Wednesday, March 26, 2014

So what, exactly, did World Vision do wrong?

Like most any business or organization, Christian relief agencies have employment standards which are reviewed and revised as a routine matter. Rarely does a change in policy spark the kind of uproar which accompanied World Vision's recent decision to allow the hiring of "Christians" in same sex "marriages." The backlash from the evangelical world was so swift and so virulent that the agency quickly reversed itself and reinstated its former standards.

The initial change in policy, while indefensible, would not have been so controversial if Richard Stearns, World Vision's president, had been more discreet. If he had implemented the change in employment standards quietly and without fanfare, it is likely no one would have known and no one would have cared. Instead, he chose to announce the change with trumpets, heralding it as some kind of boon for "church unity." Such pious pomposity, moreso than the moral repugnance of the decision itself, is what so many evangelicals found offensive.

Stearns did what the hypocrites do, and he got called on it. He has repented and asked for forgiveness. We cannot be anything but gracious toward him, recognizing that his real sin was one which can so easily trip up any one of us.