the Schmalkaldische Artikel, unable to even see his sin if it where not for god. Man is unable to stop sining, to love his neighbor or better himself on his own accord (3rd article).
    So sin would be very much in the world and very much unconquered.
    The crux as Luther (or as i understand him) makes it out is that the sin does no longer damn man, but that he can be, even will continously sining, saved by grace and love of god alone.
    That also takes the axe to any chance of being righteous of course.

  • flat

    Good men don’t need rules today is not a good day to find out why I have so many.
    eleventh Doctor

    In dutch language we also sometimes uses the word sin to describe that something has been wasted.

    for example:
    Wat een zonde dat die jongen zijn eigen toekomst verpeste.

    What a waste that that boy ruined his own future.

    So sin can be described as missing the mark (by accident) or on purpose by wasting it.

  • http://mordicai.livejournal.com Mordicai

    Yeah, no, that is fine, & I totally get that. I guess I’m just coming from the outsider perspective of “oh yeah, the hell with all that,” so it is a little different? Which is to say, the parts of Slacktivist that are more “actually there are totally Evangelicals with a non-absurd hermeneutic approach who embrace diversity” that really make me go “hm!” a lot more.

    Brand’s approach largely impresses me because he’s more respectful than I think I could be. I don’t think I could give them kudos for talking to a group of people who disagree with them, for instance, because they aren’t talking, they are PERFORMING. That is what they do.

  • VMink

    Seconding that it makes for horrifyingly fascinating reading — and important, to understand the mindset of the WBC — but I have to also add a small content note that it starts off with a scene of animal cruelty that I found extremely difficult to get past.  Also, if you come from a dysfunctional, abusive home, it could be tiggering as well.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    You got off easy: one ‘s’ and an extra space after “English” isn’t much to complain over. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    I think your estimate a bit low: that would mean that according to WBS, 
    (Population of Earth=6,973,738,433 x 0.01=69737384) almost 70 million people go to Heaven! I think it’s closer to 100% Hell.

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    Don’t bother with the warning. Nobody ever expects Tiggers. 

  • AnonymousSam

    (Let’s not taint the WBS acronym with that association. That used to be a great chat site.)

    Depends, can we get away with a repeating decimal (~99.99…) or should we ceiling the function to an integer with a forewarning of statistical inaccuracy (p<0.01)?

  • EllieMurasaki

    I am happily imagining a world in which anybody who hurts someone gets sentenced to hell, duration and nature of punishment determined by nature and severity of crime (or possibly ongoing until the punishee actually figures out why the thing they did was wrong), sort of like Dante except the punishment much more directly fits the crime, and the Westboro Baptist folks get to spend however long on the pointy end of their cruel-to-be-kind schtick. Every so often they get reminded that the people they were hating on while claiming to be loving on hadn’t hurt nearly so many people or nearly so badly and have therefore long since done their time and gotten on the up escalator.

    Does this make me a bad person?

  • Magic_Cracker

    Yeah, the whole thing is all kinds of fucked up and requires pretty much every trigger warning imaginable.

  • P J Evans

    Does this make me a bad person?

    I don’t think so. It sounds like a reasonable version of hell, far better than the eternal-punishment version that WBC seems to believe in.

  • Charles Céleste Hutchins

    What struck me about that is what they call ‘love’ most people see as hate and what they call ‘hate’ is what most people see as love.  And they were raised to see hate as love. These men are victims of horrific abuse.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Which, as any episode of Criminal Minds can tell you, means they deserve our sympathy and understanding right up until the moment they start inflicting that pain on others, at which point they can keep our understanding but we are obliged to censure them instead of sympathizing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Unemori/100001112760232 Ann Unemori

    Only if you overcharge for the popcorn.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    What struck me about that is what they call ‘love’ most people see as
    hate and what they call ‘hate’ is what most people see as love.  And
    they were raised to see hate as love. These men are victims of horrific
    abuse.

     Your evil is my good. I am Sutekh the Destroyer. Where I tread, I leave nothing but dust and darkness…I find that good!

  • Dan Audy

    The wonderful thing about tiggers
    Is tiggers are wonderful things!
    Their tops are made out of rubber
    Their bottoms are made out of springs!
    They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
    Full of fun, fun, fun

  • Amaryllis

     Obligatory Luther quote:
    If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but
    the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the
    true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only
    imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let
    your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the
    victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we
    are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We,
    however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new
    heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. It suffices that
    through God’s glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the
    sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to
    kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think
    such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager
    sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sara.rosenbaum.35 Sara Rosenbaum

    Brand is actually a very smart guy.

    And: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the Westboro Baptist Church is a fifth-column guerilla theatre operation for discrediting the Christian Right. I am so sure of this. There is no other explanation.

  • Will Hennessy

     Reading “The Tao of Pooh”…
    Going to read The Te of Piglet”…
    Still waiting on “The Kama Sutra of Tigger”…

  • Will Hennessy

    …sigh.

    “For I was gay and you called me a fag.
    I was a woman who had been raped and you forced me to carry the child to term on my own.
    I was the environment and you raped me.
    I was an alien at your gates and you scapegoated me…”

    Why am I still a Christian again?

  • EllieMurasaki

    The Kama Sutra’s a Hindu thing. The Tao Te Ching is Chinese.

  • reynard61

    “DRAIN: I know, I love you too. It’s simply God’s fixed determination to punish the wicked in Hell for their sins. Because He can. Because He’s God. Because He’s sovereign.”

    Y’know what, Steve? Tyrants torture people because they can. Dictators torture people (or have them tortured) because they can. Hell, *psychopaths* torture people (or animals) because they can. So your “God” is a tyrant? So your “God” is a dictator? So your “God” is a *psychopath?*

    Sorry, but I have no use for a so-called “God” who may (or may not) send me to my eternal damnation on what amounts to a capricious whim. If I’m going to be damned, let it be on the “merits” of my actual sins rather than on the notion that “God” just woke up one day and decided that “Hey! I’m going to send reynard61 to Hell just for the, well, hell of it!”

    It’s crap theology like this that’s the reason I turned to Ponytheism. At least with the Goddesses Celestia and Luna I’m pretty sure that I know where I stand in regards to morality (even as simplistic a morality as that depicted in the show) and how it will affect where I spend my afterlife.

  • Guest

    My grandmother turned 100 not too long ago, and she’s an Irish Catholic. She remembers when going to church meant listening to a lecture about sin and how we’re all going to hell for an hour. Now, the message that the church (at least the Catholic church) is giving is much different, it’s about love and community.

    How, why, and when did the message change? Did the Catholic church deliberately change its platform at some point, or is this a natural consequence of the US becoming a more liberal society?

  • Cathy W

    Taking an educated guess: Vatican II. 

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    I keep getting the feeling that the Westboro wingnuts actually enjoy all
    this tomfoolery and disgust, that if everyone suddenly embraced them
    and agreed with their hateful thoughts, all the fun would be over.

    The theory I heard was that they’re legal trolls.  Pretty much every Phelps over the age of 12 is a lawyer, and suing everyone who gets angry enough to throw a punch at them is one of their major revenue streams.

  • kalimsaki

    Why should be a resurrection?

    Are all the sins and good deed recorded?

    What is the meaning of life?

     

    I learned the answer from From
    Risalei Nur collection by Said Nursi.

     

    http://www.nur.gen.tr/en.html#maincontent=Risale&islem=read&BolumId=8486&KitapId=456&KitapAd=The+Words

  • Liriel

    I’m glad it’s beginning to change.  Not enough for me to stay where women including the Virgin Mary are treated like second class citizens.

  • guest

    Yeah… the God some people have chosen to create in their minds is unmerciful and hateful to everyone who does whats wrong. They don’t understand that God is loving to everyone. Even gay people. But theres a balance that people lose. And although I believe sin is sin and good is good, I believe its important to “love your neighbor as you love yourself” too. :)

  • that one guy

    im just saying its people like this that cause more problems than solve it.  Westboro says god hates america, then why don’t they get off our soil and live with the other extremists in the middle east and over seas.  Its people like this that give america a bad name and deserve to get exiled to a far away place away from society.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Actually, it’s the implication by so many Americans that the boundaries of society exist within America that gives America a bad name.

    “other extremists in the middle east and over seas”

    “get off our soil” = “exiled to a far away place away from society”

    ?

  • Katya

    It is against the rules, its one of the biggest sins. But they are still human and will make mistakes. On top of that, they are bad mechanics, but does that mean that you are going to give up driving or swear off cars forever because of them?

  • Marshall

    You’ve got it all wrong. People are sinful. Everyone does things that we know in our hearts to be wrong. Anyone who claims otherwise is a liar. The really disgusting thing here is that these Westboro people go into the world to spread hatred and then call it love. I’m an “evangelical” Christian, my only brother is an Atheist. I don’t love my brother by constantly criticizing him and calling him out on his sin. I love him by going out of my way to help him in times of need and show him how to live life by example. If he wants to have the sin/hell discussion we will have it but it is counter-productive for me to scream at him and call him names. That being said, I believe that if my brother does not acknowledge God and the redemption of humanity through Christ’s crucifixion, he will go to hell when he dies. I don’t hate him though. I am not more innocent than he is. The only difference is that I’ve acknowledged my shortcomings and have put my faith in Jesus and believe he has paid the price for my sins. I deserve hell just as much as everyone else deserves it. It is only through God’s love that I have any hope. It’s really too bad that these people (and other nutjobs on the internet) seem to have the loudest voices for what most of you think is Evangelical Christianity. I’m sure that as these kinds of people continue to spew hatred, eventually the kind of faith that I ascribe to will become illegal. Oh well, a little persecution is probably what we Christians all need right now anyways.

    If you really have an issue with the Bible or want to get an understanding of true Christianity, take a couple hours, open up a bible for yourself, and read the book of John. Then perhaps you will at least have some measure of understanding before you trash it.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    To whom are you addressing this?


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