On Tuesday, Christianity Today announced that World Vision has changed its position on homosexuality and gay-marriage.
“World Vision’s American branch will no longer require its more than 1,100 employees to restrict their sexual activity to marriage between one man and one woman.”
I was asked to give my opinion on the decision so I will. But I do so humbly knowing that I am prone to sinful acts and a lack of stating my opinion in a way that doesn’t offend. I hope Christ will be exalted in spite of my inability to respond to this as Jesus, Himself, would.
At the same time, the church does need to respond to this decision because hundreds of thousands of church members support World Vision annually with millions of God’s dollars. They are now looking to their churches for answers to their questions like, “Should we continue to support a child through World Vision or give our money elsewhere?” We need to give good answers. Here’s mine.
World Vision president, Richard Stearns said their decision is
“symbolic not of compromise but of unity.”
“I want to be clear that we have not endorsed same-sex marriage,but we have chosen to defer to the authority of local churches on this issue.”
In fact they have chosen to draw a circle around certain supporters with whom they agree and have left outside that circle a ton of supporters with whom they no longer agree and with whom they no longer have unity. They are not deferring to the authority of all local churches, including our church. Rather they are deferring to the authority of certain churches. But most sadly of all they have chosen not to defer to the authority of scripture which is God’s authority.
Because of this decision, our church cannot support them or recommend that members support them because they have departed from the clear teaching of the Bible on an area which clearly affects the authenticity of the Gospel. If sin is no longer sin then Christ’s death and resurrection to redeem sinners from sin is no longer necessary, hell is no longer hell, and heaven is no longer heaven. Indeed this is a completely foreign description of Christianity which has nothing to do with the Bible.
Though I can partner with non-gospel-centered organizations on humanitarian aid efforts (such as search for earthquake victims) I cannot partner with non-gospel-centered organizations in doing gospel work such as evangelism or church planting. So in my opinion, anyone considering donating to World Vision is certainly free to do so, as we all have liberty of conscience in Christ. Yet at the same time one should realize they would not be supporting a mission that seeks to honor Christ and His gospel or build His kingdom on earth.
Having said all of that, I hope President Stearns and World Vision will see this decision as a mistake and change their direction. Whether they change their minds or not, I respect them and wish them no ill. And may all Christ’s churches continue to be conformed to Jesus, Himself.
For more articles on this go to the blog of Justin Taylor at the Gospel Coalition. Scroll down to find several articles written on the issue.