The London-based ministry Oasis Trust has been ejected as a member in good standing from the United Kingdom’s largest evangelical oversight organization. The Evangelical Alliance UK discontinued the membership of Oasis Trust because the organization’s view about human sexuality is incompatible with a traditional Christian worldview.
“After many months of prayerful discussion, the Evangelical Alliance council concluded that a relationship between an organization and one of its members in which the member felt it could not comply with a reasonable request from council, was not tenable,” the Evangelical Alliance said in a statement.
In January 2013, Oasis Trust founder Steve Chalke, stunned many evangelicals when he come out in support of same-sex marriage. The respected British leader made his views known in a column in Christianity magazine.
“I feel both compelled and afraid to write this article,” wrote Chalke. “Compelled because, in my understanding, the principles of justice, reconciliation and inclusion sit at the very heart of Jesus' message. Afraid because I recognize the Bible is understood by many to teach that the practice of homosexuality, in any circumstance, is a sin or ‘less than God's best.’”
Even though the Oasis Trust board says it has no corporate position on human sexuality, Chalke’s personal perspective was enough to sway the decision of the Evangelical Alliance.
"At no point has anyone within Oasis tried to impose the Founder’s view on Oasis staff, volunteers or church members (let alone anyone else) and, as such, the board of Oasis continues to give Steve their full support in his quest to seek an open and honest conversation amongst the Church on these issues and on how to restore society’s confidence in the Bible more generally,” Oasis Trust said in a statement of its own.
The Evangelical Alliance maintains that the views of individual members of the organization are a matter of personal conscience. Personal members are requested to affirm the Evangelical Alliance basis of faith and indicate their support for the work of the Alliance by making a financial contribution.