If it walks like a Duck and quacks like a Duck then it is equal to a Duck

The post begins with Andrew Wilson saying he believes in the equality of men and women. I have challenged that saying that I do not believe there is equality when some roles in the Church are only open to men (Elders for one in Newfrontiers, sometimes it seems also preachers) and when all wives are told to submit to their husbands leadership.
I have had numerous men and one woman from Newfrontiers all telling me that I am wrong and that women are equal to me within Newfrontiers and restrictions on being an elder and needing to submit to your husband do not change this.
If you talk equality and we see equality in action then maybe it is fair to say you believe in equality. We have read the words, now how about the behaviour.
On that blog post is this comment:

By A voice on 07/09/2012 at 08:56
As a woman within a newfrontiers church, but not brought up with the same DNA, and having been a part of a number of different Christian streams I have to be honest and say that I do not feel free to be all that God has called me to be within my newfrontiers church. I find blogs like this unhelpful as they make me feel even more uneasy about being in a newfrontiers church. Sometimes I wish the men would concentrate on discussing what the big says about there role and being a “prohistami” man, and leave us ladies to be free to be all that God has called us to be. I read this thread last night and it disturbed my peace. This morning my bible reading was judges 3 about Deborah and Jael. Thankyou Jesus!

The most recent comment on the blog is now more than 24 hours later:

By Adam Voke on 08/09/2012 at 10:28

In that time I think 7 people from Newfrontiers have commented on the post. Not one of them has responded to "A voice". In that time I have referred to the comment by "A voice" 3 times and asked Newfrontiers why they have ignored the woman who wrote it, they have responded to other points I have made but ignored "A voice".

Maybe someone can explain how ignoring a comment on the Newfrontiers theology blog (called "What You Think Matters"), from a woman who goes to a Newfrontiers Church, demonstrates that Newfrontiers considers men and women to be equal.

8 thoughts on “If it walks like a Duck and quacks like a Duck then it is equal to a Duck

  1. PamBG

    My experience is also that, in these discussions, men talk to each other and almost always[*] ignore the women in the conversation.
    [*] In this context, I am wary of exaggeration, but if I estimate that 90% of female posts have been ignored, I think that’s both fair and conservative.
    The ignoring of the women’s voices as if the women are not there is something that I take as a sign that these individual men, at any rate, don’t think that the women’s voices or opinions are important.
    The theology is like a math problem that begins “Suppose X = 32″ and anyone who does not accept the premise that X = 32 is simply ignored.
    I do NOT suppose that equality = any role reserved for one gender only. That makes a mockery of the concept of equality.
    The problem is that complementarians are fooling themselves. And until they are cured of their blindness, they will not see.

    Reply
  2. Charity

    Thanks for this series of posts, Dave.
    That pretty much corresponds to my experience within Newfrontiers for several years, some time ago now. I think if anything things may well have got worse, with positions being tightened since then.
    When I was in Newfrontiers, I accepted the “party line” and would probably argued pretty much like Jennie Pollock does over on Andrew Wilson’s blog post. Except that I enjoy discussing theology and shortly before Newfrontiers “removed itself” from my husbannd who was leading the church we had planted together basically so that the other Newfrontiers elders could take over, it was hinted to me by the powers that be (or the powers that were) that elders and other male leaders did not want to have theological discussions with women.
    Since then I have seen much that had happened previously in a different light having undergone a paradigm shift and been able to see things I couldn’t see before.

    Reply
  3. PamBG

    elders and other male leaders did not want to have theological discussions with women
    So, men will decide the rules that govern women’s lives, whilst entirely ignoring women’s experience. Hmm. How much more sexist can you possibly get?
    At least male-headship had the decency to name themselves for what they were instead of trying to lie about it.

    Reply
  4. Dave

    The blog post on Newfrontiers has now been closed to comments.
    The last 2 comments are as patronising and unhelpful as ever. They justify ignoring the women who comment by claiming that nobody gets a response from Newfrontiers because that misunderstands what Newfrontiers is.
    However, they neatly ignore the fact that when a man comments they get lots of comments back from men within Newfrontiers whereas women are ignored.

    Reply
  5. Charity

    However, they neatly ignore the fact that when a man comments they get lots of comments back from men within Newfrontiers whereas women are ignored.
    Yes, Dave, unfortunately that would be typical!

    Reply
  6. Charity

    Dave,
    I guess they’re just blind to it. I think their position of “yes we believe that men and women are equals, but men are called to be leaders and women followers” is so delusional, that they cannot/refuse to see the things that show that the position in and of itself is self-contradictory.

    Reply

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