Public Statement regarding the Cheryl Schatz initiated Matthew 18 meeting with Matt Slick (CARM)
A meeting was held on August 22, 2008 in Idaho as my husband and I and our Pastor traveled to meet with Matt Slick. The reconciliation meeting was initiated by myself and we journied 12 hours to try to reconcile over the issues of Matt’s public misrepresentation of my teaching along with the continued attacks on my person. I had patiently waited for almost one year for a resolution while I was being slandered, accused of heresy and my sanity was questioned and mocked all because I support the biblical view that women in the body of Christ may use their gifts for the common good and with the authority of 1 Peter 4:10, 11. It is my position that we are to work hard for unity in the body of Christ and we are to live at peace with all men if possible, so far as it depends on us (Romans 12:18). It is with deep regret that the reconciliation that I fought for and thought I received at the meeting with Matt Slick in August of 2008 has proven to be unattainable.
Matt Slick finally agreed to meet with me to discuss the offenses that were committed against me after he received some “encouragement” from a set of emails he received from a person who wrote as a “man” with authority. Without these emails he would have never agreed to meet with me and I would not have had the opportunity of trying to seek peace with someone who claims to be a brother in Christ but who had been treating me with great disrespect and vitriol.
In 2006 Matt Slick had requested by email that I be a guest on his “Faith and Reason” radio show to discuss my views from my DVD “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” I declined at that time because I saw him as being disrespectful. After his assurance that he would be kind and respectful and after about a year and a half later when I heard him on the radio discourage a woman from going into ministry, I agreed to discuss the issue of women’s freedom to serve the body of Christ without restriction.
During my time on the radio with Matt Slick, I made a special effort to affirm him for his ministry even telling a personal story about some of his articles that helped me deal with a Universalist and a friend who had been influenced in the area of universalism. However I was not treated kindly and on the first of the two programs that I was on, I was yelled at and talked down to and constantly interrupted. By the end of the second program he refused to let me speak on my interpretation os 1 Timothy 2:15 and how this verse is essential to the understanding of 1 Timothy 2:12 and he called me a heretic for my view of women’s freedom to minister with God’s gifts for the common good.
After the radio shows Matt immediately started to post on his discussion board challenging me by name to post responses in order to try to find things to accuse me of. He demanded answers to questions about Calvinism and other areas that I refused to debate over. Before Matt created posts with my name challenging me to answer, I had never posted on his board. In fact I didn’t even originally see the posts challenging me since I was not reading his boards. I was notified by an egalitarian who visited my blog that Matt was openly challenging me on his board. Now he writes that I was the one who came onto his discussion board to cause trouble. No matter what I do, my motives and my beliefs and the facts have been twisted beyond recognition.
In December 2008 after months of speaking against me on his radio show, Matt told a caller a complete misrepresentation of my teaching while he assured the caller that what he was saying was true. I confronted Matt Slick about his misrepresentation and he did nothing. It wasn’t until my pastor wrote to Matt Slick in February and confronted him with his slander that Matt mentioned it on the air, but he said it in such a way that it appeared that I wanted him to make a correction, but that my correction wasn’t true and his original statement was true and it was not slander.
I finally was able to meet Matt Slick in person after Matt received emails apparently from a “man” encouraging him to settle the issue with me as I was requesting from him a Matthew 18 meeting. My husband and my pastor traveled with me for the 12 hour trip to meet Matt Slick. I started the meeting by making it clear that we were not there to harm him but to seek reconciliation after all the persecution that I had received so that we could end the attacks against me and we could move on. I played the audio files I had of Matt’s misrepresentation of my teaching and clips from our radio discussion where I gave my teaching on women in ministry and denied his own declared exaggeration of the view. After listening to the audio file several times, Matt Slick agreed that he would issue a correction and that he would no longer mention me by name on his radio show or on his discussion board or his web site. I agreed that while I would continue to refute his public teaching on women in ministry, I would not post anything against him personally. Although I did not say I would remove any negative comments about Matt on my blog, I did go through all the posts and I removed anything that others said against him that might be considered inflammatory. There were very few comments like that. Most people were frustrated with Matt for his treatment of me and I chose to allow people the freedom to air their frustration without excessive moderation from me. However I have not posted anything of the personal nature since that time and I have kept my word that I would keep any mention of Matt Slick on my bog to the issue of his public teaching only and not in any way on a personal level even though I still have considerable concern about his treatment of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
At our meeting in August 2008, Matt Slick revealed to all of us (his pastor was there along with Ryan Turner a young apologist who had just started working with Matt and who is a gentle natured soul) that his vice-president had purchased my name on the internet three times in an effort to discredit me as a person. Much of the persecution that I had experienced in the last year was done by Matt’s vice-president of CARM Diane Sellner. She openly attacked me encouraged by Matt Slick himself and Matt protected her ability to slander me without sanction on his own discussion board and on a blog that she set up to attack my character and my ministry. Matt said that he would talk to Diane to see if she would agree to stop attacking me personally. (From what happened afterwards, I now do not believe that he ever intended to stop Diane. She has his full support without any sanctions at all.)
Matt asked what we wanted him to say to correct his misrepresentations and although he adamantly refused to apologize for what he had done, he did say that he would make the statement public on “Faith and Reason”. We all worked together to get a statement that would be acceptable to Matt and myself. Ryan Turner proposed that Matt say that he was “wrong” and both Matt and I agreed to the statement even though there would be no apology from Matt. My pastor wrote down the statement that we all had contributed to and Matt and I had agreed to it and my pastor gave the written copy of what we had written to Matt. After over four hours of discussion, we left with that agreement and we went on our way traveling together in the same car and heading back to Canada to try to get across the border before midnight.
However that very day before we arrived home, the agreement made between Matt Slick and myself had been broken by Matt. Matt had changed the statement saying that he had approval from my pastor to change the agreement. However my pastor was in the car traveling with us and not only would he not have had the authority to change an agreement as the agreement was not made with him but was an agreement that I had made with Matt, but I was never consulted by Matt even though Matt knew that we were traveling back home together in the same car. So how did he get such approval and why did he not ask me? Why would he claim to bypass me when we were in the same car traveling home together?
Not only was I never consulted about a change to our agreement, but I have no idea what Matt Slick did or didn’t say on that broadcast because he gave Diane Sellner the authority to remove his comment from the broadcast. His comment, whatever it was, was never given to the general public on his “Faith and Reason” podcast and Matt Slick has adamantly refused to allow me access to hear what he actually said. He has refused to give me a copy of the audio that was removed from the broadcast and he has refused to allow the radio station to give me a copy. I have no way to verify that he even tried to keep his word about giving a retraction to his misrepresentation.
By the day after we arrived home, Matt Slick had released numerous pages written against me personally even though he promised that he would no longer speak against me. He also gave Diane Sellner full access to write her personal vitriol against me on her blog, and he also gave his permission for Diane to link my personal name that she had purchased three times on the internet to Matt’s pages against me on his web site and alternately to link one of purchases of my name to her own blog which was created as a way to slander me personally.
Matt has tried to justify his subsequent attacks against me by saying that I attacked him first before I came onto his radio show. This is an unfounded lie and he has no proof of any such “attack”. He also has lied that I came onto his discussion board to attack him. He is the one who wrote numerous posts about “Challenge to Schatz” but after our “reconciliation meeting” he left all the attacks on line and gave Diane Sellner the authority to remove all my answers. In fact my moniker (WIM) has been completely wiped off the discussion board with only small quotes made by others who referenced my original posts. My respectful posts were removed while the attacks against me were kept on line! The boldness of such a move after the promises that were made to me are amazing!
I spoke to Matt Slick on the phone three days after our meeting and he tried to blackmail me to remove any mention of himself or CARM on my blog even from my careful refutation of his exegesis of women in ministry. I have a copy of that phone conversation and I will not allow myself to be blackmailed. Matt will have to stand one day before the Lord Jesus and give an account of the things that he has done. I pray that the Lord Jesus will continue to enable me to have the courage to speak out on women’s freedom in the body of Christ as I work hard to speak the truth with love. It takes boldness to speak out with kindness and compassion for both my brothers and sisters in Christ who are on opposite sides of this theological fence. Each side deserves to be loved as true brothers and sisters in Christ even if we do not agree on these secondary issues. My stand will not change. I will continue to speak out in love even though I have received a great amount of persecution for my stand. The Lord Jesus provides boldness to speak the truth even in the midst of persecution. I have posted my stand from the introduction to my DVD set on youtube to show that my original stand has always been reconciliation between the two sides regarding women in ministry. My stand can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e9TL5TWdac
Those who view this stand can see that I am not aggressive against the other side. I view them as brothers in Christ even though people like Matt Slick characterize me as an enemy of the church. Matt also has not been able to refute my teaching on women in ministry even though he has tried his best. He gave me my DVDs back after a year and a half of having them in his possession claiming that he didn’t even watch them (the truthfulness of this statement is challenged by his early emails to me challenging me on some of the content in the DVDs and bemoaning the fact that I didn’t put into the DVDs some material that he felt was important such as federal headship). My refutation of his attempt to refute me can be found at this blog.
I do not trust Matt Slick or his promises as everything he has promised has been taken back by Matt, and I am very sad that this is the case as he is a fellow apologist and I should be able to trust his word. Matt has given full permission to his vice-president and board member Diane Sellner to do whatever she wants in attacking me and using my name. Let the reader see that I have not posted personal attacks against Matt Slick and I have not bought his name in order to malign him personally nor have I purchased Diane Sellner’s name. I believe that these are shameful acts that do not serve to lift up the name of Jesus. Matt never once approached me for reconciliation – he just produced pages against me personally that contain lies and half truths. I went the extra mile and paid a great price to seek reconciliation. I waited a long time before I went to Idaho to meet with Matt. I even accepted an offer from Matt to make things right without demanding that he publicly apologize. He says that I am unreasonable but my actions prove otherwise. My character is proven by my actions. On the otherhand, Matt has proven his character by his actions in a less than honorable way. The pages written against me, the complete removal of myself and my arguments from his discussion board, the removal of his “correction” from the public record (if he even made such a correction and I have not one thing to prove that he said any part of the correction that we agreed to), the threats against me personally in the form of blackmail, his support of his board member and vice-president to purchase my own name to malign me personally and his continued claims that I, a fellow Christian who believes in all the essentials of the faith, am an enemy of the church are the actions of his own character. If fellow Christians allow this kind of behavior without correction, then likely it will continue. I cannot see how this furthers the cause of Christ or brings the body of Christ closer together in unity as we are required to love one another and work for peace.
I ask that those who read this page, please pray for Matt. There are accounts on the internet of others that Matt has attacked just like he has done to me. This greatly concerns me. The concern that I have is not so much about the lies that he has told about me but the unsaved that have experienced the same things. They see Matt as a representative of Jesus and the Church and when he launches an attack on anyone who he sees as a threat to his person, or to secondary doctrinal issues that he sees as a hill to die on, it leaves a bad taste in their mouth and many have reported that they have been harmed because of this. If there are any who have been hurt by Matt’s attacks who are reading this, please be assured that this is not representative of Jesus. There are many godly Christians who witness of their faith and who do not personally attack those who do not agree with them. Jesus had compassion and care even for those who attacked him. His love even reached out to the one who betrayed him. Jesus called him “friend”. If I can help heal the hurts that you have experienced, please contact me. My email address is on my contact page.
In conclusion, although our long trip at our own expense to meet with Matt Slick to seek reconciliation has not brought resolution as we thought but only brought further attacks against my person, I have to let God work on Matt Slick’s heart because he refuses all forms of reconciliation demanding instead that I apologize to him for following the scriptural approach regarding dealing with issues of offense or else he will work to destroy me. I followed every step that scripture gives for dealing with an offensive brother. Matt Slick on the other hand never once tried to contact me privately to reconcile with me but has kept up his attacks against me as if I am not worthy of being called a Christian sister and a fellow apologist. For Matt Slick to ask me to apologize for following through with what the bible sets forth for disputes between Christians is unthinkable.
This puts a period on any contact with Matt Slick. I will no longer discuss him although I will discuss his theology on women in ministry especially if I become aware that he has tried to answer my refutation of his articles. Sometimes there cannot be a resolution other than complete separation and this is where it stands.
I have also posted a public statement regarding my Matthew 18 meeting at http://www.mmoutreach.org/slick.htm . Keith and Lorri MacGregor have posted their own comments regarding this issue along with this statement at http://mmoutreachinc.com/cheryl_slick.htm This brings to a complete end any words that I have regarding this matter as I have been pushed to produce a public statement about why I have been silent on this end about this very public disagreement.
I think this piece will put a huge period . on this matter as I have long ago moved on. If anyone has any questions regarding this public statement, please email me privately for clarification. Email me (mmoutreach (AT) gmail (DOT) com or go to the contact page above for a contact form).
Keith and Lorri MacGregor are my ministry partners and have been privy to the attacks against me from the very beginning. Having heard Matt Slick for themselves speak in angry tones toward his sister in Christ calling me a heretic and twisting my words, their wisdom to me is to follow scripture to ignore a divisive person. My pastor has also given me this same admonition and he too has been privy to the attacks against me both on the radio, in emails sent to him by Matt Slick and in our meeting in Idaho and his words have also been twisted against him.
While I am sad that I was not able to be a peace maker in this dispute, I did appreciate that by taking the time and effort to make the twelve hour journey to Idaho, I had the opportunity to meet Ryan, the new apologist on CARM. I really appreciated his attitude and his demeanor. I pray that God will help him to make a positive impact in a godly way in the calling that he has.
May Jesus get the ultimate glory for He is our peacemaker who brings peace between God and us.