World Vision’s Big Mistake

Post 21 of 247

 “Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.”
- Bob Pierce, founder of World Vision

In a remarkably convoluted announcement this week, one of the largest humanitarian agencies in the world embraced homosexual marriage as normal and acceptable for its employees. The current president of World Vision’s US operations, Richard Stearns, revealed that the board of directors was “overwhelmingly in favor” of “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.”

I, along with millions of Christians who believe God’s Word is the reliable standard revealing how we are to live, were shocked! It is difficult to comprehend how a group of Christian leaders could spend considerable time in discussions and prayer and make such an unbiblical decision. Did they just cave in to the ever increasing pressure from those who deny or change God’s Word into a lie? All believers will face similar fierce assaults on their faith and convictions.

Two days later, they reversed their decision. In a statement admitting “a mistake,” they vowed to return to their employment policy enforcing “faithfulness within the biblical covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.”

If the initial announcement had come from UNICEF or Amnesty International, there would only be a collective yawn. But given that it came from a longstanding, reputable Christian organization with deep ties to evangelical speakers and entertainers, it came as quite a shock to many. Along with us, many leaders in the church voiced their opposition to the decision.

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, wrote, “The worst aspect of the World Vision U.S. policy shift is the fact that it will mislead the world about the reality of sin and the urgent need of salvation. Willingly recognizing same-sex marriage and validating openly homosexual employees in their homosexuality is a grave and tragic act that confirms sinners in their sin — and that is an act that violates the gospel of Christ.”

Bob Pierce left World Vision and founded Samaritan’s Purse in 1970. Franklin Graham, who was heavily influenced by Pierce and succeeded him as the head of Samaritan’s Purse, said, “World Vision maintains that their decision is based on unifying the church – which I find offensive – as if supporting sin and sinful behavior can unite the church.” I agreed with his assessment. Supernatural unity only occurs when we become one with the Father. It is not simply drawing a consensus among men. And it is certainly not drawing a consensus that defies God’s word.

According to the Old and New Testaments, homosexuality is a sin and “contrary to the sound doctrinethat conforms to the gospel…” (1 Timothy 1:11) In Romans, Paul described homosexuality as a “degrading passion,” not an equivalent to marriage. He says that those who practice it are given over to a “depraved mind.” He also has equally strong words against those who “give hearty approval to those who practice” these things. World Vision’s short-term approval briefly put them at odds with biblical truth.

Jesus claimed that the world hated Him because He testified that its works are evil (John 7:7). By proclaiming homosexuality evil, we may be hated by some, too. World Vision’s realignment will bring them far more vitriol from unbelievers than the outcry they received from believers. Yet we must align ourselves with scripture, not the world’s ever-changing ideas of right and wrong. For the believer, there can be no unity with the world’s ways of thinking unless those thoughts line up with God’s truth.

Churches and ministries across the country will be forced to face the pressure World Vision faced. Will we stand firm on God’s Word or will we confirm people in their sin and their false identity? Confirming sin through organizational policy is drastically different than hiring those who have come out of any sinful lifestyle, repent, and are seeking to follow the Lord. Many churches and ministries employ people with dark pasts and who may continue to battle with weakness, but they don’t redefine it as appropriate or acceptable. God chose and commissioned the apostle Paul, but only after a massive change of direction occurred in his life. This is the redemptive part of Christianity. God’s standard must move us; we must never move the standard!

Our organization, LIFE Outreach, would certainly consider hiring a recovering homosexual, or individual battling any form of compulsive behavior, who desires to step into God’s truth and forsake the ways of the world. But we would not knowingly hire anyone who defiantly lives a life in direct contradiction to God’s Word. That would be blatant disobedience on our part. We could not claim to be a Christian organization if we built a team that consciously and purposely disregarded God’s Word and moral standards.

There are many former homosexuals who need a safe place of restoration and discipleship. But any church or organization that forsakes the truth cannot be that place of refuge for those coming to God. Our Father’s heart breaks for all those trapped by any destructive, sinful practice. Our hearts should break for them, too. Normalizing or trivializing any sin is not love; it is spiritual compromise. God will not bless this – ever. Openly rebelling against God’s Word, against the laws of nature and of God cannot be justified. No practice could be more obviously unnatural than the same sex union. Trying to justify it as normal and natural is impossible. It is as foolish as wiring two male or female electrical or internet plugs together and wondering why there is no power or clear signal. It is against the natural. It is beyond foolish. It is in fact rebellion. We are to love them as we should any family member who battles a challenge or weakness. But we must not openly approve what God calls sinful or inappropriate.

I am grateful for all of the work World Vision has done to help hungry, hurting people around the world. Their bizarre week of wavering could hamper their efforts, which would be tragic. But we should never forsake someone’s eternal spiritual condition while trying to help their temporary earthly condition. If we are to share life, we must not embrace the bondage of sin.

LIFE Outreach has supported some of their past disaster efforts, and we extend forgiveness and pray important lessons have been learned.  I hope and pray that Christians who support them and work for them will be led by His Spirit so they can continue to alleviate suffering while holding to the pure and undefiled Word of the living God and Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pressure from the spirit of darkness will continually intensify in the attempt to conform believers and organizations to the image of the world. Suited up in the full armor of God, Christians must stand firm against the “schemes of the devil” in Holy Spirit power, love and truth.

This article was written by James Robison

22 comments:

LindaApril 18, 2014 at 1:26 amReply

By personal choice I stopped living the homosexual lifestyle. I asked God to help me be celibate and to remove the sex feelings. That was in 1993. Life has been a struggle but Jesus takes care of all. Thank you for being faithful to the Bible and Jesus. There are those who seek the truth and Jesus always is faithful to show us. Blessings to all.

john robertsApril 4, 2014 at 11:29 amReply

his love, not doctrine, is our standard against sin. for being gay(the bonded attraction between 2 of the same gender) to be a sin it must come against his love. those who are gay live the fruit of his spirit,gal5, his love in their lives and marriages being gay, as heterosexuals do being heterosexual.

James R. RobisonApril 4, 2014 at 8:06 pmReply

Unfortunately, there is no scriptural basis for this statement. God loves us even while we commit sin. Nothing can separate you from his love. Given those truths, if your statement was true, there would be no such thing as sin. What sin does is separate us from His presence, sometimes temporarily and, when we reject Christ’s sacrifice and deny Him, permanently.

LisaApril 3, 2014 at 2:22 pmReply

I thank GOD for you and Ms. Betty. I pray for you both regularly for strength, and peace, and always that you both be in great health! You two are very precious! Keep on keeping on. God is in control and may we who call ourselves Christians stand up as such and continuously be kneeling in prayer on behalf of each other and all who need to know the character and love and forgiveness of Christ! Agape love and healing hugs to you both! :) \o/\o/\o/\o/\o/

PS. As soon as I can get back to work I’ll be purchasing the “Invisible” book, in the mean time I’m telling everyone on facebook and family, friends every where about it. I think we all need to read it. :)

Carolyn WigginsApril 1, 2014 at 12:02 pmReply

Thank you for your stand on World Vision’s recent change. WE MUST have ministers to stand up for the truth of God’s Word, even if it means losing Government financial support. God is our provider…not man. World Vision suncumb to the World’s Vision..SAD!

Patty BarkerApril 1, 2014 at 11:30 amReply

Thank you, Bro. Robinson, for your conviction in standing firm on the Word of God!

Alan BurnsMarch 29, 2014 at 2:59 pmReply

James,
I’m saving this excellent column for reference.

Judy Walker-WarehamMarch 29, 2014 at 1:33 pmReply

I feel very sad when I think of this situation.. I have been a sponsor of several children for the last 24 years. Im really going to have to seek the Lords guidance in this matter…My money does assist the needy children, but it also pays the salary of these decision makers> What would Jesus Do?

Patrick VollingMarch 28, 2014 at 4:31 pmReply

The question should be not so much as “well it’s OK now as they gone back to the original policy”, rather should this leadership still be in this position. The concern is that are they so lacking in knowledge of the Word of God, or they are willing to bow to political pressure as to not “offend” anyone. Nothing is un-Christ like about keeping from the sin(that’s right, homosexuality is still sin), and all appearance of it. Time for a leadership change.

David BroussardMarch 27, 2014 at 9:53 pmReply

I am so thankful that they changed their minds on this matter. Truly the lines are being drawn in the sand and the Christian Church had better get this one right. Everything that can be shaken will be shaken and the shaking has started. The time is short before the return of The Lord. We must be about our Father’s business and if we don’t speak out when we see our churches fall into error, then we are held responsible for staying neutral. God help us to stand strong in our convictions because the battle is getting ready to heat up! Choose this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve The Lord.

RJDJMarch 27, 2014 at 6:52 pmReply

Amen! Amen!! Amen!!!

CatherineMarch 27, 2014 at 3:54 pmReply

FINALLY, a clear and understandable message from you on homosexuality and gay marriage. Lets pray that it is not too little too late.

James RobisonMarch 28, 2014 at 4:54 pmReply

You must not be reading my articles consistently because I have been continually addressing this topic, and in my commentary on February 20 that’s all I talked about.

ChrisMarch 27, 2014 at 3:11 pmReply

I was saddened by the initial announcement and I know what God says. However, I read the entire article in Christianity Today. World Vision already had allowed homosexuals to work for them. They had in place a pledge for employees that said they would be chaste if unmarried and would be faithful if married. Their new allowance did not endorse homosexuality, but was targeted at the marital status. It was a slippery slope, to be sure, and I was concerned for what others might do after this set some kind of precedent. We must be careful to quote accurately. They said nothing, that I could find, about homosexuality being normal nor acceptable. If I missed that, please accept my apologies. In order for us as Believers to be taken seriously, we must be careful in quoting incorrectly. We know so well how often the world fails to observe that when quoting anything we say. We can only criticize what has accurately happened, not what we perceive to have happened.

After being accurate, we can then offer our commentary and suggestions. That is the way to increase our credibility and for us to stand for what Jesus wants, which is for us to speak truth, and then to go after what is wrong.

There are many ways they could have made a statement about this that would have stood for God’s Word while keeping their mission alive. They failed.

Kathleen CoarsonMarch 27, 2014 at 2:54 pmReply

Brother James Robison
Thank you so much for your right and righteous word in response to a very wrong turn for World Vision. I thank God for your strong stand for Jesus Christ and Truth.

JanMarch 27, 2014 at 2:31 pmReply

Love you and Betty….very well said. Thank you

Dave EavesMarch 27, 2014 at 2:20 pmReply

James: thanks for your strong stand for the issue exposed by WV’s lack of Biblical backbone. You spoke with solid words of disgust while offering grace to a fallen group in our Christian community. God bless you for your spiritual leadership!

BRO. JOHN POORMarch 27, 2014 at 2:05 pmReply

THANK GOD FOR YOUR WORDS OF WISDOM I TOTALLY AGREE WITY EVERY WORD YOU SAID. GOD BLESS YOU JOHN POOR MARCH 27, 2014

Linda MurrayMarch 27, 2014 at 1:12 pmReply

Finally someone speaks the truth as it aligns with the Word of God.
You are indeed Blessed. Thank you for standing up and speaking up.

Sherry WhiteselMarch 27, 2014 at 12:22 pmReply

Beautifully worded. truth coupled with grace I know this would please the heart of God. Let’s pray that in their backlash to come they will stand strong and not give in to the demands of the world.

Pam BranchMarch 27, 2014 at 11:44 amReply

I agree.

Jamie DoyleMarch 27, 2014 at 11:06 amReply

Thank you so much Brother Robison – this hits the nail on the head!

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