Living With the Enemy #LWTE – some first reflections on the show

You are currently viewing Living With the Enemy #LWTE – some first reflections on the show

So what to say? I woke up this morning to an inbox full of responses; facebook tags, twitter responses and a number of emails. Some of it’s great to read, a lot of it encouraging, and sadly a few bits that don’t understand the irony of the accusation of “hatred” given how it’s delivered.

So many people have so many opinions but the truth is that there’s really only three of us who have the fullest reflection upon what actually happened and how well the show reflected it. So on my day off with a coffee beside me I’m going to try and begin that process. I hope this will be helpful in a number of ways. Some of you just want to know what’s in my mind and heart, that’s only natural. I’ll try and share that with you. Others have an interest in understanding the perspective of someone they may not fully agree with. I’ll do my best to help you learn more. And some, I know, will have come here ready to tell me exactly what they think of me. If that’s you, then welcome – but do please consider reading this through in some detail and responding to what I actually write, not what you have already decided I believe.

Watching the Show

The video of last night’s episode is already up on the SBS website and actually headlines their current “on-demand” page. It’s geo-blocked for Australia but I understand many people are now having a lot of success using the Hola Unblocker plugin for their browser to watch similarly geo-blocked material. Here’s the video embed:

The edit

I have nothing but deep respect for anyone who attempts to condense 10 full days of filming into less than a hour of television for which they have to use one of the best computers for which you might need a wii capture card. A lot has to go and a lot has to be compromised, not out of a lack of integrity but simply because there’s no other way. That meant that the editing was severe, but necessary.

Complicated and nuanced discussions get reduced to simple one-liners that simply can’t adequately reflect the nature of the conversations that were had. Watching the show you’d get the sense that the discussions were basic and limited, that I didn’t try and explore a wide range of issues outside of a simple religious perspective and that Greg and Michael had little to say other than respond emotionally to my presentation. The reality, of course, was that far more went on. I tried to talk about issues of nature and biology, natural law, the research and statistics surrounding topics like mental health outcomes, parenting, sexual self-identity change and so on. I say “tried” because one thing that the edit did attempt to represent fairly (albeit simplistically) was the pretty rapid aggressive stonewalling I got whenever I tried to pursue a deeper conversation around the issues. In other interviews Michael in particular insists that he came in “open-minded” but my experience at least was that it simply wasn’t true. Yes, they both had a particular view on religion that can’t be undone but I did feel again and again that everything that was heard was filtered through this one set of expectations. So much so that in the early scene in the church you can tell that Michael in particular simply doesn’t want to hear. I think the edit does a good job of communicating this basic attitude.

Where the edit, to my mind, fails is in attempting to accurately portray just what the foundation of my position is when it comes to the “religious” part of it. This is seen (or not seen, depending on how you want to put it) in the portrayal of the church service. We open up with me saying “Christians are people who sing because Christians have always had something to sing about”. It’s a great line I shamelessly stole from Rico Tice and sets a great agenda. We’re gospel people who see the gospel of Jesus as the core of who we are. But the edit never once attempts to convey this.

This is to my mind, and I am deliberate about writing this, egregious since it reflects a clear decision made by the editors. We’ve made the full audio of the sermon available online and you can also download my original script which I made available to the producers before we began filming.

[ddownload id=”7182″]

In it I say this:

No discussion about what the Bible has to say, what Christians believe about a subject, is in any way complete without turning to consider Jesus. He is the centre of our attention and, indeed, the centre of the Bible. All the Old Testament leads up to him and all of the New Testament is a reflection upon Him. To miss out Jesus would be like going to the footy stadium but not actually watching the game.

I finish by saying this:

You see, friends, when it comes down to it the whole Bible, the great news about who Jesus is and what He’s done can be spoken of in the language of a wedding invitation! Jesus Christ is the great bridegroom who has proposed to all of us, no matter who we are. It’s as though God the Father asks Him “Jesus, will you take this sinner, to have and to hold, for better for worse, from this day forward”? And Jesus says “yes! YES! There’s nothing I want more than that. I want them to change their mind about their lives, say sorry and come be with me and experience a love like no love they have ever experienced!”

“I want them to be at that great wedding party!”

And that invitation, that proposal, is called out to every single person no matter who they are; straight, bi, gay, lesbian, trans. The faithfully married and the adulterer. The promiscuous and the life-long virgins. All of us, no matter who we are and what we think a wedding party should look like or what we dream ours should look like. We’re all invited to attend this far far greater party at the end of all things. Not just to attend, but to be a central part of it, to sit next to the great bridegroom Jesus and to enjoy the good things He brings and to simply be loved by Him. What a day that will be! What a party!

So yes, one difficult verse from Leviticus might make for great television (and is, let’s be clear, part of the debate – I didn’t want to avoid it). But the editing here does me a disservice by representing my focus, and the focus of Christians in general on this topic, to be something other than what it really is.

It also then sets a clearer context for the response of Michael and Gregory (and others) to what was seen. Yes they heard a clear statement about the morality of same-sex activity, but they heard much more than that. As for the accusation that we “promote hate”,

That means that if you’re here today and you’re a Christian then I need to ask you a hard question. Are you loving those who you disagree with on this issue? When you talk about homosexuality and particularly when you talk to someone who is homosexual, are you loving them like Jesus loved those that He thought were sexually immoral? Yes, there are a number of motivations that we have. We want to honour God’s word and we are often rightly angered by some of the foolish political agendas that we see around us but Christian, Jesus more than anyone honoured God’s word and there’s no doubt He had a fair deal of anger for the politicians of His day and yet He loved. If we can’t do that then, frankly, we need to stop and be quiet.

So at this point, dear reader, I only have one question for you to consider. Whether you agree with me or not, do you think the edit of the church service accurately reflects the general tone and intent of what actually happened?

What this edit (and similar things in other conversations) does is described well by Nathan at St. Eutychus:

We got some good Gospel stuff – but had to sit through the producer’s commitment to David undergoing some sort of redemptive narrative arc in order to get there.

I’m not sure I’d put it as strongly as that, and reflecting back on the filming I’m aware that I got a little better at communicating myself and adapting to the particular responses I was getting as the days went on. But the basic position I tried to communicate was there from day 1.

In every other respect I think the editors did really well. Perhaps Mike and Greg will be upset that more of their wedding isn’t included. It was a big day for them and the visual symbolism of it is a key component of their presentation and argument. Overall, except for the above, I think we ought to give the editors a big vote of thanks for attempting the impossible and getting a decent result.

The discussion

As I note above, the “discussion” was frustrating for me. There’s a number of occassions where the show vividly portrays both the reluctance of Greg (on some occasions) and Mike (on plenty more) to engage and attempt to give me a fair hearing. “We’ve heard it all before” was what a lot of it felt like. I’m also happy with the way that the show portrays my ongoing frustration with the process (although I think I remember one voxpop where my emotions are a little more strongly expressed than what you see in the final cut!)

My big desire going forward is that this promotes better conversation over the issues. I think there’s thoughts to be had in our Christian community about our language and approach that will mean reflecting upon what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. If Jesus is our model then what does it actually mean to love like He loved; to be clear with people on moral issues and their consequences and yet to be the one that those same people long to come to because of the incredible compassion, mercy and grace that He shows to them? I know that we want to try, and I’m confident I (and others) can do far better. But let’s not stop trying.

It’s very easy in the face of what can feel like a torrent of invective and abuse to respond badly. Here’s what I had in the forefront of my mind the whole way through:

1Peter 2:23 When [Jesus] was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

Christian, this is no mere stoic stiff upper-lip. Jesus puts up with insult for the sake of those insulting Him. This is key to engagement with those we disagree with. And it’s not optional, Peter has just told us it’s our calling! (1Peter 2:22). Avoiding the insults is avoiding gospel opportunities. Our problem is the expectation that it won’t happen. It’s closing us off to the potential of progress.

More generally, one thing I’ve learned from the filming, the media work and now people’s comments is that a gracious attitude goes a long long way. The best radio interviews I’ve had have been those where the interviewer, although opposed to my position, has commented on how much they’ve appreciated the manner of the discussion and my own approach to things. I’m by no means an expert but I wonder if we need to work even harder on winsomeness. Some people won’t want to hear no matter what we do or say, but there’s plenty out there for whom the paradigm of “opposition=hatred” can be broken or at least gently challenged.

More thoughts

Others are starting to pen/type their responses. I may yet add to this list but this morning I see

St Eutychus – Some Thoughts on Living with the Enemy #LWTE

Mentone Baptist – The trouble of disagreeing with homosexuality

and no doubt you’ll have your own thoughts. That’s what the comment boxes below are for. I look forward to hearing from you.

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This Post Has 47 Comments

  1. Nathan N Robyn Pennings


  2. Keagan

    Good job David. I am sorry for my initial criticism while watching the show, as I definitely think you were well and truly made a character in the producers story. I hope that you do keep up contact with those two guys, as I think that we can (and should) be friends with the unsaved without condoning their sin. Let’s pray God uses this experience to only multiply his Church.

  3. Chris

    As you pointed out, there is so much left on the cutting room floor that I always wonder whether it’s even worth commenting on what remains on the screen – but here goes…:)

    The episode seemed to have an arc – it started with an insult on the part of David (pushing Michael and Greg out into the caravan, rather than hosting them in his home) and aggression on the part of Michael (particularly) and Greg, but I thought it ended on a relatively peaceful note. Encouraging!

    However, I’m not sure that either side really engaged with the other party – both were very clearly sticking to their positions. David’s point at the start about people getting trapped by their own ideologies (can;’t remember the exact phrase, sorry) was very pertinent. But I wonder whether he recognises that it applies to him as well? And when people are stubborn about their own positions, any interaction ends up being each party simply making statements, rather than much genuine engagement happening. And that’s what I felt was happening here – both sides were simply stating their own positions AT the other party.

    I think Greg’s (I think?) point that he doesn’t tell David how to live his life, so what right does David have to restrict Greg’s, is an excellent one. And it’s a point that David really doesn’t have a response for – at least not in what made the final cut. David has a right to live the way he decides is appropriate, but I fail to see any logical reason for not allowing that same right to all people.

    But that’s just my interpretation of what ended up on the final program. As David points out – only the three people at the heart of the show really know what went on for all of the filming. It would be nice if the three of them kept in touch in the future…

  4. RevRonRon Johnson

    Hi David,
    Firstly, I thought the producers did an excellent job of condensing the ten days into an hour. Obviously much more could have been said and covered.
    2) I thought they did a great job of equal “time” to both sides of the debate, with no obvious bias either way (which is itself a miracle)
    3) It was obvious to any unbiased viewer where any hatred, anger and bigotry was coming from.
    4) I thought your godliness in a hot situation shone through. (Thanks be to the Spirit of God)

    I had many other thoughts during the program which I will sift through as the days progress.
    Well done and thanks for allowing the fruit of the Spirit to overcome the sinful self which must have been tempting you at times.
    God bless
    Ron Johnson

  5. Doug Pollard

    What I missed about the show was any sense that you (and Christians more broadly) understood that those of us who want to get married ( in my case to my partner of 22 years) really don't mind if You don't like homosexuality and don't get the case for same sex marriage, but would be willing to live and let live. In other words, accept that you have no right to stand in the way of our getting married any more than we have any right to oppose whatever rules you have for yourselves regarding marriage. You're welcome to impose the rules of your religion on your own people, no complaints there, but you have no right to demand to impose them on anyone else. As Gregory said, get out of the way. It's really none of your business. To me, my relationship with my partner is exactly identical to yours with your wife – my chosen lifelong partner, helpmeet and lover. Whether or not we form a fertile couple is irrelevant. Our relationship should be recognised, accepted and celebrated on exactly the same terms as yours. We're happy to understand and tolerate it if you don't want to join in, don't like homosexuality and don't get the case for same sex marriage, but are willing to live and let live. In other words, accept that you have no right to stand in the way of our getting married any more than we have any right to oppose whatever rules you have for yourselves regarding marriage. You're welcome to impose the rules of your religion on your own people, no complaints there, but you have no right to demand to impose them on anyone else. As Gregory said, get out of the way. It's really none of your business. We don't mind if you don't want to join in, though as you saw at Pride, we're happy to welcome and educate you if you do.

    1. Broadwood

      Marriage isn’t simply a private contractual arrangement between a couple; it’s a public institution, and a social building block, and is primarily a family framework for raising children, so of course Christians must speak out about it – it simply defines, in a large part. the future of society. Practically speaking, it’s really mostly about children’s rights and parental rights, hence the ancient legal powers to dissolve a marriage on non-consummation or adultery. The (deeply flawed) revision to the English Marriage Act in 2012 has had to make waiver of these basic principles in the case of same sex unions, making a mockery of the whole claim to equality.
      Christians around the world have supported civil unions as a suitable contractual framework for couples outside of the traditional definition of marriage, these can and should protect all legal rights of those wishing to commit to a life together, they exist in most countries now, and should be extended to say, spinster sisters or parent and single child couples or others who share a life together, and who are not always well protected legally. There is no good legal or civil case for going beyond this for same-sex couples, merely an emotional one and a wish to adopt a social label. Civil unions are not ‘unequal’ to marriage, merely different, and these differences are mostly practical, not religious – if you’re having one, you can throw just as big a party!

      That same-sex marriage has been fought for as if it affected no-one else but the couple speaks volumes about the narrow focus of the movement.

    2. David Ould

      What I missed about the show was any sense that you (and Christians more broadly) understood that those of us who want to get married ( in my case to my partner of 22 years) really don’t mind if You don’t like homosexuality

      Well, that would be because that wasn’t what was communicated to me.

  6. Phillip Herbert

    Interesting. My motivation for Gay marriage is not to get married to partner once we achieve that right, I believe the institution is very flawed indeed. My motivation is about equality, that is as an accepted part of wider society I should have the right to choose to get married. In that context organised religion imperialists can go fuck themselves.

  7. Amy Kern

    How will it work if same-sex marriage is allowed and ministers (or others) who feel for religious reasons that they can't participate or support this are sued for not participating and supporting it which is happening in England and America? I don't think it's as simple as you suggest in terms of it not affecting those of us who don't agree and saying that we should step aside and let the definition be changed. I think it becomes our business in that situation even though we don't want it to.

  8. Ryan Ferguson

    Hi David, you definitely took on a big challenge participating in this show. It is a shame that most of the content necessarily gets cut for the sake of time constraints, but I feel that some key things that really came through were the pain Greg and Michael have experienced and your gentleness in presenting your perspective. Something which people may be able to critique is that Greg and Michael were given a caravan rather than a room. I understand why it was done that way, but it does give ammo for the criticism that you (and that us Christians in general) treat/think of people who don't align themselves with a Christian view on sexuality as second-class citizens.

    Personally, I'd very much like to see how a full conversation goes; again, it's a shame that fitting 10 days into 50min means you only get highlights. I felt that the conversation with your twin brother was very valuable. I've been thinking about how Jesus frames sexuality, and what I was able to see from that video conversation with your brother really highlighted the way that, with Christ, sexuality becomes more of a factor rather than how we identify ourselves — and because Jesus is how we identify ourselves rather than gay/straight/bi/any other sexual identity, it offers freedom from being chained to a certain sexual orientation.

  9. Dan King

    I’d like to ask a genuine question about the idea that Christians should “get out of the way” of gay marriage.

    As a Christian, the only sway I think I have on any laws being passed is the same as every other citizen: I can talk to my local member, write a letter to the newspaper, have my say on talk-back radio, vote for the pollie of my choice come election time … and that’s about it, I think. I hope that everyone else is doing the same thing regarding the issues that they’re passionate about as well.

    So here’s the question. By doing the above regarding gay marriage am I “getting in the way”? Does this truly equate to “imposing my religion on other people”? And if so, what is it that people who are pro-gay marriage want me to do? Not speak to my local member? Refrain from putting forth my point of view? Deliberately vote for parties that I don’t agree with? Surely Christians are simply exercising our democratic freedom like everyone else.

  10. Chan Kyu Mun

    Thanks for insightful thought and being brave to be on the show !
    I learned a lot on this issue (especially with 1 Peter 2:23) and am very encouraged !
    Thank you so much David !

  11. Brendon

    Hi David,

    I watched this programme last night and I noticed that your family is interracial. First of all, let me just say that race doesn’t matter when it comes to interpersonal relationships and marriage. Furthermore I think it’s great that you and your wife were able to get married and that you and your family life happily without any legal restrictions. Sadly, not long ago interracial marriage was condemned as something unnatural and an abomination. Not long ago some people said that legal recognition of interracial marriage will lead to the corruption and degeneration of society. I believe that it is morally wrong to discriminate on the grounds of race as I also believe that it is morally wrong to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation and that is why I support legal recognition of same sex marriage. If two adults decide that they want to spend the rest of their lives together then I wish them all the best.

    1. David Ould

      hi Brendon,

      Thanks for writing. It’s an important question and one that deserves a decent answer.

      I think the problem with the challenge, as sincere as it is, is that there’s some category errors. When we reject the notion that people from different “races” can’t get married it’s on the basis that there’s nothing intrinsic in “race” that applies to marriage. That my wife is Chinese and I’m English has no bearing whatsoever on the standard definition of marriage as one man, one woman, together for life.

      But when it comes to a homosexual couple their is an intrinsic difference between the couple and the nature of marriage as we have traditionally understood it.

      Now, it seems to me the only way to overcome this is therefore to argue that the definition of marriage must change and that complimentary gender is not intrinsic to it. Fair enough, I say let people try and make the case and hold their position up to scrutiny.

      I trust that distinction makes sense.

      1. JackAlison

        @ Rev.David
        I also noticed your bi –racial family straight away and a red flag went up.
        You’ve skated over the truth and you’ve made light of the entire violent civil rights movement in the United States particularly under Jim Crowe in the Deep South. You have also ignored some of the deep and enduring simmerings of race hate that are about to this very day.
        Part of the biblical reason used by slave owners and racists through to the 20th century was the eugenics movement, a bogus science supported in particular by tracts in the bible. Unfortunate and painful as it is to hear the Asian races were stereotypically maligned as having a slope on the backs of their heads and according to eugenics were racially inferior. The “likeness” of African Americans with their flared nostrils to monkeys and apes were also cited as racial inferiority. These and many other toxic and poisonous excuses through the confluence of bogus “science” and literal tracts from the bible, in particular the Old Testament were used to destroy the potential and discredit the humanity of these racial groups. I am sure this is completely anathema to you. But not so long ago your wife of today would not only be forbidden to marry you, she would NOT be welcome to sit in the same church pew with you. However, just as Rosa Parks moved from the back of the bus to the front, times have changed, but history continues to repeat itself. I hope for your sake as a human being you are able to show regret and contrition for the horrible things Christians have done to gay people in the name of Christ. I hope that one day you realise the connection between putting the gay couple in the caravan just like Rosa Parkes was made to sit in the back of the bus…I wish you well…but as a human being I think you have a long way to go. Sincerely…

        1. David Ould

          hi Chris.

          In the first instance I’ll refer you to my reply to Brendon above.

          As for what I’ve “made light of” I think it might be far better for you to ask me what I actually do and don’t believe on a subject before you launch into such sweeping accusations.

          1. JackAlison

            @RevDavidYou’ve made light of the race debate in your answer to Brendon that clearly in the past would have prevented not only your marriage but in actual fact DID prevent the marriage of interracial couples. Youre not from Australia. But in the past any marriages between black and whites was forbidden and even between blacks required a protectorate signature. In the USA if a black man so much as looked at a white woman it was often grounds for lynching…I could go on but I’m sure you’re smart enough to join the dots. IL be clearer for you. I am sure and I am certain you and others in the evangelical community know full well that you “cherry pick” parts of the bible, in particular the Old Testament to fuel prejudice. You and I both know the passages and the strict condemnation and punishments for adulterer’s slanderers and a myriad of other “sins” that in a civil society we no longer adhere to…

        2. David Ould

          I’m sorry Jack. Can you point me to the actual words where I “make light of” the issue? I’m utterly confused because I think it’s a very serious issue.

          All I have done is point out that the argument re race and same-sex participation in marriage are actually different arguments.

          1. Brendon

            Evening David,

            The point I was making was that not long ago for an interracial couple, a lot of people likewise said that there’s “an intrinsic difference between the couple and the nature of marriage as we have traditionally understood it.”

            History tells us that throughout the ages, marriage as an institution has in fact been a fairly fluid construct governed by changing social and legal norms. Across different cultures and throughout history, “the standard definition” of marriage has changed and it hasn’t always been about “one man, one woman, together for life.” In a nefarious way, Henry VIII was technically true to his vow (for some of his marriages) “til death do us part.” Otherwise he was entirely hypocritical (not to mention guilty of gendercide). Until the 20th century a grown man could marry a pre-adolescent girl in many jurisdictions.

            I believe that we can change the standard definition of marriage. There is potential progress towards a more enlightened, socially just, world where marriage, for example, is not defined by misogyny, racism and homophobia. I actually believe that “marriage must change and that complimentary gender is not intrinsic to it.”

          2. JackAlison

            “That my wife is Chinese and I’m English has no bearing whatsoever on the standard definition of marriage”
            The standard as you put it and have made light of is that in the past thru
            1. Eugenics
            2. Tracts of the Old Testament
            3. And white supremacy
            That Standard to procreate was NOT a given
            And indeed it was thought that any procreation outside of the white races would produce an inferior species closely linked with the lower instincts of animals. The ability to marry has really only been freed up last century. “The nature of marriage” and of PROCREATION was closely and legally monitored for the survival of the white race. These powerful instincts of marriage, procreation, genealogical history and the feeling of belonging we see carried to catastrophic extremes in the Nazi era where the Jewish race were denied inter racial marriage thru blood type as it was thought the “master race” would be polluted and produce an inferior species This is what happens when you try and engineer a “them and us feeling” within the human family. Racism is a serious and valuable lesson to learn because identical constructs play out in homophobia that slowly eat away and somehow make light of the value of the human being and therefore de humanise the person.

      2. Ralph

        Hi David, I hope to make a longer comment when I have time but for now just want to point out that I think you meant to write *complementary* rather than “complimentary” in your response to Brendon.

        I believe that the fact that male and female complement each other explains why the male/female relationship is the basis of a type of conjunction that humankind from time immemorial have termed marriage. A marriage is not a conjunction of equals but a conjunction of entities that by design, complement each other.

        A same-sex relationship is as different from a marriage relationship as male is from female. Different terminology needs to apply or these uniquely different types of relationship.

        I enjoyed the documentary and think that all concerned did a good job. Thanks.

        1. David Ould

          thanks Ralph.

          Entirely correct. I compliment you on your precision 😉

  12. Rosemary Payne

    I watched the show with interest as a Christian who wanted to see how the opposing views would be presented in a one hour program. I sensed a great deal of hurt in the couple and wonder how people could have cared so little as to cause such hurt. I think that to look at people as Jesus does is a great standard and this is something you tried to do, it appears. Our role is to love others as Jesus did, not to judge them. We can disagree with people on a number of areas but still remain firmly committed to loving them without compromising our beliefs.

  13. Jamie

    Hi David – just wanted to encourage you on the fantastic job you did in putting forth a solid Christian example in this episode. I was very impressed with the approach you took, which was uncompromising yet loving. Exemplary stuff, and I thank God for your willingness to be a part of it.

  14. Nigel Poore

    Hi David,
    Just thinking that if there is any difficulty in starting WW3 we know who to call……………

  15. Ron Johnson

    Phillip Herbert Well you do have the same right as anyone else to get married; but not change the definition of marriage to suit yourself. Marriage is what it has been, is now, and ever shall be. Call your relationship whatever you want, you already have the legal rights of married people, just not the name marriage. So go find a name that actually describes what you have.

    1. Chris

      “Marriage is what it has been, is now, and ever shall be”.

      Very poetic, but simply not true. Read your history. In fact, read your Bible.

      1. Nigel Poore

        Absolutely. Plenty of poets have tragically found out too late at the end of the seemingly joyous wide dark road………

  16. Ron Johnson

    Phillip Herbert It also seems by your comment that you don't really care about the "flawed" institution of marriage at all. There's a much deeper issue involved here for you; and same-sex marriage I'm afraid will never solve that problem.

  17. Ron Johnson

    Doug Pollard – Do you realize what you just said?
    <<<<<"You're welcome to impose the rules of your religion on your own people, no complaints there, but you have no right to demand to impose them on anyone else">>>>>
    Ah….what are you trying to do to but impose your re-definition on the rest of us? As well as change history?

    I'm afraid it sounds rather arrogant that this modern movement (which hated the institution of marriage until a decade ago) now thinks that they know better than the giant intellectuals of history.

  18. Nigel Poore

    The rules of engagement of life are clearly defined in Gods communication with mankind ……the Bible. Argue about it all you like, BUT at some time (Gods appointed time by the way) we are all going to die and face judgement. At that time some are going to be weeping and gnashing their teeth forever who chose to scoff at Gods rules of engagement. Not religion at all, just the facts of life.

  19. David Ould

    Jack. This is clearly an important issue to you but for the life of me I can’t see how I’ve “made light of it”. I have not addressed it to the level that you may have wanted me to but that’s a different issue.

    For the record, I think not allowing people to marry because of race is appalling and it grieves me that some people do so in the name of Jesus. But there is nothing intrinsic in race that bears upon marriage – and that is why you and I are agreed that it is such an nonsensical bar to place in front of people.

    Whereas the question of homosexuality is intrinsic to the question of what marriage is. That’s all I’m saying. Now you are free to jump to all sorts of conclusions from there about what I do and don’t think is important or what I make light of. But you’re the one jumping.

    1. JackAlison

      “Whereas the question of homosexuality is intrinsic to the question of what marriage is.”

      Yes, but in saying that your’re choosing to ignore that procreation from mixed races, mixed classes, mixed religions to name a few areas of taboo have played out legally not only by the state but also by the church and indeed were “intrinsic to what marriage was”….And BEFORE JUDEO CHRISTIANITY became a political force of the Holy Roman Empire same sex couples DID marry. So, not only homosexuality as you claim but many other taboo instances as well have been “intrinsic to what marriage is,” that evolved and then lost fashion throughout the ages.
      Now…as you are a former Brit. (maybe you still are) let me give you a graphic example of marriage.
      Prince William would never marry an Asian and certainly never a black person.
      Class and race have played into upper class blood lines and procreation through marriage. And this example is current and from this is a long line of prejudice that indeed is intrinsic to what marriage is to the exclusion of many others “unfortunate” to be born of a certain race and class and religion
      *As a “charming” teaser to this argument, one of the many conspiracy theories surrounding Princess Diana’s death was that she was pregnant with Dodi’s child…ISLAMIC of course…now, true or false? I don’t have to tell you the catastrophic outpouring that would have occurred had the future King of England’s mother born a child of this union….which according to conspiracy theorists was one of the reasons she may have been assassinated …..(Mossad and the French secret service, of course, very James Bond) Who can say?
      Again I bring to your attention that you have made light of race in your obsession with gay people getting married. I think that you can see the connections and parallels between these examples.

      1. David Ould

        sorry Jack, I don’t think we’re getting anywhere and I fear you may have just jumped the shark.

        1. JackAlison

          I’m not sorry
          I gave you something to think about at your leisure. I know your story inside out and upside down. It’s been going on since the Reagan years and now evangelical homophobic hate has run outta steam and every state in the Union is giving in to the finality that gay marriage is here to stay. The two gays guys on the SBS program are right to say…”get outta my way” because it appears you’re intransigence sets you on the wrong side of history. I will however brief you that now in the Nederland’s and Canada new immigrants are told explicitly and shown movies that are inclusive of All the families that reside in these two countries including gay couples. It is a timely reminder that the clock is ticking for Australia and that Immigrant people like you and your wife that come here I hope in the future will no longer be able to malign the rights of law abiding taxpaying gay Australian citizens without the full weight of an equality act similar to the one passed 2010 in the UK. So make hay while the sun shines. I wish you well.

  20. Jon

    I have to give you props for taking part of that knowing that producers and editors can twist the show anyway they want, and will film and show any possible misstep you make. You have more courage than I or anyone criticising you in the Internet

    It appears that Christians want to make gays/non-Christians/others to follow their dictated rules, while others want their freedom to follow their convictions. Religions have the tendency to force the whole society to follow their rules while they get extra privileges. More religious the majority is the worse it gets for minorities.

    Why is it that Christians don’t allow others to follow their own convictions, but insist that Christians have right to follow theirs? Shouldn’t this theocratic path come to end around the world as we see in news daily?

    1. David Ould

      thanks for the props Jon. I think I should point out again that we had a good degree of confidence in the producers and I’m fairly happy w the final cut.

      It appears that Christians want to make gays/non-Christians/others to follow their dictated rules

      I don’t think this follows from the current debate. The opposition to a redefinition of marriage has little to do with trying to make others follow rules. On the contrary, it’s the argument that homosexuals (for example) are quite free to live in relationships as they see fit. I don’t approve but I have no compunction to make them act in a certain way. What I think we need to address, however, is any redefinition of what we understand marriage to be and how it functions.

      Why is it that Christians don’t allow others to follow their own convictions, but insist that Christians have right to follow theirs?

      Well I might very well respond in similar fashion. Why is it that many (Christians and others) are being told that their convictions about what marriage is ought to be set aside in favour of others’?

      Shouldn’t this theocratic path come to end around the world as we see in news daily?

      If anyone was arguing this theocratically then you might have a good point. But since that’s not what’s being argued (at least, not here) I don’t see the sequiter. The main arguments that have been consistently used in this place, and which I attempted to use during the #LWTE experience, were far wider than simple theological ones. It might suit opponents to attempt to portray them as solely religious, but to do so only serves to demonstrate that there has been little if no attempt to understand what is actually being said.

  21. Nigel Poore

    Let’s get this right. As l see it:

    1. Let’s drop what Christians think and stop the “attack on Christians bit”…. homosexuality has absolutely nothing to do with what Christians think … has everything to do with what God thinks ……so “attack” God if you dare, and

    2. With all the thousands of words l see here defending that homosexuality is “ok” (says who?), l think its a simple case of “he protesteth too much”.

  22. Jon

    David, you seem to think that Christians own the word and definition of “marriage”. Christians redefined marriage in Australian and in Europe, and now they are upset if it gets re-redefined. Interesting that you don’t even see that you are trying to make others follow YOUR rules. To others it is clear that because of your interpretation of the bible non-Christian gays should not get married. I guess Christians are the last to support equal right on all issues.

    You asked:
    “Why is it that many (Christians and others) are being told that their convictions about what marriage is ought to be set aside in favour of others’?”

    BUT you can have your convictions about what marriage and follow them. Let others have their convictions about what marriage and follow them too. Letting gays marry will not affect your marriage, conviction or benefits. Just like when most Christians abandoned biblical polygamy marriage or if they will introduce biblical polygamy, it didn’t/doesn’t affect your marriage, conviction or benefits.

    You are trying to affect other people’s lives, they are not trying to affect your life – see the difference?

    In #LWTE you were portrayed as pushing theological agenda many times. In the program you only mentioned once or twice your view on health and family/adoption issues. I don’t see how those are even issues. Health argument is silly as long as you can buy cigarettes, and kids in gay families produce better outcomes as single parent families (yes, I’m aware of studies Christian apologists distribute about gay families). Both issues are non-starters.

    1. David Ould

      In #LWTE you were portrayed as pushing theological agenda many times

      Indeed. You should take that up with the producers.

  23. Ralph Horner

    David, I pretty much support you all the way on this issue/project. I’ve read your sermon and listened to your interview with Ben Fordham. IMO ‘gay marriage’ is actually an impossibility when one is thinking from the underlying concept/principle of what marriage really is. Man + woman is obviously very different from man + man.

    I see Michael and Greg as two ordinary guys with a very mixed up idea of what marriage is. The show demonstrated to me just how intolerant the ‘marriage equality’ lobby is. I’m not judging Michael and Greg personally but the whole ethos or way of thinking which argues from a simplistic, superficial idea of marriage which it wants to impose on the whole of society by guilting us into thinking that some sort of inequality exists. It’s a completely emotional rather than a rational argument.

    This intolerance, I believe is demonstrated in their complete unwillingness to even engage with any ideas that are contrary to their proclivity. It’s an emotional, close-minded approach to life that we probably all indulge in to some extent when we find things too difficult to deal with. The incident that stands out most for me was when Greg emphatically stated “there is no sin because there is no God”.

    The only reason ‘marriage equality’ has become an issue is because the concept of marriage has been so far degraded in many people’s minds that it is thought of as simply a social contract between two people that can be entered into and broken/dissolved at will. Even on a rational level marriage is much more than that. The term marriage properly applies to the conjunction of two complementary entities.

    For example there is a ‘marriage’ (relationship) between a bolt and a nut because they are designed to complement each other to form a new complex entity that is far more useful in it’s conjoined form than the two individual entities ever were. Given that individual men and women (being sentient creatures gifted with rationality and free-will) can act far more independently and usefully than a nut or bolt, the same principle applies in a loving and committed heterosexual relationship.

    It does not apply to a same-sex relationship. There may be friendship and sharing but more in a competitive than a cooperative way because the complementary, male/female principle is missing. IMO, it is completely illogical and confusing to mash these two unique relational concepts together under the one name.

    From a religious perspective (for those who don’t want to be atheists) we have God’s/Jesus’ definition of sexuality and it’s spiritual purpose (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6). My belief is that heaven (the state of eternal life and happiness) is like a marriage. All those in heaven have found their perfect married partner, something that is sorted out after death when all our inmost desires and wishes become manifest is a climate of universal love, acceptance and trust and distractions like same-sex attraction no longer exist.

  24. Ralph Horner

    One other comment David. I was a bit disappointed with the segment of the show where you contacted your brother. I realise now that it was because it was either edited or restricted to fit into the time frame. I did some Googling and found a website called 'Living out' or something similar that features your brother's story and filled in some of the gaps.

  25. Essie

    Hi David, I applaud your courage and steadfastness. I hope that this will open up many more ministry opportunities to people who’ve gained a new insight into Christian beliefs through your example on the show.

  26. Daniel

    Typical abuse of nationalism. One minute abused refugee, next minute proud aussie. A bit like the catholics turning it on and off to suit them

    1. David Ould

      Daniel, I think you’re commenting on tonight’s episode. This is the wrong place for that and, FWIW, a pretty poor comment.

  27. suz

    inflammatory rubbish ! The Australian govt. initially established the SBS to promote empathy & understanding .Programme’s like this promote misunderstanding and are actually provocative . The opposite of SBS’s charter obligations. This “doco” is misinformation at worse and political correctness at well … best.. SBS should not be publicly funded to screen this SHIIIIT! SHUT it /down – Tony Abbott-Forestville.

    1. Nigel Poore

      Have to agree. The ABC and SBS tend to be extreme left wing traitorous stirrers. You just have to laugh it off sometimes rather than waste energy. If we applied your judgement (shut them down) you do realise that all media would be shut down as “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” is not in any secular media outlets charter.

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