With fellow travelers like Fred Phelps, Christians seeking to spread the gospel of love certainly didn’t need enemies to undermine their message among nonbelievers in search of a reason to reject it.
While it may appear that Phelps was deluded into regarding himself as one of the so-called elect, you probably would get an argument from most people. His followers (most of them family members) can only hope that when he met his Creator, the latter’s mercy and tolerance exceeded Phelps’ own.
One can imagine his first confrontation with God: “Welcome, enter into the place you have prepared for yourself. For I was hungry and you condemned me. I was naked and you consigned me to hell. I was burying my son and you picketed the funeral.”
And Phelps would answer …
Well, what possible answer could he have?
Jim Bailey’s column appears on Thursday. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.