- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Kentucky Baptist Convention is trying to bring “unchurched men” to Christ through free gun giveaways, its evangelical director said.

As many as 1,000 people are expected to show up at KBC’s “Second Amendment Celebration” at Paducah’s Lone Oak Baptist Church on Thursday, where attendees will be entered into a raffle to win one of 25 guns, The Courier-Journal reported.

The KBC’s Evangelical Director Chuck McAlister said that the events are meant to bring people to Christ.

“We have found that the number of unchurched men who will show up will be in direct proportion to the number of guns you give away,” he told the newspaper. “I can almost tell you the number of men that will show up based on the make and model of the gun.”

“We are advocating guns for hunting and protection only,” he said. 

In an article titled “God, guns and good ol’ boys,” KBC spokesman Roger Alford described Mr. McAlister’s work as an “outreach to rednecks.”

“You have to know the hook that will attract people, and hunting is huge in Kentucky,” he said. “So we get in there and burp and scratch and talk about the right to bear arms and that stuff.”

Rev. Dan Summerlin, at Lone Oak Baptist Church, said there has been some “push back” from people who are opposed to Thursday’s event.

“Any time you try something different there will be bashers,” he told The Courier-Journal.

Rev. Joe Phelps of Louisville’s Highland Baptist Church said the event goes against Christ’s teachings.

“How ironic to use guns to lure men in to hear a message about Jesus, who said, ‘Put away the sword,’” he said.

Nancy Jo Kemper, pastor of New Union Church in Versailles, Ky., and former director of the Kentucky Council of Churches, said: “Churches should not be encouraging people in their communities to arm themselves against their neighbors, but to love their neighbors, as instructed by Jesus.”

“How terrible it would be if one of those guns given away at a church were to cause the death of an innocent victim,” she told the newspaper.

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