Calling for the reversal of #InterVarsityPurge
Dear InterVarsity Christian Fellowship President Tom Lin, Executive Team, and Board of Trustees,
We, the undersigned alumni of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, write to express our disappointment and objection to the recently publicized “involuntary termination” policy for staffers and employees who express beliefs about marriage and human sexuality that diverge from the organization’s traditional position.
While the undersigned hold a range of beliefs with regard to marriage and human sexuality, we are united as alumni who value our experiences as part of InterVarsity and who want only the best for the organization. We write not as outsiders or enemies seeking to criticize from afar, but as members of the IVCF family who have poured our hearts, minds, souls, and resources--financial and otherwise--into this ministry during our college years and beyond. We are invested in this ministry and its mission and thus cannot remain silent.
During our time in InterVarsity, staff members taught us to meditate upon and study scripture, seeking to understand its meaning and to interact with the living God, being shaped evermore into His likeness. If our staff members have reached different conclusions regarding human sexuality than those espoused in InterVarsity’s position paper, we are confident they have done so through thoughtful study, reflection, and interaction with God. Moreover, we are not convinced that a difference of opinion in this area rises to the level of a core theological belief that must be affirmed as a condition of employment or leadership in a diverse, multi-denominational parachurch organization.
The freedom to disagree on all but the most essential doctrine is imperative for a ministry rooted in the university, which appropriately considers discipleship of the mind to be a core value. Christian humility requires the recognition that we are fallible creatures incapable of fully comprehending God or His word. In a world that is becoming increasingly polarized, it is especially important that InterVarsity work to create structures and spaces that promote fruitful dialogue between those who disagree. As we seek to follow Christ, we cannot isolate ourselves or disengage from one another.
Finally, we would be remiss not to address the particular pain, rejection, and fear that this policy has caused lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex members of InterVarsity in the days since its publication. Being LGBTQI in InterVarsity has never been easy, even for those who agree with its traditional position, but this policy places additional burdens on our siblings in Christ who too often have been marginalized or outcast among Christian communities. Whatever our disagreements, InterVarsity can and must do better.
The new policy, which excludes many Christian siblings and silences sincere disagreement, contradicts InterVarsity’s values of authentic community, loving-kindness, intellectual rigor, and abundant grace. If not changed, we fear for the future of the organization and its ability to continue to minister to students and faculty, to the ultimate detriment of the gospel message and the legacy of an organization we dearly love. We therefore humbly call upon the leadership of InterVarsity to reconsider this policy. There should be no #InterVarsityPurge.
Concerned Alumni of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship
[Note for Alumni: When signing this petition, please include the following information in the "I'm signing because" field: your fellowship, graduation year, and donor history if any.]
[Note for Current Students: Please check out this petition created by and for current IVCF students: http://tinyurl.com/notmyiv.]
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