Tag Archives: Christian Right

Praying away the gays: some responses from people who disagree with my last post

I’m not one to shy away from criticism. And I enjoy a good conversation where different ideas are presented and debated in the marketplace of ideas.

It’s fair to say that I have, in the past, been quite critical of those lobbying our politicians, from the outside, for the legislation of Christian moral values. Because I think on the whole it’s bad for the mission of the gospel. These groups don’t talk about Jesus enough. They tackle issues that play well with the people who fund them, but ignore the issues I think Jesus would have been concerned about in modern Australia. They confuse people about what the gospel is because they talk about morality, but not forgiveness, and sin but not grace. That’s my case. It’s not that I disagree with their views (or God’s views) on what sin is and isn’t. It’s just that I don’t think running around pretending the sky is falling in, and that the world will end if the word marriage is redefined (polygamy anybody?), is constructive for telling people how to find their identity in Jesus. And I think it’s often unloving to the minorities they choose to single out.

A friend shared the link to my post about “pray away the gay” on her Facebook wall. She has some involvement with the ACL and Family First, and many of her friends are card carrying members of the Christian right. Particularly one Jack Sonnemann, it’s fair to say he disagreed with my post. I sought his permission to post the conversation in the interest of presenting you, dear reader, with a “balanced” approach to the issue. Here it is, uncensored. There are moment when he refers to some comments from other people on the same thread – whose permission I haven’t received.

Feel free to respond to either of us in the comments – I will be supplying Jack with a link to this post. I don’t know if he’ll chime in though, but I will be inviting him to.

A conversation with Jack Sonnemann, Director, Australian Federation for the Family

Jack Sonnemann
I read the st-eutychus link and thought it to be pure unadulterated crap.

Nathan Campbell
Thanks Jack. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much and provided such constructive feedback.

Jack Sonnemann
I am very glad to have my battle scars standing up for Jesus in the public arena. I was just given a GLORIA award by the sodomite community for being one of the 10 most effective men in Australia thwarting the implimentation of the homosexual agenda, given an “Outstanding Achievement Award in Federal Parliament for protecting women and children from sexual exploitation, I have been featured, attacked and defamed in ALL of Australia’s porn publications, sued in the Supreme Court by one of our states Atty Gen, “targeted for destruction” by the professional pornographers, etc. There is a price to pay for our Christianity but I am afraid Sir Weary Dunlop was correct when he said, “The problem with Australia is that we have wimps in the pulpits and cowards in the pews.”

Nathan Campbell

Hi Jack. That’s great. I’m thrilled you’ve got scars and awards. I’m thrilled you’re protecting people. I’m just worried that the gospel of grace easily becomes a gospel of morality when we’re only ever quoted on moral issues in the public sphere and I’d prefer my pulpit to be used telling people the gospel and having them realise they need to reinvent their identity in Christ. Not telling people that they’re abominations or horrible sinners.

Jack Sonnemann
What a shame you do not know the gospel of grace is a moral one. Apparently you take authority over your pulpit. “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards is heresy to you?

Jack Sonnemann
Sorry. We do have a better guide than reason and I have even had God’s Holy Word – just a guess but I think you are a Obama (who calls the Koran holy) sympathiser – printed in Penthouse magazine.

Nathan Campbell

Yes Jack.I’m sure it’s this sort of balanced approach to understanding people you disagree with that won you your sodomites award.I’m sorry, I can’t tell if you’re deliberately interpreting my words in the most twisted way possible. There’s a difference between telling people they need to not be sinners to be right with God (moralism) and telling people they need Jesus because all people are sinful and have turned away from God (the gospel). The problem is that the media don’t really handle nuance all that well when reporting our opposition to immorality, and we often don’t nuance what we say well, so the overwhelming perception of what the gospel is is that people need to be good to be saved.

I don’t really understand any of your second comment about Obama or Penthouse magazine.

Jack Sonnemann

Vikki Nathan just doesn’t get it. No wonder we lead the developed world in violent and sexual assault, no wonder we lead the world in amphetamine and marijuana use, no wonder our children kill themselves more than anywhere else in the world, no wonder abotrion is our most common operation, we allow our daughters to become whores and we sell and display pornography to our children under such “Christian” leadership. Sadly I am reminded of Neh 4 where we are supposed to fight for our wives, daughters, sons and families yet the men turned back in the day of battle. A good definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. I, for one, will continue to fight. Eph 5:11

Nathan Campbell
Jack, this has been a fun conversation. I’m thrilled that somehow I am responsible for marijuana use (amongst other things) because I think we should be telling people they need Jesus.Glad to have virtually met you. Do you mind if I reproduce this conversation as a post on my blog? It presents a very different view to my original post, and I’m not afraid of criticism of my ideas.
Nathan Campbell
Though I can’t say I feel like you’ve been particularly logical in your treatment of my statements, or particularly fair in your assessment of my character.

Jack Sonnemann
I care not what you think of my comments and you can always post anything I say wherever you like. Just be sure you quote me fully as some just do a half-***ed job.

Nathan Campbell
Hmm. I’ll quote you in full, except I’ll avoid foul language and slightly censor that last comment. And I’ll provide a link here for you to check in case you feel like I’ve misrepresented you.

Jack Sonnemann
Sorry to have hurt your ‘feelings’. I can see how important they are to you.

Nathan Campbell
Hi Jack, I’m pretty thick skinned. I just think the way you’re treating me in this thread, someone you’ve never met who owns the name of Jesus, who is a brother in the Lord, demonstrates one of the inconsistencies with your approach to politics. Given that Jesus says the world will know that we are his disciples by how we love one another…

Nathan Campbell
If this sort of bullying approach to disagreement is the way you approach political discourse I’m going to suggest that your manner is as problematic to me as the content of your message.