UPDATE: World Vision USA has reversed its decision. See details here. I believe what what I have written below still applies and evangelicals should beware that just because bullying can be effective in the short term does not mean that it’s blessed by God or an effective long term strategy for sharing the gospel.

Does God care more about the hiring practices of an aid organization than he does about malnourished, at-risk children? Would God rather see a child starve than a see a homosexual person working behind a desk at World Vision USA? It appears that some evangelicals would answer yes to these questions and for that I am sorely disappointed.

If this is the first time your hearing about this, World Vision USA recently amended it’s employment policy to allow gay Christians in monogamous homosexual marriages to be employees. You may read more details here. In response, many evangelicals have responded by vowing to pull their support from World Vision and stop sponsoring children they had previously committed to sponsor.

I am usually very hesitant to apply a label to myself
but I think it is safe to say that I consider myself to be a rather theologically conservative evangelical. My wife and I are also sponsors for two children through World Vision (pictured above) and we are going to continue sponsoring them even though we personally disagree with World Vision USA’s decision and we personally believe that homosexual behavior is sinful and an affront to God’s design for the Christian life (just like lying and stealing and lusting and divorce and adultery and premarital sex and pride). Why are we going to keep sponsoring them? Because it’s not about the organization, it’s about the children. We didn’t start sponsoring these children because we agreed with every corporate policy of World Vision USA and we refuse to punish these children who had nothing to do with this decision. Perhaps the next child we sponsor will be with a different organization, but we are going to follow through with the commitment we made to these children.

Let me be clear I do think it is inappropriate for an organization that calls itself Christian to either tacitly or explicitly approve a lifestyle or a behavior that God has condemned. I am, however, also aware that there are plenty of people who consider themselves to be Christian who take a different stance on homosexuality and argue that it is not condemned by scripture. I have read a number of those positions and I personally believe that they are wrong. Ultimately, both sides cannot be right. God will be the ultimate judge and some of us are going to find out that we took a stand on the wrong side of the issue. This post, however, is not about whether or not homosexual behavior is compatible with the Christian faith its about how some evangelicals have responded to World Vision USA’s announcement.

If you are a Christian who has stopped sponsoring a child because of the internal decisions of World Vision USA I very strongly urge you to reconsider.
I mean seriously, where is Christ in that? Since when are we supposed to punish these underprivileged children because we disagree with corporate policies? If you are really so sure that it’s more important to teach World Vision a lesson than it is to care for these children then at least have the decency to get on a plane and go look your child in the eye and tell them that they can’t go to school any longer because you disagree with some other well-fed, educated Americans about how to interpret and apply the Bible. Then, when you come back, make sure that you never buy clothing or groceries or anything else from any company that may employ homosexuals. Before you do any of that though, make sure you pull that massive log out of your eye so you can see where you’re going. If you think that God supports your decision to punish these children for the sins of someone else then you are sadly mistaken. The only one who wins when that happens is the enemy (and I’m referring to Satan, not World Vision or homosexuals). Perhaps World Vision knew that their decision would cause some negative backlash, and perhaps they are partially responsible for this. But let me be very clear,
World Vision didn’t force anyone to pull sponsorships. If you stop sponsoring a child on account of this that is on you and you alone.

Fellow evangelicals, we have got to do better than this. It is possible to stand for truth and still be loving
. If we are elevating “truth” higher than Jesus, who is himself the embodiment of truth, then we are missing it. Truth without love is not truth at all. I’m afraid that many of us fell right into Satan’s trap with this one and the result is disastrous: As it is written: God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you (Romans 2:24). If we keep this up we are going to lose what little influence we have left.

2 Comments

  1. I so agree. What grieves me most is the lines in the sand. Entities like World Vision are caught in the crossfire. They are a multi-denominational organization. I understand their attempt at neutrality. Because of all the kerfuffle, I stand with them. My time is better spent loving my neighbor, not inventorying their theology.

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