Schools boss calls on church to re-examine its attitude towards homosexuals

Daily Echo: Steve Chalke Steve Chalke

The boss of the charity that runs two Southampton secondary schools has called on the church to re-examine its attitude towards homosexuals.

Leading, evangelical minister The Rev Steve Chalke says it gives a negative attitudes which can have a negative impact on people's mental and physical health.

Mr Chalke founded the Christian charity Oasis, said he had become increasingly aware of the suffering of homosexual people within the church.

The organisation has run the 950-pupil Oasis Academy Lordshill and the 1,150 pupil Oasis Scademy Mayfield, both in Southampton, since 2008.

Mr Chalke has now called for further debate on same-sex relationships, and has launched an online support service to offer help to gay people who have been hurt by practices and teachings of some parts of the church.

In an article for Christianity Magazine, Mr Chalke, who is senior minister of Oasis Church Waterloo in London, speaks of the conflict between his understanding of ''the principles of justice, reconciliation and inclusion (that) sit at the very heart of Jesus' message'', and the Bible's teaching ''that the practice of homosexuality, in any circumstance, is a sin or 'less than God's best'.''

In the article, A Matter Of Integrity, he uses examples of his own ministry to illustrate how he has become increasingly aware of the suffering of homosexual people within the church, but also puts it down to his growing understanding of the Christian Bible.

He writes: ''Rather than condemn and exclude, can we dare to create an environment for homosexual people where issues of self-esteem and wellbeing can be talked about; where the virtues of loyalty, respect, interdependence and faithfulness can be nurtured, and where exclusive and permanent same-sex relationships can be supported?''

And he questions why so many Christians are prepared to dismiss biblical suppression of women in leadership, or the scriptural endorsements of the slave trade as ''cultural'', but not of negative references to homosexuality.

He said: ''It is my duty to ensure that everyone - gay or straight - knows that I believe God is for them.

''If the church in this country wants to be at the forefront of delivering social provisions, we have a responsibility to ensure that everyone knows the services we provide are for them.

''However, this commitment to inclusion is not just necessary in order to play a role in today's society; it is, in my view, the most biblical way of mirroring the life of Jesus Christ.''

The support service he has established includes videos discussing the issues and case studies of people who have been affected by them.

Comments (24)

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11:36am Tue 15 Jan 13

bigfella777 says...

Whatever you say about this subject it's always wrong,I cant be be bothered anymore.
If you state your opinion you are just called an old fashioned bigot for what you believe is morally right.
Whatever you say about this subject it's always wrong,I cant be be bothered anymore. If you state your opinion you are just called an old fashioned bigot for what you believe is morally right. bigfella777
  • Score: 0

12:34pm Tue 15 Jan 13

nothingchanges says...

Very refreshing to read something positive, inclusive and forward thinking from the church. Well done Steve for starting the debate.

I think the big problem here, as with other prejudices, is lack of awareness. f you've never met a gay person in your life then understandably, people will have their own preconceptions on what gay people are like. And it is personal opinion based on lack of awareness - the excuse about the bible saying it is wrong is just a lame "justification" for lack of awareness. As the article says, the bible is also anti-women and has interesting views on slavery!

However, people who have met a gay person (or more specifically one of the majority of gay people who don't "conform" to the stereotype) are actually surprised to find out that they are normal people with the same worries and responsibilities in life, the same love and relationship issues and the same good and bad points that every single person on this Earth has.

Oh and don't assume you've not met or don't know a gay person because "you'd know if they were gay". I expect you wouldn't actually, and maybe would be surprised just how many you have met or are friends with without even knowing!

Life is too short, let people live and, as long as they abide to the laws of the land and are decent people then what does it matter!
Very refreshing to read something positive, inclusive and forward thinking from the church. Well done Steve for starting the debate. I think the big problem here, as with other prejudices, is lack of awareness. f you've never met a gay person in your life then understandably, people will have their own preconceptions on what gay people are like. And it is personal opinion based on lack of awareness - the excuse about the bible saying it is wrong is just a lame "justification" for lack of awareness. As the article says, the bible is also anti-women and has interesting views on slavery! However, people who have met a gay person (or more specifically one of the majority of gay people who don't "conform" to the stereotype) are actually surprised to find out that they are normal people with the same worries and responsibilities in life, the same love and relationship issues and the same good and bad points that every single person on this Earth has. Oh and don't assume you've not met or don't know a gay person because "you'd know if they were gay". I expect you wouldn't actually, and maybe would be surprised just how many you have met or are friends with without even knowing! Life is too short, let people live and, as long as they abide to the laws of the land and are decent people then what does it matter! nothingchanges
  • Score: 0

1:13pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Stephen J says...

bigfella777 wrote:
Whatever you say about this subject it's always wrong,I cant be be bothered anymore.
If you state your opinion you are just called an old fashioned bigot for what you believe is morally right.
Not necessarily. It largely depends on why you believe your position is right.
[quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: Whatever you say about this subject it's always wrong,I cant be be bothered anymore. If you state your opinion you are just called an old fashioned bigot for what you believe is morally right.[/p][/quote]Not necessarily. It largely depends on why you believe your position is right. Stephen J
  • Score: 0

2:43pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Bagamn says...

These academies are supposed to be giving these kids an education. Instead of trying to be different, try teaching them the three 'R's so that they can survive in later life. The standard of reading and writing nowadaays is pathetic.Maths is as important as it was fifty years ago.
These academies are supposed to be giving these kids an education. Instead of trying to be different, try teaching them the three 'R's so that they can survive in later life. The standard of reading and writing nowadaays is pathetic.Maths is as important as it was fifty years ago. Bagamn
  • Score: 0

3:12pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Subject48 says...

OMG ITS CONTROVERCY...
OMG ITS CONTROVERCY... Subject48
  • Score: 0

3:33pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Walter K says...

I find it laughable that people who form their opinions and moral base according to fairy tale and legend are taken seriously in the first place!
I find it laughable that people who form their opinions and moral base according to fairy tale and legend are taken seriously in the first place! Walter K
  • Score: 0

4:41pm Tue 15 Jan 13

kingnotail says...

Subject48 wrote:
OMG ITS CONTROVERCY...
OMG YOU CAN'T SPELL
[quote][p][bold]Subject48[/bold] wrote: OMG ITS CONTROVERCY...[/p][/quote]OMG YOU CAN'T SPELL kingnotail
  • Score: 0

5:40pm Tue 15 Jan 13

jonnyx says...

"The standard of reading and writing nowadaays..."

Now I realise that's really just a typo, but, y'know, funny nonetheless.
"The standard of reading and writing nowadaays..." Now I realise that's really just a typo, but, y'know, funny nonetheless. jonnyx
  • Score: 0

6:10pm Tue 15 Jan 13

eurogordi says...

I am very disappointed with Rev. Steve Chalke's new understanding of the Bible. Of course gay and lesbian people should be included, but the Bible condemns the act and NOT the person. If people who choose to go to church cannot accept its teaching, then why go to church at all? After all, would you expect a politician of one persuasion to lead his/her opposition in parliament?
I am very disappointed with Rev. Steve Chalke's new understanding of the Bible. Of course gay and lesbian people should be included, but the Bible condemns the act and NOT the person. If people who choose to go to church cannot accept its teaching, then why go to church at all? After all, would you expect a politician of one persuasion to lead his/her opposition in parliament? eurogordi
  • Score: 0

6:10pm Tue 15 Jan 13

eurogordi says...

I am very disappointed with Rev. Steve Chalke's new understanding of the Bible. Of course gay and lesbian people should be included, but the Bible condemns the act and NOT the person. If people who choose to go to church cannot accept its teaching, then why go to church at all? After all, would you expect a politician of one persuasion to lead his/her opposition in parliament?
I am very disappointed with Rev. Steve Chalke's new understanding of the Bible. Of course gay and lesbian people should be included, but the Bible condemns the act and NOT the person. If people who choose to go to church cannot accept its teaching, then why go to church at all? After all, would you expect a politician of one persuasion to lead his/her opposition in parliament? eurogordi
  • Score: 0

6:20pm Tue 15 Jan 13

rightway says...

Why do some homosexuals feel so strongly about joining a church, which, in its teachings is against their way of life.
There are more important things in life, if others can’t accept you for what you are why bother.
No one can change the fact the bible teaches that life began with Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.
Why do some homosexuals feel so strongly about joining a church, which, in its teachings is against their way of life. There are more important things in life, if others can’t accept you for what you are why bother. No one can change the fact the bible teaches that life began with Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve. rightway
  • Score: 0

6:24pm Tue 15 Jan 13

cantthinkofone says...

Good stuff Rev Chalke.

I'm an active Christian, and I have absolutely zero problem with homosexuality. My experience of fellow Christians is that most feel similarly. I suspect the 'controversy' exists more among the dogmatic ministry than amongst the body of the church.

Perhaps we should ask - what did Jesus Christ say about homosexuality?

Nothing. Nothing at all. He didn't give two hoots about it.

If Christians want to follow Christ, let's follow that example eh?
Good stuff Rev Chalke. I'm an active Christian, and I have absolutely zero problem with homosexuality. My experience of fellow Christians is that most feel similarly. I suspect the 'controversy' exists more among the dogmatic ministry than amongst the body of the church. Perhaps we should ask - what did Jesus Christ say about homosexuality? Nothing. Nothing at all. He didn't give two hoots about it. If Christians want to follow Christ, let's follow that example eh? cantthinkofone
  • Score: 0

7:29pm Tue 15 Jan 13

freefinker says...

eurogordi wrote:
I am very disappointed with Rev. Steve Chalke's new understanding of the Bible. Of course gay and lesbian people should be included, but the Bible condemns the act and NOT the person. If people who choose to go to church cannot accept its teaching, then why go to church at all? After all, would you expect a politician of one persuasion to lead his/her opposition in parliament?
.. 'the Bible condemns the act and NOT the person'??? What?

Is it not people who perform 'the act'??

You can’t have one without the other.

What a load of nonsense you spout.
[quote][p][bold]eurogordi[/bold] wrote: I am very disappointed with Rev. Steve Chalke's new understanding of the Bible. Of course gay and lesbian people should be included, but the Bible condemns the act and NOT the person. If people who choose to go to church cannot accept its teaching, then why go to church at all? After all, would you expect a politician of one persuasion to lead his/her opposition in parliament?[/p][/quote].. 'the Bible condemns the act and NOT the person'??? What? Is it not people who perform 'the act'?? You can’t have one without the other. What a load of nonsense you spout. freefinker
  • Score: 0

8:20pm Tue 15 Jan 13

cantthinkofone says...

freefinker wrote:
eurogordi wrote:
I am very disappointed with Rev. Steve Chalke's new understanding of the Bible. Of course gay and lesbian people should be included, but the Bible condemns the act and NOT the person. If people who choose to go to church cannot accept its teaching, then why go to church at all? After all, would you expect a politician of one persuasion to lead his/her opposition in parliament?
.. 'the Bible condemns the act and NOT the person'??? What?

Is it not people who perform 'the act'??

You can’t have one without the other.

What a load of nonsense you spout.
I don't agree with eurogeordie's PoV freefinker, but the apparent contradiction you've highlighted isn't necessarily a paradox when looked at in the context of standard Christian theology.

The comments section of a provincial rag probably isn't a good medium for an involved theological discussion though tbh... :-D
[quote][p][bold]freefinker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eurogordi[/bold] wrote: I am very disappointed with Rev. Steve Chalke's new understanding of the Bible. Of course gay and lesbian people should be included, but the Bible condemns the act and NOT the person. If people who choose to go to church cannot accept its teaching, then why go to church at all? After all, would you expect a politician of one persuasion to lead his/her opposition in parliament?[/p][/quote].. 'the Bible condemns the act and NOT the person'??? What? Is it not people who perform 'the act'?? You can’t have one without the other. What a load of nonsense you spout.[/p][/quote]I don't agree with eurogeordie's PoV freefinker, but the apparent contradiction you've highlighted isn't necessarily a paradox when looked at in the context of standard Christian theology. The comments section of a provincial rag probably isn't a good medium for an involved theological discussion though tbh... :-D cantthinkofone
  • Score: 0

8:59pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Stephen J says...

cantthinkofone wrote:
freefinker wrote:
eurogordi wrote:
I am very disappointed with Rev. Steve Chalke's new understanding of the Bible. Of course gay and lesbian people should be included, but the Bible condemns the act and NOT the person. If people who choose to go to church cannot accept its teaching, then why go to church at all? After all, would you expect a politician of one persuasion to lead his/her opposition in parliament?
.. 'the Bible condemns the act and NOT the person'??? What?

Is it not people who perform 'the act'??

You can’t have one without the other.

What a load of nonsense you spout.
I don't agree with eurogeordie's PoV freefinker, but the apparent contradiction you've highlighted isn't necessarily a paradox when looked at in the context of standard Christian theology.

The comments section of a provincial rag probably isn't a good medium for an involved theological discussion though tbh... :-D
"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." All exegesis on how that means anything other than "don't do gay" welcome.
[quote][p][bold]cantthinkofone[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]freefinker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eurogordi[/bold] wrote: I am very disappointed with Rev. Steve Chalke's new understanding of the Bible. Of course gay and lesbian people should be included, but the Bible condemns the act and NOT the person. If people who choose to go to church cannot accept its teaching, then why go to church at all? After all, would you expect a politician of one persuasion to lead his/her opposition in parliament?[/p][/quote].. 'the Bible condemns the act and NOT the person'??? What? Is it not people who perform 'the act'?? You can’t have one without the other. What a load of nonsense you spout.[/p][/quote]I don't agree with eurogeordie's PoV freefinker, but the apparent contradiction you've highlighted isn't necessarily a paradox when looked at in the context of standard Christian theology. The comments section of a provincial rag probably isn't a good medium for an involved theological discussion though tbh... :-D[/p][/quote]"If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." All exegesis on how that means anything other than "don't do gay" welcome. Stephen J
  • Score: 0

9:39pm Tue 15 Jan 13

cantthinkofone says...

1 - Translation & interpretation
2 - Old testament and superseded

I apologise for 1) if that's your own direct translation of the original Hebrew.
1 - Translation & interpretation 2 - Old testament and superseded I apologise for 1) if that's your own direct translation of the original Hebrew. cantthinkofone
  • Score: 0

10:08pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Stephen J says...

cantthinkofone wrote:
1 - Translation & interpretation
2 - Old testament and superseded

I apologise for 1) if that's your own direct translation of the original Hebrew.
And the correct translation and interpretation is? And only one of the quotes is old testament. The second is of course Matthew 5:18.
[quote][p][bold]cantthinkofone[/bold] wrote: 1 - Translation & interpretation 2 - Old testament and superseded I apologise for 1) if that's your own direct translation of the original Hebrew.[/p][/quote]And the correct translation and interpretation is? And only one of the quotes is old testament. The second is of course Matthew 5:18. Stephen J
  • Score: 0

6:35am Wed 16 Jan 13

Vix1 says...

What the Bible says is what the Bible says!! If you are a Christian then the Bible is the "rule book" for your life. Stop being wishy washy and take a stand!!! Either you believe that the Bible is God's word or you don't. If you don't then move away from the Christian faith and join one of the other groups!! Stop trying to change things to suit society. The Bible is the Bible end of!! I have no problem with a homosexual coming to church because they believe they are wrong and want to change, but why would you want to come to church if you don't want to live in accordance with God's rules??
What the Bible says is what the Bible says!! If you are a Christian then the Bible is the "rule book" for your life. Stop being wishy washy and take a stand!!! Either you believe that the Bible is God's word or you don't. If you don't then move away from the Christian faith and join one of the other groups!! Stop trying to change things to suit society. The Bible is the Bible end of!! I have no problem with a homosexual coming to church because they believe they are wrong and want to change, but why would you want to come to church if you don't want to live in accordance with God's rules?? Vix1
  • Score: 0

7:58am Wed 16 Jan 13

Raxx says...

Vix1 wrote:
What the Bible says is what the Bible says!! If you are a Christian then the Bible is the "rule book" for your life. Stop being wishy washy and take a stand!!! Either you believe that the Bible is God's word or you don't. If you don't then move away from the Christian faith and join one of the other groups!! Stop trying to change things to suit society. The Bible is the Bible end of!! I have no problem with a homosexual coming to church because they believe they are wrong and want to change, but why would you want to come to church if you don't want to live in accordance with God's rules??
Okeedoke.

I assume you refrain from wearing 'mixed cloths' then? You only wear 100% cotton, or 100% wool, or 100% nylon from head to toe.

And do you have children? If so, I hope that they've never disrespected you, as you'd then be bound to kill them.

Come on, no picking and choosing!
[quote][p][bold]Vix1[/bold] wrote: What the Bible says is what the Bible says!! If you are a Christian then the Bible is the "rule book" for your life. Stop being wishy washy and take a stand!!! Either you believe that the Bible is God's word or you don't. If you don't then move away from the Christian faith and join one of the other groups!! Stop trying to change things to suit society. The Bible is the Bible end of!! I have no problem with a homosexual coming to church because they believe they are wrong and want to change, but why would you want to come to church if you don't want to live in accordance with God's rules??[/p][/quote]Okeedoke. I assume you refrain from wearing 'mixed cloths' then? You only wear 100% cotton, or 100% wool, or 100% nylon from head to toe. And do you have children? If so, I hope that they've never disrespected you, as you'd then be bound to kill them. Come on, no picking and choosing! Raxx
  • Score: 0

8:03am Wed 16 Jan 13

Raxx says...

No shellfish for you either by the way.

Don't be wishy-washy about it will you?
No shellfish for you either by the way. Don't be wishy-washy about it will you? Raxx
  • Score: 0

8:50am Wed 16 Jan 13

nothingchanges says...

rightway wrote:
Why do some homosexuals feel so strongly about joining a church, which, in its teachings is against their way of life.
There are more important things in life, if others can’t accept you for what you are why bother.
No one can change the fact the bible teaches that life began with Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.
Haha wondered how long it'd be before someone dug out the Adam and Steve chestnut! Lame!!!
[quote][p][bold]rightway[/bold] wrote: Why do some homosexuals feel so strongly about joining a church, which, in its teachings is against their way of life. There are more important things in life, if others can’t accept you for what you are why bother. No one can change the fact the bible teaches that life began with Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.[/p][/quote]Haha wondered how long it'd be before someone dug out the Adam and Steve chestnut! Lame!!! nothingchanges
  • Score: 0

9:28am Wed 16 Jan 13

Vix1 says...

Raxx, It would appear that you have not read your Bible!! Your comments are irrelevant.
Raxx, It would appear that you have not read your Bible!! Your comments are irrelevant. Vix1
  • Score: 0

11:38am Wed 16 Jan 13

Stephen J says...

Reading the bible cover to cover is the only way to fully appreciate what it really says.
Reading the bible cover to cover is the only way to fully appreciate what it really says. Stephen J
  • Score: 0

2:09pm Wed 16 Jan 13

Raxx says...

Christ's message takes precedent above all else. Do you worship Christ, or do you worship a book?

Idolatry of the Bible appears to be a spectacular example of missing the point...
Christ's message takes precedent above all else. Do you worship Christ, or do you worship a book? Idolatry of the Bible appears to be a spectacular example of missing the point... Raxx
  • Score: 0

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