COMMENTARY: May God have mercy on Fred Phelps

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Amy Tracy is a writer for global mission at David C Cook in Colorado Springs. She lives with her adopted family -- two best friends, four children, four dogs, two horses, two hamsters and one disagreeable cat. Amy is pictured here with her dog, Wrecks. Photo courtesy of Amy Tracy

Amy Tracy is a writer for global mission at David C Cook in Colorado Springs. She lives with her adopted family -- two best friends, four children, four dogs, two horses, two hamsters and one disagreeable cat. Amy is pictured here with her dog, Wrecks. Photo courtesy of Amy Tracy

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(RNS) I don’t like to think of Jesus with Fred Phelps through the hands and words of a hospice volunteer -- but that shows how far off the mark I am in the grace department. It’s a cause for prayer, for sure.

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  • I have a real struggle with showing ‘grace’ to Phelps, but honor and respect your words. I would be lying to say that I am ready,.. but I am not. By now, he ‘knows’. For a man who not only showed cruelty to others, but was also abusive to his own family (his wife in particular), I think of the verse that talks about millstones, then again, that’s God’s job, not mine. Just a few random thoughts on the first day of spring.

  • Bob Johnson

    Amy, I remember when that crew showed up at Focus….

    To be honest, I do struggle with feeling a little relieved to know that the world has one less negative, off-putting, repulsive man to deal with. I pray for his family and for the believers who continue to follow his path of hatefulness.

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  • Thank you Amy. As a person who grew up in Topeka, KS and saw him many times protesting someone. He followed me to my university in Oklahoma and protested the President of my university because he had been divorced. Then I worked at Focus on the Family and he showed up there protesting. I often wondered what he could have accomplished if all of this energy had been put into loving people and helping those who needed help. I don’t wish evil for him, I hope he “saw the light” before his death and clung to the One who can wipe away his sins. But it does show that all things and all lives come to an end…whether lived for good or bad. I believe there is judgement and accountability at the end, so his death should encourage people to live better and make their lives count.

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  • Rebekah

    Thanks Amy. It is only by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit that we are able to forgive those who have caused so much harm. I wonder what went through his head as he faced the most all-encompassing love of the Father. I imagine it overwhelms you and draws you in. Your being able to embrace forgiveness shows you have received much forgiveness. Blessings to you!

  • Larry

    People are saying I should forgive Fred Phelps because it’s the Christian thing to do. But I’m Jewish. We hold grudges.
    — Mara Wilson (@MaraWritesStuff) March 20, 2014

  • Amy, I was updating my website and re-read the profile I did of you for Christianity Today way back in 2000. I looked you up and was so glad to see you still working and writing. God bless you!

  • Jason

    For a man who calls himself a man of God, his behaviour over the years seem to say otherwise. His negative attitude towards his family, his hateful speech towards those whom *he* believes God hates. I’ll bet (Adolf) Hitler would’ve loved him. It’s been said that you should never speak ill of the dead, and generally I agree. There are some dead people who should be spoken negatively about. Who deserve nothing less than to be spoken badly about. Fred W. Phelps, Sr. is among those who should be.