World Vision, Same-sex couples, and the Gospel

Yesterday World Vision announced their decision to hire gay Christians in legal same-sex marriages citing that change is a symbol of Christian unity, not compromise. See the Christianity Today article here.

It is true that World Vision is not a church but a para-church organization. Its mission, however, is unashamedly Christian. The recent statement is not too surprising actually but it does have ramifications beyond the harsh criticism and passionate support that will be dolled out by many “Christians” embracing extremely different perspectives on the issue for a plethora of reasons. There are gospel ramifications, which brings me to an important issue that homosexuality in the Christian community only highlights.

The gospel is a grace enabled call to repentance followed by a cleansing of grace, giving us a right standing before God because of the imputed righteousness of Christ. This call to repentance can be received with all its promises or ignored with dire consequence. Receiving the gospel by God’s grace leads to heart change and a lifestyle of worship. This is birthed in part in an understanding of sin and God’s judgment of sin. Redefining sin does not make sin any less sinful. World Vision, as a Christian organization has at least in action declared that, as long as a same-sex marriage is legal, it is an acceptable lifestyle with no need of repentance. This action of acceptance and love is actually very unloving. It presents a false gospel, further confusing people worldwide about eternally significant issues according to the Bible. The gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone, no matter the sin, who would repent and confess Christ as Lord. However, if we as Christians re-write the biblical definition of sin whether directly or indirectly, we send people who have a more politically correct way of sinning, straight to judgment without knowledge of Christ as their propitiation for and Deliverer from the righteous wrath of God. This is tragic.

Satan uses really good people, churches, organizations, etc. to reduce the clarity of the gospel. In our day he is playing this trick around the issue of homosexuality. As Christians, we are to love our neighbors and our brothers and sisters in Christ. To love our unbelieving neighbor is to love them and accept them just as they are, no strings attached with a compelling gospel. Inside biblical Christianity, to love our brothers and sisters is to bear their burdens and to disciple them in the way of Jesus. When we refuse to address sin in the Christian community by applying the grace of the gospel in the midst of repentance we sell the world a false gospel. Unfortunately World Vision, with the best of intentions, is pragmatically adding to the secular argument that homosexuality is not a sin. For homosexuals, this confuses their need for propitiation and reduces their fear of the wrath of God, which in turn falsifies the gospel and muddies their understanding of the love of God for them.

As we think about this, understand that the issue at hand is not homosexuality per se but instead it is precision gospel clarity for all people who sin (which the Bible says is all of us – Romans 3:23). Consider the words of Scripture as you think about this issue.

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance[1]

As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.[2]

24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. [3]

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance[4]

 

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Ro 2:1–4). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[2] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (2 Co 7:9–10). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[3] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (2 Ti 2:24–26). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

[4] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (2 Pe 3:9). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society

  One thought on “World Vision, Same-sex couples, and the Gospel

  1. P. Whitcomb
    March 25, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    Thanks for your article, Brian. I saw their announcement yesterday. How sad! They attempted to ‘assuage’ the Christian community by saying they would still not employ people who were living together but not married. It thought that was very hypocritical…to accept one form of immorality but not another! Sin is sin.

    Like

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