Monday, October 10, 2016

Inter-Varsity Shame on You

I saw a news blurb today whose source was Time magazine, that the college evangelical group Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship has informed its 1,300 employees that they will be fired if they are known to support "same-sex marriage" or otherwise disagree with their recent statement on sexuality and marriage.  They have denied that people will be fired, but honest that they expect those who disagree to "conclude their work."

I was an active member of Inter-Varsity in college. I made many friends there, strengthened my faith and fell in love with the Scriptures. I became a small group leader in my junior year, which started out fine, but turned sour when a member of my group came out as lesbian. The whole IV group was thrown into crisis (or was it simply "righteous" indignation), and the leadership, including myself as the woman's small group leader, met with a Church of the Nazarene pastor who took us through the biblical reasons why she must be cast out of the group and shunned. I was deeply conflicted and confused, but I acquiesced and participated in the "casting out."

It was the beginning of the fairly quick end of my flirtation with evangelicalism, which ultimately I experienced as a narcissistic, I'm OK because you're not OK morality play that has precious little to do with the God of Jesus Christ.  I'm grateful that at the same time I was becoming an Episcopalian and happily chose that path. Within three years I myself came out as a gay man, and at least one other member of my small group has since come out.

Shame on Inter-Varsity for their insistence on selling a simplistic, mean-spirited God who has much more in common with the thought police of the average dictatorship than the man who said that when he was "lifted up" would draw all people to himself (John 12:32).

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