The leader of the Evangelical Alliance has responded to an article which claimed the bible could be inclusive of gay people, to say that suggestions of a new biblical interpretation are “dangerous”.
Steve Chalke, a top evangelical, Baptist minister and leader of Christian charity Oasis UK, wrote in the latest edition of Christianity magazine, that he had changed his biblical understanding of homosexuality, that the bible was more inclusive than some believed, and that Christians should be more supportive of gay people.
Steve Clifford, the general director of the Evangelical Alliance has written on Christian Today to voice his disapproval, and to say that he thought Mr Chalke was wrong to say that the bible could be inclusive of gay people.
He wrote that he was friends with Steve Chalke and that they had known each other for years, describing his contribution to the church over 25 years as “significant.
Mr Clifford writes: While I understand and respect Steve’s pastoral motivations, I believe the conclusions he has come to on same-sex relationships are wrong.
“It is with both sadness and disappointment that I reflect on how Steve has not only distanced himself from the vast majority of the evangelical community here in the UK, but indeed from the church across the world and 2,000 years of biblical interpretation.”
He went on to cite the story of a gay Baptist minister who was “living with” his homosexuality, which he rejcted, and then addressed a conference last year to tell his story.
“This pastor is just one of tens of thousands of Christians who have come to the conclusion that sex was designed by God to be expressed within a committed relationship for life between a man and a woman – we call this marriage – and have chosen to live a celibate life.”
He continues: “Steve Chalke’s challenge to historic biblical interpretation is in danger of undermining such courageous lifestyle decisions.
“Generations of Christians have faced the challenge of making the gospel relevant within their cultural settings. The danger we all face, and I fear Steve has succumbed to, is that we produce ‘a god’ in our own likeness or in the likeness of the culture in which we find ourselves.”
“This is the radical inclusiveness I believe the gospel offers to all of us. God doesn’t leave us on our own, He promises to work in us, to bring us into our ultimate goal which is His likeness.
He concludes: “Inevitably Steve’s article will open again the conversation on human sexuality. But as we have this discussion let’s remember that Jesus requires us to disagree without being disagreeable. We must listen honestly and carefully to one another, being courteous and generous. In 1846, our Evangelical Relationships Commitment was created to guide us in our relationships with other Christians – especially those we disagree with.
Meanwhile in the US, anti-gay evangelist, Scott Lively, said in an interview last week that he thinks gay rights are bringing the “wrath” of God, which is a sign that the world is nearing the “End Days”, just like before Noah’s flood.