Pastor Steve Chalke, founder of Oasis Church Waterloo in London, has just applied for a licence that would allow him to minister to same-sex marriages. If his application is approved, Oasis Church will become the most high-profile church in the U.K. that caters to gay weddings.
"Oasis Church in Waterloo has reached the decision. It's taken us some time to reach it, that this is something we want to do," he told Premier radio. "We're registering at the moment and we will be able to do this."
Chalke said he expects to receive criticism from Christians for their church's decision. In defence, he said, "This is not because we're liberal; it's not because we're light on the Bible; it's because we take the Bible very seriously."
"We want to move away from an over-simplistic, over-literalistic, immature understanding over biblical texts that dumps many but keeps the ones we want," he continued.
Responding to the Oasis Church's move, Christian Concern's Chief Executive Andrea Williams said she believes Chalke's plans are meant to appease the LGBT community and are in "direct disobedience" to the Word of God. She said God's ordinance for marriage is made clear in Genesis when He created man and woman to complement each other.
"Far from being simplistic or immature, God's pattern beautifully reflects the love of Christ for His bride, the Church. The complementary nature of marriage between man and woman echoes the unity and the mystery of the Triune God. It promotes the flourishing of families and therefore of society," she said.
"The Bible is clear that same-sex relations, and indeed any sexual relationship outside the covenant of this one-man-one-woman marriage, [are] sinful. Yet we are seeing increasing capitulation to demands to be 'inclusive' at the expense of truth," Williams said.
And while she believes that the gospel is for everybody, she said God's truth cannot be watered down just to satisfy those who are uncomfortable with His message.