Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Just so sad

I expect you have heard of World Vision [In my original post the link given for World Vision was to the UK branch, as I assumed the UK and US branches would be the same.  Apparently not.  I learned from Lynda P in the comments following this post that the two branches have different policies, and there is no gender orientation discrimination in the UK staffing policy.  My apologies for misleading any earlier readers – the link should now be to World Vision USA]the child sponsorship organization.  They help the village/community and family of each child sponsored, working to create infrastructures offering clean water, employment opportunities and education, etc.  They also intervene to save sponsored chidden from harmful traditional practices; for example when the parents of an 11-year-old sponsored girl was about to be given in marriage to a man in his 40s, she was frightened and planned to run away, but World Vision heard about it and got it stopped.

Recently World Vision announced that they are happy to include among their employees people who are in a same-sex marriage.  This caused a furore in the evangelical Christian world.  The Assemblies of God considered withdrawing their support and relocating it to other evangelical charities which tend to be less experienced and less effective than World Vision but might refuse employment to Christians in same-sex marriages.  3 million Assemblies of God members support World Vision.  In effect, the evangelical Christian world said to World Vision: "Discriminate against homosexual people and shut them out, or we will bring you down".

World Vision is part of the World Evangelical Alliance, so this decision of theirs would have had the effect of pushing forward change in attitudes towards homosexuality within the evangelical Christian world.

But, I guess the executive at World Vision must have had an emergency meeting and decided their primary responsibility was to the world’s children rather than to fighting for more generalized social justice.

So they reversed their decision.  The bullies won.

This breaks my heart.

Makes no difference what a person thinks about gay marriage: coercion and bullying are not what Jesus had in mind for his church, and nor is withdrawing support from an organisation helping the world's poorest children, in order to drive through an ideological agenda that has no bearing on that work.

If anyone, anywhere, is crowing over this as a victory, they need to start over with reading the Gospel, because this misses the point of Christian faith by a hundred million miles.


Rose Humphrey said...


The only comfort I can draw is that the children who have already had a rough life, weren't sacrificed for a principle.

Pen Wilcock said...

By World Vision, indeed. x

Suze said...

Personally I hate these tactics. There is only loss as far as I can see.

Pen Wilcock said...

Yep. x

Pen Wilcock said...

Lynda P commented:
"It was actually the USA branch of World Vision who made the decision. Please see the statement by World Vision UK "

Thanks, Lynda! I chose not to publish the link you included to Chaplain Mike's post because I thought it might be distasteful to some people who read here, and the descriptions of gay sex included apply equally to heterosexual practices. I'm not sure publishing on his own blog the comments of Thabiti Anyabwile was the brightest thing Chaplain Mike ever did, though it certainly made the point about the visceral revulsion some people evidently experience (I do not). xx

Nearly Martha said...

It has been very depressing watching this scrap. Whatever your feelings on a person's sexuality - this is just an embarassing mess. Makes me a bit uncomfortable to see Christians excluding ANYONE.

BLD in MT said...

That is sad. We can always find things to disagree on, but why can't we just work on the problems that affect us all, like improving the lives of these innocent children. Thanks for sharing though. It should be allowed to happen silently.

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi friends - blessings on your day xx

Beth, I think you meant "shouldn't" (?) xx