A NY Times article on the World Vision/same sex marriage stance and then reversal

World Vision U.S., an evangelical Christian charity known for asking donors to sponsor a hungry child, set off an uproar when it announced this week that it would hire Christians in same-sex marriages.

The charity, the nation’s 10th largest, is based in Washington State, where same-sex marriage is legal, and said it intended to present a symbol of “unity” for Christians in an era when controversy over homosexuality is splintering the church.

Instead of the unity it sought, World Vision’s move was swiftly denounced by some prominent evangelical leaders as a “disaster” and a devil-inspired betrayal of biblical morality. Christians proclaimed online that they had canceled their child sponsorships. Less than 48 hours later, World Vision reversed course, calling the decision “a mistake” and pleading for forgiveness.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Evangelicals, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

3 comments on “A NY Times article on the World Vision/same sex marriage stance and then reversal

  1. New Reformation Advocate says:

    The condescension in this NYT piece is undisguised. The sympathy for the original decision is overt, and the longest quote goes to a gay advocate who claims that the vehement reaction from the old guard of the evangelical establismnet merely amounts to the message: “Not on my watch.” As if it can be safely taken for granted that we diehard opponents of the pro-gay agenda are merely fighting a losing battle and trying to keep a cultural retreat from becoming a rout.

    That’s how it looks to our foes on the left. They translate everything we say into their own categories and put their own spin on it. The truth is, what the massive backlash means isn’t merely, “Hey, not so fast. Not on my watch.” No, it means, “Hell no. Never. Not ever. Over my dead body.” But “progressives” just don’t get it.

    Stearns doesn’t get it either. He glosses over a crucial difference in the nature of the issues when he claims that World Vision was merely trying to adopt a neutral stance on the same sex marriage issue in a way comparable to avoiding taking sides on controversial and divisive issues like remarriage, baptism, and women’s ordination, where sponsoring churches are divided. The all-important difference is that in those cases, there is at least plausible support for both sides in Holy Scripture. That is, at least a reasonable case can be made on biblical grounds in those latter cases. Not so with homosexual behavior, or gay marriage. On that polarizing issue, there is absolutely no biblical support whatsoever for the “progressive” position. Zip. Zilch. None. And that makes all the difference.

    I predict that World Vision will suffer some permanent damage over this terrible blunder. As this article notes, quoting a WV spokesman, while some (or even many) of the thousands of people who abruptly canceled their sponsorships have promptly changed their minds and resumed those life-giving sponsorships, “not all” have. And not all will. I predict that a substantial number of World Vision supporters will be migrating to Compassion International and similar groups that also do child sponsorships, but are considerably more staunchly orthodox.

    David Handy+

  2. Jim the Puritan says:

    I vouch for Compassion International. I can’t imagine them ever doing this. The Bible is central to their mission, and to working with children.

  3. New Reformation Advocate says:

    I agree, Jim.

    FWIW, some readers will remember the big stink caused when another child sponsorship agency with Christian roots, CCF or the Christian Christian Fund, based here in Richmond where I live, went public several years ago with its policy of no longer stressing its mission in Christian terms, but merely in humanitarian terms. Lots of us who formerly sponsored a child through CCF (and my wife and I did years ago) switched to other agencies. Especially Compassion Intrnational.

    As I said on a related thread here recently, the foolish original move by the current leadership of World Vision would cause its noble founder, Bob Pierce to weep. Pierce is famous for writing in the flyleaf of his Bible this moving ine: “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God.

    Well, while it’s true that poverty and injustice break the heart of God, and while it’s also true that the callous indifference of so many affluent Christians to the plight of the impoverished Two Thirds World grieves him even more, it doesn’t stop there. When Christian leaders, doubtless with the best of intentions, fall for tempting deceptions spawned by the Father of Lies and lead unsuspecting Christians into heresy and collusion with the Enemy’s work, that too breaks the heart of God.

    David Handy+