One of the few remaining
ex-gay/reparative/conversion therapy organisations in Australia has announced
the appointment of a new leader after the resignation of Haydn Sennitt last
year. The December newsletter
"The Liberty Committee is
excited to announce that Allan Starr has been appointed as our new part-time
Pastoral Worker. He will begin with us in February 2014. After three years of
theological training, Allan spent ten years assisting in various Sydney
churches in a pastoral role. His experience in teaching and caring for
individuals and groups equips him well for this new role. We had a number of
impressive applicants for the position, but felt that Allan was the one who
offered the best combination of training and experience to help us move ahead
as a ministry. We are thankful to God for answering our prayers and making it
possible for Allan to join us. He is married to Meredith and has three young
One wonders if "We had a number of impressive applicants
for the position", is actually true or whether this is a bit of a
smoke screen considering what's
been said about them?
Allan Starr, the newly appointed pastoral worker, seems to have little
or no public profile except when he was robbed
in his parish in Bankstown. So why is Allan the best man
for the job to work with those with unwanted
same sex attraction ???
The questions remain.......
- Is Allan Starr same sex attracted himself and therefore
understanding of the people he works with?
- If he is same sex attracted....why hasn't he come out and said
it publicly in a testimony or on the internet? Fearful of controversy?
- Will Mr Starr refuse to speak with the media when asked for
comment as has happened in the past when
the effectiveness of the ministry was challenged?
- Will he preach a message of celibacy for same sex attracted
Christians and say that a person can be gay and Christian as Alan Chambers
(former leader of Exodus) has
stated. Or will his message be one of change and overcoming homosexuality
as Haydn Sennitt (previous pastoral) worker preached?
- Under Haydn's Sennitt's tenure at Liberty Christian Ministries,
instead of becoming a thriving ministry, it went
into decline. Will Allan Starr bring
the phoenix out of the ashes?
- How will Allan cope in the often volatile public space of the
debate on homosexuality and Christianity or will he only see people, one on one,
who have been referred to the ministry by church pastors or trouble parents. If so, then he won't get any referrals from
one of Australia's largest churches, Hillsong, according
to the pastor, Brian Houston.
© Anthony Venn-Brown
Anthony Venn-Brown is the co-founder and former leader of Freedom2b, Australia’s largest network of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people from Christian backgrounds. He is also an educator and consultant on LGBT/faith issues and leader in deconstructing the ‘ex-gay’ myth. Anthony’s autobiography 'A Life of Unlearning', details his journey from married, high profile preacher in Australia’s mega-churches to living as an openly gay man. Anthony has been twice voted ‘One of the 25 Most Influential Gay and Lesbian Australians’ (2007 & 2009) and was one of four finalists for the 2011 ACON Community Hero Award. He is also the founder and director of Ambassadors & Bridge Builders International.
Labels: alan chambers, exodus, hillsong, Liberty Christian Ministries, reparative therapy