World Vision: And the Hits (To Integrity) Just Keep On Comin’

World Vision“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:

  1. Is there a marked difference between your position on sexual sin versus your private practice?
  2. 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?
  3. 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.

Comments

Charlie Hernandez | Mar 24, 2014

Joe you are dead on in this situation. How can I start pointing fingers when I am not accountable and my heart is not open to scrutiny of the Holy Spirit and others? This is not a matter of a self-righteous indignation, but a calling to all God's children to examine our own hearts and stand firm in our decision to deny ourselves and live the way that Jesus intended us to live.

Bob Stith | Mar 24, 2014

Thanks Joe. I think what most disturbed (or disgusted) me was his claim about the church and theologians being so divided on this, the Scripture not being clear. That is truly stunning coming from a major conservative Christian organization. And as you have pointed out and many of us have taught for years, this "division" on these Scriptures was basically non existent up until 30 or 40 years ago. Fortunately there are other Christian organizations which do this same kind of work. So very sad.

jenellel | Mar 25, 2014

Thanks Joe. I continue to seek a clear picture of how Jesus treated people, especially those caught in sin. It seems he was more concerned with people's hearts, especially individual woundedness, whether they were aware of their wounds or not. He doesn't condemn us, wants us to go sin no more...but grace has shown me that even when our transformations aren't immediate, there is still no condemnation—only desire for reconciliation. Those who are being deceived or confused about the influences of their attractions still deserve God's grace and a relationship with the church free of condemnation.

Ken Warfield | Mar 29, 2014

I believe that Jesus would believe that the sin of exclusion is much much worse than the sin of mutual love between two of gods children.

Corban, and Damning Ourselves For the Sake of Others | Stumbling Through Theology | Mar 31, 2014

[...] because they felt that World Vision had betrayed their Christian values. Or to put it differently, “minimizing something as structural as the definition of marriage is a damnable act, and wheth... World Vision’s actual statement reversing their decision said “we are brokenhearted [...]

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