Evangelical College Group Restates Christian View of Sexuality, Liberals Lose Their Minds
In keeping with historic Christian doctrine on sexuality, one of the largest evangelical campus outreach organizations released a statement of faith on Thursday which restates the biblical and traditional Christian view of sexuality, part of which involves rejecting the notion of gay "marriage." Aghast liberals appeared shocked, and Time's Elizabeth Dias reported that the new position means the group will "Dismiss Employees Who Support Gay Marriage."
"This is not accurate," InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA responded in a press release on Friday. "No InterVarsity employee will be fired for their views on gay marriage." This is an important issue, as the organization has 1,300 staff members for more than 1,000 chapters on 667 college campuses around the country, and involved more than 41,000 students and faculty during the last academic year.
So why the confusion? Shortly after InterVarsity's declaration on human sexuality, Dias received email comments from Greg Jao, an InterVarsity vice president and director of campus engagement. Jao told her that if an InterVarsity employee comes forward in disagreement with the position, that will be treated like a two-week notice. Importantly, the organization has offered to cover outplacement service costs for one month after an employee leaves.
Dias also misunderstood Jao when he explained, "We internally categorize these as involuntary terminations due to misalignment with InterVarsity ministry principles, which is a category we use for people who leave for theological and philosophy of ministry disagreements." While the organization may call these "involuntary terminations," they are not the same thing as pink slips.
"If you are in disagreement, then we are going to ask you, with integrity, to identify that and leave," he told Dias. While it may shock Dias that an evangelical Christian organization does not believe in gay marriage, it should not shock those who know InterVarsity well — especially those who work there.
In the press release, the organization insisted that "InterVarsity's position on human sexuality has not changed in its 75-year history." In that document, Jao declared, "We have always expected employees to reflect the ministry's theological beliefs, as would be true for any church, synagogue, mosque, or religious organization."
When it comes to "involuntary termination," this is how he described it in the press release: "We recognize employees who disagree, or whose beliefs have changed over time, will leave employment because we have reiterated our beliefs."
Nevertheless, InterVarsity insisted that the organization "welcomes all students and faculty—including LGBTQI individuals—in our fellowships. We also continue to employ individuals who have an LGBTQI identity and who affirm our theological beliefs around human sexuality."
"Throughout this process, we are very aware that LGBTQI people have experienced great pain, including much caused by Christians," Jao explained. "We also know that we ourselves each need Jesus' grace daily. So we attempt to walk humbly in this conversation."
Despite this conciliatory approach toward LGBT people and the organization's history of holding such positions, a few staffers vehemently disagreed with the new statement on sexuality. Dias found a few staff and ex-staff who seem to have been unaware of InterVarsity's position on sexuality.
Next Page: Backlash from those who should have known better.