Wednesday, March 26, 2014

World Vision and the Real Issue

This week World Vision's president Richard Stearns announced that the organization was changing its policy and would now employ "married gay couples." In the wake of what Stearns described as an attempt to unify a storm is now raging. I've been reading the various responses. Frankly, I am quite dismayed.

Of course you have the gay community applauding World Vision, as they should, for taking such a stand, and you have conservative Christians condemning the decision that was made based on clear biblical teaching concerning homosexuality and marriage. These are no surprise. What I am surprised about is the number of Christians saying that it is really none of our business what World Vision wants to do. As one Facebooker put it "My question is, why do you care who someone marries or sleeps with at night. It doesn't concern or affect you" or stating that our condemnation of this decision is not showing the love and grace of Christ to the gay community.

An issue is being made that is not the real issue. This is not an issue of condemning homosexuality. It is not an issue of whether we are showing grace and love to homosexuals. The real issue is a Christian organization has taken a stance on a very controversial issue and has decided to go against what Scripture says (though they try to deny it this is what they have done). This is not an argument about whether homosexuality is right or wrong. This really is an issue of faith and obedience. As with many things in today's society the issue is being distorted.

For the sake of not getting into a homosexual argument let me focus on marriage. Scripture explicitly states that marriage is between one man and one woman. We find this in Genesis 2:24 says "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (ESV). Jesus confirms this. He did not make any changes but stated in Mark 10:6-8 "But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.' 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh." He then adds this in verse 9 "What therefore God has joined together, LET NOT MAN SEPARATE." (emphasis mine). God created marriage!

Genesis reveals that the man (meaning humankind) was expected to procreate. The creation of male and female makes sense. But there was also a deeper purpose to the creation of marriage. Paul reveals the mystery of marriage in his letter to the Ephesians. "'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." (Ephesians 5:31-33). "This mystery is profound!" "It refers to Christ and the church!" What this reveals is there was a purposeful design behind marriage. Marriage is the human relationship that God has chosen to symbolize his relationship with the church. No wonder the enemy has fought so hard to degrade, downplay and pervert it!

Again, the issue is not that we are condemning homosexuals. Frankly, the Bible has already done that. "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral...nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality...will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). The list is longer, but what I want to show is that there is a created and expected order when it comes to the sexual relationship. World Vision, up to this point, has recognized this order. God created sex when he created male and female. His order, or will, is that sex be confined to a one-man/one-woman-for-life-marriage-relationship. This has already been established in Scripture. The issue than is, as stated before, a Christian organization taking a stance on a controversial subject (that should not be controversial because Scripture is clear) has denied the truth of Scripture and made a choice succumb to the will of man and not the will of God. That is the issue. Period.

No one is condemning the homosexual. The condemnation of homosexuality has already been made. This is an issue of faith and obedience. Do we believe that God and Jesus are Lord? If so, the commands of the Godhead must be obeyed. We do not get to pick and choose what we want to obey and what we don't want to obey.

One of the mottoes of the Restoration Movement is "We speak where the Scripture speaks. We are silent where the Scripture is silent." The Bible is not silent on marriage. Therefore we should not be silent as well and condemn the action taken by World Vision to not uphold the sanctity of marriage as revealed in Scripture.

No comments: