The Hole In Their Bible

I am truly not shocked by the recent announcement by Rich Stearns that World Vision will now employ homosexuals so long as they are "married." Anyone paying attention to World Vision in recent years has noticed a gradual movement away from certain distinctives that once made evangelicalism evangelical. Stearns, World Vision's President, calls the decision "symbolic not of compromise but of [Christian] unity." That is a statement worthy of the Ministry of Truth. In fact, Stearns' logic and theology are so tortured that it seems almost unfair to respond.

With its new policy, World Vision has publicly endorsed homosexuality. And make no mistake; that is exactly what they have done. Richard Stearns and World Vision have now declared that homosexual practice in a marriage relationship is a valid lifestyle for Christians. In this they are furthering a lie that is damning to the souls and ruinous to the bodies of millions.

Astonishingly, Stearns says, "This is not an endorsement of same-sex marriage. 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." If you can untwist that logic then you are a remarkable person. Of course World Vision is endorsing homosexual marriage. Stearns makes clear in the CT article that faithful Christians can be practicing homosexuals. How can he say that World Vision is "not going to get into that debate," when they just did in a very bold way?

Stearns says that, as a para-church organization, World Vision defers to churches on theological matters. "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." First of all, how does a church or ministry separate the theological from the operational? Isn't World Vision's stated mission ultimately theological? And how does one "defer to the authority" of an abstract reality like "the global church"? How does World Vision function as "an operational arm" of an unidentifiable organization? They are not an operational arm of the PCA or SBC. They certainly do not defer to the authority of the PCA or SBC.

But all of this is incidental to the real problem with World Vision's new policy: The denial of the clarity, and therefore, the authority of Scripture.

Stearns goes on:
"Denominations disagree on many, many things: on divorce and remarriage, modes of baptism, women in leadership roles in the church, beliefs on evolution, etc...So our practice has always been to defer to the authority and autonomy of local churches and denominational bodies on matters of doctrine that go beyond the Apostles' Creed and our statement of faith. We unite around our [Trinitarian beliefs], and we have always deferred to the local church on these other matters...This is also not about compromising the authority of Scripture. People can say, 'Scripture is very clear on this issue,' and my answer is, 'Well ask all the theologians and denominations that disagree with that statement.' The church is divided on this issue. And we are not the local church. We are an operational organization uniting Christians around a common mission to serve the poor in the name of Christ."

It is very difficult to not deal with that statement clause-by-clause. But underlying it all is a denial of the clarity of Scripture. "We have differing opinions on homosexuality. Who can say?"

Remember the serpent's words to Eve - "Has God said"? The enemy's work is first to undermine the clarity of God's Word. "Did God really say that? It really isn't that clear." The genius of Satan's questioning the clarity of God's Word is that it allows us to say, "I believe in the authority of the Bible," while simultaneously denying what it actually says.

Stearns says that World Vision is united around the Apostle's Creed. But what profit is there in affirming belief in God while denying that which He has made so clear?

* All quotes are taken from the Christianity Today article.