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So if you haven’t heard yet…

World Vision released a statement on March 24, 2014 saying they will begin to allow members of legally married same-sex couples to be employed by their U.S. branch. This statement and ensuing interviews were further reported in Christianity Today’s ARTICLE here.

World Vision made careful statements to say they are not endorsing same-sex marriage, neither are they trying to overturn traditional marriage; their hope is to promote unity. The position they aspire to take on the same-sex marriage argument is the one on the sidelines. Christianity Today quotes World Vision as saying,

And the change has been painful to watch. “It’s been heartbreaking to watch this issue rip through the church,” he said. “It’s tearing churches apart, tearing denominations apart, tearing Christian colleges apart, and even tearing families apart. Our board felt we cannot jump into the fight on one side or another on this issue. We’ve got to focus on our mission. We are determined to find unity in our diversity.”

Up till now in the story, I’m tracking. I’m following. I have thoughts and questions, but overall, the situation is making sense.

Where I become lost is in how the Evangelical church has responded to the situation within the last day.

Apparently Evangelicals everywhere are pulling their financial support(of children) because of who World Vision chooses to employ.

Further, said Evangelicals are blaming the LGBTQ community(and Christians within that community) for their decision to pull their financial support.

Evangelical Christians choose to stop giving money to children in third world countries…and it’s the LGBTQ community’s fault…I’m really confused.

Actually, I’m appalled.

This seems to be yet another case of people valuing a theological stance more than people.

Think with me, of what is happening and how this sounds. What if I said to you, “I’ve been sending money every month to a child in Africa, via World Vision. My financial contribution supports food, clean water, education, and maybe even medical care. But now that World Vision is going to be hiring Gay people, even though those people are committed Christians, in committed relationships, and may not even personally interact with my African child, I’m choosing to not send money to my child.”

How does this in any way communicate the Gospel of Christ?

Again, apparently the issue is about who World Vision chooses to employ. But do we take issue with World Vision staff members who are prideful? Gossipers? Gluttonous? Prone to Anger? Committers of other sins?

I understand that same-sex marriage is a hot issue. I understand that because of what the Bible says, Christians and non-Christians have very big differences in beliefs about this issue. For that matter, I understand that Christians and other Christians have different beliefs about this issue. But why should innocent children suffer just because we privileged people in America can’t work out our differences?

What a sad day it is when a person’s commitment to a theological stance(that isn’t even essential to the gospel) is stronger than their commitment to loving people.

Because that’s what happens when people invest money in other people’s lives. They make the Gospel tangible in the world. Money being the language of the world, investing money demonstrates that the Gospel is real in a pretty potent way. Now, essentially what certain Christians are saying to the children they were supporting through World Vision is, “I’m sorry, but my theological stance is more important than you getting your basic needs met.”

I want to be able to say this whole news story is a mistake, that this can’t be, that Christians would never ever act this way.

Alas…I can’t say that. Nor can I say I’m terribly surprised.

I feel really sad and really disappointed in my people.

There must be a better way to live. More than that, there must be a better way to handle differences in belief than leaving Third World children un-supported and vulnerable.

We are all of us Christians on a mission. Or rather, a Commission, a Great One, directly from Our Savior. We are to be about the business of making disciples. Preaching the Gospel, making Jesus known. A little later down the road, we’re to practice a true religion that is caring for orphans, widows, and, by extrapolation, other societal undesirables. Let’s not lose sight of the centrality of our Gospel Mission. Let’s not get so caught up in how we disagree with people that we forget to take care of the poor and helpless. Dear Church, let’s not be defined so much by how opposed we are to same-sex couples as we are by how much we’re in love with our Savior.

And for God’s sake, support the work of World Vision and send your money to a third world kid!!

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