Ten Thousand Kids in 2 Days

Ten Thousand Kids.

Those are the words that kept ringing inside my brain as I tried to listen to Rich Stearns talk about what happened last week at World Vision.

Ten thousand kids.

Ten thousand brown, black, tan, or white faces…

Ten thousand souls…

And in only 2 days.

As Stearns chatted with a handful of bloggers about why the board made the decision it made and then reversed that decision two days later, those words—TEN THOUSAND KIDS! TEN THOUSAND KIDS!—blinked like a neon sign in my head.

And that was the two-day cost of their decision, a decision to hire married gay folk, a decision that was decided on last fall and leaked to Christianity Today last week. That was the cost.

Last Monday, the day of the announcement, World Vision’s call center received 7000 calls and a loss of 2000 child sponsorships. That’s just in 12 hours on Monday! The following day those numbers swelled. And then on Wednesday, within minutes of World Vision announcing that it was reversing its decision, the calls stopped and, according to Stearns, “the bleeding stopped.”

Rumor is it stopped almost like magic. Almost as soon as the press release hit, the cancellations stopped, the angry phone calls stopped.

It took several days to count the total loss of sponsorships, a number that eventually rose to “just about 10,000 children,” according to Stearns. A handful of people did call back, hoping to start up their sponsorships again. But the majority did not.

And that breaks my heart.

It should break all of our hearts, regardless of whether you praised World Vision’s initial decision or panned it as “godless.”

Even still, those three words should break us friends. Because it’s a number that represents 10,000 needy children, flesh and blood of various races and nationalities, little ones who are precious in God’s sight.

And yet, a large number of so-called born again Christians treated their relationships with their kids like they were little more than subscriptions to HBO. Sure, some people probably stopped sponsoring their kid and began sponsoring another kid through a different organization. But that’s not any better. A child sponsorship is not a product that can be returned and exchanged for a different brand. There’s nothing “moral” about using a kid as a bargaining chip to punish a Christian organization for making a decision that you don’t agree with. There’s nothing honoring about using children to force an organization’s hand. There’s nothing “pro life” about that. There’s nothing remotely “Christlike” about that. It’s downright disgusting, manipulative, and sad. If I was a Pentecostal, I might even call it demonic.

Not only do a lot of Christians wage war against flesh and blood, they’re willing to use child sponsorship as their weapons… like little ransom notes…

May God have mercy…

May light shine on all of us…

May we wake up from our intolerant slumber…

If you’re interested in sponsoring a child through World Vision, you can do that here.


  1. EricBoersma says

    I’ve been trying to internalize that number all day since it first popped up, and I’m still totally unable to do so.

  2. KimberlyMarciniak says

    I sponsor 4 children through World Vision- children whom I love and
    adore. I have watched grow up through photos, have their shaky handwritten letters scattered
    about my room, and their kiddie artwork has decorated my fridge for
    nearly a decade. I can’t imagine EVER dropping them… it would just be
    too hard and painful.
    World Vision does a lot of good… and I
    know from seeing their work first hand when I visited my sponsored
    children that investing in child sponsorship through World Vision is
    money well spent.
    10,000 children – that number is just
    heartbreaking. I’ll be looking into my finances again tonight to see if I
    can sponsor another 2.
    Those of us who strive to be reflections
    of Christ must remember: 1 John 3:17 “If anyone has material
    possessions and sees a brother or sister in need
    but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?”
    I’m praying those sponsors will have changed hearts.

  3. says

    Matthew, Thank you for sharing this. It makes me so sad. If Christians are supposed to be known by their love, they certainly failed here. Praying we can get the word out and get all of the children plus many more sponsored in the days and weeks ahead.

  4. Bartondad says

    No doubt it will impact their work even if all the sponsorships come back.  But that responsibility falls to World Vision not their donors. I refuse to be angry with people who have particular convictions and felt betrayed by their partner organization, and I really refuse to lionize WV or even feel sorry for them since this decision was never  shared publicly until it was leaked to Christianity Today, that’s not how Christians or their organizations should operate.

  5. GeoffBrown says

    Statement from World Vision Australia: “..We
    are mindful of the fact that many supporters will be concerned about
    the news coming from the US but we hope our Australian supporters will
    not be deterred from continuing to support us in the work we do. We do
    not ask questions about sexual
    orientation, marriage or lifestyle choices during our recruitment
    interviews. We do not share World Vision US’s views on this issue and
    will be forwarding all feedback we receive from our supporters and the
    Australian public to World Vision International, including World Vision
    US. I hope this gives you some clarity as to our position here in
    Australia. -TimJ, World Vision Team.”

  6. Teachmrskelley says

    Mr. Turner,
    Where exactly did you get you numbers? I have two different sources with quotes from Mr. Stearns and neither of them come close to your alarmist 10,000 children. In the article from Time magazine it states over 3,000, and in the Charisma article it states under, but close to, 5,000.
    Please verify your numbers or post a link with your source information. Thanks!

  7. rebfort says

    I agree that it’s abysmal that children got caught in the middle m but with all due respect where is the Christian outrage about the millions of aborted babies? Just seems hypocritical to scream about 10000 children in foreign lands when your own country is murdering them by the millions….

  8. SandraHeretic says

    rebfort  because if we aren’t willing to feed ten thousand children already living on the same world we do, what makes you think we’d support the millions of babies who you think would have been born if abortion were illegal?

  9. Jack Burton jr says

    Turner is playing a very misleading zero sum game. I won’t question his Christianity but I do question his logical ability. World Vision is NOT the only org that helps children around the world. Many others do, and do quite well at it. The fact that some people quit using WV as their vehicle of giving doesn’t mean that they quit giving. That money might quite well make its way into missionary work and charitable giving through many other worthy ways. Yes, those particular kids may not now benefit, but perhaps 10,000 OTHER kids who never would have been helped are now helped. As I noted, it is not a zero sum game. Let’s keep in mind, though, who participated the initial cause of any choice that donors made. If Turner is so desirous of pointing fingers of grief then let him start with the cause, not the reactors who were doing what they did in accordance with their understanding of Christianity.

  10. Pake Steve says

    Jack Burton jr  If the people who pulled their support from World Vision can ease their consciences by diverting their funding to another charity, it does not change the fact that 10,000 needy children have had the food taken from their mouths because of this.  Giving is not so impersonal that it doesn’t matter where the money goes as long as one gives.  This is ridiculous.

  11. says

    Jack Burton jr  Matthew acknowledges that there are other orgs out there- “Sure, some people probably stopped sponsoring their kid and began sponsoring another kid through a different organization.”

    I’m disturbed by how nonchalantly you and others throw around those 10,000 dropped children. “Oh, there’s 10,000 more somewhere else! No big deal!” 10,000 is not a number. 10,000 represents 10,000 individual lives. And what’s more, entire families rely on sponsored support of their children. How can you be so casual about this? What does hiring gay employees do to get in the way of being the hands and feet of Jesus? Someone’s sexual and relational choices do not get in the way of feeding hungry children.

  12. ChristinaOizaf says

    It is terrible that 10,000 children lost their sponsorship.  YET< there is consequences to SIN.  If you have a problem with that, take it up with God himself.

  13. SandraHeretic says

    Ten thousand children losing sponsorship over a doctrinal point is a sin. I expect God will take that up with those who thought dogma more important than charity.

  14. isabellamoi says

    Heart breaking.  

    I have an honest question that I haven’t really seen addressed in all this:  What is Christianity Today’s responsibility?  Someone leaked them the ‘story’…I know they are ‘just journalists following a lead’ but didn’t they have a moral obligation to think about the pros and cons of writing the story?  I imagine WV asked them not to go ahead with the story.  I don’t know how it all played out.  Obviously the spot light is on WV in all this but I’m wondering if there are editors at CT who feel some regret or guilt for their part in this fiasco.  They could have quietly let WV sort out their own hiring practices without writing a story that the NA church was always going to find sensational.

    Or were they just doing their jobs as journalists?  

    Anyone have thoughts on this?

    • says

      As someone with a tad bit of insider knowledge knowing LOTS of people who work at World Vision…. Christianity Today did a very wrong thing and in a very underhanded and lying way. World Vision was given a date in which CT was going to release what they wanted to and how they wanted to. WV was preparing and all of leadership was not yet involved and CT immediately then released their version of the information very prematurely. I will never allow people who I know to work with CT in any way shape or form and I am disgusted with what they did. You are right. They did MUCH of the harm in this situation.

  15. WesRobertson says

    Mia Purdin Jack Burton jr I agree with you, Mia, but, lest more people get misled, they need to know that, while relationships are choices, sexuality is not. No one EVER chooses to go through life being hated and looked down on, losing job and promotion opportunities, not being eligible for state and federal benefits that married people enjoy, etc. No one EVER says “I think I’ll start being gay, so I can suffer.”
    As far as “gay marriage goes,” let’s be serious: we all know that it doesn’t exist. Marriage, by definition, consists of one man and one woman. States can legislate all they want. but you can’t grow rocks in a turnip patch.

  16. Jack Burton jr says

    Pake Steve Jack Burton jr  — seems like WV sure “eased” something by the quickness and total reversal of the policy, eh. There is no way that WV didn’t know well in advance exactly what was going to happen within their donors. Why was WV so willing to take that food away? What was so important to them that they had to press the issue when they KNEW, beyond a doubt, what would happen? 

    And who said that giving was “impersonal.” I said the donors had options. WV is not the only “personal” place that people can give to.

  17. Jack Burton jr says

    Mia Purdin Jack Burton jr  — Yes, they represent 10,000 individual lives that WV knew well in advance of their policy change that would be negatively affected. Yet…. Yet…. Yet…. WV went ahead and did it, knowing exactly what the cost would be to those children.  Makes one wonder, eh.

    And I enjoy how “casually” you dismiss the 10,000 children and families who are going to get new hope, new help, and new futures because of the changes in sponsorship. 

    And as a note, if you are going to comment, stick to the truth of the matter. There was nothing in this issue about “hiring gay employees”.

  18. WesRobertson says

    Mia Purdin Jack Burton jr  That having been said, we must also realize that gay people are human, just like the rest of us, and should be able to hold down any jobs for which they are qualified. The fact that they need to pay the rent/mortgage, buy groceries and gas for the car, and pay the light and phone bills, should not be cause for depriving ten thousand children of necessities that they were told they would receive, and were counting on.

  19. WesRobertson says

    Mia Purdin Jack Burton jr There are Ten Commandments. How many people now working at World Vision faithfully observe all of them? How many of them are now living with members of the opposite sex, but without the benefit of marriage? How many of them lie, or steal, or covet? Are people going to withdraw their support because of these people? – Yeah, that’ll teach those kids! smh! 🙁

  20. WesRobertson says

    Jack Burton jr Mia Purdin I don’t “casually” dismiss anyone, and I don’t understand what’s enjoyable about that thought to you.
    I was simply saying that if you can only support 10,000 children out of, say. 20,000, it’s cruel to start better lives for those 10.000, and get them to hope for and expect those blessings, then suddenly yank the carpet out from under them, and stop all of your assistance, even if you are transferring that assistance to the other 10,000.

  21. WesRobertson says

    Jack Burton jr Mia Purdin
    From the above article, the incident that prompted al of this: “And that was the two-day cost of their decision, a decision to hire married gay folk, a decision that was decided on last fall and leaked to Christianity Today last week. That was the cost.”

  22. WesRobertson says

    rebfort Rest assured, Rebfort, that the battle to save the babies being killed every day, in Obama’s/NARAL’s/planned parenthood’s War On Women And Children, is being fought 24/7, by many thousands of people. No one can fight all the battles at once, so each of us has to take on whatever he can. I have just spent some time here, but will soon go back to  the ProLife battle.

  23. WesRobertson says

    SandraHeretic rebfort   Sandra, we are, indeed, willing, and fighting for the opportunity to support those babies, but to do that, we have to stop the Infanticide Holocaust. As part of that battle, thousands and thousands of babies whose mothers were convinced to Choose Life are now being supported, fed, clothed, etc., by members of the Pro-Life movement.

  24. Bartondad says

    They will spend more than they lost in damage control, and I’m guessing future contributions will sag.  They just swung and missed.  Its unfortunate for the kids.

  25. WesRobertson says

    Bartondad    What’s to share? Why would ANY company or organization publicly spell out their hiring practices, if there’s no particular reason to do so? It’s not like they were doing anything improper. Hiring requirements should never exclude anyone who would not be expected to be a detriment to the organization doing the hiring.

  26. RachelEnsley says

    ChristinaOizaf It is not our job to dole out “consequences” for other people’s actions according to our own judgment.  It is despicable to hurt an innocent third party — especially children and those in great need — in order to try to arrogantly prove some point about your disapproval of someone else.  Only God is anyone’s judge; He has set certain “natural” consequences for sin in place, and any beyond that are for His discretion only.

    Scripture commands us to love others.  Scripture commands us not to judge.  And Scripture commands us to remove the plank from our own eye.  If you have a problem with that, maybe ask God to help you learn to submit to His word.

  27. Bartondad says

    SandraHeretic”Ten thousand children losing sponsorship over a doctrinal point is a sin.” Agreed. But I think that statement to applies to World Vision not the many faithful donors who were not consulted about the change.

  28. WesRobertson says

    isabellamoi    You are right. And the “information” that was “leaked” was not only inflammatory, it was unnecessary! WV’s hiring practices have absolutely NOTHING to do with their capabilities. What possibly made anyone think that that was newsworthy?

  29. RachelEnsley says

    Jack Burton jr And what kind of message does that send to the specific children that lost their sponsorships?  When you sponsor a child, you exchange letters, pictures, and prayers.  You get to know each other, and become a part of each other’s life.  Suddenly, in addition to withholding your financial aid, you break that personal connection because you disapprove of something a completely different person has done?  That doesn’t communicate the love of Christ to that child.  It communicates rejection, unworthiness, and apathy.  It communicates that your personal agenda is more important than actual ministry.  The fact that this exact attitude constitutes so many people’s “understanding of Christianity” is disgusting.

  30. WesRobertson says

    Bartondad  How did they “swing and miss?” WV did absolutely nothing that could have conceivably lead to this debacle. It started with Christianity Today’s decision to deliberately print as newsworthy, information that, in and of itself, was innocuous, but which spurred a lot of people to make uncalled-for decisions to withdraw money that they had already promised to those ten thousand children.

  31. WesRobertson says

    Bartondad SandraHeretic What change was there that they should have been notified of? If hiring gays was already a policy, then there was no change. If it was not policy, it was rightfully made policy, but that was only the logical, right, Christian thing to do. There was nothing in that hiring practice that could be a detriment to the organization. If you think there was, I hope you include all of those other employees who lie, steal, covet, commit adultery, live with members of the opposite sex without being married, etc.

  32. CalvinLewis says

    10,000 dropped kids is tragic and heartbreaking. It also proves the point: Sponsoring a child is more than sponsoring a child. It is a partnership with the child AND the relief organization. When the relief organization makes a change in who they are and what they stand for and when the donors are not consulted plus kept in the dark about that change of course, it should be expected that donations will be negatively effected. This is intro level leadership for any non-profit organization. If World Vision thought they could make changes in their ethics without it affecting their support base, they think differently on that now. This is not just about 10,000 children (although that is the most important issue by far), it is about the organization that people trust to manage and use the donations.

  33. Bartondad says

    WesRobertson”it was rightfully made policy”, Why did they need to make that policy and how is that “right”, “logical” or “Christian”?  This is about an non profit organization who thought they didn’t need to consult their givers.  They lost credibility and ultimately the kids lost, don’t blame the donors who have supported them for decades.  They just forgot who their audience is.

  34. Bartondad says

    RachelEnsley Whoa hang on, “Scripture commands us to love others.  Scripture commands us not to judge.”  You might want to check that.  We are to love others as ourselves (meaning we want the best for them) and we are most certainly called to be judges of each other within the body of Christ (Paul even commanded the Corinthians to throw people out of the church).  Its unbelievers we can’t judge because they don’t pretend to be believers and only God knows their heart.  I don’t believe World Vision falls into this category.  They are certainly accountable to the body if they are a Christian organization and especially to those who pay their bills.

  35. Bartondad says

    WesRobertson Evidently the thousands of supporters thought it was newsworthy.  And why did they know months in advance they were going to make this an official policy and yet didn’t until now consult anyone who gives/supports their work?

  36. says

    WesRobertson- oh, I’m in total agreement with you on that one- my personal experiences with gay people have taught me that no one chooses their sexuality, just as I didn’t choose mine.

  37. Bartondad says

    WesRobertson I get minutes from corporations I invest in because I don’t go to the stockholders meetings.  Any investor does during the course of a year.  Most of us throw them away because frankly we don’t care what they decide at those meetings.  But an organization that is built on the idea that they care for people should not make policy decisions without consulting its constituency.  Put it in the minutes, make an announcement, hey, maybe even ask if anyone thinks its a good idea.  You can’t say, “we care for kids” and at the same time, “we don’t care enough about you to to let you know what is going on”.  That’s where they swung and missed.

  38. says

    Jack Burton jr What WesRobertson said- it’s cruel to yank the carpet out from under the 10,000 (plus their parents and siblings) who have come to rely on their monthly support. I really think you’re grasping at straws on that one. I assure you, I don’t casually dismiss anyone in this matter.

    I can’t speculate on what WV did or didn’t know in advance of their decision. We now know that this was a policy change they made privately (like many other businesses and non-profits do everyday in this country) and a disproving employee either leaked or threatened to leak it to Christianity Today. So they were forced to make public issue of this. I don’t think for one second they anticipated such a backlash. We have no reason to accuse them of such a thing at this point, and it seems strange to do so.

    Lastly, what “truth of the matter” are you referring to if not hiring gay employees? That’s what started this whole debacle.

  39. Bartondad says

    WesRobertson Lets be honest this isn’t a policy like, “what color should the hallways be painted” this is about “same sex marriage” a hugely divisive issue throughout our culture. The larger constituency of WV holds a completely different view than the policy implies, so expect to lose donors.  Its simple math and a bad understanding of your customer.

  40. CalvinLewis says

    WesRobertson  I understand what you are saying. I am surprised an organization the size of WV (until a few months ago) even had a policy on not hiring people who were sexually-active, non-married heterosexuals. But for a vision-driven nonprofit relief organization that is significantly dependent on donations of evangelical Christians, WV leadership’s approval of monogamous, homosexual intercourse is not even remotely innocuous for conservative donors or a conservative magazine. You wrote that the withdrawal of funds was uncalled-for, but that is exactly the sort of thing each donor decides based on their trust in the organization. Maybe people are now hoping that more liberally-minded Christians will make up the difference in funding, but that isn’t likely to happen. Like WV and other similar groups already know, evangelicals donate 5x more money than other Christian groups.

  41. WesRobertson says

    Bartondad WesRobertson So every time they change the brand of pencils or staples, they should notify the stockholders? If they change window-washing companies, they should tell everyone? No – what they did was innocuous, and not worthy of going to the bother. All they did was what any Christian organization should do: they opened the door to employment wider, to allow all people to apply. Period!

  42. WesRobertson says

    Bartondad WesRobertson If Christianity Today hadn’t thrown gas on the campfire, there never would have been a flareup. But once they did that, a lot of people, in mob mentality, acted without thinking, and this debacle began. World Vision’s reversal came right out of the Susan G. Komen handbook: first, make a decision that is the correct, Christian decision to make, then throw that Christian attitude out the window because some unthinking people complained.

  43. CalvinLewis says

    This is all just a mess. One additional thing should be pointed out: Your money doesn’t go to a specific kid. (Your letters do, but your money doesn’t.) Your donation goes into a general fund. Those funds are used as the relief organization sees fit to do whatever they want to do in a region. Richard Stearns, President of WV wrote about this in his 2010 book: Telling the touching story of a single child is more effective for causing people to give money, so that’s why child sponsorship is used as the mechanism for fundraising. Emotional connection increases donations.

  44. RachelEnsley says

    CalvinLewis RachelEnsleyNope, just observing and stating the wrongness of this behavior.  Because maybe if enough of us point it out, people will think more about their attitudes and actions.  It isn’t right to do wrong things in order to protest other (maybe) wrong things. Also, I’m not hurting or punishing anyone in order to get my point across.

  45. WesRobertson says

    CalvinLewis WesRobertson I simply maintain that refusing to hire anyone because of his homosexuality is as wrong as refusing to hire someone because of his heritage, or his race, or his politics. As long as that difference will make no difference to the functioning of the organization, it is morally wrong and anti-Christian to refuse that person the opportunity. And this would apply to a secular organization which decided not to hire Christians. Would you deny homosexuals to go to services at your Church?

  46. Bartondad says

    WesRobertson First, don’t blame a magazine for doing what a magazine does.  I read about it first in the Seattle Times, so Im not sure the CT accusation is even truthful. Second, from an earlier post,”Lets be honest this isn’t a policy like, “what color should the hallways
    be painted” this is about “same sex marriage” a hugely divisive issue
    throughout our culture.”  so we’re not talking about pencils and window washing, we are talking about an issue that the majority of donors care about.  If you think WV didn’t know that then you are naive.  They decided in secret to do something they knew their donors wouldn’t like that’s the fact.  To say it was a mob mentality and that people weren’t thinking, is to dismiss their decision and prayer to support the organization in the first place.  You can’t have that both ways.

    • says

      Bartondad — in reality it did not play out the way that you are assuming it did. Secondly, yes CT is the #1 leading, sole, primary outlet that pre-released information that was not completely decided on by all meaningful members of leadership.

  47. Bartondad says

    WesRobertson “All they did was what any Christian organization should do”  I don’t think yo would find all Christians in agreement with that statement.  It only reveals your bias not the doctrinal standing of anyone else.

  48. Bartondad says

    WesRobertson CalvinLewisWe have to be careful to separate the company decision from the issue of same sex marriage.  Although the policy was about that, it is the way the policy was instituted and the non-inclusion of the donors with which so many people take issue.

  49. WesRobertson says

    RachelEnsley Jack Burton jr  Wow! Absolutely, Rachel! I don’t see how anyone could read what you just wrote, and disagree with you.

  50. Bartondad says

    WesRobertson Are you actually blaming the faithful givers who supported this organization over many decades because they want a voice in how its run?

  51. WesRobertson says

    Bartondad WesRobertson There’s no such thing as “gay marriage,” so it’s certainly nothing to fear. Marriage, by definition, consists of one man and one woman.
    If a dairy farmer decided he wanted to get out of the milk business, and run a horse farm, he could simply pressure some legislators to pass a law stating that any farmer who says his cows are now horses, would then own just horses. But we would know that they are still cows, and they probably wouldn’t take kindly to being saddled!

  52. WesRobertson says

    Bartondad WesRobertson Not as long as they show up every day to count the staples and make sure the bathrooms are cleaned.

  53. RachelEnsley says

    Bartondad RachelEnsleyI agree that there is a point where a person’s rebellion may be so extreme and persistent that they need to be asked to leave a church body.  However I do not believe people struggling (and don’t kid yourself please, it is a struggle) with same-sex attraction but who still love God fall into this category.  Many of them (who are Christians, anyway) have tried hard to change but don’t feel it is even possible.  Take a moment to imagine life without any possibility of romantic love and intimacy.  
    I’m not saying that we should start saying it’s ok for them to have same-sex relationships.  I’m saying we should try to have more compassion for their struggle; that we should stop treating their sin as worse or more deserving of punishment than other more common sins; and that hurting people in order to control them or others is wrong, even if we feel we are trying to control them into doing something right.

    All in all the church has spent way too much time and energy harping on a couple of pet peeve issues, while failing abysmally to do the basic job they are called to do for others: love them.  I am a pastor’s daughter and have spent 35 years in and out of church, and the strife I’ve seen caused by controlling, judgemental people is sickening.  People will obsess over homosexuality and act like their own pride, materialism, gossip, and failure to love their neighbor is ok.  Homosexuals are people who sin, like every single one of the rest of us.  It’s not our job to constantly throw their inadequacies in their face!  How would you  like if someone familiar with your temptations and failures did that to you?  

    Finally, I don’t suppose you or anyone cancelling their donations is planning on quitting their own job next time they sin somehow.

  54. Bartondad says

    RachelEnsley  OK, again, a good reading of scripture would show that Paul wasn’t asking them to leave because they were gay- that was not what was in view in that passage.  I was simply pointing out that we are to judge one another in the Church.  Second, this thread has gotten off the rails, it is about corporate ethics, regardless of our thoughts on same sex marriage.

  55. RachelEnsley says

    Bartondad RachelEnsleyI didn’t mean that Paul’s statements had to do with gays specifically, sorry if it came across that way.

  56. WesRobertson says

    Bartondad WesRobertson CalvinLewis I believe that people wouldn’t have responded the way they did, if someone hadn’t deliberately lit that fire and fanned the flames. After all, this is the 21st century. People today should be more enlightened, and realize that any Christian community that goes out of its way to exclude particular groups of people they consider to be sinners (hypocritical!), will see their numbers decrease.

  57. WesRobertson says

    Bartondad WesRobertson CalvinLewis You can’t witness to people who aren’t there. We should all think about the fact that Churches are hospitals for sinners, not museums for saints, and all Christian organizations should think and act accordingly. – Don’t build your own world, with high fences.+ God told us to welcome all sinners, and witness to them.

  58. WesRobertson says

    Bartondad RachelEnsley Wrong. – It’s about corporate ethics in regard to only one thing: the hiring of “married” gay people.

  59. Pake Steve says

    Jack Burton jr Pake Steve  If you can look at the picture of the child on your refrigerator and say, “Sorry, I can’t support you anymore. but don’t worry, I am going to give that money to someone else who I don’t know”, how can that be anything but impersonal?

  60. JBThompson says

    WesRobertson Bartondad  Yeah, these people aren’t share holders. They aren’t workers there. They don’t have to know anything about the hiring policy. They’re not giving to children on the basis that they know every inner working of the company. The moral obligation of this goes squarely on the givers who pulled their donations. 

    I think of Mark 3:1-6, or Luke 13:10-17, when Jesus shames the religious elite for holding Law above Love. “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good, or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” And so my question is this, is it lawful to pull support from an organization that provides for children without shelter, family, or food, in order to promote a political stance that is more about lining up with a Christian culture that has long ago removed Christ as it’s center, than it is about honoring God?

  61. MissCaron says

    TRUTH. This breaks my heart, still today. How does Jesus process all of this from His “followers”? I’m sure it breaks His heart just as much (if not more).

  62. tapple says

    WesRobertson CalvinLewis  I’m not agreeing that refusing to hire someone because of his practice of homosexuality is always wrong. Politically incorrect, I know.  I don’t have a problem with a fast food company, a Fortune 500 company, or a public university hiring a practicing homosexual.  But when I support WV in providing help to children, I choose to support them over a secular organization because I believe the children’s needs go beyond a meal and education.  I want that child to learn of the price Christ paid to bring forgiveness, healing, and hope to their lives.  I want to partner with an organization that can speak of the freedom from sin and the healing that Christ died to bring.

  63. Jack Burton jr says

    WesRobertson Wes sez: “WV did absolutely nothing that could have
    conceivably lead to this debacle.”
    And “So every time they
    change the brand of pencils or staples, they should notify the stockholders? If
    they change window-washing companies, they should tell everyone?”
    Jack responds: And thus
    ends any hope of a actual conversation about this issue. When one side has only
    an interest in snark and no interest in reality there is little foundation for

  64. Jack Burton jr says

    WesRobertson Bartondad  Wes sez: “WV did absolutely nothing that could have
    conceivably lead to this debacle.”
    And “So every time they
    change the brand of pencils or staples, they should notify the stockholders? If
    they change window-washing companies, they should tell everyone?”
    Jack responds: And thus
    ends any hope of a actual conversation about this issue. When one side has only
    an interest in snark and no interest in reality there is little foundation for

  65. Jack Burton jr says

    WesRobertson CalvinLewis  wes knows the issue was NOT about hiring homosexuals but he puts it forth anyway. This is why it is difficult to hold such conversations on this issue. One side plays fast and loose with actual truth.

  66. Jack Burton jr says

    WesRobertson Bartondad  Wes sez: “WV
    did absolutely nothing that could have conceivably lead to this debacle.”
    And “So
    every time they change the brand of pencils or staples, they should notify the
    stockholders? If they change window-washing companies, they should tell
    responds: And thus ends any hope of a actual conversation about this issue.
    When one side has only an interest in snark and no interest in reality there is
    little foundation for communication.

  67. Jack Burton jr says

    JBThompson WesRobertson Bartondad  I think that whole “removing Christ from the center” is much more applicable than realized.

  68. Jack Burton jr says

    RachelEnsley CalvinLewis  — no,calvin is right. You are actually judging people who don’t go along with your agenda. 

    This “money” is unlikely now being stowed under mattresses… or spent on wine and debauchery… or given to pagan organizations. It is merely being spent on other, worthy ministries. 

    Unless you are claiming that WV is the only org that Christians should give to then surely you have no objection to them providing support to children through the dozens of others orgs? 

    Are you stating for the record that ~these~ children now being helped are unworthy ot it because you disagree with the donors?

  69. Jack Burton jr says

    Pake Steve Jack Burton jr  — You do know that any dollars I give to WV don’t, and never have, gone to an individual child and family, don’t you?

  70. WyattNewYork says

    ChristinaOizaf  Is this a joke? Do you really believe that Jesus, who never uttered a word about homosexuality, would have sponsors pull their donations from 10,000 needy children – the people whom he talked about CONSTANTLY? REGARDLESS of your beliefs on gay marriage and homosexuality, these sponsored children are AT OUR MERCY – the mercy of Americans like you and me who are able to provide for them and their communities. 

    To pull your sponsorship from a child who has done nothing wrong to punish an organization over a theological issue is not only cruel – it is selfish, self-righteous, and evil. If you want to switch organizations AFTER your sponsorship period is over (once the child is old enough), that is one thing. But all sponsors have made a commitment to their child. If pulling a sponsorship has adverse affects in a child’s community, which it will – and by adverse affects we’re not talking about discomfort, which is what these issues cause Americans, we’re talking LACK OF FOOD AND WATER – then you better believe the blood is on the heads of the sponsors. 

    The ONLY reason to ever pull a child sponsorship would be because you can no longer afford it or because of corruption which affected the child himself. 

    No, Jesus has no hand in this. I sponsor a child through WV, and no matter what decision the organization made, I could not sleep at night knowing I pulled valuable resources and support from my sponsored child. I have never been so ashamed to be a Christian.

  71. standupwi1 says

    Whose fault is it? Did Bible-believing Christians abandon ship, or did World Vision abandon the authority of Scripture?  
    <a href=”http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/04/world-vision-board-member-resigns-disagrees-reversal/”>World Vision Board Member Resigns: Disagrees with reversal</a>

  72. Jack Burton jr says

    WesRobertson Mia Purdin Jack Burton jr  

    Wes, sorry, but it is not my responsibility that you are unaware of the significance of marriage to the entire relationship of mankind to God, and specifically to Christ and the Church.

  73. Jack Burton jr says

    WesRobertson Mia Purdin Jack Burton jr  

    Making “jobs” indistinguishable from “ministry” is a pretty neat trick.

  74. Jack Burton jr says

    WesRobertson Jack Burton jr Mia Purdin  Yes, I agree. It was certainly cruel of WV to do just this, knowing full in advance what would happen. Wonder why if it was so important to them they changed their mind in only two days.

  75. WyattNewYork says

    Jack Burton jr Pake Steve  No, they go to the stabilization of the community in which the child and his or her family live. If you think the child and the child’s family does not directly rely on your contribution for valuable resources then you need to go back to the beginning and learn how the organization works.

  76. Jack Burton jr says

    Mia Purdin Jack Burton jr WesRobertson  In the light of today’s culture that was a decision more important than what color to paint the walls. 

    Do you really think that WV had expectations of keeping this a secret? Two people can effectively keep a secret if one of them is dead. There is no way that the public is not going to find this out with the number of employees that WV has. And,, as yourself noted, a number of them would be quite disapproving. 

    And you don’t have to “speculate” about what WV knew. They’ve already admitted they knew they would take a substantial hit over it. 

    And the issue is not and never was “hiring gay employees.” You know that as well as I do, and the rest of the readers who are following this story. If you cannot admit to the truth then it makes it difficult to communicate.

  77. Jack Burton jr says

    RachelEnsley Jack Burton jr  So, if WV makes those addresses available to the former donors then there is no broken communications, eh. 

    Sounds like it is WV who has decided to be the breaker of the chain. I am sure most people would be happy to continue to communicate, and even donate, to those families. 

    Why won’t WV let them do so directly? What is so important about Jose’s name and address that WV can’t surrender it to those people who want to continue to communication with him?

    If WV wants to communicate the “love of Christ” to a child then what is stopping them from allowing me to do so?

  78. Bartondad says

    JBThompson WesRobertson If it really is the right thing to do why are you affraid of it being public? And why so quick to change it back?  Either they realized they were being dishonest in their approach or they realize they need the money more than truth, which is it?
    Sorry that is a huge credibility gap.

  79. Bartondad says

    Jack Burton jr RachelEnsleyJust a note: When you give to WV you are not giving to a child you are giving to an organization.  Your letters go to a specific child but your dollars go to a general fund to be used as WV sees fit.  If they truly lose support for 10,000 children with no donors returning they would lose approximately 4.2 million this year and their budget is 1 billion per year.  That may give you/us all some perspective.

  80. WyattNewYork says

    Jack Burton jr Mia Purdin So “It’s not my fault I pulled my sponsorship from a needy child, it’s World Vision’s – they should have known I would.” Is that really the argument you’re going to make here? So because they might have expected you to be selfish and irrational, that makes them guilty for your selfishness and irrationality?

    Sounds like an argument from a guilt-ridden 6-year-old.

  81. Bartondad says

    WyattNewYork Jack Burton jrMia Purdin  That’s exactly the argument if you are a non-profit dependent on donations, get a clue.  And if it is an ethical decision motivated by principle why were they so quick to retract it?-money.  I wonder if the organization which is for kids was actually thinking about kids at all.

  82. WyattNewYork says

    Jack Burton jr RachelEnsley  Name and address? Do you think these kids live on some suburban street in Sub-Saharan Africa, with mailboxes and picket fences? They don’t even speak your language – who will translate for them?

    World Vision has team members that go into these communities and forge relationships, and those teams have the experience, connections, and education to navigate sensitive and sometimes dangerous cultural landscapes.

    What do you think would happen if your money went straight to an individual child and his or her family? It would cause the rest of the community to turn on them. World Vision has explained this over and over for those who have bothered to listen.

  83. DanRhoda says

    WesRobertson Bartondad CalvinLewis  The issue is not excluding sinners, that would by definition exclude all, and Christ came and gave Himself as a sacrifice so all might have the opportunity to be included in His Kingdom.  While inviting people to follow Him, to walk with Him, Christ said we should “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me…(Mt 11:27a) the yoke here is the teaching of Christ, in order to follow Christ or be a Christian we must accept His teaching.  For those who are not Christians, there is no reason to live by biblical standards, and for us as a church to expect that of those around us means that we have not realized that the days of our society’s standards being similar to, or the same as Biblical standards are gone.  Within the church however, Christ’s yoke, His standards must be accepted, it is the definition of what makes us His disciples, therefor whenever a “believer” chooses to redefine sin as not sin, (and it makes no difference here if we are talking about homosexuality, adultry, stealing, hate or any other sin) we cannot say that we are following Christ.  WV made a decision that said to people that we are going to partner with/employ those who claim to be following Christ in only the ways they find comfortable, easy, or that they choose to follow.  This puts their own feelings and thoughts ahead of Christ, but that’s one of the top ten, Thou shall have no other God before me.  Redefining what is and isn’t sin is to put yourself before God and by definition means you are not following Christ.  I understand that our “Faith Journey” includes times when we struggle with submission and Lordship. God brings conviction on different people at different times, but acknowledgement of Christ’s yoke is the very heart of what it means to follow.

  84. SharonKuykendall says

    I think it’s a false dichotomy to say that one party in this sad situation is all wrong, and the other all right. That just makes it easier for everyone to stand on the sidelines and throw stones at each other. There’s more than enough blame to go around.

    World Vision: I don’t have any reason to doubt that they were making a personnel decision that they truly believed was the right and Christian thing to do. I find it strange, though, that they seem to have been either so out of touch with the probable reaction of a good portion of their donors. No non-profit, donor supported entity can survive if it does not have an incredibly clear feel for the needs, desires, preferences, and passions of those donors. A large portion of WV’s donors are Evangelical Christians, so it would be naive to think WV wasn’t aware of how this charged decision would be received. They had to know that those donors, being sold WV as a Christian organization, would feel broadsided by this decision. Even if you think the personnel decision was correct, you can’t not understand that people with the opposite belief would feel that they were put in the position of financially supporting an organization that now stood for something they strongly did not believe in. What kind of responsibility do they have to the people who donate the money that makes their existence possible? That’s not to say that WV’s personnel decision was right or wrong, but, that they didn’t seem to take the responsible position of anticipating how it would impact and be interpreted by the very people their organization depends on. If at that point they still felt the decision was the right one to make, then have a plan, a solution for any potential financial repercussions. For such an established, world renowned, large organization, they seem to have handled this in the most amateur of fashions.

    Donors: Yes, your money is not going directly to that particular child. Yes, if you do not believe in marriage equality, your money is now going to an organization that supports something you disagree with. Yes, you could take your money and use it to support another child, through another organization more closely in line with your beliefs. But, it’s not all about the money, is it, or you wouldn’t be sending those letters and pictures back and forth. How do you explain to the child you have gotten to know, who has come to depend on you, that you can no longer help them, because some strangers they have never heard of, have made decisions you don’t like on a topic they have no knowledge of? Do you care so little for them that you just see them as a commodity that you can now cross off your checkbook, with maybe the hope that someone else will step into the breach, if they’re lucky? You had a relationship with this particular child, this specific unique human being. If it was your child, would you stop paying child support because you didn’t agree with something your ex-spouse did? I don’t think I could walk away from that child, no matter how much I disagreed with something the organization did. If I felt so strongly, I’d have to find another way to support and promote that belief.

    Christianity Today: I have the least problem with them. They are a news organization. Like it or not, gay marriage is a huge issue in today’s society and Christian church. To those who support it, it may seem like it never should have been a newsworthy issue, but, as long as it’s a contentious issue in the church, it is more than just office supplies. A large, well known Christian organization making a decision like this is news, much more so than if it was Xerox or General Foods making a similar decision. News organization have to report news, good or bad, regardless of what the fallout will be, otherwise they are no longer news outlets. It’s not their job to worry about the consequences of facts coming out. That’s the responsibility of the people behind those facts.

    Christianity is about relationships, and a lot of people have failed in that department in this situation. WV tried to do what they saw as right in their relationship with employees, and yet, dropped the ball in handling their relationship with their donors. Donors thought they had legitimate concerns about their relationship with WV, yet, chose to solve it by destroying their relationships with the most innocent of all involved, the children. I don’t pretend to have many answers, but, I do know that a lot more love and thoughtfulness is needed. Black and white convictions tend to have gray consequences.

  85. Bartondad says

    WyattNewYork Jack Burton jrRachelEnsley wyatt:”World Vision has explained this over and over for those who have bothered to listen”  
    And therefore no single child will be punished.  the loss will  be absorbed by the organization and no child will be pulled from school or tossed out of a a food line. That is sensationalism brought on by those who disagree with the actions taken. The 4 million or so is a drop in the billion dollar budget.  I’m sure they have reserves they will use to cover losses until they may be regained.

  86. standupwi1 says

    10,000 kids lost their sponsorships in 2 days because fundamentalist Christians yanked their support from World Vision?
    Before you swallow that, two things to ask and consider here:
    1. Is there proof that 10,000 kids are now abandoned?
    2. Do “sponsorship fees” really go to the kids? 
    Nope and nope. First, WV president Richard Stearns this week gave out this figure via phone conference to a small group of hand-picked bloggers who are pro-gay marriage. The blogger with the biggest audience is Matthew Paul Turner. He works for World Vision. ‘Nuff said. 
    Now consider this: 
    “According to their own FAQ page, ”A child does not receive direct cash benefits.” But they use the same public relations and marketing material to draw new donors in. In other words, when 10,000 people drop their sponsorships, that does not mean 10,000 kids suddenly lose their money. That would be a horrible, insecure, and cruel model to use for charity and development — for any organization! So whether you talk positively or negatively about World Vision in the future, please, please remember: you aren’t actually sponsoring kids.” 
    Can we please at least talk about World Vision accurately?

  87. Jack Burton jr says

    WyattNewYork Jack Burton jr Pake Steve  Then WV surely would have no problem with providing me with a childs name directly so that I can sponsor them without having to go thru a 2nd party?

    I don’t recall any commandments in the Bible about giving thru parachurch orgs as the acceptable, Godly way to go about charity.

  88. Bartondad says

    WyattNewYork I agree that broken relationships will happen and that is a sad thing no doubt and we should try to keep that from happening but because of the way WV handles their finances no child will be dropped from their programs.  None will be kicked out of school or tossed from a food llne or asked to leave any facet of the help they now get.  That is just sensationalism.

  89. Bartondad says

    WyattNewYork Jack Burton jrPake SteveAnd therefore no child will be kicked out of school or tossed from a food line, that is sensationalism.

  90. Jack Burton jr says

    WyattNewYork Jack Burton jr Mia Purdin  — I’ve raised well over $40 million for needy families for several international orgs that everyone would recognize if named. . I have a idea on how things actually work as opposed to just looking at it from the outside and commenting. 

    And yes, WV knew what would happen. Do you deny this? 

    And yes, donors have the ultimate ability to pick and choose which orgs they will support, when they will support them, and why they will support them. Do you also deny this?

    And we might want to check a dictionary because you seem to have a unique understanding of the concepts of selfish and irrational. But if you want to go on the record of stating that being concerned about Biblical truth and right doctrine is “irrational” then go for it. Make the case. It should be entertaining to read.

    “6-year old” <<<<< This really is the best that Wyatt can do. Once you abandon the Bible as the base then what else do you have to turn to.

  91. Bartondad says

    WesRobertson For every action there is a reaction.  WV took action the donors reacted.  If they did not want to lose donors or hurt children’s relationships they should not have acted the way they did.

  92. WyattNewYork says

    Jack Burton jr WyattNewYork Pake Steve  Mail a child in Zimbabwe 35 USD and watch how quickly he is killed for it.

    That’s assuming of course that he has an address you could mail it to. And that you can of course write in Chewa or Chibarwe, and that he could read it. 

    This is why we need organizations like World Vision. Please take the time to understand how World Vision works and how other cultures operate that are not your own. It is not as simple as mailing a child a letter and some cash.

  93. Jack Burton jr says

    WyattNewYork Jack Burton jr RachelEnsley  — the point, wyatt, which you missed, is that the ultimate fault is WV. They built an org with a structure that is dependent upon certain criteria. Which you named. When their structure breaks down at the donor end for whatever reason that then leaves the structure vulnerable to not working well. 

    Which then brings the question about whether or not that is the best structure.

  94. WyattNewYork says

    Bartondad WyattNewYork  I don’t think so, because I disagree that those communities will remain unaffected from pulled sponsorships. And in addition to necessary resources, you’re pulling the representation of Christ from a child who has no idea what gay marriage even is. He may not receive your cash personally, but he does receive your letters. It’s tough to put a value on hope given to a child who has to walk miles every day to get clean water.

    The truth is you or I have no idea how these children and these communities will be affected by pulled sponsorships, and your comments that “No child will be punished” is just as much speculation as anything else. I guess it comes down to those who believe that it’s worth the risk in order to make their point, and those who don’t.

  95. Bartondad says

    WyattNewYork I am fairly well travelled and know a bit about NGO work in other countries.  I do know how WV works, you can read Stearns book if you want some insight.  WV will reallocate funds form their reserves and spend the year recouping lost dollars and donors. Expect Stearns or other s to resign.  They will reach fewer children this year but those involved in the program will not be affected except by the cut off of communication with their sponsor.  But did it occur to you that children may have more than one sponsor? There will still be letters by these or by new sponsors if WV can get them.  I know there was a tremendous amount of turnover in sponsorships before this ever began.  That is the nature of this type of ministry unfortunately people sponsor for a few months and then drop off for various reasons, retention is not very high.
    The rest is just sensationalism.

  96. WyattNewYork says

    Jack Burton jr WyattNewYork Mia Purdin  You can be “concerned about Biblical truth and right doctrine” all you want. I have no issue with that. When you pull necessary resources and loving communication from an innocent child that has no idea what your “concern” is, that is no longer being concerned – it has now become damaging and unloving.

    I’m really tired of conservative Christians acting like they are the victims in this situation. I’m tired of Christians standing by their interpretations of “biblical truth and right doctrine” as if they own them, at the expense of people who don’t share the Western luxury to even consider “doctrine”. They’re too busy hunting for food and searching for water. 

    Children and the needy like those World Vision serves are the ones that Jesus constantly defended against the self-righteous Pharisees who used their “biblical truth and right doctrine” to justify their actions. 

    Let me tell you, if I have to choose between “biblical truth and right doctrine” or needy children, I will choose needy children EVERY TIME. We’ll all have to explain ourselves one day. I will have no problem with the side I chose.

  97. Bartondad says

    A couple of bubbles to be burst concerning the World Vision debacle of this last week.
    the myth that hiring policies are changed within a large company all
    the time without anyone noticing is wrong. This is because they are not
    changed often or at all and when it happens there are watchdog
    organizations and unions who specifically look for these things. In fact
    you can google hiring policies and see how they are reported in the
    press all the time, especially when they are controversial.
    although donors may break relations with the children which is the
    greatest heartbreak of all (see comment below), no child will be tossed
    from school or pulled from a food line because of this issue. WV doesn’t
    fund like that, your letters go to a specific child but your dollars go
    to a general fund.  This hit will cost World Vision 4.2 million in
    their 1 billion a year budget.  They can cover that.
    Third this is
    not a same sex marriage issue as much as some would like to make it so,
    but rather a trust issue for most of the donors. Although many of them
    would disagree with hiring same sex married people into this ministry
    they are ultimately offended that this change was made with out
    consultation of those who support the work. If, however, it was a change
    made on principle as World Vision first asserted then why the quick
    reversal, this tends to look like a money grab and further alienates
    So with plenty of blame to go around…Kids and donors are left with broken relationships. (see comment below)World
    Vision will not operate as smoothly this year while they try to regain
    some of their financial loss that will be covered by their reserves and
    people who will give more.Another crack has been formed in evangelical Christianity that is leading, I am afraid, to a great divide.
    for the Church at large, pray for World Vision as they try to recover
    and re-identify themselves, but mostly pray for the donors and children
    who may not hear from each other again until heaven.
    Comment: If WV would make a way available for letters to be sent to
    continue the relations between former donors and children until they graduate on I’m sure many
    would take advantage of this. It would be a tremendous PR move for WV
    and may ease the budget hit they will inevitably take over this issue.

  98. JBThompson says

    Bartondad JBThompson WesRobertson  Maybe they changed so quickly because they realized that some things are more important than others, like feeding children for instance.

  99. Frank D Myers says

    isabellamoi Keep in mind I’m gay — and that the World Vision debacle served only to confirm long-standing unfavorable impressions about fundamentalists and evangelicals. However, it’s unfair to shoot the messenger — Christianity Today. It is a news organization with the expressed mission of informing the evangelical community. When a huge evangelical organization like World Vision makes what would be (and was) perceived by evangelicals as a huge social move (and to argue that appearing “soft” on same-sex marriage was not a huge issue is disingenuous), it is obligated to report. Anonymous tips are at the heart of the news business; reputable news organizations need only confirm the accuracy of the tip and avoid spreading misinformation.. Even if this policy shift had been implemented quietly, I can almost guarantee it would have blown up into something similar eventually. This is an evangelical/fundamentalist issue, not a journalistic one.

  100. RachelEnsley says

    SharonKuykendall A very thorough and well-articulated post on this complicated situation.  I personally agree with pretty much everything you said.

  101. Jack Burton jr says

    WyattNewYork Jack Burton jr Mia Purdin  

    There are two philosophies at work here, and wyatt seems to be expressing one of them. If I judge his argument wrongly then he is welcome to correct it. 

    The first one, and wyatt’s argument, is that there is NOTHING that WV can do, NO stance too far, NO doctrine that it can violate that overcomes the obligation of the donors to continue supporting children. Taken to the extreme this means that WV could declare itself outside Christianity, certify that it was now a Muslim org, or anything else that the imagination can come up with… and Christians STILL have an obligation to support it.

    The other philosophy is that there are certain lines that cannot be crossed. For some the line is here. For others the line is there. Others draw the line yonder. At some point, though, they agree that once that line is crossed it becomes incumbent upon the Christian to avoid working with that particular org. 

    The odd thing about this philosophy is that those who draw the lines in other places look down upon those who draw their lines differently. If wyatt claims that the first view doesn’t reflect his reality then he really belongs in the second group. Yet… he is merely drawing the line differently. It is still the same line drawing with the same results.

  102. RachelEnsley says

    DanRhoda WesRobertsonBartondadCalvinLewisPlease explain how hiring homosexuals is re-defining sin. Giving someone a job is not an implicit approval of everything in their personal life.  You can disagree with a particular choice someone makes and still treat them like a worthwhile human being that deserves a place in society.
    And where is the massive outrage from believers over the people holding positions in Christian organizations who gossip, are prideful, are materialistic, etc. etc.?  Who don’t don’t show love to the less popular or the downtrodden?  There are entire “ministries” fraught with these sinful attitudes, and relative silence  and acceptance in the Christian community.  In contrast, our hyper-focus on homosexuality, and insistence on decrying it at every possible opportunity, makes us appear extremely hypocritical.  It’s disingenuous as believers to say that only people who do such-and-such a sin don’t deserve to be treated with respect and equality.

    “those who claim to be following Christ in only the ways they find comfortable”
    Well first of all, everyone is guilty of this to some degree or other.

    How about the Biblical model for resolving conflicts?  Like communicating about things you disagree with, instead of immediate retaliation and vindictiveness.  I guess the donors weren’t comfortable with that.  Why waste that kind of time when going straight for the jugular gets you your way faster?

    How about what the Bible says about keeping your oaths and promises?  Donors apparently weren’t comfortable with this one, either.

  103. MichaelGraham1 says

    WesRobertson CalvinLewisWes Robertson, I totally disagree with you. You are confusing general secular workplace principles with christian ministry principles. World Vision is not some mere secular charity… if it was, there would be no issue with what they decided in the first place… the problem is that they are a CHRISTIAN MINISTRY… which means that it now becomes “anti-Christian” to hire (and thereby support) same-sex marraige practicing people to work for them. You have to see the difference.

  104. WyattNewYork says

    DanRhoda WesRobertson Bartondad CalvinLewis  Please tell me – when were “the days” you speak of when “our society’s standards were similar to, or the same as Biblical standards?” I think maybe we, as a nation, have all lost our memory.

    This question is especially fitting today, of all days, the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Have we forgotten the Civil Rights Movement? That Christians used the Bible, and doctrine, to justify segregation? Or how about farther back, when Christians used the same Bible to justify slavery? Or the genocide of the Native Americans? Or when all of Europe used it to justify imperialism? Indulgences?

    Did you ever think that you could be mistaken in your interpretation of scripture, or to what, and who, it applies? You’re dealing with a text that is thousands of years old – a little humility would be appropriate.

    I’m not saying you should throw away your beliefs. By all means, stand by them. But use your heart too. And realize that other people who believe something different than you aren’t simply “following Christ in only ways they find comfortable, easy, or that they choose to follow”, a charge that is both incredibly assumptive and incredibly disrespectful. There are major biblical scholars who have spent their entire lives studying scripture and concluded that the passages generally used to condemn homosexuality refer to something else entirely. Are they simply “going the easy route”? Maybe. Maybe not. Unless you’ve also spent your entire life studying the Greek and Hebrew (and even then), humble yourself before making that accusation.

    Rich Stearns was simply acknowledging that there are differing views on the subject. Just because you think you’re right doesn’t mean you are. Same goes for me. He was trying to avoid division, and to allow people who had previously been barred access to the organization to lend their gifts and talents to a shared vision – serving the needy.

    The point is, the debate over gay marriage in the scheme of things is so very small. It is, in fact, so small that Jesus never once mentioned it in any of the gospels. He did however, almost incessantly, talk about the importance of giving to the needy. 

    Even if you’re right, and homosexuality, and therefore gay marriage, is a definite sin, don’t you agree that some things are more important? Like children in need? Can’t you put aside your doctrine for that?

  105. Jack Burton jr says

    WyattNewYork Jack Burton jr RachelEnsley  

    Certainly one that is more answerable to the local church

  106. AngelJabbins says

    I am a Christian and been a WV sponsor for 34 years. I have been sponsoring my present child for 16 years. I  have not been happy with WV’s policies in several areas for some time now and plan to discontinue association with them once this sponsorship has ended. I will not end now, however, because of the relationship I have with this girl through letters. She is a Christians and requests prayers for various concerns and it is a blessing to pray for her often. I know she will not be dropped form the program if I quit her sponsorship right now. Yes, the monthly contribution does go into a general fund. However, once a year, at Christmas I have been able to designate a special one time money donation to go exclusively to her family. I get a letter from her and pictures of what was purchased each year. That has been a real blessing to them and I want to continue to do that in the two years that remain. Once she is 18, her sponsorship will end…and I will be done with WV and find another organization that truly shares the gospel of Jesus Christ as well as meeting the temporal needs of people. That was my dual goal when I began sponsorship with them. But they have abandoned sharing the gospel for the most part…too politically incorrect for them now.WV had changed over the years. As a long time sponsor, I know that so well. I have seen it firsthand. It is now a worldly secular organization. If you have no problem with that, then sponsor a child with them. Absolutely!  As a Christian, however, there are many other worthy organizations that do share my biblical values and goals. No one should be judged for bailing out of their sponsorship with WV. WV is accountable for their decisions and should be prepared to accept the consequences if Christians turn away.  Christians were the core, backbone, and the foundation of the organization from its inception. They want to adopt  a more secular, politically correct stance now?  Fine. Then do it and stop all the whining….and stop criticizing Christians for pulling out. I will stay put presently for the sake of my child…but only for a little longer.  Christians who leave WV will NOT stop giving, helping….not by a long shot! They will just take their money elsewhere. Christians still out give atheists and agnostics by a long shot…so stop all your blubbering.

  107. LynnKalinosky says

    SandraHeretic  I find it interesting that the best, and most to-the-point comments, are like this one.  I’ve been scrolling past bartondad and wesrobertson’s pissing contest for five minutes now.

  108. DanRhoda says

    The Same  Sex Marriage movement is about redefining sin.  Hiring people is about running a business, I think that there should be no discrimination in hiring people to do a job based on their lifestyle choice unless and until that choice effects their performance in getting the job done, or the company/organization’s effectiveness in meeting their goals.  Hiring someone to a ministry position in a ministry organization has historically meant that that person accepts the basic framework of the theology of the organization.  Obviously there are people working at WV and other ministries that would differ with the  message contained in the Biblical text that states that the acting out of homosexual eroticism is viewed by God, who get’s to make the definitions as the creator, as sin.  I believe that it negatively effects the effectiveness of any Christian ministry to have employees saying  in effect “God got this one wrong” or sometimes when God says “No” he means “Yes”.  God doesn’t work that way.  I also thing that it would diminish the effectiveness of any ministry to have it’s workers teaching that gluttony is not sin, or that gossip is not sin, or that lying or stealing or coveting or greed is not sin.  We have seen this lived out in the sad tails of many ministries shame, but for homosexuality and the murder of unborn children there is a massive movement that is out to redefine truth.  I am well aware that the battle is not against flesh and blood, but rather is spiritual.  It is the same battle that I fight when I am tempted to indulge my gluttonous tendencies, my slothful tendencies and too many others.  I am sure there are times when I justify my actions in wholly unholy ways in my own mind.  As I become aware of these I repent and seek solace in my Savior.  I sometimes get better at not falling into the same self-deception, but not always.  I pray though that I don’t justify my own failings and weaknesses by saying “in this area, my own thoughts and desires are going to overrule God’s desires and declared direction for my life as a believer.”  I submit to Christs teachings (yoke) intellectually and fight the battle with my sinful nature, admitting that is what it is, to bring my body and spirit into line.  What makes the “sin” of homosexuality different from so many other sins is not it’s severity, but the insistence of many that indulging that temptation is not sin.  Only abortion has as much or more blatant support for being redefined as not only acceptable, but something that ought to be celebrated (not that the abortion act should be celebrated but the “Choice” is seen as celebration worthy”.

  109. PowerKidsBooks says

    Is it a requirement to be a Christian to sponsor a child through World Vision? If not, then why assume those who canceled their sponsorships were Christians?

  110. DanRhoda says

    WyattNewYork DanRhoda WesRobertson Bartondad CalvinLewis  

    “The days” I was referring to are days that I didn’t experience personally, so if you grew up in the 40s and 50s correct me when I characterize them as a time when the vast majority of people attended church or were known in their communities as those who didn’t and therefor those who’s morals were suspect.  This is not to say that church attendance made one’s morals upright and honorable before God, it was just how people interpreted things.  There was a generally accepted belief that the morals of the Bible if not the theology were a solid basis for our society.  This is my understanding of our moral history.  
    I recognize that this is no longer the case in our society.  The Bible (and it’s many interpretations) are held at arms length by our culture, and perhaps seen as particularly suspect in the grand scheme, due in part I would surmise, to it’s claim of exclusivity, that there is only one way to salvation, to redemption, to acceptability before God.  
    With this cultural rejection of the authority of the Bible comes a “marketplace of ideas” that is much broader than in “days gone by” and in our culture and in our society, that is ok.  
    Within the Church of Christ (church universal, not a particular denomination) the unseating of scripture as authoritative I feel strongly that this equates to an unseating of God as master and King, the submission to which is the very definition of being a follower or disciple.  
    My rejection of the same sex marriage movement, the gay is ok movement is a plea to keep God as Master and King, that following anything else is a rejection of God’s authoritative claim on our lives and that rejection is what defines the perishing.  To claim that succumbing to any sin temptation is not sin is equal to spiritual death. 
    Many reject God outright, and to them I would plea to humbly seek truth and consider who Christ is, but to create the illusion that you can pick and choose from what God has said, that when God said “no” that He meant “yes” that we can follow sinful desires free from guilt and shame with not the most fleeting thought of repentance is to follow a highway sign that leads us a break-stop speed off the cliff of eternity.
    Having said all that I am not saying that the Bible has not been abused, not that I may not be in error in my interpretation of some passages, I may believe lies of the enemy that lead me to reject the truth and I put my faith in God’s Word, His Spirit, His people (clergy and lay) to bring about correction in my life, I put my faith in His mercy which is/has been/ and will be dispensed in ways that I do not claim to fully understand, but when I see that people are putting up a roadsign to those who desire to serve and follow God, that will lead them to mistrust and ignore the directions that have come from God, I believe it is critically important to speak.  God has clearly said that we should provide for the widows and orphans, it is not more important than to submit to God’s standards, teachings, Lordship, it is ALSO important.
    As for Bible Scholars, there are “Major Bible Scholars” that have spent their lives studying scripture and concluded that Christ was not divine, or any number of other things.  The bible was not written with secret truths that contradict it’s plain reading.  The new testament does provide a clear end to the authority of the Levitical law as having been given for a purpose but not as a burden to be born.  There are any number of sins that Christ did not proclaim but nor did He proclaim any type of sexual activity outside of marriage to be acceptable, nor did He attend any Same Sex marriage, if God were redefining sin in this case doesn’t it stand to reason that Christ would have made it a priority to relive so many people of this guilt burden and not wait for 20th and 21st century “thinkers” to fix the mess?  Arguably under this logic that is what happened with slavery, although I don’t see slavery in bible times as either equal to chattel slavery nor God ordained.  I will say that because there is no legalized slavery nor a movement within the church to define slavery as God honoring as there is with same-sex relationships I have not spent as much time in prayerful consideration.

  111. josephchgreene says

    It’s just as morally reprehensible to use kids as a bargaining chip to try and downplay egregious doctrinal error/sin.

  112. WyattNewYork says

    DanRhoda WyattNewYork WesRobertson Bartondad CalvinLewis  Dan – thank you for your respectful response. The 50’s in the United States of America, regardless of church attendance, should go down as one of the most morally bankrupt decades in American history. The way we treated our African-American brothers and sisters was disgusting, inhumane, and absolutely the opposite of Christlike. The fact that the Civil Rights Movement was even necessary, and that good people had to die to make it happen, is shameful. If church attendance was higher then than it is now, which may in fact have been the case, than it is even more shameful, considering that many very vocal church leaders in the country were open proponents of segregation. In fact, MLK’s letter from Birmingham was specifically addressed to pastors who were condemning him for being “unchristlike” in challenging segregation. Let’s also not forget the mistreatment of women during this decade.

    You say that “the Bible was not written with secret truths that contradict it’s plain reading.” I think that is a very naive statement. It was these same religious leaders who used the “plain reading” of scripture to support segregation, to condemn interracial marriage, just as they did during slavery. Even the Phelps church uses the “plain reading” of scripture to support the horrible and hateful things that they say and do. We tend to think, as a culture, that the most mainstream interpretations of scripture, the ones which have been the longest accepted, are the most accurate. Because how could God allow us to be misled for so many centuries? I don’t know the answer to that, but the Reformation is an obvious example of the fact that sometimes the mainstream view is, in fact, not always the right one. The support of slavery through scripture is another. I don’t believe Paul, when you really get down to it, necessarily supported slavery in the form we know it, but the “plain reading”, the surface reading, would make it seem that he did, which is how many leaders used in then. 

    Remember, again, that we are translating a document that is thousands of years old into a language in which it was not written, into a culture that is vastly different from the one in which Jesus lived. There will be errors. Hopefully, for the most part, they will be small. Sometimes they will be devastating. This is what happened with slavery in this nation.

    Yes, there will be scholars that deny the divinity of Christ, and all kinds of other things, based on Scripture. Remember, EVERYONE has an agenda, even if they don’t realize it. People are naturally afraid of what is most different from them – culturally, racially, sexually. The segregation of African-Americans in the US depended on this fear, and then many “scholars” used scripture to justify it. 

    I am not saying you are wrong. You may be very right about your interpretation of scripture. What I am saying is be careful to remember that we all have biases built in, and never stop searching your heart to uncover them. Not that you have. 

    Throughout the Gospels, Jesus constantly turned things on their head. The Pharisees were primarily concerned with setting doctrine and morality above people, and Jesus would not have it. It’s why he fed his disciples on the Sabbath. It’s why he defended prostitutes and tax collectors. Not because he said “your sin is ok”, he didn’t. But because, above everything else, there is love. Conservatives tend to believe that they cannot love without also constantly reminding their neighbor that they are also sinning in this way or that. I prefer to love my neighbor unconditionally, teach him who Christ is, and allow Christ himself to convict him of whatever sin lies in his heart. He certainly knows it better than I do.

  113. shieldsk68 says

    RachelEnsley ChristinaOizaf    Rachel, that is the best response I have seen in this whole thread!  Those innocent children should have in no way been punished for anything.  I sponsor through Compassion and I can tell you there is Nothing that company could do to make me drop my kids.  The only reason I would ever drop my kids is running completely out of money (which has happened a few times, but somehow God has kept my head just enough above water this far).  I LOVE my sp. kids, and I can’t Imagine what was going through those people’s minds when they dropped their kids.  I see dropping your sponsored child due to a policy change as a higher sin than any of the ten commandments (except for murder).

  114. scott_in_nj says

    Thank you for being crystal clear about your position regarding more conservative Christian brothers and sisters. 
    I will continue to Tithe to my church, which supports Manna Worldwide. 
    The lesson I have learned from this is to ONLY donate to my church. I trust my pastor and my leaders. To watch the World Vision story from the sidelines, and seeing the comments made from the “tolerant” ones demanding acceptance über alles, makes me sad. 
    Good luck to World Vision.  God Bless World Vision. 
    God Bless us all as we try to fulfill The Great Commission as our individual consciences lead us under the direction of the Holy Spirit.

  115. shaungroves says

    Tragic. So sorry to hear this, Matthew. Grieving here for you, everyone at World Vision and communities around the world that you all serve so well. Sorry.

  116. Sigel says

    WesRobertson Bartondad CalvinLewis  
    “God told us to welcome all sinners and witness to them.” Really? Where?
    You’re writing your own Bible to fit your own self-created doctrine.

    Would you agree that these verses are in the Bible?

    The Bible actually teaches exactly the opposite of what you just told everybody that it teaches.

    Does this give you any concern?

    1 Corinthians 1-13
    1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? 3Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. 4 When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord. 6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast–as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast,the bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people– 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. 12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”

  117. dragonfly_heather says

    As a Christian, I’m sad to see World Vision originally saw the light in
    embracing all God’s children and acted Christ-like (even if they don’t have the same beliefs), then caved, when a few sponsors did not agree.  The reversal
    is worse than the original hypocrisy.
    I’ve sponsored a child (even though that’s not exactly what happens – it
    just goes to their general fund), for over 10 years.  I’ll be canceling my
    pledge.  No, the child I sponsored will not stop receiving services, since
    that’s not how it works.  
    I won’t support discrimination from a so-called Christian organization that
    does not show love to everyone (regardless of their beliefs), as this is an appalling
    witness to God’s unconditional, eternal love.

  118. May D. says

    But what happened to these kids? World Vision works in communities, so I thought whether a child has a sponsor or not, doesn’t change anything in the CHILD’S life. It just helps World Vision provide more services to communities, etc. Now, if a sponsor had developed a relationship with the child, then that’s sad if their bond had to end. I do not see how you can cancel if you have bonded. Anyone who called himself christian is NOT if he discriminates against gay people, let alone asking kids to pay the price in this way.


  1. […] There’s nothing “moral” about using a kid as a bargaining chip to punish a Christian organization for making a decision that you don’t agree with. There’s nothing honoring about using children to force an organization’s hand. There’s nothing “pro life” about that. There’s nothing remotely “Christlike” about that. It’s downright disgusting, manipulative, and sad. If I was a Pentecostal, I might even call it demonic.  (Source) […]

  2. […] There’s nothing “moral” about using a kid as a bargaining chip to punish a Christian organization for making a decision that you don’t agree with. There’s nothing honoring about using children to force an organization’s hand. There’s nothing “pro life” about that. There’s nothing remotely “Christlike” about that. It’s downright disgusting, manipulative, and sad. If I was a Pentecostal, I might even call it demonic. (Source) […]

  3. […] When the Evangelical Christian Complex does speak up on these issues, it is not to speak out against these people and organizations.  It is not to disagree with the prejudice and the hateful laws being spread.  It is to speak up so that a well-known Christian publisher leaves their organization because they published a book that tells people to study the Bible.  It is to speak up and stop sponsoring children. […]

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