People Power, Prayer, and a Public Stance for Truth

We have just had an excellent reminder about why truth is so important, why Christians always need to stand for what is right in the public arena, and about the power of prayer. All this and more took place the past day or two, and demonstrates again why we must never compromise, never cringe before controversy, and never back down when the gospel is at risk.

I refer to the outrageous decision by World Vision to capitulate to the homosexual agenda, which I wrote about just two days ago: billmuehlenberg.com/2014/03/25/another-christian-sell-out/

world visionWell, the good news is that WV has done a massive flip-flop here, and admitted this was the wrong thing to do, and has even publically apologised. This is terrific news, and demonstrates that prayer and standing up for what is right can really change things.

The latest WV statement begins: “Dear Friends, Today, the World Vision U.S. board publicly reversed its recent decision to change our employment conduct policy. The board acknowledged they made a mistake and chose to revert to our longstanding conduct policy requiring sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfulness within the Biblical covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.

“We are writing to you our trusted partners and Christian leaders who have come to us in the spirit of Matthew 18 to express your concern in love and conviction. You share our desire to come together in the Body of Christ around our mission to serve the poorest of the poor. We have listened to you and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness.”

You can read the whole statement through the link below. This is very good news indeed. Here we have a very public Christian organisation making a decidedly bad decision, but then being willing to admit that they got it wrong big time, and even publically apologise for this.

That is very commendable indeed, and something we can all give thanks for. And as I say, it shows quite clearly the power of prayer, and the vital necessity of Christians always being willing to speak out when biblical truth and morality is at stake.

Questions

Now, we could leave things at that and simply rejoice in this turn-around, and thank God that common sense and biblical truth has finally prevailed here. But one is still left with some nagging questions it seems. So while I fully and publically applaud WV for their change of heart and mind, I still feel obligated to at least raise a few hard questions here.

The most important question is this: why in the world did they ever see the need to head down this path in the first place? Why did they feel compelled to clearly violate biblical standards of morality and sexuality, and so overwhelmingly cave in to the demands of the militant homosexual lobby?

The truth is, they never, never, never should have even contemplated this, let alone gone down this ungodly and unbiblical path. This was a massive sell-out out of biblical Christianity, and a gross capitulation to the values and standards of the world.

Another set of questions arise here: presumably the WV head and board will claim that they did not enter into the original decision lightly, but thought long and hard about it, and prayed much over it. And surely that process did not happen overnight; it would have been the result of months of deliberation, thought and prayer at least – perhaps even years.

Regarding their first decision, they evidently felt quite strongly that this was the right thing to do, and they emphasised that this was a sound Christian decision, in the interests of ‘compassion’ and ‘unity’ and so on. Yet their second decision was made in a matter of mere hours.

What is going on here? Months to make a really bad and anti-Christian decision, yet hours to see the light and make a complete reversal? Only God knows the real motivations of the WV leaders, and why they changed direction so quickly. It is certainly possible they all were convicted heavily, and all fell on their faces before a holy God and pled with him to show them biblical truth here, and they responded accordingly.

I certainly hope this was the main motivation here. But is it not equally likely that the overwhelming negative public response from concerned Christians all over the globe was perhaps the main reason for this sudden and radical back-down?

Certainly thousands, if not tens of thousands, of biblical Christians would have let WV know in no uncertain terms how they were outraged by this bad decision, and they were going to take their support out of WV and give it to other genuine Christian aid organisations.

How much of this really influenced their most recent decision? Was the public backlash, the Christian outrage, the storm of protest and disgust, and dare I say it, the withdrawal of huge amounts of financial support, the major reason for this quick reversal?

As I say, only God knows the hearts of these men and women, and I suspect that in a fallen world there would have been a mixture of motivations at play here. Some may have actually realised the sinful and tragically wrong nature of the original decision, and repented accordingly.

Whatever the case, it is still good news. But the original decision never should have occurred. And this is not the end of things. Both WV and other Christian churches and parachurch groups will continue to be tempted to toy with the idea of accommodation, compromise, capitulation and selling out the gospel in order to please men.

So we must continue to pray for WV and other Christian bodies. The pressure to cave in and to sell out will always be there. We can thank God that sense prevailed at WV – for now. And we can rejoice in the fact that so many godly Christians did raise their voices, did speak out, and did put biblical truth ahead of other loyalties.

This was a tremendous win for Christian people power, and shows just how very important it is that Christians never wimp out, back down, or take the cowardly approach to such matters. The Word of God and Christian values must never be abandoned, but always championed and fought for.

Many of you did this in regards to WV. Well done to all of you. This is a victory we can all savour. But the war continues. Keep praying always, and keep standing up for biblical truth and morality in the public arena.

barbwire.com/2014/03/26/confirmed-world-vision-repents-asks-forgiveness-sin-blessing-sodomy-based-marriage/

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31 Replies to “People Power, Prayer, and a Public Stance for Truth”

  1. One does wonder how, if they really prayed about it before they made the first and wrong decision, how they could have come up with “this is what our time of prayer and seeking God has led us to…” I reckon a whole bunch of persistent intimidation had more to do with that.
    Yes, we must keep praying, thanks for the reminder, Bill.
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  2. Too little too late WV, we’ve just pulled out our support which you have had for over 20 years.
    Money now going to a true Christian organisation.

  3. My take on this probably won’t be popular but while it is admirable that the WV board has quickly reversed such a poor decision (we can all get it wrong from time to time can’t we?), as neither a spoken word nor a sped arrow can be recalled, nor can this decision and resulting flip-flop from the World Vision’s board be reversed.

    My original public statements confirming that this decision simply confirmed my cessation of support of MW years ago (for a number of other reasons that it’s too long to go into here), is now backed up by the following thoughts.

    I concur with what Ursula says about the question how a God-fearing board can come to a decision such as this in the first place whiles stating “this is what our time of prayer and seeking God has led us to…” – they either read a different bible than mine, for they were asking a question of The Almighty God that did not need to be asked (just as many seemingly well-intended pray points are waste of time since God has already answered them according to what can be seen in scripture, if we have the eyes to see it and the ears to hear it), or they pray to a different God.

    I would echo what Bill has questioned, how such a “thoughtfully” made decision can be over-turned in a matter of hours?

    So what does this tell us? While we cannot know the motivations of the MV board, it does confirm in my mind what their motivation *wasn’t*. It wasn’t primarily to be submitted to God and His word, nor to bring glory to His name… there were other over-riding factors which they themselves indicated were of more importance to them. This charity no longer exists to exalt God. And that is why I consider this charity to now be no longer directed by people who are conformed to the mind of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit and by His word. And, as a one who firmly believes that Christian charities should ultimately be part of God’s army to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to a dying world, as such it no longer holds any attractiveness to me whatsoever.

    My advice to those who currently gift to this charity is to find another one that is led by people obedient to Almighty God and which has an unequivocal focus on reaching the lost for Christ through their good works. There are many out there if you just take the time to look – and they also don’t have such a high administrative overhead.

  4. I just raised this very question on Facebook, Bill. Did they REALLY see the error of their ways and “repent” as it were, or did they see that they were going to lose a lot of support i.e, ‘funding’ from the world-wide Christian community? My hope is that they are sincere in their reversal – that it was motivated by true Christian penitence, and not just GREED.

  5. Even here in Australia look at who they’ve got as their Youth Advisor – a bloke who is a consistent criminal via ‘non violent direct action’ who disrupts military exercises be democratically elected governments, who tresspasses in the Immigration Ministers Office for the cameras.

    No doubt he’s very proud of himself but I doubt his conduct is ‘Christian’ despite his left wing attempts to claim it is. If that is the calibre of Christian ‘advisor’ you can’t help but wonder if World Vision has truly lost it’s Christian Vision.

    They won’t be getting a cent from me in future.

  6. Thanks Dale. Of course you are assuming that this was an act of genuine humility on their part. Hopefully it was. But as I state in my piece, we may never know for sure. It also could have been a panicked reaction to the public outcry over this. If so, there is little that is praiseworthy in that.

    And more tellingly, where was their humility when they pushed this abominable and anti-Christian policy on all of WV and its supporters in the first place? Many would say this was rank arrogance and defiance of Christian principles, and a slap in the face to the original vision of founder Bob Pierce.

    I thanked them for changing this policy in my article. But I will stand by the need to also ask some hard questions here. It seems that concerned Christians have every right to be a bit skeptical about all this.

  7. What’s really interesting in this is that WV so misread their supporters. They believed the relentless propaganda emanating from the media, TV, academics and yes, even ‘Christians’ that homosexual ‘marriage’ is inevitable. Well it’s not in Russia because the Russians haven’t been subjected to the propaganda and aren’t afraid to state the truth about the nature of marriage.

  8. I have supported World Vision for many years but stopped earlier this year. As stewards of God’s money, my thoughts are that Christians should invest their money in charities that glorify God by serving the poor and most importantly by spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. World Vision do not evangelise to the people they serve, hence their impact is short term and not eternal. As Garth mentioned, other charities out there have their vision as reaching the lost for Christ. Gospel for Asia which is a charity I support also has no overheads at all as administration is run by volunteers. This is much better than the 20% of World Vision.

  9. Yes that is a very real concern Kelvin. Christians have every right to know how their money is being spent. We are to be good stewards of what God has entrusted to us. If we want to help children both materially and spiritually, then organisations such as this should be fully upfront to everyone as to whether they do this or not. But we already have heard them tell us to some extent.

    Consider these remarks from the head of WV Australia: “We don’t engage in proselytism, and we work cooperatively with people of all faiths and those without a faith. In fact World Vision has more Muslim employees than any other NGO in the world, including Muslim NGOs. We strive to serve people everywhere without regard to their race, religion or politics.”

    No proselytism?! Muslim employees?! If that is what they want to do, fine. But then they should stop pretending that they are a “Christian” organisation.

  10. What we need from WV is a new firm commitment as to this change of ethos and practice when claiming to be Christian. This needs to be undertaken immediately and publicized to existing contributors and future sponsors. It must be enforced as a constitutional parameter so that we all know the true aims of such a charity and that they are in line with biblical teachings to ensure confidence in its adherence to such principles.
    I say this as apposed to withdrawing all contributions because to do so will punish those that are already being supported towards a better life in the current WV programs.To place a child back in squalor because of misguidance by the governors is to punish those that are innocent as apposed the wrong doers.
    What we have here because of leadership deviance from biblical scriptural are works without faith and without faith it is impossible to please him for him that cometh to God
    Must first believe that he is.

    Dennis

  11. I don’t mean to be cynical, but most likely a prominent, rich and generous contributor to WV’s fundraising efforts threatened to pull their funds if the decision was not reversed.

    My wife has worked for WVA before for a few years and could tell you plenty of stories about WV’s compromises on Christian doctrine and values in the name of looking good in the eyes of the world.

  12. This is, indeed a fallen world, and a Scripture comes to mind.

    Proverbs 14:12 “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”

    Related to that is a quote from a disputed source, but is, nevertheless, applicable: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

    Have you ever heard of “mission creep?” In a fallen world, I cannot fathom any organization that will not corrupt, eventually. Only the true church will remain resolute, insoluble. We should not be surprised by the apostasy we see all around us. In fact, it has been predicted:

    2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition”

    The extent of this apostasy remains hidden from my understanding, but I am assuming it will be great.

    Sure, we can flee to other organizations. Go ahead. As for me, I trust none. I trust few men…and, only so far. The damage to WV is done. Period. They cannot be trusted. WV, as a collective unit succumbing to an act of conscience, paints the picture of a dubious repentance. So, it’s off to the next charity, and my cynicism will accompany me.

    Only through prayer can we navigate our way through the evil morass in which we find ourselves.

  13. A great victory for Christians, but no way will we be supporting them again. To me they’re more secular than Christian. I think people acted quickly and got out of there, so to speak!

  14. It’s too late. WV has declared its allegiance. If it were an evangelical organisation, it would not be going down that path in the first place.

    It tells us to go to any number of other evangelical-based welfare organisations that will welcome our donations.

    Spencer

  15. Wow. Just tuned in from the UK to find these two new blistering posts from Bill. Not much to add really, other than, sadly, I suspect that the withdrawal of goodwill and money had a lot to do with this miraculous about-face. Even so, the fact that WV’s supporters were willing to stand up and show their indignation is enormously encouraging and uplifting.
    Sounds like this organisation now has one heck of a big blot on its copy-book.

  16. Thanks for first the bad news and then the extraordinary good news Bill.

    I was about to put up a response to your first blog about the bad news, and create a link to Facebook, when I saw your link at the very bottom of the comments list about this turn around decision, on the previous page.

    While I have never given much money through WV, I have sympathies for the various comments people have made concerning the issue of loss of trust. However, it remains appropriate for us to pray for WV. For example, it would be good to pray for a management and board, that appropriate changes occur, as a result of this disastrous initial decision.

    Also the comments by Graeme Cumming about Tim Costello, from the previous day, still appear relevant. I found it interesting that Matthew 18 was referred to in the WV sudden turn around news release. Clearly, there is a place for public naming. Praying for the Lord to raise up people, to correct high profile professing Christians, in line with Matthew 18 is presented to us as wisdom commanded by our great Saviour.

    On a related issue, the quote which Graeme gives quoting Tim Costello (on the previous day) I would love to see someone kindly and lovingly de-construct this argument. Perhaps I’m putting the cart before the horse with what I have just said.

  17. This sort of situation shows exactly why we must all be watching our Christian organisations so carefully. It shows the moral relativism so prevalent in our day, and an often passive church all too eager to be seen as progressive, accepting & relevant.

  18. I gave up on WV back in 2006 after hosting Tim Costello at a Christian gathering and then listen to him explain that WV was rebuilding broken mosques in Indonesia after the tsunami. He attempted to justify WV’s actions much to the shock of those gathered.

  19. If WV are indeed supporting Islam and the construction of mosques then truly they are not supporting the Christian mission, nor the teachings of Christ concerning the loving of our neighbor. If they are incorporating the ways and teachings of Islam or aiding in the spread of such a doctrine then truly they are betraying the ways and teachings of Christ. No man can serve two masters. However if what Tim Costello is espousing is known to be a factual account of WV’s current policies in it’s support for the furtherance of Islam then indeed WV as a supposedly Christian Foundation could well be operating under a falsehood to its donors.
    The seeds of deceit and their support for another religion far removed from the Christian way appears to have been part of their policy for many a year and if so would be well entrenched in its management decisions. Such thinking and appeasement and incorporation of such a doctrine, will not depart easily nor can it be rectified by mere words. Such embedded procedures not aligned to the teachings of Christ would need to be completely purged before any semblance of credibility is restored to its donors.

  20. Good call Bill.
    Since they are still ashamed of the Gospel (officially), they will never get my money. There are much, much, much better places to invest money in the Kingdom of God.
    So – is this a true “turn-around” or a shady financial manoeuvre?
    Easy test…
    If WV has suddenly had a Saul-of-Tarsus moment on the issue of homosexuality, then, like Saul, they will stand up publicly and suffer for the Gospel.
    Until we see that, put your money elsewhere.
    The early church doubted Paul until they saw him begin to suffer for the Gospel. For all they knew, his story might have been an attempt to infiltrate the church to capture many more.
    In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted… 2 Tim 3:12

  21. World Vision has become Worldly Vision.
    Sad.
    Sad, like the Church that martyrs died for – decaying before us. Sad like the Bible that Tyndale died for – being bent for the gender benders.
    I hope I can give God something to smile about today.

  22. Supporting the homosexual agenda – rebuilding broken mosques [So moslems can spread the satanic lie that Jesus was not crucified]. What a terrific Christian organisation – NOT. W.V. is reaping what it sowed.

  23. Yes, Antonia, it is rather odd that a nation which has been through 70 years of communist oppression should lead the way in unafraid push back against the onslaught of homosexual brainwashing propaganda. Could it be that what happened in the west in that time, the gradual erosion of values aided by self-centred materialism has been much more successful in weakening and corrupting the moral fiber of a whole society than communism ever did?
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  24. It would appear from these events that WV USA at least still gives lip-service to Christianity. Can’t say the same about WV Australia which somewhere around the time Tim Costello took over abandoned Christianity and went secular.

    Ewan

  25. I.m with Putin on this one in restricting the spread of deviance. He is not going on an all out assault on those that commit the sin of Homosexuality but he has curtailed their devious infiltration processes and the spreading of an abnormal disease ridden doctrine amongst our children and the gullible. If there were any other plague or pandemic on this planet that has brought about the deaths of so many people and the oft use of it as a weapon in its spreading then the world health organisation would be having us all injected with an anti AIDS immunity serum. Unfortunately no such product exists. But! then again it could be fortunate that some restraint or fear exists against the proliferators otherwise the world would be awash in a sea of sexual apartheid and the mourning of even more innocents. Further and in addition to that which Ursula Bennett has stated some twenty plus African nations have now made homosexuality illegal. Looking at the world from that perspective it is easy to see how a previous world power ROME imploded due to its degenerating morality and the acceptance of all things that once again we are being told are similarly normal. Even abortion of a sort was rife in the old days in the guise of an offering made to the false God Molech where newborns were placed in the effigy’s arms and rolled into the fire in its belly. An offering supposedly where the first born was considered a far greater gift and a sacred offering. Even those in high office in the present day now refer to abortion as sacred or sacrosanct and lets face it even now dead babies are being placed in the fire.
    Are we going through all this again and are these African nations and possibly even Putin now showing us the way out.

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