Claims evangelical Christian churches preach gay hate in public schools | SBS

Odd that SBS have removed the story “Claims evangelical Christian churches preach gay hate in public schools” from their web site. View the story here.

Odd that SBS have removed the story “Claims evangelical Christian churches preach gay hate in public schools” from their web site.  The cached version is currently here and pasted below.  It also appears on a variety of other places on the Internet.


  • Maitland Evangelical Church operates from within the East Maitland Public School. (Supplied)
  • “God’s good design for sex within marriage” is between “one man and a woman” according to one sermon. (Getty Images)
  • “Even though books have been written and studies have been conducted to show that the gay lifestyle is not a happy one, people persist in the rejection of God.” (Getty Images)
  • Maitland Evangelical Church operates from within the East Maitland Public School. (Supplied)
  • “God’s good design for sex within marriage” is between “one man and a woman” according to one sermon. (Getty Images)
Exclusive: Serious allegations have emerged that gay hate messages are being preached inside public schools by evangelical groups.
By

28 JUN 2016 – 12:37 PM  UPDATED 52 MINS AGO

Evangelical Christian churches are using some New South Wales schools to allegedly preach homophobic messages, SBS can reveal.

Recordings of sermons obtained by SBS include teachings that the punishment for gay sex is death, marriage and sex is between a man and a woman only, and that the gay “lifestyle” is “unhappy”.

The sermons are being delivered by members of the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches. Many of the churches are housed on public school grounds in NSW, where they conduct weekly services by arrangement with the individual schools.

One recording of a sermon on homosexuality and the Bible’s book of Leviticus from the Lakes Christian Church, based inside the Berkeley Vale Campus, Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College on the NSW Central Coast, includes references to the “death penalty” as a punishment for the “sin” of homosexuality.

“In Chapter 20, He [God] states the death penalty for those who disobey. And notice throughout…if it is not the death penalty, it’s being cut off from the people of God, which is still death, not just instant death and so God is serious about sexual purity,” the pastor claims in the recording, which has since been removed from the church’s website.

The Hunter Bible Church which operates from Lambton Public school in NSW.

The Hunter Bible church which operates from Lambton Public School in NSW. (Supplied)

The sermon goes on to preach that: “God’s good design for sex within marriage” is between “one man and a woman”.

“Even though books have been written and studies have been conducted to show that the gay lifestyle is not a happy one, people persist in the rejection of God. Let me encourage you that if you are in any doubt about how destructive that sexual sin is…have a look at the research and I can, I can point it out to you.”

In a response to questions about the sermon from SBS a spokesman for The Lakes Church said it was from 2013 and that he did not believe the sermon was homophobic in nature.

“Views on sexual ethics differ in society,” he said.  “Our beliefs are those of mainstream Christian churches around the world. We teach that Christ offers life and hope in a world which lacks both.”

The spokesman also told SBS the sermon was specifically in relation to a talk on sexual ethics at The Festival of Dangerous Ideas and that it was being misconstrued when taken outside of that context.

A spokesman for the NSW Department of Education said it was forbidden to use school facilities to spread homophobia.

“The Department of Education does not allow any group or church to use school grounds to preach homophobic messages,” he told SBS, referring to the NSW Department of Education’s policy on the use of school facilities.

Berkeley Vale Campus, Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College, Lambton High School and Maitland Evangelical Churches did not respond to requests for comment by SBS.

Maitland Grossman High School said it did not wish to comment.

Darrin Morgan, from the lobby group Human Rights Advocacy Australia (HRAA), said he complained to both the Department of Education and Berkeley Vale Campus, Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College in April this year but said other than asking the church not to preach homophobic messages, no further action had been taken.

“HRAA believes that NSW public school facilities should not be used to promote beliefs which marginalise members of both the school and wider community,” he told SBS.

Coming in the school gate: The battle over religious education in public schools
A series of incidents involving extreme Christian teachings about wives submitting to husbands, gender roles and Harry Potter being witchcraft in NSW public schools has led to renewed calls to ban scripture classes during school hours.

In response to a complaint from HRAA to Lakes Secondary College Berkeley Vale Campus, the acting principal confirmed the school was aware of the sermon and that it was not appropriate material.

“I have determined that the sermon described in your complaint was not consistent with the expectations of the community use agreement between Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College Berkeley Vale Campus and The Lakes Church,” she wrote in response to HRAA’s complaint.

However the church continues to operate from the school. The Lakes Church spokesman said he believed the Church was compliant with the Department’s guidelines.

“We believe that we comply with the conditions of our agreement to use school facilities,” he told SBS.

Mr Morgan said religious groups with these views should not be accessing school facilities.

“HRAA is simply asking the minister for education and the Department of Education to implement the department’s own policies and procedures in an objective and neutral manner. This requires such organisations to be deemed ‘inappropriate organisations’ and therefore must be denied use of public school facilities,” he said.

SBS can reveal at least two other churches from the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches based in NSW public schools have made anti-gay sermons.

In two recordings posted online by the Hunter Bible Church, based at Lambton High School in Newcastle, a pastor states that homosexuality is a sin and wrong.

“Homosexuality is one of the things that send people to hell,” the pastor states.

“Anything outside of that, whether it is homosexuality, or adultery or pornography or sex before marriage; anything that doesn’t conform with what God created us into, is wrong.”

Liberia Turns Towards Normalcy As Fight Continues To Eradicate Ebola

“Even though books have been written and studies have been conducted to show that the gay lifestyle is not a happy one, people persist in the rejection of God.” (Getty)

A spokesman for the Hunter Bible Church denied anti-gay sermons had been preached on the school site.

“No message that fits what you’ve described has been given on school grounds,” he told SBS.

When SBS drew his attention to the recordings about homosexuality on the church’s website, the spokesman did not respond further.

An audio recording from the Maitland Evangelical Church discusses the evils of incest, homosexuality and adultery in the same sermon.

“God does not want us sinking in a sea of shame,” the Pastor says.

“If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, with the wife of his neighbour; both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death. Now that sounds drastic doesn’t it and it is  – God will judge sexual sin  – the Israelites didn’t get away with it back then, and we will not get away with it either.”

A response from SBS to the ECAJ’s complaint about “The Promise”

The ECAJ have complained to SBS about discrimination and stereotyping. Consider this reply from SBS to the ECAJ, challenging issues of discrimination and harmful behaviour in the Jewish community.

Consider this conversation* between Sally Begbie, SBS Ombudsman and Peter Wertheim, ECAJ Executive Director regarding the ECAJ complaint about the screening of “The Promise”, a situation that has even made the mainstream media.

SALLY BEGBIE:  Hi Peter.  It’s Sally Begbie from SBS calling.  It’s about the letter we’ve received from you regarding The Promise.

PETER WERTHEIM:  Hi Sally.  Thanks for calling.  How may I help you?

SALLY:  I’ve read the complaint, all 31 pages.  It took me a while to get through the document.  Very thorough and comprehensively researched I’ll have to admit.

PETER:  Indeed.

SALLY:  It’s about stereotyping, and discrimination of Jewish people.  Those are the main concerns?

PETER:  Yes, that’s correct.  Stereotyping, discrimination, negative attitudes of Jews.

SALLY:  I see.  Yes.  That’s a concern we take seriously at SBS.

PETER:  That’s good to hear.

SALLY:  And no doubt, it’s something your organisation takes just as seriously, stereotyping and discrimination.

PETER:  Absolutely.  We pride ourselves on our efforts to prevent and reverse such attitudes.  If you take a moment to review our web site you’ll see we give those issues priority amongst the many issues we care about.

SALLY:  That’s excellent to hear.  In reviewing the complaint that we’ve received I have been doing some research into issues and attitudes amongst the community you represent, to gain a more complete understanding of the situation.  I’ve had some interesting findings.

PETER:  Oh, yes?

SALLY:  Well, it seems that there appears to be an area of concern into discrimination that the ECAJ has remained silent on, that some in your community are demanding a more vocal response.

PETER:  Please explain.

SALLY:  In particular, it seems that the ECAJ values equality and egalitarianism, yet has no comment to make on the issue of marriage equality.  That would seem to me to be a strange position to take, considering your organisation does not stand for discrimination in any way whatsoever.

PETER:  That’s a difficult area Sally.

SALLY:  Discrimination?  It really doesn’t seem that difficult to me.

PETER:  No, not discrimination.  Marriage.  It’s a complex issue for some in the Jewish community.

SALLY:  But your organisation does not stand for discrimination.

PETER:  Correct.

SALLY:  And yet you’re prepared to remain tolerant of some discrimination?

PETER:  No, we don’t stand for discrimination of any type.

SALLY:  So you’re supportive of efforts to remove discrimination facing Jews in same-sex relationships?

PETER:  It’s not so simple Sally.

SALLY:  It is to me.  Discrimination is discrimination.

PETER:  Of course, but not all discrimination is the same.

SALLY:  However you look at it, it’s still discrimination.  There’s another issue that has come to my attention.  If I may.

PETER:  Certainly.

SALLY:  I’ve read that some in your community are concerned about attitudes that are upheld amongst certain religious leaders and members of the community whereby homosexuality is considered a condition that can be overcome with reparative therapy.  The concerned parties seem to be calling on your organisation to speak out against these attitudes, claiming they’re proven to be harmful to members of the community who are being asked to overcome their orientation.  They’ve provided you with evidence from leading professional bodies claiming these are harmful and ineffective therapies.

PETER:  I’ve heard these concerns.

SALLY:  Do you take them seriously?  The claims that they are harmful to members of the Jewish community who are being forced to undertake them?

PETER:  Absolutely.  The ECAJ does not for one minute want a single member of the Jewish community to undergo an iota of suffering or come to any harm.  We would extend that concern to the wider community as well.

SALLY:  And you would then want to ensure that your community had a clear and unambiguous understanding that it is inappropriate to refer people to practitioners of these untoward therapies?

PETER:  It would be our desire to ensure no member of our community came to any harm.

SALLY:  So what I am hearing is that your organisation takes the issues of discrimination and harm seriously and wants to ensure the ongoing and increasing welfare of the members of your community, the Jewish people of Australia.

PETER:  Effectively.  Yes.

SALLY:  Then it would seem to me, Peter, that it would be to your organisation’s advantage to show the rest of us that it does take these issues seriously and take a stand on them.  You are asking SBS to take a stand against discrimination and stereotyping affecting the Jewish people, but what I see is that there are members of your community who are lacking the necessary protection from your organisation and who are at the mercy of harmful attitudes that have not been reined in.

PETER:  Of course, we want a positive outcome for all parties.

SALLY:  That’s good to hear.  So do we.  I appreciate your time today.  We’ll be in touch.


  • This is one of many possible conversations that could potentially occur.  I am not aware of it actually having occurred, yet.