Cancel Culture

(Last Updated On: March 11, 2023)

“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24)

Hi Fighter,

We begin today with some profound and surprising words from Jesus. It’s not surprising that they are profound, of course. It’s Jesus. What is surprising is that Jesus made this profound statement in dialogue with a woman whom most of Jesus’ peers would not have considered worth talking to – a woman who had (in today’s terminology) been cancelled.

Last week we read from the third chapter of John’s Gospel which detailed Jesus’ meeting with Nicodemus – an intellectual and a religious leader. This week, in chapter four, Jesus dialogues with a nameless Samaritan woman whom He meets at a well. Many assume she was a sex-worker. This isn’t clear from her conversation with Jesus though they do talk about her multiple failed relationships. What is clear is that she had gone to the well alone in the middle of the day (when only mad dogs and Englishman normally venture out) which suggests that she had been ostracised by her community – in other words, cancelled.

The contrast between Jesus’ partners in dialogue in John chapters 3 and 4 could not be greater. Nicodemus was male and educated and played a prominent role in his community. This woman was nobody. She was as powerless as she was notorious. Moreover, from the perspective of Jesus’ peers, she was both a foreigner and a heretic.

We won’t delve into the history of antagonism between Jews and Samaritans here. Suffice it to say that in the division between us and them, if you were a Jew in first century Judea, Samaritans were your archetypal them. Nobody expected Jesus to strike up a conversation with a Samaritan, let alone with a woman, let alone with this woman! Even so, Jesus not only engages with her, but takes her seriously, and shared truths about God and about Himself with her that He shared with no one else

There are deep spiritual truths contained in this dialogue in John, chapter four. I also see here a model for engagement with people we differ from and disagree with. I am very concerned about the way today’s cancel culture shames and ostracises people that they disagree with, rather than dialogues with them. I’m particularly concerned with the way this is playing out at the moment in the debate over transgender rights.

I have deep concerns over some aspects of what is being promoted as the transgender agenda. This is not the place to go into detail but I am concerned over the way in which certain lobby groups are trying to control the way we speak, as I am over proposed legislation that I fear might compromise the safety of women. I hear and understand why good people are fighting for the rights of transgender people. I also hear and understand why so many are pushing back. What I don’t hear is any creative and respectful engagement between the two sides of the divide. Instead, we cancel each other.

Jesus cancelled nobody. Well … it could be argued that He cancelled King Herod (Luke 23:8-9), but nobody who didn’t deserve it.😉Certainly, Jesus didn’t look down on any group of people. He didn’t look down. He got down and dialogued with them on their level.

Our Sunday Eucharist

We had another very special Sunday Eucharist last weekend. I always look forward to the first Sunday of each month when our Muslim brother, Tom Toby, gives us the Torah reading. Tom never ceases to both inform and challenge me, as does my dear friend, David Baldwin, whom we were also privileged to have with us. Rev Stephen Sizer also contributed wonderfully with his commentary on the epistle to the Romans – applying Paul’s teaching to the issue of religious extremism as it is now playing out in Israel and Palestine. My brother, Rob, completed our experience with a song.

I’ll be back at Binacrombi this Sunday and I hope to have a good team with me in the bush. We’ll also have three brothers joining us online: Robert Gilland, Joel Jammal and Father Mark Battison. Mark is the newest addition to our team. He’s recently moved to Oz from England and is a good friend of Stephen Sizer. He’s also just taken over as President of Friends of Sabeel, Australia, which is a position I once held. Friends of Sabeel is the Christian end of the Palestinian struggle for justice.

Join us this Sunday at midday via, or via your favourite social media sites: Facebook , YouTube, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Let me work your corner

Once again, a big thank you to all who support Fighting Fathers Ministries through your prayers and through financial contributions made through It is you guys who keep us going. If you’re not contributing at this stage and you can afford to do so, please go to and sign up to either:

Middleweight – $10/month (community mentoring)
  • Enrol in the Fighting Fit training program
  • Access member-only training videos
  • Engage in the members-only forum (see below)
Super-Middleweight $50/month (remote mentoring)
  • All of the above +
  • One-on-one mentoring via email, phone, or Skype
Heavyweight – $100/month (in-person mentoring)
  • All of the above +
  • Unlimited training at Father Dave’s Old School Boxing Academy
Superheavyweight – $200/month (intensive in-person mentoring)

Every dollar helps keep the wheels turning – the websites, the newsletters, the broadcasts, the boxing club and the bush camp. Sign up at

What’s coming up?

  • Friday, March 10th – the unveiling of the Anything to Say? Monument from 5.00 pm @Sydney Square (Sydney)
  • Saturday to Sunday, March 11 to 12 – @Binacrombi
  • Sunday, March 12th– Our Eucharist from midday @ or via any major social media site: Facebook , YouTube, Twitter or LinkedIn.
  • Tuesday, March 14th – Boxing from 6.30 pm @The Fight Lab
  • Thursday, March 16th – Boxing from 6.30 pm @The Fight Lab
  • Saturday, March 18th – Boxing from 6.30 pm @The Fight Lab
  • Saturday, April 29th – Down the Rabbit HoleBall @The Epping Club.

Let me close today by drawing attention to a few of the events outlined in the (growing) list above:

The Anything to Say? monument is a bronze sculpture of Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and Chelsea Manning – three of our world’s greatest whistle-blowers. It is the work of Italian artist Davide Dormino, and has been inspiring people around the world. It will appear in Sydney tonight alongside the Anglican Cathedral in Sydney Square, and I’m happy to say that the cathedral’s Dean has been very supportive.

I don’t know how long the monument will be there but do try to see it if you can. The sculpture has the three figures standing on chairs, having their say. There is an empty fourth chair on which you are encouraged to take your stand.

As I’ll be attending the unveiling tonight, I’ll be heading down to Binacrombi early Saturday morning where we have another big event taking place. My friend, Col Watego – an Indigenous elder and Christian pastor – is going to conduct a smoking ceremony at Binacrombi, along with prayers. There will also be plenty of feasting, praying and boxing going on. I know it’s short notice but do come if you can.

Finally, please consider purchasing your ticket now to the Down the Rabbit Hole Ball. This is a fundraiser for Fighting Fathers Ministries coming up on April 29. I’m told that the mark-up on the ticket price is quite small, so we need to sell a lot of tickets if we are going to generate significant funds. Please go to and grab tickets for yourself and as many of your friends as you can afford to take.

I’ll close off now but hope to see you at either the Assange event tonight or at Binacrombi over the weekend or at the Sunday Eucharist (if not at boxing)😉.

May the Lord bless and strengthen you for the work to which you have been called.

Your brother in the Good Fight,


About Father Dave Smith

Preacher, Pugilist, Activist, Father of four

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Human Check * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Follow by Email