The Kentucky Baptist Convention is promoting “Second Amendment Celebrations” in which churches give away guns to draw in “unchurched men."
Chuck McAlister, an ex-pastor and former Outdoor Channel hunting show host, is head of the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s evangelism team. He claims 1,678 men made “professions of faith” at about 50 “Second Amendment Celebrations” last year (video below).
“The day of hanging a banner in front of your church and saying you’re having a revival and expecting the community to show up is over,” McAlister told Courier-Journal.com. “You have to know the hook that will attract people, and hunting is huge in Kentucky … So we get in there and burp and scratch and talk about the right to bear arms and that stuff.”
“How ironic to use guns to lure men in to hear a message about Jesus, who said, ‘Put away the sword,'" Highland Baptist Church pastor Rev. Joe Phelps told Courier-Journal.com, however.
“Can you picture Jesus giving away guns, or toasters or raffle tickets?” added Phelps. “He gave away bread once, but that was as a sign, not a sales pitch.”
McAlister defends giving away the guns.
“You have to know the hook that attracts individuals,” McAlister countered. “The number of unchurched that will show up at an event will be in direct proportion to the number of guns you give away. And I can almost tell you the number of men that will show up based on the make and model of the gun.”
Paul Chitwood, the Kentucky Baptist Convention's executive director, also supports the weapons giveaway.
"It's been very effective," Chitwood told USA Today.
The Lone Oak Baptist Church in Paducah is planning to hand out 25 handguns and shotguns this week and expects 1000 men to show up.