A Few Thoughts on the "Ain't No Homo Gonna Make it to Heaven" Video

A Few Thoughts on the "Ain't No Homo Gonna Make it to Heaven" Video June 18, 2012

Normally I like to avoid writing about the latest viral sensation or controversy, simply because I like to stand out from the crowd a bit. I dislike having the feeling that I’m obligated to talk about what everyone else is talking about. It’s part of the homogenization of Internet culture.
That being said, it occurred to me that I actually had something to say about this clip[Update: the link has been removed], and since this revolves around an issue I’ve discussed here before, it might not be a bad idea to talk about what I think the appropriate conservative Christian response should be. For those of you who haven’t already heard of/seen it, it features a very small boy (I read somewhere he’s four), singing a catchy little ditty in church that goes like this:

The Bible’s right, somebody’s wrong
I know the Bible’s right, somebody’s wrong
Romans one, [twenty-six and] twenty-seven
Ain’t no homo gonna make it to heaven
This little performance drew a hearty affirmative reaction from the crowd. The boy’s father can be heard calling out “That’s my boy!” partway through.
I had mixed reactions to this clip. They look something like this:
1. I honestly agree with every word the kid sang. Truly, I do. Oh, I know there’s a difference between merely suffering with SSA and succumbing to SSA, but I doubt that the type of “homo” referred to in this ditty is the sackcloth-and-ashes repenting type. We can safely assume it’s the type who would cover you in vile insults for even suggesting his behavior is sinful. Which brings me to my next reaction…
2. This is small potatoes compared to the hate speech coming from the group the song criticizes. The pastor of this church received death threats when this video went viral. Let that sink in for a moment. I’m preparing to write a post on a couple of young conservative activists who have been getting media attention lately for voicing their beliefs on this issue (among others), and you would not believe the vileness that has been aimed in these young teens’ direction. “Ain’t no homo gonna make it to heaven” is mild by comparison. Plus, it’s true.
But, having said that, I still have some reservations about the video. Which brings me to the “mixed” in my “mixed reaction…”
3. Homosexual sin is not the stuff of preschool ditties performed as special music. It’s really just not. It’s the stuff of serious, politically aware sermons. Not cute little songs that rhyme. Or cute little songs we teach to our preschoolers. Which brings me to point four…
4. How old is this kid again? Four, five, max? Just how much have his parents told him about “homos”? Presumably and hopefully he has no knowledge of the sordid details of same-sex love relationships, but does he know that two men or two women can “get married” in some states? That two men or two women sometimes kiss each other on the mouth? Good grief, he’s barely old enough to get the “birds and the bees” talk. Why not let the kid have his innocence? In our family, we make it a point to use roundabout language when discussing this issue with young children in the room. If they ask, “What are you talking about?” we say, “It’s something you’ll learn about when you’re older.” The other night we were enjoying fellowship at the house of a fellow homeschooling family, and we fell into conversation about the moral decline of the Church. This topic was one of many we touched on, but only because the children were happily playing somewhere out of earshot.
I don’t know where you would draw the line with your kids as far as the proper age to inform them about this particular social evil is concerned. But I would certainly hope it’s at least somewhat beyond preschool. It’s not that I think we shouldn’t raise up a generation that is repulsed by sin and knows the scriptures. I do. But I also believe in introducing our children to these things gradually. There are some things a four-year-old just doesn’t need to know.
So there you go. My .02 on a viral video. Hopefully I brought something a little different to the discussion.

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  • Great post. Its scary nowadays how very young children are being exposed to adult issues. It would have been cute if the child sang “ain’t no sinner…” no threats would have reached the pastor.
    This also proves how people enjoy stiring up controversy. Yes homosexuality is a sin but threats of hell are in no way an effective means of bringing sinners to repentance. And that song is not appropriate for church.

  • Good point about replacing the line with “ain’t no sinner.” It would have left the kid’s innocence unspoiled and steered completely clear of the nastiness.
    But I have to disagree somewhat with your second paragraph. Notice I said that I did not think this topic was appropriate for preschool ditties. But I also said the content alone wasn’t problematic. If a pastor were to get up and preach a sermon saying, “We need to realize that condemning the homosexual lifestyle is an act of love, because if they die without the gospel they will be cast into hell,” I wouldn’t have a problem with that. Plenty of sinners have been brought very effectively to repentance under the conviction of unalloyed truth.

  • Also, the homosexuals never have an excuse not to come to Christ. If we water down the gospel, we might succeed in confusing some homosexuals into thinking Jesus “accepts them as they are,” FULL STOP. But we certainly won’t win any true converts. And the gospel says that Jesus shed his blood so that we could have eternal life and thereby escape the wrath of God, which would involve spending an eternity in Hell. Anybody who becomes a Christian has got to swallow that pill at some point. If you’re ALREADY coming as a broken, repentant sinner, the gospel should be offered with gentleness and kindness. This is not an accurate description of these gleeful destroyers of western civilization.

  • marywrightt

    A real issue with homos is that they instigate suspicion by their very admission. If mister x admits to being one and mister y acts just like mister x then he must be one too.
    Folks, that’s a terrible way to look at things.
    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck and has feathers like a duck it must be a duck….
    what if it’s not?
    What if it’s a platypus?
    People like those who would teach such a song to kids would never acc. the existance of the platypus…must be a deformed duck. But its not; its something completely different.
    That happens sometimes in nature – something completely different comes along. God made plenty of exceptions. We assume and then we judge. My goodness; I bet Jesus is a bit disappointed in His followers.

  • I’ve commented before that it drives me nuts when people take one look at someone and go “gay” when all they have to go on is maybe they have effeminate features or a high-pitched laugh or something.
    This video alone doesn’t tell us for sure whether these people are incapable of telling the difference between a “duck” and a “platypus” as you put it, but it is possible. I do feel sorry for innocent people (men especially) who are suspected of being gay when they’re not. However, we’re entering into speculation about the church at this point, and I was merely focusing on the bare words all by themselves, plus the appropriateness of having them sung in church by a 4-year-old.

  • True.
    I must admit we as Christians should not let our homosexual brothers continue in the wrong. They must be warned of the consequences of their sins. However the method used when warning must be carefull chosen. Cigarette packets have warning messages printed on them but people still smoke them. A warning of hell may not do such a good job of inviting people to Christ the “Friend of sinners” One who ate with publicans and tax collectors.
    People may come to Christ out of fear of hell and not out of love for their Redeemer. On the other hand, the love of God can compel one to surrender all to Him who died. Lets tell the homosexuals to come just as they are for Christ receiveth sinful men. They have no power whatsoever to free themselves.
    The Bible is clear about homosexuality. If one is drawn to Jesus by love and not by eternal damnation, one may then surrender his homosexuality not by works.
    If a survey were to be taken, i’m sure it would review that most homosexuals know that they are going to hell. Warning them is like rubbing the dreadful fact in their faces. Therefore our job is to invite them to the Great Physician.

  • Yes, Christ receives sinful men, but we can’t emphasize that at the expense of emphasizing the urgency of leaving our sins behind us. Many homosexuals will hear, “Come as you are, Christ already loves you, no questions asked,” and hear, “This Christianity thing might be kinda fun—I don’t have to change anything about what I’m doing AND they’re telling me God’s gonna take care of it all and send me to heaven anyway. Win-win!”
    In order for the homosexual to love Jesus, he must hate his sin. If he already hates his sin, that’s a good step in the right direction. He’s half-way there. But I think you’re underestimating just how many homosexuals are exactly the opposite: They love their sin and hate the Savior. And if you asked them whether they think they’re going to Hell, you might get a variety of responses, but I’ll wager many don’t think it’s a “terrible fact.” A lot would probably say, “I don’t believe in Hell,” but you might be surprised at how many would say, “I don’t know and I don’t care.” C. S. Lewis once said that the doors of Hell are locked on the inside. When a man lives a life of sin he is becoming more hardened to the things of God, until he has the mind of Milton’s Satan: “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.”

  • John Situmbeko

    I know it’s been almost a year since this was posted, but I found it, read through it again, and thought of leaving a thought or two.
    I still think there is much harm than good in using the “hell fire” sermon when you want converts. Chances are that it may be effective, but then again it may most likely not be effective. “Come ye who are weary and heavy laden,” said Christ, “and I’ll give you rest.” Doesn’t that mean we should go to Him heavy laden? Shouldn’t we take our burdens to him? We should. If I say “I’ll go to church when I quit smoking drugs,” it may take years, or it may not even take place. It would even be worse if someone keeps saying to me “hell will be thy reward if thou leaveth not thine tobbacco.” Take into consideration the fact that such vices aren’t easy to give up. Why not say “come ye sinners lost and lonely, Jesus’ blood can make you clean.” And why not say “would you be free from your burden of sin? There’s wonderful power in the blood.” The sinner is powerless, he cannot free himself, a stern or loving warning of the coming hell fire cannot make an addict suddenly cultivate much will power to break his addiction, sin is addictive, homosexuality is almost impossible to break free from, unless with spiritual intervention.
    Among the fruits of the Spirit is self control. Just like physical fruits take long to grow, spiritual fruits also take long to grow, even longer than physical fruit. I think sinners, homosexuals included, must be told to “come and be made whole,” instead of “be made whole and come.” The best way to attract sinners is to tell them of the love of the Saviour, point to the cross to attract them, not to the furnace that’s been continuously heated for there-score years. Why not say “no homosexual shall walk the golden streets, but those that wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb shall know no sorrow.” That’s as much a warning as “homosexuals shall be cast in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone.”
    Satan presents his lies with much craft, why shouldn’t we christians present the truth with tactful approaches? Sinners need not be scared into heaven, they need wooing. Of course whatever gets them to heaven must be used, as long as it does the job, but effective warnings can be delivered without resorting such.
    I believe an invitation to Christ doesn’t have to contain graphic imagery of hell, just tell them their ways are wrong and that He can make them right if they let Him. Tell them He made the first step in restoring them, all they have to do is accept Him and if they let Him, He’ll finish the work He began.
    I’m not saying hell should never be talked about, it must. The word gospel means good news, and the good news is that He came to save us from hell! We can’t preach the gospel without letting them in on what they are saved from, but we should let it easy on them. They need the milk, not the meat. As they grow, we can stop blending the meat and start letting them chew it.

  • Well, I’m not sure whether you’re coming at it from a Reformed perspective or not, but my perspective is that sinners are not entirely “powerless” when it comes to making at least the first step away from their sin. They still have some measure of choice in the matter, even granted that addiction is a powerful thing. I do believe that it’s good and important to present the truth that if a sinner surrenders to Christ, he will be forgiven. However, the majority of practicing homosexuals are arrogant, hateful and believe they have nothing to be forgiven of. So for many of those people, there’s pretty much no approach that would work, without seriously diluting the gospel message.
    The fact is that unless a sinner already has some measure of guilt, it’s very difficult to persuade him that he needs Jesus. I’ve outlined elsewhere what I think is the best approach, namely this: Make it clear to homosexuals who may be wishing they could be free of their addiction that there is hope in Christ. But make it equally clear that those who merely wish to gain power, to stir up trouble, to shock people, to tear down and destroy with no hint of remorse, are on a fast track to Hell.
    Perhaps part of the problem is that we need a fuller description of what Hell means, spiritually. When you say the word “Hell” to these people, they think “Hell is where all the fun people go! Party in Hell!” Maybe we should go into more detail about how unforgiving sin is, how enslaving it is, and how it takes away our freedom and our identity even when we think we are in full possession of both. And we should make it clear that Hell is the perfect culmination of that process. It’s the moment when you become fixed in your sin, and there is no more time to turn back.
    That’s my thinking. I believe, to use your analogy of spiritual milk, that most people will spit it out unless they have some inkling of what their sin will actually entail and what they are getting themselves into.

  • John Situmbeko

    Well, I agree totally with most of what you say, but let me make some additions.
    It is true that sinners are not totally powerless, but when it comes to changing their ways, the only power they have is to surrender.
    However, I do not agree that the majority of practicing homosexuals are arrogant, hateful and and believe they have nothing to be forgiven for. There could be some who fit that category, but my thoughts are that they may be reacting that way because of the way some christians approach them. These are souls that face opposition from all, including non believers or pagans, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and most other religious groups. They have been attacked from all angles, they are considered the scum of the earth even by the scum of the earth, they die in their thousands from attacks by hateful people, in their eyes they are matyrs, it seems they end up building walls to protect themselves from further hurt, walls that may appear to be like arrogance and hate.
    If you take for example the way the message was given through the Ain’t No Homo Gonna Make it to Heaven song, I also, like you, truely believe the message is true and I also feel the method used here was not good. Homosexual sin is, as you have put it in your post, not the stuff of preschool ditties performed as special music. If we two christians feel that way, think of how the homosexuals would feel, how they did feel.
    If you took a preschool kid and had him sing “Ain’t No Muslim Gonna Make it to Heaven,” the Islamist groups would have sat down to device ways in which they may eliminate the you and your children to the fourth generation.
    It all comes down to how best we christians can warn our homosexual folks in a way that will not distance them from Jesus. We are His ambassadors, we ought to sit down with the publicans. Maybe as we sit down with them and chat, we may find out ways in which we could help them. When the walls of arrogance and hate have crumbled down, we can then stand a chance of succeeding in our mission. If those walls still don’t crumble, at least we would have done our honest part.

  • Well, it seems like it doesn’t make sense to see a person behaving a certain way but try to convince ourselves that they’re really just the opposite on the inside. Jesus said “By their fruits ye shall know them.” We know that practicing homosexuals are prideful because they hold things like Gay Pride Parades (how much more explicit can you get!) and walk around saying “I’m gay and I’m proud!” out loud in public. We know that they are hateful because they love to destroy the innocence of children and insult Christians whom they have barely met with streams of profanity, without provocation. And we know they don’t think they need to be forgiven because they laugh when the gospel message is presented to them.
    I’ve seen all of these things first-hand in my country. Maybe things are different in yours, but here, where homosexuals have a lot more freedom, they’re allowed to let all that ugliness spill out in whatever way they choose. In their own eyes, certainly they are martyrs, but it’s wild exaggeration to say that they die “in the thousands” by being murdered. That’s simply not true. Very occasionally, you may hear of one homosexual who provoked the wrong crowd and paid for it with his life, and sometimes homosexuals as a group are bullied by the same people who bully fat kids, nerdy kids, and generally awkward kids. But that’s a problem with the way our school systems are run, and homosexuals are by no means the only group to suffer from that.
    The reason I criticized this preschool ditty was not because I thought it would hurt the feelings of homosexuals. I criticized it because I think we should preserve the innocence of our children. If you’re engaging in disgusting, perverse behavior and trying to remake society in your own image while you’re at it, I am frankly not going to have much sympathy for you when you come and moan to me about hurt feelings. The problem is not with society. The problem is with the homosexual. Do I think we should hold signs saying “God hates f–s” or encourage people to violate homosexuals’ basic constitutional rights? No, but I don’t think protection from discrimination or criticism counts as a constitutional right. The fact that many people would like these “rights” to be redefined in that way is going to prove devastating for religious liberty and for society in general.
    I have nothing against talking with homosexuals and presenting the gospel to them. But I think it’s important to recognize that they are already about as distant from Jesus as it’s possible to get. We shouldn’t blame it on ourselves if they stay that way. It’s the nature of sin. Jesus didn’t beat around the bush in his personal interactions with sinners. His message was “Repent.” That was the clarion call of his ministry. He didn’t speak with sinners to get a better understanding of their perspective, to “dialogue” with them, or to make them feel better. He deliberately made them uncomfortable so their eyes would be opened to the depth of their need for a Savior. That was Jesus’ personality—making people uneasy in the best possible way. We, of course, are not Jesus. But we should present Jesus in the way that he presented himself—not as someone who came to make us feel good about ourselves, but someone who came to show us just how evil we really are, then sacrifice himself for us anyway.

  • John Situmbeko

    Sister Yankee Gospel Girl, I totally get you.
    Most practicing homosexuals are so fond of their sin that when they are told to leave their sin behind and follow Christ, they choose to cling, like the rich young ruler, to that which pleases them in this life. Most don’t even have the desire to inherit eternal life, they see no desirable reasons for following Jesus. They see it too big a sacrifice to cut off all ties with their lovers with whom they practice abominations. They hold their temporary earthly pleasures to be of more value than the everlasting joys of heaven. Perhaps they have heard more about hell than about heaven, perhaps the holy hills of heaven covered with mansions all over hilltops ought to be mentioned more than hell. But then again, if hearing of your Creator’s death on your behalf, for your happiness, doesn’t move you, and hearing of how wrong your ways are moves you to display wrath, no news of a mansion supposedly prepared for you can move you to give up the pleasures you can enjoy here and now.
    It is our duty as christians to present the desirable Christ to all. I agree, we are not to blame ourselves if when we present the gospel to them they choose not to change.
    There are some practicing homosexuals who are not prideful and not hateful. Although I’ve never met a openly practicing homosexual, I know some of them can be really gentle, kindhearted, loving, compassionate and nice. Not all fall under the prideful hateful umbrella, just like not all christians go about chanting hate slogans with banners of hatred raised high. It is for the sake of these few, whose hearts are not too opaque for the rays of the Sun of Righteousness to penetrate, that we christians should persist and be diligent in wooing them to God. If they choose temporary pleasures, allowing their bodies to dictate which course of action they should take, giving the mastery to their sinful tendencies and trampling underfoot the warnings of God, they have sealed their own fate.
    The difficult part about homosexuality is that those who practice it do not choose to be attracted to people of the same sex as they, just like heterosexuals do not choose to be attracted to the opposite sex. The homosexual’s only option is to live a life of celibacy if he is to live by God’s word. He can marry a wife, but that doesn’t go well, it always ends with the heterosexual hurt because she got married to one who is not attracted to her. The word of God tells us those who practice homosexuality will die. In taking the message to the homosexuals, most christians think it is the homosexual’s choice to be attracted to members of the same sex as he, thus they present the message in a way that suggests the homosexual must choose to become heterosexual, that his choice of being attracted to people of the same sex was a wrong choice and if he doesn’t change, death will be his portion. Many homosexuals don’t know how to be attracted to people of the opposite sex, they don’t even know how and why they are the way they are, so suggesting they will die because of being the way they are though it was not their own making seems very unfair, thus they become bitter and annoyed at all who call them sinners for not being attracted to people of the opposite sex.
    With the widespread homosexuality in the world today, especially in western countries, many with same sex attraction end up in homosexual relationships and see it normal and harmless, since everyone with same sex attraction they see is in a relationship. For most of these, celibacy is out of the question once they taste the pleasures.

  • I would wager that even among those practicing homosexuals who are self-styled as “nice,” things could quickly turn resentful and ugly if you dared to imply that what they were doing was sinful. There’s a deep spirit of resentment coupled with exhibitionism that runs in that entire community, and you can sometimes see traces of it even in Christians who have rejected the lifestyle but still carry some baggage from that old identity.
    I agree that some homosexuals struggle with their attraction as a physical reality (though I don’t think that’s the case for all—more people than you might think simply “try it” out of social pressure or curiosity and then convince themselves that they’ve always been that way). So I wouldn’t tell all homosexuals that if they become Christians, God will heal them of their desire. I have a good friend who was rescued from that lifestyle but still struggles with the temptation. But he understands that even though the temptation is not a choice, what he does with it is a choice. Is it hard and lonely to remain celibate for one’s entire life, without the chance of marriage? Yes, but everyone has some kind of a cross, and it’s a form of selfishness to ask for a “pass” on your particular cross because you just don’t feel like carrying it. Sadly, there is a growing gay “Christian” movement among people who have twisted the Scriptures to such an extent that they feel “comfortable” with their gay identity while still professing Christ. Needless to say, people and churches like this are not helping the cause of ministry to that community, as they are offering precisely the opposite of what such people need.

  • Lydia

    I’m sure that in saying “celibacy is out of the question” you were just expressing _their_ perspective, but I do think that in general too many people believe that celibacy can ever be out of the question. This is obviously not true. Many people including those of normal sexual desires live out years of their lives in celibacy, up to the end of their lives, and this includes those who were previously not celibate. Widowers and widows sometimes don’t remarry. Or one’s husband or wife might become disabled but continue to live for many years. Young people who were unchaste sometimes reform their ways and then never marry. So we definitely want to challenge the idea that celibacy is _ever_ “not an option.” It is often the _only_ right option, and nobody ever yet died of it, either.

  • John Situmbeko

    Yes, I was just expressing their perspective. I do think Celibacy is good, in fact I’m planning to live my who life in celibacy. A lack of sex does not mean a lack of happiness, unfortunately many, especially the homosexuals disapprove of that. I’ve always said that sex is a gift to man from God, to be used on God’s terms. Celibacy is not a gift, it is a privilege, an honor, it’s not impossible, I’ve proven that to myself and I’ll continue with it forever.