[Contents] [About the Participants] [Opening Statement by Fred Phelps] [Opening Statement by John Rankin][Dialog] [Questions from the Audience] [Closing Statement by John Rankin] [Closing Statement by Fred Phelps]
[Return to Mars Hill Forum]
Does God Hate Homosexuals?
Questions from the Audience

Questioner: My question is for Reverend Phelps. I was just curious, and this is not in terms of the Bible or anything….

Moderator: Did Thomas screen this question?

Questioner: Yes, he did.

Moderator: I, as a moderator, don’t think this is an appropriate question, I’m sorry. I’m in charge here, and I don’t think it’s an appropriate question. This is a discussion on does God hate homosexuals, and that one was related to his personal life, and I don’t think it’s appropriate.

Questioner: This is for Mr. Phelps. I have two questions.

Moderator: Give us your name.

Questioner: James.

Moderator: Thank you.

James: The first question is just a foundation for my next question. Do you believe that the Bible is all truth?

Fred Phelps: Sure.

James: Okay, then my next question is: If Jesus says to love as he loved, in John 13:34 and 35, and his love is enough so that he dies for sinners, and that’s Romans 5:8, doesn’t that mean that God loves homosexuals, because homosexuals are sinners, and he loved them enough to die for them?

Fred: The Lord Jesus Christ didn’t die for any hogs, any dogs, any pigs. The Lord Jesus Christ died for his sheep, they’re otherwise called his children, they’re otherwise called the sons of God without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom ye shine as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life. And the Lord Jesus Christ didn’t die for any hogs, but only his sheep, for whom he says, the good shepherd layeth down his life for the sheep. I told you that metaphors are very important in the scriptures. You have assumed facts not in evidence, not in the bible, not in reality, not in eternity, that the Lord Jesus Christ died for people that end up in hell. He died effectively, his blood was efficacious. All those for whom he died will repent of their sins. They’re certainly not going to go wallowing around in their filth, rolling around on rubber sheets, men with men and women with women, and all kinds of filthy living like beasts rather than human beings, and say that the Lord Jesus Christ died for those people! He did not!

Moderator: Do you care to respond, John?

John Rankin: Sure, two points of response there. Notice how Jesus treated the woman caught in the act of adultery in John 8. This woman was set up by the Pharisees to entrap Jesus. And Jesus came and wrote in the sand, no one knew how to answer it, and then he said, he who is without sin cast the first stone. And all the self-righteous, theologically correct Pharisees left. He looked at the woman and said, where are your condemners? She said, sir, they’re not here. Go and sin no more. You see, at this point, this woman was in sin, and Jesus showed her the love that brought her out of sin. And so this is the nature of God’s love, love defines what follows. And the answer that Mr. Phelps has given is that hate defines love.

Fred: Of course hate defines love, Malachi 1, one to three, you don’t know anything about the love of God until you understand the hatred of God. You don’t understand the true nature….

Moderator: Let’s stay with the question, we’ve got another person here.

Questioner: My name is Lane.

Moderator: Who is the question for?

Lane: For Fred. My question is, can a person repent unless you first show them love, by showing them the answer and a way to repent?

Moderator: Read it again.

Lane: Okay. Can a person repent of their sin unless you first show them love, by showing them the answer and a way to repent?

Fred: The truth of the matter is that repentance is a gift of God. If the Lord God doesn’t give you repentance, you’re not going to have it. And not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance, but after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasures up unto thyself wrath, against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. Those who continue soberly, righteously, and with self-denial, live out their days upon this earth, can expect to go to heaven. Those who impenitently refuse to repent, and I’m telling you that the prescribed methodology of the prophets and the apostles for bringing sinners to repentance was to hold them over the fires of hell a while. That you’re going to hell and except you repent, you will all likewise perish. And that Mars Hill sermon of Paul’s that Brother Rankin is so fond of, Paul ends up by saying, for God hath appointed a day in which he will judge, the word is “creneo” there, condemn and pour out his vengeance upon this world, by that man, because he’s appointed a day in which he will do it, by that man whom he hath ordained, the Lord Jesus Christ. And that second chapter of Romans that I was quoting from, about not knowing that the goodness of God leads to repentance, the apostle says, in the day that God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel. Paul’s gospel was, arise ye dead men and come to judgment.

Moderator: Do you want to respond, John?

John: Oh, absolutely. What is interesting about this is that the gift of God goes back to the word in the Hebrew and the Greek for grace, the power to give, that was the starting point I talked about in terms of God’s nature. Where does God’s giving begin? Does it begin before sin or after sin? The one question that Fred has not answered. So if we take the Bible on its own terms, we start where the Bible starts. We don’t know Malachi and Esau and Jacob until we know the whole history of Israel, in their faithfulness and their unfaithfulness, and why God says what he says. In the Old Testament, it almost never talks about hell the way Jesus does, it talks about judgment many times. Now let’s look at Acts 17. In Acts 17, Paul comes and says what you worship is unknown I proclaim to you as known. These people didn’t know the Bible, so Paul didn’t once quote the Bible, but he spoke Biblical truth and said that all people come from one man and from one woman, there’s one God, and now God has overlooked your ignorance in mercy, and he’s sent forth his son, who has died and risen again, and appointed him to be the judge, as Pastor Phelps just quoted. But you see, judgment comes after the gift of salvation has been preached. Mercy triumphs over judgment. So what happens is, we come back to the basic issue: Is it creation, sin and redemption? Or is it sin, sin, sin, with a little bit of redemption?

Moderator: Okay, I think this second question does clarify this a little bit, but your third one’s out of order, so just do your second one.

Lane: This is for Fred. If God already hates the sinner, where is the entrance to salvation, if he’s already condemned them?

Fred: Don’t you understand that they’re not going to be saved? Can I get that through your head? I’m telling you, my friend, fags cannot be saved. Deal with it. Deal with it.

John: And I will deal with First Corinthians 6:9 through 11, actually the entire chapter. And what Paul does in the first nine verses is he chastises Christians for filing lawsuits against other Christians. He says that is the worst form of iniquity. Then he goes, in verses 9 and 10 to define many other forms of iniquity; adultery, lying, slandering, and then he says, male homosexual prostitutes and homosexual offenders. And he says, these people will not inherit the kingdom of God, starting with the example of Christians filing lawsuits against Christians. He goes through this list, and then he says, and such were some of you, but you have been washed and justified by Jesus. So he says yes, you can change. The real issue between Fred and myself is God’s sovereignty and human freedom. All I’ve read from his website, about 80 e-mails I’ve had from two of his daughters in the last week arguing this stuff.

Fred: They’re not here to defend themselves, get off of that, you coward!

John: I’m not a coward!

Fred: They’re not here to defend themselves! And from what I understand, they shellacked your hide pretty well.

John: That’s why they didn’t want to talk anymore at the end of it. But no, I say it with respect, because I blessed them in the whole conversation….

Fred: You’ve degenerated into an ad hominem personal attack.

John: No, I’m not. Do you know why?

Fred: Get off it.

John: Because in my communication with your daughters, we raised the issues that you have raised, and you have said that free will is a lie.

Fred: No, you said you exchanged e-mails with my daughters.

John: Right, because they responded to me.

Moderator: Okay, this is a debate and the personal references are out of order. So I appreciate both of you not making those references. We have more time. Thank you,
Lane. Let’s have another questioner. Tell us your name and who your question is for.

Questioner: My name is Denny and I’d like both to respond, but the question goes to Fred. You’ve made many references to Martin Luther, which I appreciate. Martin Luther had much to say about law and gospel, and my question, Fred, is where is the balance of law and gospel or grace in your ministry?

I don’t know how he can answer a question about his ministry, so why don’t you just, he can respond.

Fred: Here is what he said. I’ll tell you what he said, and this is what I believe. And I love Brother Martin Luther, and I recommend this book to you. Have you read this book? You ought to read this book. He said that is the only one of his writings that deserved to survive to posterity. You let it all go. All the rest of that stuff, you try to read that too, and I believe he was right, it wasn’t worth printing. But that is, a red-hot debate with Erasmus of Rotterdam over the issues we’re debating here today. Now here’s what I love about Brother Luther, here’s what he said. “This is the very thing that raizes the doctrine of free will from its foundations. To wit, that God’s eternal love of some men, and eternal hatred of others, is immutable and cannot be reversed.” That’s what I believe. That’s what all the old-time preachers believed, and modern America, whose thoughts of God are so human that they can’t get around the notion that the main thing God is interested in is these people and how happy they can be, and therefore, let them fornicate their brains out. The Lord Jesus says, castrate yourself if you can’t behave! He says that in Matthew 19. Get over this notion that everything is for the good of the human. It’s for the good and glory of God almighty. And if he chooses to love some and hate others, that’s his prerogative. I love Brother Luther.

Moderator: Do you want to hear that quote again before you respond?

John: No, that’s perfectly fine. Luther has a lot to say that is good. He was a passionate man who reacted to legalism, but there was a lot that he said that was not good, as I think Mr. Phelps just indicated. But here’s my quick question here. Does the Bible define Luther, or does Luther define the Bible? Now I am strongly in the reformed tradition, and God’s sovereignty is the all-defining doctrine of the Bible. But here’s the question. Is God free, or is he a slave? Because if we’re made in God’s image, which is where the Bible starts, before sin comes in, then he has given us a gift of freedom. And if he hasn’t, then the God of the Bible becomes a Marduk, or a Thor, or a Zeus, or some other pagan deity. And so Luther was reacting to certain things that I would also react to, but differently, in terms of people such as Jacobus Arminius arguing that human power could bring redemptive salvation. Well Arminius was wrong, because total depravity is true. But total depravity isn’t the starting point of scripture. The image of God in wholeness is the starting point.

Moderator: Do you have a follow up? OK, thank you Denny. We’ve still got 23 minutes left, do we have others?

Questioner: Good afternoon. I’m Don, and my question is for Reverend Phelps, and if Brother Rankin, as he calls him, has a reply to that, that would be fine. I understand how you approach the word hate, as I’ve listened, similar to the word jealous, as God says, I’m a jealous God, jealous of my people. But I’ve also heard by your words, as you were speaking to Brother Rankin, you must be gentle. And I also heard that in 1947 you were charged by a laying on of hands, elders, I would assume, to also be a man that shall exhort, that was among many things that you said, but that was a word that I caught. So my question for you is how do you practice these two things, being gentle, and exhortation in the ministry that God’s called you to?

Fred: Well, you wouldn’t think there would be a conflict between those two concepts, would you? Can’t you gently exhort? Can’t you gently tell Brother Rankin he’s headed straight for hell? You don’t have to be ungentle or ungentlemanly to tell some hard truth. I mean, these are very serious, weighty matters. This isn’t someone trying to win debating points in a little high school contest here. We’re talking about things that are going to go down in eternity, with all the angels of God here as witnesses here. And this stuff that he’s been putting out attacking the sovereignty of God, all the while using the word sovereignty. He’s made man the sovereign. He has made man the sovereign. There can be only one free will in a moral universe. The doctrine of free moral agency is a lie out of hell. The Lord Jesus says, if you’ve got so much free will, grow a foot and a half. Which of you, by taking thought, can add a cubit to his stature? So what I’m saying is, preach the word, the truth, be instant in season, and the verse that really applies nowadays is Second Timothy 2:15. Study it, give diligence, to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing or portioning out the word of truth. That is, you size up what’s happening all around you. With every time you open a paper there’s some new fag victory, that the country is going to hell in a faggot’s hand basket, and I’m supposed to get lockjaw on that subject? I’ve got the only answer for it. I’ve got the only original source material on this subject. All these guys writing books and psychologists and psychiatrists, about homosexuality and whether you’re born with it or not born with it, so much baloney! I’ve got the original source material. I don’t care if you were born with it or learned it, you can’t practice that kind of conduct and expect to go to heaven. That’s a very good talk I just put up here.

John: Now this is interesting, because this does highlight, as we look at the issue and how Fred answered the question about gentleness and exhortation, and he talks about there being no free will. We have to ask ourselves if this is the question, what about the fact that the first words God ever said to Adam are, you are free? Why did God say to Cain, you must overcome it? Why were the final words of Moses, choose this day? The final words of Joshua, choose this day. The shortest sermon in the Bible, Elijah, how long will you waiver between two opinions and therefore make the choice. Jesus says, come unto me. Paul says for freedom Christ will set you free. And the last words of Revelation are, to him who is thirsty, let him come and drink without cost. Now all of this involves human, moral agency. So we have either one of two choices. Either God gave moral agency, freedom to begin with, sin pollutes that, and we have no longer the power in our choice to reach up to heaven. But all the way through the Bible, the very language of the Bible, is come unto me, you are free, come unto me. Now, the doctrine of predestination is a true doctrine, but if you look at the history of that doctrine, it is Yahweh Elohim, the God who is bigger than space, time, and number, who steps outside of space, time, and number, and says I fore-ordained. He doesn’t say he comes into time and manipulates our will against our will. He doesn’t force people into heaven against their will, he doesn’t force people into hell against their will. All the way through scripture, people choose what they want to. Sin affects it, and Jesus came. Now, if God had foreordained in a pagan, deity way, which is what Babylonian astrology is all about, and fatalized them to go to hell or go to heaven regardless of their will, then what a charade we are living in, and no wonder Fred says that God is hate.

Fred: I am the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight. It is God that worketh in us both the will and to do of his good pleasure. He is an Arminian, free will, heretic, and he just don’t want to use that plain language, and he knows better. Look, there can be only one free will in a moral universe, and that free will is the boss. Is God’s will going to prevail in all matters? He says so, who doeth according to his will, in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay his hand nor say unto him what doeth thou? Absolute Predestination by Jerome Zanchius is back in print, you ought to read it. Can’t beat it.

John: I need to respond there, just a moment. Note how interesting this is. Fred calls me an Arminian. And I reject….

Moderator: Most of us don’t know what an Arminian is. Do you want to define it?

John: The simple idea at debate is, Arminius believes that the soul is benign, it’s not affected by sin. And so the way you’re born, environment will shape you to good or to evil. I reject that.

Fred: That’s not it. I’ll tell you what an Arminian is. It is antithetical to Five-point Calvinists. T.U.L.I.P. Baptists, they call them, who believe in total depravity, unconditional election, limited design in the atonement, irresistible grace, and the perseverance of the saints. The Arminian heretic, named after Jacobus Arminius, it had nothing to do with the country of Armenia, came along and said, we don’t like that, because it says God is a sovereign, so he elicited five points saying just the opposite. Man is not really totally depraved, he says, he’s got the ability to exercise his free will and go to heaven.

John: And that’s what I just was saying.

Fred: There’s not unconditional election, he doesn’t elect anybody, and all the terms in the Bible that say these are God’s elect, these are God’s sheep are meaningless and can be dispensed with. And no limited design and atonement, said the Lord Jesus died for the sins of every single individual of mankind, even for the sins of those multiplied billions that were in hell when he died!

Moderator: Okay, do you understand what an Arminian is?

John: I need to respond.

Moderator: So are you clear?

John: Ron, since he responded to me, I want to give a final response.

Moderator: Yeah, you can further talk about Arminians, but I’m concerned that this man had asked the question and wants an answer to his question before we let him go.

John: He cut me off, and I want to give a response. That’s why I said that Arminius believed in a benign soul.

Fred: You’re hurting. You’re hurting, Brother Rankin.

John: If I could continue.

Fred: You’ve pulled the wool over these people’s eyes because they don’t know who Jacob Arminius is. He’s a raving heretic.

John: I said at a simple level, that he believes the soul is benign.

Fred: And so was Erasmus. People don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re talking about….

John: You brought up Erasmus, not me. So I need to respond here, because sir, you continue…

Fred: I know, but he was a heretic, and furthermore, the fags say he was a fag and had sex with Henry the VIII. Most Arminians are fags and fags are Arminians.

John: See, and this is your problem, is that you can’t listen to an honest question, an honest answer.

Fred: I’ve got no problem.

John: And what happens is, I tell you theologically that I say no to Arminius.

Fred: I’m surprised that the word honest doesn’t choke in your mouth. You’re the opposite from honest.

Moderator: Okay, we’re trying to define Arminianism on both sides of the issue here.

John: I would like to answer because he continues interrupting.

Moderator: We’ve gotten to personal remarks again, so I’m going to give you two minutes to define Arminians, and then we’ll go on to the next question.

John: I’m not being personal, I need thirty seconds.

Moderator: OK, got it.

John: I am saying, at this point, that I say I don’t believe in Arminius, and you say no. So what happens is, you’re going to put me into your template, no matter what happens, because I go against your template. And your template is a template that will not answer whether the Bible comes before Luther or Luther comes before the Bible.

Fred: The template I put you in is the Bible. You’re a heretic.

John: You still didn’t answer my question.

Moderator: Okay, let’s move onto our next questioner. Very good question. We have fifteen minutes left. What is your name?

Questioner: Danielle.

Moderator: Okay, read your question for us.

Danielle: Okay, it’s for Mr. Phelps.

Moderator: You have four there.

Danielle: Three, just three. I crossed out the number one.

Moderator: Can you take three at once?

Fred: Sure.

Moderator: Do them all together, then.

Danielle: Okay, where in the Bible does it say that homosexuals are hogs and pigs?

Fred: Well, that’s enough, and then the next one? It says in Second Peter, for example, 2:22, and it says that, for example, in Matthew 7:6. Give not that which is holy to the dogs and neither cast ye your pearls before swine lest they trample them underfoot and turn again and rend you.
Now the connection to show that when that metaphor dogs is used, they’re obviously talking about people, no question about that, is there? Cast not your pearls before swine, the Lord Jesus isn’t talking about literal swine. It’s people. And you pick that up from such places as Deuteronomy 23:17: There should be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of Israel, thou shall not bring the price of a whore, or the hire of a whore, or the price of a dog into the house. Sodomite, that’s what the metaphor is, it’s a metaphor, those are places in the Bible you pick them up.

Now, since we did one question at a time, it’s your turn, John, to respond.

John: Just very simply, Two Peter 2:22 and Matthew 7:6 are not speaking about homosexuals, they’re speaking about sin at large. However, in Deuteronomy 23 and also the metaphor at the end of Revelation, when it talks about dogs, it talks about male shrine prostitutes as dogs. And the reason it does so is it says, to sell yourself as a homosexual for religious prostitution is regarding yourself like a dog that’s in heat without self control. So that metaphor is used in a couple of places, but the first two places that Fred quoted are used overall for people who resist God’s grace.

Fred: Well, that’s exactly the exposition that all the homosexuals give, you’ve got it from their literature.

John: No, you’re wrong.

Moderator: I think your second question here is outstanding. Who is it for?

Danielle: Mr. Phelps. Where in the Bible does it exactly say that only some can be saved?

Fred: Well, you got another five or six hours, do you?

Danielle: Sure, I have all the time you want.

Moderator: No, you only have twelve minutes.

Fred: I told you John 10, you start with John 10. The Lord Jesus Christ says that the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep, and laith down his life for the sheep and he never died for a single dog. That’s an obvious metaphor. When he says the sheep, he’s not talking about literal sheep, he’s talking about human beings with the attributes of sheep, and that metaphor runs right straight through the scriptures, about sheep, and being God’s elect. And the Lord Jesus says, when talking about the unjust judge, and Luke 18, long about verse 2 or 3, hear what the unjust judge said. And shall not God avenge his own elect who cry to him day and night though he bear longer with them. Every time you see the word elect in the scriptures, you’re talking about those whom God has elected to salvation as distinct from those who are called reprobates, that are reprobated, and non-elect. And the Lord Jesus Christ died only for his elect, for no goat, for no hog, for no dog.

Moderator: Okay, John, do you want to respond?

John: Very briefly. What we have all the way through scripture is we have God declaring he is sovereign over space, time, and number. So the great doctrine of predestination, it’s several places in the New Testament, but in particular in terms of Paul’s exposition, in Romans 8, it’s as a word of encouragement for people to endure. So that’s there, and God’s bigger than space, time, and number. But then, Paul also says, in First Timothy 2:4 that God wants all men, everywhere, to be saved. So now we have a real question. If God is sovereign, and if the inspired word says he wants all men everywhere to be saved, and if they’re not saved, is God impotent? Is God without power?
And so what happens is we’re missing the quality of freedom. I’ve argued that God is free, and he’s good. If you compare the God of the Bible with all pagan religions, all pagan religions start with finite gods and goddesses who are less than time, space and number, beating up on each other and beating up on us. The God of the bible is greater than space, time, and number. That’s the declaration of sovereignty. And then the sovereign God, in the first words in history, said you are free to eat from any tree in the garden. In the Hebrew it is akol tokal. In feasting, you shall feast, an unlimited menu of good choices, but don’t eat poison. So he set before Adam and Eve life and death, and he didn’t force them into life. He gave them liberty.
So the rest of the scripture is the face of polluted liberty. So John Calvin is right when he talks about total depravity. The totality of our nature is affected by depravity. But do you know what the one problem is I have with, not Calvin, but with Calvinists who come up with T.U.L.I.P.? (All five points are correct.) They start with sin. But sin doesn’t exist until the order of creation exists. And that’s the question that
Fred Phelps will not answer. He will not answer whether or not creation precedes sin.

Fred: Perverse disputings by a man of corrupt mind and destitute of the truth.

Questioner: I’ll just address both Brother Phelps and Brother Rankin, and they can both comment on it. To the point of keeping sin out of the camp of Israel, I point to two stories in the Old Testament. First there’s the story of Moses, when Aaron had made the golden calf. There were 3,000 souls that were wiped out of the camp of Israel at that time. The second story is of Phinehas, and I don’t remember exactly which book it is in, I believe Samuel, or Numbers. That story talked about an inter-racial relationship not being allowed in the camp of Israel.

Fred: You said Phinehas?

Questioner: Phinehas had killed an Israelite man and a Midianite woman way back when.

Fred: For fornicating in the holy place.

Questioner: It was inter-racial marriage. So what is our answer today? If we believe the Old Testament is just as well connected with the New Testament, as I believe, what is our answer today?

Fred: Psalm 105 says, then stood up Phinehas and executed judgment and the plague of the Lord was stayed. That was the sin of Baal Peor, when Balak hired Balaam to curse Israel, God’s elect, and he said, these are God’s elect, and I can’t curse them. But then he went around, by ruse and subterfuge and taught the children of Israel to commit fornication and eat things sacrificed to idols, Balaam did, and that was when it was called the sin of Baal Peor, when, by the thousands, the Lord God destroyed those guilty people for going after strange flesh. And the god that they were worshipping there was called Priapus, which is the fag god of the sodomites, and the whole camp of Israel was being cursed by that kind of filthy, extracurricular sex activity. And then stood up Phinehas and killed this prince of Israel and his Midianite woman right in the tabernacle.

Questioner: It was sanctioned by God.

Fred: Yes, and he says, then stood up Phinehas and executed judgment, and the plague was stayed, and it was counted unto Phinehas for righteousness to the third and fourth generation. It only shows that God’s wrath prevails in all the affairs of mankind. And while we say that thing couldn’t have happened on September 11th, except for the immediate act of the wrath and vengeance of God. Thank God for September 11th. Heretics say, no, no, something else besides God did it. Well what? What?

John: Well, large territory here. If I understood your question correctly, you were asking about inter-racial marriage, and the consistency between the Old Testament and the New Testament?

Questioner: Not necessarily inter-racial marriage. I’m just pointing out sin in the camp of Israel in general.

John: Okay, in a nutshell, we have a biblical theocracy from the days of Moses on forward. Theocracy means God’s law. And in the Exodus, God showed how good he was in bringing the Jews from the land of slavery, slavery imposed upon them that they didn’t deserve. And so as he brings them out and shows them their goodness, in the midst of sin and rebellion, and therefore they have to be in the wilderness 40 years, we come to the end of Moses’ life. And then Joshua helps them take over the promised land, as much as they would, and then Joshua gives his final words. He goes to the goodness of God in protecting them, then he concludes, and he says, this day choose whom you will serve. Will you serve the gods across the river in Babylon, the god of the Egyptians, the god of the Amorites, in whose land you now live, but as for me and my household, we will serve Yahweh.

Fred: That was the last of Joshua. For crying out loud!

John: Would you please not interrupt, good friend? So what happens is that Joshua concludes, and he says, choose this day. So what he is saying is before you enter into God’s theocratic community, you have the choice to go elsewhere, so if you don’t like what’s happening. The Jewish theocracy was the only nation in all antiquity that said no to homosexuality. Therefore, if someone wanted to come into the Jewish theocracy and commit homosexuality, they were actually committing treason against God. And he said, ahead of time, that is the death penalty, because you’re trying to destroy the kingdom that leads to the Messiah who has come to bring the good news to the Gentiles.

Fred: So he poured his wrath out on them.

John: Because the whole argument of Joshua….

Fred: That begs the question why he poured his wrath out on them.

John: The whole argument of Joshua was God is good, God has shown you his goodness, now choose if you will accept or reject that goodness. And if you come inside the goodness of the theocratic community, and if you then disobey the gospel, then you have asked for the wrath of God to come upon you.

Fred: And it came!

John: In fact, at the end of Joshua 24, when they said we will serve God, and Joshua says no you can’t, they say yes we will, then know this day that you have chosen to serve God. And he is wrathful if you commit the sins you’ve been delivered from. It’s all based on informed choice. The whole argument of Joshua is God is good, make your choice, you come into this community.

Fred: It begs the question.

John: It doesn’t beg the question.

Fred: Poured his wrath out. And furthermore you misquoted. He said, choose you this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served on the other side of the river…

John: I paraphrased it.

Fred: …or the gods of these heathen in this land that we’ve just thrown out.

John: And the verse before that was the Egyptian gods.

Fred: And you’ve got a free will to choose wrong, which wrong will you take, you don’t have a free will to repent unless God gives you repentance.

John: Why, then, did they choose the choice Joshua did for himself?

Fred: That’s an inapposite question.

John: Nonsense!

Fred: Look, Moses said you can’t choose to serve God because you’re so intrinsically evil, you can’t choose to serve God.

John: And then he says, choose this day.

Fred: Joshua said choose you this day….

John: Moses said choose you this day.

Fred: Whether the gods that are beyond the river Jordan or the gods of the people.

John: Moses said choose this day, blessings or cursings, chapter 30.

Fred: Well, that begs the question, who makes you willing?

John: Precisely.

Fred: The question is, who makes you willing?

John: Exactly.

Fred: God Almighty makes some willing and he leads others into sin, that’s Calvinism.

John: Hyper-Calvinism.

Fred: Calvinism!

John: Your god is a slave master, and the God of the Bible is one who’s good.

Fred: Your god is a peanut, that his creatures rule over him, that the will of the creature prevails over him. Your god is impotent.

John: It doesn’t prevail. God is powerful enough to love us with goodness and draw a response by his Holy Spirit. Your god has no power to bring goodness out of people! [audience applause]

Fred: You’ve created an idol.

Moderator: Thank you, John. You may be seated. We’re out of time. I’m calling time.

  [Contents] [About the Participants] [Opening Statement by Fred Phelps] [Opening Statement by John Rankin][Dialog] [Questions from the Audience] [Closing Statement by John Rankin] [Closing Statement by Fred Phelps]
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