In a move that has been termed a “purge” by critics on social media and other platforms, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, one of US’s largest evangelical college ministries, asked any pro-gay staff members to quit.
After they concluded a three years long study of sexuality, the ministry informed the staff of their decision and belief that physical union is to be saved for after marriage and should be limited to only between man and woman.
The employees of the organisation are expected, by the leaders, to act and believe accordingly. If, however, they disagree, then they are expected to let the supervisors know and quit immediately. If the employees choose to stay on, it will be understood that they support the beliefs of the organisation, shall act according to its expectations and not engage in any such “immoral” behaviour.
This policy of the ministry has inspired several different reactions over different platforms. Reported first by TIME magazine, the policy faced much backlash on social media and hashtags such as #InterVarsityDoBetter and #InterVarsityPurge began to trend.
Southern Baptist Convention’s head of the public policy arm, Russell Moore, was, however, surprised at the angry reaction. He believes that the policy follows the same view of sexuality that the Church has held and propagated for over two thousand years. He saw no reason why this particular policy should face so much backlash when so many evangelical leaders and associations propagated the same ideas.
Many of Intervarsity’s employees have already left since they were informed about the new policy. Michael Varquez, who once headed University of Utah’s chapter of Intervarsity, is gay himself and quit three months ago after his attempts at trying to broaden the existing ideas of sexuality in the organisation failed.
Previously, Intervarsity had stopped being officially recognised by the California State University System after the organisation refused to have any non-Christian leaders. This went against the requirement of the system to have positions open to every student. But a middle ground was reached and they became officially recognised again.
But the introduction of this new policy might prompt a re-examination of the position that the ministry currently holds.