June 4th, 2012
05:43 PM ET
We don't teach hate, says church where anti-homosexual song filmed
By Ismael Estrada, CNN
Greensburg, Indiana (CNN) - About 20 protesters gathered on Sunday outside the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle here to voice opposition to a viral online video that was taped in the church and shows a young child singing song with lyrics that offer a harsh message for homosexuals.
The video, which surfaced on YouTube last week, shows a child in front of the congregation, singing "I know that God is right, and somebody's wrong... ain't no homo going to make it to heaven."
The congregation erupts in applause at those lines, which the unidentified boy repeats as the pastor looks on.
At another point in the video a voice is heard shouting,"That’s my boy."
CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories
In the first Sunday service since the video surfaced, congregants arrived to the church as protesters jeered them over the video.
A church leader, who would not give his name, told CNN that journalists were not allowed inside the church and declined to offer anyone from church leadership to comment on the video.
The leader said that he needed to be cautious about letting outsiders into the church because it had received threats over the video and asked CNN to leave the premises.
Church videos with harsh words for gays go viral online
The local sheriff's office said the church had not reported any verifiable threats.
No one answered the door at the home of Jeff Sangl, the church's pastor.
The video of the singing boy was the latest in a string of viral anti-gay videos that have surfaced from independent churches. Those videos have been resoundingly condemned by religious leaders, even by conservatives who believe homosexual sex is a sin.
The Apostolic Truth Tabernacle posted a statement on its website that says in part: "The Pastor and members of Apostolic Truth Tabernacle do not condone, teach, or practice hate of any person for any reason.”
The pastor's son, Josh Sangl, told CNN his father was away on vacation and that there was much more to the video than we were being told, though he wouldn’t elaborate.
The majority of the church members wouldn’t comment about the controversy or respond to questions about the parents of the young boy.
Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter
"I think it's blown out of proportion, you know," said Robert Kirby, who is not a church member but was attending Sunday's church service in support of his daughter, who teaches Sunday School there. "They love everybody.
"They don't love sin though," he said. "It's all in the Bible."
About this blog
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.
Please do not think that all xstians breed hate in their communities. There is a church in my neighborhood that loves boys very very much
iHate is hate, wrapping it in pages from the bible and calling it christian doesn`t change the facts. Teaching children too hate is the lowest thing I can think of, why when stuff like this is done in a "christian" church is it different than when a bunch of swastika waving neo nazi are doing it? The skinheads would be charged with promoting hate as the should be. I think the parents of this child and pastor of this church need to take a long hard look at the company they are keeping....you all wear white sheets to congregation too?
The best that I have been able to determine is that Jesus was not a "Christian" as it has come to be defined. Jesus invited us to think for ourselves, to resist the "herding instincts" and "group think" imposed upon us by the puppet masters. No one who thinks for himself, who tries to integrate Jesus' message into his life, would participate in any "Christian" "church", especially those with such messages as evidenced in this article. "Christian", ever since the politicians like Paul/Saul and Constantine took over, is a word which has come to define pagan values and ritual along with ever increasing intolerance.
Isn't it funny how they react when the shoe is on the other foot?
They are the most vocal group – going out and picketing in "Jesus" name, expecting their voice to be heard and crowding venues they find "morally reprehensible", then they turtle up when someone dares to picket them over their hate.
If they had half the divine mandate they thought they had, they wouldn't be going into hiding and refusing to be identified. They are cowards.
Cowardly AND ignorant.
We don't teach rainbows and unicorns.
Maybe you should. And while you're at it, throw in a few of those pesky leprechauns.
@Pete: I think we should leave that rainbow and unicorn teaching to you. You might have found your calling Pete.
No, we need to start teaching Unicorns at least; after all, it is possible that a candidate for POTUS is one!
I am thinking this bunch, all have the same mental illness.
No of course you don't.............................wink wink.........................don't teach but how about you come up songs to sing HATE. Don't get upset when the tables are turned on you and your members............teaching HATE that is.
Yeah, and by that logic, guess who else isn't going to heaven? I hope those parents feel good about condemning their child to their Hell by teaching him to be judgmental of others. No one sin is greater than another, right? And yet they choose to continuously be judgmental of others, as if it's their position to to so.
Hallelujah – We hurt people by our own cattiness. Our egos, our gossip, our need to dig them down.
We want to put others in their places. we want to be empowered over them
kick them and ensure its felt. But then we hide behind our hallelujah’s – our AMEN!..... our religious words and books
We try to prove to them we are... better. We are up here and them down there.
But if you think of all of this carefully. It is merely a pedestal we are standing upon
Something we rose to on the back of another’s pain. On the shoulders of those we bullied, gossiped and grouped against...
In the end – they stood on their own two feet – trying to get us to see it their way – meet us in the middle.
No – no – no – not going to happen. My hatred is such – there is no forgiveness
How can there be? I am right, they are surely wrong. I stand behind so much! I am so very much.
So... My choices made, my decisions firm. I will continue to be right, I will continue to hold my head high. And ... prove how unworthy, and beneath me you are. Praise be.
Maybe god really does hate gays...just sayin is all
So why did his son spend his life with 12 dudes?
If God the Creator is so perfect, why did he create something he hated? Perhaps he isn't so perfect. And maybe he is a complete buffoon. I do like his unicorns though.
@Pete: You are funny but not well educated in Christianity.
Pete, that's a great question. The answer is that he didn't create something he hates. He loves us. If Jesus were to take physical form today, he'd be hanging out with gays and other "sinners" instead of the self righteous. These guys are missing the point, and it's sad that they are the ones that get plastered all over CNN.
I gotta say this. The best salesman on the planet hands down are the clergy. That got these folks believing in the invisible man for Petes sake. Not only do they have them on board with the invisible man. They actually get them to believe that this invisible man needs money.
Yeah and did you see the dude's house is was friggin huge. I'm sure his congregation paid for that.
Obviously, here we have a convention of the best c-r-a-p eating - buggered a-s-s holes that C-N-N can provide.
I'm straight, female, and married. I don't "bugger" anyone.
Do you have any other arguments to make?
Noone need have the disparaging views of the bible that are often expressed here, as God has given in the scriptures internal proof of their divine origin that no rational human being can argue with. Of course they can reject because the bible allows complete freedom in the manner of recieving Christ or not..."whosoever will"..
Someone says, how can there be complete freedom with God as there is eternal death for all that refuse God (by the way one refuses God by refusing to be subject to his government of rightousness) ? The short answer is there is no possible existence outside the government of God who is the origin and sustainer of life, so the one who chooses to be seperate from God chooses eternal non-existence.
No rational human being can argue that all of creation was made by the snap of a finger? That man and woman appeared out of dirt? That the WHOLE world was flooded? That a snake talked? That a bush on fire talked? That a virgin became pregnant? A man parted a sea?
Yeah, no way we can argue that...
"internal proof of their divine origin that no rational human being can argue with"
In the future, please attempt to write your posts in standard English.
Typical 'Oh look over here!' response. You can't defend the anti-Gay hate being spewed from pulpits so you try to distract everyone with something completely non-related.
I choose to celebrate what I believe in, by celebrating the positive, the good, the humble. But when I shout out, damning others for their obvious life choices, when I group and lock arms with those around me – to belittle, to condemn, to judge.... I am no longer celebrating – and I am becoming lost in the real intent of the bible.
We are asked to not throw stones, we are asked to have patience and understanding and empathy. The road we walk towards our salvation... I welcome others to walk it with me, and yes I pause and ask others going down dimmer roads to perhaps join me also.
But all I see here – is people walking their path, proud-arrogant-sure... and throwing rocks at all others not immediately on their path – walking with them. Is this sincerely what God would want us to do? Is it what he intended? When you group against another – it is wrong. Live and let live... let each make their own decisions, and thereby write their own fate.
@Chase..Right on man.
"God has given in the scriptures internal proof of their divine origin that no rational human being can argue with."
Really? Last I checked the "scriptures" were just a bunch of words written down by humans. I'd be interested to see this "proof" you speak of.
I thought we were supposed to preach the "Good News?" What you said doesn't sound like good news to me.
And Jesus said: A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you should love one another.
And then he smashed some tables and caused a public disturbance!
The pastor is Rev. Jeff Sangl. He email is: email@example.com
Web Site: http://www.apostolictruthtabernacle.net/home
1114 W. Westridge Pkwy
Greensburg, IN 47240
Raptor Jesus > Zombie Jesus.
Raptor Jesus > Zombie Jesus
Pirate Jesus > Ninja Jesus
Pirate Jesus > Zombie Jesus
Raptor Jesus > Pirate Jesus
Ninja Jesus > Raptor Jesus ???????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TELL ME HOW!!!!
Yes, we do not teach hate. Unless you are a fruit pop, a black, a brown, an Asian, a liberal, a believer in climate change, pro-choice, pro-education, dislike Rush Limbaugh, question FOX News, or are a critical thinker.
Right on man.
Reports so far say there are no credible threats, that's just an excuse for these hatemongers to avoid more scrutiny.
Some threats probably will materialize as there are always extremists out there, but we should leave the threats and anger to religious conservatives such as these – they are the #1 source of hatred and bigotry in America today, in addition to harboring and protecting pedophiles preying on helpless children.
The Old Testament "god" is a psychopath, who makes all kinds of unreasonable, hateful and obscene demands, and then expects "love" back. The New Testament is little better, but admittedly a tad better...
Either way, both are filled with utter nonesense. They were written by men who had not an inkling of science, which accurately explains most of all of the questions they had about reality.
Do yourself a favor. Eschew both. You will be richer for it in every sense.
Christianitys fundamental principal is love Jesus and love others no matter who or what they are. People such as these have lost that principal. Shame on them for staining Christ's name.
Except if they're Canaanites or Midianites. God really hated those mofos.
God is Love.
I mean, it's admittedly more plausible than an invisible sky fairy. Love at least is identifiable and fits most of the criteria.
Unicorns and leprechauns are love!
Actually, God is a parent and we the children with earth as our school. We are here to learn, to mold ourselves – to become more than we are now. The first step, is in being humble - which most cannot do.
I CHALLENGE – this and all others that feel they are God-Fearing to go one week w/o insulting, condeming, judging, or using any other person, culture, life-style, gender, race – in a negative fashion. They cannot do it. Why? Everything they base their surmons and beliefs upon is a "I am better"... and humble begins w/ realizing you ... are just you... no better, bu no worse – just you.. no real reason to compare... nothing comes from it.
Church is not the place for gossip, innuendo or judging/condeming others.
This is the best you can do? Where is the public rebuke of these 'pastors' who don't just represent 'God is Love' but actively drives people away from the message? Why aren't there thousands of Christians demonstrating outside these houses of hatred? Oh yeah, it's easier just to go on the internet and post lukewarm anonymous postings.
Regardless of whether or not you're a believer, please understand that these people do not represent mainline Christianity in any way. By doing a little research one can easily discern they are at best a loosely organized fringe group whose leaders lack proper theological education and training. Actions like these should be and are denounced by millions of Christians across the world.
If you don't agree with Christianity (or religion as a whole for that matter) that's your prerogative, but please don't ignorantly lump us all into the same category as this congregation.
So do you support gays getting their civil right to marry?
I agree, ATX. There are millions of Christian churches whose ministers are well-educated, whose members are more concerned with doing the work their Christ commanded than with policing what goes on in someone else's bedroom.
Fair point. Good for you for speaking up, But you also have to understand that this kind of hate does enormous damage to real people.
Well said ATXmaxQ. We teach Jesus' command at my church–"Love thy neighbor". Love thy neighbor–straight and gay, believer and non-believer, rich and poor, young and old, black and white. Jesus' words are simple and beautiful. Love thy neighbor. God bless.
So why isn't mainline Christianity lining up to denounce these bigots? Instead all we get are lukewarm 'oh well we don't all agree with this'? The demonstrations outside these houses of hatred should number in the tens of thousands! Christians should be the first in line to denounce this hatred-because-my-bible-says-so but instead there's only a resounding silence.
You said, "Regardless of whether or not you're a believer, please understand that these people do not represent mainline Christianity in any way."
What defines "mainline Christianity"? There are, by some count, over 38,000 different christian denominations, cults and sects. Where do you draw the line between "mainline" and lunatic "fringe"?
You said, "By doing a little research one can easily discern they are at best a loosely organized fringe group whose leaders lack proper theological education and training."
Lacking education appears to be at the root of the problem, but not just this one. By claiming that they lack proper "theological education", you commit the No True Scotsman fallacy. You, in effect, claim your interpretation of the bible to be the correct, or at least a truer, one. What makes you believe that yours is so much better?
You said, "Actions like these should be and are denounced by millions of Christians across the world."
Christians should be the first in line to denounce this. There should be a mass uprising among christians to denounce this kind of behavior. There should be a grass roots movement among christians to distance themselves from this fringe group, and fight for equality.
Unfortunately, that isn't happening. Most christians seem to agree with, and even endorse this fringe group. This group isn't very "fringy".
You said, "If you don't agree with Christianity (or religion as a whole for that matter) that's your prerogative, but please don't ignorantly lump us all into the same category as this congregation."
I don't lump every christian into the same group, but those that don't stand up for equal rights, do fall into the same category.
You may have a decision to make soon then as this kind of behavior is becoming more and more commonplace among congregations.
Hatred isnt the goal of the church, it is a by-product of their very existence.
I'll respond to "YeahRight".... - As a Chistian, it is not my place to condemn nor judge others. They have no play on my life, no affect to my happiness. To me, I would only ask that a person is happy, content and obscures from things that would do their body, their soul – harm. But even then, I am not their caretaker, they are that unto themselves.
If I see someone falling, is it my responsibilty to reach out and help them – or do I first wait to see their face, ask them questions – ensure they meet the requirements of my assistance? No. We must be humble, and treat each other w/ some measure of respect. If I walk though my life, taking time to look you up and down, determine your flaws, point them out - is it not then I must be standing still – in order to do this – instead of walking forwards? Then – how long am I standing still – examining the crowds passing me by? A day, a year, a decade? We lose ourselves to it. We lose our focus.
If you say to me – I love this person I share my live with. I will not ask how old, what gender, what faith-race-culture.. as a Chrisitian – I should only lean forward, give you a hug – and tell you – I am happy for you. The rest is moot to me. The bible, asks that we follow the teachings... it does not insist that we make others do same – and preach to them if they do not. And even a Preacher's name is incorrect, they are not preaching TO us... but FOR us... they are taking what they feel is the correct translation of this holy word – and blending it w/ surmons, stories and helping us to concepualize the full meaning.
As long as you realize all Muslims are not terrorists. As a Christian you know the billion+ Muslims of the world are wrong and are going straight to hell for not believing as you but....ok.