Thursday, April 3, 2014

World Vision's change of mind

It's been a couple weeks since I saw on an ABC news website a report about the evangelical world in an uproar because one of it's largest and most visible organizations, World Vision, decided to reverse a decision made 48 hours previously to hire gay people in same sex marriages. World Vision is generally viewed as doing good work feeding, clothing, educating and caring for some of the world's poorest people. Whenever there is a disaster, WV is part of the world wide response team to provide aid. I have supported them for years. They walk a fine line because they depend on both Christians and non - Christians to give to their relief and development efforts. I read on a Christian magazine website that their president, Richard Stearns, had announced that the board of WV, after years of prayer for guidance, decided to hire gay persons who were in same-sex marriages or who had entered into such marriages while in the employ of WV. They already hire people without regard for sexual orientation. Washington state, where WV is headquartered, permits same-sex marriage. So, this decision would seem logical, and since prayed about, by mature Christians on the WV board, in God's will for WV. And, so I was surprised to read 48 hours later WV had reversed their prayed about decision. This reversal came much quicker than the original one that was prayed over "for years". Apparently, a number of prominent evangelical leaders did not trust the ability of the WV board to hear from the LORD on this issue, hence, the outrage in the evangelical world. In a matter of hours from the original announcement of WV's policy change, some leaders like John Piper, Franklin Graham, Al Moehler, and the head of the Assemblies of God were expressing outrage and calling on WV to reverse it's decision. Which they did. Which raises a big question about what we mean when we say we pray about something. But, a greater, and even more troubling question was raised by the actions of the so-called evangelical leaders who called on their followers to show their outrage to WV by canceling their child sponsorships of poor children which is the backbone of WV's work. Thousands of people did for WV reported an anticipated loss into the millions of dollars. In a matter of hours, thousands of Christians, followers of Jesus, chose to show their disagreement of WV's decision by TAKING THE FOOD OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF THE POOR! These leaders not only disagreed, they called for a boycott of WV.

 It is staggering. WV did not change it's doctrine, they did not deny the deity or atonement of Christ, they did not question the inspiration of Scripture. All they did was to say they were going to continue to follow the words of Jesus in Matthew 25 along with people who were gay and had chosen to marry and worked for WV. The evangelical big money machine kicked in and WV was looking at losing millions of dollars. Money talked and God, who they thought they heard after much prayer, was put on hold. I don't fault WV for it's reversal. More than most, they knew what was at stake. They have walked among the poorest of the poor and they knew what the loss of millions of dollars would mean to them. I fault the evangelical establishment which was ready to let kids starve rather than lose a battle in the culture wars. After WV reversed it's policy decision, many child sponsors reversed their decision to drop their sponsorship. Could we have our kids back, they called and asked. What is this, a game we are playing. I will support WV and send in my 40 bucks to sponsor a child and feel good about being a caring follower of Jesus - until WV does something I don't like or until one of the evangelical bigwigs tells me what WV is doing is unbiblical.

The evangelical leaders said their rapid response was in defense of biblical marriage. I doubt it because they are not talking about divorce, or adultery or pre- marital cohabitation. Jesus had a word or two on all those topics. He had hundreds of words about money and caring for the poor.