Culture · On Being Christian

the problem of being right

It’s been a difficult couple of weeks in the Kingdom. Many of us watched silently with shock and awe as social media exploded in a firestorm of outrage, condemnation, and judgement by all kinds of believers over decision(s) made by World Vision.

Let’s be real: Casualties are high on all sides (and yes, there are more sides than right/wrong, black/white). The bruised and wounded include Evangelicals who are tired of feeling like their most deeply held beliefs are being trampled, progressive believers now considering leaving evangelicalism, GLBT believers who again feel condemned and rejected by the Christian faith, and – as collateral damage – children in poverty around the world who have been decisively cut off from life saving financial support.

Is it possible that our attitudes are wrong? Have we lost all capacity to even attempt self-evaluation of our motivation? I heard believers say firmly, “Well I’m responsible for how I spend God’s money.” Really. Did you ask him about that? Because he never said it should be used to establish your beliefs about being right. He did however, have quite a lot to say about caring for children. And unfortunately, while you let World Vision know what you thought, you actually chose to punish the children. That’s hard to back up with scripture. You signed a financial agreement. Not so many people concerned about keeping their word, apparently. Not when “being right” is at stake.

Our self righteousness is truly filthy rags when we prefer that children go hungry to make a point about being right.

UPDATE March, 2015:

A year later, the final numbers are in, and it’s worse than we thought.

“World Vision USA has a clearer picture of the financial impact, which has resulted in roughly 15,000 canceled sponsorships with possibly up to 4,000 additional cancelations that might be attributable to last year’s events.”

The tragedy is, so many people were pleased that World Vision reversed their decision, but almost 19,000 didn’t bother to reverse their own.

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