For my US readers who don’t know who Steve Chalke is, he is the most prominent evangelical pastor and personality in the United Kingdom. Steve is the founder of Oasis UK – a megachurch in London, charter schools around the country and an anti-human trafficking organization, of which Steve is a Special Advisor to the United Nations. To give some other background about Steve, he has been awarded the highest distinction of a British citizen by the Queen herself, and has been the last two Prime Ministers’ spiritual advisor. I met Steve a few years ago while speaking in the UK, and we have stayed close ever since. He has greatly assisted me in navigating my interactions with the United Nations, and I have been a sounding board for him for a variety of LGBT and ecclesial intersections.
A few weeks ago Steve called me to let me know that he, in a very public way, is going to make the announcement that he believes in the Scriptural integrity and inclusion of committed same-sex relationships and marriage. (for my US readers, picture Rick Warren making such an announcement)
I know the prayer, research and relationships that have led Steve to this decision. It will not come without great cost, but something that Steve understands must happen in order for him to live in his convictions about his LGBT brothers and sisters. Steve is wholistically working to not only be transparent with his journey, but also provide support to anyone that needs it.
First, here are both the academic article and the article that will appear in Christianity Magazine (like the US’s Christianity Today), which you can download to read about Steve’s theological, ecclesial, etc justifications for his announcement. I was able to read both in advance, and I can tell you that they are not the same regurgitated “activist” messaging you here on a regular basis.
Third, Oasis will be providing ongoing Church Resources, Pastoral Support and LGBT support through a helpline phone number and email. You can find all of those details here.
Steve has also let me know that in the coming months he and Oasis will be publishing a frequently asked Q&A video, information graphic video with stats and figures, life stories videos, and an extended Bible study guide including resource for church leaders.
I genuinely love and respect Steve and will be praying for him moving forward. I know from personal experience how overwhelming it can be when intentionally entering into such intense theological, political and cultural spaces. Regardless if you agree or disagree with Steve, your prayers are very much appreciated.