Christian college fellowship threatens to sack staff for supporting equal marriage

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An evangelical Christian college ministry has threatened to fire anyone who believes Jesus would support same-sex marriage.

The threat comes from the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA, which has more than 1,730 staff members at 600 college campuses across America.

InterVarsity works to establish Christian campus fellowships at universities and colleges, aiming to create”witnessing communities of students and faculty who follow Jesus as Savior”.

But far from spreading “God’s love”, in a letter to staff earlier this year they took a fire-and-brimstone approach to employees who support equality.

In a letter it touted a new policy of “involuntary terminations” for staffers who disagree with its “positions on human sexuality” – opposing homosexuality and sex outside of marriage.

Their policy document insists: “In marriage, we reflect the image of God in a unique way by joining together spiritually and physically. We were created in God’s image as male and female.

“Marriage is defined as a distinctive union between one man and one woman, as husband and wife, in which they covenant with one another to lifelong devotion. In addition, Christian marriage and family is not viewed as an end, but as a means of serving the kingdom of God in this world.”

In a statement to TIME, the group said: “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.

“Our goal is not to go, ‘Oh we want you to do the dirty work of firing yourself.’ I think our thing is, if you are in disagreement, then we are going to ask you, with integrity, to identify that and leave.”

However the group took to Facebook took to Facebook to attack the story by drawing a distinction between “civil marriage” and “Christian marriage”.

They claimed: “We’re disappointed that [the] headline and article wrongly stated that InterVarsity is firing employees for supporting gay marriage. That is not the case. In fact, InterVarsity doesn’t have a policy regarding employee views on civil marriage.

“We do continue to hold to an orthodox view of human sexuality and Christian marriage, as you can read in our Theology of Human Sexuality Document at the bottom of the article.

“That said, we believe Christlikeness, for our part, includes both embracing Scripture’s teachings on human sexuality—uncomfortable and difficult as they may be—as well as upholding the dignity of all people, because we are all made in God’s image.

“Some will argue this cannot be done. We believe that we must if we want to be faithful followers of Jesus.

“Within InterVarsity and elsewhere in the Church, there are LGBTQI people who agree with this theology, at great personal cost. We are learning together to follow Jesus.”