UPDATE: On March 26, 2014, sources announced that World Vision is REVERSING its decision to employ those who are gay. While this makes me incredibly sad beyond words and literally sick to my stomach because of the mixed message we Christians are sending to the world, it does NOT change our charge as followers of Jesus to LOVE all. In fact, it only reinforces the message of this entire blog post. And now that the naysayers (i.e. bullies) seem to have won this battle, the rest of us must carry forward with and fan the flame of love in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. I am more committed than ever before. LIVES are at stake. LOVE is paramount. And we will march on with the task Jesus left us to do. Amen.

 

BREAKING NEWS, read the headline. THIS JUST IN! In a move that sent the evangelical world into a collective uproar, World Vision announced it would be dropping its restriction on married gay persons—people WHO LOVE JESUS, profess salvation in Him, and have a heart to see poor children made whole—from working for their company.

Of course, as a side note, World Vision also explained how their company now strongly endorses homosexuality as a principle for personal living and is hoping this strategic move turns the whole world flaming freaking gay. Oh, wait. My bad. That part I totally made up. Pardon my sarcasm, but based on the general reaction of many Christians to World Vision’s “announcement,” you’d think that that was the intent of the statement. Or maybe even that beyond a mere policy change, World Vision had just revoked their belief in Jesus as the Messiah, instead of simply announcing that they won’t exclude people from serving that same Jesus because of differences of Biblical interpretation and understanding not related to salvation. Did you get that? NOT RELATED TO SALVATION, people.

Drawing Lines and Boxing Me In

And before the whole evangelical world had yet to vomit react, I posted my thoughts on my personal Facebook page.

Knee-Jerk FB post

The ensuing conversation—much of which I’ve adapted for this blog post—was no surprise to me, as any post related to a hot-button issue du jour is sure to garner a reaction from all “sides.” But at the same time, it’s these kinds of topics that always leave me feeling like I just don’t fit on a “side” at all, that as much as proponents of the opposite viewpoints want to box me in, I just can’t squeeze myself into such confinement. (I’ve always hated small spaces.) And the thing about being boxed in? It leaves no room to change your mind.

So I often simultaneously make enemies on both sides and friends across the spectrum—no matter the debate, because as soon as one “side” thinks they have me figured out, the other “side” claims I’m on theirs. And then I’m told that “not taking a side is actually taking a side.” Um, okay then. Glad to clear that up. But how about the side of just loving Jesus and loving others? I am so grieved that Christians even want to make and take “sides” in the first place.

For reasons I have yet to figure out (and if I ever do, that’ll be a Breaking News blog post all its own right here), we humans are so eager to draw lines that divide, lines that separate us from them, the ins from the outs, the yays from the nays, the holier-than-thous from the wholly heathenistic. But the problem when people divide people against people is that someone always loses. Always. And that someone always ends up isolated, outcast, alone, feeling less than the human that they are.

And that’s when I really start to get why the only lines Jesus drew with religious people and sinners were lines in the sand that caused grown Pharisees to straight-up drop their stones and walk away and fallen people to come falling at His feet. So if I’m going to draw lines, may I be like Jesus, who even without words made the outcasts feel included, the “sinners” redeemed, the broken made whole. May I only draw lines that extend from my heart into another’s, from my soul into my fellow human being’s.

Get Real

If we’re humbly honest (sometimes a doubly challenging thought), the reaction of the evangelical world against an evangelical organization that HELPS POOR KIDS, Y’ALL, says more about the state of the American Church than it does about the state of gay people’s souls. Let’s just be very real here, friends. On the whole, Christians are more passionate against homosexuality than poverty. Because I don’t recall the last time Christians were in an uproar that people are bound in poverty and preventable diseases.

My oldest son as a sponsored child in Ethiopia

As the mom to a son who was formerly a sponsored child in Ethiopia, I can assure you that kids don’t care who feed them and give them an education. If their meal came to them through the administrative work of a Jesus-loving gay man in the U.S. of A. or they were able to attend another week of school because a Christian lesbian in America helped make it possible makes no difference. What makes the difference is that someone cared at all. And really, how many of us Christians really do? Really?

On the heels of news of the death of Fred Phelps, the founder of Westboro Baptist Church, notorious for their hatred of gay people (and just about anybody else who ever walked God’s green earth), what does this mean for those who claim to love Jesus? What kind of test might God be up to here? (Don’t think for a second He won’t test our love for the world.) How should we followers of Jesus respond to one of the most divisive social justice and political issues of our day?

When it comes to this topic, I can try to understand the fears, the prejudices, the assumptions that cause some Christians to go a little cray-cray for morality, because we absolutely should care about holiness. (That is, our own.) But the thing is, Church, the THING IS, there are a slew of people and denominations who genuinely love and follow Jesus but have different beliefs about homosexuality.

And whether you think gay people are a heartbeat away from the flames of hell simply because of whom they get all googly-eyed about or you believe that homosexuals who love Jesus are no worse than you, people who have same-sex attraction—whether you like it or not—actually can have salvation in Jesus and truly love and worship Him, even if they never, ever “change their ways” to fit yours. And if you disagree with that, then you have narrowly defined who is fit for salvation and who is suitable to love our Savior, and you have even established unBiblical criteria for who is allowed to serve the poor.

Too many Christians just can’t believe that homosexuals can “really love Jesus.” And that’s what it comes down to. And that’s called judging. And not in the righteous way. And that’s just not ever okay. And I just started a lot of sentences with And.

So to me it’s pretty simple: World Vision, instead of causing division on matters of disagreement among Christians, is not going to let such matters determine who is “fit” to serve the poor or work for their organization. It might be a challenging idea, but perhaps that’s because we are so accustomed to finding grounds for division instead of unity in Jesus.

Win-Win Wrestling

The truth is, people, I don’t have all the answers—and neither do you, nor you, nor you, nor the dude with the Ph.D. who rules Evangelica, the Bible-thumper on the street corner, Billy Graham (or any of his kids for that matter), John Piper, Russell Moore, Richard Stearns, Jen Hatmaker, or even my own personal faves Tony Campolo, Shane Claiborne, and Rachel Held Evans. Not even the Pope has God’s final word on the matter. (But gosh I sure do dig that new Pope!)

And as much as I wish I did, I’m okay with not knowing it all. I’m okay with the wrestling, and that alone makes me on the “outs” for many who claim Christianity. But the thing about this wrestling that so many Evangelicals just can’t quite grasp, is that it doesn’t mean you doubt the Word of God, the holiness of God, or the absolute morality and truth of God; it just means you can admit you might not always be right. So where the Bible and contemporary complexities seem to sometimes collide, I’m perfectly okay resting in the tension and leaving the clarification to God Almighty Himself and just LOVING Jesus and people in the meantime. (And no, that’s not too simplistic.)

And so I’ve come to truly enjoy the wrestling, and in doing so I am discovering that I find wrestling a comforting place to be, because ultimately it doesn’t change my foundation—it actually reinforces it. God can handle my questions, my doubts, my wonderings, my wrestling. I think he finds it mutually sweet because it means I’m digging and leaning into him, and in doing so—even if I don’t come up with all the absolute answers—I learn to love better because I am loving HIM more. And then it makes all of these divisive issues seem so silly in light of the call he has left us with…to simply love.

So What, Then?

So what I’m saying to my fellow followers of Jesus is this: Do we find it easier to point out sin? Or do we find it easier to wrestle? I think our own personal answers to those two questions reveal our hearts. And at the end of it all, it’s our hearts that Jesus cares about most.

And to those who proclaim to know it all, who can’t help but make sure the world knows what you think of “the gays,” allow me to challenge you with this:

If gay people are more inclined to know about your Jesus because of your “righteous stand,” then keep it up. But if instead they’re running the other direction into the arms of the welcoming world instead of their loving Savior, then maybe we should revisit our thoughts on true abomination.

Scripture is clear that we are all wonderfully and beautifully made. At the same time, Scripture is clear that we all sin. Contrary to how that might sound on the surface, that is not a contradiction. Rather, it is beautiful evidence of God’s ability to fully love all of humanity. It is the example Jesus set. And we are to follow.

Stone Me Now

Throughout my years in social media, I have intentionally NOT made any definitive statements on matters of moral controversy IF making such concrete statements will turn people from the Kingdom of God. Because the truth for me is, it doesn’t matter to me whether homosexuality is a sin or not, because it’s not my own personal struggle or identity. What does matter to me is the whole world knowing Jesus, and in my observation in our society in our day and age in our political climate, pointing out homosexuality does nothing but turn people away from Jesus. So I have never picked a side. And I won’t. Because I think that misses the point in the first place.

But why homosexuality? Why this issue to point our fingers at? Well, simply, because most of us don’t feel hypocritical doing so. (I know. That’s sick.) If we point our finger at those who struggle with gluttony or greed or lust or lying we are full-blown, recognizable hypocrites. Singling out homosexuality makes us feel—and even lookso righteous.

But then we remember that we’re not to point the finger at all, so no matter what sin we give special status to, we’re the worst of hypocrites anyway. That’s why I personally can have my own convictions on certain sins but choose not to impose them on others or even express them beyond my own heart, because sometimes convictions are best between me and my God. Not always, mind you, but sometimes and even oftentimes.

This is something I pray daily to do “right,” to represent Jesus well, especially in this area. And when I get messages from gay friends and family members saying Thank You for my thoughts and posts on this issue, I hope that means I’m working in the right direction for Jesus’ Name. Because in the end, you guys, sharing Jesus with others is what I want to be about.

But if we don’t even have the world’s ears, then what does it gain anyone in the end? If our words shut them out, then we’ve doomed the very people to hell that we claim are headed there. So for the sake of the Kingdom, listen to this, please: If you are part of the collective uproar, I hope you realize that if in fact you are right about your stance, your methods are all wrong and entirely counterproductive. If you want the world to hear about your Jesus, you have to stop shutting their ears to Him.

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” -Romans 10:13-15, NIV

So I will stick to obeying Jesus. I will “love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength” and love my neighbor as myself. And the next time I’m tempted to have a knee-jerk reaction for the sake of the gospel, I am going to be sure I’m responding like a true bearer of it. In the meantime, you can find me praying and working for the day when saying, “Hi, I’m So-and-So. And I’m a Christian” is connoted with love, compassion, humility, and sacrificial living instead of self-righteousness, judgment, and exclusion. Lord bless. Is it possible? I have to believe. Care to join me?

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”

-Jesus

 

Wanna read more?

Matthew Paul Turner: The Good News for World Vision

Kristen Howerton / Rage Against the Mini-Van: On World Vision, gay marriage, and taking a stand on the backs of starving children

Sponsor a World Vision child here on my friend Kristen’s page: http://myshare.worldvision.org/rageagainsttheminivan Yeah, that’s rad. Do it.

 

30 thoughts on “Drawing Lines: World Vision, Poor Kids, Gay Christians, and Knee-Jerk Reactions

  1. Nancy

    Well done. I wonder why it is so easy for us to almost laughingly look at the Pharisees of Scripture, yet cannot see our own resemblance. Beautiful words to really think on. I pray that people will truly read all of it with an open heart and a mirror.

    Reply

    1. Matt C

      Your article was very thought provoking. But I think sometimes we miss the actual problems involved when we talk about homosexuality vs. Christianity.

      I think nearly all sincere Christians would agree with the notion that gay sex is no less and no more sinful than other sexual sins God has named in scripture. If there’s a sincere question about the sinfulness of homosexual relations, there are many places the interested person can go to honestly find out what the bible says on this point. Of course there are those who will twist the scriptures and redifine terms to make some point or another, but an honest reading of scripture will unequivocally reveal that the God of the Bible finds practicing homosexuality immoral.

      As a second and equally powerful witness to God’s intent for us, I point to our anatomy – an anatomy created by and purposed by God. It is clearly God’s intent that men and women should fit together and not men and men or women and women. Not that the fullness of God’s will can be seen by anatomy alone, but by this and by extension the entire mammalian kingdom, it should be obvious that homosexual relations are not “natural” to God’s purpose and order.

      Even so, gay sex is no worse than any other sexual sin. It is true that scripture does warn us against sexual sin, calling it a “sin against your own body”. So sexual sin does have a special class of sorts.

      The thing that elevates the topic of “homosexuality” to the point that it feels like some treat it like a “super sin” really has nothing at all to do with gayness at all. The reason we see such a revulsion from Christians around this topic is that a second, separate and far more deeply damaging sin is involved. That sin is heresy.

      The heretic declares falsehood to be true and truth to be false. A person who declared theft or lying to be not only acceptable but heroic would be a heretic. To declare homosexuality to be morally equivalent of married heterosexual relations is likewise a heretic. It is the sin of heresy that elevates this topic to a whole new level.

      The prior poster mentioned the Pharisees. The Pharisees were vigorously condemned by Jesus not because they called what was sin to be sin – not because they condemned the truly guilty. They were condemned because they built a false system of laws that were not God’s laws. They had their own politically correct system by which they assumed moral superiority and distorted God’s truth. It was against this heresy that Jesus was so powerfully critical and it was over his criticism of their heretical views and coordinating hypocrisy that they killed him.

      Reply

  2. Reta

    I often say it concerns me that certain social issues don’t bother me more. I consider myself an evangelical Christian. And, I have several gay friends. I cannot grasp hold of the idea that the loving God I know would turn away from them. I just can’t do it. And, when my friends find someone whom they love and who loves them dearly, I can’t stop myself from being happy for them. AND I don’t believe God is one bit disappointed in me for that. I know He isn’t! What you shared helps me now feel more comfortable with the wrestling I experience. Thank you.

    Reply

    1. Matt C

      Remember that the God of the Bible is both loving and righteous. This issue more than any other of our day has driven a wedge between these two equally important attributes of God.

      The God of the Bible is also the God who brought the flood, who destroyed Sodom, who killed a thousand prophets of Baal through Elijah, who allowed Jesus to be tortured and brutally murdered, who allowed Stephen to be stoned, Peter to be crucified and Paul to be beheaded. The God of the Bible demands honesty, righteousness and repentance.

      God is loving, but he is not safe. He is merciful but he demands nothing less than your whole life and expects his followers to pick up their own crosses and follow him.

      If you think God is saying: “I just want everybody to be happy.”, you are in danger of hearing him say, “depart from me because I never knew you.”

      Jesus is the best friend of sinners, but he always says to them, “go and sin no more…”

      Reply

  3. Anonymous

    I am gay. I am a Christian. I know what the Bible says. I know what “Christians” say. I know that the torment within my soul has come from the words “you are going to go to hell”, “change your life or you won’t have a family”, “your pain isn’t important, “that is unnatural”, “you can’t truly love Jesus”, “pray the gay away”, “you need to stop struggling”, I could go on and on. Those have been said by family, friends, and “Christians”. I had to pull away from those voices. I had to wrestle. I still am wrestling. Let me tell you this, I am loved by the Holy Creator. He has not and will not let me go for loving another like me. Gay people go through hell because of these voices declaring we are not worthy of love. If you knew who I was or saw me on the street you wouldn’t be able to tell what I have gone through or deal with. You also wouldn’t see that I have a huge heart for missions. I believe that spreading the love of Jesus has more of an impact on people than chaining the hands and hearts of gay people. This was a great article. I can only pray that “Christians” see that there are gay people who genuinely love Jesus and are willing to do His will.

    Reply

    1. Heidi Weimer Post author

      Dear Anonymous,
      Thank you for your comments and being real and vulnerable in this forum. I truly pray God covers your hurt places and heals you from the pain and wounds of others. And, in case we’re not already friends on Facebook or real life, please look me up. I’d love to be your friend. I don’t care whom you love. Bless you. I pray you feel the love of Jesus, perhaps even through those who follow Him.
      Peace,
      heidi

      Reply

    2. Sunshine O'reilly

      Anonymous,
      You are loved….I don’t care who you are or who you love. God loves you, because he made you and as my mom used to tell me….god never makes junk……EVER. For what it’s worth I’m sorry for your pain. Just so sorry…

      Reply

  4. DR

    I find it ironic that a blog about unity and love is filled with so much anger. People overreacted to the announcement, and this blog is doing the exact same thing in the other direction. Sarcasm isn’t the most loving, unifying thing. Phrases like “And whether you think gay people are a heartbeat away from the flames of hell simply because of whom they get all googly-eyed” is a clearly an attempt to mock people who believe homosexuality is wrong. It’s just hard to take a blog about love seriously when it isn’t written in love.

    Reply

    1. Heidi Weimer Post author

      Anytime someone tries to judge the heart of another, you’re going to lose their attention in a conversation. And so that being said, you have lost my attention.

      Reply

  5. A former Orphan

    As a former orphan myself, I am glad an obedient follower of Christ fed me and showed me the way to live a godly life. Let’s pretend someone who lives a life committing adultery every day tells me they love and follow Jesus and I don’t know any better. They may feed me and cloth me in which I am grateful for. Yet even if I gain the whole world and lose my sole, I have nothing. I don’t want to grow up thinking I am living a godly life why being disobedient. If we agree the bible teaches being a homosexual is wrong then there are dangers of someone saying they “follow” Jesus yet don’t “follow” his commandments. Now if you don’t think homosexuality is a sin then we may never see eye to eye. I’m not sure if World Vision are putting homosexuals in “teaching & spreading the gospel” positions but if they are, I pray they think twice about that.

    In general, World Vision hiring homosexuals really is not a problem. I mean, what if they see the good people are doing in the name of Jesus! I pray it changes their heart! I do agree churches in America need to check their motives before throwing stones. World Vision hiring homosexuals is NOT a salvation issue so churches need to chill out. If anyone drops their kids sponsorship’s because of this, well, lets just say it would be heartbreaking. Too many people know what Christians are against but do they really know what were for?
    Blessing’s from Africa

    Reply

  6. Laura

    Thanks for this.
    I’m so glad I’m not alone feeling sick to my stomach over the way the body is handling this. I agree with your statement in the Focus on the Family comments… I sincerely believe that Jesus is weeping.

    Reply

  7. Anonymous

    I’m not a Christian, but I am gay, I have a wife and 3 young babies, so our beautiful family is definitely alternative. Or “normal”, however you look at it. 🙂
    Where do I begin?? This past week has shown me so much of world visions christian god & ethics. My family and I are what I consider “godless” or “atheist”. We studied religion much too much in college and still to this day we read tons of inconsistancies & contradictions in the bible. In a nutshell, there is no proof of a deity, add in critical thinking, logic and these crazy judgemental christians, and you’ve got people like us laughing & running from religion. Please understand my comments are not to be said in disrespect, this is our conclusion. I respect all religions & people, so I hope you can understand that. I loved your article, regardless. You have awesome critical thinking skills! You seem normal.
    My point is that I hear many many christians saying horrible things about our gay family, & gay ppl in general. Over this dumb decision at World Vision. Before that it was the douchebag Fred Phelps, telling us how much “God hates fags”. Recently, my wife & I decided to take our kids to a “hip” seeker church & we were told “at the end if the day you are gay, living in sin, and we can’t accept you here”. We were told that our kids cannot join the groups the other kids were in bc WE are gay. We are “different”. It was absurd!! I guess thier God doesn’t see us the same way as the rest of the perfect people who go there. There was such an arrogance & fear of us as gay people, the stares & questions were unbelievable. So I asked them specifically if their Jesus was sitting next to us, would he ask us to leave bc we are gay? The woman (head of the church) said “Yes, he would’. Unbelievable. We left crying that day. Mostly bc it was the icing on the cake for us. Just ridiculous.
    I guess what I’m asking is difficult. Have you ever considered giving up Christianity & your faith in this god? I hope that doesn’t sound disrespectful, please know I mean that with love. As a godless person, we are a very loving family, who accepts everyone, we believe in humanity, love and compassion. We don’t need a god to tell us to love others, we just do. For the most part we do so without trying to judge others. 🙁 so I guess, have you thought about being godless for awhile?? Gays, along with everybody is accepted by the godless. We are welcomed with open arms.
    Thank you again for your article. Thank you for at least understanding that xtians are crazy and just don’t get what love really is. Irony is awesome.

    Reply

    1. Daughter of a Godly Gay Man

      Your comment reduced me to tears. My father recently came out at 50 years old, and his faith in God has not waivered one bit.

      However, it has rocked my faith to the core, because my first thought was, “Now everyone I know is going to hate my dad and if I have to hate him to stay a Christian, I will leave Jesus and choose my father.”

      I’ve had many thousands of thoughts since that day, but it sticks with me that my very first thought was fear that I would have to choose my gay dad or my Jesus.

      I can’t take much more of this “truth” the Christian Right is so bent on spewing. It’s not just the gays who are turned off….it’s people like me who desperately love someone who is gay and who can’t imagine having to believe they will spend eternity in hell for falling in love.

      I can’t do it. So, I’m not Heidi, but to answer your question…yes. I have considered being godless. I am still considering it. I can’t do this much longer. If I have to leave my god to be free to choose love and acceptance for all, the I will risk hell because if I don’t, my life here is hell anyway.

      Reply

    2. Chasity

      Dear Anonymous,
      My heart breaks for you! It’s clear you are an incredibly respectful and loving person. I wish I could sit and talk with you over coffee about life and love and deep stuff, cause I’m not much of a small talk fan. 🙂 More than anything I want to tell you that those church members were WRONG. Their leader was WRONG. Jesus would never have asked you to leave, unless it was because he was leaving as well.

      Reply

      1. Anonymous

        Hey guys, thank you. “Daughter of a godly man”- I applaud you for being honest and saying your ready to be godless. I was there many years ago in college when I was in the closet. I don’t ever want to convince someone to give up their faith out of anger though. If you do it, do it because of critical thinking, scientific research or just studying religion all together. You will see the inconsistencies & lack of a supernatural just by digging deep. And truthfully, these xtians do not help the question if god exists. With all the respect I can muster, it’s ok to take a break from Christianity for awhile, just be free. Step back & look at all the anger, hate & ostracizing that the church does not only to my family, but to yours. It’s preposterous. I wish there was another way, but maybe all xtians should take a step back. Refuse to put up with the hate. Refuse to step foot in another church unless it’s everybody who is welcome. NOT just the perfect people.
        Chastity- thank you. 🙂

        Reply

        1. Heidi Weimer Post author

          These comments absolutely break my heart, both because of the pain they express and because I know they are valid. I can’t argue with your experiences and pain. However, what I WILL say is this: While people who claim the name of Christ are completely imperfect people and WILL mess up…and often, Jesus will never. Any pain or hurt or humiliation you have ever experienced at the hands of the Church does not reflect Jesus Christ. I would hate for you to miss a lifetime of relationship and love and compassion from him because of the hate of a (albeit large) few. Because truth be told, Jesus isn’t the dark side of humanity; He is the loving light of the world that embraces all and loves us equally. HE will never fail you. Ever. People, yes, they will (no surprise there). But Jesus never. Leaving God is not the answer, because it’s not God who has wounded you. God is the God of Justice and Hope and Peace and all of those cliche words that are absolutely true and real. I know they are, because I experience it daily. I pray you all will feel the tender love of Jesus today and always, and that the hurt places will be made whole. Much love to all. -heidi

          Reply

  8. Doug

    I can’t understand how children who receive help from WV would be harmed in any way if someone involved in providing the help happened to be be a gay Christian. Would the food suddenly be tainted because a gay person was involved in, say, logistics or purchasing for WV?

    I also don’t understand making specific rules to insure that a person involved in one sin can’t serve, but there is no mention of any other sin. Is there some list of ‘evangelical approved’ sin floating around that get a special pass?

    Reply

    1. Matt C

      From a Christian viewpoint, food is important and life giving, but God’s truth is also life giving. Jesus never said, “go and feed the poor.” He did say, “Go and preach the gospel.” While care for the poor will always be an important part of a Christian’s mission, their central purpose must always be to bring the gospel of the kingdom.

      It is impossible for a person in a committed and unrepentant sinful lifestyle to bring the fullness of the Gospel – regardless of whether they are committed and unrepentant of theft, lying, adultery or homosexuality.

      The fundamental mark of a Christian is not sinless life, but a life of repentance. The Christian agrees with God about his sin and looks to rid himself of it by Gods grace.

      Reply

      1. Heidi Weimer Post author

        Jesus never said “Go and feed the poor?” Au contraire.

        Matthew 25
        31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

        34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

        37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

        40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

        41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

        44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

        45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

        46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

        What Jesus DID say regarding homosexuality was, well, nothing. Only that we are not to point out others’ sins, but instead worry about our own. We can insist all day long that we have the Jesus-given right to point out others’ sins on certain legitimate grounds, but if we end up pushing people away from the Kingdom (as we will), then we have it ALL WRONG. It makes no sense to say, “I care about your soul and therefore need to tell you how you are sinning” when doing so actually pushes them closer to hell. MAKES NO SENSE.

        Reply

        1. Matt C

          I think you’re missing the central point. My point is not that Jesus does not care about the poor; nor am I suggesting that the Church has not been actively involved in mercy missions to the poor and needy. In fact it should be obvious to all that Jesus did care for the poor and likewise so is his church heavily involved in feeding and other mercy missions of all kinds.

          What you seemed to miss is the original poster’s question: “I can’t understand how children who receive help from WV would be harmed in any way if someone involved in providing the help happened to be be a gay Christian.” This is a good question and one that should be meaningfully answered.

          The answer is that Jesus demands repentance of his followers. The central teaching of Jesus is “repent and believe.” For the thief, they must repent of their stealing. For the liar, they must repent (and keep on repenting) of their deception. Sexual sins, including homosexuality must likewise be repented of. There is no salvation apart from repentance.

          Now it is true that Jesus’ demand for repentance does not lead to sinless Christians. The sincere Christian life, however leads to more and deeper repentance and victory over sin. It is impossible to simultaneously maintain a commitment both to sin and to Christ.

          Many posters, including your initial blog, seem to demand Christians give of their time and money and even their lives to feed the poor but also demand that they reject the central teaching of Jesus ministry: repentance that leads to faith”. You may be able to brow beat some Christians to leave these central elements of the gospel at the altar as you bash them with words like “hateful”, “self righteous”, “Pharisee”, “unloving” and the like. So it was with World Vision for a time. But in the end, true Christians will neither leave their good works nor their master’s teaching behind.

          Jesus offers the fullness of life and restoration, but it costs his followers everything – including their commitment to their favorite sins.

          Reply

  9. Julie

    The comments here and the many on the Facebook post are saddening, frightening and angering to say the least. I agree with you Heidi in that how do we as the body of Christ, as the hands and feet of the Savior of the world show that love and forgiveness if all there is is condemnation? For God so loved the world…not just the Christians, Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, but to save the world. Why why why all the judgement? The focus on this one thing that isn’t even hurting anyone? I wish people would get fired up about injustice instead of a persons love life…
    How very sad that people would rather choose a life without Jesus so they don’t have to deal with the finger pointing of Christians

    Reply

  10. Deb O

    God forbid someone who wasn’t Christian wanted to help feed the poor. Bothered that the whole issue has to be an issue and disgusted that they got bullied into reversing their decision. Pushed me the opposite direction

    Reply

  11. Deb O

    And Anonymous “I am SO, SO sorry”. Jesus would have loved and welcomed you whole heatedly because that was who he was at the core and

    Daughter of a Godly Man. “We are all human. Don’t best yourself up. “.

    Reply

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  13. Matt C

    Heidi,

    Thanks for the discussion forum! While we don’t agree on all points, it was good of you to host such a diverse set of viewpoints and opinions.

    Reply

  14. Kellie

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