update on goings on at wycliffe hall

ruth gledhill has written quite a full explanation of the action taken by elaine with regards to her treatment by richard turnbull and +liverpool.

have a look here.

as an interesting side comment custard, who is a student at wycliffe (with self-confessed conservative evangelical leanings) has posted this.

in other words there are those students at wycliffe which espouse the tactic of 'we don't believe she is really a christian anyway, so it was perfectly okay to chuck her out, even if we admit it wasn't ethical'!

unfortunately custard has disabled the comments on this post, which to me seems only to lend to the stereotype of custard being cowardy, but we can see that elaine's ongoing action of religious discrimination might have some weight behind it.

I still can't quite believe that there are those going into ordained Christian ministry who believe that it is perfectly acceptable to treat people in this way.

so are CEs of a different religion than the rest of us? that is the new question to be answered.


Anonymous said...

It is all very strange indeed - particularly all the talk about 'different religions'. I don't really understand that at all. I'm sure there are things that we're allowed to disagree on (maybe we're even allowed to disagree on what we can disagree on!) and still be followers of Jesus. In fact, the way I understand Jesus, I would think that he would consider the way we deal with disagreement as being far more important to our all being one than many of the issues about which we may disagree with one another.
Of course, there do have to be some 'essentials'. I was beyond shocked when I discovered that someone training for ordination alongside me (who has now been ordained) honestly believed that God was no more than a metaphor...

jody said...

well quite, God as a linguistic construct is more my fellow-forum poster pluralist's style - but even he knows that he is on the end spectrum!

with regards to other religions - well, that is the conversation to be had. Although I'm not sure whether the action elaine is bringing is about religious discrimination from within or without, I'm not sure exactly what the law is.

however, I guess I would have to say that I will sometimes admit to feeling that we are talking about a different God (v controversial I know, it's thought in progress), you rightly express amazement at the idea of God as metaphor and sometimes I am equally amazed at God as benevolent dictator.....

TheologyJohn said...

Errrm... unless I am really really misreading Custard's post, he didn't say Elaine is not a Christian, he only ponders that she *might* be - and only in response to her asserting that she is! He does not make half of the claims that you make.

I am very worried about the situation at wycliffe hall, and strongly suspect that there have been significant wrongs committed by the management. Nonetheless, I think you're bang out of order in the way you talk about Custard, who may be wrong, but is at least ALWAYS nice about it.

To be honest, if his opponents are of the sort that are going to go around publicly misrepresenting him like this blog post does, I can well understand why he might not wish to make it easy for them to contact him.

jody said...

Hi theologyjohn

just to let you know where I get my suggestions about custard's allegations:

'As I remember, we as students were repeatedly told that the sacking of Elaine had followed the correct procedures. It now appears that that was not the case.'


'I still think Elaine leaving Wycliffe was right, and whether or not the first case was right, this one is clearly now wrong. Maybe she is a different religion to the rest of us, as she claims...'

so custard does admit that wycliffe sacked elaine unlawfully, and then goes on to say that it was right that she had to leave, with the end barb that maybe she is different religion.

sorry theologyjohn, but it seems fairly clear cut to me.

with regards to disabling his comments - yes I do think that when you say something controversial on a blog (like elaine was rightly made to leave and she 'might' not be a christian), you should allow others to comment....and I would have been 'nice'.

TheologyJohn said...

Indeed, Custard acknowledges that Wycliffe fired Elaine unlawfully - and raises significant questions about whether the leadership have lied etc. I think this is admirable - despite the fact that he has been a vocal defender of Wycliffe and the management, new facts have come to light, and he is prepared to change his mind in keeping with them.

While it is clear cut that he a) believes that Elaine should have left, and b) questions whether Elaine's claim to be of a different religion is correct, that isn't the same as what you said. You said:

:in other words there are those students at wycliffe which espouse the tactic of 'we don't believe she is really a christian anyway, so it was perfectly okay to chuck her out, even if we admit it wasn't ethical'!

That is a severe misrepresentation of what Custard said. He VERY VERY CLEARLY DOES NOT say that she really is a christian - he only ponders whether it's possible, after considering that it is HER OWN CLAIM, and making a number of points quite critical of that claim. I'd read that more as an irritated sarcastic response to what he sees as quite a bad case to take to court - while it doesn't reflect terrifically well on him, it's hardly the sort of thing that needs to be publically personally attacked (especially when misrepresented.)

He also does not say that it was right that Wycliffe chucked her out in the illeal and unethical way that they did. He says that he thinks that "Elaine leaving Wycliffe was right" - he didn't say firing her was right, he said leaving was right. He may or may not believe that they should have fired her, there is nothing there AT ALL that suggests that he thinks that she should have been fired IN THE WAY THAT SHE WAS.

I really question what you aim to achieve by publically criticising someone like this. It's not as if he's a significant figure - the only thing I think you can achieve by it is making CE's less inclined to listen to you. And really, you are not being remotely fair on Custard.

I say that as, once again, someone who is very worried about the situation at wycliffe. I just don't think attacking the principle victims is going to accomplish anything.

jody said...

I hardly think that this is an 'attack', if it is, it is fairly mild I would say.

I disagree with you in the interpretation of custard's analysis of elaine. I think that his was a more dangerous public attack and that he needed to be pulled up on it.

I suspect that the last thing elaine wants is for this to go further - it suggests to me that the divide is wider than we might have suspected.

custard might have done better to have posted on the fulcrum website where he spent a considerable amount of energy.

talking about reaching across the divide of CEs and OEs, why don't you join the thread on fulcrum 'conversation across the divide'.

warm regards