An Indiana church that allowed a four-year-old boy to sing a short song containing the lyrics "ain't no homos gonna make it to heaven" is receiving death threats after a video of the performance went viral on the Internet.
The incident occurred at the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle Church in Greensburg and the video shows the toddler singing: 'I know the Bible's right, somebody's wrong/ the Bible's right, somebody's wrong/ Romans one, twenty-six and twenty-seven/ Ain't no homos gonna make it to Heaven." At the end of his song, the toddler receives loud cheers from worshipers who stand to their feet to applaud him. The pastor, Jeff Sangl, appears on stage to the left of the boy also appearing delighted with the performance.
The Bible passage mentioned in the song, Romans 1:26-27, comments on men and women abandoning "natural sexual relations for unnatural ones" and is cited by Christians to support their belief that homosexuality is one of many sexual sins.
On Wednesday, however, members of Apostolic Truth Tabernacle Church revealed that they have been receiving death threats from people angry at the song, which was published May 29 on YouTube. The clip had close to 20,000 views with the vast majority of viewers voting to "dislike" the video.
A report by TMZ revealed that Pastor Sangl is "extremely worried about his safety -- and this morning he and his wife left for vacation without telling anyone where they were going."
Phone calls by The Christian Post to Apostolic Truth Tabernacle Church on Thursday went unanswered.
The congregation, however, appears to be standing behind the boy and his rendition of the 2005 song "I Know the Bible Is Right," which makes no comment on homosexuality.
"The people who are upset just don't read the word of God. If we don't teach the children the truth early they will never learn," said one unidentified member, according to the Daily Mail.
"Of course we applauded a child who is singing a song about God," the person added.
Although not directly addressing the story at hand, the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle Church posted a statement Wednesday on its website that reads:
"The Pastor and members of Apostolic Truth Tabernacle do not condone, teach, or practice hate of any person for any reason. We believe and hope that every person can find true Bible salvation and the mercy and grace of God in their lives. We are a strong advocate of the family unit according to the teachings and precepts found in the Holy Bible. We believe the Holy Bible is the Divinely-inspired Word of God and we will continue to uphold and preach that which is found in scripture."
The song presented by the little boy in church reshapes the lyrics of a song originally written by Bishop G.E. Patterson, the late Chief Apostle of the Church of God in Christ. The lyrics to Patterson's "I Know the Bible Is Right" reads:
"I know the Bible is right / Somebody's wrong... / I told you once, I told you twice / You can't make it to Heaven with a sweetheart and a wife / I know the Bible is right / Somebody's wrong... / I told you time and time again / You can't make it to Heaven while you sippin' on gin."
The report comes only a week after another pastor, Charles L. Worley of Providence Road Baptist Church of Maiden, N.C., drew great backlash from Christians and the general public when he suggested in a recent sermon that homosexuals should be enclosed behind electrified fences and left to die out. Members of his congregation have defended him against criticism.