Ali is back in touch and the air has cleared. He confirms that John "Perceptive" Campbell admitted that in the old days children were rodded by leaders. It is one claim that I had made and which had grieved Ali a great deal, as he is a father and can't imagine letting anyone touch his children.
I am not yet quite clear what John told Ali which led him to feel that I had misled him, but if John admitted even this much, I know that Ali will feel that his mission is justified.
I have told him that I do not believe that the fellowship has rodded children for a very long time, but my concern is that the rodding of children and spooning of babies and toddlers is a shameful part of the fellowship's past, which was discreetly buried when the JFC sought readmission to the Evangelical Alliance, and because of the subsequent denials of this and other things, those who were hurt by the policy feel that their pain isn't taken seriously.
Unless the fellowship is open about this past practice, its claims to have changed cannot really be said to be righteous.
John Campbell has since denied that the conversation, as described in some detail by Ali, ever took place and asked me to remove the suggestion that he made any such concession. Since Ali's account opens his church up to criticism, it is hard to believe that, as a loyal member, he would have made up John's concession. But for the record, John denies that he gave it. It is clear from his response to me that John accepts that my take on events is entirely consistent with Ali's description and that pursuing the matter would be counter-productive.
The fact that Ali is a person capable of being leaned on to cease contact with me, despite his new-found mission, shows that he is a loyal member of his church, so any suggestion that he would have deliberately opened his church up to censure by making up his conversation with John Campbell is clearly improbable.