Speaking for God above the noise

Just recently I read about a musical parody debuting in New York about the Phelps family and their bizarre Westboro “Baptist” Church in Topeka, Kan. Unless you’re a doomsday prepper who just emerged from your bunker after a long nap, you know this strange group as those sign-carrying folks who protest everything from military funerals to Southern Baptist Conventions—the latter because real Baptists dare think that God seeks to redeem all kinds, homosexuals included.

Of course, the people behind the musical, called “God Hates This Show”—a play on words from the signs the Westboro people carry—don’t appear to be sympathetic towards biblical Christianity or the God who invented sex. But neither is Fred Phelps, the church’s leader.

The devil is clever.

In God, there is no shadow of turning. With the evil one, every conceivable contortion is used to twist the truth—outlandishly or ever so slightly. Anything to tarnish the pure truth of God that leads to life. Death is his end game.

I cringe when I hear the words “Baptist” and “church” preceding Westboro. My inner PR man wants to cry foul from the rooftops. Between the “God Hates” rhetoric of Westboro and the propaganda of the homosexual movement, it’s hard to get a hearing on what’s true.

God never promised us an easy path. But we are to proclaim God’s truth, noise or no noise. Somewhere out there are unconverted people with no reference point and only the word on the street from which to form their views about God and the Bible. Their only knowledge of Baptists might be from TMZ’s coverage of the latest concert where the Westboro cult showed up. If you find that far-fetched, go watch some man-on-the-street interviews.

These people desperately need to know that …

God created. It’s the foundational truth that gets in the way of purely materialistic narratives about the nature of man and meaning (or meaninglessness) of life. If we are explained only by the fortuitous joining of electrical impulses and physical matter minus any real spiritual essence, then the gods of this world have a point. But if there is a Creator, it might be wise to hear what, if anything, he has to say. God’s people must continue to make that case.

God created made man in his image, male and female. Not only has God made everything, but he has exclusively made men and women in his image. His fingerprints are all over us. That imagery is evident not only in our differences as male and female, but also in our distinction from the animals and all other creation. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us God has set eternity in our hearts. We are hard-wired for him. Also, our sexuality is directly tied to his image in us. We glorify God through our masculinity or femininity, including the sexual union of husband and wife. Even so, the closest marital relationship leaves the heart dissatisfied. Only God can fill our void. 

Sin marred God’s image in man. Romans 1:18-32 depicts a downward spiral of truth suppression despite men’s innate awareness of God—“namely, his eternal power and divine nature”—leaving them without excuse. Working backwards from redemption, in hindsight, the biblical narrative makes sense of the disordered world and universal sin. C.S. Lewis wrote that, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen; not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

Yet the natural man “does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). Those we seek to reach are walking a darkened path without the illumination of the Holy Spirit.

The gospel brings resolution to the world’s fallen state. Christianity stands alone among world religions in that it provides a sacrifice for sin. The God-man, Jesus Christ, is our scapegoat and our kinsman-redeemer, who through faith trades our rags for his riches because he has taken our just punishment and prevailed over sin and death. Whatever miserable and disordered state we find ourselves, we are not too far removed from the Lord, whose arm is plenty long to save (Isaiah 59:1).

In a world of disorder, confusion and demonic noise, the grand narrative of the Bible brings hope and healing. So don’t grow weary in doing good. The harvest still beckons.

TEXAN Correspondent
Jerry Pierce
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