Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, April 23, 2007

Replacement Protesters at Grace Church

Sunday morning I had parked our van and was walking across the lot back to the church building when I noticed large, school bus yellow square shapes near the Roscoe Blvd. side of our church.

I immediately diverted my course.

Its spring time, and big, school bus yellow square shapes out in front of our church usually means one thing: "theological" protesters!"

Like the return of the swallows to San Juan Capistrano, each spring the self-appointed "wall watchers" arrive to hold protesting vigils against our pastor and church. There were no candles, though.

I have written previously about one from last year.

These individuals are prepared to make embarrassing spectacles of themselves, including the use of hideously crude signage, under the misguided belief they are confronting "error" in God's church.

As you can see from the picture above, these were preterist, amillennial protesters extremely bothered by John MacArthur's opening message from this year's Shepherd's Conference, "Why every self-respecting Calvinist is Premillennial."

I'm kidding.

I'm just wanted Jason and his Fide-O boys to follow the Technorati tags over here so I can give them some good old fashion Baptist ribbing.

Nah, the group protesting us this Sunday are out of Arizona and call themselves Project Straight Gate. They are a group of anti-Semitic conspiratorial wackos who wrap their bizarre beliefs in scripture. Oddly, they hold similar convictions about world affairs as the anti-war left and it wouldn't surprise me they embrace 9-11 conspiracy non-sense.

At any rate, they're angry with John because they claim that because he had appeared on Larry King Live back in 2003 and said positive remarks about the Iraq war, he is a neo-con Zionist, and now the target of their tacky signs.

They have been to our church on previous occasions. The first time was a few years ago with just a handful of folks. As I recall, it was rather non-eventful and when I asked one of the men holding a sign if they were a white supremacist group, he denied it vehemently.

The second time they came was a year or so later. The second time didn't go too well for them, because a couple of their guys were arrested for trespassing. They ignorantly didn't pay attention to where they were standing and wandered onto our property next to the sidewalk. I remember one of the fellows busted wrote a complaining account about the ordeal which was posted on their We Hold These Truths website.

This present time, they were all much more careful. They always send the church a nice letter a week or so before hand telling of their intent to protest, so our security guys were ready with a "parameter" to keep them corralled on the sidewalk.

(just as an aside. I am mystified as to why all the groups who come to protest us think we are obliged to allow them the use of our restroom facilities. What on earth!? Darwin Fish was all the time getting thrown off our property because his people think they can come to our church, bad mouth us, and then have the gall to ask if they can use the restroom. It just annoys me to no end).

Intrigued by the Straight Gate group, I came home and did some research on them. As is typical with cults like this one, they are not affiliated with any specific church. It looks like they are lone ranger. At least I know where Fred Phelps attends church.

Moreover, they don't have an official doctrinal statement on their site. So, the best way to find out what a group believes is to consider the books they recommend. On their website you will find a small handful of good (one John Bunyan book and a couple of Gary Demar books) mixed in with a whole lot of bad.

Most of the books and materials are written by anti-Semitic and fascist historical revisionist authors who promote world dominating conspiracies by the (spell it out with me now) J-E-W-S. You know, Jewish bankers, the Jewish controlled Illuminati, Jews started all the major wars, and one author listed, Benjamin Freedman, held to the kooky idea a good portion of the Jews died out centuries ago and most of the individuals claiming to be Jews today are really a people group from Turkey lying about their identity. Its like Chick tract nonsense about world history, except Jews are the bad guys, not the pope and Roman Catholics.

Also, their signs suggested they support Islamic terror states over and against the state of Israel. There were many slogans about killing innocent Arab babies, war mongering in the Middle East, and peacemaking and the like. Of course, a person who has taken the time to listen to our pastor on the subject of Israel knows he recognizes the state of Israel to be a secular, man-made nation and that their current day presence may or may not have any eschatological significance. When he made the comments on Larry King Live, it was strictly in the sense of affirming a nation's right to defend its citizens.

Whatever a person's eschatological beliefs regarding Israel whether Amill, Premill, or Postmill, I would hope the person recognizes the real threat by Muslim radicals to destroy the nation of Israel off the face of the planet and that Israel should have every right to defend itself against those threats.

In a twist of divine, providential humor, Dr. Richard Mayhue was preaching in place of John because he is away in England at a pastor's conference. His subject for the morning message, utterly unrehearsed: "Did God Lie to Israel" taken from Ezekiel 37, the passage about the dry bones. He did not once mention the protesters right out side the worship center, however, the last comments he made before he closed was that the state of Israel is a man-made, secular government, the Jews who occupy the land today are in apostasy and need to repent, but one day they will recognize their Messiah.

I am not sure if any of the Straight Gaters heard those comments.

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Blogger Jason E. Robertson said...

You had me going there for a moment. I thought Scott did a road trip without me! :)

But speaking of "Did God Lie to Israel" we must first ask "Did God lie to Abraham". Paul said in Galatians 3 that the promises were given to Abraham's seed who is Christ, not seeds who would be J-E-W-S. So the true Israel is C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N-S, both Jew and Gentile, according to Paul's literal exegesis of the Abrahamic Covenant.

Sure there were promises made and kept to Jews in the OT, but all of these were pointing to Christ. Either God's glory is in national Israel or in Jesus Christ.

I agree with Dr. MacArthur when he says that the current day state of Israel is a secular, man-made nation that has every right to defend herself and has really no eschatological significance.

But I disagree when our beloved Dr. Mac believes that God made promises to a future ethnic generation of Jews. And most Calvinsts agree with me, just for the record.

Hey, by the way, I am having a BBQ on May 11th at my home near Murrieta. Consider this an invitation. I promise we will eat like we are in the millennium! :)

4:56 PM, April 23, 2007  
Blogger Scott Hill said...

If they were really Amil then they would have used gold instead of yellow, and they would dress better.

I have always thought the people protesting in front of Grace was kind of funny. I guess when you are a cult it helps to have an enemy everyone can rally behind.

1:49 PM, April 24, 2007  
Blogger thomas4881 said...

Preterism is simliar in style to KJV ONLYISM. You don't see a bunch of pre-millenialist protesting in front of a preterist church. That is proof of that same godless attitude held by KJV ONLYIST is held by Preterist.

I do need to study the issue more on preterism's interpretation of daniel. I could only see preterist interpreting the book of daniel a different way to prove pre-millenialism wrong.

1:02 PM, April 25, 2007  
Blogger Jason E. Robertson said...

Your joke seems to be over some people's heads.

Now we are godless protesters? Thanks Fred :)

1:47 PM, April 25, 2007  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

You would think when I wrote that I was kidding, people would clue in.

Those particular folks could very well be preterists and either amill or postmill, but they certainly aren't connected to you all. I just saw that one fellow's billboard and thought fondly of you and Scott. I just had to make a link.

Not sure about that barbque in May. That may be a Bible study night for us and I will have to teach.


1:55 PM, April 25, 2007  
Blogger thomas4881 said...

jason I'm sorry if you think I called you personally a godless protestor. What I mean is that Preterist(like KJV ONLYIST) are generally very contentious and stubborn when I talk to them. If you could please give me a link to your interpretation of the book of daniel it would help me to see how preterist interpret that book compared to pre-millenialist. In my understanding that book is being mangled by preterist or pre-millenialist. Once I see your position on the book of daniel I can compare it to the entire Bible to see how it matches up. Thanks and sorry if you feel insulted.

2:02 PM, April 25, 2007  
Blogger markshriver said...

John Macarthur told a very great and deliberate lie once as a guest on Larry King. Proving the hypocrite that he is, he stated on national television that our president is a Christian.

12:58 AM, May 15, 2007  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Wow Mark,

You mean to say John told a "deliberate" which would imply he had some greater agenda or goal for telling that lie? What would be the purpose of John telling the lie that Bush is a Christian? More Zionist support? I personally would like to know what qualifies as a Christian in your mind, as well as a hypocrite.

Just curious Mark, what's your opinion about the events of 9/11? Terrorists or in-side job?


5:33 AM, May 15, 2007  
Blogger markshriver said...

Wow Fred,

Why don't you just try to answer one simple question. Did Macarthur lie when he stated on national television that our president was a Christian?

2:27 PM, May 15, 2007  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Uh, No.

You genuinely think he went on LKL with the fore thought to tell a national audience that Bush is a Christian fully knowing he is really not?

You really believe that?



3:17 PM, May 15, 2007  

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