Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Don't Invite Anybody From 'Desiring God' to Your Funeral

Protesters from Westboro Baptist Church hold signs that say "America is doomed" and "You're going to hell." Image source.
[content note: Desiring God, hell, death, abusive theology]

Wowwwwwwww Desiring God just published THE MOST TERRIBLE article:
On the most somber of occasions, he sought to comfort the mourning. The cold casket adorned a chilled body as the eyes of family and friends, swollen from grief, gazed up at the speaker. He wanted to bring whatever consolation he could. And so, he did what many well-meaning pastors have done in his situation: he abandoned the truth.

Many can sympathize with the impulse to do so. The woman before him lived as worldly as they come, blaspheming God and his word whenever the opportunity presented itself. With all her friends and family gathered, it hardly felt like the appropriate time to tell them what God actually said. And so, the pastor proclaimed that — deep down — she was a good person and was with the Lord in heaven.

It was at that moment, when all sat pleased at the pastor’s words, that a young woman spoke up:
It’s a lie! Do not believe him! We will not all be in a better place! That hope is false! Only those who believe in Christ, the Son of God, the one who died and was raised, will be saved! Only those who repent and believe and follow him until the end will be in a better place. Wrath awaits all who die in sin! Please believe! He stands ready to forgive you!
People stared, aghast. A funeral usher approached to invite her to leave. One person furiously told her to shut the hell up — and so she was trying. Hell’s mouth gaped open. Souls were at stake. God’s truth was being butchered. She tried, alone, to warn her loved ones off the path to perdition.

My wife was at that funeral home a decade ago. She witnessed the minister’s sentimental words, saw the usher approach, and heard the crude language addressed to her. She was the young woman who, with trembling voice, offered all who would listen grace at the gates of hell.
I ... wow.

I...

... holy crap.

First of all, I'm shocked at this person in the story, standing up at a funeral to indignantly complain that the speaker didn't say the dead person is in hell. WTF!!!!!! All I could think was, I HOPE TO GOD this isn't a true story. But at the end the writer, Greg Morse, says that woman is his wife. Which leads me to the sickening realization that this may actually be a true story.

And second, I'm horrified at the way Morse tells this story. Like it's about one brave hero standing up for truth, while all these unreasonable worldly people try to silence her. Like the writer doesn't even realize what he's describing- he's describing a heartless person attacking people grieving at a funeral.

(And you could even write an entire blog post exploring his use of the term "crude language" there.)

How can you lack self-awareness THAT MUCH?

LIKE THIS IS LITERALLY WHAT THE "GOD HATES FAGS" PEOPLE DO. I thought we were all in agreement that they are terrible?

The writer is so deep in his ideology about "you have to accept Jesus or else you will go to hell" that he can't even see people. He's totally unaware of their pain, and how his own words are causing pain. His belief in hell has rendered him unable to treat people with compassion. Yeah I know he believes he needs to warn people about hell because he loves them, I'm sure that he does genuinely have feelings of love, but he's not able to express it in a way that actually is loving.

And look at the god he believes in:
Even now, the true God holds the unrepentant by the nape of the neck to do them unspeakable injury if they will not bow to his great love and mercy, and take up his terms of peace and eternal joy offered them in the blood of his own Son.
HOLY SHIT.

He's claiming that this god has "great love and mercy"? WTF?!!

Also did you catch when he says the pastor at the funeral didn't "tell them what God actually said"? So apparently Morse's view about hell is "what God actually said." This is called taking the Lord's name in vain.

And this part:
Let’s resolve with Charles Spurgeon,
If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.
If our neighbors should perish, if family members should disappear upon the broad road, if co-workers should refuse the Savior, let them do so while leaping over our sober warnings and bursting through our arms of prayer.
Yeah so for anyone who didn't believe me when I said I used to believe in an ideology which says we should harass and coerce people by any means necessary to get them to "accept Jesus" and be saved from hell.... I got the receipts right here.

The whole article is full of violent imagery and threats. It's abusive and exhausting to read. So I'll just point out one last bit. Near the end, it says, "We have good news of great joy for every human."

Really? Good news? You call this "good news"? No- If you think it's a good thing that someone stood up at a funeral and announced that the dead person is in hell, then you are FOREVER DISQUALIFIED from telling us what is or isn't "good news."

(Also I LAUGHED SO HARD at the little disclaimer near the end that said, "We of course use discernment, but we err on the side of boldness instead of caution." In other words, "if you criticize this article, I will point to this one tiny line about 'discernment' and say 'oh you totally misunderstood, of course I didn't ACTUALLY mean you should LITERALLY go to a funeral and do this.'" Yep, throw in one vague buzzword, somewhere amongst the violent imagery and threats, and you're magically immune from criticism.)

Hell completely ruins anything good about Christianity. This ideology teaches good people to become heartless and cruel and to hurt others in the name of "loving them enough to warn them about hell."

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Related:
It Was Beautiful When Star-Lord Rejected the Gospel 
When it comes to God, I believed Might Makes Right
I knew Desiring God ideology is spiritual abuse, but wow.

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