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really???

March 8, 2010

this is not a gay or straight sided post. this is not a post about life styles. i do not affiliate myself with sides. i side with a Person. HE is my checks and balance.

this is a post about how, in my opinion, the church is failing terribly.

is this sign really about what the bible says about sin? doesnt this immediately discount those who struggle with a certain lifestyle, who might be trying so desperately to find a new path and healing?

what if a struggling person, struggling with anything, who is looking for answers – searching for God, walked passed this marquee? but what if this marquee simply had the service times and another cheesy church quote like “the leaves of autumn may fall away but God never will”? what if, then, that passerby walked into the doors of the church and began a journey to a whole new life? sadly, this church still may not be able to lead them on that path.

this sign tells me this church wouldnt welcome me in. im a baby killer. surely i wont make it to heaven either.

i tell you this…this marquee instantly says some people welcome” only the ones who are perfect. have never made a mistake or sinned against God.

theres nothing about that that says come one, come all. we are all unworthy of His presence. we are all filthy. we are all a mess. we are all foul. even the best of us. bible says to love your neighbor. who is our neighbor? only perfect people? no…every person.

ya know…sometimes the truth hurts. but often times the truth hurts cause we’ve failed in the delivery.

this equals huge fail to me. and it breaks my heart and pisses me off.

and i just had to get that out.

thoughts?

updated to add

found this site where the pastor speaks about this sign.

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91 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2010 4:57 pm

    o_O *blank stare @ the sign*

    • March 8, 2010 5:09 pm

      yah. i had to sit on this post for a day so i wouldnt respond ugly.

  2. March 8, 2010 5:05 pm

    Whoa. Yeah this is terrible. I put these kinds of signs in the same category as those crazy ‘christian’ bumper stickers…I have a hard time handling the people who ruin my 3 minutes at a stop light because I’m reading the note “Try Jesus. If you don’t like him, I’m sure Satan will take you back!” But what is worse is how that church sign will take less then 30 seconds for ME a follower of Christ to re-think ever walking into a church again…

    • March 8, 2010 5:08 pm

      definitely. what about a struggling believer too? there is just so much about this sign that is wrong. it really gets my BP rising.

      • March 8, 2010 5:12 pm

        I know thats my point. What can this possibly achieve!!! what about the non-believer? the struggling believer? the non-church goer? its not good for anyone. only causes MORE DIVISION among God’s people.

  3. March 8, 2010 5:05 pm

    makes me want to curse.

  4. March 8, 2010 5:07 pm

    I kissed several girls and I liked it.

  5. March 8, 2010 5:07 pm

    That nauseates me.

    • March 8, 2010 5:33 pm

      mmmhmmm. just makes me so sad, and burdens my heart, for the people this sign will turn away.

  6. March 8, 2010 5:12 pm

    seriously? ew.

  7. Lindsey Nobles permalink
    March 8, 2010 5:27 pm

    Thanks for handling this with grace, it’s a hard thing to do! I actually would love to hear someone from the church explain why they went with that marque. Because I’m dumbfounded.

    • March 8, 2010 5:32 pm

      grace? hmmm. my heart didnt feel graceful writing it. it still doesnt.

      and yah…id love to know the thought process behind the sign too. dont know if it would help, really.

      • March 8, 2010 7:45 pm

        Confession: I’m stuck on that song now. I bet that is now what they were going for?

        • Heidi permalink
          March 8, 2010 7:54 pm

          I just heard it on the way to 711 for slurpees!

          • March 8, 2010 8:39 pm

            you and your slurpees πŸ™‚

            • Heidi permalink
              March 8, 2010 9:20 pm

              I only have slurpees when I have a migraine dear….

              Coffee is another story πŸ˜€

        • March 8, 2010 8:38 pm

          seriously tho… this song has the best sound to it!

    • March 8, 2010 8:39 pm

      found this site that quoted the pastor in response to this sign

      http://www.feministing.com/archives/010903.html

      • March 8, 2010 8:53 pm

        a “loving” reminder… right.

        and i can’t NOT get all chuckles over the town name. “blacklick, ohio”?! i wonder if they have a bunghole liquors.

        • March 8, 2010 8:54 pm

          hahahaha!!! woman, i was having the same reaction to the town.

          and, did you all get a pic of bunghole liquors???

          • March 8, 2010 8:57 pm

            you know it! (want it?)

            • March 8, 2010 9:00 pm

              pshyah!

              • March 8, 2010 9:18 pm

                And here I was, thinking I was the only one who needed to do some serious repenting for my twisted mind.

                I’m glad I’ll have some friends to sit with at lunch πŸ˜‰

    • Kathy permalink
      March 9, 2010 10:55 am

      The church went with this sign because they do not understand love the sinner, hate the sin. This sign says that Jesus apparently only died for some sins, but my bible tells me Christ died for ALL sins – why? Because he loves the world, not just a select few that don’t get involved with certain sins.

      I agree this sign will cause many to disregard Christ and his work on the cross. The church is losing ground because we choose to hate the people and their sin. We HAVE to get it right – Love the sinner, hate the sin. We need to spread the gospel, not guilt and blame. I’m sure Satan loves it when we take over his job.

      This sign saddens God I do believe……

      • March 10, 2010 9:29 am

        Christ died ONCE…for ALL. youre right.

        He did what He came to do. now we have to respond. this sign…does little to nothing in helping others WANT to respond.

        sad, indeed.

  8. March 8, 2010 5:43 pm

    The only people who go to hell are those who are unrepentant and unreconciled to God. That includes straight, gay, whatever.

    This sign will not help anyone find either of those.

  9. March 8, 2010 5:56 pm

    Sin is sin. We’ve all done it and, dang it, we’ve ALL liked it – or else we wouldn’t have done it to begin with. If we act like we haven’t sinned, we’ve lost our minds.

    Let’s change the lyrics:

    I ate too much and I liked it…
    I drove too fast and I liked it…
    I stole a purse and I liked it…
    I lied to him and I liked it…
    I knocked her up and I liked it…

    Not quite as catchy, but I don’t see much of a difference. I’m with Jen. We all have weaknesses towards different sins – but what matters is whether or not we take those sins straight to the foot of the cross and hand them over.

    • March 8, 2010 8:40 pm

      you should be a preacher.

      LOVE this reply!

  10. March 8, 2010 5:58 pm

    By the way, THIS is one of the most powerful thing you’ve ever written:
    *often times the truth hurts cause we’ve failed in the delivery*

  11. March 8, 2010 6:05 pm

    Personally, I think it’s more sinful that they’re using a marquee sign and trying to be clever with the saying, than what is actually contained in the saying itself. I kid, I kid.

    But seriously. Why do churches think that they’ll make ANY difference in the lives of passersby with the cheesy horrible sayings. Do those signs come with a book of “The Worst Possible Sayings We Could Think of for Your Small-minded Church Sign Displaying Pleasure?”

    I’m half joking…but honestly feel that ANY church that thinks they’re making a difference in the lives of people going by with these ridiculously dumb signs is only fooling themselves.

    Making a difference requires making a connection. And you can’t connect with people through a sign. But you can judge them pretty good.

    • March 8, 2010 8:22 pm

      “Making a difference requires making a connection”

      yup. i agree with that.

      i found a site that quoted the pastor as saying he was trying to reach the youth with this.

      sigh.

      try again.

  12. March 8, 2010 6:05 pm

    Hey Tam,

    Haven’t been here FOREVER! Thought I’d pop over and I’m SO glad I did! What a powerful post about how we, as a church, are failing to love like Jesus. Ouch!

    Always a pleasure to peruse your site Tam! God always speaks powerfully through you!

    • March 8, 2010 8:24 pm

      hi heather! so good to see you…how are you doing??

  13. March 8, 2010 6:15 pm

    FAIL.

    Unfortunately there are too many of these. It hurts my heart.

    • March 8, 2010 8:24 pm

      there are. ive seen several in my town too. not to this extent, but still questionable.

  14. March 8, 2010 6:36 pm

    Did anyone else notice their tag line??

    “Finding and feeding His sheep”.

    They’re doing it Wrong.

    • March 8, 2010 7:05 pm

      Well if sheep are those who are already Christians then they’re doing it right. Seeking out the lost sheep is another question.

    • March 8, 2010 8:25 pm

      i agree. if they meant to send a message about the song…they couldve done that at youth group. this was just all wrong.

    • March 8, 2010 9:23 pm

      i was about to post that, as well.
      i’m really just baffled…

      i literally don’t even have words with which to rant…

      • March 8, 2010 9:39 pm

        unfortunately…i did have the words.

        oh dang me.

        πŸ˜‰

  15. March 8, 2010 6:55 pm

    Here’s what gets me. The folks that put that sign up are not ignorant, or unintelligent. It was placed to create a reaction. One that they are receiving.

    It’s the arrogance of being willing to minimize another person, or group of people, to achieve some twisted sense of feeling good about ourselves. Clever, superior, whatever.

    Isn’t that what Jesus would do? or maybe not.

    • March 8, 2010 8:27 pm

      it seems the pastor was trying to send a message to the youth about the song and implications of the video.

      still baffling.

  16. March 8, 2010 7:00 pm

    I have not even read your post, just saw the sign. Initial reaction: a gasp so loud I’m sure my neighbors heard it, and my eyes fell somewhere on my desk. 😯

    Absolutely ridiculous, embarrassing, and so not what Christianity is about.

    Now I’ll read your post.

  17. March 8, 2010 7:03 pm

    The idiocy, no, the immaturity of some Christian leaders. And I’m using the phrase Christian leaders very loosely. They’ve obviously never read the Bible. Because if they had they’d see that Jesus associated with, and in that culture because He ate with them, was friends with a whore, an adulterous woman, tax collectors. Jesus never condemned any of these but rather brought them close, taught them how to live a holy life, and forgave their sins.

    Like Mandy said, sin is sin. That includes the self-righteousness of the people who put that sign up. Those who are in homosexual relationships deserve God’s grace & forgiveness just as much as they do.

    • March 8, 2010 8:30 pm

      right on. we are to reach out lovingly to people. this just offends. bad tactic all around.

      ive never once been inspired by someone telling me first all my wrongs.

      God loved me to repentance. period.

  18. March 8, 2010 7:10 pm

    Okay, read the post and comments.

    I am picturing a church like in the movie Pollyanna…. the reverend or pastor or preacher or what have you slamming his fist down and screaming at the congregation about how they are all going to hell. Or like in Footloose… those are the churches I am picturing when I see that sign. They use fear tactics to get people to God, forgetting about grace and mercy and love. Love God because if you don’t you’ll fry, instead of Love God because He loves you, because He died for you, because He gives you grace and mercy and hope everyday. Their goal with this sign is to frighten anyone who has “kissed a girl and liked it” and hope that they will come running into the arms of Jesus after just being cursed into hell. Really? There is no hope in that sign. If a church can’t display hope on a sign, why would they be expected to extend hope in their building, in the relationships they offer? These are the psychos that steal babies from unwed mothers, bomb abortion clinics, and send of their pregnant daughters to convents.

    There. I’m done now. 😯

    • March 8, 2010 7:43 pm

      There is a church locally that is exactly like the church you just described. Arrogant.

      • March 8, 2010 10:09 pm

        I’d say they are an equal mix of arrogance and ignorance. 😐

    • March 8, 2010 8:32 pm

      “If a church can’t display hope on a sign, why would they be expected to extend hope in their building”

      my thoughts exactly!!!

  19. March 8, 2010 7:30 pm

    My word for the year is gracious… and I have never been more tested by that word than I am right now by this sign. Not just the words, but the heart [or lack thereof] it represents. I don’t think I can respond right now because my words would not reflect my goal for the year. It just makes my brain spin.

    • March 8, 2010 8:33 pm

      mmmm, glad i didnt pick that word this year. although lindsey said i was gracious in my response, my thoughts seem to fail there. sigh.

      it really does break my heart.

      • March 8, 2010 10:55 pm

        it’s just that there are so many levels to speak to on this… on the souls we are turning away by saying this is how all Christians think… on the sheer hypocrisy when I know priests who are homosexuals in private and condemning in public… on the person who doesn’t have an issue with sexual orientation, but maybe has been abused or has another deep seeded issue to seek help for, and seeing this sign causes them to feel more isolated than loved… on those who will read this sign and think it’s the right way to go about their faith, the ones who will turn and judge others rather than extend the grace we all so desire… this sign failed the righteous and the sinner. it failed the young minds who will turn away from faith and the young minds who will learn to use faith as a weapon.

        i know, to some it seems like ‘just a sign.’ but to real people, it will be a final blow.

        • March 8, 2010 11:10 pm

          i love how you put your thoughts here. i couldnt have said this more perfect than how you just did. cant add one thing. just…right on!

          seriously…you are so right, gitz.

  20. Heidi permalink
    March 8, 2010 7:42 pm

    grrrrrrr………..

    Stupid. stupid… stupid…
    I wish I had a rock.

    I would set it on the pastor’s desk with a sticky note. Please don’t post anything until you are smarter than this.

    Or throw it….(just depends on my hormones)

    • March 8, 2010 8:34 pm

      and this is the thing…these are the same people be extending grace to. after we throw the rock πŸ˜‰ i kid!

      but, it doesnt mean its easy. cuz these are the people who are supposed to “know better”.

      • Heidi permalink
        March 8, 2010 9:18 pm

        Seriously: they are the people who represent us…

        That makes me sick to my stomach, that a man that sheperds this church didn’t even research this song. He did more damage with his words, not to the hundred that sit in the pews, but the thousands of us trying to reach the lost and broken, teen, gay, the black, the orange, the pink. God wants them all Mr. pastor.

        Thanks for confirming to my 16 yr old son who is on the fence that “we all” our hyprocrits… I loathe your sign tonight!

        • Heidi permalink
          March 8, 2010 9:21 pm

          I’m talking to the pastor. BTW>

          • March 8, 2010 9:38 pm

            to pastor david m. allison?

            • Heidi permalink
              March 8, 2010 9:52 pm

              That would Be him. After I cool down a bit. I am going to send David a nice little email. I want him to know personally how hard it was to explain this sign to my 16 year old tonight…

  21. March 8, 2010 7:49 pm

    wow, very powerful and thought provoking post. Reminds me of the pharisees who looked down their noses at Jesus as they tried to trick him with their questions. Even though these people are bone heads, we need to pray that they get over themselves and find their way back to the Christ that died on the cross for us. Keep the faith sister, and by the way, you aren’t a baby killer, you are a sinner, just like the rest of us. Sin is sin, there is no weight or value to sin, Lie, Murder, adultery, all sin, and equal at that. God Bless

    • March 8, 2010 8:35 pm

      thank you, blessedDad!

      i love that God SO LOVED the world….the WORLD!

      ahhh….we get it so wrong sometimes.

  22. March 8, 2010 8:00 pm

    I’m pretty much speechless. And if you knew me, you’d know that like never happens. What were they thinking? Seriously, I just don’t get it.

    • March 8, 2010 8:36 pm

      found an article that quoted the pastor as saying he was trying to send a message, warning, to the youth.

      oy.

      • elainamarieavalos permalink
        March 9, 2010 4:38 pm

        Just read what he had to say. He definitely did not help himself with that explanation. I love how he says something about it becoming something bigger (or whatever the exact word was) then they attended. Yeah sucks how we are held accountable for what we say, ain’t it?

        On the Fail blog, they featured this church sign today: http://failblog.org/2010/03/09/epic-fail-photos-church-sign-fail-3/ Different from the one above but kind of leaves me with the same feeling. Blech.

        • March 10, 2010 9:31 am

          OH. MY. WORD.!!!!

          “a free thinker is satans slave”

          wow.

  23. Stacey permalink
    March 8, 2010 8:06 pm

    Maybe someone wrote this already..maybe not…

    I TOTALLY agree..this gives WRONG message(s) to ANYONE…so does the song…so do a lot of things…

    Mr. pastor sir? Did you approve this sign? Make it up perhaps? Did you even know it was going up and your name would be underneath it? Did you care?

    I kissed a girl several times today, and I am blessed to have..my 11 yr. old daughter is a gift from God, and YES, I know that isn’t what the SONG means, but the sign COULD mean that to someone, that it is a wrong thing…perhaps an 11 yr. old little girl..that is loving, can read, and hugs and kisses her female friends, her aunts, her Mommy…and all in the name of what it all boils down to with God…LOVE. And maybe this put doubt in her head…

    This is NOT love, this sign. God save this church….

    • March 8, 2010 8:38 pm

      i keep feeling the same emphasis on the word LOVE. love them to repentance. love them to a place of trust. love them first. show them love THEN you can impact them.

  24. March 8, 2010 8:07 pm

    I’m convinced that sometimes the biggest obstacle to Jesus are when we who claim to be His disciples fail to act like Him.

    However, I think to Lindsey’s point above, it would be great if you could contact the church and ask them. I obviously don’t know the situation in which you acquired the image, but what if this wasn’t the church’s real sign? And even if it was, maybe it would give you a chance to graciously convince them to change it.

  25. March 9, 2010 12:46 am

    No time to read all of the comments, so pardon me if this has already been said. I think that marquee is just fine. If I’m struggling with the things you mention in the post, that marquee tells me not to go there. I would much rather know that up front than have to go through the humiliation of being told that through body language and face-to-face rudeness.
    Let them be idiots…..Their judgement day will come too.

    • March 9, 2010 10:06 am

      ha! very good point…. in other words the sign says “STEER CLEAR OF US!” πŸ˜†

    • March 10, 2010 9:33 am

      i kinda see where youre coming from. but you and i ‘get’ that. i dont think most people would. thats the problem i have. its, to me, still very abrasive and unloving. definitely not welcoming…and i dont mean just inside the church (bldg)

  26. March 9, 2010 2:22 am

    Gets me angry too. Because they’re my brothers and sisters and they are being an ambassador for Christ….except in my mind they are misrepresenting Him.

    I have a number of gay Christian friends, and all of them have ended up leaving church because of the judgment that has been shown like they have a ‘disease’ or something.

    • March 10, 2010 9:33 am

      “they are misrepresenting Him.”

      thats another problem with this sign. very agitating.

  27. March 9, 2010 4:04 am

    All I’ll say is if I go to hell for kissing a girl I’d have a huge problem with that….. πŸ˜†

    Seriously, I hear u Tam.

    “theres nothing about that that says come one, come all. we are all unworthy of His presence. we are all filthy. we are all a mess. we are all foul. even the best of us. bible says to love your neighbor. who is our neighbor? only perfect people? no…every person.”

    So true. I’m a recovering porn addict and had emotional affairs. I guess I won’t get in either. 😦

    “ya know…sometimes the truth hurts. but often times the truth hurts cause we’ve failed in the delivery.”

    So true. May the Lord help us all.

    this equals huge fail to me. and it breaks my heart and pisses me off.

    • March 9, 2010 4:45 am

      I forgot to add… it pisses me off too….

    • March 10, 2010 9:34 am

      “So true. I’m a recovering porn addict and had emotional affairs. I guess I won’t get in either”

      yah…thats why i mentioned me being a ‘baby killer’. same idea.

      such a terrible approach.

  28. TheNorEaster permalink
    March 10, 2010 7:01 am

    My word for the year is “quit”.

    And that sign is a pretty good example as to why.

  29. March 10, 2010 7:43 am

    I’m reading “When The Enemy Strikes” and the chapter I read last night made me think of this post over and over again. That sign has “enemy” written all over it!

  30. renee permalink
    March 17, 2010 3:51 pm

    as a gay woman, this Certainly brings back some of my childhood struggles with the church.
    i feel so sorry for the gay/confused kids that have to pass this sign every day.
    shame them. push them in to the closet. tell them they are crap & they are going to burn in hell. is this what God teaches? not in my Bible. i must be reading different scripture than this ‘pastor’.
    it certainly makes me even More thankful that my heart was opened to try church again & so thankful for my church. but….it still stings.
    to think/know that some churches are a breeding ground for homophobia is nauseating.
    Proverbs 16:2 All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD

    • March 17, 2010 3:56 pm

      it is very disheartening, i agree. so sad is brings back memories of struggles for you though.

      this is why we cant put so much of our faith and direction in man. we are fallible and do stupid things. it has to come from God first and then He is the filter.

      thank you so much for speaking to this, renee πŸ™‚

      • renee permalink
        March 17, 2010 4:08 pm

        very well put/and felt.

        & no – thank YOU!!!

  31. March 19, 2010 9:16 pm

    This church is around the corner from where I live. I don’t know why they decided to post the message in the manner in which they did. I don’t agree with any reason for their posting it even if they meant a message that was misunderstood.

    But I also don’t agree with the people who came along afterward and spray painted derogatory graffiti on the sign.

    People do stupid stuff. Christian people and non-christian people. How we react to that stupidity says more about us than it does about them.

    I am heartbroken for those who do not know Christ and His fullness. I am also heartbroken for the Christian who struggles with how to live out their walk. Both need Truth and Grace.

    I know I need to be a better proponent of both to everyone… and I don’t find it easy.

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