It took me a very, very long time to comment on this whole incident. Too long, really, because I feel like I let the people around me down by not voicing my opinion. I was quiet about it. Why? Because I was afraid of getting attacked by my fellow Christians. I’m a liberal Christian, I’m a member of the Christian Left. I used to call myself a moderate, but as time goes on, I’ve found that I am a liberal.
That being said, I’ve been in the closet about a lot of things, and this whole website has been a “coming out” of sorts for me. I’m showing the world who I really am, what I really think, and what causes I really care about. Because of this, I feel like I absolutely must say something about the World Vision incident. This article from NPR is actually a pretty good overview of what happened. Basically, World Vision put out a letter stating that, after prayer and consideration, that their board made the decision to allow those who are homosexual, even if they are legally married, to be able to serve with their organization. Two days later, because of a number of people that were no less than bullies, they went back on it.
This is the second part of my series about this topic, because frankly, I don’t feel like I can be silent anymore. Please, I beg you, read the first part before you get into this part. What I’m saying in that part of this series is incredibly important, and I don’t want you to tune me out because of what I’m going to say in this part. That being said, I’m going to get into my opinion about other parts of the entire thing here.
Read after the break for more!
There were a lot of things that Christians did wrong in the World Vision debacle. The most important was what I talked about in the previous entry, which was, in my opinion, holding the children hostage so that their principles could be met. But there are several other things that need to be said.
Disclaimer. Guess what? This is going to be a polarizing entry. Some of you may disrespect me because of my beliefs after this. Some of you may be shocked. Some of you may not be surprised. All I ask is that you act respectful in all conversations. Whether you’re addressing me on Facebook or in the comments here, I’m going to ask you to be respectful. You can disagree – I won’t delete or disregard your comments if you disagree with me. If you are rude to me in your disagreement, however, your comments will be deleted. I’m not dealing with vitriolic comments.
So what did I think was done incorrectly? Here we go.
Voting with your dollars is of this world, and not of Christ’s. I already ranted about this in my last entry, but I feel like this is something that needs to be said. When we use our money in order to force people’s hands, in order to try and sway people one way or another, we’re doing it wrong. This is what causes corruption in the government, and it is almost always what causes corruption in the church. Many issues with money are what ended up causing many of the scandals that have occurred in the history of the church, going way back to paying indulgences at the time of the Reformation. If you use your money in order to influence people to do what you want them to do, you’re just throwing your wealth around, and that’s not okay. And yes, I do believe that’s a majority of what happened here.
Just because someone is ____ (insert whatever here) does not mean that they do not love Christ, and that they cannot serve Him. Yes, I am even saying if someone is homosexual that they can serve. Wait, wait, but aren’t they sinful terrible people? You tell me the last time that you followed God’s laws to a “T,” then we’ll talk. Even though I don’t believe that it’s a sin (which took a lot of time and prayer on my part – I was convinced for years that it was, but through self-exploration and a number of eye opening experiences, including coming to terms with who I am in Christ, I came to a different conclusion), I still think that, if you do, you don’t have a right to block them from serving. I can throw a number of other things in there: just because you’re female doesn’t mean you can’t serve, just because you’re divorced doesn’t mean that you can’t serve, just because you’re single doesn’t mean that you can’t serve, just because you struggle with mental illness doesn’t mean that you can’t serve.
Please note: Even though I would have been disappointed if the same thing happened in a church, I would have expected it more and been less angry about it. A religious charity falls under different categories than a church does, in my opinion, and they should not feel forced to fall under the beliefs of a specific denomination unless that organization is affiliated with a particular denomination (in this case, World Vision does not). As you may know, not all denominations condemn homosexuals (specifically, the Episcopalian church and the United Church of Christ do not).
If we’re known for what we’re against more than Who we’re for, we’re doing it wrong. I’ve likely said this before, and I will say it again. Too many people think of Christians who are anti gay, anti abortion, and anti a bunch of other things. That’s not how God intended it. Look at the life of Jesus. Yes, people knew He was holy, but they knew Him better for what He did. He turned the world upside down with love. He healed people. He loved the unlovable. He lived a radical life that we can only hope to follow. He took risks. That’s the kind of person I want to be known as. I want to love unconditionally, I want to love radically, and I want to be brave in whatever I’m doing. I want to be known as a follower of Jesus. If I’m going to be known for standing against anything, it’s going to be injustice, not people.
If you are angry at me, or you think that I’m some heathen, please know that that wasn’t my intention. This is how I feel. I know it’s a liberal point of view. I know that some of you think that I’m sinning because I support LGBT rights and the LGBT community, and that, as a demisexual, I consider myself part of that community. I know that some of you may be disappointed. But I can’t be silent anymore, friends, and because of that, I felt like I had to say those things.
Please comment. Please talk to me. I don’t want you to just sit there seething angry at me – I want to hear what you have to say. I respect you if you look at me differently because of it. But I have chosen to live a life of love, and I want to be known for Who I follow above everything else.