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Christian theology professor fired and ‘threatened with reference to terrorism’

A Christian theology professor who allegedly claimed to have been threatened with a referral to an anti-terrorism program after tweeting that “homosexuality is invading the church” has been fired.

Dr Aaron Edwards, 37, has been sacked from Cliff College, Derbyshire, after it was discovered that he had discredited it following a post on social media.

The father-of-five, who refers to himself as a ‘cancelled Christian speaker’, is understood to have been later informed that he may be referred to the government-run anti-terrorism and anti-extremism program Prevent.

During a disciplinary hearing, he is also said to have been asked how he would pray for same-sex attracted students if they came up to him to pray. The Telegraph reports.

On February 19, Dr. Edwards tweeted: ‘Homosexuality is invading the Church. Evangelicals no longer see the severity of this because they are busy apologizing for their seemingly barbaric homophobia, whether or not it is true.

Dr Aaron Edwards (pictured), 37, has been sacked from Cliff College, Derbyshire, after he was found to have discredited it following a social media post.

‘This *is* a ‘Gospel issue,’ by the way. If sin is no longer sin, we no longer need a Saviour.’

And in another tweet last night, he added: ‘To confirm (as it’s in the news now anyway): Yes, I got fired by Cliff College, re. the next.’

The history of the Methodist Church

Methodism began as a renewal movement within the Church of England among followers of the great preacher John Wesley, who spoke out in the open and refused to be bound by the parish system.

The group split from the Anglicans in 1795, attracting support in the new industrial cities.

The church soon became the center of working-class politics, with leading preachers in the Chartist movement and among the leaders of the growing trade unions.

Four of the Tolpuddle martyrs, convicted and transported to Australia for founding a union in the 1820s, were Methodists.

When the Labor Party became powerful after the 1890s, it was said that its ideology owed more to Methodism than to Marx.

However, in recent years, the church has suffered as the industrial working class has declined and its institutions have fallen on hard times.

Leaders have embraced radical thinking: Their prayer books refer to God as ‘Mother’ and, at one point, even non-believers were invited to attend their services.

But church membership has continued to fall in Britain. By contract, the Methodist Church in the USA is now one of the major denominations in that country.

The Church of England is also struggling with shrinking congregations.

The initial tweet went viral and sparked a wide debate, but Dr. Edwards later clarified his comments, insisting that he “did not intend to harm any individual or group.”

He continued: ‘I am also with the victims of homophobia. What I said is not homophobic.

Dr. Edwards said the tweet was aimed at evangelicals who agree with his views but say they can’t say so publicly for fear of retaliation.

Cliff College, where he had worked for seven years, describes itself as providing “theological education and training with a particular focus on mission and evangelism.”

Dr. Edwards reportedly said the university contacted him after bosses found out about his tweet.

He was asked to remove the post after being told it violated a staff social media policy.

But Dr. Edwards refused, saying it would be against his conscience to do so and he would admit that he had posted the tweet to provoke when in fact it is a belief.

He said he had been suspended from Cliff College for two weeks pending an investigation the day after his tweet.

Following a disciplinary process, he has now been fired from the university, although he is appealing his decision.

He told The Telegraph: “Anyone concerned with academic freedom, Christian liberties and free speech should be deeply concerned about what has happened to me.”

Dr. Edwards believes the termination will now prevent him from ever working in higher education again.

In June last year, the Methodist Church became the largest religious group in Britain to say yes to same-sex marriage.

The move, which followed discussions at a Methodist Conference, was hailed by activists as a “momentous step on the path to justice and inclusion.”

A total of 29 of the 30 Methodist synods in Britain confirmed that they supported the tentative resolutions to allow the practice.

The current membership of the Methodist Church of Great Britain stands at 164,000, making it the fourth largest denomination of Christian churches in the United Kingdom.

Cliff College, where he had worked for seven years, describes himself as a provider of

Cliff College, where he had worked for seven years, describes itself as providing “theological education and training with a particular focus on mission and evangelism.”

While same-sex marriage is not allowed in the Church of England or the Roman Catholic Church, it is welcomed by the Scottish Episcopal Church, the United Reformed Church and Quakers in Britain.

The latter three have smaller memberships, making the Methodist Church the largest Christian church supporting gay weddings.

A Cliff College spokesperson said: ‘As internal processes continue, we are unable to respond to specific issues.

‘As a Methodist institution, Cliff College is committed to being a safe and hospitable place where people of differing persuasions are welcomed and encouraged to live and learn together as faithful disciples of Christ.’

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