“I’m hoping this (decision to hire openly gay employees in same sex marriages) may inspire unity among others as well, to say how can we come together across some differences and still join together as brothers and sisters in Christ in our common mission of building the kingdom.”
-World Vision President Richard Stearns
Another one bites the dust.
Christianity Today broke the story this afternoon that World Vision, the well known Christian charitable organization which has fostered sponsorship of needy children for over 60 years, is broadening its hiring policies to include partners in same-sex marriages. While neither endorsing nor opposing homosexuality, the governing board is claiming that the issue is a non-essential, viewed differently by various Christian denominations, and thus one which shouldn’t divide us.
Non-essential? Sexual sin is mentioned and condemned in virtually every book of the New Testament (see for yourself); Paul placed it in its own severe category of consequence (I Corinthians 6:18); the first case of church discipline was ignited by immorality. (I Corinthians 5) Sexual sin thus takes you seriously outside God’s will, and if you’re ouside God’s will you will be chastened in this life (Hebrews 12:8) and at the judgment seat of Christ in the next. (II Corinthians 5:10)
Yeah, right. Non-essential. Just a little something to jump over as we come together in error, belittling the truth but getting along just swell.
OK, then, outrage is expected and called for. Minimizing something as structural as the definition of marriage is a damnable act, and whether or not World Vision suffers financially, it has already suffered, and inflicted suffering, spiritually. But it’s one thing to have the wrong position (which this organization now has) and another to nurture the wrong practice (which many Christian men do.) So before reacting to this organization’s gross error, let’s ask ourselves a few hard but necessary questions:
- Is there a marked difference between your position on sexual sin versus your private practice?
- If so, can you with any integrity condemn a group for holding the wrong position if you, through your own private compromise, are in fact a part of the problem?
- Will you therefore object as strenuously to your compromised practice as you object to World Vision’s compromised position? Both are serious; both are horribly wrong.
I’m not optimistic about the culture or, for that matter, about trends among Christians. Of course many, many believers will always hold to truth, but the Biblical landscape painted about apostasy in the end times is a bleak one indeed. So buckle up; we’ll see more of the same, and then some.
Still, you and I can decide to stand firm not only in what we preach, but what we practice as well, and there’s genuine peace in that. So when I read stories like this, I hope I’ll allow my anger to be directed more towards my own sins and less towards others, recognizing that while I cannot dictate the direction my brethren take, I surely can and will dictate my own.
I will not answer for World Vision at the judgment seat of Christ. I will answer for Joe Dallas.
So Lord, help me keep my nose to my own grindstone and out of obsession over the errors of Your other servants. Whatever You may say to another man or group, may I hear You say “Well Done” to me when we finally meet face to face. May I be rewarded in the next life when my works are tried and refined by fire, and satisfied in this one in anticipation of that amazing moment. Amen.