And the award for stupid church sign of the year goes to…

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


Dave Allison, minister of Havens Corners, thinks the sign is a “loving warning to teens.” In an interview, 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.”

I would just like to go on record as saying … “ARE YOU NUTS?” The only message you’re going to convey to people of the world, by placing a sign like this in front of your building, is a message of hate and disgust for Christianity. And we wonder why we are hated by the unbelieving world.

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Article by Trey Morgan

I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast. Read 1182 articles by
34 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Wade says:


    And something tells me they aren’t feeling too compassionate towards Bristol Palin’s fiance! That’s too bad, too – I’m sure Jesus would have been all over that.

  2. Mike says:

    Sadly it is things like this that distance people from the body of Christ. Who can connect with people that think this way?

  3. Haley says:

    First of all, that sign is ridiculous; how do people not know signs like that do more to turn people away then to bring them in.
    Second, every time I see or hear those words I get that stupid song stuck in my head; so thanks for that!

  4. Timbra says:

    we had this discussion with some friends recently. . . christians have got to stop trying to “stand against” so many things and just stand up for love people. . . . all you need is love love love is all you need!!! (that’s the song lyric i want to put on our church sign, except we don’t have one. . . but if we did. . . . . !!!) and isn’t that the way Jesus said people would know we were His? I don’t recall Jesus saying “And they will know you are my disciples by your stand against pop culture and vulgarity!” IDIOTS!!! sorry, this is super annoying!

  5. Terry says:

    In his book “In Step with the Spirit,” Rubel Shelly tells the story of an evangelist named T.B. Larimore. The evangelist goes to a town about 100 years ago and holds a revival for the small church in the community. At the end, a man comes forward, commits his life to Christ, and is baptized. Someone asks him, “Why did you become a Christian tonight? You have been heard several preachers over the years but have never responded in any way before. What happened tonight?” The man responded, “I have heard many sermons from many preachers who told me that I was going to hell. T.B. Larimore came here and told me the same thing, but I could tell that it broke his heart to have to tell me so.”

    I want to be able to teach the difficult parts of the message of Christ with both courage and compassion, like T.B. Larimore did.

    Thanks for a post to remind us to be compassionate.

  6. Francesca says:

    Amen to that Trey!

  7. Fillmycup says:


  8. Helen Keller says:

    Amen Brother!
    oh by the way… you were late… loser!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I hate stupid Church signs. It is so sad. I think if I see a stupid church sign again I am going to stop right where I am at and take it down.

  10. Mike says:


    You nailed it that is just the attitude we need.

  11. Terry says:

    Thanks, Mike. I appreciate your kind words.

  12. TREY MORGAN says:

    I’m glad we’re all catching on about the importance of how we present the message.

    Right or wrong, wherever you stand on ANY subject, present it with love and kindness.

  13. Amanda KP says:

    wow!! who’s gonna cast the first stone???? you’re right about how christians get such a bad name when things like that are out there!!! i’ll be praying for dave allison–and his church!!!

  14. Brie says:

    The sign makes me think of Preacher Bob. I have no idea what the guy’s real name is, I just decided to call him Bob. All I know is that, for most of the years I was at the University of Oklahoma, he would show up at the beginning of each semester. He stood on a chair by one of the main buildings and screamed at the top of his lungs about how we are all going to hell. He stuck around for a few days each time, then would disappear until the start of next semester. I heard him scream that sororities were…erm….houses for ladies of negotiable affection. I’ve heard him scream about hellfire and damnation. I’ve never once heard him speak about love, grace, compassion, or forgiveness. Yep, sin is real, but that other stuff is real, too. It just kills me that he probably thinks he is doing great and courageous things for Jesus, but he is doing so much more harm than good. The student body at OU is very diverse, and could probably be a good place to introduce people to the idea of Jesus- but why on earth would they want to learn anything more from someone whose sole purpose seems to be telling them (at the top of his lungs) how evil they are?

    Sorry, pet peeve.

    So far the most impact I’ve seen the guy have is in producing a rebuttal speaker. Some random guy grabbed a chair, a towel, and a copy of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. He climed up on a chair and for half an hour or so yelled things like “The meaning of life is 42! Always carry your towel!”

    At least we could laugh at him. Preacher Bob? Not so funny.

  15. AncientWanderer says:

    So you think they represent Christians?

    How would “Jesus” handle that song?
    Just wondering how all you “Jesus People” who speak for “Jesus” would handle it?

    I happen to agree that the scriptures are not ambiguous on the matter. So since we all agree with him, what’s the problem?

    Not just “I wouldn’t do it that way.” Which is very very hypocritical coming from most who think we should take a “positive” approach and NOT just be “negative”. There were nothing but “negative” approaches to this group and the sign.

    OK all you positive Pete(s) and Paula(s)…. what’s the positive way to deal with Reverend Allison AND the blatant condoning of homosexuality in our society?

    Hey kettle it’s the phone… the pot is calling 😉

  16. TREY MORGAN says:

    AW – Glad you survived the hurricane.

    Sorry, I have a serious problem with this approach. I’ll never get anyone to listen to me or take me seriously with this approach.

    I think the verse that comes to mind is “Go into all the world and preach the good news…” Not purchase a church sign and tell people their going to hell.

    But, then again, that’s just me, the pot calling the kettle black.

  17. Royce Ogle says:

    The sign is foolish. I kissed girls, liked it very much, and am going to heaven.

    The sign could have said,

    Christ alone keeps folks out of hell.


  18. Cecelia Tanner says:

    Hello Trey.I’m not one to judge and think I’m better than others, a hard lesson I’ve learned in the past two years.But with the risk of being the Black Sheep here,I like that sign.
    I’m so sick and tired of hearing about Homosexuality and how it’s alright.It’s NOT.God loves us,that’s why He sent Jesus to die for us.But he DOES NOT love the Sin.
    Reading in the Old Testament,He abolished Sodom and Gomorrah for this very thing.Sexual immorality.
    The sign only speaks the truth and unfortunately,the truth hurts.

  19. Cecelia Tanner says:

    I forgot to reference in my last post.I don’t know if anyone realizes what that sign represents, but there’s a song out there by Katy Perry (the daughter of two pastors),with the title “I kissed a girl” and in the lyrics she sings about doing so and liking it.You can listen to the nasty thing on YouTube.

  20. Paula Harrington says:

    Ok, I laughed out loud and thought it was funny. Am I wrong?

    The sign may be “in your face” and not very popular but neither was Jesus at the time.


  21. nb says:

    Sure this sign deals with homosexuality, but it could have said.. I drank a beer, then went to hell…I had an affair, then went to hell…I gossiped about my neighbor, then went to hell…I (insert your own sin here) and went to hell.

    If you tell people they are going to hell, how do you expect them to come through the doors of your church? Why would they want to, if you have already decided their fate? There is no offer of hope in that sign, so what’s the point?

    FYI: Most unbelievers think that God hates them anyway. This sign just reinforces that thought.

  22. Stoogelover says:

    Having been a preacher for many years of my life and having read the books of too many and hearing their TV sermons, I’m convinced one of the great barriers to Christ just so happens to be preachers like this guy! Thankfully there are many, many preachers like yourself. God’s blessings to you, my friend.

  23. Joshua Tucker says:

    The question isn’t whether homosexuality is a sin, or whether sin sends people to Hell. It does. It’s all about the presentation.

    It was for love that God sent His only Son not to condemn the world, but to save it. Do we have the same love when we speak about Him? If we don’t, we shouldn’t bother opening our mouths.

    This message conveys more than it says. What it reads to people is, “You’re going to Hell and I’m happy about it”. It’s just tacky. It’s not sharing the horrific truth of sin to share the amazing grace of Christ. It’s condemning alone.

    Signs like this are what put up walls when I talk to non-Christians about Jesus. As some commented earlier a lot of people HEAR Jesus loves them, but what they get from the Church is that He does so grudgingly, if at all.

    People just need an excuse to further bolster their belief that the Church is more about arrogance than the Gospel. This sign succeeds in helping that along. But it’s not just this sign. It’s us.

  24. e3 says:

    In line with this, a church down the street has a plastic sign out front for somthing called ‘Judgement House’. Don’t know what it is, but not really sure I want to know either. Can’t see it ‘attracting outsiders in’.

  25. Anonymous says:

    This sign is in front of a denomination, not the Lord’s church.

    Christian’s are in the Lord’s church, not denominations.

  26. TREY MORGAN says:

    Anonymous … I believe you missed the whole point here.

  27. Anonymous says:

    “I would just like to go on record as saying … “ARE YOU NUTS?” The only message you’re going to convey to people of the world, by placing a sign like this in front of your building, is a message of hate and disgust for Christianity. And we wonder why we are hated by the unbelieving world.”

    You’re words are above.

    You equate actions by a denominational “preacher” as being an action of a Christian. He is not.

    We should be more focused on a preaching the truth in love and setting ourselves apart from the actions of the world. This is how people understand what true Christians are about.

  28. roadtripray says:

    Wow Trey, you really stirred ’em up this time! Personally I think stirring things up is a good thing, whether in a black pot OR a black kettle. (sorry, couldn’t resist)

    I spoke to a man outside a convenience store Saturday who has been turned off by negative, judgmental people. We started our conversation about cars, he was asking how we liked our van. When I introduced myself as the pastor from the church on the corner he was embarrassed because he was toting a 12-pack of beer out of the store. He apologized, and I told him that he owed me nothing. I told him I would love for him to come visit our church, and he said “Are you kidding? Here I am holding a 12-pack of beer and you want me to come to church like this?” I told him that church is not a showcase for saints but a hospital for sinners. I said every person in my church, including me — the guy in the pulpit — is a sinner.

    Anyway, the guy said he will visit. I know where he lives so I’m going to follow up, but I can’t help but to think if I insulted him or judged him I would have never had that 45-minute conversation with him.

    I guess my point is I put my priority on loving him, not judging him. I figure if we Christians show enough love we can introduce them to Christ, and Christ can prompt them to change their ways. Notice I didn’t say “convict them of their sins.” That’s what I meant, but speaking “churchese” to people who don’t speak that language doesn’t help, either. To the unchurched to be “convicted of your sins” sounds like a sentence, not hope for deliverance from those sins.

  29. TREY MORGAN says:

    Anonymous … one more time my friend. I’m not trying to argue with you here. We’re talking about two different things.

    I’m saying that it’s an unbelieving world equates this man as a Christian, because that’s what he claims to be. They (the unbelievers in this world) also equate me as a Christian. “They” lump us all together as one group of Christians, because that’s all they understand. Therefore, because what this man does or says, all people who call themselves Christians receive a black eye and are hated by the unbelieving world.

    I hope I haven’t confused you more. Sorry.

  30. Joshua Tucker says:

    Well said Roadtripray.

  31. Stacie says:

    Very good point. I hope though that in their step of boldness, though abrasive, they find the wisdom to refine themselves. We could use more bold people churches and Christians in this world.

    If they are abrasive, as in the case here, let’s help them by encouraging them to post a more appropriate message on their board.

  32. Robert Lukenbill says:

    I agree Trey! Sin most certainly should be preached against. We most certainly ought to tell people or warn them when their soul is in jeopardy…but doing it without giving them a viable solution to their problem is irresponsible. To say “X is sin and will cause you to go to hell” does nothing for the listener. Jesus gave a message of hope to the sinners. He preached on hell but gave them a solution to their sickness. He even referred to those whom he came to minister as sick. Everyone has a sickness and mine is no better than yours. Every sin is separation in the eyes of God, but can be reconciled only through Jesus Christ our Lord!

    When I first saw this sign I didn’t know it was linked to that song you brought up in the blog. I was a little dismayed as to why someone would go to hell for kissing. I have never actually heard that song, but understand the premise is extremely unscriptural. However, what about songs of premartial sex or abusing ones ex boyfriend or shooting your husband or running over your wife with a semi truck cause she is sleeping with another man? Why don’t they stand against these songs also?

  33. nick gill says:

    Because the sign is not about reaching sinners.

    The sign is about pleasing other believers.

    Signs like this are ways for churches to attract like-minded firebreathers. “Our church doesn’t hate homos enough! Let’s look at that church, honey!”

    Signs out front are ALWAYS for pleasing believers. They are NEVER about the lost. Notice the short string above between Trey and “anonymous” for a different example that continues to prove the point.

    Anonymous might not even have read the marquee. Likely, their eyes went straight to the UPC sticker on the sign, scanned it, saw that the results were not “according to the pattern” and moved on.

    Hand-washing was a sign of particular piety among 1st century Jews.

    Rhetorical gay-bashing is a sign of particular piety among the evangelical world today.

    Examine the encounters of Jesus with other people. He NEVER displayed this sort of attitude towards unbelievers, but only towards his own followers (Mt 16) and his fellow Jews (Mt. 23, etc).

  34. Dan (Boston, MA) says:

    Hi.. Im Dan. Trey I really do love your site and feel you hit stuff right on. This is my take on this sign and homosexuality……

    Jesus said that the most important thing we can do is love God with all our hearts, and others as the same…. and this is what you talk very much about.. relationships… and i fully agree

    When Jesus came to earth he proposed a new covenant for us… one that gives us much freedom and releases us from "rules"….. he always was very clear about what he felt was "sin"…. very clear. And what i say is that the stuff he emphasized heavily is the stuff that matters (not stupid things like birth control). So Jesus still loved us but hated the sin…. My bottom line is that its all about the love for our Lord and others… but also to not "JUSTIFY" sin which is what i see a lot of today. Ill admit that i have a problem with sexual temptation at times… do i struggle with it…yes… will i ever justify it as being "ok" with God… absolutely not… it goes against his commands. It comes down to a balance of the 2 in my opinion.


About Me

Trey Morgan Here are my thoughts about marriage, family, raising children, humor, faith and the life God intended for us all. I am a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. My wife Lea and I have been married for 25 years. We are doing our best to raise our 4 boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

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Husband, father and cancer survivor & Senior Minister for the Childress Church of Christ. Tweets about life, marriage, Texas Rangers and randomness.
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