15 things I've learnt about dialoguing/discussing homosexuality and Christianity

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Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
April 25, 2011, 16:13

Over the last 10 years I have communicated with literally 1,000’s of people over the issue of homosexuality and Christianity. This has been via personal email ( ) , internet groups ( ), blogs, forums, facebook and comments following relevant stories on news sites

Here are some of my observations and personal guidelines I have found helpful……some I learnt the hard way.

1. We should always speak respectfully to each other even when we disagree or when people oppose us.

2. An angry response to an angry post gets another angry response and can keep you unhealthily engaged for hours or days. Proverbs 15:1

3. Sometimes people are speaking from ignorance, preconceived ideas and misconceptions. My role is not to condemn for their stupidity or ignorance but to endeavour to inform and educate.

4. We all have triggers. In the discussion these may come up or may have initiated the discussion. Triggers that set people off can be:

a. The person is gay themselves but as they have not accepted it, they project their hatred of what is within them on to others. Research has proven this more than once.

b. Another trigger can be sexual abuse and that traumatic event understandably clouds a person’s perception.

c. Another trigger can come from the bitterness and resentment a person holds towards the church, Christians or God for the pain, rejection or injustice they have experienced. If we create a safe space and talk the person down and not wind them up then the source of their hurt or anger usually comes out.

5. Humour can help reduce the angst in a heated discussion.

6. When someone attacks you …..don’t attack back.

7. Sometimes it’s helpful to not respond immediately after reading a reply as the emotion is to high and you risk the possibility of increasing volatility. Walk away. Put your mind on something else to diffuse the emotion. Sit on it for a few hours or a day.

8. Some people have made their minds up and are trying to convert you to their way of thinking not realising you used to believe as they do but your personal experience or reading has changed that. If people have made up their minds already then dialogue is not a valuable use of your time. Actually it’s a useless exercise and mostly feeds their angst on the topic. Best to invest time with people who are questioning as opposed to those who ‘know’ they are right. We won’t change everyone’s mind on the subject of homosexuality. I know mine won’t….so don’t try and convert everyone.

9. Name calling never enhances rational discussion. It reduces the quality of the dialogue.

10. Asking questions can be more helpful than telling people what the truth is.

11. Show your humanity by acknowledging when a comment hurt you. Saying ‘when you said………….. really hurt/upset me’…is better than saying ‘you arsehole I hate it when people say things like you just said’…..or ‘I am offended by your comment’. Sometimes people are so into the emotion and volatility of the discussion they are not conscious of how hurtful or the impact some remarks have on others. After all we are all human.

12. Hehe or lol at the end of your comment…….is the way to let people know you were being funny. Humour doesn’t translate well in written form people can’t hear the laugh in your voice or see the smile on your face. Without this you upset people unnecessarily.

13. Talking people down and not winding them up is a skill….and like all skills can be learnt, developed and enhanced.

14. Remind yourself occasionally that there was possibly a time when you believed the same things or felt the same way as the person you are communicating with.

15. Ask yourself the question….’whilst I was ignorant about the science around sexual orientation or the historical and cultural context of the oft quoted ‘anti-homosexual’ verses how could people have best communicated different perspectives.’

Here you will find the model I created some years ago and endeavour to always work within this framework.

Chapter Leader
Joined in 2008
April 26, 2011, 19:21

Hey, Anthony – 67 views at this stage, and NO reply !!! They are obviously all overwhelmed ??

Well, I am too .. .. .. but I do reply.

Great summary. Very valuable. Thank you for taking the time to document it all for us.

(I am assumming that this material will be including in some form in your next book ?)

Bless ya!

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
April 26, 2011, 22:34

Hi Anthony

Thanks for posting this. I agree with forestgrey. Great summary and very useful points 🙂


Ann Maree

Joined in 2008
April 26, 2011, 23:15

Sounds like good ol’ plain common sense to me 🙂

Thanks for sharing these here on the forum.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
April 27, 2011, 00:14

thanks Gang

Joined in 2008
April 27, 2011, 16:37

Very helpful Anthony. It works. I’m glad I am taking a more gentle approach these days. Love never fails.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
April 27, 2011, 21:02

…..and I have just had the biggest miracle in 6 years that demonstrates this works.

Joined in 2008
April 28, 2011, 19:28

…..and I have just had the biggest miracle in 6 years that demonstrates this works.

Are you able to enlighten us a bit further? 😉

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
April 28, 2011, 20:57

If I could I would….but I would be betraying a confidence. Just keep this date in your mind May 2011……it will go down in history.

When the time is right people will speak……not me…..other people.

Joined in 2010
April 29, 2011, 08:16

Querido Senor Brown,

Beautiful. I agree with your tips.

Although, I also now anxious to see what’s coming on May 2011!

Yours in Christ,


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