Thursday, 18 June 2009

I have offended Ali, the member of the JA who feels inspired to root out abuse in the JA's past, by wording my last article rather badly so that it left what he sees as a false impression of his feelings. This was never my intention. Ali, so I apologise unreservedly.

The mistake came about because I conflated several people's feelings into one article and Ali has assumed that I am talking about him, when talking about another. It was Sarah who spoke of dirty secrets in the past and who felt that we should forgive, not Z. (click image to make bigger) Sarah did not use the phrase first. I had suggested that they existed and she was using the phrase back to me.

Both Ali and Sarah love God very much and love the JA and want to stay in it. But that doesn't mean that either of them are happy about the JA's past. Ali, I know, is passionately committed to bringing healing for people hurt by what he regards as abuses of authority. This is clearly a sincere position and even though he no longer trusts me and seems to have been convinced by John Campbell that much of what I said was lies, he is still dedicated to bringing healing, which is very much to his credit as a Christian man.

Sarah and Ali want to stay with the JA. But that doesn't mean they are happy to live with the fellowship's invidious past. They are going to do what they can to root it out and make the fellowship address it.

It doesn't bode well for the the future of openness that no sooner had Ali gone to John Campbell, than the JA closed down the Facebook Group.

Anticipating this, however, I have taken screenprints of all recent events on the Group and will publish them in due course, to ensure that they remain visible. Making them invisible has to be the point of closing the Group, after all. And that being the case, you do have to wonder how open the JA really are about addressing the past.