And We Wonder Why We’re Hated

September 5, 2008 by

Kissed A GirlHavens Corners Church in Blacklick, Ohio (just outside of Columbus) is getting a little flack for their sign out front. Borrowing from Katy Perry’s hit song “I Kissed A Girl,” the sign reads:




“Last time I checked, there were more references in the Bible on how to love your neighbor than on how not to love them.”

Dave Allison, pastor of Havens Corners, thinks the sign is a “loving warning to teens.” He told The Columbus Dispatch that “The Scriptures tell us that you should not do what the song tells you to do. The Scriptures are not ambiguous on this issue.”

It appears that Dave is forgetting that the Scriptures are also not ambiguous on how you’re supposed to treat people. Last time I checked, there were more references in the Bible on how to love your neighbor than on how not to love them.

The book on church visitors: Unwelcome: 50 Ways Churches Drive Away First-Time VisitorsMore:

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Brad Abare

Brad Abare is the founder of the Center for Church Communication. He consults with companies and organizations, helping them figure out why in the world they exist, why anyone should care and what to do about it.
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29 Responses to “And We Wonder Why We’re Hated”

  • Matt Holley
    September 5, 2008

    I couldn’t agree more. These signs are getting a lot of churches in trouble simply because people don’t think long enough before they put something on there. I believe there’s a book of bad church signs… this should be included in volume 2.

  • TJ
    September 5, 2008

    Does this church marketing suck? Check out more sucky church marketing.

  • Matt
    September 5, 2008

    Shoot. I’m gonna have to explain to my wife that we won’t be able to kiss anymore. Drat.

  • Colt Melrose
    September 5, 2008

    I understand the idea behind the message, though I don’t agree that is the best way or even a good way to share such a hot-bed message. The church’s website talks about growing the church and reaching the community and that is done through love and building relationships. Once those relationships are built then you can help people realize the sin they are living in. I am 100% for standing with scripture against homosexuality, though I doubt that anyone living in that sin will ever listen to anyone from that church. That’s sad.

  • Jeremy Scheller
    September 5, 2008

    In Exodus 20, we’re told not to take the name of the Lord in vain. In the Hebrew, it essentially means we shouldn’t carry the name of the Lord if we aren’t going to walk his way. God says he will not hold those who take his name in vain guiltless.
    Essentially, if you’re a Christian, you damn well better act like it.
    I’m not sure God really instructs us to publicly proclaim the sins of others. So I’m not sure this sign is really a good idea.
    The rest of us end up carrying the baggage of being called a Christian in the negative context because of this kind of shaming crap.
    I say this in love, knowing that God wants believers to be refiners for each other.

  • Justin Rio
    September 5, 2008

    Colt, as per my usual I can’t find which verse it is, but in regards to your statement: “I’m not sure God really instructs us to publicly proclaim the sins of others.”
    This isn’t the only verse one can bring to bear on this topic, but there is the verse about when someone has sinned against you to go to them privately. Then if they don’t acknowledge it you go again with an authority. And if that still doesn’t work you bring it before the entire assembly. Coarse, this is about other believers though.

  • danielle
    September 5, 2008

    this is horrible. that’s all i can say.

  • Frank Koob
    September 5, 2008

    We sometimes do think that we are so dominant that we bring out hate in people. Rather, I see many just ignoring us, not thinking about us or our messages, not even going through the human act of judging us to be irrelevant. And if they notice us and our signs of presumed dominance they consider us to be a fleeting curiosity out of the past and then move on.

  • Eric
    September 5, 2008

    I live in the Columbus area, and we saw this in the hometown newspaper yesterday… couldn’t believe it! No wonder people are wary of Christians… stuff like this is both tactless and tacky.

  • Mark
    September 5, 2008

    I have an idea for Haven’s Corner Church. Why not just put up a sign that says “If your gay we hate you and you aren’t welcome here.” It would serve the same purpose.

  • Richie
    September 6, 2008

    There’s a fine line here. Yes, that song promotes a lifestyle of sin. Culture promotes that song and that lifestyle. We need to speak out against sin; lesbians, liars and cheats alike. If that sign was abrasive about your shoes or your mom’s weight that might be one thing. But we’re talking about sin and eternity (I hope that’s what we’re talking about).
    I agree that the sign is rough. But you know what, that church is taking a stand. A stand against the sin that is celebrated in that popular song. You all know that the intent of that sign is just this.. discussion and investigation. PR.
    I would hope that their service that followed the display of that sign was filled with a loving spirit of truth. I hope that the miracle of Jesus was preached.

  • Steve
    September 6, 2008

    I have no problem with the sign as long as the display is updated in a few weeks with “I KISSED A GIRL” replaced by “I DIVORCED MY WIFE AND REMARRIED ANOTHER WOMAN”.
    Only, if the church really believes it needs to take a stand on unambiguous issues

  • Tim Swanson
    September 6, 2008

    So… was there some sort of sermon series behind this sign or are these guys just good friend with the whole movement? The message of that song is clearly not biblical, but we should also remember that when she did the song it was only after she spend years getting utterly rejected by professionals in the Christian music industry. That’s a real shame.

  • Heath
    September 6, 2008

    This could be a mission church of Westboro Baptist…that would make sense. It hurts my heart to think there are more people out there who are just as crazy as the Westboro nut jobs.

  • TL
    September 7, 2008

    I ate shrimp and I liked it and then I went to hell.
    I wore clothing with blended fibers and I liked it and then I went to hell.
    I touched pigskin and I liked it and then I went to hell.

  • dewde
    September 7, 2008

    BIBLE DARTS! WHOO HOO! My favorite. Can I throw some?
    Galatians 6:1
    Brothers, if anyone is caught in any
    transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of

    1 Peter 3:13-17
    Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

  • DaRonn Washington
    September 8, 2008

    Interesting. The first thing that comes to my mind is how is that going to motivate people to come into the church. I think it shows one of the most common problems in the church today. We define ourselves by what we do not do istead of what we do do.

  • Ryan
    September 8, 2008

    This is the very reason why church marquee signs should be outlawed :-)

  • Nathan
    September 8, 2008

    Grossly sadistic. It’s frightening that so many Christians out there seem to really enjoy the thought of sending other people to Hell.
    Go to a heavy metal concert and you’ll quickly find out just how many people out there are a lot more comfortable with the idea of going to Hell than going to church. Heart-breaking, to say the least, but sentiments like this leave little question as to why.

  • Rosemary
    September 8, 2008

    I’m with TL.
    I personally come down on the side of thinking that homosexuality is not sinful.
    But for those who believe it is: is the point to shun gays and lesbians or to reach into their heart and change them? Signs like this only serve to shun people. And basic marketing concepts should tell us that if you want to attract a new client, you DON’T start off the relationship by calling them a worthless evil schmuck.

  • Mary Sue
    September 8, 2008

    As someone who is a gay Christian, I totally think the song is un-Christian because it promotes promiscuity.
    The lyrics are:
    I kissed a girl, and I liked it,
    No, my boyfriend doesn’t mind it

    Any Christian, in my opinion, should either be faithful in celibacy or faithful in partnership. But, hey, that’s my opinion.
    Speaking as a gay Christian, though, the sign is tactless and would turn me away from their doors in a heartbeat.

  • Dawn Nicole Baldwin
    September 8, 2008

    I think Matt’s comment is the funniest one so far. Never said the “voice” of the sign wasn’t male.
    [sigh] Still sad nonetheless.

  • Chris Stroud
    September 8, 2008

    If the Bible still teaches that homosexuality is sin and sin unrepented of still ends one in hell then I guess the sign is simply preaching truth… not poular… not politically correct, but Kingdom correct. Sure they could have chosen adultery, murder, stealing but they seem to have chosen to leave those subjects to those of you that are to afraid of taking on such an ever increasingly popular trend among the youth in America. You guys stick to the stuff that will keep you safe. These guys are hitting the stuff that others simply fear to take a stand against. And If what they have said in their sign shows hate, then the Word of God is very or even extremely hateful.

  • Greg Atkinson
    September 8, 2008

    This is the kind of CRAP that we, as loving, grace-filled Church leaders and Christians, have to try to counter and defend. This is no way to start a conversation. We should be trying to start conversations, build relationship and love one another – not debate. Thanks for bringing this to light, Brad.

  • Richard Gaspard
    September 9, 2008

    I kissed three girls this morning, my wife and two daughters, and I liked it.

  • josh roberts
    September 16, 2008

    I like what Mark Batterson said in his book – In a pit with a lion..
    He says “I think the church (in general) has fixated on sins of commision for far too long. we have a long list of don’ts. We think of it as holiness by subtraction. We think holiness is the byproduct of subtracting something from our lives that shouldnt be there. I think God is more concerned about sins of omission (those things we should have done) rather than sins of comission.(regrets of something you have done).

  • Ruben
    October 7, 2008

    Why stop with just one church sign? How about another that says ‘I ate too much at Waffle House. Then I went to Hell.” Or ‘I lusted over the Victoria’s Secret commercial…I cheated on my taxes…I divorced & remarried without Biblical grounds…the list could go on and on.
    God’s concept of abomination is different than ours. The same God who calls homosexuality an abomination says the same of eating pork & shellfish. Its a shame when we mistreat those struggling with sexual sin, but tolerate gluttony and other sins.
    Since we’re discussing this as a marketing issue, marketing affects the public’s perception of the organization/company in question. My perception of that church is quite negative as a result.

  • susan
    November 20, 2009

    The movie cho-co-late comes to mind. this movie described what legalism is and what it can do to people/families.

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