A Response to the Response to World Vision’s Decision . . . Er, Retraction . . .
Befuddled yet? If so, Satan says great! That’s right where he wants us. After all, if he can’t win us or blind us, then he will work hard to scramble us.
Case in point recently when many Christians were up in arms over World Vision’s policy change that allowed same-sex marriages to be recognized within the organization. As a conservative Christian who loves Jesus as my Savior and his Word as ultimate truth, and who supports the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman, I can’t help but be deeply saddened as the story continued to unfold. But not so much by their policy change as by the shocking number of sponsors who, I believe, chose to fight a lesser battle at the expense of the greater one.
You see, by various accounts, several thousand sponsors withdrew their support after WV announced the policy change. Several thousand.
Several thousand children had food yanked from their hungry mouths because a bunch of Jesus’ followers were more committed to a battle in a culture war than to the children they had committed to provide for. Several thousand innocents were treated with lesser value than fighting for a cause in what strikes me as a misguided way. But we haven’t heard much about that. Yet, nowhere in the Bible do I see Jesus set a precedent that sacrifices the innocent to make others bend to his truth. Many of those sponsors may have switched their sponsorships to other organizations, but I do not see how that justifies bailing on the precious ones they had previously committed to, as if an individual child can be discarded if the funds are shifted to save another. One is pretty much like the next?
I am so thankful Jesus does not “love” my children that way, or me for that matter.
The truly disturbing issue is that so many people who call Jesus Lord made children castoffs to prove their point. Apparently to an alarmingly large group, the point was more precious than the person. That is nothing to mince words over; this seems wrong to me, and I think it sends the wrong message about Christ’s love. Then when WV retracted their change, many of those sponsors asked for their kids back. I have felt sick over this kind of discernment in the Christian community because I don’t think it rings true with how Jesus modeled love or truth. If we Christians withhold our Savior’s love–his faithful love–to prove some point, then shame on us a thousand times over. I think Satan won a big battle against evangelicals who didn’t keep the higher priority the higher priority; he did it insidiously as usual, and it grieves me.
The only way to love as Jesus does is to keep our eyes firmly focused on him and study how he blended love and truth.
Today I am lingering over another chapter of Henri Nouwen’s In the Name of Jesus. He writes, “Do you know the incarnate God? In our world of loneliness and despair, there is an enormous need for men and women who know the heart of God, a heart that forgives, cares, reaches out and wants to heal. In that heart there is no suspicion, no vindictiveness, no resentment, and not a tinge of hatred. It is a heart that wants only to give love and receive love in response. It is a heart that suffers immensely because it sees the magnitude of human pain and the great resistance to trusting the heart of God who wants to offer consolation and hope” (from “The Question: ‘Do You Love Me?'”)
I love Jesus’ truth and I love his church. I need his truth and the body of Christ. But his truth cannot be offered apart from his love. They are inseparable. So must go our hearts and therefore our actions as his church.
If we claim to be children of the King, saved by Jesus’ grace, seekers of his heart, then God help us let’s act like it.
These three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13, NIV