There was a storm on social media this week, a civil war in Christianity. World Vision announced they would hire people in committed gay marriages, then in less than 48 hours, reversed it.
People were outraged.
People were divided.
People took a stand and dropped sponsorships for nearly 5,000 children.
We made a very loud, a very public, and a very clear statement this week.
We would rather be known for what we’re against, than what we’re for.
We would rather divide than unite.
We would rather write blogs calling each other out, than entering in.
We would rather oppose gay marriage than feed starving children.
Regardless of your position on World Vision, the damage has been done-on both sides, to both sides, and most of all to children around the world.
And I don’t know about you, but it feels like a tornado just tore through our neighborhood and now we’re left to clean up the wreckage.
What do we now? Where do we go from here?
Who are we really helping when we do this?
I am all for standing up for truth and proclaiming what is right. ALL for it. I don’t think it’s loving to let people remain in sin and continue on a path that takes them further away from God.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
Yep, it’s in there. And it’s hard to read. Scripture calls this sin, and I’ve committed most of those in that list. But, if we’re going to “take a stand” for truth, for scripture, let’s take a stand for all of it.
Here are some other parts of scripture I didn’t see people “defending” in the midst of the World Vision debacle:
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:26-27)
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:19-23)
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
As I look through the “works of the flesh” in Galatians, I not only see “sexual immorality”, but “enmity, strife, fits of anger, dissension, and divisions”.
So I ask you Christian, what were you known for this week?
This week, we publicly picked our sins to call out, publicly divided and cast stones, publicly committed works of the flesh, and got mad at the other side for doing the same.
And the whole world watched.
And I’m deeply grieved.
I’m grieved over the fact that prominent leaders used their platform to slander one another and disobey scripture in public.
I’m grieved that thousands of children lost their sponsorship for food, healthcare, and education in a day.
I’m grieved that we drew lines in the sand where Jesus didn’t.
I’m grieved that we unite quicker over being pro/anti gay marriage than we do over caring for the poor.
We have to realize that when we do these things publicly, we are shutting people out that Jesus died to let in. When we defend only parts of scripture, we are hypocrites. When we use our “platforms” to launch ebombs, we’re causing more harm than good.
As I processed the two sides, I couldn’t land on either one, I kept thinking there has to be a third way. There has to be another way to process what happened this week.
And the LORD whispered to my heart, there is:
It’s not about picking a lane or choosing a side. It’s about running to the Cross.
It really is the ONLY thing that unites us. It is the only thing that will bring us together, the liberal and conservative, gay or straight, hungry or fed, rich or poor, hater or lover. The only way is the Cross.
I don’t know about you, but I’m choosing the way of the Cross, the way of the gospel, the way of Jesus. The line in the sand for me is not us vs. them, it’s us vs. Him, and He chose to lift us out and graft us in.
So as we move forward, let’s commit to cleaning up the wreckage.
Let’s commit to slowing down, to praying before proclaiming, to examining our hearts before prosecuting others.
Let’s commit to being peacemakers, the kind that speak truth and show love, and help reconcile people to Christ.
Let’s take a stand for Jesus, by living closely to his new command in John 13. Let’s take a stand for Jesus by calling out sin and caring for the least of these.
Let’s be people of the Cross, not people of dividing lines or opposing sides. Let’s be people who recognize Jesus cares just as much about our sexuality as he does about the poor. Let’s be people who wage war against darkness, not each other. Let’s be people of unity, truth, love and grace.