I couldn’t help but hold my breath in anticipation at the ensuing fallout of the BBC 2 documentary earlier this week. Louis Theroux visited America’s ‘Most hated family’, the Westboro Baptist ‘Church’ for the second time.

For anyone who isn’t in the know, the WBC are a family with unconventional beliefs and actions who keep themselves busy picketing the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq, other human rights activists and basically have something to say about anyone or anything that contradicts their extremely narrow perception of how people should be living their lives.

They state that their beliefs are based on the Bible. I have also mentioned them here.

Louis Theroux is no stranger to unusual people and  he said that the Phelps family are some of the most extreme people he has ever met.

This caricature of Christianity has come about from the cherry picking of Bible verses to justify cruelty, extremism and  homophobia. The rest of us are called to pick up the pieces, answer the resulting questions and bear witness to a loving God. This has been my experience this week.

Maybe this is how God works. Maybe he uses Louis Theroux and his predictable atheist bias to visit one of the most extreme groups in the world and deliberately opens the dialogue to give the rest of us the chance to declare that the message of Christ wasn’t full of fear and judgement, fire and brimstone, but was one of love.

We have an enemy that will use any tactics, including Bible believing Christians/hate groups  to detract from us carrying out the mission of God on this earth.

Perhaps God opens doors through programmes like these and any kind of religious extremism and gives us the opportunity to refocus ourselves on the real teachings of the Gospel such as looking out for the marginalised, feeding the hungry, healing the broken and bringing peace.

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.Ye shall know them by their fruits. (Matt 7 15:16)

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