A Bible college in the United Kingdom has allegedly fired a professor and threatened to report him as a “terrorist” for tweeting against homosexuality.
Aaron Edwards, a theologian at Cliff College in England, was removed from his position after sending the tweet, Fox News reported.
“Homosexuality is invading the church. Evangelicals no longer see the severity of this [because] they’re busy apologizing for their apparently barbaric homophobia, whether or not it’s true,” Edwards posted to Twitter in February.
“…If sin is no longer sin, we no longer need a Saviour,” he added in the post.
According to Edwards, he was told to take down the tweet by Cliff College, but refused, he said in an interview with CBN News on March 21.
Instead, Edwards said he doubled down, noting that he’s been “speaking about” the issue “for the past few years.”
“This is the time the church is being told to affirm something we can’t affirm,” Edwards told CBN.
Andrew Stobart, a Cliff College vice principal speaking on behalf of the institution’s leadership, told The College Fix: “As confidential internal employment processes remain ongoing, we are unable to respond to specific issues at this time.”
Edwards told CBN he could not in “good conscience” take down his tweet.
“It’s a view that I stand by, it’s a real conviction, it’s not just me dashing something off I haven’t thought about,” he said.
Edwards said he was then suspended from his position.
The school later revealed during a disciplinary hearing on March 8 that it was considering referring him to Prevent, a government program that investigates terrorism accusations in the United Kingdom, Fox News reported.
A staff member at Cliff College said Edwards’ tweets “could be extremely damaging” and “impact the college’s core work” and “business plan,” Edwards’ legal counsel at the Christian Legal Centre told Fox News.
Homosexuality is invading the Church.
Evangelicals no longer see the severity of this b/c they're busy apologising 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 Saviour.
— Aaron Edwards (@aaron_p_edwards) February 19, 2023
Edwards said he was not surprised that he was quickly fired following his disciplinary hearing.
“I think I sort of expected it by that point,” Edwards told CBN. “Others who had been telling me how these processes usually work – despite no disciplinary issues previously, despite no warnings previously – immediate dismissal.”
Edwards added that he has received overwhelming support since his firing.
“I have received just unbelievable amounts of support privately … pastors and churches saying ‘we’re all praying for you, I’ve changed my sermon this week because of your situation.’ I’ve heard that so many times in the last few weeks,” Edwards said during the interview.
He is also appealing his removal and said he’ll “have a hearing on that soon.”
Edwards is not the first professor to be punished for such remarks.
In 2019, Professor Robert Oscar Lopez claimed he was removed from his position at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary because of his comments on homosexuality.
Administrators instructed him to “either stop writing about homosexuality and sex abuse, or leave the job,” Lopez told The College Fix at the time.
Also in 2019, Professor Allan Josephson was demoted and dismissed from his position at the University of Louisiana after participating in a Heritage Foundation event that questioned transgenderism.
He has since filed a lawsuit against the institution for allegedly violating his First Amendment rights.
“The outcome of this case will impact the ability of professors across the country to participate in the academic marketplace of ideas without facing government retaliation,” Logan Spena, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, has told The Fix.