In his quest to make ‘real men’ out of his parishioners Ken Hutcherson, pastor at the Antioch Bible Church in Kirkland, WA was quoted in a recent sermon saying:
“God hates soft men” and “God hates effeminate men.” He went on to say, “If I was in a drugstore and some guy opened the door for me, I’d rip his arm off and beat him with the wet end.”
Is that his answer to the question ‘What would Jesus Do?’
Perhaps king David was delusional when he said:
‘For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.’ – Psalms 139:13-14
Maybe the apostle John was misquoted in his old age when he said:
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” – 1 John 7-8
It seems ‘God is love’ only holds as long as you’re not a soft man. And by soft, could Hutcherson perhaps mean: ‘sensitive, caring, kind and gentle’? Yes, that’s what I picture when I think of a soft man. It also sounds suspiciously like the fruits of the Holy spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22. I guess that makes me worthy to be ‘beaten with the wet end’ of my own arm.
Now, pastor Ken tries to pass this off as a joke. If we believe him, it’s one made in extremely poor taste. Joke or no, I think it points to something deeper – to the doctrine of hate being preached in so many churches across the country.
It is unfortunate that senior leadership among many Christian denominations has allowed themselves to be defined by what they hate. Anti-abortion and anti-gay. Against pre-marital sex and against gay marriage. Somewhere in all the rhetoric, the message of hope, faith and love Jesus Christ came to preach is lost. Along with that, we Christians are losing the ability to influence others for the kingdom of God. We are no longer seen as a refuge from the world, but rather a group of people who will heap on judgement and guilt until the fragile, broken person has been molded into our own version of Christian virtue and purity. We no longer love people as they are, but rather as we believe they should be. Those who don’t conform are quickly tossed aside. Demonized and alone.
In the word’s of Dr Seuss, the Christian church is quickly becoming those who ‘don’t matter’.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr Seuss
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