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Concerns raised over LGBT and racism seminars at Aber Conference

October 2020

Concerns have been raised over two seminars broadcast on YouTube by the Evangelical Movement of Wales.

The seminars were aimed at young people. One seminar dealt with issues relating to LGBT rights, and another tackled the matter of racism.

The seminars were part of an online alternative to the full conference which could not meet in Aberystwyth this year due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

Paul Smith, a director of ET, writes about the seminars in more detail in this edition, after pastors were worried by their content.  He reports that there are genuine theological and pastoral concerns.

He says the seminar on LGBT issues appeared to divorce repentance from faith, and he reports that the seminar suggested that homosexuality can be a ‘gift’ from God.

The seminar on racism claimed ‘we the church’ were ‘the baddies’ on the question of slavery, despite the work of evangelicals like Wilberforce to end the slave trade.

The same seminar on racism urged young people to ask their churches not to use the hymn tune Land of Hope and Glory because of the baggage associated with it. Smith says, ‘This fits with a Social Marxist historical narrative.’

The Evangelical Movement of Wales has also invited a speaker from the Faraday Institute – which supports theistic evolution – to speak to pastors. Smith asks whether this reflects the theological trajectory of EMW.

Smith writes, ‘Many UK evangelicals know and love people deeply involved in EMW. They want to be able to trust the messages given at their events, especially to young people, on issues like creation, original sin, and biblical sexuality. Scriptural clarity is most needed where the pressure to conform is most intense.’