Evangelical Alliance discontinues Oasis membership
The Evangelical Alliance has discontinued the membership of Oasis Trust, it announced on Friday (2 May)
In a statement it said Oasis had been ‘unwilling to fulfil the council’s request to adjust the content of their website/resources and social media output to equally profile the traditional Christian view’ of human sexuality.
The concerns arose when in January 2013 Oasis founder and Baptist minister Steve Chalke published an article on the Oasis website (which also featured in Christianity Magazine) outlining his changed views on same sex partnerships.
The EA said that that having heard the concerns expressed by the Alliance’s board and council as to what has been perceived by some as a campaign to change the Church’s historic view on human sexuality, the Oasis board did clarify their position as having ‘no corporate view on this matter’.
However, after many months of prayerful discussion, the Evangelical Alliance council concluded that ‘a relationship between an organisation 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 council remain deeply respectful of the work and achievements of the Oasis Trust and have a strong desire to avoid any unseemly dispute and to speak well of each other.’
In response a spokesperson for Oasis, which joined the EA in 1987, said it was ‘deeply saddened’ by the decision.
‘We would like to take this moment to restate our profound belief that the ethos, values and mission of Oasis sit firmly within the evangelical tradition.
'Since the publication of his (Steve Chalke's) article ‘A Matter of Integrity’ in January 2013 the Oasis board has been in an on-going conversation with the Evangelical Alliance. At their request, we have made several changes to our online content and believed that we had reached a point where both parties could be satisfied that our relationship would continue. We are, therefore, disappointed by their announcement but will continue to seek and enjoy a warm relationship with the breadth of the Christian Church in Britain and across the world, forming partnerships to lift people and communities out of poverty and exclusion, and seeking to demonstrate the love of God to all through practical service.'