This has been an interesting week in the news, especially involving the Christian relief agency, World Vision. A couple of days ago the organization announced a change in their policies that would allow the hiring of employees who are in gay marriages or partnerships. There was an immediate reaction to that announcement from many Christian leaders and organizations. Today, there was a reversal of that decision. An Associated Press story reported the following:
The aid group told supporters in a letter that the board had made a mistake and was returning to its policy requiring celibacy outside of marriage and faithfulness within the Bible covenant of marriage between a man and a woman. "We have listened to you and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness," the agency said in the letter, signed by World Vision president Richard Stearns and board chairman Jim Bere.
I, for one, am happy to see the decision to return to the values we see in the Word of God. I would hate to see an organization like World Vision lose their vision to that extent and begin to flounder. The Word of God cannot be adjusted or changed to meet our own thoughts or opinions.
One of the difficulties we face when standing for truth is the accusation of being judgmental. Many times people who do not stand on biblical convictions will say, "You have no right to judge me or anyone else. The Bible says, Judge not, that you be not judged."
However, the judging that Jesus spoke of there has more to do with trying to judge people's motives, or passing judgment on them for not meeting our standard or expectation of behaviour. When someone, who claims to be a follower of Christ is living contrary to the clear standards of Scripture, we are commanded to go to them to encourage them to adjust their behaviour to what God demands.
There is never a place for rejecting any person because of their lifestyle or behaviour. However, accepting the person does not mean accepting and approving choices and actions which clearly violate the Word of God. We must always stand for truth and encourage one another to live according to the truth.
Gordon Rowland has been a Missionary-Pastor with Village Missions of Canada for over 35 years. Gordon and his wife Val have lived and served in Clive since 2001. They have four children and nine wonderful grandchildren.