Published on December 16th, 2012 | by ABCUSA0
Statement about Westboro Baptist Church
We have received questions about Westboro Baptist Church in light of increased media attention related to the recent shooting in Connecticut. American Baptists want to be clear that we denounce their message and tactics of hate. It grieves us that in bearing the Baptist name they destroy the reputation of thousands of Baptists who daily give themselves in selfless acts of love as followers of Jesus.
Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, is in no way affiliated with American Baptist Churches USA. Fred Phelps, pastor of Westboro Baptist Church, is not and never has been an American Baptist. Phelps’ ordination is not in an American Baptist church, and his credentials have never been recognized by any region of ABCUSA. Westboro is an independent, non-affiliated church.
“You will know them by their fruits,” Jesus said in Matthew 7:16.
The hostile, angry confrontations created by Phelps and his followers are an embarrassment to the Gospel and the church. Hopefully, American Baptists will distance themselves from ministers like Phelps, not only by words, but by deeds.
“By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35