Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Of Charities and Pharisees

On Monday, World Vision, a Washington-state-based Christian charity that serves 100 million people (particularly children) in 100 countries announced that they were changing the internal policies in their U.S. organization to permit hiring and extending employee benefits to gay Christians in same-sex marriages (same-sex marriage is legal in Washington state).

Large numbers of Evangelical Christians were apoplectic at the news.  They began threatening en masse to withdraw financial support from World Vision.  According to Christianity Today, "The day after the announcement was made, the Assemblies of God denomination urged its members to consider dropping their support."

Let that sink in. The Assemblies of God urged its 3 million members to stop supporting World Vision's ministry of feeding the poor and educating children and caring for "the least of these" because World Vision had implemented a policy of fair treatment of its gay Christian employees.  Thousands of other Evangelical Christians threatened to follow suit.

Today, World Vision reversed their position, calling their Monday decision "a mistake."

Two tragic things have resulted from this bruhaha: First, the world saw a grand public demonstration of Evangelical Christians behaving like Pharisees. Second, LGBT people once more had the rug pulled out from under them in the name of Christ. 

World Vision does tremendous work all over the globe and that won't change.  But it is a real shame that their step forward in grace was coerced into an awkward step backwards by sanctimonious bullies.

Addendum:  Although World Vision has "repented" and reversed their decision, many Evangelical Christians are claiming that the initial decision showed such a lapse (and exposed World Vision's "true intentions") that the organization should neither be forgiven nor trusted nor supported.  Expect a purge in the leadership at World Vision and a loss of donations from the self-righteous.


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