December 5th, 2008
Rev. Ken Hutcherson, pastor of Antioch Bible Church, is fond of the spotlight. Sadly, that spotlight often reveals a person who is hard of heart and full of bitterness towards his fellow man.
I’m sure there are few who are unaware that this country is currently experiencing difficult times. Many people are finding themselves, due to no fault of their own, to be facing financial difficulties and some are suffering severe hardship. The Seattle Times has an article about how tent cities are springing up due to the foreclosure crisis and the rising unemployment rate.
Thirty-five year old Karissa Vaugh in Seattle is a tent city resident.
“As soon as I lost my job, I kinda of lost my place to live and came here,” Vaughn told CBN News. “This is something that, you know, it could happen to anybody. And the preconceived notions I had maybe before about homeless people are out the window.”
Aaron Beachage once lived in a $1,200 a month apartment. He now lives out of his van parked at the tent city.
“I have been homeless about three months,” he said. “I found myself in this predicament through my job as a truck driver, losing my job.
Although Karissa Vaugh may have had her notions about homeless people challenged, but Hutcherson appears to have held onto his views:
“Our Saviour died to keep us off the cross. I don’t think he’d be satisfied keeping us in tents,” Pastor Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, Wash., said.
“I think the Bible gives it to us straight, if you don’t work, you don’t eat,” he said. “We’re supposed to give hands up, not hand outs to the point of letting people stay the way they are.”
As someone who is fairly conservative and skeptical about many social programs, I’m frankly shocked. Though raised in conservative Christian circles, I find this example of heartlessness to be extreme beyond anything I’ve experienced.
I do support the idea that education and responsibility is preferable to a lifetime of cash disbursements. And I recognize that there are some few who are lazy and will abuse any charity.
But come on!! Times are hard and people are hurting. And there just aren’t many people who are willing to brave Seattle’s winter in a tent if they had other options.
And as for what Our Saviour gave to us straight, we can find that in the 25th Chapter of Matthew:
34″Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37″Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40″The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
41″Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44″They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45″He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46″Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
For the sake of Hutcherson’s soul, I sincerly hope he was misquoted.
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