Agree or Disagree: “World Vision” decision helped Evangelicals won a culture war, but lost a generation


Agree or Disagree: “World Vision” decision helped Evangelicals won a culture war, but lost a generation

After a week and a weekend of reflection of World Vision’s decision and ultimately reversal of decision of hiring same sex couples, some are now starting to look at the landscape of Christianity.

Enter Rachel Held Evans.

Last week, she wrote this post about World Vision’s reversal. http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/world-vision-update

I would like to point to a particular quote in the post to pay attention too.

This whole situation has left me feeling frustrated, heartbroken, and lost. I don’t think I’ve ever been more angry at the Church, particularly the evangelical culture in which I was raised and with which I for so long identified. I confess I had not realized the true extent of the disdain many evangelicals have toward LGBT people, nor had I expected World Vision to yield to that disdain by reversing its decision under financial pressure.

I think she’s speaking on behalf of many.

Which leads to the article at the top for us to discuss.

She proposes that perhaps the evangelical church may have won the culture war last week, but lost a generation that will be distancing themselves from evangelicalism.

Here’s a quote.

As a longtime supporter of World Vision, I encouraged readers of my blog to pick up some of the dropped sponsorships after the initial decision. I then felt betrayed when World Vision backtracked, though I urged my readers not to play the same game but to keep supporting their sponsored children, who are of course at no fault in any of this.

But most of all, the situation put into stark, unsettling relief just how misaligned evangelical priorities have become.

When Christians declare that they would rather withhold aid from people who need it than serve alongside gays and lesbians helping to provide that aid, something is wrong.

There is a disproportionate focus on homosexuality that consistently dehumanizes, stigmatizes and marginalizes gay and lesbian people and, at least in this case, prioritizes the culture war against them over and against the important work of caring for the poor.

Evangelicals insist that they are simply fighting to preserve “biblical marriage,” but if this were actually about “biblical marriage,” then we would also be discussing the charity’s policy around divorce.

But we’re not.

What do you think? Do you feel this decision has turned people off of Christianity?  Or, does it matter?

 

 

World Vision made a decision. What are the next steps?


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Yesterday, I wrote this I’ll be honest I’m disappointed in World Vision Today http://wp.me/p2i6Wc-2t6 in regards to the decision to reverse hiring Christians in a same sex marriage.

To be honest, as I continued to think and process what happened yesterday, my heart continued to break. Now, from closely following the reaction Facebook and Twitter, it’s clear that many of you are very happy about this. Some of you used terms like “discipline” , “repentance” and “Standard of God’s Word” as a basis of your argument. You “Praised The Lord” that World Vision did the right thing.

While you were “Praising The Lord”, because of “Standing on the Word of God”,you might have missed something. There were some people hurt, really hurt by what happened.Before you say, it’s just a certain section of people, let me tell you it’s not.

Christians who disagree with homosexuality are disgusted that so called church leaders like Franklin Graham, John Piper, Albert Moehler and Russell Moore would actually encourage people to pull their sponsorship of THIRD WORLD children to make their point. Children who are actually suffering, some with terminal illness. All in the name of “Standard of God’s Word” which apparently is the catch phrase.

Does anyone else think it ironic that Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse would take a tactic like this? After all,his organization helps in Third World countries.

People who are not Christians, but support World Vision and sponsor a child are baffled by the fact that 2,000 people within a 48 hour span cancelled their sponsorship. It’s quite sickening when you think about it.

People are upset at World Vision. They see this decision as a lack of courage and backbone. Even Christians are questioning the benefit of giving to a so called “Christian” organization. Perhaps it is time to consider giving to more of a secular route. Not to mention the fact that unfortunately some have been burnt by “Christian” businesses.

Don’t underestimate those hurts. Some of these are compiled with years and years of being hurt by people in a perceived position of church leadership exercising their apparent “God given authority” to act completely contradictory to what the Scriptures teach.

Yesterday was another example.

This conversation is not a debate about homosexuality. This is a debate about a convenient use of the term Christian values was used to intimidate an organization into something. And using the poor, widow and the orphan, all we are called to help in Scripture as a weapon.

And as much as people like Russell Moore wants us to “move on”, I think there is some questions to be asked.

How do those who are upset at World Vision peacefully and respectably respond? How do you let World Vision know this was not acceptable without impacting some of the work they do?

How do you let people like Russell Moore, Franklin Graham, Albert Moehler and John Piper that what they did was unacceptable?

I would like to discuss this. But I will also give you some information. Which is their Twitter/Facebook accounts.

@WorldVisionUSA Facebook: World Vision USA

Russell Moore @drmoore

John Piper @JohnPiper

Albert Moehler @AlbertMoehler

Franklin Graham @Franklin_Graham

Will this help? Will they listen? I don’t know. But what I do know is this. Moore, Piper, Moehler, and Graham are not the only ones that have a voice. We all can. And they need to hear it. They need to hear that their behaviour is NOT acceptable.

But, my question to you is, what is an appropriate way to respond to World Vision now?

I’ll be honest I’m disappointed in World Vision Today


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If you remember back in December, I wrote this post about the issue with Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty, and the response of Christianity.

As I write this, I have similar feelings today.

Often in life, we have been given opportunities to step up. Sometimes we take them. Sometimes, we miss them.

World Vision missed an opportunity.

Before we go forward, we need to go back. On Monday, they decided to announce that they would hire Christians in same sex marriages. Today, this story is posted on Christianity Today.

They decided to reverse their decision.

Why? I’m going to share with you what World Vision President Richard Stearns said today. Then, because that is the type of guy  am, I’m going to translate what he really said for you.

 

Here is what he  said:

“The last couple of days have been painful,” president Richard Stearns told reporters this evening. “We feel pain and a broken heart for the confusion we caused for many friends who saw this policy change as a strong reversal of World Vision’s commitment to biblical authority, which it was not intended to be.”

“Rather than creating more unity [among Christians], we created more division, and that was not the intent,” said Stearns. “Our board acknowledged that the policy change we made was a mistake … and we believe that [World Vision supporters] helped us to see that with more clarity … and we’re asking you to forgive us for that mistake.”

“We listened to [our] friends, we listened to their counsel. They tried to point out in loving ways that the conduct policy change was simply not consistent … with the authority of Scripture and how we apply Scripture to our lives,” said Stearns. “We did inadequate consultation with our supporters. If I could have a do-over on one thing, I would have done much more consultation with Christian leaders.”

“What we are affirming today is there are certain beliefs that are so core to our Trinitarian faith that we must take a strong stand on those beliefs,” said Stearns. “We cannot defer to a small minority of churches and denominations that have taken a different position.”

“Yes, we will certainly defer on many issues that are not so central to our understanding of the Christian faith,” he said. “But on the authority of Scripture in our organization’s work [and employee conduct] … and on marriage as an institution ordained by God between a man and a woman—those are age-old and fundamental Christian beliefs. We cannot defer on things that are that central to the faith.

Got it? Good!

Now, let us translate what he said. Forgive the accusatory tone, but we all know there is church politics.

We received word from many churches that if you continue to allow so called “Christians” who are living a homosexual lifestyle to be a part of your company, we will pull out. We will not be advertising you in our church. We will not be welcome to put up a booth in your church. And a bigger concern is, we would lose funding from many churches. So therefore, we need to reverse the decision.

However, President Stearns, World Vision, and those “evangelical leaders” are forgetting something. Actually, they are forgetting a few things. So, because of the type of  guy I am, let me help you out.

First of all it is illegal, I repeat, illegal to not hire someone based on their race, religion, or relationship status in an interview. In other words, if you ask someone, they can take legal action. So, World Vision, if you are about to go to a place of firing those who are in a same-sex relationship, I wish you good luck and enjoy your time in court.

Second, and because the theme “Scriptural Authority” has been put in play, let me address that. Let me address that with the verse that instantly came to mind. This is from Matthew Chapter 25 Verses 34- 45,

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.

Please note a couple of important points. By the way, I don’t think this needs a scholarly interpretation.

-There is no note on race, religion or relationship status on anyone Jesus looked at as the “least of these”. He said the least of these.

-There is no note on race, religion or relationship status on anyone who can help the “least of these” He said help the least of these.

However, because of the decision today, you have made the conversation about who gets to help. You have also made the decision that someone’s sexual orientation and who they are sleeping far more important than the actual conversation about who needs help.

Christian or not, they are many sincere people that participate with you not because you are a professing “Christian” organization, but because you help children in Third World countries. Today, you just told everyone who really should  and should not be helping you support Third World children across the world.

That statement is disappointing.

 

 

Agree or Disagree-The Podcast-The aftermath of Redford’s Resignation.


http://www.spreaker.com/user/7021827/the-alberta-government-aftermath

Bethany Drader and I discuss the aftermath of the Provincial Government and the resignation of Alison Redford.

Topics include

Clarifying that I am not Tony Tighe.

The future of the PC Party

The perception of the Wildrose Party and Danielle Smith

The comments of Mayor Nenshi following the announcement

Are politics involving all perspectives in Alberta?

The benefit of a minority government in Alberta

The future of the Alberta Liberals (Or Liberalll?)

The possibility of uniting the left from someone from the left

The future of the NDP

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‘Follow Bethany on Twitter @nashtey

 

Agree or Disagree: You would condemn someone who paid their tuition by doing porn


This is Belle Knox.

She is studying at Duke University. Her cost for going to Duke University was $61,000. This includes tuition, travel, textbooks and student fees. This is not for the program, this is one year of study. Her family, like many families in Canada and the United States, would not be able to afford this. So, what did she do?

She decided to pay for her tuition by doing pornographic movies.

This is a good interview she had with Piers Morgan. This is also an interesting article in which she explains her decision to “come out” as a porn star.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/04/duke-porn-star_n_4898544.html

Now, there is a couple of interesting things to note about her perspective. The first thing to note is that there is no shame in her decision. As a matter of fact, and some will raise their eyebrows, but she actually finds pornography freeing. You will hear her in the interview discuss this, but she argues that that many people’s “fears” towards pornography has to do with a patriarchal society. And there would be MANY of you that would disagree with that I’m sure. I’ve seen some of the arguments of morals and the breakdown of family values.This girl has certainly taken some heat for her decision.

However, here’s the part I would like to bring up. It’s the part no one is REALLY talking about. However, this would seem to me to be an important conversation.

The cost of education is expensive. In some cases, extremely expensive. Not only is their actual cost of tuition. You have textbooks, which on a side note, perhaps we need to discuss the price of those sometimes. You have hidden fees. You also have rent, food, clothes and other expenses. Because of your study schedule, the work schedule is limited. Get a loan you respond? How many of you are STILL paying off your student loan or loans?

Brooke Knox is not the first person who has decided to use “questionable” means to pay their tuition. There are students who have paid their tuition by being an erotic dancer. There are students that have paid their tuition by selling drugs. And, before someone argues that is only in the “secular” world, I know two students that paid their tuition to get into a Bible School by selling drugs. The reality is that not everyone has the opportunity for the straightforward and simple approach to an education as our society has encouraged. The fact is education cost is becoming a more complex subject.

I agree that we should question decisions like one’s made by Brooke Knox. If I had a daughter or a son thinking of this, we would be having a serious conversation.

However is it not fair we discuss how we can make education affordable for everybody?

Agree or Disagree:The Podcast-The most influential people of #yyc


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I start this with a point. I feel as a life long Calgarian, we don’t give ourselves as much credit as we do. 

There are many great things about Calgary that perhaps if you live here long enough your forget. We complain about things like snow removal, traffic and well, the weather. We might forget about the volunteerism, the friendliness, and the variety of activities you can do in Calgary.

Hence, tonights podcast.

Terry Lo, @calgarydreamer and I discuss some of the most influential people of #yyc. Some of the topics we will cover.

-The evolution of Calgary since 1988

-The top influencers in Industry, Food and Food Trucks, Fashion and Theatre

-Some gaps in influence in Calgary

-Some “mainstream” media voices

-The top 4 influencers of Calgary

-A prediction for Prime Minister within the next 20 years?

Side 1

http://www.spreaker.com/user/7021827/the-influential-people-of-yyc

Side 2

http://www.spreaker.com/user/7021827/the-influential-people-of-yyc-part-2

I’m sure you might think there are some people missing. That’s ok, because you can tell us who we left off. 

I hope this starts a good conversation around Calgary. It is much needed in this great city. 

Thank you to all of us who makes this city special.

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Agree or Disagree: A loving God allows evil


I recognize that’s a loaded question. I also know it’s a tough question.

However, in terms of Christian writers, I find Philip Yancey thoughtful and considerate when we brings this topic up.

So, instead of a long diatribe, I’m going to let the video speak for itself. Then, I will let you respond.

If you are interested in Part 2.

And Part 3

Agree or Disagree-The Podcast-The Plight of Alison Redford


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Part 1 is here

http://www.spreaker.com/user/7021827/the-plight-of-alison-redford

Part 2 is here

http://www.spreaker.com/user/7021827/the-plight-of-alison-redford-part-2

 

Jojo Ruba and myself discuss the recent soap opera involving Alison Redford and the Alberta PC party.

Topics include,

-Suggestions on the tile of this Soap Opera

-The perception and personality of Alison Redford

Has opposition parties Wildrose, Liberal and NDP gained any traction from this?

-The possibility of a minority government in Alberta

- Brief interlude into Ford vs Chow in Toronto

-Future leaders in Alberta

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Agree or Disagree: The Podcast-Could Flight MH370 Been Handled Better?


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Flying solo this week for Agree or Disagree: The Podcast, we discuss the following,

A theme song for Agree or Disagree: The Podcast Nirvana or Smashing Pumpkins?

The bizarre story of Flight MH 370 and if it could  how and if this could have been handled better.

The case of “the” missing legs. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/03/12/malaysia-airlines-and-the-case-of-the-missing-legs/

Preparing you for TWO Podcasts next week!

http://www.spreaker.com/user/7021827/could-mh370-been-handled-better

Like Agree or Disagree: The Podcast on Facebook.

Follow @AorDThePodcast on Twitter

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Facebook: Kevin Olenick.

Agree or Disagree: This video proves first kisses are beautiful


You may have seen this video as it went viral this week. If not, you can see it here.

It’s called First Kiss by Tatia Pilieva. It marks people actually kissing each other for the first time.

Now,, as inspiring and interesting as this video is, it has got some criticism. So after watching the video, read this article. http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/03/11/first_kiss_video_tatia_pilieva_films_strangers_who_are_also_actors_models.html

The article was written by Amanda Hess. She basically argues that this gone viral, because the people in the video are beautiful. Here’s a portion of what she said.

“I’m betting that if Pilieva had filmed the video with a more diverse cast of all the people in the world who constitute “strangers,” the result would have been more unsettlingly comedic than searchingly romantic. It would also have been more interesting, if infinitely less sharable. The video peddles the fantasy that beauty can spring from an unexpected connection between two random people, but what it’s really showing us is the beauty of models making out. It’s like the hipster Bachelor. I doubt that millions of viewers would be so quick to celebrate a video of randos kissing if they were all less thin, hip, stylish, charming, and well-manicured.”

What do you think? Do you think this video proves first kisses are beautiful? Or is this video worth sharing because the people in the video are beautiful?