Monday, March 24, 2014

Needless suffering will follow World Vision's needless capitulation

When an ostensibly Christian organization has to preface a policy change by saying it is not capitulating to the prevailing culture, then you can be quite certain that organization has, in fact, capitulated, surrendered, and sold out to the nefarious forces of godlessness. That is what World Vision has done with its announcement today that it will begin hiring "gay Christians" (oxymoron) who are in legally recognized "same sex marriages." It is a stupefyingly short-sighted decision which is sure to have serious repercussions across the evangelical world. Russell Moore gets to the heart of the matter with his excellent essay in response to the news.
World Vision, an evangelical relief organization, announced today that they would now hire persons who are in same-sex marriages. The organization said, further, that this was no capitulation, just a recognition that some groups supporting World Vision have differing views on sex and marriage.

This is no surprise, on one level. The constellation of parachurch evangelical ministries founded after World War II have been running headlong, with some notable exceptions, toward the very mainline liberalism to which they were founded as alternatives. Some think if we can just barter away Christian orthodoxy fast enough we can catch the wave of that Presbyterian Church (USA) church growth boom.

But here’s what’s at stake. This isn’t, as the World Vision statement (incredibly!) puts it, the equivalent of a big tent on baptism, church polity, and so forth.

At stake is the gospel of Jesus Christ. If sexual activity outside of a biblical definition of marriage is morally neutral, then, yes, we should avoid making an issue of it. If, though, what the Bible clearly teaches and what the church has held for 2000 years is true, then refusing to call for repentance is unspeakably cruel and, in fact, devilish.

The devil works in two ways: by deception, “You shall not surely die” (Gen. 3:4); and by accusation, “the accuser of the brethren” (Rev 12:10). For some people, the devil wishes to assure that there’s no need for repentance, for others that there’s no hope for mercy. Some people are deceived into thinking they are too good for the gospel while others are accused into thinking they’re too bad for the gospel.

The gospel of Jesus Christ tears down both strategies. The gospel clearly calls us to repentance, even when that repentance is hated by the outside world. And the gospel clearly calls us to mercy by faith in the blood of Christ, even when we can’t believe that we’d ever be received.

We empower darkness when we refuse to warn of judgment. We empower the darkness when we refuse to offer forgiveness through the blood of the cross.

We’re entering an era where we will see who the evangelicals really are, and by that I mean those who believe in the gospel itself, in all of its truth and all of its grace. And many will shrink back. There are no riots if the gospel you’re preaching doesn’t threaten the silversmiths of the Temple of Artemis. And there are no clucking tongues if the gospel you’re preaching isn’t offered to tax collectors and temple prostitutes.

There’s an entire corps of people out there who make their living off of evangelicals but who are wanting to “evolve” on the sexuality issue without alienating their base. I don’t mind people switching sides and standing up for things that they believe in. But just be honest about what you want to do. Don’t say “Hath God said?” and then tell us you’re doing it to advance the gospel and the unity of the church.

Donor bases come and go. But the gospel of Jesus Christ stands forever.

World Vision is a good thing to have, unless the world is all you can see.
Trevin Wax sees devastating consequences for the weakest among us, not merely because of World Vision's decision (which is only a symptom) but, much moreso, because of the increasingly heathen social ethic that is behind it.
No matter what you think about this decision, I hope you feel a sense of grief… for the children. This is a story of deep and lasting significance, because there are children’s lives at stake in how we respond.

Children will suffer as evangelicals lose trust in and withdraw support from World Vision in the future. It will take time for evangelicals to start new organizations that maintain historic Christian concepts of sin, faith, and repentance.

In the meantime, children will suffer. Needlessly.

That’s why critics of the evangelical outcry toward World Vision will say, Get over it! Kids matter more than what men and women choose to do romantically!

Strangely enough, we agree. In fact, this is one of the main reasons we’re against redefining marriage. We believe kids matter more than gays and lesbians having romantic relationships enshrined as “marriage.”

Children are the ones who suffer when society says there’s no difference between a mom or a dad.

Children are the ones who suffer when a couple’s romantic interests outstrip a child’s healthy development, whether in no-fault easy divorce laws, or in the redefining of society’s central institution.

Children are the ones who suffer when Mom and Dad choose to live together, as if their relationship is one lengthy trial or audition, a decision that can’t provide their children with the security that comes from marriage.

Children are the ones who suffer when careers matter more than marriage, when romance matters more than reproduction, when sex is a commodity, when a marriage culture is undermined.

Children are the ones who suffer when organizations like World Vision, under the guise of neutrality, adopt policies that enshrine a false definition of marriage in the very statement that says no position will be taken.

Children are the ones who suffer when President Obama (rightly) mourns the rampant fatherlessness in the African-American community, while simultaneously campaigning for marriage laws that would make fathers totally unnecessary.

Children are the ones who suffer and die when “sexual freedom” means the right of a mother to take the life of her unborn child.

Sex is our god. Children are our sacrifice.

So, yes, we grieve for the children across the world who will be adversely affected by World Vision’s decision and the evangelical response.

But we also grieve for children here at home who are growing up in a culture in which sexual idolatry distorts the meaning of marriage and the beauty of God’s original design.

Today is a day to grieve for the children.
Needless suffering will follow needless capitulation.

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.