Pastor Ken Hutcherson (Image Credit: Antioch Bible Church)
Pastor Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, Washington, has come "out of the closet" to share a message: He's "gay" and he wants the whole world to know it.
Now, I know what you're thinking -- Hutcherson, a former NFL linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys, is referencing his views on sexuality. But this isn't the case. Instead, the heterosexual preacher is talking about attitude. Recently, he made some interesting statements about reclaiming the word "gay" from the LGBT community (i.e. their definition of "gay" is "happy").
Rather than serving as a word used to describe sexual preference, Hutcherson hopes that it will return to its roots of being a descriptive for "happy" or "joyous." So he took to his church's web site along with fellow Pastor James Hansen to publish an article that delves into what he's hoping to accomplish.
The introduction to their article reads as though it is coming from someone who is discussing his or her experience "coming out" as gay:
Coming out of the closet is a difficult decision to make, especially when close, personal relationships are at stake. 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 along side someone else who is ready to announce the very same thing. It is a shared declaration. Coming out may be a personal choice, but doing it with someone you love somehow feels so right. It is with this spirit of unity that Pastor Ken Hutcherson and his ministerial partner, James Hansen, would like to shout loud and proud, “We are gay!”
Pastor James Hansen (Image Credit: Antioch Bible Church)
The article goes on to leave the reader questioning what, exactly, this definition of "gayness" really means. "Hold a gaydar up to either of us and it’s likely to read “Fabulous!,” the pastors write. Gay rights activist Dan Savage, too, is discussed, as the faith leaders maintain that he "claims to be gay," but that "he's not."
Instead, they characterize him as an "agitator who happens to be homosexual." Hutcherson and Hansen even extend an invitation to Savage to come to their office so they can show him how to truly be "gay." Christians, the pastors maintain, are the true members of "the gay community." They continue:
...why should disagreement imply hatred? Isn’t it just a difference of opinion in the marketplace of ideas? We remember a time when love meant that we cared so deeply about another person that we would tell them the truth about their destructive lifestyle. After all, a mom didn’t warn her kids about the hot stove out of malice. But try doing that today with children raised on tolerance’s pablum and they’re likely to sue her for reckless maternal insensitivity. Ah, progress.
Maybe some of these changes need to be changed. For instance, we’ve been thinking a lot about changing our culture’s perception of that colorful reminder of God’s love…the rainbow. Recently, I (Ken) put out an article about taking the rainbow back for God. We’ve heard from many of you asking how, in practical ways, this can be done. It’s simple. Find anything with a rainbow on it and display it. Get a rainbow tie and wear it. Get a rainbow sticker and put it on your car. Rainbow umbrellas, rainbow scarves, rainbow wigs, the possibilities are endless. You can even contact us and we’ll send you a rainbow pin. Then, when you’re asked about it, you can let people know that the rainbow is God’s loving promise to never again destroy the entire world by a flood. And when you’re there…the Gospel is waiting to be shared just around the corner.
The "flamboyantly gay pastors" encouraged Christians to let the world see their joy. Rather than remain apathetic, Hutcherson and Hansen are encouraging believers to have active involvement in the world and to "stop hiding." In the end, it seems they're bent on taking back some of the words and symbols that are now used by homosexuals.
While some may support these efforts, others -- particularly those in the LBGT community -- will likely see them as inflammatory and unneeded. Let us know what you think in the comments section, below.