Australia Bible Evangelism

Ozzie Observations – Week 9 – The Brisbane Boys (and girls)…

We will take a wee break from WeddingGate (I still have the challenge to fulfill of writing my own version of the sermon!) but before we go on to consider some lessons learned from a wonderful couple of days in Brisbane, I have to share this with you – Rod Liddle at his hilarious best –

The whole thing is perceptive, provocative and laugh-out-loud hilarious. My two favourite lines – “Curry had chutzpah and power, and he was the hit of the service. And yet what he actually said was banal to the point of imbecility. “ “It’s no good, then, cherry-picking Jesus.”   Sometimes you have to wonder why it is that the children of this world are sometimes wiser than the children of light?

We are just back from Brisbane – what one Sydneyite called Rustica – maybe a wee bit of jealousy? Perhaps they are a little concerned that what was once a large country town is now a city of some 2.4 million people with a better climate and the Gold Coast nearby!




What we saw of Brisbane was lovely, but I was there to lecture at Queensland Theological College (the Presbyterian college) and to give a talk at Ann St Presbyterian Church.

Some lessons I learned.

  • There are great theological colleges and spiritual life outside Sydney.  I was so impressed with QTC.
  • Screen Shot 2018-05-25 at 07.27.36

There is a good spirit in the place – it seemed a united, friendly,


outgoing and happy place. I’m sure much of this is to do with the principal and staff. Gary Miller as principal is a visionary and gifted leader. The member of staff I worked with Mark Baddeley was one of the best interviewers I have come across. I loved the way he guided his class and still gave me freedom! I found the interview I did with him (which I think will be on line) – stimulating. The students are blessed.


Celtic ministers can survive and thrive in Australia!  Gary is from Northern Ireland, David Jones, the minister of Ann St Pres is from Wales.

  • City centre churches need to change and develop in order to reach out. – Ann St was a traditional Presbyterian church in an old town building in the midst of a burgeoning modern city. They have developed the building and you can sense the beginnings of great potential for congregation and extension of the work. 

  • Screen Shot 2018-05-25 at 07.33.00
  • Work amongst students remains key. We had a good number of students, and the leader of AFES – Impressive and encouraging. Australia could be key to evangelising and discipling the Pacific Rim and AFES is a keep part of this.
  • The Lord’s people are hungry for leaders with biblical vision – I think that they sold about 175 tickets for the meeting last night. It was a full hall with a variety of ages, ethnic backgrounds and denominations – for a relatively unknown speaker. I think it was the subject (presenting Christ in a post Christian city), that appealed. I found it to be a stimulating and enjoyable meeting.   May the Lord richly use it.

Thanks to all in Brisbane who looked after us and enabled us to have a great time. As an honorary Sydneysider I would be happy to make a return visit to Brisbane! So that’s Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane…what’s left? Adelaide, Hobart, Perth and Darwin?!

The Joy of Sydney – Ozzie Observations – Week 8






  1. Huge thanks for the talk at Anne Street Presbyterian last night! As a friend put it, “the best talk I think I’ve heard all year!” Challenging in all the right ways, and very encouraging as well. You’ve given us plenty to mull over, that’s for sure.

    Thanks for popping in to visit Brisbane, it was really great to hear from you!

  2. I’m delighted us Celts are able to still make such an impact for God around the world.
    Keep being the blessing God has made you to be David.

    Love the Rod Liddle artical. Spot on. Oh how I laughed.

  3. Rod Liddle , obviously a man who has as much a passion for his craft ( journalism ) as you have for the gospel . He , however will not be miscalled or chided for such an eloquently written observance on the “Big Mamma” style sermon of Archbishop Curry. You , however must David, because that is what you are called to . ( and you know , it can get much worse)

    The Bishop has returned home to triumphant raptures , and is in demand , from every news channel and talk show . I wonder how much will be said about Jesus and will the significance of God’s true love in Christ’s atoning death be preached in his many tv appearances? I doubt it . Cos, to the world that just ain’t real love ! That’s why the church of Jesus Christ needs guys like you , and the others who have not bowed the knee to Baal .

  4. 1 Gary Miller: First came across him on the Gospel Coalition, when he was interviewed by Nancy Guthrie, in the “Help me teach the Bible” series. It was on the book of 1 King, in 2 parts and excellent it is too, here:
    Can’t find part 2
    Then at last year’s Keswick Convention, I bought his book, Saving Eutychus. I trust he gave you a copy David!
    2 Rod Liddle: following on from this, Curry’s sermon could have played equally well to a marriage between father and daughter, two brothers, mother and son, unconditional, sacrificial love between rescue dog (trained to woof approval, and hold up a paw, at the right moment) and grateful rescued from death, human. Ooh, Ooh, Aah. No matter that there are prohibited degrees for marriage, for good reasons.
    It may be a slippery slope argument, but it doesn’t mean we are not on one.

  5. As I watched Curry’s, “whatever you want to call it”, I was initially intrigued. Intrigue quickly turned to, “what the H. E. double hockey sticks!!!!!” This can’t be happening. He’s not preaching the gospel and he’s making my Queen and her family uncomfortable, IN HER OWN CHURCH!

    Within moments of the end of the wedding, and thankfully, it did end, (did anyone notice the vast sums of money and the way the carriage horses lip was flapping strangely? – where is Peta?) I quickly searched on line to find other people’s horror with regard to the blusteringly stupid “sermon”, and found none.

    Maybe my years of bible study have been a waste. All I found was praise. I have to insert here that I had already posted a message on Facebook about the drivel, only to find I was getting attacked for my position. Now I really started searching on line, as fast as I could. HELP!!!

    I decided to hold steady… I could handle this. I’ve read the Bible many times (King James, thank you very much – I threw my living bibles in the trash many years ago) and I know what I heard was blown out the rear end of a rat, but, even people I thought kind of liked me, and would allow me an opinion of my own, jumped on board to disagree with me. I had to have more backing. (Why? Because I am a woman and for years, my ideas would be squashed to the point that I left the church for good). I digress. I decided that if I was wrong, then I’d better be prepared to do a shake shimmy tap dance, say sorry, and then shut my Facebook page down so as not to ruin my real estate career.

    And then I found you…The Wee Flea.

    Thank you for holding strong even though it hurts your heart to be attacked – because you are right. And, so am I.

    This is one of my follow up messages on my FB page.

    “In light of the current wedding, and said festivities One finds Oneself involved in, One decided to share this video – in particular for its elusive “Flappy Pappy”. One rarely has the joyous occasion to hear it unless One has an ear for the rarest of gasses.”

    (If the world loves Michael Curry’s empty words that have nothing to do with the Bible, then they will love this).

    (If you can’t open the link, it’s called, the farting preacher-google it).

    And then I wrote this song:

    Love, Love, Love , Love, Love, Love, Love, Love. Blah, blah, blah. What was I saying? Something about harnessing fire, which has nothing to do with the couple. I stole the show because I said enough stupid things to make the world love me.
    Love is God, Not God is Love – Because I am….. A……. (each dot is a beat – And: Don’t Read this part before your Sing Bishop). BiiiiiiiiiiiiiiShop! (Really hold that i, and land hard Shop!)

    (I think I need to add one more Blah for balance).
    How will we know it’s being sung in the proper sing songy voice? Hmmmm

    I await my assault.

    Thank you,

    Kelly Liberatore
    Kauai, Hawaii

    (Dear reader, if you find a misspelling, get over it, it’s not worth a corrective post. I’ll probably do it again anyway)

  6. Kelly, a couple of questions. You say that the Royal family was being made uncomfortable in her own church. Could you please develop your comment here? What did you pick up on that others may have missed?
    Also you seem to dismiss the Bishop’s talking about ‘fire’. Did you notice that the link between love and fire was in the biblical text he was using?
    Thank you.

  7. Dear Bruce,

    Thank you for asking. With regard to the Royals being uncomfortable, as I listened to the sermon, the camera panned to various members in the audience and I picked up the body language, there were stifled giggles and awkward facial expressions, in particular with the cousins. It was unusual.

    The link of fire and King Solomon was not lost. I think Solomon was like a poet and he describes love being like fire. For anyone that has been in love, that is so true. For the reader, here is the verse:
    “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.”
    King James Version (KJV)
    In Curry’s case, he used the harnessing of fire to refer to things like being a sanitary way of eating, fire making human civilization possible, it reduced the spread of disease. Hmmm? I thought that was washing and the invention of antibiotics. His grand finally is that fire made it possible to drive to the wedding. I’m not expecting an alter call at a wedding, but I don’t think we’d be having any conversation about it if it were delivered by a non clergy. Perhaps we were expecting more. Non believers love a free pass – all they need to do is love.

    Bruce, I don’t claim to be a theologian, but I trust my judgment. Again, thank you for being kind in your asking for an explanation. I doubt that I have the answers. I will tell you this has sparked me to want to study the bible again so as not to get hood winked. It’s time.

    This man explains it better than I. If the link won’t open, search, “The Royal Wedding Sermon Disaster” Wretched Radio on YouTube.

  8. Kelly, thank you for your explanation. Yes, the audience did look a bit uncomfortable, didn’t they? I wonder if this might be because they were actually intrigued with the idea that love might change the way the world is and that part of God’s purpose might be for us to treat each other differently than we do?
    I was a bit disappointed with the guy on Wretched Radio. He seemed to pooh-pooh the idea that Jesus might have started a revolution. But when you think about it, God becoming a human is rather revolutionary. And Jesus being raised from the dead is definitely revolutionary. And God sending the Spirit (Himself) to strengthen us in following Jesus might make a real difference in the way we treat each other. I don’t think Wretched mentioned these as aspects of the New Testament gospel which they certainly are. I wonder then if Wretched’s gospel is limited in a different direction from Bishop Michael?

  9. Dear Bruce,

    With regard to your statement: “I wonder if this might be because they were actually intrigued with the idea that love might change the way the world is and that part of God’s purpose might be for us to treat each other differently than we do?” Could you please develop your comment here?

  10. Hi Kelly. I will try to develop what I mean. In another comment on this site I quoted from Bishop Michael’s sermon: ‘Imagine governments and nations where love is the way. Imagine business and commerce when love is the way. … When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream and righteousness like an ever-flowing brook. When love is the way, poverty will become history. When love is the way, the Earth will be a sanctuary. When love is the way, we will lay down our swords and shields, down by the riverside, to study war no more. ‘
    Wasn’t he saying here that we might get a glimpse of what God intends for the world: ‘justice will roll down like a mighty stream’ and ‘swords and shields will be lain down’ if instead of the way nations and businesses (and families) often act, we were to act with love? ‘Politicians are patient and kind’, ‘CEOs are not arrogant or rude’, ‘people in our families do not insist on their own way’ etc sounds rather unlike what we actually experience. So love is NOT the way our world is working. But what if it were? Wasn’t the bishop asking his audience (including people who are in government & business) to consider how acting lovingly towards each other might change what our world looks like?

    1. He may have been – but he was not talking about the love of God…he was talking about being ‘nice’. ….and he was also being a complete hypocrite – what is loving about taking members of your own church to court to get their buildings and spending $60 million to do so – could that money not have been used for the poor?

      1. David, of course here he was not talking about the love of God. And being patient and kind, not arrogant or rude etc. is not about being ‘nice’. Bishop Michael has to answer for his actions. But how does that affect the point he was making?

      2. Because hypocrisy negates the message. And he said he was talking about the love of God. Therefore if it was obvious to you that he was not – yet others thought he was, and he said he was – there is an enormous problem as I pointed out in the article.

  11. David, so are you saying that we can learn/benefit from what someone has said only if they have never been hypocritical? As I said, Bishop Michael has to answer for _his_ actions.
    No, he did not say he was talking about the ‘love of God’ in the quotation I gave. He was talking about ‘love for neighbour’ which again is not about ‘being nice’. In fact he mentioned ‘love of God’ only twice.

    1. No – thats not what I’m saying. Although it is a factor. And yes he did say he was talking about the love of God – although he believes that love is God. His sermon was meaningless waffle…so postmodern that anyone can (and does) put whatever meaning they want to it…

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