On World Vision’s Reversal

March 27, 2014 — 3 Comments

World Vision has reversed its decision to allow the employment of gay Christians in committed relationships and reaffirmed its prior policy that it will employ only celibate single people or those who practice fidelity in a heterosexual marriage. (Comments on their previous position are here.)

This saddens me, not because I endorse homosexual behavior in any context—I affirm that God created sex as the unifying, creative act between a man and woman, even though most people don’t use it that way.

I am saddened by what this episode reveals about the state of the church. There is deep division and great anger over the question of homosexuality, and confusion even among some of our brightest leaders on how to respond to the cultural challenge.

It is unfortunate, too, that Christians will likely be perceived as angry bigots by our own neighbors, and that gay people have been told once again that they are not welcome in the church.

Team, we can do better.

On the positive side, Jesus is alive, it’s a beautiful day, and we’ve all got good work to do.

Lawrence W. Wilson

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I write about life and faith and what it means to be fully human and a fully devoted follower of Jesus. I've written a few books including A Different Kind of Crazy and Why Me? Straight Talk about Suffering. When I have ideas that might help you transform your life and community, I post them here.
  • Karl Eastlack

    While I appreciate your desire to love your neighbor in the spirit of Christ (I have the same desire), your argument that we must, in order to show our love, hire an openly gay person (married or not) is weak. It suggests that secular culture should determine our actions. Are you saying that churches ought to hire an openly, practicing gay person? It sounds like it to me, based on your earlier comments regarding WV, but I wanted you to clarify in your own words vs my potential misunderstanding…:)
    I led a church in Buffalo NY that had several openly gay, practicing singles and couples. They came because they knew they were loved by us (and me specifically). I hugged them, they ate and fellowshipped with us. We affirmed their incredible worth to God. We also tried to lead them to Christ as Lord Who would help them gain victory over their sin. Love AND truth. Both/and. To employ a practicing homosexual in a Christian organization (WV or church) is to affirm their lifestyle as well as their “personhood”. Our position on pre-and-extra-marital sin (as well as any sin) was “you are forgiven. God and sin no more). Homosexuality is a sin. Clearly. Gossiping is a sin. Clearly. We also dealt with gossipers in the same loving manner. (you get my point).
    Secular companies are not (and should not be) permitted to discriminate due to the laws of our country (and fairness according to the constitution). WV is not a secular company. They recently went all the way to the Supreme Court to argue that point. To choose to hire a gay person is to choose which side of the issue they are now on. Thank God they listened to the chastisement of the Body of Christ.
    You are correct in that the Church will need to, and has always needed to, figure out how to love a sinner (count me a member of that group) and yet not affirm their sin. Not affirming sin is a loving act done by loving people. Harsh, hate-filled words and actions are not Christ-like and are, in fact, sin. (Interesting). The answer is Love and Truth. Both/and.
    To equate drawing a logical, loving “behavioral” line to being unloving is like a child saying “you don’t love me” just because he/she is denied an ice cream cone due to bad behavior. The “adults in the room” know the difference. Love sometimes means saying “no”.
    I know you know all of this, friend. I just needed to put into words my take on the WV thing.

    • http://www.lawrencewilson.com/p/about-me.html Lawrence W. Wilson

      Karl, thanks for these thoughtful comments. As your neighbor in Western NY days, I really admired the inclusiveness you were able to model at Eastern Hills. That’s exactly the attidue and practice I hope more of us will be able to adopt.

      Regarding WV, an importnat point for me is that they are not a church. Their mission is not to make disciples of Jesus Christ and teach them to obey everything he commanded. They’re a large company that provides disaster relief and other services. As such, I’m not convinced that thier hiring practices constitute either a blessing or a condemnation of each employee’s lifestyle.

      I do think the church is different than other contexts. Here, we do equate leadership with an endorsement of the person’s belief, character, and practice. So we must model what we believe and teach in hiring both paid staff and volunteers.

      As you well put it, we all need to find ways to love and welcome people while pointing them to Jesus, who has the power to trasnform each of our lives.

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