Unsaved people like to clump Westboro Baptist Church in a group with Bible-believing Churches probably to salve their consciences. Or because they don’t realize that Westboro has nothing in common with Bible-believing churches (because they know nothing about churches). But the fact of the matter is that Westboro Baptist Church is nothing like the majority of Bible-believing churches, and Westboro most definitely isn’t anything like the conservative churches that I’ve attended. What Westboro fails to realize is that someday they are going to have to stand before the judgment seat of Christ, and they are going to have to give account for all the people they turned away from Christ by their actions!
How is Westboro different from other churches? I’m glad you asked! They are a media-loving, attention-seeking group. They love being controversial and love the limelight. How do I know this? Just look at the things they protest! A Taylor Swift concert? Come on! I’m familiar with a lot of Taylor Swift’s lyrics, and most of them are clean and innocent. Why not protest a Pink concert? I just looked up the names of her songs (didn’t need to read the lyrics). The names of her songs use horrible profanity and endorse drinking and bad behavior. Nothing like Taylor Swift’s lyrics. So why is Westboro targeting Taylor Swift and not Pink? Simply put Taylor Swift is a media-darling and superstar. Pink doesn’t have nearly the fan base Taylor Swift does, nor does she get as much media attention. Westboro wants to make headlines so they target Taylor Swift and not Pink. It has nothing to do with standards; it has everything to do with making the headlines! Jesus never made media headlines by protesting a pop/country concert. In fact the only thing Jesus did protest in His time on earth was the usury of the temple. So instead of focusing on concerts, another good focus for Westboro (a God-honoring one) would be to protest the killing of innocent babies. Why don’t they join the throngs of Christians who stand outside abortion clinics holding signs, praying, and singing? Because it doesn’t make headlines! A lot of Christians already do that, and Westboro wants to be different enough to make media headlines.
Another way Westboro is different from other churches is in what they protest. No other church would protest at the funerals of fallen soldiers. Yes, the military does allow gays in, but that doesn’t mean you should protest soldiers’ funerals. Westboro came to my hometown to protest the funeral of a soldier. I know the soldier and his family attended a Bible-believing church, and I believe he was saved, but I can’t say for sure. Why protest a fellow believer’s funeral? Because they wanted to gain attention. Most of the soldiers’ funerals that Westboro has protested were straight. These soldiers have nothing to do with allowing gays into the military, and some of them don’t condone the military’s actions. Romans 12:15 says “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”
Probably the biggest difference between Westboro and Bible believing churches is the Bible. Wesboro is all about getting their name in the media, but they could care less about the Bible and what it says. Publically calling Taylor Swift “A whore” and a “serial-fornicator” isn’t loving. What about protesting fallen soldiers’ funerals? Again it’s not loving! John 13:34 says “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” Jesus didn’t go around protesting at sinners’ funerals. Instead, he showed sinners mercy and love. And Jesus didn’t call sinners names. He never called the woman who washed his feet (Luke 7:37-50) names. And he certainly had a right to. He could have rightly called her “a whore” and a “serial-fornicator,” but he didn’t. He showed that women love. Westboro fails to show Christ’s love to the world. Matthew 5:7 says “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Westboro hasn’t showed mercy to the soldiers’ families, Taylor Swift, or the soldiers themselves. Micah 6:8 says “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Westboro’s actions aren’t kind and certainly aren’t just. “And [Jesus] answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27) You won’t see Bible believing churches out protesting at funerals and concerts like Westboro does. Why? Because Bible believing churches take seriously God’s commands to “love our neighbors,” to “walk humbly with [our] God,” “to love kindness,” and to love “as [Christ has] loved [us].” Westboro blatantly disobeys God’s commands. Instead they show hatred. Matthew 5:43-44 says “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” And 1 John 3:15 says “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” On this verse I can fairly safely make the assumption that Westboro church is a church consisting largely of unbelievers. Westboro’s actions are incredibly hateful towards those they protest. Don’t even get me started about the mega-phones and the horrible things they yell during their protests.
Honestly, the best thing that could happen to Westboro is if the media started ignoring all of their protests! I wonder how long they would keep protesting if they didn’t get attention. I for one am all for ignoring them so they won’t get the media attention they so desperately seek. I’m also all for praying for them, because they have shown themselves to be a bunch of unbelieving sinners. And because if they don’t discover the love of God, then someday they will be “thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15)