terrified

Update as of 3/26/2014: World Vision has reversed its decision to recognize legal same-sex marriage.

World Vision has announced that its American branch will adjust its employee code of conduct to allow same-sex couples who are legally “married.”

Hoping to keep the evangelical organization out of debates over same-sex marriage, president Richard Stearns adjusted the employee code of conduct to sexuality within the confines of “marriage” whether between man and man or woman and woman. In other words, while declaring to not take a position on redefining marriage, his organization has redefined it.

Some observers are elated.

Evangelicals are shocked.

Many are outraged.

No matter what you think about this decision, I hope you feel a sense of grief… for the children. This is a story of deep and lasting significance, because there are children’s lives at stake in how we respond.

Children will suffer as evangelicals lose trust in and withdraw support from World Vision in the future. It will take time for evangelicals to start new organizations that maintain historic Christian concepts of sin, faith, and repentance.

In the meantime, children will suffer. Needlessly.

That’s why critics of the evangelical outcry toward World Vision will say, Get over it! Kids matter more than what men and women choose to do romantically!

Strangely enough, we agree. In fact, this is one of the main reasons we’re against redefining marriage. We believe kids matter more than gays and lesbians having romantic relationships enshrined as “marriage.”

Children are the ones who suffer when society says there’s no difference between a mom or a dad.

Children are the ones who suffer when a couple’s romantic interests outstrip a child’s healthy development, whether in no-fault easy divorce laws, or in the redefining of society’s central institution.

Children are the ones who suffer when Mom and Dad choose to live together unmarried, as if their relationship is one lengthy trial or audition, a decision that can’t provide their children with the security that comes from marriage.

Children are the ones who suffer when careers matter more than marriage, when romance matters more than reproduction, when sex is a commodity, when a marriage culture is undermined.

Children are the ones who suffer when organizations like World Vision, under the guise of neutrality, adopt policies that enshrine a false definition of marriage in the very statement that says no position will be taken.

Children are the ones who suffer when President Obama (rightly) mourns the rampant fatherlessness in the African-American community, while simultaneously campaigning for marriage laws that would make fathers totally unnecessary.

Children are the ones who suffer and die when “sexual freedom” means the right of a mother to take the life of her unborn child.

Sex is our god. Children are our sacrifice.

So, yes, we grieve for the children across the world who will be adversely affected by World Vision’s decision and the evangelical response.

But we also grieve for children here at home who are growing up in a culture in which sexual idolatry distorts the meaning of marriage and the beauty of God’s original design.

Today is a day to grieve for the children.

Update: 3/25/2014 – CLOSING THE COMMENT STREAM 

The comments stream has degenerated into an unhelpful back-and-forth, I’m afraid. Frankly, I’m tired of moderating the comments and throwing out the worst ones on both sides.

Here are a few things I’d like to say in conclusion:

1. I am not advocating that people pull sponsorships through World Vision. Your commitment to sponsoring a child (in my mind) is of utmost importance. To go back on that commitment is serious. I’m not your conscience. My original post was lamenting the fact that the fallout over this divisive decision would inevitably hurt some children. Whatever decision you make, I urge you to do so prayerfully and with wisdom.

2. Loss of a marriage culture is tragic for children. Same-sex marriage is the result of this loss, not the cause. Christians cannot blame gays and lesbians for marriage’s sorry state. That’s on us.

3. Christianity hinges on repentance. We don’t do away with sin through redefinition. Christ does away with sin through redemption. Like everyone else in this broken world, I am a great sinner. But Christ is a great Savior.

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Comments:


115 thoughts on “World Vision and Why We Grieve For the Children”

  1. Trevin. I’m reminded of why I keep myself subscribed to you when you write stuff like this. This is brilliant on that other level that most never hope to attain. You will almost certainly be accused of it, but there is not a word of hatred in here. Crystal clear thinking brother.

  2. Donna says:

    We don’t need to grieve for children. We just give our money to Samaritan’s purse and other fine charitable organizations that will fill the gap that World Vision is going to feel.

    1. Kim says:

      Did you read the article? It appears that you missed the whole point of what he was communicating.

      1. Helen Ernst says:

        I agree with Trevin’s sentiments, but I think what Chris is responding to is this statement:

        “It will take time for evangelicals to start new organizations that maintain historic Christian concepts of sin, faith, and repentance.”

        We don’t need to start new organizations! There are many great alternatives such as Compassion and Samaritan’s Purse that I believe will stand firm. There may be children currently supported through World Vision that will suffer during transition…but please let’s not start more big organizations. Let’s get involved at a grass root level supporting local churches and existing organizations with strong Evangelical track records.

        1. Missy says:

          I would recommend checking out Children’s Hunger Fund! http://www.childrenshungerfund.org

    2. Mike Stone says:

      said the woman, who had clearly not read the article.

    3. Pamela Cook says:

      Exactly what I was about to post…Samaritan’s Purse.

    4. Jean says:

      Donna, I agree! We do NOT have to wait for other organizaiton to begin as there are many organization such as World Relief (who works with for and through the church) who are helping with long term sustainable programs for these very children. Check them out!

      1. Belinda Jean says:

        I have seen first hand children helped by many organization, including World Vision. Helping women, children and the stranger is our mandate in this fallen world…For all of us… Do your research on programs, organizations and their sustainaiblity, on a right alignment on many fronts for you and your family. BUT PLEASE do not stop giving in general– cover any moving or cecassion of support in prayer and a good, peaceful conscience (not competition) and the Lord will protect kids who need food, medical care and education through many, many venues as He always has… may we be people of BOTH peace AND truth.

  3. Dillon says:

    Amen and amen. Well said, Trevin. A tragedy indeed.

  4. Chris says:

    Compassion International is another fine organization that will fill the void. There are other charities in place that will fill the immediate void, and new ones will be formed to replace World Vision. Don’t put this one on the heads of donors; put it on the head of the organization that so richly deserves it — World Vision.

  5. Kim P says:

    Thank you for so articulately expressing what I felt when I learned of World Vision’s actions. I do grieve for the children this will impact at home in the U.S. and abroad.

  6. Jeremiah says:

    Help! We’ve been sponsoring a child through World Vision for years. Do we pull our funding and hurt the child? Moral dilemma… At the same time I don’t want to support World Vision any more… Thoughts?

    1. Not that you have any reason whatsoever to care what I think, but if it were me in those circumstances? I’d continue the support and leave World Vision to God. You started it in good faith before their compromise began and a real live human being now depends upon you.

      This is a first blush response and I do hereby reserve the right to revise it upon the presentation of convincing argumentation to the contrary.

    2. Hannah says:

      For years we partnered with an orphanage in Guatemala sponsoring a child there. Then there was a huge incident with all of the leadership of the organization that ran the program. We didn’t know who was telling the truth.

      After prayer, we felt led that the money we receive as pay is not our own. It is the Lord’s money & we are stewards over it. We felt that it would not be good stewardship to give to the Lord through that organization. We transferred the giving to another ministry & it has been very encouraging for us. We care still for the child we sponsored by praying for him. God is big enough to answer our prayers & He can care for that child.

      So I would say, if you feel the Lord leads you to withdraw your financial partnership with the organization, He can & will find a way to care for the child you supported. Praying for you all.

      1. Caleb Skurdal says:

        John, you need to consider the God you serve. Do you serve a God of judgement and destruction or a God of acceptance of those who break the law by healing (read Mark 3:1-6). You are the Pharisee. When will you let go of your judgment?!

        1. John says:

          Perhaps if World Vision was the only organization that had the opportunity to serve the poor, then you might have a point. But they are not the sole provider of services so your comment is bizarre at best.

          Find an organization that honors the Lord AND serves the poor. There are many, including Samaritan’s Purse. When an organization like World Vision decides to embrace evil, its an easy decision to move support to where the Holy Spirit is still heeded.

    3. John says:

      Drop your support. The organization has taken a stand antithetical to the God of the Gospel. Under the ruse of “unity” they’ve embraced wickedness and tossed the Good News. The Gospel is the Good News that we can be delivered from our sin. They’ve turned it upside down and simply said there is no need to be delivered.

      Pray for the child you support; attempt to contact them for direct support; see if you can provide support for the child through another faithful ministry. But if we cannot even eat with those claiming Christ who embrace evil (1 Cor 5), how much more should we not support them with our our tithes and offerings that, after all, are really offerings to the Lord.

      The Lord can direct your giving in a manner that reflects his character.

      1. Sam says:

        Matthew 25:45 – ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

        We can all play the quote game, John. I ask: do you choose the letters of Paul, or the words of Christ?

        1. Keith says:

          The words of Paul ARE the words of Christ.

          1. Eric says:

            That’s blatantly untrue, bordering on blasphemy. Paul himself would certainly have disagreed with you.

      2. Bryan says:

        Do not drop your support. The child did nothing wrong here. Honor your commitment to them until they are done in the program. But if you wish to sponsor more children, choose an organization like Compassion International that doesn’t compromise Biblical truth.

    4. Geoff says:

      I was supporting a World Vision child many years ago. I got uncomfortable when I found out my support was going to nuns. And in some cases, not mine, they give the money to Muslims to help kids.

      Pros: they help kids. Cons: many of those kids aren’t going to get the gospel.

      When my kid transitioned out, I used that opportunity to drop my support.

      I’m about to pick up a kid through Compassion International. One of the members of my church works for them.

      I’m not sure what to tell you, but I think this combined with the issue I mentioned would go with Compassion or Samaritan’s Purse post haste.

    5. Shawn Paterson says:

      Jeremiah — it’s important to realize that through WorldVision, your child is a representation of who your money is supposed to be helping. Yes, they receive your letters and gifts directly. But your money does NOT go directly to your child… but is used generally by the organization (to feed the children, marketing, etc.)

      Therefore, if you were to switch to another organization, your child will not be directly hurt. Now, if enough people pull their money… sure, World Vision will not be able to reach as many children. But if all of that money is redirected into another organization, it should be balanced out.

    6. Bob says:

      @Jeremiah… Fund your WV sponsorship if you want your child to grow up under a false gospel… Is that what you want? Or do you want your child to come to faith in Jesus, with an understanding of his/her need to repent.

      Satan’s strategy isn’t to convince us that there is no God, but to distort God’s Word, and take our eyes off Christ. Do you sponsored child a favor. Distance them from WV, just as you would with an LDS/JW/SDA/etc. organization.

      1. Mike Skinner says:

        Don’t drop your support! I’m an evangelical Christian, sponsor multiple kids through WV, and will continue to do so. Here’s why: http://cataclysmicblog.com/2014/03/24/has-world-vision-abandoned-the-gospel/

        1. Rick Wilson says:

          Mike, obviously you will disagree, but many of us believe you are now in sin if you continue to send them money. It is what it is.

          1. Shawn says:

            Rick, how can you tell someone they are in sin for supporting children in need!!

          2. Suzanne says:

            That is the most ridiculous thing I have heard yet, Rick. A person’s decision to give financial support to those who need it and to love and help God’s people is never a sin. How perfect are you that you think you can throw judgment at someone else and call their good deed a sin? I have a feeling your sins (which we know you have because we all do) do not do good in this world like Mike’s supposed sin will. So maybe you should reflect on how quickly you remark on someone else’s decisions and behavior.

      2. Lisa says:

        Bob-Their child may not grow up to learn about the love of Christ if their support is pulled and they are hungry and sick. Remember that Jesus said whenever you see someone who is hungry and you feed them, it is as if you are feeding Him.

        Jeremiah-I strongly agree with Greg’s response.

    7. Karen says:

      I also support children through WV. I plan to continue the support while those children remain with the program, but not replace them (turnover is typically pretty high). I also plan to let WV know that I will be gradually withdrawing from their program because of their decision.

    8. Sam says:

      Matthew 25:45 – ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

      If we’re playing the Bible quote game, let that be the one that sinks into your mind. Do not even consider dropping a family’s support over this.

    9. Trevin Wax says:

      Matthew Lee Anderson has a good post about whether Christians should continue to support through World Vision. I am not advocating people stop giving, just grieving the fact that children get hurt in many ways whenever marriage is weakened.

      Here is Matt’s post: http://mereorthodoxy.com/whether-christians-keep-supporting-world-vision/

    10. Rick Wilson says:

      Count me as one who strongly believes that this issue is so specifically divisive and critical to whether or not we trust the Word of God as a Church, that Christians must as a matter of conscience stop giving to WV now. I do believe any Christian who does not stop giving to them is in sin. To be clear, I’m not saying you’re not a Christian just for disagreeing with me on this, just giving my opinion.

      1. john says:

        Rick Family Christian stores directly supports World Vision. Trevin’s books are sold at Family Christian. Should he pull them?

    11. Tracy Sheehy says:

      Please do not stop sponsoring that child. Oh my goodness fellow Christ followers get a grip!

  7. Todd says:

    It will be interesting to see how organizations such as Family Christian respond and will they continue their partnership with World Vision. This is a sad day indeed. Thank God the Lord is still on the throne.

  8. John Barros says:

    You are right this could be bad for children although I believe folks that support children will go to another group. There are consequences to sin and we reap what we sow…. I have heard that the percentage of people’s money that actually went to children is horrendous… As believers we are to be obedient to Gods Law no matter what we think the cost would be…. God doesn’t need or want us to support folks that embrace what He hates to get children fed….

  9. Colleen says:

    Their decision saddens me greatly… as many of you have wisely said, God will take care of the children affected by World Visions unscriptural decision. I currently sponsor two children through this organization, and have for many years. Breaks my heart – but I cannot, as one to whom God’s Word is sacred and striving to live by its instruction to me is my prayer, give the money He entrusted me with to an organization that does not honor Him with it. Tragic.

  10. The children will indeed suffer. If people decide to stop contributing to an organization just because of their stance on gay marriage. I don’t think that this amendment will change the nature of the work of World Vision so why should it stop people donating and working alongside World Vision.

  11. Sharon Chester says:

    You do not have the right to redefine marriage. Maybe you should the word of God and see what Gdd days about marriage . God created marriage between a man and a woman. Shame on you to think you have the right to do that. God says homosexuality is an adomination. It was wrong when Christ walked this earth and it is still wrong. Gods word does not change. Just because society now says its ok, it is not.

  12. Ben says:

    Trevin,

    As we mourn for children, let’s also mourn for those at Mars Hill who have been hurt, abused, and misled by the church leadership.

    Oh, wait! TGC can’t push back on one of its own. Sorry, I forgot.

    1. Patrick says:

      Helpful and relevant. Thank you for your contribution. Talk about an eye-opener! My total world view just changed.

  13. Jane says:

    “Children are the ones who suffer when Mom and Dad choose to live together, as if their relationship is one lengthy trial or audition, a decision that can’t provide their children with the security that comes from marriage.”
    Give me a BREAK! Seriously? Like marriage is any more secure these days?

  14. Michael Snow says:

    ” It will take time for evangelicals to start new organizations …”

    They already exist!

  15. Bob says:

    “Children will suffer as evangelicals lose trust in and withdraw support from World Vision …”

    Children will suffer a far worse fate when deceivers teach them that God’s Word is a lie.

    Matthew 18:6, ESV
    “but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

    1. Brian Chan says:

      Bob, I cannot agree more.

  16. Julia Constantino says:

    Children are the ones who suffer when bigotry and lack of true God’s love -that lack that makes some people think they can judge other people’s lives- make people comment and behave as if we were living in the Middle Ages.

  17. Brian Chan says:

    It’s really all about money. A percentage of every dollar you give to sponsor a child goes back to support the WV staff in the US.

    I’ve been to their staff head quarters in Pasadena. And those folks are not passionate about the Gospel. I’ve met board members, C-level folks, and guys in charge of implementation. It made me sick.

    World Vision is calculating that money from non-Christians and government institutions is more important than sticking to the Gospel.

    This article from Christianity Today

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/june/want-to-change-world-sponsor-child.html

    shows how Compassion International was willing to have their work studied by a third party. World Vision was not. Why? Too much money to lose in case they got an unfavorable review.

    Compassion is biblical and executes well.

    World Vision is unbiblical and executes poorly.

    Just as the leaders at WV and Compassion will be judged, so we too will be judged by how we give.

    Give wisely.

  18. Thomas says:

    I can’t say that I didn’t see this one coming from World Vision. I read “The Hole in Our Gospel.” Stearns said in the book that we should not preach the gospel because people will find it offensive. That we should rather just do deeds which is the gospel. He obviously didn’t read Romans 10:14-17 as the gospel is spread using our lips. Somewhere around chapter 20 or 21 he implied that we should take our focus off homosexuality and abortion and put it on feeding the starving children. He was mentored by the apostate Jim Wallis who advocates these things. I heard a sermon from AW Tozer a while back on 1 Corinthians 2:12-14. Look at the overwhelming majority of unbelievers that endorsed his book. That should tell you that it was written by the spirit of man and not the Spirit of God. Tozer said that if you have the worlds approval, then the Spirit of God is not in you, otherwise they would look at you like a fool.

  19. To see evangelicals pulling their support from children sponsored through World Vision is upsetting enough.

    But to read an article in which gay and lesbian people are blamed for that pulled support (and all the other ills of society) is beyond the pale.

    This piece is hateful, opportunistic, and oozing with self-righteousness. And the use of the image of the crying child at the top is downright exploitive.

    The fact that there are Christians who would rather a child go hungry than a gay person be employed shows just how out-of-control this issue has become. Want to protect your sponsored child? Don’t pull your support just because someone who helps them get food, water, and shelter might be gay.

    If this isn’t missing the point, I don’t know what is.

    “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27)

    “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? ” (James 2:15)

    1. Trevin Wax says:

      Goodness, Rachel. Nowhere have I told evangelicals to pull support. I’m grieving the fact that it will happen, not telling people to do such a thing. And neither am I upset that gays and lesbians would be employed. I’m grieving the loss of a marriage culture across the board (which is why I write about divorce and cohabitation as well).

      Same-sex marriage is the sign of marriage erosion, not the cause. And loss of a marriage culture is bad for kids – here and everywhere. And that is why I grieve.

      1. How about we start addressing the erosion of marriage by the many heterosexual Christian marriages broken apart by divorce before we start blaming homosexuals for the erosion of marriage. Plank and spec in the eye anyone?

        1. Some of us have been doing that for decades friend. “Gay “marriage” is just the latest most pernicious chapter. As Trevein has quite rightly alluded to, marriage has been under assault since the 60’s. Normalized homosexuality is the latest right in God’s face symptom. Not the cause.

          The marriage of one man and one woman for life is THE ancient divine foundation for all of human society. It was crippled in Adam and restored in Christ.

          ANY ANY ANYthing other than that is sin and not to be condoned much less promoted by those naming the name of Christ. That said I’m not going to be the one to tel people to withdraw support from a presently dependent child. I also cannot see the God of the bible continuing to bless an organization that flagrantly endorses what is an abomination in his sight in both testaments. Other future choices are much wiser.

      2. Joe says:

        Does it not concern you that employers can discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation and/or marital status? It would be illegal for WV to do this in most other Western or developed countries.

        Christians always say they don’t hate the sinner (just the sin) but they always take a stand against any change that would protect the civil liberties of gay people.

      3. Phil says:

        Nowhere have I told evangelicals to pull support. I’m grieving the fact that it will happen, not telling people to do such a thing.

        Do you think evangelicals should pull their support?

    2. I’m not one to say I told ya so, but when you are honored by a personal visit from the queen of the bible butchering apostates it’s tough to resist.

      As I read through some of the very well reasoned biblical responses here (and some from the predictable libertines which are not)I find the following from Karen to be the most well biblically reasoned so far”

      Karen
      March 24, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      I also support children through WV. I plan to continue the support while those children remain with the program, but not replace them (turnover is typically pretty high). I also plan to let WV know that I will be gradually withdrawing from their program because of their decision.

    3. James Cain says:

      I appreciate Rachel’s willingness to dialogue about this, to create a constructive critique and engage with the ideas Trevin presents. But her comment is less than helpful, even inflammatory. Trevin’s purpose is to point out the inevitable fallout–and he and Rachel should be able to agree on that–the children World Vision supports will lose. Thanks for reminding us of this, Trevin.

      But Rachel’s criticism (and that of others who agree with her) often goes beyond the points. Especially frustrating is her quote from James 1:27, because she appears to ignore the second part of it. James urges physical help as a marker of true religion, yes, but there is a spiritual dynamic to his injunction about physical care. The question is, does “world pollution” include shifting from the historical position of the church based solely on a recent (Stearns admits as much) social development?

      It comes down to definition of terms. What does it mean to be “gay”? In my understanding, to be gay is to experience same-sex attraction rather than opposite-sex attraction as normal. Is gayness (same-sex attraction) “sin”? No. Like any other passion that is outside the bounds of biblical teaching (for too much food, or your neighbor’s stuff (or wife), or your own glory), it is a temptation to sin. Given this definition, most evangelicals, I’d wager, would NOT immediately balk at hiring a gay person.

      They do balk at hiring a MARRIED gay person. World Vision’s historical policy has not shied away from hiring sinners or folks tempted to sin. No Christian organization should. But the change in policy goes BEYOND hiring those with same-sex attraction to hiring gay persons who have institutionalized that attraction. From the perspective of evangelicals, that’s hiring not just a sinner but an unrepentant sinner, even a sinner proud of his or her sin.

      And that is reason, too, to grieve.

      1. BTH says:

        Best comment on here. This isn’t about discriminating based on identity. It’s about assuming an unambiguous scriptural position on how one testifies with the life they live in the sight of God. That’s the key distinction between one who merely has a same-sex attraction and one who acts on it without repentance but rather with zeal and pride.

  20. Jim Difino says:

    We have been giving to World Vision for 30 years. World Vision has chosen to compromise the Gospel for the sake of feeding children. But there are organizations that do both faithfully. Feed My Starving Children (www.fmsc.org) is a prime example.

    We have supported FMSC for several years now, and they will get what we used to give to World Vision going forward.

  21. Josh says:

    Yes we get that there are lots of things about this country that make you sad. Grieve away. But you know what might cheer you up? How about feeding a child that was hungry this morning. The very fact that there are those that would abandon the most vulnerable in the world and the least of these over this nonsense makes me sick. At the end of your life, how will you have made this world a better place? By taking a stand on a theological issue? Or by helping a child grow to be a healthy adult and hear he gospel? They will know you are Christians by your love.

    1. Jim says:

      We can still do both, Josh–without channeling funds and food through WV. Those who accept God’s standard for how we practice our sexuality can still feed children’s bodies without putting their souls at risk. I have grown to appreciate God’s standard for sexuality even though my “natural” sexual desires run counter to them. Truly loving your neighbor begins with honoring and loving God first.

  22. Abby says:

    Not that I think any of WV’s decisions have been ok, I think it’s important to remember that A.- there’s no indication that ANY of what they teach/present to the children will change, because while the sponsored children DO know about their sponsors, I seriously doubt that any sponsored child has thought long and hard about the actual employees of WV; in fact, there’s a pretty good chance that some children are, in fact, being sponsored by gay couples at present. And B.- what do you tell the homosexual community that is apparently large enough to warrant this decision that clearly *wants* to work at WV? I’m not saying I agree with WV, but this sort of evangelical response isn’t exactly encouraging the homosexual community at large to do anything except continue to believe evangelical stereotypes that we’re doing a pretty good job at perpetuating. As Christians, we might not like WV’s choice very much, and it certainly isn’t Biblical, but what is our response saying TO the people who wanted to work for WV in the first place?

  23. Albert Cox says:

    This article is mostly a mish-mash of unsubstantiated suppositions, high on melodramatics, low on facts, and ultimately it does little more than put forth another round of the same threadbare arguments that are increasingly unsuccessful in convincing judges, U.S. citizens, and—yes—even Christians that the LGBT community is not entitled to the same rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that marriage provides heterosexuals.

    The only real fact stated here is an opinion: “We believe kids matter more than gays and lesbians having romantic relationships enshrined as marriage.”

    What you’ll eventually (well, hopefully) see is that one doesn’t need to matter more than the other: same-sex marriage doesn’t sacrifice children, sex is not a god, and World Vision made the right choice.

  24. dave miers says:

    this is really sad.

  25. Brant says:

    I suspect that if we took stock of every Christian relief organization and filtered its people through our little lens of who is in and who is out according to our theological lens, we would be left wanting. This organization (World Vision) is feeding and educating vulnerable children who could very well die or be severely affected by a large number of sponsors pulling out. It’s not like your stamp approved Christian relief organization is going to just suddenly show up and fill the void. Continue your financial support. Your money is going to vulnerable communities in third world, not the brass at the headquarters of World Vision.

  26. Jay says:

    I’m a sponsor through Compassion International. It has been a blessing to me. There are other options besides organizations that make cultural decisions based on certain attitudes of the time.

  27. RobNoBeard says:

    Agree that other organizations can and will pick up the slack.

    In fact, my wife and I decided quite a few years ago to do child sponsorship with Compassion International rather than World Vision.

    What were the the deciding factors? Reviewing the financials of the two organizations on Charity Navigator. One telling stat: when we checked, the CEO of World Vision took home a salary more than 3x that of the head of Compassion International. (So, one might argue that the leaders of World Vision have long suffered from a selfishness problem…)

  28. Marcia Baugh says:

    We have repurposed our lives in practicing the “pure religion” James speaks about on behalf of the voiceless widows & orphans in the name of FAMILY here in Uganda through our grass roots project THE WAY HOME …what a tragedy to discover that an organization with such a “vision” and influence for doing the same has announced it’s failure to “keep themselves from being polluted by the world” today. Grieving for the countless children right under our noses here that will be victimized by Richard Stearns ‘Wordly Vision’. #thewayhomeafrica.com

  29. janna says:

    The sadness is that this news brings is yet another organization has hook their bandwagons to the rampant ‘social gospel’ rather than the redemptive gospel of Jesus Christ.

    What redefined World Vision mission statement of being a “Christian humanitarian organization”? They have become just another social organization, ‘Christian’ aspect loosely defined as the ‘Humanitarian’ is emphasized. For what purpose? To obtain more funding because Christians are not submitting financially as they used to. And yes, the children will suffer no matter which venue World Vision seeks to fulfill.

    This is why I agree with Trevin also: “It will take time for evangelicals to start new organizations that maintain historic Christian concepts of sin, faith, and repentance.” In otherwords, we haven’t done it, failed at it so the World Vision just became the end-result of that failure.

    And frankly, I’m getting tired of Christians not being followers of Christ, creating a broader spectrum of gray areas for faith in Jesus. The Bible is pretty clear on this fact: Stand for Christ or stand for the world. If you are lukewarm and prefer to fence between the two, God will spit you out of His mouth!

  30. And some of you folks are making really good points that might be better than mine.

  31. Mark Meatcher says:

    I have major concerns with your article, in that it talks about the “evangelical” response….I’d like to be talking about God and God’s response, not “the evangelical” response.

    I’d like to be talking about compassion, and love…and I’m not sure I can find Jesus responding first with judgement, other than perhaps to those who were hypocrites, in any situation.

    Can we possibly ditch labels and start seeking God’s face to find out what God, who I believe loves ALL people, really wants for humanity..

  32. Bill says:

    Compassion is an alternative already doing god work. Suffering May or may not increase due to this decision but our decisions will certainly make an impact on the amount of suffering.

  33. Beverly Griffin says:

    There is much wisdom and Biblical insight here, however, I disagree that re-directing giving into other, more acceptable organizations like Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Blessing, etc. is not the better choice. These groups can ‘hit the ground running’ and take up any slack when more funds are directed their way. They have proven their loyalty to Children, Humanity and Israel, as well as Biblical Values.
    http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/world_vision_international

  34. Dan McGhee says:

    This shouldn’t be a difficult choice. Find an organization that stands where the Scriptures stand and give your money to it. Compassion International, Samaritan’s Purse, Feed My Starving Children, and others. World Vision made a choice. All choices have consequences. God is good and God is sovereign. Somehow God, in His endless wisdom, will see to it that your money which once supported a child through World Vision will now be used to support another child in this world through one of these other excellent organizations. For reasons that are only known to God, He will lead some of you this way to bless a child who would not otherwise be blessed, and you will do so without compromising your convictions in the process.

  35. Sandy Broome says:

    Thank you for your compassionate concern as expressed in this post. Rachel Held Evans’ vitriolic reply almost made me laugh, particularly when she accused YOU of self-righteousness.
    Your response to her was clear and quite charitable. I pray for her and I pray for you.

    Please continue to communicate with love, wisdom and doctrinal integrity–as you consistently have. You are in good company (Jesus Christ) as you endure many critics. God bless you.

  36. Ali Wilkin says:

    I can (almost) understand if you do not agree with the change in World Visions policy. I can (almost) understand if you feel that this goes against what you believe. You have your understanding of marriage, and although many Christians like myself feel that your view erases the humanity of a whole community of people, it is what you believe. I do not intend to try and change your mind, far less your heart.

    What I do not understand is why you feel that your decision to withdraw support from World Vision is somehow the fault of the LGBT community or World Vision when this a decision *you* have chosen.

    However much I might disagree (and I disagree completely) with your decision, and the reason for your decision, do not blame others for the decisions you make. Have at least as much grace to own your own choices as that.

  37. Scott Kosman says:

    If starving children could be fed with the power of smug self-righteousness than the comment section in this blog entry alone would have solved world hunger.

  38. Brian Moll says:

    Rick Warren will work with those he disagrees with, but you warn that they’re going to hell & endangering the lives of children.

    Are you okay? Did you already have this blog post queued up before the announcement was even made? Do you have a litany of blogs like this one “on the ready” just in case another story breaks?

    I disagree with you, but I’d gladly serve the poor with you.

    What is it you’re trying to accomplish with a vitriolic post like this? While your aim may be to offend and correct (un)righteous evangelicals, you’re actually destroying all that Christ died for, and the fact that you’re unaware of that calls in to question every person that gave you the okay on this post.

  39. Raquel says:

    I’m very disappointed to hear that in trying to remain neutral on the issue of homosexuality, World Vision has in fact taken a stance against God’s Word. I feel most sorry for the homosexual community. By giving them the ok to be practicing homosexuals, WV is actually hurting them by allowing them to continue in sin. True love for them would be coming along side of them and showing them how they can be healed of past hurts and how God can give them a life full of joy without the pain of a life full of sin.

  40. Jana says:

    I was able to visit our World Vision sponsored girl in India in January. I was able to see first hand what they were doing in that area. I was so impressed with the job World Vision was doing there–the World Vision workers were amazing godly people. The projects and improvements they had done and are doing for our little girl’s community were WONDERFUL. After 7 years of sponsorship, this little girl and her family feel like they are part of ours, we could not abandoned them now.

    1. Hannah says:

      Well, it sounds like you were in India & you met the girl’s family. Bypass WV & send the money directly to your child’s family. You can still support your child & 100% of your money would go to her family vs whatever cut WV takes out. Of course you wouldn’t get your tax deduction, but that shouldn’t matter since it is about the girl you sponsor.

  41. Rick Wilson says:

    So instead, Jana will abandon Jesus. And for those that think this is not the choice, you’re wrong. You’re just wrong.

  42. Rick Wilson says:

    Ali is not a Christian. There are very few things more de-humanizing, if that’s what you want to speak of, than LGBT identity. All Christians have always believed this, and to believe otherwise is to place yourself outside the boundaries of the historic, orthodox faith. Ali is not a Christian.

  43. adam whitley says:

    To all the people deciding to pull their support over this: Go for it, but when you do, write a letter to the child you sponsor and tell them how your interpretation of a few Bible verses is more important than their hunger, education and safety.

    This article has no place on a site that claims the Gospel.

  44. BTH says:

    For those who are taking this issue lightly, read Richard Stearns’ interview with Christianity Today where he attempts to justify this decision:

    “Changing the employee conduct policy to allow someone in a same-sex marriage who is a professed believer in Jesus Christ to work for us makes our policy more consistent with our practice on other divisive issues,” he said. “It also allows us to treat all of our employees the same way: abstinence outside of marriage, and fidelity within marriage.”

    *rubs eyes* Did I read what I thought I just read?

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/march-web-only/world-vision-why-hiring-gay-christians-same-sex-marriage.html?paging=off

    There goes another organization with strong missionary roots that has compromised with the world and now imitates it in the process. What a disappointment.

    1. BTH says:

      Another gem from Mr. Stearns:

      “This is also not about compromising the authority of Scripture,” said Stearns. “People can say, ‘Scripture is very clear on this issue,’ and my answer is, ‘Well ask all the theologians and denominations that disagree with that statement.’ The church is divided on this issue.”

      So because SOME denominations/congregations are in grave error on this issue, Christian organizations are to accede to those bodies out of some misguided sense of maintaining “unity” through the compromise of clear tenets of Scripture?

  45. Jason says:

    Home run post, Trevin. Home. Run.

  46. Kathleen McNulty says:

    A divinely inspired word that reaches well into the truth behind why we should be grieving for our children. It is heart breaking to see that World Vision is not able to “stand strong” in the teachings of God’s word. Just because these churches that support same sex marriages call themselves Christian does not make it Christian. World Vision – you are deceived!

  47. Eric English says:

    I agree with the writer regarding the children. But, the reason is because of so called Christians, not homosexuals or World Vision. You all seem to care more about your agendas, then they do the mission. You care more about your metaphysical theology than you do imitating Christ.

    You all reek of Pharisaism! It’s hypocrisy of the worst kind.

  48. Tania says:

    No child will suffer on my watch because someone changes their employment policy.

  49. Philip Brooks says:

    How does it enshrine a false definition of marriage simply by allowing persons in a same-sex relationship to work for World Vision? Let’s be clear. World Vision is not marrying same sex couples (or anyone for that matter), it’s not endorsing any bill or petition promoting marriage equality, it’s not even changing its benefits to treat gay or lesbian employees and their spouses the same. All it’s doing is saying that if you work for them and happen to be legally married to a person of the same sex, you won’t be fired outright. The question no one seems to be asking is whether a policy of excluding gay and lesbian persons from ministry or work at Christian non-profit is Biblically sound. I believe the answer is a resounding no. Regardless of our beliefs on homosexuality and marriage, to forbid persons from participation in ministry on the basis that they are a sinner is both unsound and hypocritical. I applaud World Vision for recognizing and ending this practice of exclusion in their organization and inviting Christians on both sides to support their common mission to the world. When we’re unwilling to do God’s will in the world because we don’t like look of the person inviting us, we’ve veered away from the Gospel.

  50. Janet Geary says:

    There are many organizations that do what World Vision does; there are just a few who do so in the name of Christianity. Diverting my gifts from World Vision to another truly Christianity will not necessarily mean less aid to children. Let people who agree with World Vision support them; I will find another organization who will use my money and be a good example of Christiany.

  51. Suzanne says:

    So, Trevin, I assume there is nothing that you do that some would consider a sin? Therefore, people should continue to support you and buy your books? There is nobody in your life who you support or council or associate with that others may have a problem with? Therefore, people should support you and buy your books? The only ones who are hurting the children are those who let their own personal feelings of inferiority get in the way of sharing the love of God. If you think only sinless people can share this love, than this world is doomed. If that is the route you choose to take, then you are ignoring the words of the Bible.

  52. Trevin Wax says:

    The comments stream has degenerated into an unhelpful back-and-forth, I’m afraid. Frankly, I’m tired of moderating the comments and throwing out the worst ones on both sides.

    Here are a few things I’d like to say in conclusion:

    1. I am not advocating that people pull sponsorships through World Vision. Your commitment to sponsoring a child (in my mind) is of utmost importance. To go back on that commitment is serious. I’m not your conscience. My original post was lamenting the fact that the fallout over this divisive decision would inevitably hurt some children. Whatever decision you make, I urge you to do so prayerfully and with wisdom.

    2. Loss of a marriage culture is tragic for children. Same-sex marriage is the result of this loss, not the cause. Christians cannot blame gays and lesbians for marriage’s sorry state. That’s on us.

    3. Christianity hinges on repentance. We don’t do away with sin through redefinition. Christ does away with sin through redemption. Like everyone else in this broken world, I am a great sinner. But Christ is a great Savior.

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David. You can follow him on Twitter. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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