World Vision and Why We Grieve For the Children

by Trevin Wax, The Gospel Coalition

World Vision has announced that its American branch will adjust its employee code of conduct to allow same-sex couples who are legally “married.”

Hoping to keep the evangelical organization out of debates over same-sex marriage, president Richard Stearns adjusted the employee code of conduct to sexuality within the confines of “marriage” whether between man and man or woman and woman. In other words, while declaring to not take a position on redefining marriage, his organization has redefined it.

Some observers are elated.

Evangelicals are shocked.

Many are outraged.

No matter what you think about this decision, I hope you feel a sense of grief… for the children. This is a story of deep and lasting significance, because there are children’s lives at stake in how we respond.

Children will suffer as evangelicals lose trust in and withdraw support from World Vision in the future. It will take time for evangelicals to start new organizations that maintain historic Christian concepts of sin, faith, and repentance.

In the meantime, children will suffer. Needlessly.

That’s why critics of the evangelical outcry toward World Vision will say, Get over it! Kids matter more than what men and women choose to do romantically!

Strangely enough, we agree. In fact, this is one of the main reasons we’re against redefining marriage. We believe kids matter more than gays and lesbians having romantic relationships enshrined as “marriage.”

Children are the ones who suffer when society says there’s no difference between a mom or a dad.

Children are the ones who suffer when a couple’s romantic interests outstrip a child’s healthy development, whether in no-fault easy divorce laws, or in the redefining of society’s central institution.

Children are the ones who suffer when Mom and Dad choose to live together, as if their relationship is one lengthy trial or audition, a decision that can’t provide their children with the security that comes from marriage.

Children are the ones who suffer when careers matter more than marriage, when romance matters more than reproduction, when sex is a commodity, when a marriage culture is undermined.

Children are the ones who suffer when organizations like World Vision, under the guise of neutrality, adopt policies that enshrine a false definition of marriage in the very statement that says no position will be taken.

Children are the ones who suffer when President Obama (rightly) mourns the rampant fatherlessness in the African-American community, while simultaneously campaigning for marriage laws that would make fathers totally unnecessary.

Children are the ones who suffer and die when “sexual freedom” means the right of a mother to take the life of her unborn child.

Sex is our god. Children are our sacrifice.

So, yes, we grieve for the children across the world who will be adversely affected by World Vision’s decision and the evangelical response.

But we also grieve for children here at home who are growing up in a culture in which sexual idolatry distorts the meaning of marriage and the beauty of God’s original design.

Today is a day to grieve for the children.

Doug Wilson vs. Pro-Gay Activists at IU in Bloomington

Pastor Doug Wilson, from Moscow Idaho, went to the campus of Indiana University back in April to do some talks on sexuality (link to complete lectures and Q&A). About half the room that showed up were there to yell, ridicule, heckle, and completely disrespect him based on his stance that homosexuality is a sin, all while yelling at him about love and tolerance.

I love Wilson’s quote: “The diversity crowd has two fundamental tenets: the first is that they have an absolute commitment to free speech, and the second tenet is, ‘Shut up.'” (Immediately followed by a heckler yelling, “Yeah, shut up!” – Seriously, the irony would be funny if it weren’t so sad.)

Denny Burk has some good observations about this whole thing:

1. The gay activists shouting for “tolerance” are the most shrill, intolerant personalities in the room. The irony seems to be completely lost on the protesters and naysayers who are quite disrespectful and cruel to Doug Wilson throughout his presentations. They demanded Wilson to give them logic and respect, but they gave him none in return.

2. Thanks be to God for Doug Wilson who rose to the task and answered their questions biblically and with good humor! He actually looks like he enjoys the sparring. That kind of winsomeness goes farther than winning every argument (though he also seems to win every argument too). Christians, take note. When reviled, do not revile in return (1 Pet. 2:23). Instead, bless those who curse you (Luke 6:28). Sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness (Prov. 16:21). A gentle answer turns away wrath, and the tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable (Prov. 15:1-2).

3. Post-modern gobbledygook thinking is on massive display here. The students aren’t interested in attacking the reliability of the Bible on scientific or historical grounds. Traditional apologetics would have been useless here. Almost to a man, they were concerned with judging the morality of the Bible. They deconstructed the Bible and manipulated texts to their own ends but then also stood in judgment over the Bible where it didn’t fit their views. In everything, their intuitions and feelings about the nature of reality defined everything.

4. It is not difficult to see how the hostility on display in this video might be turned into open persecution of Christians. I do not mean to be an alarmist, but it is hard to ignore the level of vitriol that more and more seems to be directed toward Christians for their views on homosexuality. This encounter with Wilson is just a single instance of a disdain that is becoming more widespread in the culture. What will be the public implications of that disdain in the next 10, 20, or even 30 years? It seems to me that the vitriol on display in this video is on its way to becoming the majority view. For Christians, this is not likely to get any easier for us going forward.

5. The Lord’s arm is not too short to save (Is. 59:1). Our culture’s spiritual decline is not inevitable. Who knows what God might do if we bear witness faithfully to the gospel of Jesus Christ? Let’s do that, and pray for God to have mercy on us and our neighbors.


How Do Man-Made Theories Fail to Justify Morality Apart from God?

Written on June 20, 2012 at American Vision by Nathaniel Darnell

What are the various philosophies of ethics that mankind adheres to? When I was in law school, I was required to examine this question as a part of my study of Professional Responsibility for attorneys. I know what you’re thinking: “Attorneys are required to study about ethics?!” Yes, it is true, and the fact that this study makes little difference on the ethical reputation of attorneys demonstrates once again what Jesus said long ago that one can “make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within [be] full of extortion and excess” (Matthew 23:25). Mere education will not make a person more ethical. Becoming truly moral begins with God changing the inside through redemption.

The Bible teaches us that there are ultimately only two schools of ethics: (1) God’s; and (2) man’s. But “as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts,” saith the Lord. (See Isaiah 55:9.)

That being the case, however, it is helpful to be aware of the prevalent variations of man’s philosophy of ethics. Below, I have adapted a book report I wrote for lawschool summarizing the ten schools of ethics observed in the world. To some of you, these descriptions may sound incredibly basic, but I think it’s good for us to review the basics at times. Each of these schools of ethics are applications of many other schools of philosophy and religion, but we’ll save the analysis on those for another time. Nearly all of the man-made schools of ethics described below have aspects of truth to them, but ultimately they each fall short. The final one does not because it is not man-made.

Might Is Right

Under the “might is right” view of ethics (sometimes called “authoritarianism”), the person who has the most power is right. Usually, this is referring to political power although it has also been applied to physical, psychological, or other kinds of power. While few people profess this view, many of them practice it. However, it has multiple flaws, including: (1) a failure to distinguish between power and goodness; (2) a historical contradiction found in the examples of men like Nero, Stalin, and Hitler.

Morals Are Mores

This view defines ethics as being determined by the ethnic group to which it belongs. The community says what is right. The view is justified under the idea that whatever the way things are (tradition) is the way they ought to be. However, many tragedies occur in the world such as murder, rape, and kidnapping tied to various culture’s traditions, but the mere fact that these things happen does not justify their morality. The Mayans, for example, traditionally killed children and offered their hearts to pagan gods. Can we really say that the fact that this activity was deeply rooted in tradition from that culture justified it?

Individual Man Is the Measure

This view holds that each person’s will determines what is right and wrong for that person. Existentialists and pure humanistic libertarians often favor this view. The problem with it is that two different people could conceivably have totally opposite but equally valid standards of ethics under this view. Thus, even something hateful or cruel may be right if a person believes it is right. Furthermore, it is a weed for chaos as every person does what is right in his own eyes.

The Human Race Is the Basis of Right

Under this view, what mankind wills determines what is right and wrong. However, the moral beliefs of mankind change over the years, and often mankind differs among itself on morals. Multiple nations often have warred with other nations having differing views of morality.

Right Is Moderation

Aristotle was one to argue that morality is found in the “golden mean.” For example, he believed that bravery is the halfway point between fear and aggression, and that pride is the halfway point between vanity and humility. The problems with this view are that sometimes the right thing to do may be the extreme thing. The first-century Christians were “extreme” when compared to the Jews or the Romans because they were challenging the status quo. There is no universal agreement among men on what is “moderate” for all subjects and time periods, and thus moderation can only be a general relative guide, not an objective one.

Right Is What Brings Pleasure

The Epicureans were among the first to profess this view. As hedonists, they believed that what brings pleasure is morally right and what brings pain is morally wrong. The good, they believed, is what brings the greatest pleasure and least pain to the greatest number of people. However, sadists receive pleasure from inflicting pain on others. So is the sadist’s pleasure good or bad? Also, is long-term pleasure or immediate pleasure the test?

Right Is the Greatest Good the for the Greatest Number

This is the utilitarian view of morality. Utilitarians believe what is good is what brings the greatest good for the greatest number in the long run. Do you detect the circular reasoning? Utilitarians also differ as to whether good should be understood in terms of quality or quantity.

Right Is What Is Desirable for Its Own Sake

Under this view, virtue is what is only desirable for its own sake. Virtue is thus an end but not a means. The weakness of this view is three-fold: First, it only states the direction of morality but fails to define it. Second, we often desire what is evil such as adultery, theft, and harm to others. Third, some things that seem good to someone are actually bad, such as suicide at a time of distress.

Right Is Indefineable

Under this view, if good is defined in terms of something else then that something else becomes the standard of intrinsic good. Thus, those holding to this view of ethics refuse to define moral goodness at all. Without a standard of what is good, however, we have no way to distinguish between a good act and a bad act. Also, although what is right may not be defined in terms of something “more ultimate,” that does not mean it cannot be defined at all.

Good Is God’s Will

The Christian view is that good is what God wills. It is what He sovereignly decrees to happen or what He prescribes in His Word. It is what He approves by His own holy nature. While some may call this “authoritarianism,” it is not because authoritarianism occurs only when the one claiming authority is less than ultimate. God, being truly ultimate in His authority, has the right to play the role of the ultimate authority.

As Jesus  Christ said, “ there is none good but one, that is, God” (Matthew 19:17). A theory of ethics is only as good as its foundation. Since man without God is not morally good, no theory resting on man can be good either. Our ethics, our morals, and our laws, must be built on the righteous foundation of God. This is one example of why we say that law, ethics, morality, and philosophy are inescapably religious in nature.