(Antioch Baptist Church)
Dr. Ken Hutcherson, the pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Redmond, Wash., posted an announcement earlier this week that many close to him – including his wife – have known for years. Hutcherson revealed that he is the "gayest man I know."
"Coming out of the closet is a difficult decision to make, especially when close, personal relationships are at stake," Hutcherson wrote in his column, Hutch Speaks Out, that was published on WorldNetDaily.
"Will my family abandon me? Will my friends still look at me the same? Will this announcement be worth the risk? These are indeed valid concerns that can make a person live like a double agent for years. And even though this decision is acutely personal, it does help to stand alongside someone else who is ready to announce the very same thing," he continued.
The announcement of the burly NFL-linebacker-turned-evangelical-minister-and-author sent some initial shockwaves through the Christian community. He and James Hansen, one of his ministry leaders who is married with three children, are challenging others, especially evangelicals, to come forward and also admit that they are gay.
But the thing is Hutcherson is not a homosexual, nor does the happily married man have a same-sex attraction of any kind. He is, however, on a mission to take back words, phrases and symbols he believes groups, such as homosexual activists and other liberal organizations, have "hijacked" from the American lexicon.
"Seriously, I am the gayest guy I know," Hutcherson reiterated in an interview with The Christian Post.
"My frustration is that some groups have taken words and symbols away from the Church and from society in general. When I say I'm 'gay,' what I mean is that I am happy, that I am joyful and that I love people. That is precisely what a Christian ought to be so in my opinion we just need to be as gay as we can."
"Dan Savage (a pro-gay activist) says he is gay. He's not gay, not anywhere close. Yeah, he may be a homosexual but he certainly doesn't appear to be happy or joyful when he stands up in front of a classroom and uses profane language. Nope, nothing gay about that."
This is not Hutcherson's first attempt to reclaim symbols. In an earlier story published on CP, Hutcherson talked about taking back the rainbow symbol that has come to be associated with the homosexual movement.
"Rainbows used to mean something very different than they do today," Hutcherson and Hansen wrote on Antioch's website. "It used to be understood as the sign God put in the sky to remind us that even when He's angry about sin, He'd never again destroy the earth with a global flood. But of course, that's not what most people associate a rainbow with today."
Hutcherson's challenge is not just to individual Christians, but to preachers of the Gospel, too. "We've got way too many preachers, or those who call themselves such, preaching a watered-down, lukewarm version of the Gospel," he said.
"We don't have a lot of shepherds but we've got a ton of lost sheep who need guidance and the true word of the Bible. Too many pastors are leading their church astray by saying that homosexuality is okay. It's not," Hutcherson warned. "Preachers need to get out of the pulpits and start selling used cars if that is what they believe."
Hutcherson called out both black and white churches. "Predominantly white churches need to stop being white and start being evangelical by preaching the Gospel. On the other hand, black churches need to stop being so social and start preaching the Word of God – that sex outside of marriage is wrong and that men need to 'man up' and raise their children. The fact is, that applies to both churches."
In emphasizing his point, the larger-than-life preacher compared being married to that of being Christ's bride.
"When I married my wife, she became my bride," Hutcherson said. "No man is going to walk into my house and tell my wife how to act, dress or what to believe. If we are the bride of Jesus then we couldn't let anyone or anything else tell us how to act, dress, or behave either. We're in a war fighting to protect our society but the problem is the Church as a whole doesn't even know we're under attack."
Hutcherson also indicated this wouldn't be his last attempt in fighting to take back words that have been stolen from Christians, and said addressing tolerance will be a priority in the coming weeks.
"We're fighting hard to protect our society but I'd rather be preaching the Gospel than handling many of the others issues," he explained. "But, if I need to I will. I'm not going to back down from reclaiming what the Gospel says to me – it calls us to be 'gay.'"