Courage began in 1988 as an ex-gay ministry, but announced it was gay-affirming in 2001. Now the pioneering organisation is among the supporters of Would Jesus Discriminate?, a campaign being run by the Metropolitan Community Church in Bath, England. Other UK Christian organisations backing the initiative include Ekklesia and Accepting Evangelicals.
At the heart of the campaign is an appeal to Scripture, with a call to look again at the biblical teaching on homosexuality, beginning with an examination of Jesus and the Gospels:
The gospels are clear. Jesus refused to be bound by cultural prejudice. Repeatedly, he took up the cause of the oppressed and defended them against narrow-minded religious leaders. Unfortunately, the Church has often failed to live up to Jesus’ example.
Perhaps most significant is that the majority of the campaign’s proponents are evangelicals. Ekklesia challenges the perception that the gay debate is simply a liberal-vs-evangelical issue (as Exodus’s Randy Thomas recently argued):
Since the current sad argument within the churches over human sexuality and the status of LGBT people is mainly presented in the media as a fight between ‘liberals’ and ‘evangelicals’, Ekklesia has given priority, once more, to voices who wish to challenge this simple and misleading polarity.
The UK campaign follows the MCC’s recent high-profile campaign of the same name in the US.