Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Some Things Are Worth Dividing Over

Some Things Are Worth Dividing Over

Updated Below
If you are a young person reading the blog, please get your parents to read the blog first today. I am discussing a sensitive subject they may want to discuss with you before they allow you to read it. Thank you very much.

I read a disturbing news story on several news sites Tuesday morning. I followed the links back to the original story in Christianity Today The President of World Vision, Richard Stearns, announced that World Vision would now be hiring practicing homosexuals that are professing Christians in legally recognized marriages. 

My first thoughts were, "What? Did I read that right?" After I read it again my second thoughts were, "There is some serious twisting of the facts going on here because this is not the World Vision ministry that so many of us know and love." After following the links back to the original story and reading Mr. Stearns actual quotes my next thoughts were, "I think I am going to be sick."

It is true. World Vision, a ministry that touches millions of lives in the poorest parts of the world; World Vision that has set the standard in the way that non profit ministries should be run; World Vision that has led the way in fighting the battle through the courts and arguing that ministries should be exempt from federal hiring practices; World Vision, one of the top 10 non profits in the world has jumped off the moral cliff.

World Vision has long held their US employees to a high standard of conduct. Employees had to be professing Christians and agree to abstain from fornication if single and adultery if married. They will still require single employees to be abstinent whether heterosexual or homosexual but practicing homosexuals in legal marriages will be hired if they profess to be Christians.

Neutrality and Unity

All of that is shocking but one of the most shocking parts to me is this. They are making this policy change in the name of neutrality and unity. I have pasted some of the quotes below and you can read the whole story at the link above but they are basically saying we do not want to be in the middle of a church argument. The church is in a big fight and we want to stay out of it. We refuse to be forced into taking sides. 

You want to be neutral so you are now allowing same sex marriage in your employees?

What? Does any reasonable person see that as neutral? You do not want to fight. You do not want to take sides. You want to take the high road. So you are changing a long standing policy to prove your open-mindedness and your neutrality. You will now employ practicing homosexuals to prove you are neutral on the issue of homosexual marriage. Really?

That is not neutral. That is firmly taking a side. Number one, the new policy is an admission they believe that practicing homosexuals can be Christians. Secondly they are sanctioning expanding the definition of marriage no matter how hard they try to deny that they are putting their approval on it. Mr. Stearns went to great length to highlight their support of traditional marriage between one man and one woman while defending their blatant approval of homosexual marriage in their employees. Sorry, Mr. Stearns, that argument is intellectually dishonest.

I do not believe there is really any neutral ground on the issue of same sex marriage. You are either for it or against it. But if there is neutral ground on this subject, the new World Vision policy is not it. Here is their explanation in a nutshell. We believe in traditional marriage but we have no dog in this fight so we will hire you if you are in a same sex marriage and you are a Christian. Again, really?

Mr. Stearns also goes out of his way to assure everybody that all they really want to do promote is Christian unity.

Unity is wonderful. Unity is Godly. However, unity that ignores real differences and Godly principles that really matter is not Godly unity at all. I refuse to break fellowship over doctrinal positions or church issues that have no eternal consequences. There are matters of opinion and preference that are essentially unimportant in the grand scheme of things. But some things are worth dividing over.

There are Biblical truths and foundational doctrines that are worth defending. We may debate, argue and banter about a lot of things but some things are worth dividing over. We must love each other. We must try to do our best reach common ground. We must be tolerant, patient and kind. We must strive for Christian unity. But some things are worth dividing over.

Homosexuality and same sex marriage are not the most important issues that have ever been or will be addressed by the church. There are doctrines, disciplines, creeds and positions that are ultimately more significant to the body of Christ. But the church's stand on homosexuality and same sex marriage is under a massive attack so we must give an answer.

I have a quote I have used in time past that I can not lay my hand on at this moment. It states in part that a man is a coward if he stand firmly on every point except the one point being contested at the moment. 

There is much truth under attack in our day. There is always some Biblical principle being pummeled. Traditional marriage, morality, decency and purity are the targets of the current barrage. There will be other days to defend the Deity of Christ, the Trinity, salvation by the blood of Jesus and the existence of Heaven and Hell. We must defend the place in the wall that is being advanced upon. That place at this moment is the sanctity of marriage, the God given distinctions between men and women and every moral aspect of sexuality and marriage.

We are told that we must concentrate on the big issues of the Bible and allow these smaller things to work themselves out. We must not focus so much time and energy on trivial matters. 

First, I must say that no Biblical truth is a trivial. Secondly, this is the area that is currently under heavy bombardment from our secular society and our worldly church. We must stand up and proclaim the integrity of God's Word.

We are witnessing a huge push by homosexual activists to change the moral fabric of the USA. They are making great strides in the courts, pop culture, the churches and in public opinion. We who hold to and dare to proclaim the truth of God's Word, no matter how loving and tolerant we are, can not be tolerated by those that push their radical homosexual agenda. We are now the radicals. We are the weirdos. We are the ones disturbing the unity.

I will do my best to live in unity with my neighbor and to love my fellowman in spite of what they might believe and how abhorrent their lifestyle might be in my mind. I will strive to demonstrate love for everybody that will allow me to do so. I will preach the Gospel, the gift of salvation and the power of the blood of Jesus Christ to radically change lives. I will strive to deliver that message with patience, gentleness, meekness, kindness and love. As much as lies within me I will live peaceably with all men and to love my neighbor as myself.

However, I refuse to walk in unity with those IN THE CHURCH that reject the clear teaching of scripture and " evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" (Isaiah 5:20)

I will not unify with those IN THE CHURCH that sanction, approve, condone or otherwise endorse homosexuality and same sex marriage. 

Again, these are not the most important issues in the church but they happen to be the areas that the enemy of our souls is attacking today.

World Vision will not receive a dime of support from us. They have revealed that they are not really Christian in nature no matter how much good they have done or will do in the future. I will not voluntarily give the money God has given me to pay the salary of a person doing "Christian" work when they are not even trying to live by Christian principles. In fact they are denying the very Christian principles I believe in. There is no possibility of unity there.

Some things are worth dividing over and World Vision has crossed a definite Biblical line and I will not join them on their side. Yes, that makes me the bigot in their eyes. The church that has not changed is suddenly the bad guys. We are accused of bringing division and disunity for believing and preaching the truths the church has always believed and preached. World Vision says unify with us as we embrace sin in our organization. I refuse. Some things are worth dividing over.

Three things will be interesting to see. 

1. Will ministries that have aligned themselves with the cause of World Vision break ranks with them now? There are many southern gospel groups that have worked hard to raise money for World Vision. Will they stand on principle? I have a feeling that some groups will be vocal about pulling away and standing for what is right and others maybe not so much. It will be interesting to see.

2. Will World Vision lose support over this decision? They are obviously worried about that but they are pretty confident they will not suffer a net loss. I hope that Christians will unite for right and drop their support of World Vision and others like them that are violating clear Christian principles. There are many other worthy ministries that could do more to help the poor and spread the Gospel with our support. I suspect World Vision has done their homework and know pretty much what to expect from their supporters. I pray they are wrong.

3. IF World Vision loses support and IF they publicly correct their course will they regain trust and support? Maybe. But for me, they have revealed too much of who they really are and what they really believe for me to trust a sudden change of heart back to the truth.

God help us in these last days. Truth and Godliness is under assault. Darkness is rising and threatening to prevail but Light wins in the end. Christ will conquer. The church will be victorious. It may look like wickedness has the upper hand now but I have read the back of the book and I know how the story ends. Praise God.

Love, pray and be kind. But be willing to stand for the truth.


World Vision has reversed their decision to endorse same sex marriage in their hiring practices. I have not had a chance to read the article thoroughly yet but you can read it HERE.

The complete story in Christianity Today is Here and I have pasted a few quotes from the story below.

"Denominations disagree on many, many things: on divorce and remarriage, modes of baptism, women in leadership roles in the church, beliefs on evolution, etc., so our practice has always been to defer to the authority and autonomy of local churches and denominational bodies on matters of doctrine that go beyond the Apostles' Creed and our statement of faith. We unite around our [Trinitarian beliefs], and we have always deferred to the local church on these other matters."

The reason the prohibition existed in the first place? "It's kind of a historical issue," said Stearns. "Same-sex marriage has only been a huge issue in the church in the last decade or so. There used to be much more unity among churches on this issue, and that's changed."

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."
"I don't want to predict the reaction we will get," he said. "I think we've got a very persuasive series of reasons for why we're doing this, and it's my hope that all of our donors and partners will understand it, and will agree with our exhortation to unite around what unites us. But we do know this is an emotional issue in the American church. I'm hoping not to lose supporters over the change. We're hoping that they understand that what we've done is focused on church unity and our mission."


  1. Thank you for your post on this. Very well said.

  2. I read an article about this in our newspaper the other day. I was sickened by it also. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.


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