A Message to Topeka from Fred Phelps

How it All Began

By Fred Phelps Sr.

On May 24, 1954 the Lord brought my wife and me to Topeka. That same day the Supreme Court issued its order in Brown v. Board of Education. The same establishment power-mongers who opposed the simple request by black people to be treated equally in education oppose us today. There's something about power and elitism that corrupts a man, and we've seen it time and again. But there is no kingdom on this earth that can defeat the will of God. In November 1955 the first worship service was held of the Westboro Baptist Church. With a strong heart, and an uncertainty about the future, I began preaching the doctrines of grace, as they were unfolded to me by God. Those powerful and precious doctrines have sustained us through all these years. We had the promise that the gates of hell would not prevail against this little church. From that day, we have maintained a conspicuous testimony of truth in an increasingly perverse generation, earnestly contending for the faith that was once delivered.

The Doctrines of Grace

What are the doctrines of grace? That is a shorthand term for the basic doctrines of the scriptures. They can be captured under the acronym TULIP. You can't read the Bible without finding these themes throughout.

Total depravity. Every human is born totally depraved, deserving hell. When Adam fell we all fell. Without salvation, your destiny is hell. The heart of man is desperately wicked and deceitful above all things, and the best description of mankind is a corrupt mass.

Unconditional election. The only people who will be saved are those God chooses to save. They are called the elect. Jacob is their representative in the Bible. The rest are reprobate. Esau is their representative in the Bible. No reprobate will ever be saved.

Limited atonement. The biggest lie of our time is the claim that God loves everybody. He doesn't. He loves only the elect. The blood of Christ will atone only for the sins of the elect. It will atone for all of the sins of the elect and none of the sins of the reprobate. (False prophets like to claim Christ died for every man, but those who do not accept him go to hell. Are you satisfied to serve a god that can cover all your sins, but the sin of unbelief? And how does a dead man know how to accept life?)

Irresistible Grace. If God gets a hold of your heart, you will not be able to resist him. None can resist his will. When he calls you, you will answer. Perseverance of the Saints. In every generation since Adam God's elect have persevered. They run like a stream through time, and can never be snuffed out.

Watching Immorality Take Hold

Watching our children go through that sausage-grinder called the education system, we realized that this country was apostatizing hand over fist. Teachers and administrators were determined to impose idolatry and immorality on young people. At a dizzying pace, any idea of teaching students to be respectful, productive, intellectual, courteous, and God-fearing, fell away. Instead, the theme of education became self-indulgence and social experimentation. Where children used to learn math and science, they were taught the greatness of being "gay" instead. Any child who dared hint at serving God was mocked and marginalized. In a few generations, knowledge- and Bible-illiteracy became the trademark of young Americans.

This nation was founded on notions of morality from the Bible. Because of strong Bible principles we have the Constitution and Bill of Rights -- especially the First Amendment. Although God favored this nation with many blessings, shortly Americans began to walk after their lust instead of serving God. By the time we were well established in Topeka, the fruits of that lust-walking were visiting the entire nation. Today, hedonism, vulgarity, immodesty, impudence, and a visceral hatred of God prevail.

How the Picketing Started -- Gage Park

Eleven years ago we began our picket ministry, opposing the filth of homosexuality. Recall how it started. We grew weary of our young men being accosted at Gage Park, in the light of day, by militant homosexuals. Naively, we approached the city officials, thinking surely if they knew they would stop it. What we did not reckon is the exponential rate at which this nation, this state, this city, and all of the so-called leaders, had deeply corrupted themselves. The abominations that occur on a routine basis in this country today are shocking. No thought is given to being chaste. All thought and dialogue evolves around serving the flesh.

Rather than do the decent thing -- clean up the park -- the government, with one voice, sharply criticized us, and refused to act. Today we understand how weak they had become. Today we understand the enormous pressure brought to bear by depraved homosexuals, lying false prophets, and the media. It will stand as an eternal shrine of shame to the leaders of this city that they gave in to that pressure, and left the matter of cleaning up that park in our hands.

The national directory that lists this park as a place to cruise for anonymous fag sex, today says that you do so at your own risk. When we started, the directory said fags seeking sex at the park enjoyed the protection of law enforcement while engaging in their filth in the bushes. And there is not an enlightened soul the world over who doesn't equate Gage Park with homosexuality, thanks to our ministry shining a light on that fact.

We learned with time that none of the 400+ churches in this area would lift a hand about this disgrace. Worse, the large, mainstream churches enable and support it. Strong Bible metaphors come to mind watching these houses of idolatry, these dog kennels, these pigsties, join forces and use every conceivable strategy to try and stop us. What they failed to calculate was the simple fact that he who holds the Key to David opens doors of utterance, and no man can shut them. They also failed to account for the fact that every prophet of God who has lived has cried against these altars. That's our job, and we will do it until these churches get right with God, or Christ returns, whichever comes first. The good money is on Christ returning first.

Futile Efforts to Silence Us

I will not belabor the events of these past eleven years. You have been witness to the bone-crushing efforts to shut us down. Massive litigation, hundreds of criminal prosecutions, cocaine-pumped thugs sent to beat our women and children, devious lawyers sitting in dark rooms planning efforts to dismantle our fax lines and tie us up in litigation indefinitely, corrupt or cowardly law enforcement yielding to demands to do us harm, employers and service providers cutting us off out of fear and hatred, and a media absolutely determined to pollute and distort every fact. Yet everything intended unto us for evil by you was intended unto us for good by God.

Who would have dreamed that each of these efforts would serve, instead of harming or disarming us as planned, to strengthen us, display God's grace and deliverance, and draw attention to our blessed message worldwide. Through it all we rested on the comfortable knowledge that no weapon formed against us would ever prosper. I cannot describe the utter awe with which we watched your mal intent turn into rich blessings for every member of this church.

Through these years I have watched the people I love, my family and the beloved families of the church, blossom. God has opened the eyes of our understanding about our mission. Like Noah, we are sent to warn. We have received blessings innumerable, in every sense of the word. Every need has been met. Every heart has been strengthened. Every eye has been lightened. The people in this church have demonstrated great strength and stalwartness in this battle. When I quit this earth, I will do so with immense gratitude to have been given the opportunity to serve the Lord with this band of saints.

What is Our Purpose in Picketing?

Let me further touch on our purpose. We don't strive to change your hearts or minds. For God alone controls the hearts of man. Even if we wanted to, we couldn't make you believe the truth. In fact, the scriptures are full of verses telling us you will not believe our report. God has reserved to himself only a remnant. No man can come to Christ except the Father who sent Christ draw that man. These are the words of Christ. Christ also said, just before he was murdered, that he did not pray for the whole world, but only those God gave him out of the world.

Every person who is predestined for hell will remain in darkness. Christ told the apostles that he spoke in fables so the blind would not understand. Scores of verses bespeak God's power and plan to blind the eyes, harden the hearts, stop up the ears, and preserve in iniquity, those whom he does not love. To understand God's love, says Malachi in Chapter 1, you have to understand God's hate. To understand the richness of his glory in carving out a remnant for salvation and grace, you have to understand the power of his glory in reserving the rest for darkness.

If God has blinded you by a divine stroke, we won't open your eyes. Our purpose is to publish. Our job is to warn you to flee the wrath to come. We've warned you, and you've responded with deliberate rebellion and anger. The citizens of Sodom will rise up in testimony against Topeka. Sodom was destroyed for embracing and institutionalizing sexual perversion. (Don't waste our time pretending the sin of Sodom was discourtesy. The definition of sodomy is anal copulation, not impoliteness.) If Topeka does not receive the same measure of punishment Sodom received, and more, the citizens of ancient Sodom will have a cause. For their deeds could not be worse than Topeka's.

Not one soul who ever spent more than a day in Topeka will be able to claim he was not warned. I pity to think what kind of trouble you are in if you've lived here all through these years, cursing us without measure, with a full understanding of our message. You will be absolutely without excuse. Your blood will not be on our hands. And we will have some rich and exciting testimony to give against you. Along with the multitude of angels who have compassed us about, holding us up, and bearing witness to all you have done.

This Nation is Doomed

We are satisfied that like old Israel this nation is doomed. Jeremiah was told by God to go tell the children of Israel that it was all over. That he was going to destroy them for their many grievous sins against him. They were stiff-necked, proud, and unrepentant. Jeremiah, being a tenderhearted soul (like all God's people), went back to God three times, to pray for the people. God told him to stop praying! God told him even if Moses and Samuel stood before him, his mind could not go toward the children of Israel. He told Jeremiah to cast them out of his sight. Jeremiah warned them. They refused to repent. And they were destroyed.

There is a point of no return with God. You cannot raise your middle finger toward God year in and out without serious consequences. It is too late for this city. It is too late for this state. It is too late for America. Any preacher who tells you otherwise is lying! Worse, he (or God forbid, she) is doing so for filthy lucre and to justify his own sins. You are in a world of trouble Topeka!

The point of no return is addressed in Romans 1. Because they knew God but glorified him not as God, and worshiped the creature instead of the Creator, God gave some people up to three things, a filthy manner or life, a vile affection, and a reprobate mind. These are men burning for men and women burning for women. (Goofy talk about only the Old Testament prohibiting homosexuality, and the word "sodomite" really means temple prostitute, blah, blah, blah -- is all debunked by Romans 1. This is New Testament stuff, and it describes the behavior.) The closing verse says they who do such things are worthy of death.

Some people who have engaged in homosexuality will end up in heaven. Not many, but some. But these militant, hard-core, aggressive, burning-in-their-lust homosexuals, who live for their sexual perversion, will not. God has given them up. Their God is their belly (taken from Philippians 3:19, "Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.")

God Doesn't Love an Impenitent Homosexual

One more thought about the militant homosexuals who are the focus of the dialogue. (Remember, we didn't make them the front burner moral issue in America today. They did. They are driven to force every human to call them holy. Once they're on the front page, however, we're going to bring the Bible perspective to the matter. Including when they get on the front page by some high-profile death that they convert into a platform for their cause.)

False religionists love to offer God's love to these creatures. The God-awful lie behind that offer, which they have no business making, is that forgiveness from God is available for the impenitent. Everyone knows better. But they seize that lie and scream it at us every day.

There is no forgiveness without repentance. There is no repentance without quitting the sin. You cannot march in "Gay Pride" parades, and then claim that God loves you. Impenitent hard sinners have no inheritance in heaven.

Topeka's Hateful Reaction

It is most remarkable watching Topeka react to this message. After all these years, you still cuss, spit, scream, raise your middle finger, swerve your vehicles at us, repeat the most absurd lies about God, and hate us. Isn't that ironic. You hate us. While you insist that we not hate. (Pretending you don't understand this is God's -- not man's -- hate we're talking about.) "Hatemonger!" you bellow, while you hate God and hate our message down to your toenails.

Why do you suppose that seemingly rational people by their majority react in such anger? Even after seeing these words literally thousands of times? The answer is simple. Because you know it's true. Every human is born with knowledge of God and his attributes. You know that God has attributes called anger, wrath, hate and vengeance. You know that on a day certain you will be called before God the Sovereign and be held to an account for your words and deeds in the flesh. You know the Great White Throne awaits all of us, and that in the end, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess and call him Lord.

The Shout of the King and Victory

We hear the shout of the King, and walk with victory in our hearts! We are serving the only living and true God, and we're here to stay until this task is done. We have told you for over a decade that after you finish all your efforts to stop us, you are left with the cold hard reality of our message. There is a God. There is a heaven. There is a hell. There is an eternity. If you have to castrate yourself to obey God, do it! If you have to end an adulterous relationship (including every person who is divorced and remarried with an original spouse still living), do it! Eternity is too long and hell is too hot! We are the only people who truly love you -- enough to tell you the truth. The highest form of love from one human to another is to care, genuinely, for the state of a man's soul. You will always hear the truth from us when it comes to the question of eternity. You will never hear that truth from a man (or woman) you pay to "preach" to you, because that money will cause them to tell you what you want to hear instead.

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