InterVarsity Christian Fellowship says anyone who doesn’t believe in their theology needs to resign with “integrity.”
The InterVarsity Christian Fellowship U.S.A. has threatened its employees stating that if they disagree with any of their theological positions, specifically those relating to same-sex marriage, they will begin an “involuntary termination” process. The letter issued by the evangelical organization to the 1,300 employees asks those who are in favor of same-sex marriage to come forward voluntarily and leave InterVarsity.
InterVarsity has tried to word its decision in a friendly-sounding manner, despite the severity of its nature. The letter says the aim behind asking employees to voluntarily leave is not to force them to do the 'dirty work' of firing themselves. Instead, it claims it is a simple and straight forward way of leaving with 'integrity' if they disagree with the values it stands for. InterVarsity has also offered to cover the outplacement service costs of the terminated employees for a month so they can resume their careers elsewhere.
InterVarsity’s vice-president and director of campus engagement, Greg Jao, revealed terminations due to disagreement with the organization's theological beliefs is routine. He said terminations resulting from this stance will be deemed “involuntary terminations due to misalignment with InterVarsity ministry principles.” Hemant Mehta of The Friendly Atheist speculates InterVarsity does not see this as “persecution.”
Matthew Vines, an alumnus of Harvard University, pointed out the irony in InterVarsity’s claim of being 'justice-minded' by openly discriminating against the LGBTQ community and forcing their employees to leave over their personal beliefs. Vines was a member of InterVarsity during college and is gay. Vines posted a comment on InterVarsity’s Facebook post condemning an article by TIME on the subject. Vines’ comment, liked over 250 times, ends with:
“Lastly, you say that there are some LGBTQ people who agree with your theology. But surely you know that there are countless more LGBTQ people who have died as a direct result of your theology. That isn’t good fruit, and it isn’t good theology. You are persecuting a small minority of people and those who support them, and in the process, you are dishonoring the name of Jesus, who stood with the oppressed, not the oppressors. As an InterVarsity alum from Harvard, I can only lament all of the fresh wounds and trauma you have chosen to inflict on countless LGBTQ people today. This is a disgraceful decision that is completely antithetical to the gospel of Christ.”
InterVarsity says their views on homosexuality have not changed in 75 years.