Showing posts with label World Vision. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World Vision. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

YEAR IN REVIEW: The Joel Osteen Most People Don’t Know

YEAR IN REVIEW: The Joel Osteen Most People Don’t Know

Joel Osteen
Joel Osteen
Editor's Note: 2014 was a big year in the church—and in the world. This week we're looking at some of the biggest stories of the year, selected based on feedback from our readers. Thanks for reading Charisma News this year and stay tuned as we continue expanding our coverage in 2015 to include more spiritual insights on the stories that matter most to you.
While praying alone in the auditorium of Lakewood Church in Houston recently, I sensed God speak in my spirit. As I pondered just how and why God has used Joel Osteen to fill this massive auditorium with the masses week after week, I felt God respond to my query with a simple impression: "Joel Osteen is a friend to sinners."
As the day progressed, the impact of that statement began to overwhelm me. I couldn't think of another minister with significant public influence who could bear that title—not even a close second.
Of all the accusations Christ received, none were more controversial—especially from the religious crowd.
I began to reflect on the phenomenal ministry Joel and Victoria Osteen have had in our nation, beginning with their work as pastors. Since 1999, Joel has pastored Lakewood Church, the country's largest church—in fact, the largest in our nation's history. It's a church where some 45,000 people attend weekly at one location. Lakewood Church buzzes nightly with discipleship classes facilitating its members and the nearly 50,000 people who receive a new believers book at the altar calls each year in the Lakewood services. 
Training and engaging the over 6,000 volunteers in Christ-centered ministries makes the 53-year-old Lakewood Church one of the healthiest churches in the country. The 90-minute weekend service includes 60 minutes of nonstop worship mixed with exhortation, prayer for the sick, a 90-second offering (with no announcements) and then Joel's 27-minute message. Joel's messages are skillfully and prayerfully laced with an average of a dozen or so Scripture references. (Joel has observed that multiple references to verses and books in the Bible to the high percentage of unbelievers in the television audience can be intimidating).
Joel addresses addictions, bad habits, dysfunction relationship issues, shame, ungodly self images and other "sins" people face. His solution is always the same: Trust in God's free goodness. Expect His love and grace in every area of your life. 
Sure, Joel touches 40 million people monthly through television and other media. His books have impacted over 30 million people and counting, including 5 New York Times best-sellers. 
Yet his greatest attribute is his heart for the unbeliever. Joel is a friend to sinners.
Joel is not a televangelist. His dedication as a pastor is reflected in this interesting fact. In the past 14 years, Joel has missed an average of just two weekend services a year. Even though Joel speaks at 38 of those weekends services annually, you'll still find him sitting on the front row (including Wednesday nights) when not speaking, faithfully serving his flock and being a humble example (including shaking hands with the guests and new converts for one hour between services).
Joel and Victoria and Lakewood Church are ambassadors of the gospel—the hope of Christ. Since 2004, Joel and Victoria have held over 130 live "Night of Hope" events around the country and overseas. These monthly events have brought over 1 million people to a public confession of their sins and Christ as Lord!
Each month, Joel's family and the Lakewood team hit city after city with the message of hope. Joel's 16-hour nonstop Friday begins with meetings with local pastors, media interviews, then time preparing for the event. Joel and Victoria exhort and preach the majority 3-hour event, which ends with 30 to 50 percent of the mostly unbelieving and unchurched attendees standing and confessing their sins and Christ as Savior. As the thousands leave the auditorium, Joel can be found shaking hands with those who've sponsored children for World Vision. On most occasions, Joel is one of the last to leave the building, rising early the next morning and heading back home to preach three services at Lakewood Church.
Joel has his critics. They post his "gotcha" clips from his hundreds of secular media interviews.
But what some call weakness is really Joel's strength. Joel refuses with uncompromising conviction to use secular guest appearances to judge people. His kindness has kept the hearts and minds of millions receptive. Joel is a friend to sinners.
I'm not defending Joel—his fruit does that. I'm writing to those who are sincerely concerned that yet another popular "celebrity televangelist" would embarrass the Christian faith. Consider this, from someone who has been in full-time ministry for 40 years, who's seen the ego-gone-wild, naive novices and those with tainted intentions: Joel is a sincere and now-seasoned voice to the generations and nations!
My wife, Jeannie, and I have traveled the world with Joel and his family for over 10 years, volunteering with this life-changing, God-fearing, soul-winning and graced-with-humility ministry. We've witnessed not one inappropriate word or deed. Joel's behavior is consistently above reproach.
Though rarely mentioned, Joel and Victoria do not take a salary from the church or ministry. Expenses like air transportation, hotels, even food, are paid by them personally. In fact, Joel and Victoria are Lakewood Church's largest contributors. Joel is a faithful husband, loving father and loyal friend to many—and has been for many years. No one is perfect, but for 14 years Joel has proven to be an honorable man giving honor to Christ.
Even sincere people have struggles understanding what it means to be a friend to sinners.
When Jesus was in the homes of the gluttonous and winebibbers, Jesus appeared comfortable, and so did the sinners. I'm sure the disciples felt betrayed, confused, angry and maybe a bit envious. Why was Jesus spending time with those people?
Like the disciples, we as Christians may feel betrayed—left out. And with a culture that has seemingly rejected our faith and oftentimes mocked and misrepresented it through the media, it's easy to be disillusioned. Why would Joel and that grin of his be with "those" people? Why? Because Joel is a friend to sinners too.
Joel is an invited guest to our neighbor's home, to the person we do business with, to our families and friends—all of whom watch and are positively influenced by his ministry. My goodness, even our president watches!
I believe history will record the past 14 years of Joel's ministry and influence as one of the most effective pastor/evangelist of our time. And his compassionate passion for people indicates to me that his best efforts are yet to come!
Can I encourage us to begin to believe the best in and for each other? To especially pray and protect the gifts of Joel and Victoria? God has given them to represent and reach an increasingly number of unchurched, de-churched and unbelieving in our world. To be a friend of sinners should be a claim no one should be ashamed of! 
Phil Munsey is senior pastor of Life Church in Irvine, Calif.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Franklin Graham: The Flood of Compromise

Franklin Graham

Franklin Graham: The Flood of Compromise

Noah, the latest Hollywood epic, splashed across the big screen last month, revealing a flood of compromise. Described as a “biblically inspired fantasy film,” reviewers bragged that “despite its compromises … it retains a sense of religious awe.” But the great compromise cannot drown the truth. To use the phrase biblically inspired and the term fantasy in the same thought adulterates a historic record.
Some say the world is not held responsible for misinterpreting God’s Word, but the Bible does not agree, as we clearly see in the story of Noah: “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. ... And He was grieved in His heart. ... And God said to Noah, ‘The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth'” (Gen. 6:5-6, 13).
God not only holds His followers to account, but all of mankind. The human race continues gulping the bitter water in the sea of immorality, rejecting truth and trying to silence God’s people.
Because of pressure from the LGBT community, A&E tried to suppress Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame by suspending him from his television series because of his biblically based convictions. The Robertson family was willing to walk away from their wildly successful reality show rather than compromise their beliefs.
Facing the possibility of losing the Robertsons—and millions of viewers—the network reinstated the patriarch star. The family-oriented Cracker Barrel restaurant and country store that had pulled Duck Dynasty products from its shelves in the midst of the uproar also had to back up and restock the Duck Dynasty merchandise, issuing an apology for offending a large percentage of its clientele.

    In both cases, the LGBT lost. While many in the liberal and progressive media have deceived the public into thinking that this group makes up a large portion of our nation’s population, surveys support the fact that this small but boisterous movement consists of less than 2 percent of society.
    On the heels of these upheavals, it was particularly jolting when those who call themselves Christians departed from the clarity of God’s Word, as the leadership of World Vision U.S. did in March when they announced their employment of “gay Christians in legal same-sex marriages.”
    The very day World Vision announced its great compromise on a basic truth of Scripture—that a homosexual lifestyle is sin and that marriage is between one man and one woman—the Supreme Court began hearings to determine if the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, should be required to provide life-terminating drugs and devices in their employee health care plan, contrary to the Christian family’s spiritual convictions.
    The contrast was stunning. While the Christian-owned business stood up against a federal government bent on forcing them to compromise the right to life, a Christian charity compromised the sacredness of marriage, stating that “it’s the right thing to do for unity within the church.” Forty-eight hours after World Vision’s announcement, the organization was forced to reverse its epic decision after a flooding backlash from offended donors.
    The Bible gives strong warning to those who tamper with God’s truth: “From among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away [followers] after themselves” (Acts 20:30).
    The charity’s original announcement was personally shocking to me because World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse were founded by the same man, my mentor and dear friend, the late Dr. Bob Pierce. Much of my adult life has been guided by something he often said: “I want my heart to be broken by the things that break the heart of God.” I believe the heart of God was broken by the decision of the board of directors of World Vision. This is no small matter. I was as grieved by it as I have been by anything in my lifetime of ministry, because the heart of World Vision was revealed—a disregard for biblical truth.
    There was a day when World Vision’s board was made up of people who believed in and stood on God’s Word, but in making this decision, they completely disregarded Scripture and made a decision based on what they perceived as public acceptance and popularity.
    I do rejoice that the board of directors reversed its decision, but I pray that the fallout will cause a depth of soul-searching. True followers of Jesus Christ, whose salvation is based entirely upon God’s Word, cannot endorse same-sex marriage, regardless of what our president, the Congress, the Supreme Court, the media or the latest Gallup poll says about the matter.
    This moral issue has been settled by God Himself and is not subject to man-made revisions or modifications. In the end, I would rather be on the wrong side of public opinion than on the wrong side of almighty God, who established the standard of living for the world He created. Marriage is a biblically moral issue, not a political or theological one.
    This debate is ultimately about something much more important than the question of same-sex marriage. It is about the great compromise, calling into question the authority of Scripture. If Christians do not agree concerning the authority of Scripture, we will eventually disagree about all sorts of things.
    The church is tied up in the red tape of compromise that is being played out in rewriting the Bible and preaching a gospel emphasizing the works of mankind.
    The Bible says, “Now the Spirit [of God] expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy” (1 Tim. 4:1-2).
    I agree with the late Adrian Rogers, who said, “It is better to be divided by truth than to be united in error. It is better to stand alone with the truth than to be wrong with a multitude.”
    It is time for the discussion of unity within the church to come into alignment with God’s Word on the issue of marriage. When there is division within the church, it is because individuals are against Christ Himself, for He is the head of His church, made up of the redeemed who are called to be one with Christ.
    The church is on dangerous ground when it departs from the teaching of Christ and attempts to redefine His commands and compromise His truth. There are many things in Scripture that Christians disagree on, but the Bible is crystal clear about the sanctity of life and marriage. It is also clear that homosexuality is spelled out as sin—there are no ifs, ands or buts.
    The only way the church can be unified with one another is to be in unity with Jesus Christ, unified in “faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God ... to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be ... tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ” (Eph. 4:13-15).
    Compromise is dangerous territory for the Christian—mixing a little truth with a lot of error, wavering between right and wrong. Jesus said, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. ... Therefore ... repent” (Rev. 3:15-16, 19). I pray that the church will return to its calling to stand on God’s principles—not wavering, but steadfast, discerning the evil times in which we live. Charles Spurgeon once said, “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.”
    My father has always said, “From compromise to deceit is a small step.” Let’s not compromise by seeing how close we can get to right; let’s stand on God’s promise to walk so close to Him that almost right becomes evil in our sight.
    “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
    For anyone reading this article, if you belong to the LGBT community, you may question whether God loves you and will forgive you. The answer is yes. I want to assure you from His own Word that God is eager to forgive all sinners, including the one penning this article.
    The Bible says, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins. ... State your case, that you may be acquitted” (Is. 43:25-26). I am a great sinner who has received forgiveness by a great Savior—the Lord Jesus Christ. He went to the cross and shed His blood to cover our sin. He extends forgiveness to all who will call on His Name, turn from sin, believe in Him, follow Him as Master and Lord, and live in obedience according to His Word. My friend, God will heal your heart and give you peace the world cannot offer. Peace of mind and soul can be yours today. 
    Franklin Grahamson of evangelist Billy Graham, is the president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse.
    Click here to read the original article at

    Love For His People Editor's Note: I highly respect and appreciate Franklin Graham. Having worked at Samaritan's Purse for several years during the Christmas Shoebox time, I saw what the ministry does, as one of their major specific outreaches. It is amazing, and Franklin is such a great and honest leader. 
    Thank you Franklin for your commitment to share the truth, no matter what the backlash brings. We stand with you in your proclamations and witness of the truth.
    Steve Martin
    Love For His People

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

    World Vision Reverses Policy on Hiring Gays - CBNNEWS

    World Vision Reverses Policy on Hiring Gays

    Christian charity World Vision has reversed its policy change on hiring applicants in same-sex marriage, just days after announcing they would accept them.

    Organization board leaders said in a letter to supporters Wednesday that they had made a mistake by changing its policy.

    "We are brokenhearted over the pain and confusion we have caused many of our friends who saw this decision as a reversal of our strong commitment to biblical authority," the board said in the letter.

    Church leaders were quick to denounce the charity's decision to hire applicants in same-sex marriages. World Vision President Richard Stearns had said the move was not "symbolic not of compromise but of [Christian] unity."

    But faith leaders like Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, dismissed Stearn's reasoning.

    "World Vision maintains their decision is based on unifying the church -- which I find offensive -- as if supporting sin and sinful behavior can unite the Church," Franklin wrote on his Facebook page.

    In addition, the Assemblies of God had called for its members to shift their support to other charities.

    Stearns said the board of the non-profit had been praying about the decision for years. But in the letter to supporters Wednesday leaders admitted they had not sought enough counsel from their Christian partners.

    "As a result, we made a change to our conduct policy that was not consistent with our Statement of Faith and our commitment to the sanctity of marriage," they said.

    "While World Vision U.S. stands firmly on the biblical view of marriage, we strongly affirm that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, are created by God and are to be loved and treated with dignity and respect," they said.

    A fifth of the World Vision funding comes from the federal government.

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

    Graham on World Vision: Sin Can't Unite Church - CBN NEWS

    Church leaders are denouncing a decision by World Vision, one of the country's top Christian charities, to hire applicants in same-sex marriages.
    The organization's president, Richard Stearns, announced the new policy in a letter to staff on Monday.
    He said the move was not "symbolic not of compromise but of [Christian] unity," adding that the new policy defers to the authority of local churches on the issue.
    "This is not an endorsement of same-sex marriage," Newsmax quoted Stearns. "We have decided we are not going to get into that debate. Nor is this a rejection of traditional marriage, which we affirm and support."
    But faith leaders like Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, dismissed Stearn's claims.
    "World Vision maintains their decision is based on unifying the church -- which I find offensive -- as if supporting sin and sinful behavior can unite the Church," Franklin wrote on his Facebook page.
    In addition, the Assemblies of God is calling for its members to shift their support to other charities.
    Even so, Stearns said the board of the non-profit had been praying about the decision for years, and they hoped the change would keep the focus on their outreach to the poor and avoid controversy.
    A fifth of the World Vision funding comes from the federal government.

    World Vision Officially Recognizes Workers’ Same-Sex Marriages

    Richard Stearns
    World Vision President Richard Stearns
    World Vision Officially Recognizes 
    Workers’ Same-Sex Marriages
    World Vision, a Christian relief organization, is now recognizing same-sex marriage as part of its new employee policies. The organization stressed that it is not offering a blanket endorsement of same-sex marriage and spent several years praying about and discussing the issue with pastors, a seminary president and a professor of theology.
    Here is the text of the letter to employees, some of which is shocking for conservative Christians, especially considering that World Vision appears to be acknowledging that practicing homosexuals can call themselves Christians:
    "Because of your valuable role in our ministry, I want to communicate the reasons for a recent change that the World Vision U.S. board made to our employee conduct policy. Before I explain in detail, I want to reassure you that World Vision’s core values and ministry have not and will not change.
    "By way of background, our board of directors is recognized as one of the leaders among Christian organizations in the U.S. It includes deeply spiritual and wise believers, among them several pastors, a seminary president, and a professor of theology. Since this policy change involves the sensitive issue of human sexuality, the board spent several years praying about and discussing this issue.
    "The board affirmed that World Vision U.S. will continue to expect abstinence before marriage and fidelity within marriage for all staff. The board will also continue to require that every employee agree to the doctrinal issues enshrined in the Apostles’ Creed and/or World Vision’s own Statement of Faith.
    "But since World Vision is a multi-denominational organization that welcomes employees from more than 50 denominations, and since a number of these denominations in recent years have sanctioned same-sex marriage for Christians, the board—in keeping with our practice of deferring to church authority in the lives of our staff, and desiring to treat all of our employees equally—chose to adjust our policy. Thus, the board has modified our Employee Standards of Conduct to allow a Christian in a legal same-sex marriage to be employed at World Vision.
    "I want to be clear that we have not endorsed same sex marriage, but we have chosen to defer to the authority of local churches on this issue. We have chosen not to exclude someone from employment at World Vision U.S. on this issue alone. Let me explain the thinking behind our board’s decision. Over the past decade perhaps the single 'stormiest' issue within the church has been the debate over same-sex marriage—the question of whether churches should sanction the decision of two Christian individuals with a same-sex orientation to make a lifelong commitment of fidelity to each other in a legal marriage. We have watched as this conflict has torn apart whole denominations, individual congregations, Christian colleges, and even individual Christian families. The net effect of this conflict has been devastating—tearing apart the Body of Christ. It is heartbreaking to watch.
    "The board and I wanted to prevent this divisive issue from tearing World Vision apart and potentially crippling our ability to accomplish our vital kingdom mission of loving and serving the poorest of the poor in the name of Christ.
    "Through our many discussions and much prayer, we began to discern some clarity around this issue.
    "You see, World Vision’s mission is not the same as that of our local churches; nor are we a body of theologians whose responsibility is to render biblical advice and interpretations of theological matters.
    "We are, as our mission statement so clearly expresses, 'an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice, and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God.' And it is this mission that unites us—Baptist, Pentecostal, Seventh-day Adventist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Orthodox, nondenominational, etc.—more than 50 different expressions of the Christian faith represented within WVUS alone. In fact, for 60 years the Christian mission of World Vision has been a platform uniting followers of Christ around the world.
    "As World Vision employees, we are first and foremost united in our response to Jesus’ call to follow Him and to serve the poor. This unity gives us space to acknowledge a range of views on issues among the Christian churches we attend and the denominations we represent. Those issues include methods of baptism, divorce and remarriage, views on evolution, the role of women in church leadership, and whether birth control is acceptable. At World Vision we hold a strong view of the authority of Scripture in the life of the church and in the lives of each of us as followers of Christ, but we intentionally choose not to require specific beliefs or practice in any of these debated issues as conditions of employment at World Vision U.S.
    "In other words, we don’t have a list of issues on which we mandate agreement as a litmus test for hiring. Instead, we leave these areas under the authority of the various church bodies to which each of us belongs and to the freedom of all of our employees to discern for themselves, fully understanding that there is a range of views within and among our churches.
    "World Vision requires that everyone we hire, without exception, must affirm that they are a sincere follower of Christ—that’s our non-negotiable condition of employment. Every World Vision U.S. employee must affirm our Statement of Faith and/or the Apostles’ Creed, acknowledging the deity of Christ, Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, and His atonement for our sins. And we choose to unite around these foundational Christian beliefs and our Christ-given mission, putting other differences aside.
    "I want to reassure you that we are not sliding down some slippery slope of compromise, nor are we diminishing the authority of Scripture in our work. We have always affirmed traditional marriage as a God-ordained institution. Nothing in our work around the world with children and families will change.
    "We are the same World Vision you have always believed in.
    "Each of us has his or her own views on a wide range of potentially divisive issues, and the board and I are not asking anyone to change their personal views. We are asking, rather, that you not let your differences on this issue or others distract us from our work. We are asking you to unite around our sacred and urgent mission in the world and to treat those who don’t share your exact views with respect. If we cannot love one another, how will we show Christ’s love to the world? Jesus prayed for just this when He asked that His followers 'may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me' (John 17:23).
    "I urge each one of you to respect the heartfelt wisdom of our board and to fix your eyes on Jesus. In His eyes you will see His deep love for the poor—and His deep love for you and each one of your co-workers."

    The Apostasy of World Vision - Michael Brown, Charisma News

    Michael Brown

    The Apostasy of World Vision

    Shortly after I broke the news on my radio broadcast and on social media, Christianity Today confirmed the report: World Vision has decided to embrace homosexual “marriage” among its employees and to recognize practicing homosexual employees who profess faith in Jesus as true Christians.
    This is a betrayal of the gospel, a betrayal of the Lord, a betrayal of the family and a betrayal of the countless thousands of Christians who have put their trust in World Vision as a legitimate Christian organization.
    In no way does it contribute to “building a better world for children”—one of the fundamental goals of World Vision. In fact, it does the opposite.
    Last June, World Vision U.S President Richard Stearns stated, “No one ever died of gay marriage,” thereby trivializing the importance of the issue, as if it contrasted with the organization’s mission of providing tangible relief to suffering humanity.
    Today, he went much further, claiming that this radical, unbiblical move is actually a “very narrow policy change” that should be viewed as “symbolic not of compromise but of [Christian] unity.”
    What? World Vision redefines the nature of marriage—the most fundamental institution of society, ordained by God in Genesis 2 as the lifelong union of a man and a woman and reaffirmed by Jesus as such in Matthew 19—and ignores the explicit and repeated condemnation of homosexual practice throughout the Scriptures and then claims it is a “very narrow policy change”?
    What? World Vision mocks the sentiments, convictions and sensibilities of countless thousands of its Christian constituents, rejects the historic testimony of virtually all branches of Christianity, decides to take a terribly controversial stand on the most socially divisive issue of the day, and then claims that this is “symbolic not of compromise but of [Christian] unity”?
    With all respect to the massive amount of good that Richard Stearns and World Vision have done in helping the poor and needy for many years now, his words strain Christian credulity.
    Stearns states, “We’re not caving to some kind of pressure. We’re not on some slippery slope. There is no lawsuit threatening us. There is no employee group lobbying us. This is not us compromising. It is us deferring to the authority of churches and denominations on theological issues. We’re an operational arm of the global church, we’re not a theological arm of the church.”
    No slippery slope? No compromise? By sanctioning homosexual relationships, World Vision is “deferring to the authority of churches and denominations on theological issues”?
    Worst of all, World Vision did not make this decision under duress or pressure, making their decision all the more inexcusable.
    Stearns says, “It’s been heartbreaking to watch this issue rip through the church. It’s tearing churches apart, tearing denominations apart, tearing Christian colleges apart, and even tearing families apart. Our board felt we cannot jump into the fight on one side or another on this issue. We’ve got to focus on our mission. We are determined to find unity in our diversity.”
    Is this not the height of self-deception? Does World Vision not realize that they have just exponentially increased that “tearing apart” of believers? Do they actually think that this divisive, destructive policy change will unite Christians around serving the poor? Does their board, which overwhelmingly approved the policy, actually feel that they have not “jump[ed] into the fight on one side or another on this issue”? It would be like saying, “Because politics can be so divisive and we don’t want to get into the fight, we’ll just vote for the Democrats.”
    Anonymous sources informed me about this coming change two weeks ago, telling me how the convictions of committed Christians within World Vision were scorned when the new policy was announced. This is the way to find “unity in our diversity”? (One family activist suggested to me that the organization be renamed World DiVision.)
    The fact is that World Vision claims to be a Christian organization, with phrases like this on its website: “World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization. ... Motivated by our faith in Jesus Christ ... ” As Stearns reiterates, “World Vision is committed to our Christian identity. We are absolutely resolute about every employee being followers of Jesus Christ. We are not wavering on that.”
    Well, if claiming that two men can marry and their sexual acts be holy in God’s sight is not wavering, then words have no meaning.
    That’s why listeners to my radio show who supported World Vision called in today to express their shock, feeling deeply betrayed.
    One caller said that he and his wife recently decided to sponsor a child through World Vision after being introduced to them at a Christian concert in New York City that featured Casting Crowns. Now he was flabbergasted to hear that they were recognizing “gay Christianity” and same-sex marriage among their employees.
    According to the World Vision website, their first core value is “We Are Christian,” even stating, “We proclaim together, ‘Jesus lived, died, and rose again. Jesus is Lord.’  We desire him to be central in our individual and corporate life.”
    Let it be stated plainly to the leadership and board of directors of World Vision U.S.: The Lord Jesus is no longer central in the corporate life of your organization. You have denied His lordship by your actions.
    Remarkably, Stearns claims that World Vision’s moral standards have not changed, explaining that they still require “abstinence outside of marriage, and fidelity within marriage” for their employees. So, just redefine your terms, and poof! Sin disappears.
    This would be similar to saying that World Vision still requires sexual purity, except that fornication is now considered pure, or that they still require marital fidelity, except that adultery is now considered fidelity.
    The fact is that no matter how much two men or two women love each other, their union is not marriage in God’s sight—nor will it ever be—and their sexual relations, even if totally monogamous, remain sinful in his eyes.
    Now is the time for every church that works with World Vision, every Christian musician and artist that partners with World Vision, and every believer that supports World Vision to inform them that they have made a terrible choice and that they will no longer have your support.
    And then, without missing a beat, partner together with other fine Christian, humanitarian organizations like Samaritan’s Purse or Food for the Hungry, and continue your compassionate giving.
    And for every child who will fall through the cracks because of World Vision’s betrayal of its Christian principles, I say to Richard Stearns and those who made this decision together: You will have to answer to God.
    Michael Brown is author of Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message and host of the nationally syndicated talk radio show The Line of Fire on the Salem Radio Network. He is also president of FIRE School of Ministry and director of the Coalition of Conscience. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or at @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.
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