By Scott Fowler
As any who are following the story have already heard by now, World Vision reversed its decision to hire same-sex married couples. Unfortunately, this situation is a lose-lose-lose situation.
The first loss came when the initial decision was made. According to an Associated Press article report (Major Evangelical Charity To Hire Married Gay Christians), Richard Stearns, President of World Vision indicated that “the World Vision board had prayed for years about how to handle the issue as Christian denominations took different stands on recognizing same-sex relationships.” Initial response to World Vision’s decision from traditional evangelicals was sadness, disappointment, dismay, even rebuke. It’s decision to hire same-sex married couples in order to avoid division thereby shirking its responsibility to stand behind its own statement of faith in some attempt to remain neutral by deferring to the authority of local churches all while claiming that it was not compromising but holding true to Scripture was a ludicrous attempt at a balancing act that was doomed to fail. And fail it did, setting up the second loss.
The second loss came two days later when the decision that came after years of prayer was reversed and labeled a mistake. Okay. It’s a tough spot to be in for World Vision. By their own admission they “failed to seek enough counsel” from their own Christian partners (World Vision Reverses Gay Marriage Decision). It is possible to become myopic when we allow ourselves to become too isolated. It happens. But the problem now is that we are left to surmise that if the leadership at World Vision had felt no negative feedback it would have stood by its decision to hire married same-sex couples. The current leadership at World Vision is capable of making this kind of decision when left to its own counsel. So, even though their decision has been reversed and a sincere apology has been given, it seems that we now know where the leadership of World Vision really stands on the issue. This is a demonstration of its biblical hermeneutic.
The third loss is felt by true evangelicalism as a whole. It is just one more prominent ministry that has demonstrated that it does not understand the full seriousness of the battle that is engulfing evangelicalism and the believing Church. One by one ministries, leaders, politicians, and families are succumbing to the pressure of the culture and their own subjective experiences to compromise in their beliefs causing the Church’s cultured despisers to question just how deep our convictions go.
And the hits just keep on coming! World Vision, a ministry that I would have considered to be more of a mainline, social gospel relief agency than any genuine evangelistic outreach, has decided to hire “Christians in same-sex marriages.” (Click on this link for the article Major Evangelical Charity to Hire Married Gay Christians – NBC News.com) Why? Because they are trying to
“prevent this divisive issue from tearing World Vision apart and potentially crippling our ability to accomplish our vital kingdom mission of living and serving the poorest of the poor in the name of Christ.”
Two very interesting pieces of logic come with this report: First, the motivation for this move is to keep World Vision from being torn apart so that it can keep doing what it is doing in the name of Christ. Once again, a subjective need or concern (which amounts to a financial issue) trumps integrity. I would suggest that what we do in the name of Christ cannot be separated from what we choose to ignore. I would also suggest that World Vision is hiring same-sex Christians (a term that is actually an oxymoron) in the name of Christ.
Second, Richard Stearns, president of World Vision, tries to thread the needle by saying they are not endorsing same-sex marriage “but we have chosen to defer to the authority of local churches on this issue.” So, following this logic, you can do whatever you want or abstain from operating with integrity just so long as you are not a local church. I suppose pro-abortion Christians are ok as well.
But, finally, a word of encouragement comes! Stearns assures us that World Vision is “not sliding down some slippery slope of compromise, nor are we diminishing the authority of Scripture in our work. . . . We are the same World Vision you have always believed in.” Whew! Thank goodness! In reality, this is yet another attempt to demonstrate how we can try to claim allegiance to Scripture while at the same time not following its instruction.
An important article (with links to other sources) that give insight into what is happening at one of the premiere Christian colleges in America. I am encouraged by Wheaton’s stated policy. Also, Rosaria Butterfield’s story and insights constitute a significant perspective that needs to be considered.
WORLD | A Wheaton discussion of homosexuality | March 1, 2014.
This is the best article I’ve read to date concerning the dilemma of gay Christianity, the possibility of change from homosexual to heterosexual, the beliefs and attitudes the Christian with same-sex attractions should have, and the kind of approach the Church should take to people struggling with same-sex attraction, or as this author says, those who are struggling from the place of a “broken sexuality.” The article is long but a must-read for pastors and I would think a great help to those who are struggling and looking for hope.
‘Help, I’m Gay’ | Leadership Journal.
Here is the link to a timely post by my friend and colleague, Roger Erdvig. In an interview, Schaefer (the pastor who is due to be “defrocked” by the United Methodist Church in less than thirty days if he does not denounce same sex marriage) said,
“I cannot fathom how I would change my mind in that time or in any time. To me this is discrimination. It’s not right. So many people have been hurt. Not just my son — my children — but thousands of gay, lesbian bisexual, transgender people have been hurt by the church and by society. It has to stop. We’ve got to realize what we’re doing here with our theology, our doctrine, and really, our hate speech.”1
If I follow the logic, we should adjust our doctrine so that it does not hurt people’s feelings.
Even the dullest American barely able to think due to the drunken stupor of postmodernistic relativism can understand that we don’t adjust truth to suit feelings (if he or she is intellectually honest). Should we act toward homosexuals from a heart of love and compassion? Yes! Should we stand for people’s rights? Of course! But no one has the “right” to force others to validate his or her behavior and no one has the right to change the truths of Christianity for the purpose of stroking the fragile ego of insecure Americans who not only want to choose but also want to force others to approve of their choices. Like atheists who cannot stop talking about the God they say doesn’t exist, the gay community is so comfortable with their choices that they can’t stop trying to prove it by forcing others to agree with them. They would say it is a call for tolerance, but its not. It’s a call for blanket acceptance and a renunciation of any and every moral value that disagrees with their own.
Pastor Frank Schaefer | Roger Erdvig.