Sunday, March 06, 2011

Does God Really Hate "Fags"?

On Wednesday March 2 the Supreme Court ruled that the Westboro Baptist Church could picket outside the funerals of soldiers killed in action in Iraq or Afghanistan. The father of one such soldier had sued the Church for infliction of mental anguish when Church members picketed his son's funeral.

In case you don't know, the Westboro Baptist Church--and I use the word "church" loosely here--is that group infamous for its website God Hates Fags. The "church" protests outside the funerals of fallen soldiers, hailing their deaths as a sign of God's judgment on America for tolerating homosexuality. The "church", as it website's name suggests, believes that God hates "fags". But is the Westboro Baptist sect right? Does God hate "fags"? In a word, no.

Do not misunderstand. The Bible does condemn homosexual behavior as sin. Any church that says otherwise is, to put it bluntly, lying. But God doesn't hate "fags", or homosexuals, which is the correct, non-pejorative term. There are many things in this world that displease God, and He is angered by continuous, unrepentant indulgence in them. The Lord will punish such willful sin, eventually. This punishment often takes the form of national calamity such as economic collapse or defeat in war. God punishes sin, but that doesn't mean He hates the people who commit the sin. If the sinners repent and turn to His ways, God will forgive even the most wicked of them and save their souls.

The Gospel of John says, famously, that "...God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." That "whosoever" includes gay people; it even includes the hate filled heretics of Westboro Baptist. To be sure, once we have believed in Christ we are obligated to submit our lives to His will, living as He commands and not as we wish. This includes our sexual lives. However difficult it may be for homosexually inclined people, they must live out their sexual lives as God commands. If they sometimes fail and do what God forbids, forgiveness and a second chance are available to them just like everyone else. Nowhere in Scripture is their sin considered so heinous as to put them beyond redemption. Telling people they're beyond salvation when they're not is a far worse sin than finding intimacy with someone of the same sex.

So, to reiterate, the Westboro Baptist cultists are wrong. God does not hate "fags". He doesn't hate any human being. He does hate sin, though, and if the Westboro Baptist fanatics keep on slandering God's name with their outrageous distortion of His character and Word, they will discover that there's a special place in hell just for them. And the "fags" in heaven will laugh.