Update: World Vision reversed its decision discussed below. I think they have answered my question that they do not hate homosexuals, but love them enough to not affirm same-sex marriage. They love God enough to have their mistake corrected by the authority of Scripture and to stand on the biblical view of marriage.
World Vision president, Richard Stearns, recently announced a policy change to accept gay same-sex married couples. Given that World Vision identifies itself as a Christian humanitarian organization, this move causes me to ask: Does World Vision hate homosexuals?
Stearns would not probably not answer affirmatively calling the new policy a narrow change as well as a move toward Christian unity. Yet, World Vision still has an abstinence policy for their employees. Ironically, employees may now get around the abstinence policy by World Vision accepting a redefinition of marriage – same-sex marriage.
Of course, this announcement brought a firestorm of brokenhearted responses from Evangelicals including John Piper, Russell Moore, Kevin DeYoung, Albert Mohler, and others. Doubtful that these responses will have much affect on World Vision’s new policy given Stearns’ reasoning noted in the Christianity Today article.
“Denominations disagree on many, many things: on divorce and remarriage, modes of baptism, women in leadership roles in the church, beliefs on evolution, etc.,” he said. “So our practice has always been to defer to the authority and autonomy of local churches and denominational bodies on matters of doctrine that go beyond the Apostles’ Creed and our statement of faith. We unite around our [Trinitarian beliefs], and we have always deferred to the local church on these other matters.”
Stearns’ reasoning is faulty given that there is still an abstinence policy (among others?). The Apostles’ Creed nor World Vision’s statement of faith do not name sins. For Stearns’ reasoning to hold consistently, World Vision should not have any kind of abstinence policy; nor a policy against any behavior they might deem sinful. All that should be required is that an employee profess to hold to the statements of faith and leave the sinful behavior to the local church.
Yet, World Vision is giving professing gay Christians same-sex marriages a pass while singling out other sins. What other sinful lifestyles could be deemed acceptable as long as they were placed within a redefinition of marriage? Again, I ask: Does World Vision hate homosexuals?
Some might think my question strange. But consider remarks from famous atheist Penn Jillette on Christians not proselytizing.
How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.
Now consider the wisdom Scripture teaches about telling people the hard truth. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy” (Proverbs 27:6 ESV). How much do Christians have to hate fellow professing Christians to not call them to repent of their sin? How much do Christians have to hate fellow professing Christians by affirming them in their sins? How much do Christians have to hate fellow professing Christians by overlooking Scripture such as 1 Cor. 6:9-10 (ESV)?
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Jesus’ commands Christians to love others. He taught that one of the greatest commandments is to love our neighbor as ourselves. But that was the second great commandment. The first is to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. The second is carried out in light of the first which includes a greater love for God’s holiness and commands. God desires we love Him more than sin; therefore, to love our neighbors as ourselves is to call them out of sin.
In fact, in the 1 Cor. 6 passage above, Paul is showing Jesus’ teaching of the first and second greatest commandments in action. Paul issues a damning statement in the context naming sins. Not only are Christians to avoid these sins, but Paul says we are saved out of them. The Apostle is demonstrating the love for his fellow Christians through a greater love for, and from, Jesus Christ.
I assume Stearns and World Vision would deny they hate homosexuals by affirming their sin through this new policy. However, in light of Jesus’ two Greatest Commands, maybe the better question is: Does World Vision love homosexuals enough to not affirm their sin?
Here I blog…
p.s. A reader asked why I linked “homosexuality” in the 1 Cor. 6:9-10 quote. Fair question that I think needs a disclaimer. I didn’t link it, but I have an auto-linker set-up that grabs certain blog tags/categories and sets its own link. I have limited control over which words it links. My apologies for any confusion and if it seemed I were singling out that particular word as a link.Tags: