My Thoughts On The Recent Decisions at World Vision

My Thoughts On The Recent Decisions at World Vision

My heart goes out to my friends at World Vision.

It’s been a week since they made a decision and then reversed themselves—probably due to an outcry of surprising volume. I agree with their reversal. And I commend the remarkable humility that accompanied their explanation. And I feel the pain that filled the boardroom. Those of us in large Christian institutions will all face this issue, sooner or later.

The news that Christians disagree over this issue is about as surprising as the statement that Washington, D.C. is broken. Nothing new here.  I have tried to address the issue in A Charitable Discourse: Talking About the Things That Divide Us.

My one addition to this discussion would be that public policy and Christian discipleship are two different things. In a democratic society, the voice of the people will eventually determine what is legal and what is not. It is apparent to me that gay marriage is on a very fast track to acceptance. The church has always taken stances calling the followers of Jesus to ethical expressions that run counter to accepted world standards. We’ve always been a bit odd. Which is why Jesus noted that the world will eventually hate his followers because they are not of the world. This is not our excuse for withdrawal but simply the recognition that we should not expect to be agreed with.

I wish we could recover a better understanding of human sexuality that would allow us to discuss an issue affecting about 3% of our neighbors with wisdom and grace. And for the other 97%, I wish we could recover the call to purity outside of marriage as an expression of faith in God. A great starting place would be a wonderful book by the Catholic author, Christopher West, Fill These Hearts.

World Vision is one of the great Christian organizations in our world today. I wish them well as they address human need while at the same time expressing a devotion to the story of Jesus that shapes us.