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“A Hard Day’s Night” – Letter from Australia 3

18th August 2019

Brothers and Sisters,

Living in a city of 5 million there are never a shortage of things to do….living in a country that is the sixth largest in the world (by land mass) there is never a shortage of places to visit. Yesterday we were sitting at a table with a construction worker and his wife and he was saying that he likes to spend his holidays exploring Australia and sees no need to go overseas – a contrast to the many Australians who think that the good life is going overseas three or four times per year!

The size of this land amazes me.   Sydney alone has 154 miles of coastline – much of it beaches.  The total land mass of Australia is 7,692, 024 km….in case you can’t picture that – here are a few pictures.

Screenshot 2019-08-18 at 06.42.10

One of the strangest things that we were asked to – was to attend a Beatles tribute band and a screening of the film A Hard Days Night. I’m not into tribute bands. Actually I have never seen a tribute band so the reason I am not into them is because I don’t like the idea – and think it’s a bit sad. I’ve seen the originals of the Who, Van Morrison, the Pretenders, UB40, Leonard Cohen and Runrig – amongst others – so why see what can only be a pale copy?

So when we were asked to attend the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace – (already one of my favourite places in Sydney) to see a Beatles tribute band it was only because ‘Paul McCartney’ is a personal friend and we wanted to support him. Although we did not expect to enjoy it – in actual fact the show was superb – the music was excellent, the packed audience loved it and got really engaged, and the whole afternoon was just good fun.


Societies Values change – only the Word of God is constant.

This thought struck me as we watched a Hard Days Night.  Society and its values are continually changing.  The Beatles are still superheroes too many. But the fact is that A Hard Day’s Night would not have been made today. You could argue that it was racist (the reference for example to Aborigines), mysognist, homophobic (doubtless the trans activists would also find it transphobic).   In an age of innocence having young school girls chasing after older men may have seemed fine – today it would be deemed creepy.


Society changes. Yesterdays values are not todays…and doubtless in 50 years time (in fact the way things are going in five years time) todays values will be deemed to be outdated and barbaric.   I am so thankful that as Christians we have a more solid source for our ethics, than the shifting sands of the Zeitgeists ‘values’.

‘Yesterday, today, forever,

Jesus is the same.

All may change, but Jesus never,

Glory to his name.

The Church as the Ultimate Tribute Band

In some ways the Church of Jesus Christ is the ultimate tribute band. Each congregation and each individual is to be a reflection of him and his glory. “Imitate me as I imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). We are made in God’s image and although that image is broken and marred by sin, when restored in Christ we are a new creation, designed to reflect and glorify him.

The big difference between us and a Beatles tribute band is that whilst they are not the Beatles and John, Paul, George and Ringo are not present….we ARE the body of Christ, and by his Spirit he is present. “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst” (Matthew 18:20).   Imagine if you were playing in a tribute band for Bob Dylan and you were told that Mr Zimmerman was present – how would you feel?   If you had the nerve to continue with the show I suspect you would do so with a degree of trepidation, not wanting to let the great man down…and you would put heart and soul in it. How can we do any less this Lord’s Day, when we meet with the Lord’s people, in the ultimate tribute!

My friend, Rob Smith, who played ‘Paul’ is actually an Anglican praise leader (amongst his many other talents) and a Christian songwriter of some note in Australia and beyond.  The Sunday after his Beatles concert he led us in praise at Sydney’s Anglican cathedral.  WIth the Beatles Rob was entertaining us, singing TO us; in the cathedral he was singing WITH us, to the triune God.   I know that if you asked him – ‘which is more important – to play in a Beatles tribute band to 5,000 people, or to lead God’s people in singing praise every Sunday?” the answer would be clear and unequivocal. Everything leads to worship.   We enjoy the Beatles, we may even be inspired by them…but we don’t worship them or anyone else. We worship only God.

I leave you with one of Rob’s songs – the beautiful Give me an Undivided Heart –


May you enjoy paying tribute to our Saviour today.


PS.  If you are reading this before 10:30 am on Sunday (Sydney time) please do pray as I will be preaching for the first time since we moved to Australia, on Sunday at Scots Presbyterian!

Madame Butterfly – (Letter from Australia 2)



  1. In addition to the comment I just posted, you may want to look at thus book:

    Jenks is another Brisbane Anglican, now in Grafton. This caused controversy, too:

    With so many people asdociated with the Westar Institute and Progressive Christianity promoted to all of the senior positions in the Diocese, it is unsurprising that the ultraliberal Anglo-Catholic Archbishop Aspinall invited Spong to preach in Brisbane some years ago:

  2. Part 4 – I should probably also mention some Uniting Church ministers associated with APCVA/Peter Catt:

    Elenie Poulos

    Conducted first same-sex marriage in a church in Western Australia, is a lesbian herself and supports the New South Wales abortion legislation changes.

    Doctor Avril Hannah-Jones

    Openly bisexual, opponent of Sydney Anglicanism and Israel Folau, known for profanity-laced Tweets.

  3. Final part:

    One more link on the Uniting Church:

    That photo in the article, of the woman priest with the rainbow flag above her altar, is as sickening as Peter Catt/Phillip Aspinall’s displays of rainbow flags and electronic signs flashing messages in support of Pride Marches that we now see regularly outside the Brisbane Anglican Cathedral, to say nothing of what goes on within (from Gay Evensongs to “Christian” yoga sessions.)

    The world has gone mad.

    I’d like to end with a prayer:

    Thank you, dear Lord and Father,

    for sending Pastor David here to help us at this time. Please give him the strength to always preach Your word with fidelity and to stand strong against the adversity he is bound to face from the false prophets, bullies and hypocrites in the Progressive Christianity movement.

    You know their hearts and what I myself have witnessed. Please give Pastor David the strength to save the lost sheep held spellbound by the false prophets and to help guide the Uniting Church and the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane back from the cesspit of sin in which they wallow, to fidelity to Your word.

    In the name of Jesus Your Son,


  4. Hmmm… It looks like part 1 of my post didn’t come through. 🙁

    I will try to remember what I wrote.

    I wished Pastor David a very happy stay here in Australia.

    I then linked him to various Twitter accounts showing the crazy things going on here in Brisbane.

    Twitter accounts that give insight into these false prophets. If you read through the history of the Tweets you will gain some insight into how they think.

    APCVA, co-founded by the notorious Anglican cathedral dean, Peter Catt, as a counter to the Australian Christian Lobby. They are a very unusual collecyion of people, spouting lefyist politucs, promoting gays, denouncing Fokau, etc. Reading through their tweets, you gain a real sense of them.

    Peter Catt’s own account (all politics, no Gospel content at all):

    Transgender priest and theology lecturer Jonathan/Josephine Inkpin,:

    Catt’s APCVA collaborator, the openly gay Stuart Edser:

    Former Brisbane priestess and APCVA secretary Tiffany Sparks:

    Note that APCVA only has around 150 members, as opposed to ACL’s 150 000…

    Catt changing carols to protest the environment:

    More of Catt’s views:

    Bishop Greaves:

    Gay evensong:

    Gay tea at Cathedral:

    Older news but shocking:

    The other thing I mentioned i the original message is that many of the liberal/progressive Christian zls in Brisbane have links to the American Westar Institute, founders of the Jesus Seminar.

    Catt quotes Marcus Borg five(!) times in this year’s cathedral report for the synod:

    Greaves is a friend of John Shelby Spong and Archbishop Aspinall personally invited Spong to Brisbane:

    I hope that gives you a good idea of what you are up against, Pastor David. The Anglican church here is overrun with these wolves.

  5. One I omitted:

    The infamous Rod Bower (of the politicised church signs notoriety) also has links to Peter Catt and the APCVA crowd. He is another liberal/progressive “Christian” with highly unorthodox views who is more interested in espousing leftist politics than in preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, just like Peter Catt.

    Twitter feed:

  6. Not to bombard you with too much of this sordid material but here is a new article by one homosexual Brisbane Anglican priest about another. Talks about how Brisbane is probably the most liberal diocese in the country and the general theological liberalism of Anglo-Catholics:

    On the same homosexual news site, Jonathan/Josephine Inkpin is opposing the religious freedoms bill:

  7. Yes, Anglican Church Southern Queensland is notoriously / heretical liberal these days.

    Dean Peter Catt promotes New Age Quackery and the rest of the cathedral staff are no better. Peter Catt is very eccentric and has a massive ego unfortunately. He is trying to reinvent Christianity in his own SJW image.

    I have always felt something eerie / uncomfortable in the cathedral. It is not just my imagination. I suspect it is due to the evil things that happen there (blasphemous rainbow Christ liturgies, gay celebration services, yoga, etc) and Anglo-Catholic nonsense (like a side chapel / shrine devoted to Mary and a ridiculous labytinth on the floor). Yoga, labyrinths, etc, are all man’s own futile attempts to reach God.

    The anti-Evangelical / anti-intellectualist / liberal Catholic ‘gay’ culture permeates the whole diocese from the St Francis Seminary to gay clubs like the Oratory of the Good Shepherd (OGS) and the Franciscans to unethical crooks like Rev’d Jeanette Jamieson who is Dean of the Sunshine Coast.

    Thank you for being brave enough to speak out. I no longer live in the diocese but what I saw during my time there sickened me. They are no longer Christians in any conventional or meaningful sense. They have sold out to the culture, twist the Bible shamelessly to suit their ends, revel in the discredited liberalism of the Jesus Seminar crowd and use their power to bulky those who stand for truth and fidelity to the scriptures. I witnessed it all during my time.

    At the apex are authoritarian politicos like Archbishop Aspinall and Bishop Jonathan Holland and their mouthpieces, the crooked deans.

    I actually pity them because they are on a path straight to hell given the way they lead people astray with made-up teachings of men and rejection of the Truth.

    In God’s time, something will have to give because things can’t go on like this there forever.

  8. BTW, this is the latest weirdness from the sordid Anglican Church Southern Queensland that has just come to my attention:

    They are trying to co-opt the reformers to support marriage equality! 🙁 Their arrogance never ceases to astonish me. 🙁

    This is almost as bad as Rev’d Jeanette Jamieson”s promotion of the church as ‘tolerant’ and ‘inclusive’ and then bullying out all the mainstream Christians at Kilcoy and Maleny.

  9. I have just been reading some of Gregory Jenks’ writings. There is some bizarre and, frankly, quite arrogant comments on his blog.

    He defends the notorious book the Brisbane Anglicans produced in this first example:

    It includes this gem: “The Councils and Creeds of the ancient churches have an ambiguous status in the churches of the twenty-first century, where no ruler can impose theological conformity on their subjects. We may simply have to face the fact that ancient rules have to be renegotiated in the new situation where we find ourselves as people of faith.”

    Some sweeping attacks on Australian evangelicals, particularly Sydney Anglicans and the Australian Christian Lobby and Martin Iles here:


    Of course, let’s remember Grehory was the Associate Director of the Westar Institute of fringe theologians who ran the now- discredited Jesus Seminar and that his Ph. D. from the University of Queensland was for
    “research into the origins and early development of the Antichrist myth.”

    1. It is worth reading through all of this, too, Pastor. It is a Uniting Church Progressive Christianity forum but Anglicans like Jenks and Peter Catt feature. Articles on resurrection and scientific worldview near the top are particularly disturbing. At what point are these people progressives but not Christian’s? Should they rightly be called deists or panentheists of they reject all creeds, the trinity, that Christ was God incarnate, that the Resurrection was a physical, historical event, that the Bible is God’s word, etc? Where is the line drawn?

      1. Just to go into a bit more detail for posterity’s sake here are some of the posts I found most disturbing on that Uniting Church Progressive “Christianity” forum:

        1. Redefining the resurrection and forgiveness:

        2. A new Sunday School curriculum, the primary aim of which “is to help children discover and relate to the Divine in themselves and each other.”

        3. A complete reinvention of the Christian faith, based on the notion that science and Bibkical faith are incompatible and that science/reason must take precedence:

        4. Reliance on the theories of the largely discredited pop theologians, Geza Vermes:

        5. From one of their female pastors on a spin-off site, a claim that the Great Commission was a fraudulent late addition to the Gospel text and was the origin of white supremacism:

        (Trinity Sunday has become Pride Sunday at her church, too: )

        6. She also still promotes the (now debunked) idea that the infancy narratives could not have been historical, despite new evidence emerging that they were:

        7. An admission by the president that Progressive Christianity is basically an identity politics/political correctness movement:

        8. Coupled to point 7, blaming a literal reading of the Bible for domestic violence:

        This is possibly based on the ABC’s major report on the matter by Anglican feminist journalist Julia Baird which was later debunked as thoroughly inaccurate by the ABC’s own Media Watch show!

        9. Attacks the proposed religious discrimination bill for privileging protection of freedom of conscience for people of faith over homosexual rights:

        They refuse to defend their fellow Christian, Israel Folau, over his stance on homosexuality, although they would probably sympathize with his non-Trinitarian views!

        10. Promotion of Gnosticism/the Gospel of Thomas via the openly-gay Christos Tsiolkas’ novel, which rejects Pauline Christianity:

        11. Promoting Borg and Crossan as “leading scholars” when they were very much on the fringes of academia and the Jesus Seminar through which they achieved notoriety has now been discredited as a bad joke:

        In summary, this is the kind of world leading Anglicans in Grafton and Brisbane like Dean Gregory Jenks, the hypocritical Dean Peter Catt, Rev Tiffany Sparks, the openly crooked Dean Jeanette Jamieson, Bishop Jeremy Greaves (see ) and Jo Inkpin among others are promoting. They are seeking to replace Christianity with a ritualistic left-wing social justice religion with some secular humanist, Deist/panentheist and Quaker elements.

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