An anonymous comment by someone going by the alias "sporado" has been put on my post 42: Lessons in rubbing salt in wounds from New Frontiers as a defence of New Frontiers that accuses my of "slanderous opinions".
Sadly for "sporado" the defence is as shaky as the understanding of law. Slander is defined as "Law Oral communication of false statements injurious to a person's reputation."
So this is what I am accused of:
* terry virgo was the speaker on 11 june. jack hayford spoke a month or so ago and the video is online.
Oh dear, it seems that I was mistaken. I thought the video from Jack Hayford was a taster of what was happening on June 11th, but it looks now as if it was from an earlier 300leaders conference. In my defence the website still does not seem very clear. On the about page it still says "The next event is in March 2011, and Jack Hayford will be the speaker." Still to have been confused as to which date Jack Hayford was the speaker is hardly libel.
Of course the problem for "sporado" (who seems to be missing capital letters on their computer) is that the history of Jack Hayford was the only thing that stood against the total male bias of the 300leaders conference. As I pointed out in my post Terry Virgo has been making the Male Headship values of New Frontiers clearer than before. Terry Virgo explicitly states that Women should be submissive to their husbands and that the Church should be led by male elders.
* women are welcome to these events as are men. pause the jack hayford video at 1:07:18 and you will see plenty of people who are definitely female. hardly the testosterone fuelled man-fest that your rhetoric suggests.
So let us be clear on how welcome women are and what they are welcome as:
- The 300leaders.org web site has the following features:
- The strap line for the conference on the home page is: “With 300 Men” (Judges 7:7)
- Not a single woman's name is mentioned anywhere on the site
- There is not a single image including a woman
- All the speakers are men
- The key image is of men at war with "300 leaders" made to look like it has been written in blood.
- 300leaders.org makes it clear that this is leadership training for and by New Frontiers.
- New Frontiers clearly state that women cannot be leaders. They hold as their value 8:
‘A church led by male elders (one of whom is clearly understood to be gifted to be lead elder) who are ordained by the Holy Spirit, recognised and confirmed through apostolic ministry. These men are to be helped in fulfilling their calling through ongoing fellowship with trans-local ministries.’
- New Frontiers clearly state that their value 7 is to be:
A church where Biblical family life is highly valued, where husband and wife embrace male servant leadership and joyful female submission,
- As I have pointed out in the past New Frontiers do not have women to speak at their main conferences unless they are the wives of their senior team and are only speaking on "womens" issues, so far as I know no male blogger has ever attended one of these talks and written about it.
- As for the "testosterone" look again at the poster that 300leaders.org uses on the website and as a backdrop behind the speakers
The obvious conclusion is that women may be permitted to attend (presumably as a sign of "joyfull female submission") but that women will not be welcomed as equals and not welcome as leaders of the Church.
That conclusion is supported by the numerous emails I have had over the years from women within New Frontiers about how they are treated and the roles that are open to them.
many of your slanderous opinions about new frontiers are way off the mark. is such uninformed rhetoric adherent to the Methodist code of conduct?
A few points:
- Unlike "sporado" I do not hide here anonymously.
- As I have already mentioned I cannot write slander as slander is oral.
- I believe the above points make it very clear that the conference is targeted at men in the way it is presented and because New Frontiers clearly state that it is for leaders and the leaders of their church must be men. I see nothing that means my opinions are "way off the mark" or "uninformed rhetoric".
- Yes, I absolutely agree that unlike "sporado" I am accountable for what I write. I invite "sporado" to follow this up with:
- My Superintendent Minister: but oh dear that is a woman so presumably "sporado" does not believe she can be a leader and so can hardly respond satisfactorily on behalf of the Church (in fact she is extremely capable and will read this post and let me know very clearly if I overstep any marks).
- Maybe "sporado" would like to go further up. Perhaps as this relates to another Church "sporado" might like to contact the Secretary for External Relationships. Except, oh dear, Christine Elliott is also a women (and been doing an excellent job for many years).
- So perhaps "sporado" should go to the top, to the President. But sadly for "sporado", this year our president is Revd Alison Tomlin and our Vice President is Deacon Eunice Attwood. So despite the excellent job they are doing presumably they don't count.
More seriously, if you think I have broken the Methodist Guidelines, please do tell me or get in touch with the Church directly. I will see that it will get followed up by the Methodist Church and if they choose to respond to you I am fine with that. Of course they might also choose to ignore anonymous and ill-informed rubbish like "sporado" spouts.
"sporado" have a nice day.