“World Vision capitulation” looks like it’s going to be a trending term for the next couple of days. Here are some early comments:
Sooner rather than later every Christian leader will need to go on record as to whether or not he believes the painful truth of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and the glorious possibility of 1 Corinthians 6:11. And those who follow such leaders—working for them, financially supporting them, read their books and listening to their podcasts—have a right to know now where their pastor or leader stands.
I do not think it takes a prophet to see where many of our well-intentioned but pragmatically atheological leaders will land in the days ahead.
First, World Vision has taken a step away from the cry of biblical love, which says, we care about all suffering, especially eternal suffering. Without care about eternal suffering, care about temporal suffering is a mirage. It looks like love, but the greatest gift is being withheld.
When World Vision embraces as an acceptable alternative behavior what God says will lead to eternal suffering (1 Corinthians 6:9–10), it sets a trajectory of lovelessness.
Second, World Vision has aligned itself with liberal Christians who choose not to renounce homosexual practice. Culturally, historically, and biblically this is a huge step toward the powerlessness and growing irrelevance of the mainline liberal establishment. You cannot undermine biblical authority, and trivialize perdition and its blood-bought remedy, and expect to maintain a vibrant spiritual base. It isn’t going to happen.
This means that, without repentance and change, World Vision will go the way of worldliness and weakness. A great superstructure will remain for a season, but the Christian soul will disappear. And who will suffer most? The poor.
This one statement brings up multiple questions, not the least of which is “Can someone in a same-sex marriage can be a true, born again follower of Jesus Christ?” Most conservative Evangelicals, which apparently does not include Stearns or the majority of the Board of Directors of World Vision U.S., would answer that question with a clear , “No!” Furthermore, to characterize homosexual employees as exhibiting “fidelity within marriage” places same-sex marriage on the same moral plane as Biblical marriage.
To not answer the question, as World Vision U.S. is trying to do, is really answering the question. There can be no fence-sitting on this issue. Sooner or later, denominations, churches and parachurch organizations, will have to decide what they believe the Bible teaches about same-sex marriage. To try to split the baby in half, as World Vision U.S. is (badly) attempting, will not work.
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.