I was in Nashville when the text message arrived: “Have you kept up with what’s going on with World Vision?”
Only barely, I replied. I’m on the road.
Prior to heading out of Seattle earlier this week I had read a story about World Vision’s decision to hire Christians in Same-Sex marriages. World Vision is a Christian organization that does good works around the world, primarily focusing on the needs of the impoverished, particularly children. To be honest, I didn’t give the announcement by Richard Stearns much thought. Given the size of World Vision, I assumed Gays were already working for the organization. So the announcement seemed more like an afterthought to me.
But I was on a plane all day Tuesday and away from Social Media most of Wednesday, so I was completely unaware of the firestorm World Vision’s leadership came under as a result of the announcement, which is why my friend was texting me.
What do you think of all this? she wanted to know.
Before I’ve even had time to process the first announcement Stearns has made another rescinding his first one. It was all a mistake, Stearns said. Not very well thought out. He failed to seek enough input, or wise counsel. Mea Culpa.
Somewhere between the first announcement and his second one this is what happened – Jesus people threatened to withdraw their funding for hurting children worldwide.
Because they took offense to the notion of supporting same-sex marriages the Jesus people decided that they could no longer help hurting children.
Wouldn’t you think an organization built upon the desire to perform acts of mercy and compassion for the hurting in this world would apply that same theology consistently throughout its organization – whether it is dealing with the poor in Ecuador or the depressed in Everett?
Oh, I don’t blame Stearns or World Vision for backing off their position. The threats of Jesus people are real, not imagined. Their collective fiscal power is mighty indeed. You don’t know wrath until you’ve incurred the wrath of God’s people. There is no bully greater than a bully with unlimited online access and Facebook and Twitter accounts.
And here I was naive enough to think when Fred Phelps died his convoluted approach to theology died with him.
All those who bullied World Vision into retracting their position might as well marched alongside Westboro Baptist at military funerals with placards claiming Starve a Child, Save a Gay.