This a redoing of an old post (Mar 16, 2018), I save some audio from my now defunct VIMEO account. Enjoy.
The other day I was listening to the Michael Medved and I heard something I didn’t know that I think is very important for the general public to be aware of as they stand around the water cooler and discuss current events. A recent event one being the 8-to-1 decision in favor of the hate group/cult Fred Phelps is leader of, the Westboro Baptists. The information I was unaware of was that he ran for office five times – each time as a Democrat. Below are some photos of the Phelps clan with Al and Tipper Gore:
BLUE COLLAR LOGIC has a great video on the Westboro Baptists::
GAY PATRIOT got me thinking about this connection between religious cults and the Democrats… I combine two graphics from GP’s post, one is from Westboro Baptist’s kids (bottom pic), the other from Democrat’s kids (top kids):
Now, however, it all makes sense! (What does? You ask.) All the hate signs hoisted by Democrats over the years match the insanity by the ones by the Westboro Baptists. I will post one that we are all familiar with from the Phelps:
We of course have seen these and this:
But what about leftists and Democrats at recent anti-war,anti-Bush,anti-military marches? Is there a common thred between the hate the Westboro Baptists (Democrats) spread and the majority of these whackoes over the year at these “peace” rallies (Democrats)? Lets see:
(A Leftist organization — Code Pink — wants our soldiers murdered) SIDE NOTE:
(Howard Dean, head of the DNC holding up moon-bat shirts!)
(A “peace” rally where leftists and Democrats and Green Party members burn our military and flag in effigy)
(A liberal at a “peace” rally wanting our President at the time hung/dead)
(from an “art” show in San Francisco)
(from a “peace” rally)
(from a “peace” rally in Oregon in 2008)
(BLAZING CAT FUR) At the Consortium of Higher Education for LGBT Resource Professionals, one learns that at an upcoming webinar, “queer and trans people of color are welcome to join and engage in or observe the space. However, we do want to provide a content warning that in these spaces we hope white folks will process our thoughts and behaviors in a learning environment so we can address them and discuss and [sic] tactics of decentering whiteness.”
Despite free-speech concerns, Supreme Court justices sounded sympathetic Wednesday to a lawsuit filed by the father of a Marine killed in Iraq whose funeral was picketed by protesters with signs like, “Thank God for IEDs.”
The justices appeared inclined to set a limit to freedom of speech when ordinary citizens are targeted with especially personal and hurtful attacks. The 1st Amendment says the government may not restrict free speech, but it is less clear when it shields speakers from private lawsuits….
How long before this is applies to peaceful protesters at abortion clinics? What I mean is that if the “health of the mother” can be interpreted as her not wanting a child who has a clef-palate and can get an abortion at the 8-and-a-hald month mark… then why can’t a limit to freedom of speech when ordinary citizens are targeted with especially personal and hurtful attacks be applied to a woman walking into a clinic. As much as I agree that there should be a limit placed on these whackos, what will the progressive left do with this ruling (if it comes)?
Allowing the people behind the Park 51/Ground Zero mosque to build under the former shadow of the World Trade Center is akin to allowing the Westboro Baptist Church to build a campus next to Arlington National Cemetery: both might be exercises in religious freedom, but neither make proper use of liberty.
Here is some thought on extreme Primitive Baptists. Buckle your seat belts.
I was asked by a friend to give some input on Primitive Baptists and in his and I’s search we have come across some interesting reasons as to why this group may tend towards an unhealthy vision of theology and history. I will be commenting on topics I am not an expert in but merely an arm-chair apologist/theologian, so bear with me. This topic cuts close to the debate between the hard-predestinationists, which are what Primitive “hardshell” Baptists are, and complete free-will theologies. So I will have to tread lightly here while at the same time stating my position on some of the topics dealt with here.
I find in Scripture a wonderful mix of man making choices in a limited way and God “blessing” or “cursing” (so-to-speak) these choices depending on if they are in accordance with His will or not. (More on “cursing” later.) For instance, God hardening Pharaoh’s heart, and Pharaoh hardening his own heart is a great example of these two extremes of God working all things together for His glory — as hard as this is to understand for us finite beings. As wonderful as this may sound, my main understanding of this dilemma is that it is not fully solved. Nor will it be until we can see like we are seen. The Reformers had the greatest compilation of thinking as compared to that of Catholic theology (some of which always existed as a stream of thought from Christ’s day to ours). This being said, the Reformers theology isn’t divine, neither the above apologists. Neither are James White’s or Norman Geisler’s theologies… though both may be reservoirs of sound thinking for the Christian.
Know that I am not here talking about the major doctrines concerning God’s nature and revelation, Christ’s divinity and sacrificial work, or the working of the Holy Spirit’s work in the Body of Christ being. I am not that “loose” in my theological stance like a Tony Jones in his non-stances (see pic of Toni’s blog to the right). What I am saying is that Free-Will Baptists and Primitive Baptists (PB) may have it a bit wrong and they need to meet somewhere in the middle-right somewhere. Well, the middle being a bit more Calvinist than not. The Christian faith is deep and broad beyond these essentials making many positions applicable to whom we are and the serving situation we find ourselves. All these interpretations should, however, gather around some referent, which makes some defined lines for us to be able to test ourselves to see if we are still in the faith (2 Cor 13:5).
Personally, I enjoy James White’s input on many topics, having most of his debates on DVDs. In one of these debates James White points out that Geisler may be a bit too Armenian in his theology, more than I previously thought. Both men are saved however. Many Primitive Baptists may not be able to say even this… as this theology can lead (IMHO) to some extremes, the Westboro Baptists as an example:
Phelps and his followers call themselves “primitive Baptists.” They believe in predestination, the idea that God already has selected those who will go to heaven and that everyone else is irreversibly doomed to hell.
Their mission, members say, simply is to spread this news.
“We don’t strive to change your hearts or minds,” Phelps wrote in a letter to the Capital-Journal. “Even if we wanted to, we couldn’t make you believe the truth.
“Every person who is predestined for hell will remain in darkness.”
These extreme Baptists also do not realize — I think — that Scripture is given by inspiration by a Being that is outside the time-space continuum by speaking to finite being’s hearts. Hardshell Baptists do not note that all of time lays before God, creation to the New Heaven and Earth, and beyond, in their reciting and formulating its theology. So when we read verses that state the Lamb (Jesus Christ) was slain from the foundation/creation of the world (Revelation 13:8), we understand that Christ had been slain before Adam and Eve were created. It is analogous to an eight-and-a-half-by-eleven piece of paper representing all of space and energy created. Drawing a line then from one end of the paper to another and marking it with Genesis on one end and Revelation on the other shows what we are looking at analogously. Granted, a horrible analogy, but it will work for our purpose here. That line is what God sees because He is not in what He created (the time-space continuum). He is the “I AM” (“I AM” Exodus 3:14: from a Hebrew verb “to be,” denoting His Infiniteness/Existence as the source of finite existence) outside that piece of paper.
So when God speaks about knowing and predestined event n our life, He is explaining a layer of ideas that shouldn’t be viewed as two-dimensional. God removing His Spirit from Samuel, or Samuel’s paganism removing God’s blessing:
What we see in these passages follows a pattern. When God removes His protective hand, he often turns the person over to Satan for destruction or to an evil spirit for torment. The devil and the evil spirits do the work, but God has allowed them to do what come natural to them for His own purpose. I know that some will have trouble with this concept, but it is thoroughly established in scripture. God does not commit wickedness, but He uses the wicked for His purpose. In the end, God will have His glory. How much better it is for us to submit to Him and obey Him willingly. (Source)
God destined all of history, but we are not automatons walking around, God gave his Gospel and told us to preach it to impact the world. Since God knows who will respond to His tugging on their hearts, He allows them the understanding to know his grace through all eternity:
Concerning the intent or purpose of the atonement, most patristic authorities held that Christ died for the sins of the world. Athanasius maintained that in the divine scheme of things “death there had to be, and death for all, so that the due of all might be paid.” Cyril of Jerusalem affirmed that “Jesus truly suffered for all men.” While not speaking clearly on the issue, Augustine seemed to suggest that Christ died for the world, although the cross is effectual only for those who believe. As for John Calvin, several recent scholars believe that although Calvin held to double predestination he also taught a doctrine of unlimited atonement. In his Institutes Calvin wrote, “It is certain that the Lord offers us mercy and the pledge of his grace both in his Sacred Word and in his sacraments. But it is understood only by those who take Word and sacraments with sure faith, I just as Christ is offered and held forth by the Father to all unto salvation, yet not all acknowledge and receive him.” In his later commentaries Calvin more clearly postulates an unlimited atonement. With regard to Galatians 5:12Calvin affirms: “God commends to us the salvation of all men without exception, even as Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world.”
Other moderate Calvinists point out that Christ’s saving provision includes many racial benefits, such as the common blessings of life, the restraint of evil, an objective provision sufficient for all, the removal of every obstacle on God’s side for the forgiveness of sins, and the future resurrection of the dead. On the other hand, they seek to do justice to texts that indicate a special purpose for those persons given to Christ out of the world. They point out that 1 Timothy 4:10 indicates a twofold purpose in the cross, namely, general benefits for all people and saving benefits for elect believers. In a sermon, entitled, “General and Yet Particularal,” C. H. Spurgeon maintains that Christ death fulfilled a twofold purpose. “There is a general influence for good flowing from the mediatorial sacrifice Christ, and yet its special design and definite object is the giving of eternal life to as many as the Father gave him.” The observation of Charles M. Horne is instructive: “God’s salvation is one. As applied to non-Christians, it includes their preservation in this life and the enjoyment of certain blessings which come to man by common grace. As applied to believers, however, this salvation extends into eternity. This view would seem to be the best one, because it gives the power force to the word especially [1 Tim. 4:10].“ In a similar vein Robert P. Lightner claims that Christ’s saving provision reaches every member of Adam’s race. Yet its redemptive benefits are applied only to those who believe, i.e., to the elect.” Donald G. Bloesch arrives at a similar conclusion in language colored by the thought of Barth…. (Integrative Theology)
I think CS Lewis is right when he says Hell is locked from the inside. This view combines the universal power I believe the death of God on the cross should be and Scripture shows it to be, but it doesn’t cheapen it in that we must respond… however small and distorted this response may be from fallen sinful creatures, it is made Holy by Jesus’ work, not ours. I guess I would consider myself a moderate Calvinist.
This life and all the good we are given in it come from God’s grace, which is why — I suspect — that when one accepts/is brought to Christ’s finished work on the cross they can look back with their Holy Spirit goggles and we typically hear them saying (ourselves included) God was working in their lives the whole time… bringing them to this point. Blessing from God are also shared by the wicked, at least here in this temporal life it rains on both the wicked and the righteous. Every breath we take, whether saved or unsaved, is a gift from God. The crime and hatred we experience is a lack of God in the world and the rebellion of man, both current and historical. Rebellious man sometimes sees this. Theologian Millard Erickson hints at Nebuchadnezzar realizing this to some extent:
When Nebuchadnezzar comes to his senses, he blesses the Lord: “His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: ‘What have you done?”‘ (Dan. 4:34-35).
This quote shows that even a pagan can be right once in a while like a broken clock is. The saved person has better odds however. Ravi Zacharias does have some valuable input on free-will:
Okay, switching gears a bit I wanted to deal with another belief by these Baptists, it is that they believe they are closest to the early church in their beliefs and practices. This just isn’t true. If one would like to be as close as possible to the early church, become a Messianic Jew. You will notice that they are a very legalistic denomination that Paul spoke out against in Galatians. What they are missing is the mission that includes all aspects of God, one being love. Listen to the hard-Calvinistic positions… even trying to quote T.U.L.I.P
Another example of this bad theology and legalism comes from a PB site. See from one of their own sites:
Here one ex-Primitive Baptist preacher talks about his experiences and insights during his time leading a PB church. It is 60-minutes long, but you will come away from this presentation that much more knowledgeable.
Much more can be said on this topic, but prayer and compassion should go to these people, especially the younger generation growing up in this cult like setting. We should all know church history and the rise of this thinking. I have a feeling we will see a growth in this denomination as the country polarizes.