In My (hopefully) Humble Opinion…
Many people blogged and tweeted in response to WV’s initial statement and then the retraction 2 days later, as it happened. The evangelical blogosphere and twitter-verse were white hot on this topic for 3 straight days.
But now that a couple of weeks have passed, and the issue has settled and died down, I am going to weigh in with my own untimely thoughts 🙂
And what I want to talk about is actually the 2nd saddest outcome of this whole issue – the first being the kids and communities who lost their sponsors, and possibly therefore their very livelihood as a result of this debacle.
I’m referring to Gandhi’s quote above. (This is a quote that has been attributed to Gandhi at least, although I couldn’t find an actual source. But I wanted to express that sentiment). What does the response of America’s evangelicals say to the rest of the world about Christianity?? What kind of irreparable damage has been done to our witness? It is a tragedy because it has further given credence to the perception that christians are full of hate and prejudice.
John 8 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
If you look at the story of Jesus and the aldulterous woman who was to be stoned, he asked those around if there was anyone who had not sinned that could throw the first stone. She was a woman who had sinned, and it was sexually immoral sin – which the old testament says she should be stoned for. Fortunately under the new covenant of grace, the sexually immoral do not need to be stoned anymore! Any reference in the Bible to homosexuality is made alongside sexual immorality and includes adoltery, lusting etc. Since most of us have at least lusted in our hearts, we pretty much all fall into that category.
If we look at what Paul says to the Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
I think it’s pretty clear that all these sins, which humans are inclined to participate in, can be forgiven through Jesus.
I am not sure why World Vision (US) needs to have a statement in their hiring policy regarding sexual orientation. They have fought for the right to be able to hire based on religious belief, why not just leave it at that. An organization like Focus on the Family, whose goal is to fight for traditional family values, might want to include such statements in their hiring policy and that makes sense to me, but I do not think it is necessary for a christian humanitarian organization like World Vision.
In my opinion, it’s time the evangelical community quit harping on the homosexual issue and starting demonstrating what James refers to as ‘religion that is pure and undefiled before God’ which is to visit widows and orphons in their distress. In other words – Start showing LOVE to your neighbours, to those in need, help others and leave the judging to God!