What in the World Vision?!?

Well hello. World Vision has reversed course. In what they perceived would be a “neutral” position (obviously no one is reading my blog over there) they announced Monday that they would hire employees who were in same-sex marriages.  Undoubtedly shocked at the backlash, yesterday they declared that “the policy change we made was a mistake.”World Vision

World Vision is one of the greatest Christian charities in existence and they have always had strict standards for their employees.  (This blogger was looking at a job opening there in January and got a little giddy about the high expectations of ethics and personal holiness for those on the payroll.)  Because World Vision employs Christians from over 50 denominations, they have had to decide which issues are non-negotiables for their ecumenical work force.  Some of those include belief in the Trinity, the fallen nature of man, and the infallibility of scripture.  You know, the little stuff. They have allowed for disagreement on what some refer to as “disputable” matters such as the role of women in ministry, church polity and views on baptism.  In some crazed moment they relegated the definition of marriage and sexuality into that category.  I would have loved to be a fly on the wall for that meeting. Their stated intent was “to dodge the division currently tearing churches apart” but much to their surprise the announcement created a firestorm (the Frau would have used another word in place of “fire” but I had to nix that) reminiscent of Duck Dynasty and Chik-fil-A.

Before we get lost in debate here let’s remember that the real story concerning World Vision is that they minister to 4.3 million children in poverty. 4.3 MILLION.  Countless children around the world have full bellies, clean water and education because World Vision has taken quite seriously the Christian mandate to care for the poor.  They have also developed a channel that allows the rest of us to make a meaningful difference with cash money.  Take a moment and rejoice in what this organization has been able to accomplish because they have taken Jesus’ commands so seriously. Seriously.

Now, even though that is the most important thing you are going to read on this subject, that isn’t the story you came for and it’s certainly not what sells papers. Wait. Do they still sell papers? I need to get out more.

As stated on World Vision’s website, “Being Christian makes us different.” Yep. They are different from other aid agencies because they not only meet physical needs (food, water, medical care, education) but because they also live and preach the gospel.  Not a gospel of affirmation, but the gospel of transformation.  The gospel that transforms every aspect of a believers life- how we spend our money, what we wear, how much we eat, how we view possessions, how do friendship, how we relate to “enemies,” and, among other things- with whom we have sex.

Because World Vision has taken Jesus seriously when he said “whatever you do unto the least of these you do unto me” they have been wonderfully different and zealous in their service to needy children around the world.  But that same Jesus also defined marriage as one man and one woman (Matt 19:5).  He was explicit about both marriage and the poor and those who bear His name should take our cue from Him.  Our lives should reflect these truths.  Being Christian makes us different.

What is now clear to World Vision’s leadership, and what should be crystal clear to the rest of us, is that there is no “neutral stance” when it comes to gay marriage.  The left has made this the issue which plops you into either the tolerant or the bigoted pile. For two days World Vision was in the “tolerant” pile and was flooded with an influx of donations from LGBT supporters.  But once they reversed their policy, the left reasoned the reverse was due to “homophobia” and “disdain” for LGBT people.  (See here, here, here, and here.) Because according to the them, it doesn’t matter how charitable you are (“conservatives” and “fundamentalists” form the generous base of World Vision’s support), how much community service you engage in, how often you help your gay cousin with his math homework, or how many cats you have rescued from the shelter.  You either support gay marriage or you have to wear the big scarlet B on your shirt.

The right, I believe, is honestly just sick and tired with those who should be the strongest on this issue capitulating because of bullying political pressure.  A&E or Cracker Barrel or in this case World Vision, always seem to be shocked at the ferocity of the backlash when a Phil Robertson or a Dan Cathy is targeted because of their beliefs.  (For two days, Christians who are committed to serving the poor AND upholding biblical sexual ethics withdrew their support from World Vision in surprising numbers.)  Because there’s a whole lot of us, more than mainstream media will ever dare to reveal, who are longing for someone who is not afraid to stand firm (and-please-God-let-them-be-gracious-and-loving-too) in the face of what is becoming business-breaking, career-wrecking pressure to join the popular crowd.

You know- well maybe you don’t so allow me to share my thoughts with you- this is long game stuff here my people. Standing firm makes you a good target. It can be difficult and painful. Matter of fact, following Jesus will be costly in all sorts of ways. However, I submit it will be more costly if you do not.



79 thoughts on “What in the World Vision?!?

  1. Apologies, I’ve not been following this story. Are you telling me that World Vision won’t employ people who are in a same sex marriages, but they will employ people who are divorced and remarried? Do they employ people with tattoos or obese people? And, just finally, would you agree with a hiring process that discriminates on the basis of someone’s evaluation of sin status?

    • I don’t know the answer to your specific questions, Violetwisp, but my guess is that your suspicions are probably correct. They probably do hire divorcees, and those who are tattooed or are obese. By the way, Ive found nothing in the Bible to say that being obese is sinful. Greed is sinful, but being fat can be a result of bad food choices rather than from eating too much food. But anyway, where do you recommend World Vision draw the line? The Bible teaches that we are all sinners. We are have all been hateful or greedy or lustful at some point in our lives. They have to allow some degree of leniency. But do you agree that if they want a Christian organisation, comprised of authentic Christians then their employees should adhere to the central tenants of Christianity?

  2. Let’s see … What does the Bible say about the homosexual lifestyle? What does it say about obese people and tattoos, or people that are divorced and remarried?

    If our god is our own body and “saving” the environment, and our righteousness comes from banning plastic bags and giving the guy on the street corner some money … then that could make sense.

    • I’m not clear what you mean by this, but I’ll happily answer your questions.

      Tattoos are forbidden by the god God in Leviticus 19:28: “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD”

      Gluttony is condemned all through the Bible, and you can’t be obese without over-eating, Philippians 3:18-19: “Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.”; Proverbs 23:2: “Put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.”

      And the Bible is more than clear about divorce and remarriage. 1 Corinthians 7:10–11 “But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.”

      Can these people who are clearly sinning from the point of view of the Bible all be employed by other Christians?

      “What does the Bible say about the homosexual lifestyle?” Which homosexual lifestyle in particular? The Bible condemns promiscuous male to male anal sex. It mentions nothing about long-term committed homosexual relationships.

      • Excellent comments , Violet. I have read somewhere (I will find the book and mention it later) a Christian Minister who interpreted the Bible as saying a heterosexual male should not lay with another heterosexual male. This would make more sense.

        I’m not trying to promote any lifestyle here and nor am I trying to condemn any certain one either. As I stated earlier, I grew up a fundamentalist Christian and have altered my views on a lot of issues over the years.

        As I have grown older, I realize the walls of the glass house I live in grow thinner and it would take a much smaller stone to destroy them. 🙂

        • A difficulty with that interpretation, kcchief1, is that there is no indication (that Im aware of) in the text, to say that it only applies to heterosexual males.

      • Hello Violet. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. As stated on several previous posts, we are not going to rehash this argument again. There is NO “homosexual lifestyle” or homosexual behavior of any kind condoned in scripture. In fact, the ONLY sexual activity encouraged is sex within marriage between a husband and wife.

        Divorce and remarriage are not as cut and dry. Because both the law and Jesus made “exceptions,” if you will, for when divorce was permissible, though never prescribed or encouraged.

        The gospel is not the ABC’s of the Christian life, used only for that “conversion” conversation. It is the A-Z of the Christian life. It will inform how we use our money, care for the poor, how we parent, what and how much we eat, who we have sex with, the clothes we wear, and how we view our possessions. You are right, that those who overlook gluttony and food hoarding are being hypocritical. I can be guilty of that at times.

        • Thanks for your reply. As far as I’ve understood it, remarriage is cut and dry. You can divorce under very specific and unusual circumstances, but never remarry as long as your first spouse is alive. Would World Vision face as much criticism if they hired people who are on a second marriage? This sin is certainly no greater than same sex marriage by any interpretation of the Bible. And if they were to exclude obese people from their workforce by the same ‘Christian’ attitude towards sin, would you agree?

          • The Bible being used as the law has often caused more hurt then loving understanding , Non Christians do not have the Spirit Helping them with these issues . But inside the church , especially those in ministry do and should be held to a higher standard . They have an opportunity to minister and to be a stumbling block . From the scriptures we read about sexual sin in the church , Paul tells the church in Corinth to rid the member from the church . does not speak about expelling any fat people or tattooed . Perhaps the total context of the issue is seen differently then some of us . But those in leadership in a ministry , and I would consider employees on the payroll in a ministry in this category, should not be in a position to be seen as living in sin , same sex marriage is considered against the life of a believer according to the beliefs of Christianity and World Vision has also supported this by their recent statements , also was assumed by the sponsors and contributors of many who chose World Vision . Everywhere in the scriptures where same gender sex is mentioned it has a negative context , and only Male/Female sex in marriage is supported . Same gender marriage is and would be a stumbling block in a Ministry such as World Vision where the Christian Faith is supported by many. Unfortunate World Vision blundered here . Many denominations do have rules of divorced and remarried members being not allowed in ministry , the point is always that marriage is a covenant between God and the people in the marriage . Suggesting it should be treated less important because of views that suggest it is hypocrisy is a straw man argument and reminds me of suggesting one wrong should right another wrong . This is not the reason , to suggest different is worldly logic . Which has hold in this world already . This is the church .

          • “From the scriptures we read about sexual sin in the church , Paul tells the church in Corinth to rid the member from the church . does not speak about expelling any fat people or tattooed ”

            Paul also says in 1 Cor 14: 34-35 , “The women must be silent in the assemblies: for they are not allowed to speak, but to be supportive, just as indeed the law states. 35 And if they want to learn something, they are to ask their own husbands at home; for it is a disgrace for women to speak in the assembly.”

            So do you support everything Paul does say like it’s a disgrace for women to speak in the assembly ?

  3. While homosexuality is a lifestyle I could never envision living, it seems a certain group within Christianity (and other religions) seems to feel they are able to paint their religious beliefs with black and white brushes while the rest of the world is having trouble doing so.

    The major themes I’ve always read attributed to Jesus is to love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Instead of continually drawing lines in the sand, what a better place this world would be if everyone (who hold religious beliefs) placed their religious emphasis on loving your neighbor as yourself.

    I was once one who held those black and white brushes ……………..

    • Hi Ken. Thanks for your comments. As I’m sure you know, because of your extensive Christian background, that “love” for God is equated with obedience to His commands. We don’t get to just “feel nice” toward God and our neighbor. “Loving” in the Christian sense will always involve the truth that God has revealed about Himself and His people. It will also involve genuine sacrifice for them. You are right, that love does need to be an emphasis. And something that I could do more of.

      • Thank you Askme. The more I study the more skeptical I become of what God did and did not convey to people in the Bible. I believe in today’s world “discernment” is a critical concept the believer and the non-believer alike should be practicing.

        It is a practice which is mentioned in the Bible , but it seems to be ignored in certain situations when it is not convenient for one to do so.

        Thankfully, discernment has been practiced to a certain degree as we no longer condone :

        Slavery , multiple wives, concubines, being stoned for working on the Sabbath, giving up your virgin daughters to a crowd to protect your guests, having sex with your daughters, being asked to kill your son as a burnt offering, being killed for spilling your seed on the ground, putting to death your children who curse you, calling down curses from God because children call you names, stoning people for adultery , etc, etc, etc.

        Many religions have a history of judging people who don’t behave like them . Their Holy Books are filled with examples . I listed just a few…….

        Just a few short years ago , Interracial Marriage was illegal in some states here in the U.S. There are Churches to this day who will not allow a Woman behind the pulpit.

        I think most people who read this blog would agree they see these practices I mentioned to be barbaric even though they have a scriptural basis . I believe discernment has played a vital role in knowing what to hold on to and what to leave in the past.

        “As I’m sure you know, because of your extensive Christian background, that “love” for God is equated with obedience to His commands.”

        Are you telling this group you firmly believe in order to love God , you need to follow ALL of the commands attributed to God in the Bible ?

        Thank you for allowing me to comment.

        • Ken. I’m surprised that given your background, you haven’t made a distinction between a prescription and a description when it comes to events listed in the Bible. Just because it happened or it’s mentioned does not mean that it’s prescribed or has a “biblical basis” as you put it.

          Biblically speaking, race has not been an issue in marriage. Worldview/religion yes. Race no. And why is that? Because God is seeking godly offspring. A back man and Asian woman can make a baby and raise him to follow the Lord. Two men or two women have to break the bond between mother or father to raise a child together.

          All throughout scripture, including directive from Jesus Himself, we are admonished to make judgments about behaviors and ideas. Those judgments should not lead us to condemn people or withdraw ourselves from relationship with them however. Rather, we are commanded to love and serve them despite our disagreements. That’s a hard tension to hold. But biblically we have to do both.

          Regarding following God’s commands, I’m saying that Jesus tells us that we are to “go into all nations and make disciples… and teach them to obey all that He has commanded.” And that in 1 John we are told that if we love God we will obey him. The ceremonial and sacrificial laws of the Old Testament were fulfilled in Jesus, which is why He and the New Testament writers speak of the law being fulfilled with the new covenant. But both Jesus and the New Testament writers reiterate and even heighten the moral (money, food, sexuality, words/speech, conduct, integrity, generosity) expectations for the people of God.

          • “Biblically speaking, race has not been an issue in marriage.”

            Ezra 9:1-2 ESV
            For they have taken some of their daughters to be wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands

            “Ken. I’m surprised that given your background, you haven’t made a distinction between a prescription and a description when it comes to events listed in the Bible. Just because it happened or it’s mentioned does not mean that it’s prescribed or has a “biblical basis” as you put it.”

            Where did God condemn these practices ? And yes half of the ones I listed were commandments from God

            “The ceremonial and sacrificial laws of the Old Testament were fulfilled in Jesus, which is why He and the New Testament writers speak of the law being fulfilled with the new covenant.”

            Matthew 5:18
            New International Version
            For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

            I don’t think that heaven or earth has disappeared yet. I’m not sure about heaven, but I can still see earth.

            Everything hasn’t been accomplished yet either.

            “Geza Vermes was one of the most important voices in contemporary Jesus research,[1] and he has been described as the greatest Jesus scholar of his time.[2] Vermes’ written work on Jesus focuses principally on Jesus the Jew, as seen in the broader context of the narrative scope of Jewish history and theology, while questioning the basis of some Christian teachings on Jesus” (wikipedia)

            “He suggests that, properly understood, the historical Jesus is a figure that Jews should find familiar and attractive. This historical Jesus, however, is so different from the Christ of faith that Christians, says Vermes, may well want to rethink the fundamentals of their faith.[18]” (wikipedia)

          • Askme,

            Though I don’t mind challenging each other’s statements, I hope you will see that I am not promoting homosexuality here. I am a healthy heterosexual male who through time and study happen to be evolving in the way I look at things like this very subject. I don’t understand homosexuality nor do I believe the “Ancients” did either.

            There are many well known Christian Authors who I credit for challenging the old positions I used to hold sacred. Bishop John Shelby Spong, Rob Bell, and Adam Hamilton just to name a few.

            My purpose for commenting on this subject was simply to say I for one am not in a position to “Cast the first Stone”

          • Ken, I am not evaluating your motivations or sexuality- it’s irrelevant. Regarding what “the ancients” believed, I find this post informative: http://stasisonline.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/ancient-understandings/

            I understand that there are many authors who have given “new” interpretations of difficult/uncomfortable passages/concepts. Often because they heavily emphasize a few verses while minimizing or ignoring others and using eisegesis rather than genuinely exegeting the text. Christians historically have built doctrine on the whole counsel of scripture, allowing scripture to interpret other scripture. It’s not always a tidy process. But the Jesus that the likes of Rob Bell have come up with is someone that the apostles would have a hard time recognizing, seeing as how it is their accounts that give us any information about Jesus at all.

            Israel was commanded not to intermarry with other nations (Deut 7:3-4), because they were to be set apart (Deut 14:2)- a holy race as Ezra states- from the religious practices which surrounded them. At that time, race and religion were intertwined. Ezra is lamenting the transgression that Israel has committed by intermarrying and the idolatry that resulted. The warnings about taking foreign wives and intermarriage is always underpinned by the fact that it compromises the faith of the nation- as demonstrated throughout their history. However Boaz (an Israelite) pursued Ruth (a Moabite) who was following Yahweh, to be His wife. Racially different, but both religiously Jewish. The marriage was blessed and affirmed as they were the great grandparent of King David.

            “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Matt 5:17. The law has not passed away. It was fulfilled in Christ and is fulfilled when we make Him Lord in our everyday lives. And no, not everything has been accomplished in terms of God’s plan. We continue to look toward His return.

            There is a way to make moral judgments without casting stones/condemnation. It’s difficult, but not only possible- it is the ideal code of conduct for every Christian. A balance that I rarely achieve. Jesus modeled this exceptionally when he was challenged to throw the first stone with the woman caught in adultery. Jesus’ words to the woman: “neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”

          • ” As I’m sure you know, because of your extensive Christian background, that “love” for God is equated with obedience to His commands.”

            Yes love might equate to obedience but CS Lewis said ,”Perfect love, we know, casteth out fear (homophobia). But so do several other things—- ignorance, alcohol, passion, presumption, and stupidity”. From his book, “The World’s Last Night”

            I added (homophobia) My feeble attempt at a little humor. 🙂

            Again, thank you for allowing me to comment.

          • I’m curious as to what evidence of my “homophobia” you might be referring to, if that is what you were trying to hint at.

          • “Jesus modeled this exceptionally when he was challenged to throw the first stone with the woman caught in adultery. Jesus’ words to the woman: “neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”

            Scholars today are fairly certain Jesus never spoke this at all. It is not found in older manuscripts and is assumed to be a later addition , possibly by redactors.

            Since you are quoting scripture which most likely never existed, you might want to know about other scriptures which do not appear in older manuscripts either. I taught a Sunday School Class on this several years ago. ” “AND we’re not even sure what Jesus said. 8 NT scriptures attributed to Jesus have already been removed from many modern day bibles because over the past 100 years we have found older manuscripts which do not have these verses. A majority of modern bible scholars have determined these scriptures were added at a later date probably by redactors . Bibles which still publish these scriptures at least provide footnotes to this effect. BTW the missing “Red Letter” scriptures are : Mt 17:21, 18:11, 23:14, Mk 7:16, 9:44, 9:46, 11:26, Lk 17:36

            In addition you have entire stories not found in older manuscripts. Mk 16:9-20 the “Ascension Story” Lk 24:3,6,9,12,36,40, 51 & 52 have been termed dubious and unlikely as they do not appear in earlier and more reliable manuscripts. Also John 8:1-11 “The Woman caught in adultry” for the same reasons.”

            “I understand that there are many authors who have given “new” interpretations of difficult/uncomfortable passages/concepts. Often because they heavily emphasize a few verses while minimizing or ignoring others and using eisegesis rather than genuinely exegeting the text.”

            There is very little scripture specifically addressing homosexuality. Wouldn’t people sharing your view be guilty of the same ?

            “I’m curious as to what evidence of my “homophobia” you might be referring to, if that is what you were trying to hint at.”

            I was addressing anyone who has a homophobia. Only they would know who they are , not me. I knew you wouldn’t see my humor . That’s why I keep my day job. 🙂

            “However Boaz (an Israelite) pursued Ruth (a Moabite) who was following Yahweh, to be His wife. Racially different, but both religiously Jewish. The marriage was blessed and affirmed as they were the great grandparent of King David.”

            Ruth lived in “the land of Moab”, which had been conquered several generations earlier, at the time of Joshua, by the Israelites. They had killed all the Moabites and Ammonites north of the Arnon river, and it became Israelite territory. Ruth was not racially a Moabite. Ruth was truly an Israelite.

            In Ruth 4 there is an application of Israelite law to land inheritance. By Israel ‘s law, only Israelites could inherit another Israelite’s real estate. If Ruth were a racial Moabite, then she could have made no lawful claim on the land. It’s in Deuteronomy 21 and Numbers 27.

            Israelites (in this case, Boaz) were forbidden to marry Moabite descendants:

            … The people of Israel … have not separated themselves from the people of the lands … even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites …. For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands…(Ezra 9:1-2)

            Quoting Pastor Ted Weiland:

            “Yashua could not have become king of the Israelites if He was from a forbidden lineage or mixed-race relationship. Therefore, Ruth must have been known as a Moabite because she had lived in the country of Moab – a possession of the Reubenites at the time of Ruth.” THEKINGDOMNOW.ORG

      • Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Rom. 13:8-10)

        For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Gal. 5:14; NASB)

        • Yes Love God first and your neighbor as yourself . If you loved your neighbor as yourself , and in your heart you believed adultery was wrong , hurting others and one self , would you still support the act of adultery . Love the sinner and hate the sin ? But with homosexuality the sinner often sees them self as identifying with the sin . They can’t be separated in their own eyes . The reasons for homosexual behavior causing concern go far beyond “religious” reasons . Health concerns for one . Also In marriage it counters the reasoning for many, but it also takes a great deal of self esteem to consider every moral thinker and religious theologian before the past 30 years was somehow immoral for considering the importance of both genders in marriage , biological parents as the first priority for marriage . Gay kids are better off with a Mom and Dad in a secure relationship with love in the home . Those two genders were designed to be parents . Now that model is no longer held in our culture as the norm , it does not mean for some it is not . The unfortunate consequence of living outside of this one time norm has seen, half of our children now born to out of wedlock homes , higher in minorities, and an alarming divorce rate still remains also . Taking away the standard does have consequences to all of us . The prime link we find with poverty are one parented homes , in cases of other ills such as molestation, HS drop out rates , Drug usage , all go up in abuse when the Biological parents are no longer in a Marriage relationship . Universal values are considered inappropriate by the media and with academia . The consequences as I stated are more evident . Discernment of this problem unfortunately has caused too many Christians considering political and legal answers, really it is time to pray . If prayer and the hearts of [people are not touched , we will continue to see our youth robbed of their innocence way before their time .

          • Mick, this is the same stance I took for many years mostly because it’s what I heard from the pulpit every Sunday and from all of my Christian friends .

            I don’t see how prayer is going to help the situations you have shared with us here. What would help is for those same ministers and Christian friends you associate with to start a new discussion. That discussion would be about being responsible and accountable for your actions. Be responsible in your bedroom so that you don’t create an unwanted or ill planned pregnancy. Be a responsible parent whether you have the other parent living with you or not. Make child rearing a number one priority despite the differences you have with your spouse or ex-spouse. This isn’t a sexual orientation thing , it is a sexual responsibility thing.

          • Ken, that’s a great application no matter where you stand on the issue of gay marriage. “Cheers” to advocating for sexual responsibility.

  4. Lol…let the insanity reign supreme. Even your ”god” would hose himself laughing at the utter stupidity or those that support this rubbish and those that remain ”Christians” when the true colours of the hypocrites who peddle this nonsensical are revealed.
    Thank god I am an atheist.

  5. What is really hilarious is that some of the sponsored kids will inevitably be gay and might want to marry and then organisations like this will effectively shun them as adults.
    Love it!

    • Hello Ark. Hope all is well in your hemisphere. Just because someone is gay doesn’t mean that they are going to be shunned by Christians, though that is the popular line of reasoning. On the contrary, as stated regularly on this blog, the Christian should love their gay neighbor first and best. Yes, it does mean that the Christians may not agree with everything going on in their life. Do you only love those with whom you agree 100% on everything?

      • I actually wrote: …. gay and might want to marry and then organisations like this will effectively shun them as adults.

        You want to revise your question?
        Love Ark x

        • No. Just because they are gay or if they want to marry someone of the same sex doesn’t mean they are going to be “shunned.”

          • Ah..the implication in the original comment is that some gay children will get married as adults. Are you saying they will be accepted by the Christian community? Or at least the Christian community you align with?

          • Arkenaten, I suggest it depends on what you mean by ‘accepted’. From the World Vision point of view, it seems that they would not be accepted as eligible to be employees there. But neither would people who are single get not celibate, or who don’t fit the other employment criteria that World Vision have set. But employment aside, if the child was somehow known to have a gay sexual orientation, they would still be accepted as a child for sponsorship.

  6. Hi friend. You know that we don’t agree on these issues, but I like to read your blog anyway, because we’ve been friends for 20 years(!) and because I think it’s important for Christians who disagree on issues to remain in relationship. But I have to admit I’m disappointed by this post. I understand why World Vision’s actions seem frustrating (they were frustrating to me, too). But some of your statements here feel mean-spirited. You make it sound like it was disingenuous that LGBT-supportive Christians would make contributions to World Vision because of their new policy, but that Christians who threatened to pull their support over the policy were acting out of genuine Christian ethics. That’s feels unfair, since both groups (at least the people I know in both groups) are sincerely trying to be faithful, as is World Vision. I feel for World Vision and its employees and administration right now, all of whom I believe are seeking the best ways to carry out their incredible mission. I suspect many of them do see gay marriage as an issue on which Christians can disagree, and now they’ve disappointed everyone. Worse, for a while their real message of helping those most in need will be lost in the shuffle.

    But what really bothered me in your post were comments like, “The left has made this THE issue which plops you into either the tolerant or the bigoted pile.” It feels like you’re painting the left with the same broad brush you accuse the left of painting you. For example, many on the left feel the right has made this THE issue (just look at the WV FB page for some of the more horrible comments from both sides). But in truth neither of these labels is helpful. Part of why I read your blog is to keep from seeing you (and other Christians with whom I disagree) in such binary categories. I can hear your pain at feeling labeled a bigot for your beliefs, but I hope that doesn’t lead you to label others so quickly. I disagree with you, but I do not see you as a bigot. I see you as someone seeking to be faithful, to understand the Scriptures with the best tools we have, and to follow Christ in a season and place where it’s not mainstream to do so. I hope you see me in the same way.

    • Friend. As always, good to see you. Thank you for your comments. I wrote this post and then sat on it for a couple hours. Mainly because I really do want World Vision’s work on poverty to be what they make news about. Then I saw a couple posts from Huffington Post about the subject. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/world-vision/ Here’s some samples:

      Two posts which attributed the Christian backlash to “homophobia”: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-raushenbush/world-vision-gay-policy_b_5037988.html, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristen-howerton/world-vision-gay-marriage_b_5025749.html

      This post which argues that “fundamentalists” (I assume he means those who hold a biblically orthodox position on sexuality and expect people who call themselves Christians to do the same) should no longer be called Christians. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-mcfarlane/fundamentalists-world-vision_b_5036935.html

      This post in which Rachel Held Evens shares that during that window she encouraged people to give to WV, but then ascribed the reversal to the “disdain evangelicals have for our LGBT people.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/26/world-vision-reverses-gay-christian_n_5037689.html

      No, the labels are not helpful. It’s not helpful when prominent media outlets declare that “hatred” or “phobia” are core reasons for supporting natural marriage and for the disapproval in WV’s policy change. It’s not helpful when they choose to post opinion pieces from only one perspective. I don’t think that every citizen or gay marriage supported ascribes to that line of thinking. I know they don’t. But those who have the megaphones have made this THE issue. Case in point- the millions of Christians, chiefly the “conservative,” “fundamentalist,” and “evangelicals” who have supported WV for decades because the know that they poor should be one of the big issues for them. If they have sponsored a child for years, that doesn’t qualify as an “obsession.” But they are “obsessed” with homosexuality when they feel that an organization that believes in the infallibility of scripture seemingly affirms gay marriage.

      I know that you have wrestled through this issue. And I know that you, like Christ, place a high value on unity. I know that your motivation is a heart of love. And I am grateful that while we disagree we can continue to have, what I would consider, a sweet friendship. Thank you again for taking your time to read and comment.

    • I want to thank you again for your comment. I reviewed this post because I don’t want it to come across as mean-spirited. While I am exasperated, I don’t wish “the left” or World Vision harm. I have edited the post in what I hope will bring more clarity and softness, though it may not assuage the frustration that you have felt. All the best to you, old friend.

  7. Can someone please point me to the blog that we Bigot fans frequent to talk about how stupendously evolved and enlightened we are, how intelligent and correct we are and most importantly, how ignorant and stupid the little cadre of dissenting trolls are?

    Or maybe Askme can post that tasty thread where Hewhoshallnotbenamed handed Pink his ass. That was super fun! Then we can all spend some of our precious life energy mocking and laughing at them! How satisfying that would be, no? Ah delicious disgust. Nothing shores up my world view like kicking strangers around on the inter webs.

  8. Sigh… I don’t believe there’s an easy way out of this controversy – and I’m not talking just about World Vision. I think I’m coming down on your side Bigot, but I’ve read good words to the contrary as well: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/inebriateme/2014/03/why-is-it-a-problem-to-hire-people-who-are-in-same-sex-marriages/
    It is our right as Christians in this pluralist society, to strive to live by the standards of our faith. And it is also our right to speak candidly about those standards as well. I dare say it is our responsibility, if done in a respectful, loving manner. At first I agreed with the patheos blogger [above], but after speaking with my spouse I think differently. The Bible is quite clear on homosexuality – not only Jesus words which you cite above, but elsewhere (Romans 1:24-27,1Corinthians 6:9-10,1Timothy 1:10). There is a difference between loving “our neighbor” unconditionally, versus condoning unrepentant sin. And just so I’m clear, I would never believe myself untarnished by sin either.
    There’s no way for World Vision and those of us who defend traditional marriage, to avoid the heat that’s coming: “… and you will be hated by all nations because of me.” (Matthew 24:9)

    • Hi Nason. Thank you for commenting. I finally had a chance to read the pathos article above. It looks as though his argument goes something like this: “Christian companies can hire sinners if they like, there’s no prohibition to working with people who are openly sinning, and Jesus hung out with some of the biggest sinners of His time.” Of course the author is correct about all three points. Here’s where I think his disconnect lies: WV only hires people who call themselves Christians. And while we all sin (good heavens that has been made apparent to me personally today) it is something entirely different to say that I am a Christian and God approves of/affirms/doesn’t care about my sin. Jesus loved, did life with, forgave and associated with sinners. But when he talked about entering the kingdom of God he was clear that unrepentant sin prevents that from happening (Mt. 5:29-30). You cannot be a Christian organization which believes in the infallibility of scripture which states that they will only hire Christians but have some of those “Christians” believe that God affirms their sin.

  9. I see and feel empathy for both sides. IMHO, John Piper and Franklin Graham have never done so. And now the damage had been done. Significant damage. Evangelical cherry picking has destroyed all bridge-building efforts between evangelicals and the gay Christian community. These folks at GCN, or in the pew next to you for that matter, aren’t contagious to your children, they’re just trying to spread the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Conditional love smacks of hypocrisy, and many truly are judgmental Pharisees! But I do pray daily for their conversion. Following Christ’s love requires more than praying the sinner’s prayer and emotionally saying I accept His saving Grace. Faith without works is an empty faith, indeed. Much Love.

    • dogtorbill: I agree that the issue of how to bear agape love as a Christian for your homosexual brother or sister is a difficult one. And I further agree that Christians have bungled it badly in some cases. I disagree, however, with your judgment that their love is conditional. I submit that, for many Christians, the agape love they bear their neighbor is true. The fact that they struggle with an appropriate way to deal with the openly displayed and unrepentant sin of those within the LGBT community does not (have to) change the agape love they bear that brother or sister in Christ. Conditional love, as you suggest said Christians bear for those within the LGBT community, would be expressed as “Abandon your lifestyle or we will no longer love you”. Instead it is expressed as “Your lifestyle is outside of God’s word. Because of the love we bear you, we fear greatly for you and want you to come back inside the Word”. While I’m sure there are some Christians who would communicate the former message, I doubt you will find them in these posts. Askme herself is a great example of a Christian who bears agape love for LGBT and yet is honest and forthright in her struggle with how to bear that love while still remaining faithful to God’s word and his call to tell all the Good News so they may live eternally with Him.

  10. How many times did Jesus censor the people he associated with ? I think a better response to Violet would have been to state what you just stated after allowing her last comment and asking her to end it there. If she were directing it to me ,then you were in the wrong and should allow me and others to read it.

    Will you unapprove this too ?

    • Ken, if the two of you really want an exchange of ideas on the topic, you both have your own blogs. (She’s got some experience running smear pieces on me so I trust you two will find a way to make your thoughts known.) That was the third time I’ve asked Violet not to rehash the same materials, and, as stated above, she has brought up the same arguments on MANY of my posts. Hardly censorship but nice work fanning the flames of controversy.

      • Oooh, Askme, Ken is a clever feller, I suggest you tread carefully if you are going to go toe to toe.
        He knows his stuff . You do too, of course, but its just interesting to see how the interpretations roll out.
        In days of Yore we would already be looking for matches and kindling, but you religious lot are more civilized these days, right? Well, you are, aren’t you?

        Let me pull up a chair and grab a coffee and a few biscuits. Don’t mind me. Er…..carry on, please do.

      • Askme, I don’t know Violet well enough to make any judgements. I do know that I don’t make smear pieces. I did call out one time one of the bloggers you follow “winteryknight” and was able to show his childishness before he removed “our” statements from his blog. He made a factually inaccurate statement and I corrected him just like I did when you stated Ruth was racially different than Boaz. I mean no disrespect by doing so, but I find Christian Bloggers (I am a Deist) are much more “thin skinned” than other bloggers. In general , they don’t like being corrected or get upset when they are losing ground trying to defend their position. I get corrected often. It’s all part of blogging . If we are ALL “Truth Seekers” , we should welcome the challenge. Blogsites are like Sandboxes. You own this one and you are quite in your right to tell us to take our toys and go home. I thought I was playing nicely. It’s your call………..

        As always, thank you for allowing me to comment here.

  11. AskMe: great blog, as usual. I don’t know who hit what panic button with the WV debacle, but I know this: it is hard to be a Christian in today’s intolerant society. Somebody at WV was intimidated, beaten down, misled or otherwise tempted and made a decision that had big shock waves flowing out from it. It’s unfortunate. But life goes on and the WV ship will keep sailing on to provide practical and much, much-needed relief directly to those who need it.

    For those who don’t understand why “we” (Christians) believe as we do, it’s simple: Our beliefs aren’t founded on whether this biblical scholar or that biblical commentator finds the Bible relevant. They aren’t founded on whether someone else believes them or doesn’t believe them. They aren’t based on “winning” the argument. They are based on Him and what we know is Truth.

    So, when we “walk the walk” (as in supporting traditional marriage or protesting abortion or choosing to live chastely), we can expect flak from others who DO believe that the Bible is irrelevant, who DO believe that this is an argument that has to be won, who WILL try to shout you down. But the walk is more important than any of that. Which is exactly what you’re showing with this blog!

    Proud to call you friend, friend 🙂

  12. Whoops! Came back from a time away from the computer and re-submitted my message. Sorry! Oh well, I guess you all will benefit from hearing my “wisdom” twice, LOL! 🙂

  13. Askme, I found this on your “Facebook Rules of Engagement” . I thought it bared repeating. I will keep this next to my computer display for future reference. Thanks for sharing !

    “Believe me, there have been times when I have wanted to anesthetize my news feed by unfriending or blocking someone for whom hostility is recreational. But we are called to be salt and light and that means that when we are uncomfortable, we don’t get to withdraw. “

  14. I hope you won’t mind me sharing something that one of my LDS (Mormon) church leaders said once, “In the end, if we have not chosen Jesus Christ, it will not matter what we have chosen.” Neal A. Maxwell. I think this goes along with the very last line of this post. Faith is certainly being challenged in interesting ways these days.

    • Indeed, friend. You are right about our faith being challenged in new and interesting ways. And thank you for sharing that remarkably succinct but accurate quote.

  15. Gay marriage is an oxymoron in use in the anti-family campaign interested in replacing all natural channels of authority with the State, seems to me. World Vision forgot for a moment what it has claimed to be. No human endeavor can avoid such events; what matters, is how it is handled, no? And WV did it right. Bravo for them!

  16. With regard to the original post, rather than the ‘interesting’ exchange below, isn’t discrimination on grounds of sexual identitygender/preference illegal? I’m sorry I don’t know about the law in America, so it’s merely a question for clarification.

    • Hello Roughseas. Before we talk about your comment above, perhaps you could address your disparaging comments about my Chinese son that you mentioned on your friend’s blog.

  17. So a bunch of kind and gentle Christians used their sponsored child as a bargaining chip in the “culture wars”. I could understand a backlash if World Vision came out promoting gay marriage, or worse still a high ranking staffer called gay marriage opponents “bigots”, but the message these ninnies sent is basically they would prefer the children World Vision helps starve to death rather than be helped by a gay married individual. Am I supposed to feel some sort of inspiration or respect for Christians in reading this? Yeah, way to stick true to your biblical principles.

    • Luke, thanks for your comment. I understand that you see it that way. Why do many Christian’s give to WV? Because they not only care about the poor enough to sacrifice monthly, often for years on end, but because they are confident that WV is going to share the whole truth about God with the children they support. If they didn’t care about the convictions of the organization, there are numerous other aid groups doing good work around the globe. It appeared to many, me included, that they were shying away from the holistic gospel in favor of a more culturally palatable God. While I do not agree with ripping your support out from under your sponsored child because of WV’s original decision, after my commitment was over I would likely have put my money elsewhere.

      • What do you mean by “sharing the whole truth about God with the children”?

        “World Vision does not engage in proselytising or using aid and development to tamper with people’s faith. World Vision policy expressly prohibits this. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, caste, race, ethnicity or gender. ”

        taken from: http://www.worldvision.in/?1290

        I could understand if a gay married individual started talking about his or her marriage and how he feels it does not go against Scripture with colleagues, donors or worst of all benefactors, and this person was NOT disciplined strongly, but honestly, I assume WV hires people from various Christian denominations who don’t agree on other aspects of their faith like whether one should be baptized as an adult or an infant or whether Communion is a symbol or truly eating the body and blood of Christ or (insert here theological debate X which resulted in bloody battles a few centuries ago but is now regarded as a difference of opinion). If these staff members keep their disagreements to themselves and don’t share their opinions with the people they are helping or receiving money from on what were also once considered life or death theological issues I’m sure gay married individuals could be trusted to do the same without being in a Don’t ask don’t tell policy where a vindictive co-worker who knows about their relationship status outs them to management and gets them fired.

        You are right there are certainly other worthy organizations. I’m still in university but when I am working and have more disposable income for charities I will be looking carefully at which charities make the most efficient use of money donated to them and choosing those whose hiring policies consider only which person has the best qualifications for the job. I’m sure there are many more in university or early years of their careers who feel the same way.

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