How might we differentiate between true Christians and those nominal, in name only, Christians who do such evil. Jesus was clear regarding who His true followers are and how we might recognize them. The Gospel accounts give us several examples of Jesus practicing what He preached. Current events, however, give several unfortunate examples of those nominal pseudo Christians as well, those who do not practice what Jesus taught. Most notably are the members of the Westboro Baptist Church who have announced their intentions to demonstrate at the funeral of Christina Taylor-Green, the nine year old girl killed in the recent Tucson, AZ, shooting.
Jesus taught us one way how we might know who His disciples are, how we could recognize them. Jesus said " A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another." (John 13:34,35) This seems fairly clear to me, that if we are truly His disciples, we are to love one another as He has loved us.
Several examples of Jesus' love is shown in the Gospels. In the Gospel of Mark 5:21-43 a religious ruler, Jairus, came to Jesus, fell at His feet and implored Him to come to his home and heal his daughter who was at the point of death. Jesus immediately accompanied Jairus to his house and raised the little girl back to life.
In the Gospel of Luke 7:11-15 we are told that Jesus and his disciples enter the town of Nain where they witness a funeral. A widow was in the process of burying her only son. Jesus felt compassion for the woman and raised her son back to life.
In the Gospel of John 11:1-43 we are given insight into the love Jesus had for his friend, Lazarus. He received word that his friend was ill. Two days later He walked the two miles to Bethany in Judea to see His friend. We are told that Lazarus had died before Jesus' arrival and had been in the grave for four days by the time Jesus arrived. We are told that Jesus wept. Jesus raised His friend back to life.
These are just three examples of Jesus' love and compassion, one about His love for one who probably opposed Him, an enemy. Another for a stranger who was mourning the loss of her only son, and still another for a dear friend. Jesus clearly had love and compassion for those who had suffered at the death of a loved one.
These examples stand in diametric opposition to the vicious acts of the members of the Westboro Baptist Church, so called Christians, who spew the vilest kind of hurtful venom at funerals where they demonstrate. Some of the funerals where they have felt the need to demonstrate were for victims of AIDS. Some, were the funerals of soldiers who died in battle to protect, ironically, their right to so demonstrate. And now, they want to demonstrate at the funeral of an innocent nine year old murder victim.
I respectfully submit that these and other actions of the members of the Westboro Baptist Church are not acts of love nor compassion. Christians are commanded, not requested mind you but commanded, to love one another as Jesus has loved us. Therefore, the members of the Westboro Baptist Church proclaim themselves to be Christians but by their actions and by the measure outline above, THEY ARE NOT CHRISTIANS! They are despicable people!
May God's Holy Spirit show these people the light of the truth and bring them to true repentance that they renounce the evil that they have committed and that they may become true followers of Jesus, to His Glory. Until that day comes, may they stop calling themselves Christians.