In stark public detail where social media blurs geographical boundaries and the world congregates, we have had a drama played out with disappointing, frustrating, and far-reaching consequences.
Act 1: On Monday, World Vision US made public their decision to honour churches who affirm marriage equality by indicating that committed gay Christians who were married would be welcome to join them in Jesus’ mission to eradicate global poverty.
As this drama opens, a major Christian organization took a significant risk to make a fair decision to recognize the theological embrace of justice for sexual minority persons that some of the denominations in their constituency have adopted. Their statements were careful – not exactly joyously welcoming – but rather insisting that this was not an affirmation of marriage equality but an effort to nurture generous spaciousness. Well ok – they didn’t use the term generous spaciousness – but they did talk about wanting to prioritize Christian unity by making space for diversity on this non-salvific, sanctification matter. They acknowledged the reality that there are deeply devoted Christians, who happen to be gay, and who happen to be married, who feel the call to work to eradicate global poverty. And they said they would no longer put up a barrier to them fulfilling such a calling through employment with World Vision.
Despite the fact that WVUS has had to reduce staff because of decreased revenues, they made this move. And they made it because they believed it was the right decision to make – no lawsuits, no pressure, no gimmicks.
Act 2: From the moment the announcement was made public the reactions came fast and furious. People who lead significant organizations and movements, who stake their credibility on defending the inerrancy of scripture and who perhaps saw the opportunity to pull frightened donors into their fold, made very clear and certain statements in opposition. Words like apostate. Messages like World Vision no longer believing or upholding the bible.
Of course, there were other voices – voices lauding this decision – encouraging people to sponsor a child through WV and demonstrate solidarity w