We are all part of a family of some kind. They take many shapes, forms and sizes – but are family nonetheless. And every family has seasons where something happens, something *embarrassing?*, usually caused by a certain member or members of the family – that makes all the rest of the family crazy.
Crazy to the point of wanting out. Almost to the point of not wanting to associate with the family any more. To the point where the family has become unrecognizable in so many ways.
Where the family has become something altogether different than what it should be.
I feel like this today.
A few days ago, World Vision, a wonderful Christian organization that provides relief efforts and child sponsorships for the poor and oppressed around the world – announced that it was changing it’s policy to allow same sex marriage employees.
The internet had one of those days where it threatened to shut down – as voices from every side erupted – some in support, others in rebuke.
I’ve been moved to write about this “issue” (I HATE that term) before – and so this announcement definitely raised my antennae – but didn’t move me to add anything to what I’ve already said; which can be summed up in “Christians need a new rhetoric, a new conversation around gays – we need to Love.”
But then yesterday, World Vision reversed it’s decision.
And the internet again is on the verge of combustion.
And so am I. But not in the way you might think.
The temptation is to reiterate the need to bridge the divide between Christians and the gay community. To speak out against the common, unloving approach Evangelicals portray in regards to this “issue” (ugh.).
But, while I affirm all I’ve said about that – I am not going there right now. Because this deal has revealed itself to be beyond that conversation. The underbelly has been more fully exposed. And it is UGLY. And it has nothing to do with homosexuality, or the Bible, or Love, or God…
In fact, this issue reveals just how far from Jesus, our Lord, many of His professed followers are.
My combustion is one of sadness, and anger. Of embarrassment. Of not recognizing the Family of which Jesus is the Firstborn Son. Of wanting to distance myself from acts done and words said in the name of Christ – but have nothing to do with His Person or Character.
This Person Who’s Character and nature is to Love the least of these – to care for the poor, to give justice to the oppressed, to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, to give water to the thirsty. This is the “Vision” of Jesus. It should be our Vision in Him too. World Vision has always stood for this, a shining beacon of the Light of the Lord into the earth.
World Vision decided that these acts of Love, that this Person’s Mission transcended one’s sexual orientation, and that if a talented, Jesus-loving person could contribute to the Mission to Love, then their marriage structure (as long as in fidelity), should not hinder them from being a part of that Mission. As they said:
Changing the employee conduct policy to allow someone in a same-sex marriage who is a professed believer in Jesus Christ to work for us makes our policy more consistent with our practice on other divisive issues. It also allows us to treat all of our employees the same way: abstinence outside of marriage, and fidelity within marriage.
It’s easy to read a lot more into this decision than is really there. This is not an endorsement of same-sex marriage. We have decided we are not going to get into that debate. Nor is this a rejection of traditional marriage, which we affirm and support.
We’re not caving to some kind of pressure. We’re not on some slippery slope. There is no lawsuit threatening us. There is no employee group lobbying us. This is not us compromising. It is us deferring to the authority of churches and denominations on theological issues. We’re an operational arm of the global church, we’re not a theological arm of the church.
This is simply a decision about whether or not you are eligible for employment at World Vision U.S. based on this single issue, and nothing more.”
But then, when the money people, the rich people, the religious people, the power people – started to scream, started to push back, started to pull their money…
…World Vision absolutely “caved to pressure.” They undeniably “compromised.” They “deferred to the authority” of money and power.
And in the process, starving, thirsty children were allowed to be used as pawns in an evil game of power brokering – all in the name of “Christlikeness” and “staying true to the Word of God.”
Have we all lost our minds?
We certainly have lost our “Vision,” our True Vision – the Lord’s Vision.
No, not all Christians are “like that.” We don’t all hate a certain segment of human beings, fellow image bearer’s of God so much that we will sacrifice needy kids on the altar of “Biblical purity.” But enough of the “Christians” with influence are. And their power and motives were revealed this week.
And instead of orphans being shown the Love of Jesus, they were in effect told that they were less important than discriminating against a group of people based on ideology and theology.
And Jesus wept.
The real “orphans” here are the Evangelicals who threw their financial hammer down. The real “orphans” are World Vision leaders who turned tail in the face of the threat of lost support. Orphans fight to control. Orphans threaten. Orphans will sacrifice the Royal Law (Love) in order to gain more worldly royalty for themselves. The religious, Pharisaical, orphan spirit of anti-Christ is alive and well. And we saw it 360 this week.
May the Sons of God be revealed in this time. May the Law of Love reign. May the Lord have mercy and give Grace.
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” – James 1:27
May our “Vision” be renewed, away from the corruption of the “World,” and clearly fixed on Jesus – Love.
What do you think?