World Vision and Why We Grieve For the Children

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Update as of 3/26/2014: World Vision has reversed its decision to recognize legal same-sex marriage.

World Vision has announced that its American branch will adjust its employee code of conduct to allow same-sex couples who are legally “married.”

Hoping to keep the evangelical organization out of debates over same-sex marriage, president Richard Stearns adjusted the employee code of conduct to sexuality within the confines of “marriage” whether between man and man or woman and woman. In other words, while declaring to not take a position on redefining marriage, his organization has redefined it.

Some observers are elated.

Evangelicals are shocked.

Many are outraged.

No matter what you think about this decision, I hope you feel a sense of grief… for the children. This is a story of deep and lasting significance, because there are children’s lives at stake in how we respond.

Children will suffer as evangelicals lose trust in and withdraw support from World Vision in the future. It will take time for evangelicals to start new organizations that maintain historic Christian concepts of sin, faith, and repentance.

In the meantime, children will suffer. Needlessly.

That’s why critics of the evangelical outcry toward World Vision will say, Get over it! Kids matter more than what men and women choose to do romantically!

Strangely enough, we agree. In fact, this is one of the main reasons we’re against redefining marriage. We believe kids matter more than gays and lesbians having romantic relationships enshrined as “marriage.”

Children are the ones who suffer when society says there’s no difference between a mom or a dad.

Children are the ones who suffer when a couple’s romantic interests outstrip a child’s healthy development, whether in no-fault easy divorce laws, or in the redefining of society’s central institution.

Children are the ones who suffer when Mom and Dad choose to live together unmarried, as if their relationship is one lengthy trial or audition, a decision that can’t provide their children with the security that comes from marriage.

Children are the ones who suffer when careers matter more than marriage, when romance matters more than reproduction, when sex is a commodity, when a marriage culture is undermined.

Children are the ones who suffer when organizations like World Vision, under the guise of neutrality, adopt policies that enshrine a false definition of marriage in the very statement that says no position will be taken.

Children are the ones who suffer when President Obama (rightly) mourns the rampant fatherlessness in the African-American community, while simultaneously campaigning for marriage laws that would make fathers totally unnecessary.

Children are the ones who suffer and die when “sexual freedom” means the right of a mother to take the life of her unborn child.

Sex is our god. Children are our sacrifice.

So, yes, we grieve for the children across the world who will be adversely affected by World Vision’s decision and the evangelical response.

But we also grieve for children here at home who are growing up in a culture in which sexual idolatry distorts the meaning of marriage and the beauty of God’s original design.

Today is a day to grieve for the children.

Update: 3/25/2014 – CLOSING THE COMMENT STREAM 

The comments stream has degenerated into an unhelpful back-and-forth, I’m afraid. Frankly, I’m tired of moderating the comments and throwing out the worst ones on both sides.

Here are a few things I’d like to say in conclusion:

1. I am not advocating that people pull sponsorships through World Vision. Your commitment to sponsoring a child (in my mind) is of utmost importance. To go back on that commitment is serious. I’m not your conscience. My original post was lamenting the fact that the fallout over this divisive decision would inevitably hurt some children. Whatever decision you make, I urge you to do so prayerfully and with wisdom.

2. Loss of a marriage culture is tragic for children. Same-sex marriage is the result of this loss, not the cause. Christians cannot blame gays and lesbians for marriage’s sorry state. That’s on us.

3. Christianity hinges on repentance. We don’t do away with sin through redefinition. Christ does away with sin through redemption. Like everyone else in this broken world, I am a great sinner. But Christ is a great Savior.

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