Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Right Thing To Do: Sin and World Vision

    Is it possible that sins originate in seeing a person - myself or anyone else - as less than the image of God?
    When I steal, I ignore how my victim may have wanted or needed the item I stole. When I gossip, I ignore the reality of their feelings.When I hate, I ignore the fact that they are my equals.
    These are just musings of mine, but they've originated in the content of today's post.
    Yesterday I saw on Christianity Today that World Vision, a leading organization in child sponsorships for those in third-world countries, an organization that helps provide food and water and education for children who might otherwise go without, now hires gay people.
    That's an interesting turn for a declarative evangelical organization. But, as previously stated in my post last week, I'm confused about the whole why-is-homosexuality-a-sin issue, so right now I will refrain from commenting on the morality of the decision. I'd rather God judge that.
    But then I logged on Twitter while taking a study break from this lovely upcoming Drug Discovery Midterm, and at first I was in shock. Like, mouth-hanging-open-level-shock.
    Then I said words that I'm not printing here.
    Then I cried.
    People are actually withdrawing their sponsorships. They are punishing children for the actions of an organization.
    This is so repugnant, so morally outrageous, and it's being done in the name of the gospel. (I am not linking to the site that said that. Just know that it was said).
    I'm so angry I can't possibly show you.
    When I protested that decision in the 1500+ comments erupting over at Christianity Today, I was ridiculed as "mindless" because, don't I know that there are other organizations who help children?
    Sure, there are plenty of organizations; I actually sponsor a pretty cool boy named Sagar through the small Children's Home in India.
    But what about that individual child you support, the child with a name and a face, with dreams and prayers and friends and family, with sustenance and education partly provided by you? They're not just a nameless mass of unfortunates we should help because It Is The Right Thing To Do. By withdrawing your sponsorship in the name of We Stand Against Sin, you're saying that kid is less than human. You';re saying you supported them not for the fact that God made a unique person in His image, a person He died for, but because you wanted to feel like you were doing The Right Thing.
    Sure, you're helping another kid, but you're hurting your first kid. And despite what the Gospel Coalition would have you believe [again, not linking here, sorry for the inconvenience], this isn't a necessary evil. It's not necessary. Write all the angry letters, protest, listen, all you want. But don't you dare hurt kids and say it's for Jesus. Don't you freaking dare. 
    For more, see Nish Weiseth's post "These are Real Kids, You Know," and my sister's view from a current missionary position, "To Those Thinking of Ending Their Sponsorship for World Vision."
    Because seeing a child as a means to Do The Right Thing, not as a person created by God? That's sin, too.
     I guess now you can choose whether hiring a gay person or ignoring a child's humanity is a worse sin.

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