Today, a World Vision employee wrote to me, in regards to that post, thanking me for the humour it added into, what I can only assume, has been an impossibly tough week. It broke my heart to imagine what those on the ground must be experiencing when 2000 people pull their sponsorships within a few hours.
Well, today the absurd got absurder.
This is sad.
The letter from the board citied a mistake. They re-committed themselves to the “biblical understanding of marriage” (between one man and at least one woman, I guess).
But let’s not fool ourselves.
This is about bullying. This is about the same lobby that managed to get a secular cable network, A&E, to re-instate Phil Robertson, after he said some of the most vile and racist bigoted things you could say and still be published in GQ.
If A&E caved, World Vision didn’t stand a chance.
Evangelicals, especially conservative pastors, shame on you. Double shame on you, Gospel Coalition.
I know that change is hard, I know that you are reacting to the loss of your privilege in the world. And we all know that this reversal is temporary.
As much as I wonder how conservative, American, Republican, culture-war, nation-worship can can still be, in any meaningful sense, called Christianity, I am certainly not going to say farewell to Evangelicals, as they did to World Vision.
But I will offer this rebuke: As your elder in faith, stop it. Stop acting like a bunch of teenagers and grow up. The I-am-taking-my-ball-and-going-home attitude is old and tired.
As one who has been ordained into a church and denomination that has had to get past many of our own demons, I know that growing up isn’t easy. But the world needs you to grow up, and soon.
In the meantime, for those who are completely lost, saddened and disheartened with what has gone with World Vision this week, let me say something:
World Vision is not the only Christian NGO out there. In fact, there are many who won’t succumb to the Evangelical Lobby anytime in the future. I am not saying stop supporting World Vision, not by any means. Keep signing up for sponsorships, don’t assume those 2000 are coming back. Keep sponsoring those kids you are already sponsoring!
But check out the Christian NGOs below as way of knowing that World Vision is not responsible as an NGO to hold within it the entire diversity of the church. Just as many pointed out, the work World Vision does with communities all over the world is the same, regardless of their employment policies.
Check them out knowing that, in fact, World Vision made the best decision for the communities they work with. World Vision was put into an impossible, no-win, situation and I think they did what was best. They asked, “How can we help as many people as possible?” And so they did what they could to stop the financial bleed.
In the meantime, also keep fighting for LBGT rights, fight for them in all areas of the Church. Fight for them knowing that World Vision’s reversal doesn’t change anything. The policy change on Monday was still a watershed moment for the church, today’s reversal just means the hill to climb is taller than we thought.
Just because the Gospel Coalition is afraid of Gay Terrorists, doesn’t mean we have to fear their conservative backlash. It only means we have them on the ropes.