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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Westboro to Picket Amish Funerals

The Westboro Church of Hate plans to picket the funerals of the Amish girls killed this week in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The Westboro family says the girls were "killed by a madman in punishment for Governor Ed Rendell's blasphemous sins against Westboro Baptist Church."

How sick is that?


Blogger Dan Trabue said...


7:25 PM

Blogger Dr. Danny Chisholm said...

Who are these people? They were coming to Cleveland, TN to picket a funeral for a marine.

7:28 PM

Blogger D.R. said...

They are no longer going to picket the funerals. Thank God that Mike Gallagher decided to offer them time on his radio program to say what they wanted as a bribe for not going to the funeral. Sherry Roper-Phelps, the ring leader of the whole thing (which I understand is made up entirely of family members) was on Hannity and Combs tonight on FNC. It was pretty interesting, but one of the only times that I have seen the two hosts completely united in what they had to say about something. These guys boycotted the SBC this past year and they are actually the only Hyper-Calvinists that I know of that actually exist in the U.S. Like any cult, they take a kernel of truth and twist it beyond the scope of Scripture. We should all pray their influence wanes soon.

8:54 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

"they are actually the only hyper-calvinists that I know of that actually exist in the US"


I've read enough Baptist History to know pockets of Hyper-Calvinists exist in places like the Appalachian Mountains (i.e. some hard-shells).

I will ask though - what's the difference between a 5-pointer and a "strict" Calvinist? 5-pointers do missions and strict Calvinist's don't?

10:59 AM

Blogger D.R. said...

It may be true that there are more Hyper-Calvinists out there, but certainly they are not vocal or organized like these guys are and therefore I don't know of any of these groups actually still operating in the U.S. Even contemporary Primitive Baptists might not fit into the classic definition of Hyper-Calvinism anymore. The Primitive Baptists that I know of personally do not. Of course the historic Hyper-Calvinism of Gill and others didn't look like the hate-filled speech of the Westboro Gang. Gill would likely have taken these guys to task for traveling to preach condemnation to sinners. Neither he nor his followers would have left their church to do that (and certainly they would not have picketed funerals).

As for what is a "strict" Calvinist? Well, historically that is not a label that has been used to define doctrinal distinction in relation to soteriology. It has been used more often to refer to behavior (or the DEGREE to which one adheres to a philosophical position), and we see this today in how we speak about parents, teachers, etc. "Strict" doesn't adequately define one's theological position, especially when it circumvents historic definitions. For instance, 5-Pointers have historically been known as Particular Baptists (you probably know all of this BDW, but I will continue for the sake of those who might not). Hyper-Calvinists have historically been defined as those who believe it is theologically incorrect to offer a call to repentence to sinners and who make no distinction between how God elects and how He condemns. Sometimes people say that Hyper-Calvinists hold to double predestination or supralapsarianism, but that is not altogether accurate either. One can be a supralapsarian and not be a Hyper-Calvinist as long as they believe in using means like preaching to bring people to salvation and do not define double predestination to mean that God elects and damns IN THE SAME WAY (very important distinction there).

So, back to "strict" Calvinists: This is a misnomer that has been heaped on Calvinists because it carries with it a negative connotation and it is often heaved on 5-Pointers by their opponents. Why this term is lacking is because it is hardly ever defined by the number of points of Dortian Calvinism to which one holds. Rather people use it to delineate how strongly one argues for Calvinism as a theological system, which is not only silly in the realm of theological debate, but it is really an ad hominem bent on undercutting their argument to the onlookers of the debate. No one wants to be called "strict" in today's day and age. Hence, that is why "strict" is not an adequate or reasonable description.

***As a side note I am guessing that part of this question had to do with what I wrote on the Mainstream Baptist site regarding Bruce Gourley's post. Gourley was being a stereotypical opponent of Calvinism by labeling 5-Point Calvinism as "strict". And not only that, it skewed the fact that Mohler couldn't be considered a "strict" Calvinists in relation to the rest of the Reformed theologians in the SBC, since he holds to 4-Point Calvinism (also known as Amyraldianism) as well as infralapsarianism (which might take too long to explain). Mohler will not associate himself with the Founders and hires professors who claim to be 3-Pointers, which would include Richard Land and almost everyone at Southeastern Seminary. What is interesting is that Mohler probably does represent the prevaling view of the SBC seminaries, and his philosophy is certainly much closer to that of the greater SBC than Jerry Falwell.

5:03 PM

Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

The problem with Fred Phelps and the Westboro cult (neither truly Baptist, nor even church in any normative NT sense) is not their Calvinism (hyper or whatever), but the fact that they are a religion of hate. They constantly tell the world that "God hates fags." They show up at military funerals of gay soldiers (or suspected so) with their hate signs.

Now they think God hates the Amish--or would kill Amish folk in revenge for the PA
Gov's remarks about Westboro.

The "god" of Fred Phelps is totally alien to the God whom Jesus called "abba."

12:36 PM


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