Thursday, January 15, 2015
Winning and Losing
As a longtime supporter of World Vision, I encouraged readers of my blog to pick up some of the dropped sponsorships after the initial decision. I then felt betrayed when World Vision backtracked, though I urged my readers not to play the same game but to keep supporting their sponsored children, who are of course at no fault in any of this.This argument is wrong on so many levels. It ioversimplies the incredibly complex.
But most of all, the situation put into stark, unsettling relief just how misaligned evangelical priorities have become.
When Christians declare that they would rather withhold aid from people who need it than serve alongside gays and lesbians helping to provide that aid, something is wrong.
There is a disproportionate focus on homosexuality that consistently dehumanizes, stigmatizes and marginalizes gay and lesbian people and, at least in this case, prioritizes the culture war against them over and against the important work of caring for the poor.
Evangelicals insist that they are simply fighting to preserve “biblical marriage,” but if this were actually about “biblical marriage,” then we would also be discussing the charity’s policy around divorce.
But we’re not.
Furthermore, Scripture itself teaches that when we clothe and feed those in need, we clothe and feed Christ himself, and when we withhold care from those in need, we withhold it from Christ himself (Matthew 25:31-46).
Why are the few passages about homosexuality accepted uncritically, without regard to context or culture, but the many about poverty so easily discarded?
As I grieved with my (mostly 20- and 30-something) readers over this ugly and embarrassing situation, I heard a similar refrain over and over again: “I don’t think I’m an evangelical anymore. I want to follow Jesus, but I can’t be a part of this.”
A) this is not an either/or situation. There are plenty of charities out there that take care of "the least of these." Ceasing to support one such agency does not mean when cease to offer such care.
B) She is right, we ought to be talking about divorce.
C) There is a distinction between the sinner struggling with their sin and the sinner that does not admit their sin is sin. All sinners are welcome to church, but there are qualifications for participation in leadership. Every leader is a sinner, but it does not dehumanize, stigmatize and marginalize a sinner to tell them they are not yet ready for leadership. I do not expect my leadership to be without sin - but I do expect them to struggle mightily with it.
D) This may not be a "fair" line, but at least it is a line. Without it we would collapse totally on sexual sin.
Oh and by the way, at the heart of the church are any number of people that are chaste until marriage and consider their marriage vows sacred. The idea that everyone is doing it, why can't I, is a canard in the church. More people than I am comfortable with are, but the old standards are still very active amongst a huge portion of believers.
church fidelity homosexuality sex