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.