Maybe we have to tolerate the intolerable

Recently, 10,000 children lost their sponsorship via World Vision after the company announced (then reversed) its decision to employ married gay Christians. The Evangelical Alliance raised concerns that The Oasis Trust (or more specifically its founder Rev Steve Chalke) were promoting a view other than what the church has traditionally believed. According to the Trust, Steve Chalke was calling for churches to be more open and accepting of the LGBT community, and trying to foster dialogue between people who hold differing views. Despite assurances and clarifications from the Trust that it wasn’t a corporate view, the Evangelical Alliance has discontinued the Trust’s membership.

The respective statements give differing accounts; the Alliance says the Trust didn’t comply with a request, whilst the Trust claim that they did. I don’t have the full background, but it seems relatively simple to me; a member of the Oasis Trust has gone against what the Evangelical Alliance believes about marriage (showing support for the LGBT community) so the Alliance removed them.

It seems that your stance on same sex marriage is fast becoming the benchmark by which your worthiness of association as a Christian is measured and indeed, whether you are in fact a Christian or not. It’s an unfair, but the church is not the only establishment that is using same sex marriage as a benchmark. Brendan Eich was forced to step down as CEO of Mozilla after it came to light that he contributed to a campaign to stop same-sex marriage coming into law. In Canada, degrees from a law university which does not support same-sex marriage are no longer recognized by some law societies, meaning its future law graduates are not fit to be admitted to the bar.

In all of these discussions, people talk about equality and tolerance. Well people talk a good game, but their actions suggest that there is no place at the table for people who disagree with them. It seems that in the attempt to change, all those who oppose the ‘correct’ viewpoint are got rid of or ignored. Historically, this has not ended well when any means are deemed justified. I’ve said previously that there are certain things that shouldn’t be tolerated, maybe this is what that looks like in practice? Maybe to have a truly open,, equal society, we have to tolerate what we want to be intolerant to.


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