Bible college fires theologian for tweet against homosexuality, threatens to report as terrorist: lawyers
A Methodist Bible college in the U.K. fired a Christian theologian and threatened to report him as a terrorist because of his tweets in opposition to homosexuality, his attorneys claimed.
Dr. Aaron Edwards, who taught theology at Cliff College in Derbyshire, England, was dismissed from the school after being accused of "bringing the college into disrepute" on social media last month.
"Homosexuality is invading the church," Edwards tweeted on Feb. 19. "Evangelicals no longer see the severity of this [because] they're busy apologizing for their apparently barbaric homophobia, whether or not it's true.
"This *is* a ‘Gospel issue,’ by the way. If sin is no longer sin, we no longer need a Savior," Edwards added.
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Edwards' tweet went viral and prompted blowback, to which Edwards responded: "That *is* the conservative view. The acceptance of homosexuality as ‘not sinful’ *is* an invasion upon the Church, doctrinally. This is not controversial. The acceptance is controversial. Most of the global Church would agree. It is not homophobic to declare homosexuality sinful."
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"I expressed the conservative view as a doctrinal issue, re. the implications for sin/the Gospel. It was not an attack on individuals, it was addressed to evangelicals. It seems that holding the view that homosexuality is sinful is only welcome if it remains 'unexpressed,'" he added.
Edwards' tweets reportedly caused "distress" among members of the Methodist Church in Britain, with one senior staff member saying they "could be extremely damaging" and "impact the college’s core work" and "business plan," according to Edwards' legal counsel at the London-based Christian Legal Centre.
Edwards was suspended from the school pending an investigation and the college revealed during a disciplinary hearing on March 8 that it was considering referring him to Prevent, which polices allegations of terrorism in the U.K.
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Edwards was reportedly asked during the hearing what he would do if he were asked to pray with a student about their same-sex attraction, which he believes was an attempt to trap him into affirming "conversion therapy," which the U.K. Parliament has debated criminalizing.
"The reaction to my tweet and the unjust treatment I have experienced by Cliff College and the Methodist Church in Britain completely illustrates the problem my tweet addressed," Edwards said in a statement provided to Fox News Digital.
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"The tweet was not defamatory; it was not an attack on any colleague or individual; it was not abusive; and it was not an extremist religious view. It was addressed to evangelicals as a point of doctrine, and it has been misunderstood by many who wish to cause personal and institutional trouble for those who express that view," he continued.
Edwards added that traditional Christian beliefs about sexuality are being "silenced and stamped out" in the Methodist Church.
With the aid of the Christian Legal Centre, Edwards is weighing his legal options against Cliff College for potential discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. He is claiming that the disciplinary procedure lacked "requisite fairness" and that the investigation was prejudiced and filled with an "astonishing" imbalance, exaggeration and misrepresentation.
Cliff College did not respond to Fox News Digital's request for comment by time of publication.
Edwards' case comes amid a growing rift among Methodists globally over the issue of same-sex marriage and gender. The United Methodist Church in the U.S. has been hemorrhaging congregations in recent years, with many of them joining the new conservative Global Methodist Church.