A Response to Sarfati by Helen Smith
Recently I had cause to revisit the post Jonathan Sarfati placed on NAiG's Guestbook back in 1999. I was aware that Sarfati also had the post published on the infamous The True.Origin Archive later and that he had added some material to it. It was last updated by Sarfati on 13 February 2004. Dr Ken Smith showed the additional material (see below) to his wife Helen who, in Ken's words, was not amused. Below is Sarfati's original piece concerning Helen Smith with the additional words underlined:
Recently his [Ken Smith's] wife Helen stood unopposed for the position of President Elect of the Queensland Baptist Union. Normally such an election would be a formality. However, many delegates were sent a letter which presented nothing but the fact that Ken Smith was given “special acknowledgement” by a leading humanist in his Bible-mocking book, was a high-profile member of the Skeptics, plus some of the grossly anti-Christian articles produced by this organisation without a whimper of protest from Smith (again, we are very grateful to John Stear for providing such good ammunition). [I point this out because the Skeptics have claimed that this was “a grossly defamatory letter” when it merely presented the facts — admittedly I would regard it as a grossly defamatory attack on my integrity and intelligence if I were accused of being a member of the Skeptics!] So almost twice the usual number of delegates turned up to the meeting, and a majority voted against Mrs Smith. Presumably they were astute enough to realise that such a close connection to the predominately atheistic Skeptics was not a good thing for a president of the Baptist Union which officially believes in biblical inerrancy!
Helen Smith's Response
I feel great sadness when I read comments such as those made against my husband and I by Jonathon Sarfati. To my knowledge neither my husband or I have ever met the gentleman and so he has no knowledge of us, our ministry within the community or our background. However, if he does feel free to make derogatory comments, then in the interests of truth at least he should make sure he has the facts right.
Actually, I was elected to the position of President Elect of the Baptist Union of Queensland (BUQ) at the Annual Assembly meetings of that Union. I took up the duties of this position and then found that there were those who were working behind the scenes to have my election declared out of order. I was shown a letter from a Queensland Baptist Church that deplored the fact that the Union had allowed a woman even to be nominated for the position and I have to say that this did not surprise me.
I had been in leadership positions for some years within the Union, mostly in ministry to women, but was the first woman ever to be elected to the Executive of the BUQ . I had become very aware of the attitude of some to women in leadership and knew the situation would be difficult.
For some months prior to the Assembly, God had been making me aware that I must let myself be nominated as President Elect, so when a church approached me on this subject I had no option but to obey the call. Then, when it was decided that a further vote on my election would be held at an upcoming Quarterly Assembly meeting of the Union, I knew that whatever happened God would still be in control and left the matter in His hands.
The letter referred to by Jonathan Sarfati was sent out only a few days before the Quarterly Assembly, no copy was sent to me.
It is certainly true that almost twice the number of delegates was present at this Quarterly meeting but I think I may be forgiven for thinking that the Assembly was stacked, as most of the delegates did not remain for the rest of the meeting but left after the vote for me was taken.
Obedience to God has its own consequences and His use of me was transferred to a place within the community where I had the opportunity for a very rewarding ministry. As well I took up leadership in an Ecumenical Organisation.
Jonathan Sarfati's comments on the Skeptics and my husband are quite out of order. I have for long been aware of the hatred Jonathan Sarfati and his ilk have for my husband and I find it quite unbiblical and unchristian and unworthy of comment by me except to say that it does great damage to the spreading of the Gospel within the community.