This is why I stand against male headship

And I will continue to do so.

And I will continue to do so especially focusing on Churches like Newfrontiers that celebrate the teaching of Mark Driscoll and the like and who try to bring American style Male Headship to the UK.

Sadly the author of "It is better to speak" is not alone, and this is not a problem restricted to the US.

For more on the Mark Driscoll story see Rachel Held Evans | Mark Driscoll is a bully. Stand up to him.

For more of what I think anbout power and Male Headship see 42: The dangers of power in Male Headship.

7 thoughts on “This is why I stand against male headship

  1. Tony Buglass

    Thank you for posting this link. It is appalling, and evil – there really is no other word for it. It needs to be exposed.
    Thanks, Dave.

  2. Blue, with a hint of amber

    The story you link to is appalling: an absolutely shocking and disgusting situation of sin which brings shame upon the Church.
    But Dave this is tabloid blogging.
    You are right to point it out as horrendous.
    But you’re just trying to enact “guilt by association” by putting it in a post and then linking newfrontiers to it.
    Which I think cheapens the offence of the original post.
    Anyone can do it.
    Why are you not more vocal in highlighting and condemning the abuse situations happening within Methodism around the world, including the UK?
    20 seconds in Google and I am drowing in examples.
    Why the silence from you?–weeps-as-he-escapes-jail-13418117.html
    What that girl experienced was terrible. But it was not a newfrontiers church. There is no teaching I have ever heard or would expect to hear regarding remaining silent. It would not form part of our teaching and if a cae was highlighted it would fail our abuse and safeguarding procedures at the first hurdle.

  3. Blue, with a hint of amber

    FIEC started in 1922, a network of over 500 british evangelical churches with roots much further back in British evangelicalism than that.
    For their beliefs regarding Church government see
    So that is a movement, nearly a century old, British, nearly three times the size of Newfrontiers holding a very similar position.
    Why do you never discuss them? What is American about it? What is being imported?
    All it shows is your lack of knowledge about UK evangelicalism. Or wilful decision to only pick out Newfrontiers.
    Look at “Reform” in the Anglican Church. British, evangelical, complimentarian, with 31 seats at the General Synod.

  4. Dave

    You are welcome to shed light on problems of abuse within the Methodist Church. I abhor them, they are totally and completely unacceptable. Sadly there are cases where the Methodist Church has failed to act properly in response to cases. However, the team who deal with these things nationally are very dedicated to the Church being a safe place for all. While by no means perfect the Methodist Church has worked hard at safeguarding over many years.
    I do note that none of the links you included were in the UK, none were the Methodist Church in Great Britain – which is absolutely not to deny that we have had cases. However, it is a bit odd for you to complain that I linked Newfrontiers to an abuse case in another Church and then explicitly link the Methodist Church in Great Britain to other independent Churches 7 times.
    There are a number of reasons why I don’t comment on cases within the Methodist Church. For a start it would hardly be seen as objective or independent. But much more importantly as a minister I am concerned about potential issues relating to pastoral care and confidentiality. It is possible that situations that become public are ones that I connect with through one of my roles within the Church (Local Minister, District Executive, Methodist Council)
    If I were to comment publicly then would be far to easy to get entangled in unhelpful ways for the survivors of abuse. So in order to perform these roles properly I do not discuss them publicly (although I do follow-up what I can internally).
    In no way does this mean that I feel these cases should be hidden or covered up, just that I don’t believe that it is helpful for that to be my role.
    Secondly, when it comes to specific abuse cases I would want to support the abused persons view. So I will link to what they choose to say rather than media presentations. Generally I feel the person who has been abused should be the one who decides how public the story should be.
    I did not say that Presently Human was from Newfrontiers. The connection was Mark Driscoll, who has been held up again by Newfrontiers this week with nobody from Newfrontiers publicly challenging what he says and teaches on sexuality, gender and culture.
    When Newfrontiers only praise and celebrate Mark Driscoll in the same week that he has made the news for a hateful status message on facebook is a big story. If you don’t want to be associated with his teaching on gender and sexuality, if you reject his hateful messages to “effeminate” men then you have to clearly say so when praising him to the skies for other things.
    I have given my reasons for writing about Newfrontiers before. I can’t possibly keep up with every Church and for various reasons Newfrontiers came to my attention. It does have these connections to people like Driscoll, Mahaney, Together for the Gospel that others do not and I find these very worrying.
    Also as I have mentioned before, if you only look at this blog you do not get a balanced picture of the things I am interested in. I have written far more on my bike blog this year than here and have not mentioned Newfrontiers once there. On twitter in the past week I was involved in a detailed debate on the CofE General Synod on a number of issues including Holy Communion.

  5. Blue, with a hint of amber

    Thanks Dave. Appreciate that post, very much.
    The point about international Methodist Churches being an unfair comparison is my exact point!
    It does not mean it is the case in your Church because of some abuse in Johannesburg.
    Although in my defence I did think Belfast would count as the UK!
    For your comments re: not talking about abuse directly because of appropriateness I also agree completely.
    Which is why it seems odd that you make open ended statements implying it is a systematic part of other Churches.

  6. Dave

    I am trying to consistently make the same point.
    The problem is Male Headship, especially the macho US style Male Headship practised by the likes of Driscoll, Piper, Mahaney & T4G.
    These are people that Newfrontiers choose to continually hold up as examples, as models and guides.
    Male Headship in this violent way is far more damaging than the rather pathetic appeals by the fringes of the CofE. Their arguments against Women Bishops are quite different (and very weak indeed) from the hard lines that Terry Virgo uses in his values videos for Newfrontiers.
    Male Headship is a systematic part of Newfrontiers. It is a core value, continually taught and enforced by the leadership. I stand against it for
    - it’s lack of biblical foundation (requiring a very selective reading of scripture supported by poor translation).
    - the unhealthy power dynamics it requires that are themselves abusive and which make women vulnerable


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