Showing posts with label romans 1. Show all posts
Showing posts with label romans 1. Show all posts

Monday, March 24, 2014

World Vision Affirms Same Sex Marriage [UPDATED]

Posted by Christine Pack

(UPDATE: About a day after their announcement that they would begin hiring professing Christians in same sex marriages, World Vision made a statement reversing this new policy change, calling it a "mistake." While I am glad for this reversal, my prediction is that World Vision will eventually reverse this reversal, only they will do it quietly next time, without any kind of grand public statement. I think they learned their lesson, especially after immediately being called out by Franklin Graham and Dr. Albert Mohler, and others. Our Facebook wall was also flooded with comments from readers expressing that they could no longer in good conscience partner with World Vision. So sadly, the lesson I think World Vision learned was not to have greater fidelity to God's word, but to "manage" their liberalism more covertly. I could be wrong about how this plays out, but time will tell. I think that liberal churches and organizations [and yes, I'm counting World Vision among them] are just biding their time until such time as same sex marriage is legal in all states. At that point, I predict they will be straight up same sex marriage affirming, and will feign shock and dismay that "certain" Christians [and we know who they are, right?] still refuse to affirm homosexuality as lawful and good in God's eyes. The law is the law, right? I can just hear it now. Be prepared for World Vision to go all Romans 13 on us at that time, it's coming.)

Richard Stearns, U.S. President of World Vision, announced today that the organization would reverse its previous policy of requiring their employees to abide by marriage as defined in God's word as one man and one woman, and would begin hiring professing Christians who were in legal same-sex unions. From the article:
World Vision's American branch will no longer require its more than 1,100 employees to restrict their sexual activity to marriage between one man and one woman. 
Stearns asserts that the "very narrow policy change" should be viewed by others as "symbolic not of compromise but of [Christian] unity." He even hopes it will inspire unity elsewhere among Christians.
(Online Source: World Vision: Why We're Hiring Gay Christians in Same-Sex Marriages)
At the same time, World Vision claims to be distinctively Christian. From their website:
We are Christian: We acknowledge one God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In Jesus Christ, the love, mercy and grace of God are made known to us and all people. From this overflowing abundance of God’s love, we find our call to ministry........We bear witness to the redemption offered only through faith in Jesus Christ. The staff we engage are equipped by belief and practice to bear this witness. (online source)
Sorry, but World Vision can't have it both ways. If World Vision is going to reject the authority of God's word, it would be better for Christianity if, going forward, they would simply proceed purely as a relief organization, and not as an organization claiming any Christian distinctives. After all, for true believers, Scripture is our guideline in all matters of faith and practice. And the Bible is not unclear on what it says about unrepentant homosexuality, so it's not a matter of interpretation, but one of obedience. World Vision simply can't claim to be a Christian organization, but then deny the Bible in practice where it speaks clearly and authoritative on matters, as it does on unrepentant homosexuality.

 Bending To the Culture 

Caving on the same sex marriage issue is a very "cultural" stand for World Vision to take. By explicitly making a public statement that they will, from now on, be hiring into their organization homosexuals who profess to be gay, then they are accepting, as valid, a profession of Christian faith from practicing, unrepentant homosexuals. And again, by doing so, World Vision is rejecting the authority of the Bible, which condemns unrepentant homosexual sin (along with all other unrepentant sins).

 Administering ONLY Relief to The Needy Will Merely Make Them Comfortable on Their Way To Hell 

Richard Stearns stated in his interview with Christianity Today that:
"...when Christ left, he gave us the Great Commission [to make disciples] and the Great Commandment [to love others as ourselves], and we're trying to do just that."
But is this accurate? Is this how World Vision operates? Are they seeking to preach the gospel message to the lost, that there is a holy God who made them and to whom they are beholden, and who commands all people everywhere to repent and believe on Christ's atoning death for forgiveness and reconciliation? If so, I could not find any evidence on the World Vision website of the gospel message being a part of the World Vision ministry.
"World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice." (online source)
Unless I missed something, from looking at the World Vision website, it seems apparent to me that World Vision sees their primary focus as being one of bringing relief to the needy. Nowhere on the site did I find a statement attesting to the  desire to bring lost sinners into a saving relationship with their Creator, who made them and who has a righteous claim on their lives. And while there is nothing at all wrong with ministering to the poor and needy, and a whole lot good with doing so, Christians need to remember that ONLY doing benevolent acts for the disenfranchised is not the same thing as preaching the gospel to them. While growing up in a very liberal mainline denomination, one thing I heard often was this quote (often wrongly ascribed to St. Francis of Assisi):
 "Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary." 
This quote makes me cringe today. The gospel cannot somehow be mysteriously conveyed by kindness or good works. The gospel is a distinct message, communicated with words. Of course, kindness can and should enhance the message of the gospel, but the gospel is a MESSAGE. It's a message comprised of actual words which convey the truth of our Savior, Jesus the God-man, who lived a perfect life that He offered up as an atonement for the sins of wretched, sinful man. Kind actions cannot convey that message.
"For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified." (1 Corinthians 2:2)
Going into third world countries with medicine and blankets, and digging wells, and building infrastructure are good, benevolent and loving things to do. But such actions are not a SUBSTITUTE for speaking the actual gospel message. Thus, if an organization claims to be Christian, but does not proclaim Jesus Christ and him crucified for the forgiveness of sins, then they really ought to rethink their mission statement. I contend that if Richard Stearns and World Vision are only ministering to the physical needs of those in need, and not their greatest need, their spiritual need, then they really ought not to identify themselves as a Christian organization. It only muddies the waters for the rest of us who don't mind taking heat from the world for giving the gospel that offends and for taking stands that aren't popular, such as the hotly raging same-sex marriage issue.

Let me close with this exhortation: To my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, please don't be under any illusions that if you give $$$ to World Vision that you will be participating in the unadulterated gospel message going forth into the world. Jesus did not turn a blind eye to sin (homosexual or otherwise), nor did He bend to cultural trends.

 Additional Resources 

On World Vision and the Gospel

Pointing To Disaster — The Flawed Moral Vision of World Vision 

Franklin Graham's Statement on World Vision

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

All Is Not Lost

Article by guest writer Jim Pack, Jr.

I've thought a good deal about the election results over the past few weeks. I've spoken with many Christians and non-Christians who are upset and worried for the future of our great country. In more than one conversation, the concept of Romans 1 has come up:
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. (Romans 1:20-28 ESV)
In the modern age, we have exchanged the true God for a lie, for a lesser god. A majority of Americans, in spite of our God-centered heritage, have become corrupt and no longer look to God for guidance and protection, and certainly don't give thanks for all He has provided. We have so much: wealth that extends even to the poorest among us, freedom to debate in the square our views, and a diversity unmatched among all the nations. Our government provides for those that either cannot or will not work. Indeed, the freedom we enjoy and the prosperity, even now and even in the worst of economic times, is the envy of the world. But, with all these blessings, a majority of our people no longer worship the true God. For many, theirs is a god of their own choosing... a made up version of "God" that incorporates some of the attributes of God mixed with their own self-righteous viewpoint of what a loving god should be.

 Is America doomed? 

I have very little interest in debating the future place of America, or lack thereof, in the end times prophecies. Suffice it to say, there's a strong chance that this great country of ours doesn't exist when Jesus returns. But this does not lessen our duty to America. Let's say America is now or already has been "turned over" and we that worship the true God are now the remnant, much as there was a remnant in Israel. If this is true, are we to remove ourselves from society and prepare for America's judgment? I think not. No, Christian. We are to be salt and light to a world growing darker and darker.

And who are we to think we know God's plan for our country? We cannot know the mind of God. Therefore, we must do all we can to give Him glory and to try to save all we are able from the lie that permeates our land. Perhaps God will provide some relief from the decline. A time where there might be many who come to know the truth......

 All is not lost 

Our nation's history is full of dark periods and misguided leadership. More than once, God has provided great leaders and there has been reform.The Republican party lost the Presidential election, but remains in control of the House.This should help to control the ambitions of an administration whose ideology is anti-Christian and downright dangerous in its view on debt. However, things could continue to slide downhill. The next election or the one after could bring even worse leadership. The debt crisis in this country and the growing unrest throughout the world could lead to war, anarchy and revolutions. American soil has been mostly untouched by war, but that could all change. And one has to question whether God will continue to protect a country that dishonors Him, that kills the unborn and defiles the sanctity of marriage. It could get ugly... See Jeremiah and Isaiah for an idea of just how rough it could become.

Scary and discouraging to say the least!  But one truth keeps coming to my mind... Jesus Christ has secured for those who belong to him the peace that passes all understanding: peace with God! For those who have repented of their sins, truly know Jesus as their Savior and understand their complete need of His sacrifice for their justification, there is one truth, one reality that cannot be forgotten - Jesus will save us!  So, brothers and sisters in Christ, let's share the good news, let's work hard to elect Godly leaders, fight the good fight and use the difficulties that are most certainly coming to spread the Gospel.  When we speak to those that are hurting and they share their concerns about the future, challenge them that this life is but a vapor and now is the time to repent and put their faith in Christ's atoning death before it's too late.  Show them that come what may, you have peace and explain why you are resting in the Lord.

 God is on his throne! 

God is on his throne, and is sovereign over all the affairs of man. He, and He alone, knows our future.  Let us pray daily for Godly leaders and for a new Great Awakening.  And never cease to praise the Lord, for His blessings are new every morning.  Great is His faithfulness.

photo credit: abcdz2000 via photopin cc

Friday, May 7, 2010

Archie Comics Introduces Gay Character "Kevin Keller"

Posted by Christine Pack

There's a new kid on the block in Riverdale, the fictitious home of the lovable characters of the Archie Comics.  His name is Kevin Keller and he's the comic strip series' first openly gay character.

From the official press release:
"Kevin will appear in September's VERONICA #202, in a story called "Isn't it Bromantic?" Kevin Keller is the new hunk in town and Veronica just has to have him. After Kevin defeats Jughead in a burger eating contest at Pop's Chocklit Shoppe, she desperately latches onto him. Mayhem and hilarity ensue as Kevin desperately attempts to let Veronica down easy and her flirtations only become increasingly persistent."
Jon Goldwater, co-CEO of Archie Comics, released the following statement about this new character:
"The introduction of Kevin is just about keeping the world of Archie Comics current and inclusive. Archie's hometown of Riverdale has always been a safe world for everyone. It just makes sense to have an openly gay character in Archie comic books."
I often hear people questioning if God will soon judge America.  Well, a plain reading of Romans 1 reveals that we are already under God's judgment and wrath.  In this chapter, there is first a suppression of truth, then a disdainful arrogance that neither acknowledges nor praises God, then comes worship of the creation rather than the Creator, and after that a sexual revolution, followed by a homosexual revolution. Have we not had God removed from classrooms, football fields, lunch meetings, courtrooms, etc.?  And how about Earth Day, with its strident pleadings to "go green" and "live sustainably?"  (Imagine if the reverse of this were true, and the Creator was worshiped instead of the creation, with the same level of media intensity given to pastors and Christian leaders pleading for God to be glorified and lifted up. Hard to imagine a reversal so profound, isn't it?) As for a sexual revolution, we've had that, beginning in the 1960s and followed by, yes, a homosexual revolution that continues today. So no, these aren't indicators that judgment is coming, as some people think; they are indicators that judgment is already here.

photo credit: Joelk75 via photo pin cc