Hi, Your observations are the same as my own. There is another thread starting and another member has logged a very useful entry about NF with a written account of their views that I was not aware. If permitted i have copied the excellent commentary, and other links and my response.
The introspective nature of the NF churches I know is extra-ordinary. The near banning of mixing with others is particularly alarming. One of the case histories I have involves members of an NF church whose daughter was seen by a third party talking to a boy from another community in their local town centre. She was duly "reported". Pastor called parents to task at meeting and threatened them to get the daughter under control. They were aghast at the attack and fortunately were not so indoctrinated that they obeyed and were effctively disenfranchised / encouraged to leave under a cloud. With the finger of suspicious pointed at them.
What to do about your friend. First is the friendship worth your stress? The friendship is clearly one way as they do not seem to have respect for your concern. If the friendship is important to you then, why not encourage her to read this web site and see that there are other people who share concern over controlling leadership. NF certainly do not believe in Servant Leadership. Their rules as you see are based on denying the right to complain with an absolute need for a minimum of people able to lodge a complaint against a pastor or elder as they are appointed by God. With the isolation of individuals as I have now found out this is almost impossible to achieve. People are in effect hounded out, and any others almost terrified they will lose salvation by maintaining contact or being supportive. It is one thing losing your church and community but another if you are losing salvation and told you should not join another church. Great emotional distress follows and of course these people are deeply God fearing and feel stigmatised.
Why not explore her feelings about the religious role of women and whether a lesser spiritual function is what she truly believes. Also explore why all the healings, wonders, miracles always seem to happen yesterday or tomorrow but not today when all could attest. Of course nobody can question internally for reasons given above. Perhaps be genuinely interested through your reading and ask if their is any validation. A good question reflects why God concentrates on helping bad necks, backs and headaches but seems to ignore malignant disease etc
Anyway I will see if I can copy the other thread the text reference will give great insight as to the position of this organisation.
I was involved with Newfrontiers (NFI as it was then) for 2 years from 1996 to 1998 and agree with much of the above. Leaders within the organisation pick out a few select passages from the new testament and then regard these as a literal blueprint for how they should organise themselves. I had no experience of any religion before NF, and after realising what they were like I wondered initially whether my experience was a one-off or a peculiar feature of the local group that I was attending. I have since visited 3 other NF groups out of curiosity and found similar views expressed in all of them.
The main problems that I found were that the organisation doesn't tolerate much disagreement, and in common with other evangelical churches the new testament is regarded as the final authority on what everybody ought to believe and on how everybody ought to behave. Anybody who dissents or disagrees significantly with the party line is not welcome. Belief in the God-given authority of their leaders (men only) and belief in dark spiritual forces at work in the rest of society feature a lot in the theology of the organisation, both of which perhaps explain their attitude towards dissent. I believe that there is a tendency for members of the organisation to equate its own aims and objectives with God's aims and objectives, and therefore any criticism of them is regarded as opposition to God.
Their website has quite a few talks and papers that are very informative about where the organisation stands:
Attitude to scripture:
Attitude towards authority:
Talk on spiritual warfare (from an NF church website):
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April 27, 2009 09:23PMchrisjones
Date Added: 09/17/2007
Posts: 6 Re: New Frontiers church groupHi Thanks for your input and I am sure Sarah-Jane will reflect on our commentary. I had come to exactly the same conclusion as yourself with regard to the way they perceive their actions and that of God are the same. Hence they are always right and everyone else is wrong. This sits at the heart of a narcissistic personality disorder in an individual. It is even more concerning when it sits at the core of institutional existence. My further experience is the inability to question anything and the total belief in the Apostolic Ministry of Men as you have so kindly found in the attached web site to your note. What NF just cannot see is that there preachings are prejudicial and prejudice against women is prejudice in the UK as much as it is in other parts of the world although obviously not at the same level as say Afghanistan. My advice to any normal human being who loves God, and cares for fellow humanity is to avoid this group of self deluded fideists and find a "Church" that truly cares about people as a whole and all its members however challenged and challenging they may be. NF may preach love but it is conditional love on their terms and not the biblical love that is so obvious to anyone with a mind to read and understand.
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