Can You Hear the Voice of the Church?

August 30, 2005 by

If you thought Pat Robertson brought the church to a new public relations low, you haven’t heard of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kans. Let’s just say if you haven’t been picketed by Fred Phelps and company yet, maybe you’re doing something wrong. The church is infamous for fighting the homosexual agenda (among other things) with supercharged hate speech (“God hates fags” is their typical rallying cry—and web site, though we won’t give them the link).

Now they’ve turned their sights to the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq, picketing the funerals—see if you can follow this logic—because American supports homosexuality therefore God is rightfully killing our soldiers.

Though obviously off the deep end, this “church” is still giving Christians a bad name—and at this point it goes way beyond public relations. This is where churches need to step in and respond, and thankfully they have. One woman started calling churches in the area to organize a counter-protest, more like a wall of people, to block the Westboro group from the grieving family of the slain soldier.

Unless the church is visible and vocal, we’ll allow groups like the one from Westboro to speak for us. And that’s beyond sad.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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8 Responses to “Can You Hear the Voice of the Church?”

  • Nathan Colgate
    August 30, 2005

    As a native Topekan I am (incorrectly) suprised at Fred’s influence. Fred and his family dealt a blow when they first started picketing around Topeka (including my home church, Topeka Bible Church), but within a few years became background noise and the punchline to many jokes.
    But he still holds the attention of everyone else. This appears to be a bad twist on “Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” (Matthew 13:57)

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  • Linda
    August 30, 2005

    What is Fred’s problem? He should repent of his pride after all it destroyed Sodom. The only way for anyone of us to turn from our deviances and there are many is by the power of God. Jesus said to come unto Him: “He who comes to me I will in no ways cast out.” As a Christian I am stuck in a certain sin but refuse to quit seeking the one who can help me. I am not Gay but I sin. Surely Fred does too? We ALL need God’s help!!!

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  • Anthony
    August 30, 2005

    God does not hate homosexuals. He does hate the sin that has them deceived and that is destroying them. And, as odd as it might sound, homosexuality is NOT what sends a person to hell — neither is it pornography, or child abuse, or alcoholism, etc….what sends the person to hell is their refusal to accept Jesus as Saviour and Lord. Now — if they have accepted Jesus, they may still be struggling with various sins, but they do acknowledge that the Bible says that it is a sin and they are at least seeking to be set free from it.
    My mom used to say that you can draw more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. The Gospel is sweet — but not weak. There are some people who claim to be a Christian — which means Christ Like – that desperately need to learn to be sweet.

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  • Don
    August 30, 2005

    Another too bad for the cause scenerio…
    You know, its all about puffery! Its not about rigteousness– it is just plain puffery…
    I’m glad that some churches have stood against that guy…
    Just plain puffery! He must love being so right… while being so friggen wrong!

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  • Meghan Fife
    August 30, 2005

    If I could only express my anger! I hate the fact that my loving, grace-filled Beloved is being expressed in this way. They’re the fags if anyone is. Holy crap.
    I would go on, but it’s pointless. Sheesh….

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  • Wes Halula
    August 31, 2005

    As a Christian … and as a Kansan… I’ve been hearing about the Honorable Reverend Phelps for a decade or so now. What I always wonder is this; why doesn’t the church call on Rev. Phelps and his followers to repent? What they are doing is sin. Phelps is WAY past the point of calling people out on their sins…he’s blaspheming the name of God by saying that He hates ANYONE. The church needs to say, with one voice, you need to repent, Mr. Phelps.
    … And if he won’t repent of his sin …. well, I guess we’ll just have to protest.

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  • Norman Prather
    August 31, 2005

    Nearly everyone who bothers with Phelps assumes he is a native, he’s not. He moved there (from somewhere) because of Topeka’s zip code 666**. He wanted to fight Satan’s on Hell’s doorstep.

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  • Stu Mcgregor
    August 31, 2005

    ooooh, easy on the polemic people : something about planks and specks is ringing in my ears, also something about a pharisee and a tax collector.
    i too find phelp’s approach disturbing, but i would want to tread carefully before waving my finger too much.
    I support what is being said here, just not the way it’s being done.
    it’s odd though, because our rhetoric in this forum becomes part of the general marketing of this phelps phenomenon. we talk about grace and love and all, but we quickly bag our own when they ‘step out of line’. what does that say to the world out there?

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