In the spirit of forgiveness that God Himself extended to us through Jesus, I believe we should accept World Vision’s statement of repentance with graciousness and offer their leadership the forgiveness they requested, commending them for their contrition.
This could not have been an easy thing to do, as they will now have to deal with accusations of being double-minded, not to mention the pro-gay activist backlash they will surely face along with accusations that they were not sincere in their repentance but rather acted out of mercenary concerns, and so we need to be just as vocal in affirming them as we were in rebuking them.
The question is: Since they recognize that they deeply betrayed the trust of a large number of their constituents, how can they now regain that trust? (When speaking of World Vision throughout this article, I’m referring only to the U.S. branch, which made the initial, tragic decision.)
Not surprisingly, many are questioning the motivation of World Vision’s reversal, suggesting that they did not act out of conviction but rather out of pragmatism, not wanting to lose a massive amount of donor support. Of course, World Vision could have said, “But our mission to help the poor depends on money, and when we realized that our initial decision to change our employment policy regarding homosexuality was going to hurt us financially, we decided to re-evaluate that decision.”
But that is not what World Vision said (and, candidly, such a response would hardly be worthy of a purportedly Christian organization). Rather, their statement of repentance was unequivocal.
“We have listened to you,” they said, “and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness.”
They acknowledged that they “failed to be consistent with World Vision U.S.’s commitment to the traditional understanding of Biblical marriage and [its] own Statement of Faith.”
And they explained, “We are brokenhearted over the pain and confusion we have caused many of our friends, who saw this decision as a reversal of our strong commitment to Biblical authority,” claiming that this was “never the board’s intent.”
Further, they affirmed, “World Vision U.S. stands firmly on the biblical view of marriage.”
In light of this apology, I believe it is important that we extend forgiveness and that we commend the leadership of World Vision for their act of humility and repentance. And certainly, we want World Vision to succeed, since they are doing something of great importance in the eyes of God and man—namely, helping the helpless.
The problem that World Vision faces now is that they lost the trust of many of their constituents. How can they regain that trust?
As someone wanting to help, not hurt, I humbly submit these questions to you, Mr. Stearns, and to the leadership of World Vision, in the hope that your organization will now demonstrate the reality of your corporate repentance. (The biblical expression is “to bring forth fruit worthy of repentance”; see Matthew 3:8; Luke 3:10-14; Acts 26:20; 2 Corinthians 7:10-11.)
The questions that follow are direct, but they are not meant as accusations. Instead, they are intended to bring clarity, since there is tremendous disparity between the views expressed in the interview on Monday in Christianity Today and the repentance statement released two days later. We really need to know where you stand if we are to be able to stand with you, and we do desire to stand together with you in ministering to the poor and the oppressed.
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SOURCE: Charisma News