World Vision: a lesson in omitting theology

March 28, 2014 admin

childrenBlessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night (Psalm 1:1,2).

Lots has been written about the World Vision debacle this week. Permit me to briefly explore one point.

Since its founding in 1950, World Vision has developed into one of the most respected names in international humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy.

Their purpose statement: “Our vision for every child, life in all its fullness. Our prayer for every heart, the will to make it so.”

And it’s identity has been unabashedly Christian. Evangelical Christian.

That’s why the tainting of the World Vision brand this week – involving a board decision taken by the U.S branch to hire married homosexuals, and then quickly reversed – has been so distressing.

President Richard Stearns in defending the original move, offered this strange analysis: “We’re an operational arm of the global church, we’re not a theological arm of the church.

How useful – or biblically accurate – is that distinction?

If theology is the study of God, His character and attributes, and His relationship to mankind and the rest of His creation, then how can we ever distinguish – let alone separate – our theology from how we operate?

In other words, for any Christian initiative, must not theology always inform our operation, our function, our purpose, our reason for being?

For the Christ-follower, when we somehow think we can live any part of our life without being informed theologically by a biblical worldview, we know we are straying into dangerous – and damaging – territory!

I for one, would like to hear World Vision (US) leadership acknowledge that that lesson has been learned.

Takeaway – Lord, may I be a Christ-follower whose life in its entirety is rationally directed by Your Word, informed by Your precepts, and therefore honouring to Your Son.