Why are people so angry at IV-USA?

Time magazine broke a story by Elizabeth Dias yesterday with quite the headline, Top Evangelical College Group to Dismiss Employees Who Support Gay Marriage. Ed Stetzer wrote an article in reply for Christianity Today with the headline, Evangelical Campus Ministry (InterVarsityUSA) Decides Employees Should Hold Evangelical Beliefs on Marriage (Updated with InterVarsity Statement). Ed does not engage at all with the personal story of an IVCF campus staffer with a transgender child who was let go by IVCF for not agreeing to their statement. Even Jesus could agree with the gentile woman who had a sick child that the dogs can at least eat the crumbs from the table. The lack of compassion for the church's sexual minorities is what sets people off.

IVCF has made strides to not be a white fundamentalist sect as it engages college culture that encourages multiculturalism and minority empowerment. Women and non-white staffers are placed in positions of leadership. IVCF has reinterpreted passages seen by more conservative "plain readers" of the Bible that forbids women in leadership. IVCF let students of color proclaim from the stage at their missions conference that Black Lives Matter. However, they also backpedaled and released a statement for critics that all lives matter.

In short, IVCF has demonstrated a progressive, non-literal reading of the Bible and continually expanded the tent. LGBTQI students and their allies have seen this progressive stance on these issues as a potential opening into the IVCF tent for them and their spiritual journeys. But IVCF has closed the tent flaps. They write,
Regrettably, many Christians have not loved same-sex-attracted people as we ought. Too often, we have responded with exclusion and caused them shame or remained silent when hatred has been expressed toward them. We humbly own our past failures and offer genuine love.
At the same time, Scripture is very clear that God’s intention for sexual expression is to be between a husband and wife in marriage. Every other sexual practice is outside of God’s plan and therefore is a distortion of God’s loving design for humanity.
As I read this, from an ally perspective, I hear, "we are sorry we've been jerks, but God is a jerk about this, so it's not really our fault." They love you in the same way their jerk god does, who will send you to hell unless you keep your genitals out of the wrong places. Jerk god does not have compassion on his LGBTQI creations. He will only accept them if they choose celibacy or sham marriages that produce children.

IVCF's compassionate and intentional inclusiveness reached a breaking point. But Jesus will not break a bruised reed or snuff out a smoldering wick. His compassion is greater. He does not have to worry about losing donor money from an uncomfortable majority who has a hard enough time with the affirmation that Black lives matter. Christian conservatives have a lot of money to give, but not to gay tolerant organizations, as World Vision learned. The financial base needs to be placated. Conservatives place straight monogamous marriage into the orthodoxy category even as the affirmation hurts their neighbors and does not treat them as they wish to be treated. It is truly unfortunate that IVCF does not list any affirming resources in their reading list at the end of their document.

Who has the courage to welcome and affirm the outcasts of the church who harm no one as they live out an essential aspect of their identity? Jesus says how we treat the least of these is how we treat him. New wine requires new wine skins.


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