HELP Please

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Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
May 13, 2010, 22:09

Hi there Johann

Life is too short and we are meant to live it abundantly, not as if we are sapped of all energy. God doesn’t want us plagued with self doubt and condemnation. Unfortunately, this guy would sap anyone’s energy and sadly I’ve heard it all before, as many of us have. *sigh*

There’s no point engaging with him on this subject because as avb says he’s not into dialogue. His beliefs are quite fixed and probably not about to change anytime soon. It’s difficult to challenge belief systems, especially when based on the bible. There are too many unanswered questions when we try and read into ancient texts, no matter what our stance.. And even if God appeared in the flesh and told this guy that you are beautiful and not sinful, he might still not believe him.

I’d be blocking your ‘friend’. Do what’s good for you, and as avb says, your emotions can help guide with that.


Ann Maree

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
May 13, 2010, 23:59

I just love you people……not because you are agreeing with me but that you are all so supportive and willing to help Johann out with your insights and encouragement.

I frequently get people emailing me asking my opinion about this and that……..I try as much as possible to suggest that people ask the same questions on the forum……that way they can get a cross section of views……not just mine……much healthier i think. …..and of course I’m not carrying all the load.

this is why we created this forum……..seems to working well dont you think. 🙂

Joined in 2010
May 14, 2010, 00:30

I agree with the above statements…

I came out to a close (not anymore) “Christian” friend… She went on about how I need to go to an ex-gay program to “fix and heal you”… When I told her that there was nothing to cure she went on about it being an abomination blah blah blah…

After that convo the bottom of Cronulla beach was looking pretty dandy…

I ended up deleting her off facebook… She re-added herself… But I have blocked her from pretty much everything.

I really can’t understand how people can’t see the damage that they do…

Again… I can only hope that they believe they are doing the right thing… Which is totally the opposite to what actually happens…

Johann… I have a handy link for you:

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
May 14, 2010, 02:28

Here is one I’ve just received

Dear Tony,

We met many years ago both in Newcastle and Sydney while you were with the AOG. I was an AOG youth pastor at the time and looked up to you. I heard you speak many times.

I am saddened by your article and your views you expressed on the ABC. The AOG has always been weak on specific doctrine, with too much hype and little understanding.

But I am amazed that you blame God for your sin. Sin is deceptive and sexual temptation is and always will be constant. Jennifer Knapp talks of the ‘clobber’ verses of scripture. I am amazed at how treats Romans 1;28 and even how liberal Christians who hold dispensational theology (like your daughter) whose focus is on God’s love and grace at the expense of God’s holiness and God’s law misunderstand scripture. I laugh when I hear (Ex Chief) Justice Michael Kirby using the old Metropolitan Community Church justification “latest research’ on Leviticus.

Likewise, the AOG suffers from this with the focus on feeling and not covenantal doctrine. I’ve seen and heard all the arguments, that reflect a person seeking to justify their position but can only do so with a poor understanding of sin, God’s holiness, God’s law, even little understanding of the implication of Jesus’s understanding of the law, (in particular fulfilment of the social, dietary law but not the moral laws…on which Jesus adds ) then Pauline theology. etc etc.

I have little respect for Kinsey’s research considering the clients he worked with and Kinsey himself. It is irrelevant what the American Psychiatric Association states regarding sexual orientation as innate and fixed; but may develop across a person’s lifetime etc etc.

What is relevant is the authority of scripture. Many within the AOG (and I am AOG) suffer from an Arminian position where if I do this, try harder, pray and fast for 40 days, do this and this… I will achieve what I or God wants. It misunderstand sanctification completely. No wonder other Hillsong evangelists went into multi-marketing. They are so similiar.

It is not our efforts but us coming to Christ. Romans 10:5-7 outlines us trying to make things happen as compared to us as broken sinners in repentance and Christ comes to us with healing….that’s what Hadyn has understood. The judgement of God is clear in Romans, that He hands us over to our sin. Can we still have happy lives, smile, think, go to events, church read our Bible, pray etc of course….but God waits for repentance, otherwise all our efforts have no worth and we are blind and deceived.

I pray that you will repent of your sin (as I do daily).

Pastor Paul Allen

And my reply

Thanks Paul for your email and the thoughts you’ve expressed.

It saddens me that there are people leading churches who are maintaining such an outdated understanding about sexual orientation. This is causing so much unnecessary suffering in peoples lives.

Discussing scripture with you would be a waste of time I believe…’s pretty obvious from your comments here that your mind is made up.

If however in the future you would like to dialogue over these issues then I’d be happy to engage in that.

In the mean time please be aware that lives are being lost…..people are losing faith and families torn apart because of ignorance.

I am grateful to God that there are a growing number of Christian people who are showing love and acceptance instead of condemnation and judgement. Working with these people is the best way to use my time and energies.

I may get another email but if so it will probably be the same tone and the same message. I wont need to respond. I’ve said all I need to say. If the attitude changes then that is a different story.

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
May 14, 2010, 09:13

Hi avb

Yeah good reply. Note how he relies on the “authority of scripture”. Mmmmm – that old chestnut.

The problem with that is it’s still his interpretation of what’s written.. And the biblical scholars I’ve spoken with (about all kinds of topics) have admitted there will always be many things we don’t know because so much has been lost to antiquity. And here is Pastor Paul, in a totally different culture (about as different to middle eastern as you could get), in a different time, without the social nuances, background, climate, language etc, saying he KNOWS with authority what was meant in the bible. And yet, how can he … or any of us? It’s the same when I read some of the pro gay arguments that have massive holes in them. We can all make the mistake of reading into scripture something that isn’t there to suit our own agenda.

Anyway, this pastor can’t be more knowledgable than the greatest biblical scholars/historians, who despite their lives of dedicated study, are realistic and humble enough to say they don’t know. I’d rather have uncertainty and realism than closed minded arrogance.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
May 14, 2010, 12:47

Here is the reply I received this morning.

‘Dear Tony,

Thank you for your email. You are correct I do have an outdated view because its based on the majority report of scripture. We all suffer from my sin and your sin. You are also correct that lives are being lost, which to me clearly demonstrates the deceitfulness and deception of sin. It is also true that Christians fall away because of the lusts and temptations of this world and then blame Christians, where really their problem is with God.

Families will continue to be torn apart, because sin is so destructive, because it makes us as sinners all blind. It is not loving, to not warn a child of the dangers of a hot stove plate and likewise love must always speak truth and not seek to twist truth so we feel better. God’s nature is not limited to love …he is holy, righteous and just. One part of his nature is not predominant, his holiness does not compete with his love.

Tony, the God of scripture does love you, but today you live in rebellion against God. God is calling you back to repentance. To say that God made you this are blaming God for your sin. Having tasted, taught and preached the gospel in the past, in the future you will find yourself in a difficult position before God.

But I know full well that you will reject any form of sound orthodox biblical argument because Romans tells me that God has handed to over to your sin and the restraining of the Holy Spirit has been withdrawn, and there is blindness on your life. I am not ignorant. Throw away one liners don’t work anymore.

However, I do pray for you.

Pastor Paul

Do I need to reply? I could…….he sort of baited me…….but I won’t he has said what he needs to say to me……any further communication he would just be repeating the same thing over and over again……. I’ve said what I need to say……and now the thing to do is to use my time valuably with you guys here and others who are in the questioning phase and willing to dialogue….not preach……and there are heaps of those wonderful people out there believe me.

What to do with his email ……HIT DELETE!….

Joined in 2005
May 14, 2010, 15:50

Very interesting that this comes at this time or does this happen often to you AVB? I’m glad it doesn’t happen too often to me or I’ll be drained emotionally all the time. Do you think his theology would say that AIDS is God’s judgement on gay people? If yes, what would be his reason that the straight community (50% in the world) also have AIDS?

Thanks for the link to block that person, will use it soon for sure, as soon as I’vehad the last word ….but in the mean time, I’m waiting for the right wording to come to me.

Thanks for your love and support.

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
May 14, 2010, 16:20

Hi avb

I agree – no need to reply. You’ve been handed over to your sin as have we all in this guy’s eyes! Nice of him to offer to pray for you though. 😉 hehe

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
May 14, 2010, 16:26

Hi Yowee

Yes, sadly avb gets these types of letters and emails quite often. That’s why he’s good at answering them.

In regards to the ‘AIDS as judgment ‘ idea, yes no doubt this pastor would believe that thanks to homosexuals, this is a punishment of wrath inflicted not just on the gay community but on innocent others too! So we can blame gays for that because we’re so dangerous on top of being sinners. He’s perhaps using it like the sins of the father argument where generations may suffer because of their ancestors actions.

Do you need to have the last word with this person? I mean I get why it was suggested, as a way of allowing you to take your power back. I guess you have to assess if replying will achieve that for you….it may do … or sometimes it’s better to walk away rather than possibly expose yourself to more emails that may come your way.


Ann Maree

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
May 14, 2010, 17:11

yep…..i’ve been getting them since the first edition came out. in 2004…….. Often from total strangers who feel compelled to tell me I’m deceived, going to hell and need to repent. Always same message but different wording. A couple were so vile and over the top I found out what church they went to and reported them to their pastors asking them if they felt unsolicited abusive emails like this were appropriate from members of their congregations……hehe. They usually agreed they were inappropriate.

Thank God the emails from readers, like yourself Yowee, telling me my book has changed their lives far out ways the nasty ones.

I’ve learnt to be resilient and recognise that if anyone attacks me like that it is not my issue …’s theirs…….and that they are always projecting some inner personal unresolved issue. This happens both from people in the church and also people in the LGBT community.

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