An Open Letter to Christians: about Guy Sebastian

This morning I started my day by reading through my Facebook wall and I stumbled across another ‘open letter’ to Guy Sebastian (http://bit.ly/WtO0Xd). This letter is the second of its kind that I have read in the past week; letters that have openly ‘called Guy to account’ for a recent interview (http://bit.ly/Th2LMv) where he described his current faith position. Before continuing I would like to openly state that I do not personally know Guy, nor am I a fan of Guy Sebastian’s artistry (though I have often stated I believe he is a very talented dude); and I have frequently spoken in opposition to the music industry’s infatuation with TV singing talent quests (e.g. http://bit.ly/VaVLfC). But this issue goes beyond Guy’s vocal talent or musical skill – this issue speaks to the topic of spiritual formation and our need to commentate on how another person runs the race of faith.

Specifically, Guy’s musical ability has hardly rated a mention in the social media back ‘n forth of the past few days. It is this very point that is of interest to me…Guy Sebastian is a vocal artist (regardless of his journey’s genesis); he is not a Christian leader, pastor or theologian! I can already hear you correcting me. But Daniel, Guy is a role model to thousands of young people. Yes, he is…and by current secular (and Christian) standards a rather good one. But Daniel, Guy has made categorical statements in the past advocating for the Christian faith. Yes, he has…statements I believe were made with a sincerity of heart and intention when he first made them. But Daniel, Guy should be held accountable for his current faith statements because they do not line up with orthodox/classic Christian views. Should he? I might be able to agree with you (emphasis on ‘might’) if Guy were a Christian leader, pastor or theologian; but he isn’t. He’s a muso; a successful, famous, talented MUSO! Does this excuse Guy from the responsibilities of a life lived publically? No, but it does call into question our expectation around how Guy should or should not articulate his faith journey…his own personal spiritual formation.

I would like to call us, the Christian community, to account. I am keen to do this with as much humility as my imperfect humanness can muster. I would like to suggest that it is us who is in the wrong; and not Guy. Our error is found in our quick judgement and our arrogant responses; responses that (if we are completely honest with ourselves) are driven by a need for power and ‘one-upmanship’. I am the first to admit that when I first read the interview where Guy stated his current faith position I uttered my opinion: “no surprise there…he was always going to let us down!” But there’s the rub. Guy didn’t let us down. It was our own idolatry that lifted Guy to a position of unrealistic and ungodly expectation. We expected Guy to be ‘super human’ and champion the Christian cause. We had literally made Guy an ‘Australian IDOL’. I guess the argument could be mounted that Guy never refused our support. But let me ask us the question, “Would we have refused the same support under the same circumstances?” I’m not bold enough to suggest I would have refused it.

This whole saga reminds me of Jesus bending down to write in the sand. I must admit, despite the bible not telling us what he scratched out in the dirt, if I had stood in the circle with stone in hand (and to my shame I have gathered for a good metaphorical stoning far too often), that my name would’ve been top of Jesus’ doodle list. You are right to think to yourself, “Daniel, your mention of this biblical story is taken out of context. The lady who was about to be stoned was caught in adultery.” That’s right – a moral crime for her day; a crime, according to Jewish law, that required death by stoning. My question to us as a Christian community is, what moral wrong has Guy committed, and why are we all standing around with rocks in our hands? Guy, like me, and like each of us, is on a spiritual journey. Currently, as it would appear, Guy does not view the world according to orthodox Christian views. It seems to me that Guy is questioning the faith construct that he was handed by virtue of his upbringing. How can this be viewed as anything other than maturity? If only more Christians actively reflected on their beliefs and questioned their worldview we might find that much of what we hold dear is not necessarily scriptural but actually cultural.

Now before you turn your attention on me and start casting those rocks my way, allow me to state that I am neither a Pluralist nor a Universalist; an accusation that I believe has been wrongly (and poorly) levelled at Guy. I personally hold that ‘Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life’. But my belief should not be used as a weapon of mass social media destruction in order to make me feel better about my own personal views. Faith is called faith; Faith is not called fact. It does not take faith to believe in gravity…as Fearless Felix Baumgartner recently reminded us (http://wapo.st/Vb8Eqb); but it does take faith to work through the unknowable…those things that cannot be categorised as ‘fact’. This is what, in my view, Guy is doing. Guy is contemplating the unknowable. Guy is exercising faith. How God responds to this, is up to God! One thing I’m most certain of is that God will respond to Guy’s questions with more grace than we have. Why? Because God answers questions. God answers faith…and, thankfully, he even responds to doubt.

In closing my ‘open letter’ I eagerly invite your comments and views. This being said, I ask you to write your responses (even those that agree with my post) with a sense of civility; ‘owning and grounding’ your comments with grace and humility. If you don’t feel you can respond with maturity then I humbly request that you abstain from contributing your thoughts.

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About Dr Daniel K. Robinson

Daniel is a freelance artist and educator. In 2011 Daniel completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. He has served as National Vice President (2009–11) and National Secretary for the Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing (2006–11) and was awarded the ANATS National Certificate of Recognition for service to the profession in 2012. Daniel is the principal Singing Voice Specialist for Djarts (www.djarts.com.au) and presents workshops and seminars to church singers across Australia and abroad. He and his wife Jodie have three children and live in Brisbane, Queensland Australia.

Posted on October 19, 2012, in Leadership, Religion, Uncategorized, Worship Constructs and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 39 Comments.

  1. Good on you Daniel – there are many who are quick to judge/comment, not on the intent but because its not “our way”…….. our way of doing something, or our way of being in relationship, or not what the essence of what is being said but how its being said.

    Whether traditional liturgical, or pentacostal, fee worship, etc …too often we fail to remember that Jesus (or God) didnt form the denominations/different churches or how to worship – he just asked us to be in his family. It was man who chose various ways to do things to be comfortable and fit (and mainly fit lifestyles, musical tastes etc etc). Just like my sister and I have different friends and different musical tastes etc – but we are still part of the same family …… so, I feel that its a matter for the Lord to judge if someone’s way of being with Him is real and right – – – and as long as others are real in what they believe/relationally with Him – then there should be acceptance ……. thats my view anyway

  2. Thank you, Dan, well put and necessary.
    I agree that it’s we, the Christian public, who often do much damage by failing to be accountable to the Lord’s example and instruction in the way we regard and treat those who think different from ourselves. As Christians we can seriously damage especially those who are vulnerable, or are young and learning about life and Christian faith in the world God has put is in to learn about and manage for Him.
    Let’s continue to pray for Guy and others who are in the frequent glare of public life and the media, and especially for those who fall short of our dreams for them! And have a heart for these people… I’m sure God isn’t finished with Guy (or me) yet, thank You, Lord!

  3. This is a brilliant, well balanced response, Dan, and I hope it gets wide coverage in Christian circles. Guy seems to be working through a few issues, much like all of us do sometimes. Standing around and criticising him for it suggests that we’ve placed way too many expectations on a mere human.

  4. Thanks Dan.
    Well written and sober.

    I notice you quoted ‘Jesus is the way, truth and life’. I understand that is a strong Christian ‘value'(?) However, Christianity would do well to stop reading it as

    “Christianity is the way truth and life” …or
    “Certain doctrines/fundamentals about Jesus are the way truth and life” …or
    “The bible is the way truth and life because Jesus is in it”

    I think Guy has finally worked this out.
    I don’t think we need to worry about him one bit. Worry about ourselves who, deep down, believe the latter quotes more than the former scriptural one.

    Good on you guy. You are not alone, thousands are jumping the arrogant, small minded fundamental ship….and the water is fantastic!!
    He will never return to the conservative doctrines of fundamentalism … he has tasted and seen that the Lord really is GOOD’ Turning back would be like a dog returning to his vomit.

    Blessings
    jacq

    • Hey Jacq, thanks for your thoughts.

      I quoted Jesus statement as he stated it because this is what I subscribe to; this is what I believe. I think you make a good point in drawing our attention to the fact that our human constructs that we have erected around Jesus’ comment are open to question and query. This being said, I would be careful not to draw up a dichotomy where anything that has the smell of ‘religion’ on it is automatically bad and, alternatively, any piece of free thought is immediately interpreted as good. I’m certain you will agree that it is not that simple. For example, I attend a relatively conservative church which has a number of, what some might consider, fundamentalist views on religion. But here we must be careful not to load the terms ‘conservative’ and ‘fundamentalist’ automatically with negative overtones. In fact, that sense of conservativeness and fundamentalism is grounding to some and I personally find that it can be helpful to my spiritual development.

      Again, thanks for your comments and adding to the discussion.

  5. Thanks for posting this Dan. Some sense at last. I am not actually a practicing christian, perhaps not even a believer at all, and so have no issues with Guy, or what he said or is reported to have said in the media. I really don’t care what he believes or doesn’t believe, or what faith he follows or doesn’t follow. But I do have an issue with the people who have attacked him, interpreting what he said as being anti christian or anti God. I am so sad that christians who are meant to love their fellow man, can vent so much hate for someone who is just trying to find his way in life as we all are. There has been so many vicious comments online, and some of this viciousness has been aggravated and stirred up even more by people like Adam writing open letters to him, supposedly trying to teach christian values to him, when their very letters are far from christian. I wonder why some like Adam are so upset at what one person says, when they have thousands who follow their dogma to the letter. Are they really afraid that Guy can cause a mass exodus from their faith. If so, how out of touch they are. Adam certainly was when he made this statement in his supposedly loving caring letter to his “bro”.

    “you’re a spokesmen to an entire generation of young Australians, both inside and outside the church…and your words carry weight.”

    The majority of Guy’s fanbase are fans because of his music, not because of his religion. He has never preached to them and I doubt any of them have thought of him as a spokesperson for christianity. I doubt he has drawn many people into the church, or is driving them out now. I am sure their beliefs, or non beliefs, their church going habits, or lack of church going habits will stay exactly as they were before the article was printed.

    I guess this post may not fullfill your requirement of civility at least to Adam. But I am not feeling particularly civil about him at the moment. So decided to write it, regardless of whether it gets accepted. Adam I still love you bro, just as you still love your bro Guy.

    • Thanks Maureen. Thank you particularly for providing us with the perspective (at least as you see it) from the standpoint of a non Christian.

      Allow me, if you will, to soften one aspect of your commentary. I don’t believe that Adam or others that have written the ‘open letters’ hate Guy…I really don’t. This being said, their sense of care and concern can all too easily come across as condescending and belittling when read within the ‘storm in a teacup’ environment of social media. Sadly, there will always be ‘trolls’ online, but I would not group Adam (or some of the more considered views) in with them. I respectfully disagree with the manner in which they have approached the topic, and I’m keen for Christians and non-Christians alike to know that we simply don’t need to ‘shoot our own’ the moment they start to question the orthodox ‘Christian’ view.

      Again, thanks for your comments.

  6. I am not saying Adam hates Guy, or that his letter was vicious at all Dan, just arrogant and judgmental. What I am saying is that when a pastor posts a letter like that it helps to stir the pot and encourage some very nasty people who are posting absolutely vile comments to Guy on his social media sites. Some which are so nasty they are making some of his more sensitive fans actually cry. Not me as I very rarely cry, but it does make me so sick I have stopped reading them. I can’t even imagine how those comments are making Guy feel. Now whether they are doing it because of their genuine beliefs, or because they are trolls, I would say that when a pastor comes out and posts an open letter on Guy’s own social media sites he is encouraging that behaviour. Not christian in my humble non christian opinion.

  7. Thank you for accepting my post Dan. I wasn’t expecting you to actually as I said. Maybe I am firing off a little too harshly myself, but this part of Guy’s response to Adam really got to me and made me angry and sad at the same time.

    “Your words were not tolerant. They were absolute and presumptuous. They were hurtful and they were done on a public forum for everyone to see. Since being on the front page of the newspaper and having headlines that were misleading written, I have not received ONE letter, text, tweet, Facebook message etc etc from even ONE leader or pastor, including people those that know, asking if i was ok, or how i was coping with all the arrows being fired my way.”

    That’s just plain sad. So quick to condemn without even trying to find out what he really said or meant.

  8. Okay maybe I’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months but what interview with Guy? Can somebody tell me so I can read it and find out what he said?

    I’ve got the gist of it from reading this post … all I can do is agree. For anybody who has been raised a Christian / in the church, there will come a time when they WILL stop and question their faith. Why do they in fact, believe what they believe? A time of searching – what other religions are on offer? I think that UNTIL we have been through this time of questioning, searching and even doubting …. and come through the other side … we have not reached maturity or truly “individuated” as the psychologists call it.

    Why do we assume that when we follow Christ, we put aside all questioning, reasoning, and intellect? If God is who He says He is, surely He is big enough to handle our queries and show Himself if we truly seek Him with all our hearts???

    Leave it to Guy and God to sort it out. And if you are worried/concerned – here’s a radical thought – why not PRAY for Guy????

  9. Hi Daniel

    Thank you for stating your comment and inviting comments in an atmosphere of discussion. I wonder about the ‘social’ aspect of the social media and its role today. Perhaps people have different expectations on its role. What I find interesting is that open debate is not seen as courteous, and is even portrayed as hateful.

    To that end it seems that the current social media ‘cultural policy’ is that a person expresses an opinion, locating themselves philosophically, spiritually, morally etc and our response is only to encourage them for their expression (whether we agree with it or not).

    It seems to be ‘bad form’ if anyone disagrees with them without a specific invitation to respond. And even then, I’ve followed many threads that start this way (ie inviting discussion) but end up in name calling and distress as people feel that ‘social conventions’ have been crossed.

    Because of this ‘unspoken rule’ I very rarely post my comments as it seems that no matter what someone says, in reality people only want validation or at least acceptance in the wider world of themselves and their position.

    It is only because you have clearly spelled out the boundaries, and that I know you personally, that I feel comfortable in responding. To me, then, the issue is not so much Guy, his ‘evolving beliefs’, Adam (and others) in their attempt to ‘warn a brother’. To me the issue is what we see the purpose, role and associated boundaries to be in all public expressions of faith, belief and opinion.

    Thanks for the opportunity, and safety, to comment.

    Skip

  10. Hi Dr K.

    I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that my open letter was one of the open letters you read, given that you commented on the very next post on my blog.

    I just thought I’d respond a little, as an open letter writer…

    I don’t think Guy asked to be a champion for Christianity, nor that he was particularly qualified to be such a champion – except that I think that every Christian is called to be an ambassador for Christ (2 Cor 5), and we’re called to always be prepared to give an account for the hope that we have (1 Peter 3). So in one sense – we’re all champions of Christianity.

    I wasn’t disappointed with what Guy said. I think his “coming out” has integrity, it was brave, and it has the potential to alienate a portion of his longest serving and loyalist fans, so it probably comes at a cost.

    I think the problem I have with your post is that it seems to misunderstand an aspect of the “open letter” genre. While I made every effort to send my open letter to Guy – Guy isn’t the intended reader of the letter. Were that the case, I wouldn’t have made it open. I would’ve sent it to him.

    The point of an open letter, particularly in the age of the internet, would seem to me to be to spread a particular paradigm of response to those who read it, that’s the way they’re used in political lobbying too (where someone might book a full page advert in a newspaper and use that space for such a letter). So, while if you took the interpretation that I was writing to Guy, and letting people read it, then sure – it could be judgmental. That wasn’t my intention. My intentions were threefold.

    1. To clearly show where Guy’s statements clashed with what Jesus says (using the verse you’ve also highlighted in your post) – this was for the googlers who in the furore would be googling such terms as “Guy Sebastian Christian” – I wanted to be part of that conversation.

    2. To model a response that allowed Guy to be an individual on a journey – ultimately, all Calvinism aside, this is Guy’s choice, as you’ve pointed out. And I genuinely wanted to applaud his honesty, and try to circumvent some of the criticism that Christians might level at him for abandoning the faithful.

    3. To tell Guy (if he read it, which I doubt), and readers, that I was praying for Guy as he makes these decisions, I think that’s the only real contribution those who don’t know Guy personally can make to his journey, if one believes in the power of prayer, and the power of God to reveal himself to Guy as he searches – and I do – then this is our lot. I’d rather ten of the people who read my post follow my example and pray for Guy than nobody pray for Guy – so that’s ultimately why I wrote the letter. And ended it the way I did.

    That some people have chosen to question my motives, or suggest sarcasm where none was intended (which commenters there have), or suggest that this is “all up to Guy” and not really my business – is up to them, and at one level, a problem with the written medium.

    • Hey Nathan,

      Thanks for adding to the string of thoughts here. Given that I did not reveal who the second ‘open letter’ was written by in my original post you have no reason to defend the comments that you may have made in your own letter in this context. I’ll allow people to search out your post according to their own curiosity.

      Allow me to take point with one small ‘turn of phrase’ in your above comment. I wonder whether you might consider a different phrase other than ‘coming out’; given that to many this may appear to be unnecessarily provocative.

      Finally, I’m pleased to read that you are among the many who have expressed a desire to pray for Guy. My hope is that our prayers might be offered to God from a position of humility and grace, not from a standpoint of judgement or condemnation.

      Again, thanks for commenting.

      • I used “coming out” deliberately – in the same way atheists now speak of announcing their atheism as “coming out,” because I suspect some of the pressures for Guy were the same – the possibility of disappointing people who expected him to be something else, the social stigma that has been attached to this decision (see the comments on his Facebook wall where he announces this decision), and the certain amount of bravery and self-reflective honesty with any disclosure like this. The parallel was intended, rather than accidental.

  11. Hi Dan,

    I loved your post and I am so over reading these ‘open letters’; I don’t understand why people are being so quick to judge and even announce that he’s no longer a Christian then arrogantly suggest that we should pray for him.

    I’m getting the impression that Guy might be questioning his faith and that’s not a bad thing. I too have had similar Christian upbringing and went through this same questioning; how are you supposed to grow if you don’t think or question?

    As individuals we are all unique with this in mind Can we really expect every Christian to believe the exact same things and not have a slightly different view point?

    Amelia

  12. Well Done Daniel,
    It’s tragic that Guy has sold out in his christian faith…but then he’s not the
    only celeb to do so. It’s a shame though.

  13. From the very day Guy went on Australian Idol, and then won the competition I’ve quietly sat back and watched his musical talent develop further and take off. I saw him live at AGMF in Toowomba, seen various misleading reports about him allegedly being ‘still a virgin, and then maybe homosexual, and I’ve wondered why he made the decision to move on from planet shakers. Would he likely have been “safer” to remain in his comfort zone perhaps ? I regard him with some humble admiration. Why ? He is “OUT THERE” in the world, and I dare even say, the snake pit. We have no idea, other than what the media report, really anything about him. Have any of us met him personally and spent so much as 1 hour talking to him ? 0I wonder how, or why, anybody, takes what they read in the news papers, or what they watch on Television, and accept that as factual. One can hear a news report on a subject in the morning, and hear the same report with widely varied information the following afternoon. I’ve not read the comments he is supposed to have made about a lack of support from ‘Christian’ pastors or leaders, however when I look, and consider what D K Robinson and various other’s have said I consider my own position, my own opinion, and bring myself to this thought. I shall consider my own faith, with fear and trembling and let God Himself, consider the faith of others.

  14. Thank you Daniel.

  15. So I decided to go in and collect a few of the christian comments that have been posted on Guy’s facebook. I didn’t delve very far, just into the last 100 of the now over 1,700 comments there. To be fair, the majority in the last day or so have not been unkind, even if some are misguidingly thinking Guy needs their help to get back his faith in their God (which I doubt he has actually lost at all). The most recent comments have generally been supportive of him, and showing outrage at the browbeating he is getting. But still the nasty ones come.

    “Univesalist,apostate sellout!”

    “We are so glad that many of you got OUT of the Church. There is no place for goats and weed in the Church and now you got Sebastian your idol to worship. Good grief, all the goats are bleeting in chorus with their idol. Go on call on Mary, Muhammad, Buddha, Krishna, even master Chung and they will bring you all lots of LUV and peace…”

    “guy, maybe you might want to mention Jesus, or have you forgotten about him in rush to call everyone intolerant”

    “I’m saddened that someone I have always looked up to now appears to have become just as indifferent to Jesus and what He has done for him as all the other people we watch on tv”

    “Mate…it must be tough vieing for the limelight with the new crowd of insta-fame people.. This season will come and go… What are you gonna do when you’re just another face in the talented crowd. Theres only two people you gotta be tru to… Yourself and the G-man.”

    “You’ve decided to trade us in for the mainstream, after all the support we’ve given you. You would never have gotten this far without all we’ve given you, you ingrate.”

    “I wish I could go back and remove all of my support from your career, however small it may have been. Loyalty means nothing to some, but everything to me. I hope you’re truly ashamed of yourself, traitor.”

    How presumtious of some to think that Guy owes his career to the church he went to when he was on Idol. I voted for him hard and fast. Caused massive phonebills in late 2003. I voted for him because he was talented, not because he was a member of any church. And going on the fans I have met online and at his concerts over the years not many of them voted for him because he was christian either. He has sold over 2.5 million cds in Australia alone over the last 10 years. I wonder how many of them are in the cd collections of these people who he supposedly owes his career to. Not many I would wager. And even if a little christian voting helped back then, which I doubt would have gotten him over the line anyway as the votes he got according to later reports was over a million in that last week, it has not kept him in the industry, or seen his success soar in the last three years or so. It is talent and hard work that has done that. And whether that talent is God given or genetic I really don’t care.

    Now I came here yesterday stating I wasn’t a christian. The reason for that is I wanted to be honest and not appear to be someone who was appalled at what some of their fellow believers were doing. That is not to say I have always been a non believer. I was baptised and bought up as a Catholic. Schooled by the Dominican nuns. After I left school I stopped going to church, and lost my belief in a god on one very miserable day in my life. I was holding a two year old child who was crying in sheer pain. I couldn’t put him down as every time I tried he screamed. I wanted so much to put him down and leave the room as the smell of the open cancer covering half his face was making me feel ill, as was his ugly distorted head. But there was no one else to hold him so I stuck to it, hating every second. His father had left the room as he couldn’t stand his child’s cries any more. In those days pain relief was still stuck in that silly “we must not give them too much in case they get addicted” mode, even if some were not going to live long enough to get addicted. 4 hourly. No sooner. So I stood there with my arms aching, my heart aching for two long hours, waiting for his mother to come back from the break she had taken to spend time with his beautiful twin brother. I stayed an hour after I was meant to be off duty, not because I wanted to. But because I had no choice as I had a heart, and there was no one else who could hold him. The other nurses were too busy. I gave him to his mother and she said thank you and I went home with that horrible smell still in my nose. Have any of you smelled the smell from an open cancer. Its gut wrenching. I decided that no god who put a child and his family through that was worthy of my trust or faith.

    I was 18 years old, and have spent the rest of my life living in what I believe is a good and caring way. Without religion. Without faith. Funnily enough, when my daughter was ready for high school I sent her to a Catholic school, as I didn’t want her to go to a public high school. And funnily enough they accepted her, even though she was not baptised a Catholic or in any other religion. In the interview they said they accepted all children, and even had Muslim children there. Their aim was to teach, not to judge or preach their views on God. She had religion lessons in her curiculum of course, but there was no pressure on her follow their doctrines or even believe them. In fact in her last two years she was allowed to drop religious studies. It’s a shame some in the Assemblies of God church are not as tolerant of someone who is simply saying he is looking into the way he follows his beliefs, not that he has lost them , as I had. A real shame. What are they afraid of. There are billions of people who do not believe what they do, or go to the church they do. What is one more.

    • Maureen, thank you for sharing your story with all of us. I can hear and sense that this moment in your life is an experience that you still carry with you; fresh and poignant. Sadly, life is full of similar stories; stories of heartache and unthinkable tragedies. I am truly sorry that even while so young you had to experience such terrible pain.

      Your story also helps us, in the midst of this discussion, to remember the more pressing things in life. It has only been a week since a young lady of 14yrs was shot in the head for protesting her desire to be educated. The reality is that circumstances of an incomprehensible nature are taking place across our globe 24/7. I believe God is keenly aware of all human experience; the good, the bad, and the down-right ugly. Why doesn’t God intervene more often? I don’t know the answer to that…I wish I did, but I don’t. I have a great confidence that God loved the little boy that you so wonderfully cared for those many years ago, and I know that God cares deeply for all mankind and the wonderful creation that he has blessed us with. I am constantly reminded, despite the many misery’s that impact my/our world, of the goodness that God has bestowed upon us; goodness that is shown in the trees, blue skies, the unconditional love shown by family/friends/pets etc. Yes, there is deep heartache, but there is also times of unspeakable joy.

      Maureen, I hope our interaction on this blog has given you some confidence that Christians, in general, seek the same sense of assurances in life – to love and to be loved. I know it is a well worn cliché, but allow me to state – Christians aren’t perfect…and most of us don’t claim to be. I hope in time you might find it possible to forgive those within the Christian community who you feel have wronged you and allow healing to commence its slow but sure work. Please permit me to commence the healing by saying, ‘Sorry!’

      God Bless (sincerely),
      Dan

  16. Thanks Dan,

    And please don’t think I am angry at you. And I am not angry at the people who are trying to give him advice, even if I don’t think they are helping the situation. I just think they are a little to full of their own self importance, as it is not their job to lecture someone on their personal religious beliefs, regardless of how high profile the person is they are concerned about. I am angry at the ones who are hurling abuse of someone who has never shown himself as being anything other than a good and caring person, just because he is well known and they think he has deserted their faith. Everyone has to make their own decisions in life about what faith they follow or don’t follow. It has to be genuine, not forced by other people. And those who are trying in what they deem a kind way to guide him back into the church he went to, or the faith they believe he has lost, are not helping either. No amount of telling him what he should believe is going to help him at this point. It is just badgering. He needs to find his way by himself, or with council he choses to take, not council forced on him. And whatever he lands up doing is his decision alone to make, as it was mine.

  17. Daniel I think you were spot on when you talked about the Christian community putting Guy on a Christian pedal stool.
    I used to attend the same church and youth group as Guy and was a “fan” of his before he ever went on Idol. I know many many Christians and churches who voted for Guy because they were proud of him and enjoyed his singing as he’s on many albums in the Christian community.
    So I think you are right, we Christians felt he was something else. We were proud of him for making it mainstream. He’s such a great artist!!

    I know for me personally and I think many of the Christians who posted did it out of what we felt was a Christian brother who was sounding as if he needed help in his faith. Especially to those who were in similar denominations from him. My heart broke when I read what he wrote and I posted out of care for him, to encourage and spur him on in his faith in a kind way.

    It was sad to read the nasty comments also being made by people. Like Maureen posted, those were unkind and should be removed.

    Sadly, I have been blocked from his page. I showed Christisn friends what I wrote and some non christian friends and all said that my comments were like no other Christians who is still there. They were the basic, “praying for you, hope Jesus is still Lord in your life”. Nothing hateful or mean or nasty. Yet I was severely picked on and abused by non Christians. I was sworn out, had sexual comments made and threats.

    I read his response to Adam and was so saddened to read no one he knows has contacted him. That makes me mad for him and ashamed of those who lead him at one stage. I tried to write a response to apologise for saying anything more than “praying for you” and trying to explain to someone who asked me why I believed what I did. But I was blocked.

    Anyway, if Guy ever sees this. My deepest apologies for being quick to write to you and not quick enough to pray instead. And my heart goes our to you and Jules and I hope that someone who once had impact into his life in the Christian community humbles themselves and let’s him know he’s loved and prayed for.

    Thanks Daniel for a kind and level headed response that made me think anyway about my actions 🙂

    • Thanks Nicole,

      It’s not always easy to reflect on our actions and humbly conclude that our choice(s), though well intentioned, may have caused offence and hurt. Peace to you for your brave admission. Sadly, it sounds as if you have been unwittingly caught up in the furore of the recent melee that has been the ‘online commentary’ surrounding Guy’s interview. I encourage you to hold no offence and move into a new week with a clear conscience and healthy heart; knowing that where man might misunderstand or misinterpret, God always sees our intentions for what they are – he requires no explanation.

      Kindest Regards,
      Dan

      • Thanks Dan. Shame I can’t like any of Guys posts anymore 😦 oh well. I can like them by continuing to buy his music 🙂
        God bless
        Nicole

    • I also wanted to say, Maureen your story about that child was so sad and tragic. I’m sure its as real in your mind today as it was back then. I don’t have any answers that would come across in the right way because its just what I believe about God and who He is and i do not have all the answers, I trust God does though. But I wanted to say you did a brave and noble and good thing.

      I also forgot to say, that as Christians we may say things that come across as not caring or judgmental but I know for me anyway it’s because I so passionately love God and lived life without him for so long that I want everyone to know my God and that can I suppose come across as arrogant to some but that’s not ever the intention.

      Christians can fall into the trap of placing people above God and worshipping them, expecting them to witness to the world and then being disappointed when its not done the way they think it should be. It’s through this that I have seen my false views about Christians in the public eye. And I have checked myself before God and have felt moved to pray for them.

      Thanks again Daniel for getting us thinking about our actions. Whilst I will not apologise for saying that the Bible is true and Christ is the only way, I can see doing it over social media without a relationship between people is futile and can be misread and not taken in the way it’s intended and can therefore cause hurt to others.

  18. Hey Daniel. You bring up a point that has really been with me for a while. Why do we insist on caring what artists, actors, media think or believe. If you have an interest in a particular person, and out of that interest comes an understanding that you then base opinions on, fine. But artists tend to make statements about all sorts of things, and there is no qualification for those statements.
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But why we, as a collective, follow those opinions blindly, I don’t understand. We as a collective Christian body and express concern for Guy’s current point of view, but only from a family context. God’s family. But as you say, this is all a journey.
    Katy Perry comes from a Christian background as well. Started her carrer in the Christian music scene. Where is the open letter to her?
    Guy has people close to him that I believe will continue to council and support him. The best we can do is pray for him and other Christians in a position to set an example. As we should be praying for everyone. And look to God for answers, while studying for ourselves what is, and what is not.

  19. Thanks Dan!

    I believe everyone should have the right to choose what’s right for them and not be judged for it

    Awesome post

    Astrid

  20. Guy made comments in public, so of course, in fairness he must expect the public to respond back on what he said. We reap what we sow.

    For me the real frustration is working out whether Guy is still a Christian.

    If Guy is not a Christian, then he can say whatever he wants. That’s his own opinion.

    But if he is a Christian, then we would expect him to profess things that are consistent with the Bible. When you publicly profess things that aren’t consistent then of course you can expect to be publicly corrected and rebuked.

    Did Jesus publicly rebuke others for wrong teaching? Mark 12:24-27

    • Hey Phil, thanks for joining the discussion.

      I guess the point here is the context…Jesus was addressing religious rulers of the day – in this case Sadducees 12:18-27. My point still stands…Guy is neither Pastor, church leader or theologian – and I must admit, I don’t know whether I am ready to allow that a ‘public example’ should be made of him simply because he is a public figure making public statements. I guess I would be more keen to approach my brother privately (if I have that level of access/relationship) and draw his attention to any error that I believe may have been committed.

      There is always room for correction within the Christian church according to scriptural understanding (with theological nuances applied of course), but I simply don’t believe social media is the place for such comment.

      Again, thank you for your contribution to the thread…

  21. Deborah Meader

    Thank you for speaking out on Guys defense. My husband and I, parents of combined 8 children and 8 Grandchildren and previously senior pastors of a predominant Pentecostal movement are also appalled at the so called Christian response toward this young man ( whose music we do enjoy). We are personally aware of situations within the church that would make Guys situation pale into insignificance yet they are prepared to stone him for being honest in his journey. Such behavior will only drive him away from than draw him to Christianity. Sadly, however our current opinion is the church teachings today are in stark contradiction to spirit and attitude advocated by Christ.

  22. Honest, down to earth and humble approach to the topic and really emphasises the moral pedestals we as a society put famous christians on, despite the fact that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Great Read 🙂

  23. I Guess its a bit late for me to comment on this , but nevertheless , I receive what you are saying .
    However , I have read Guy’s interview and his reasons for moving away from the Christian faith ( I wont say religion because Christianity is not a religion , its a relationship with God ) .
    I read that he was disgruntled that a friend of his fled the Church when revealed he was “gay”.
    I agree it’s not up to Christians to be judgmental or hurtful , but as the Bible says its up to Christians to help bring people that have fallen into sinful behavior back in a loving and caring way .
    Perhaps Guy should have read what the bible says about homosexual behavior before making his own judgement against Christianity . Any believing Christian surely reads their Bible to see what God has to say about any and all subjects that affect our lives today . If God says certain behaviors are wrong then they are wrong . We have recently passed same sex marriage laws in this country , but that doesn’t make it right in any Christian Church .
    You mentioned about Jesus writing in the sand , perhaps it was something about what the Pharisees were doing to trap him , or perhaps its was “where is the man she was caught in adultery with ”
    What would the Apostle Paul say about the very reasons Guy left the Church ( namely his friend ) , again the answer is clearly stated in the Bible .
    Surely if Guy had a huge issue with this , then why did he not read his Bible to see what God has to say , and why not take this to God in prayer . I know God would have answered him.
    The very thing that gets Christians a bad rap is that they are against compromise and they should be against compromise . The Bible is full of situations and consequences of compromise that we need to take heed of .
    Do I judge Guy ….absolutely not . Will I pray for him ….absolutely I will .

  24. I’m sorry but i have to fundamentally disagree, leadership or lack thereof is a moot point. As it is Christendom, and its many shades, seems to put an unhealthy amount on so called leadership, and little responsibility on the “laity”. Jesus deals with us on an individual level, and every person is responsible individually before God.

    Jesus was clear, whoever denies me before man, the son of Man will deny when he comes in the glory of His Father and the angels. I have had my own struggles in terms of my faith over the years, and i am not condemning Guy for struggling with aspects of his faith, but he wanted to be in the public eye, he wanted the fame and the fortune that comes with “the biz”, he therefore put himself out there as a role model that others, including younger Christians, will look at. This may well mean, rather probably will mean that whether he wants to or not, he will influence other’s. He therefore bares the responsibilities of whatever message that he gives out. It would have been better if he nutted out his struggles in private, then revealed to the world the final analysis of those struggles, perhaps, however, that is exactly what he has done.

    We know and affirm that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life, and there is no other Way to the Father viz a viz Eternal Life but through Him. I have read all of the accounts of Guy Sebastian to this point, and the message that he is giving is totally opposite to the gospel. Although Jesus showed great tolerance and compassion for sinners, He was also uncompromising in the truth. Jesus said, I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance, Jesus loves us, of that there is no doubt, but He calls us to leave our old ways steeped in deception and to walk into truth, not compromise.

  25. In terms of what Jesus wrote in the sand, I would favour it was the 10 commandments. Notice the similarity between the Finger of God writing the 10 commandments in the Old Testament (Ex 31:18) with what Jesus was doing in the ground? I believe the Gospel of John deliberately doesn’t tell us what Jesus wrote as we are supposed to make that connection ourselves. Jesus was alluding to everyone that He is the original author of the 10 commandments, but now he writes them in sand rather than stone.

  26. I can actually still remember the evening service at Paradise Community Church, here in Adelaide when I first saw and heard him sing. (This all happened b4 Idol :)) He was my younger cousins youth group leader too, However, now I’m not a member of any one church atm, never & really felt I was with Paradise). Anyway, I just thought why hasn’t this guy, ( literally) have a music contract!!! I thought if I had a voice like that , I’d be bombarding every label!!! Getting seriously paid and famous!! ( Obviously now my prioritieshave changed now. He was so good!!! ( For that era, as vocal gymnastics, were in, big-time) I couldn’t understand why he was famous, but I sensed his heart was for the Lord. Seeing him on Idol and knowing he’d be signed by someone, if not win!!! I hoped he’d win. I was happy for him and it showed me how God just loves, amd loves. I remember feeling a bit jealous, but hey. I also remember the bible verse that says if we trust in the Lord, he shall give us the desires of our hearts. 🙂
    🙂 He actually was unwell the day of auditioning and wasn’t going to go at all one point. Think he had a cold. Cheers 🙂

  1. Pingback: An Open Letter of Encouragement to Guy Sebastian

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