Jesus to Attend Funerals, In Spite of Westboro Protests – by Matt Fortunato

In response to the Westboro Cult’s intent to picket funerals of those slain in Newtown, Connecticut, guest blogger Matt Fortunato brings us this piece.

Yes it’s true — though it should not be a surprise — that Westboro Baptist “Church” plans to picket the funerals of the Sandy Hook victims.  A spokesperson says, “Westboro will picket Sandy Hook Elementary School to sing praise to God for the glory of his work in executing his judgment.”  Absurd; nauseating; grotesque; shocking … but not a surprise.

My purpose in this post is to point out how this is the opposite of Christianity.  There are two main reasons…

  • Jesus doesn’t rejoice over death, but mourns.  Jesus will indeed be at the funerals, and he will be most saddened, most troubled, most mournful; he will feel and express deep, sincere lament.  Jesus will not rejoice over murder.  He will not rejoice over evil, or loss, or pain.  If W.B.C. pickets (hopefully they’ll be stopped), it will only grieve God all the more.
  • God exhausted judgment at the cross of Jesus. He does not punish people for the sins of others; he does not punish nations or states or schools for individual sin; he does not punish people for their own sins as they look to him for mercy in Jesus.  He’s the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world, and his name is Jesus because he saved his people from their sins.  He came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many; he died so we might live.  And, of wondrous importance, he accomplished his work sufficiently, perfectly, and finally.  He’s the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for his sheep whom he loves, but it is the thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy.
So shame on you, Westboro Baptist “Church,” you are not merely ‘a little bit wrong’ on one aspect of Christianity, you oppose Christianity itself. Your belief, perspective, and proposed action are unchristian and ungodly in the most basic sense. You are deceived, self righteous, void of compassion, and most of all, you misunderstand and misrepresent the character and spirit of Jesus, and you likewise misunderstand and misrepresent Christ’s magnificent work in laying down his life for sinners.
Matt Fortunato holds a Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three elementary-school-aged daughters.

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