When World Vision Drops Me

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I got the news that World Vision had reversed its’ policy on employing gay and lesbians right after I got done with work. I was outside the school where I aid elementary age kids, special needs kids, and though I sometimes struggle with feelings of inadequacy in my job, I am actually a pretty awesome paraprofessional. Turns out, I’m pretty great at caring for kids in need.

 

And I was in my car when I got the news and I sped away, lest any of my little guys climbing the bus would see me, should I start to cry.

 

Before I headed home where I would find my mom, on the phone with another mom of a gay kid, telling her, “We will not respond the way they did. I refuse to be like them. We will be like Jesus, instead.” Before I got the text message from my brother, a very simple and needed, “I Love You.” I pulled over and parked in a vacant lot.

 

I turned off my ignition and I didn’t cry. I just sat there. Breathing. Stunned and struck by betrayal and pain and anger, wave after wave of it, and I couldn’t form a coherent thought or calm my heart. But in the midst of it, a memory came to me of a conversation I once had with Jay Bakker.

 

Jay, if you don’t know of him, was born into Christian Royalty. His parents were televangelists and their faces were amongst the most well-known and adored in Christian culture. Then the scandal. His dad had an affair, resigned, and then went to prison for fraud, leading Christians to banish the Bakker family outright. And for years, Jay would never step foot in a church.

 

Jay and I bonded over coffee in our shared experiences of feeling orphaned by the faith that raised us. And we also bonded over a shared hero, a man who, in a very real way, saved us.

 

That man is Brennan Manning. I will say it today and tomorrow and every day for the rest of my life that no one has left a larger impression on my faith than this man. Besides Jesus, he is the one I am most looking forward to meet in Heaven.

 

Jay was also swept off his feet by the Ragamuffin himself, and when Jay was set to publish his first big book, Son of a Preacher Man, Brennan agreed to write the forward. It was Jay’s dream come true.

 

Not long after, Jay heard from a representative of Brennan that he decided to pull out. He was afraid of the backlash he might receive by associating with the Bakker family. To this day, Jay says that that was the greatest let down, it left him completely disillusioned.

 

Don’t idolize your heroes, he told me. They will inevitably let you down. They’re human, too.

 

Years later, Jay was asked to pen an endorsement of Brennan’s book, and in the years between, they built a relationship based on forgiveness and trust and love. There was restoration. And Jay was brimming over with grace.

 

What Brennan had done was deny the Jesus in Jay. What he did was wrong and unfair and deeply hurtful. He ditched Jay when Jay most needed him, ran straight off the road off the gospel.

 

And yet, at the same time, in the Midwest, a teenager was reading Brennan’s books and his life would never be the same. A teenager would read these words, “God loves you just as you are and not as you should be.” And it would be enough, just that line, to give me the strength to move forward.

 

Though I understand that World Vision essentially had a gun to its head after evangelical leaders incited a mass backlash of dropped funds, it doesn’t make what they did right. Their reversal hurts more than anything I read from the evangelicals ranting. It was the kiss of Judas. And in the end, this was simply wrong and ungodly and deeply defeating.

 

I read Richard Stearns apology to conservatives through gritted teeth, because it is that bad. Richard Stearns, the man I praised the other day, disqualified me in a way against serving alongside him, and begged the forgiveness from those like Graham, Burk, Moore and Piper. And it does really hurt, this abrupt abandonment, this puncture of what was so much hope and pride and encouragement. Suddenly, reversed.

 

But, and not many years ago, it was Richard Stearns who shook up my faith in the best possible way. I read his book The Hole in Our Gospel, twice, and I recommended it to every person I knew. It was and still is one of the best Christian books I have ever read.

 

And who can understand the vehemence of yesterday upon him and his? Who can completely throw out he, Stearns, who left a life of luxury, to serve the world’s poor? Who can deny that World Vision is a rarity in Christianity, a group of folks whose sole purpose is to give the gospel hands and feet, bringing bread and water and mercy? Who can look at those pictures of kids being fed, of kids writing letters, those going to school and becoming kingdom builders themselves and write off an organization that is doing such beautiful work?

 

The truth is, friends, I am sitting in a coffee shop and writing this, and my teeth are still gritted, because I am writing things I am not feeling. But I believe, wholeheartedly, that there will come a day when I will. I know I will.

 

And when it comes to forgiveness, I take something like that very seriously. If it’s not flowing through my veins, then it’s not really there and I refuse to pretend it is. So I’ll say it true, as it is, right now:

 

I am not ready to forgive those that held starving children as ransom because of who I am and I am not ready to forgive Richard Stearns for this profoundly deep betrayal. I am not ready to forgive either of them for the devastating message they have sent to gay children everywhere.

 

But I can do grace. I can reach into the deep pockets of all that I have left and let it be a balm on my heart, let it tend to me until that moment comes when, as Anne Lamott says, “it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back.” I can give and give and give even as I’m pissed off and hurt because although they don’t deserve this, neither do I.

 

And my rage isn’t wrong, because this isn’t right. And so I will channel it all into doing my job here as a blogger, as a believer, loving gay kids and talking about the Jesus that wouldn’t change them for the world.

 

And though a Christian nonprofit embracing me, if just for a moment, is quite an event of subversion, I know in my own little world, the most radical act I can take is to say this: Yes, I love Jesus, too, and you’re my brother, and the Love of God makes us both enough.  It might be offensive to you, infuriating perhaps, it might even tempt you into dropping a kid off the face of the earth and blame it on me, but here’s the truth:

 

My chains are gone. I’ve been set free. My God my savior, has ransomed me.

 

And like a flood, his mercy reigns, unending love, amazing grace. 

  • Sheri

    This saddens me. I am in shock & I am sorry.

    • sa gui

      Me too. The World Vision should EVER dare to even imagine challenge the Authority of the Word of God. If it was a secular organization, who cares? but a Christian organization? I am sorry too

      • http://adelasteria.blogspot.com/ Kelley Danahy

        With all due respect, sa gui, I don’t mean to sound harsh here. But, perhaps, are you challenging the Word of God on judging? Are you challenging the Word of God on speaking in love?

      • Sheri

        Check out the date of my post. Please don’t try to think that anyone here agrees with you. You are a troll trying to cause discord. I am saddened by the flip flop of WV. Read my post to WV on here after this.

  • Mike O

    Both attacked, and then betrayed by a friend. I am so sorry!

  • Beth Anderson

    Benjamin – I read that news today, and had to go excuse myself to cry in a bathroom a little bit. And I am so incredibly straight, but I am also so incredibly heartbroken and sad. I felt betrayed, too; I think a lot of people did. But like you and Rachel Held Evans and others I’ve seen, I won’t hold a child hostage either. I don’t begrudge people the right to vote their convictions with their money, and I have high hopes that WV will reverse their reversal, but thank you x a million for writing this and being a voice of grace in the midst of a very sad season. <3

  • David Noah Parker

    they don’t know anything about you, about what its like to walk in your shoes, they know nothing of the love that God has for you and the delight he takes in your kindness and grace, the pride he takes in watching you boldly step up and say NO this isn’t okay. The burden you carry on your shoulders makes you a target, the feels that you feel make you vulnerable to attack but the courage you display no matter the cost shines brightly for many to see. the burden you hoist up and carry on your shoulders is the burden of many, some who are to afraid to stand up others who have been beat down so hard that they feel like they can’t and still others who don’t even know they are being attacked. I don’t get this crazy christian backstabbery but I COMPLETELY understand how it brings you to tears. The way it cuts deep and leaves you bleeding. the way it makes it harder to smile and to look people in the eye. Maybe that’s just me LOL. anyway I’m sorry and I get it, and as much to myself and to you I say It will get better it has to

    • http://www.registeredrunaway.com/ Benjamin Moberg

      It has to, and we have to make it happen. Thank you so much for your empathy and support, David. We will get there :)

  • Sheila Warner

    I just found out about the reversal. I had reblogged your post about the Accidental Oppressors, because it so eloquently spoke to the way Christians fail to show the unconditional love of Jesus to those who are different from them. When I saw the original statement of the thinking behind the decision to hire married gays, I was impressed. The letter announcing the reversal was filled with typical, right-wing, uber conservative cliches. It broke my heart while leaving me nauseous. I tried to eat today, but the food stuck in my mouth, flavorless. There is too much hate in the world. Hate begets hate, so I think you are wise to allow a future opportunity to not have the need to hit back. But it is a reality that thousands of children were hurt by zealots & bigots. Where is Jesus in all of that mess? My heart is hurting.

  • http://www.lisajobaker.com/ Lisa-Jo Baker

    Thank you Ben, for teaching me much of what I want to teach my own children about grace.

    • http://www.registeredrunaway.com/ Benjamin Moberg

      Thank you Lisa-Jo!

  • Lauren Moberg

    Lovely Ben. :) Such a disappointing turn of events but such an inspiring response you have written. Thank you.

  • http://teamwastell.com/ Anna Wastell

    Oh, Benjamin. These words are pure grace. Much love, brother.

  • Hannah

    I thank God for you. :) You are loved. And worthy of it, just as you are.
    I also wanted to pass this on: World Vision Canada has made a statement essentially saying that they don’t hold to these same descriminatory hiring policies that exist in the US office: http://churches.worldvision.ca/our-christian-identity-responding-to-world-vision-us-hiring-policy-change/ Also, I looked at the World Vision UK twitter page and they’re saying the same thing. One World Vision UK tweet actually read “We haven’t had a policy on SSM in the UK because it doesn’t affect our work”. This is very important and encouraging. The disturbing events over the last couple days are only regarding World Vision US. Other World Vision country offices are not necessarily on board.
    It’s something anyway.

    • Sheila Warner

      Hannah, I didn’t know this about the other WV branches. Thanks for letting us know. The USA is lagging behind, isn’t it?

      • Hannah

        It is. :( The voice in my head keeps saying “I don’t want to live in this country anymore.”
        Honestly, I thought this whole things going down with WV was for the entirety of all of it: all countries, offices, everywhere. I entirely forgot about the concept of different offices in different countries having their own policies. So finding this bit of news was a bit of a balm on the wound, so to speak.
        Today I did read the following update from inside the WV offices here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tonyjones/2014/03/27/lets-talk-about-what-happened-yesterday-at-world-vision/
        Apparently a lot of WV employees in Washington are wearing purple in support of their gay colleagues today. :)

    • http://www.registeredrunaway.com/ Benjamin Moberg

      Read that and was overwhelmed. I loved their statement on what it means, for them, to have a “Christian Identity”, in contrast to much of what we’ve seen here.

  • http://rachelheldevans.com Rachel Held Evans

    This may sound a little weird, and I’m not sure how to express it right…but you have been an important leader to me over the past few days, Ben. I am profoundly, exceedingly grateful. Thank you for the graciousness and wisdom you have shown. You gave me hope when I was all but out.

    • http://www.registeredrunaway.com/ Benjamin Moberg

      Rachel, that means so much and doesn’t sound weird! It is incredibly hard moving forward, I think your post on the reversal summed up well the reality of things. This was a tipping point. And it’s tragic. And none of us really know what to do now that it’s clear how over things are. No matter what, and I know this sounds flowery, but we have to look to Jesus, for hope and direction and grace. It is literally the only thing I’m capable of right now.

      Also, I want you to know I’ve been praying for you, as are many others. You are taking so many hits for us, Rachel and I know that it hurts. You are loved, and we are all so grateful for you.

      • sa gui

        Shame on you for saying such abomination. “Culture of Christianity” WOW!!!!!
        You will be judged by your lifestyle which is SIN. Period. Now, the authority of the WORD is “Christian Culture” unbeliavable! have you completely LOST your mind? or is just one of those who never opened a Bible? or one of those who wrote the “queen james” “bible”. We WILL continue stand for Jesus Christ. And that was the reason We founded the World Vision.

        • Tired of the hypocrisy

          You “founded the World Vision”?! Get over yourself. How dare you judge anyone else’s salvation or blast such hatred as the “queen james” Bible.

          Might want to pull the plank out of your eye before rattling on anyone else.

          • Sheila Warner

            You’ll never get anywhere with this person. I just had to comment, though, along with you, on the “WE” founded WV. I bet Bob Pierce is rolling over in his grave.

        • Sheila Warner

          I’m straight, and I believe that the Bible is mis-interpreted by those who use such vile name calling to refer to gays. WV merely allowed that there are denominations that have reconsidered the English translation of words in the NT. That’s all. And, for that, people who had a relationship with a child ended that sacred trust with that child. The child doesn’t have a thing to do with WV policies. To continue a precious relationship was in no way aligning oneself with or against the notion of secular & legal marriages of gays.

          You say “WE” founded WV. No, YOU did not. Bob Pierce did.

        • discussiondiva11

          We have all been “judged” for our sin. But Jesus took our judgement upon Himself and died for us. Our debt is paid and we know longer live under judgement. Want to stand for Jesus Christ, do you? Then why don’t YOU stop committing the SIN OF JUDGEMENT?!

  • http://www.hollilong.com/ Holli Carey Long

    Amen. You are such an example for us all. Amazing how you can somehow comfort us in the midst of your pain. Know that we grieve with you and find hope in your words, wisdom and grace. (And totally get it that you are not ready to forgive…neither am I.)

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  • Olivia

    Oh, Ben. I am so so sorry. I can’t even imagine the hurt you must be feeling. But let me just say that I am awed by the godliness you display when people attack you for being who you are. This is not the first time that you have written with grace for Christians who hurt the LGBQT community. I am so proud of you and so honored to be your friend. The grace you extend to those who would make you an enemy is truly inspiring.You are truly following Christ’s command to turn the other cheek, and teaching me that it’s possible to be more like that in my own life as well. Blessings to you, dear brother.

  • Diana Cherry

    Beautifully written, as always. Mourning with you.

  • Jacob Wrestled

    Ben, I want to say that your last post, and this one too, really resonate with me.

    For years, I’ve been on the margins of the evangelical movement, on a number of issues. The conversation over LGBT matters is one of those issues. Generally, I keep silent or at least very measured about controversial issues. Most people know me as a “Feminist.” That tends to annoy or concern some people, but one can usually “pass” even with that peculiarity, particularly when one is straight and married with children.

    For some reason, the dialog over World Vision really rubbed me the wrong way. Not, mind, because the conversation was unusual. The problem is that it was so typical. We got treated to a slew of commentary, yet again, implicitly or explicitly advancing this claim:

    “There are, definitionally, no LGBT people who affirm their sexuality and are professing Christians. There are no True Christians who affirm them. If a church or organization allows dissent on this issue, it is not a Christian organization.”

    Apparently you don’t exist. Apparently I don’t exist. Apparently my church and its denomination do not exist. Well, what do you know!

    It’s always interesting not to exist. Descartes would be puzzled.

    I intend to continue being charitable and open to dialog. But here’s what I am done doing: I’m done allowing people to write entire groups of people invisible. I’m not going to apologize for my own wrestling or my own thoughts. I’m not going to stop breaking bread with people who aren’t on the Evangelical Approved list. I chose to be in solidarity with those people. Let the evangelicals decide whether to keep breaking bread with me.

    So, more assertively than I have before, here is what I am saying:

    If there’s no room for you at the table, there is no room for me either.

    I know that is not a big consolation, but I want you to know that you are not alone.

    • http://www.registeredrunaway.com/ Benjamin Moberg

      Goll, Jacob, this is powerful for me. “If there’s no room for you at the table, there is no room for me either.”

      And about all the things you will not stop doing, I think, maybe, this is the breaking point. This is where Christians everywhere are now finally, at last, seeing that they do not bend to the world or the culture of christianity, which is where is redemptive change happens. We are no longer asking for permission. We are no longer shying away from saying, “Me, too, I am a follower of Jesus.” If anything is going to change, it starts there.

    • Special PhysX

      Men: You Make Me Soar With Praise! Thank You for displaying the kind of
      SemperFi courage and determination that reflects the JESUS whom God
      brings continually NEAR US! I have been maintaining this sort of stand
      for a long time now — not because I am LGBT myself, but because when I
      was a young widowed mother living with a man who was not my licensed
      husband, the church barred me from fellowship and I know how damaging
      that is to your faith! No one on earth stood up for me and I will not
      stand by and say nothing nor sit in a pew and pretend it is okay to
      ravage another pilgrim’s faith because they don’t do what others expect
      of them. Jesus will build His church and the gates of hell will not
      prevail against Him. How much less a feeble and blind institution that
      thinks MANIPULATION is the way to win. He will never leave you nor
      forsake you, no matter how strenuously they plaster you with defamatory
      labels. Thank YOU, gentlemen, for showing me that while I feel so lonely
      in my tiny protest much of the time, I am truly not alone on this
      rising tide of authentic faith. #LiftHimUp (PS: I am buoyed up these
      days by listening to messages from SanctuaryTulsa.org and
      RenovatusChurch websites. Pr Ed Gungor, Pr Jonathan Martin, Dr Chris
      Green — men who are willing to let GOD be God, even when it makes them
      personally uncomfortable, even when it might actually involve some risk)

      • Jacob Wrestled

        (Quick aside, not that it matters to anything: I’m a woman; Jacob Wrestling refers to the Biblical story, which I like to use as a picture of faith that matches my experience, rather than to my name.)

        Ben and Special Phyx, I’m glad my words have been heartening.

        I don’t know if I hold great hope that evangelicalism’s gatekeepers or its subculture are going to allow a lot of room to go off-script. They police seemingly mundane non-culture war issues, such as doubt, to the point where one finds it advantageous to speak in whispers to the sympathetic and put on a game face for the rest. Get them onto a culture war issue, and they are fierce.

        But that is no matter. It is necessary now–maybe it has been for a long time–to be kind but firm in articulating a Christian faith that is off the evangelical script. The evangelical subculture and the evangelical gatekeepers have created a picture of faith that I cannot live, even if I wanted to. I used to regard that as a private problem, perhaps even a personal failing. Increasingly, I think there is a much bigger community of people who experience this. So, one must speak, because the gatekeepers musn’t win. They can claim the term of “evangelical” and deny it to me, if they wish. But they must not be allowed to claim ownership of the word “Christian.”

        I don’t know if “the evangelicals” will listen, or not. But I can tell you this: I will be providing another voice, and I think it is important that people not be allowed to feel that they are completely alone, or look up to heavens and see no reflection of themselves there. That is the ultimate alienation, and a religious language and imagination that doesn’t work against that alienation (that even creates it!) is one that must be questioned.

        Speaking less generally, to LGBT issues specifically, I always keep in mind that even if the evangelical world stops it ears, there are Christian communities that are not doing so. You know that of course, but I don’t think this can be repeated often enough. If SpecialPhyx is thinking what she does from a more charismatic tradition (juding rom the Tulsa link), I am speaking it from a Lutheran one. I’ve settled into a church in the ELCA. We have an affirming stance on LGBT persons. We aren’t going anywhere.

        Take heart.

  • Aidan Bird

    The sad truth is that I’m not surprised. I expected them to reverse the decision, even though I very much hoped they wouldn’t, that they’d stand firm. The leaders in the Evangelical culture in America are too important, hold too much power, and hold too much vehemence against people like us. As long as we exist, they will stop at nothing to hurt us, tear us down, and try to erase our existence. And today they proved they were even willing to hold children, children in desperate need, as ransom in order to get their way. Children. And the horrifying part is that they feel vindicated in their actions. They don’t see them as wrong or horrifying, but as good, because they won. They used those children to get what they wanted. I could repeat that to them a thousand times, and they probably wouldn’t get it. They are like the pharisees who stood on the street corners, fasting in public to show their holiness. We all know what Christ thought of them. Christ saw through their act, and Christ will see through these people’s acts. I try hard to remind myself of this, but it’s hard.

    Not everyone in Christianity is like them, yes. But those that are? They hold the majority of the power right now. And they know how to wield that power like a loaded gun, ready to fire at any who stand in their way. It’s a hard fight, and it’s one I can’t stomach anymore. I’m tired of fighting my way through life. I’m tired of people trying to erase my existence.

    My friend, K, whom I’ve been friends with since sixth grade, said to me the other day, “But they don’t represent God. They aren’t God either.” Yes, that may be true, but that doesn’t erase the fact they hold the power right now. I’m not safe in their churches, nor in any church that endorses them. Entering a Christian community is like walking into a mine field. Each step is dangerous, and it could all explode in my face. They also hold far more political power then I’d like, and they have, countless times in countless areas across the US, tried hard to create laws that would cause lasting harm to all sorts of minorities, LGBT included, so their power extends beyond the religious sphere. Yes. They may not represent God, but they think they do, and that makes them even more dangerous. What happened today is just another example of the unbridled power they wield and the damage they can cause if they don’t get their way. I don’t know how we can dismantle their power, nor how to heal the rifts it’s caused in Christian communities. But as long as these evangelical leaders continue to hold this type of power, the pain and hurt they cause will only continue. This is why I hold so little hope.

    Oh God, have mercy on us all.

    • Sheila Warner

      Aidan, my heart breaks for you. I stand with you. I wish I could heal your pain. What struck me the most was that you don’t feel safe in any church. Safe is my word for the year. I’m praying that you will find safety in your life. HUGS

      • Aidan Bird

        Thank you.

    • http://www.registeredrunaway.com/ Benjamin Moberg

      The wisdom you have here, Aidan, is so important. Most poignantly, you said, “They may not represent God, but they think they do, and that makes them even more dangerous.” I couldn’t have put this better myself. If you read any of the “Gatekeepers” twitter feeds or blogs (which I highly encourage you not to), you’ll see the same the thread of self-righteousness and martyrdom. It is scary. But we have hope. (Sounds trite, but I have to believe it is true.)

      • Aidan Bird

        It helps to hear that you have hope, and that you are fighting alongside me. Because one of their biggest tools is to try to isolate people, to make them feel like they have no worth (in God’s eyes especially), to make them feel that they are alone. Us even talking like this is a way of fighting back. Sometimes I think about how humanity is this bundle of forces: destructive and restorative. Each of us are capable of either, but which will we feed? And how will we balance those aspects of ourselves? It’s all too easy to get caught up in this one way of viewing the world — to not think about where we stand, where we are going, and who we truly are. But to not think is to become complicit with possible destructive forces. We have to think, to recognize, to be cognizant because restorative forces require thought, require action, and require a willingness to walk through the pain in order to reach healing. You can’t have healing without pain.

        Ben, you have an amazing ability to be able to think through where you are, where you’ve been, and who you are. You are a restorative force, and that’s desperately needed within our society. Thank you for that, and keep at it. It’s a hard road, but God’s with you on it. Of that I’m certain.

  • thelifeartist
    • http://www.registeredrunaway.com/ Benjamin Moberg

      As I said on twitter, there were no words when I read this. So beautiful, so meaningful to me in these days of grieving. Thank you.

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  • Sheri

    I just posted this on the World Vision FB page.
    _______________
    After your reversal yesterday of your new marriage policy decision two days ago, I laid awake this morning, sickened. I decided to voice this on your site. Maybe only a few will read it, maybe WV will never see it in the sea of messages you are getting, but it will make me feel better. To start out with, I am straight, married, & a Christian (Christ-follower). I was in the Assembly of God denomination for 34 years. I was also a pastor in it until 5 yrs ago. To say I am appalled at the Christians & denominations who have canceled their sponsorships that supported starving people is an understatement. Using little children with big bellies & mommas with sunken eyes & four little kids in tow as hostages & pawns in the chess game of evangelicalism is sickening. I can’t believe over 2000 people canceled their sponsorships behind the excuse of theology. Here is the image I have in my head: These people walking up to a little hungry child & saying, “Sorry, I’m no longer going to help feed you because WV is going to hire a gay person. Goodbye. Be blessed & well fed.” Appalling. What WV did & does is feed the hungry in the name of Christ. Not only is what these people did sickening to me, it is also cowardly because they forced WV to do their dirty work & made them tell the starving people that they no longer will be fed by that sponsor because of theology. WV is the one that is out there actually doing the hard work & hugging these people. We just send our money. Cowardly. Secondly, to WV, there is another group of people that have been dramatically hurt – the gay population. Not only gays, but gay Christians. I have read the blog of Benjamin Moberg. It breaks my heart. Again, here we are evangelical Christians slapping the face of people in the name of theology. I just can’t believe Jesus is smiling in heaven saying, “that-a-boy Assembly of God. This will eventually make all people love me. Go out & do my work.” That’s crap. I officially denounce this evangelicalism that treats people like pawns & carries only an agenda, not love. Benjamin said it well in his blog “When Evangelicals Turn against Children to Spite Me.” He was trying in a stream of thoughts to separate what the church was doing from what God would do. I have had to do that also in the past. But now again, I have to revisit this. I am again struggling with this Christian culture who would reject children with no food. The WV policies are irrelevant to me in that WV’s purpose is to feed starving people & give them clean water. Who the heck cares what someone’s sexual orientation is when they are down on their hands & knees in dirt, bugs, & disease hugging someone who is dying. I hope that people on the other side won’t drop their sponsorships, now. Don’t be like those evangelicals, please. Support the people who are doing the hands-on hugging & feeding. Don’t let these starving people continue to think that all people have an agenda & that God has any other agenda besides loving them. http://www.registeredrunaway.com/2014/03/27/when-world-vision-drops-me/#comments

    • Tana Hendricks

      Well said Sheri!

    • http://www.registeredrunaway.com/ Benjamin Moberg

      Sheri! This strikes such a strong chord in me.

      Perhaps never before has it been so difficult to separate God from his people, because the rage is so ubiquitous and relentless, but of the same token, it has never been so easy. I cannot look at the God that the evangelical right espouses and say I know him. Because, honestly, I don’t! I told a friend the other, a fellow christian, that I feel like I’m taking crazy pills! I cannot understand what coldness comes over a heart to say, ya I get that kid is on life support, but gay people… It’s absurd. It is reckless. It is the most clear contrast that I’ve seen yet between who my God is and who his people proclaim him to be.

      • Biola Student

        I just wanted to put my two cents in. Sheri and Ben, keep up your love for God and for your brothers and sisters in Christ. I am a college student at Biola University, surrounded by Christians, my brothers and sisters, who are applauding what WV did in their reversal of hiring gay Christians. It breaks my heart to see them only focus on the theological beliefs over all that WV does and stands for. I was filled with joy when I first read that WV was going to begin to hire gay Christians. Upon the reversal of their decision, my heart broke; although it did not affect me personally, for I am a straight male, my heart sunk for people like you, who desire to be accepted, taken in, and no longer criticized. Your blog is truly inspiring and I pray for the day where you will be accepted. Please continue to stay strong, knowing you are not alone. Even in a heavily conservative school, where this topic is brought up everyday, there are brothers and sisters who are right there with you, who are walking by your side through the Spirit and prayer.

  • Beth Beyer Abbott

    Thank you for your honesty and courage. And thank God you were placed on this earth to share love and justice with others.

  • http://www.stephindialogue.com Stephanie S. Smith

    Thank you, Ben. We hurt with you.

  • momadvice

    Thank you for saying so eloquently what is on my heart. I rallied for them when they made this decision and adopted a child in honor of someone I love who never felt the love of Jesus. I felt betrayed that after doing this, they reversed their decision. Unlike the other party though, I will not quit my child. I made a commitment and I intend to honor it. I just worry that the people that so viciously attacked World Vision see this as a win for bullying people with the Bible. Because that is what happened.

    • http://www.registeredrunaway.com/ Benjamin Moberg

      Yep, and it shines a light on the power of money. WV needs money to continue (although, I have absolutely no confidence that those who dropped at the initial announcement will bounce back and pick up their kids. It was simply too easy for them to drop them). I think it shows, more than anything else, the depths evangelicalism is willing to descend to win the war against “everyone else”. It is truly troubling and I share your feelings in this betrayal. At least we know for sure who we’re dealing with now.

  • http://technologos.net/ Christian Marble

    The word “disqualified” is entirely correct to describe what this decision signals to gay Christians. I, like you, am so weary of being set apart and condemned as a theological mistake that is incompatible with Scripture. It burdens my heart to be told that I can’t pursue romance and marriage without being trapped in sin – it’s a lie, but a very powerful one.

    Evangelicals have told me they “truly wish the Bible said something different” about gay marriage. If you wish that the Bible said something different about gay marriage, then you must sense that it can be a desirable and beautiful thing. If you see that a loving gay relationship can be filled with happiness, then you really ought to seriously analyze and discern exactly what it is that Scripture truly condemns when addressing sexuality – not simply demand obedience based on a surface-level reading of a handful of verses.

  • http://www.bethanysuckrow.com/ Bethany Suckrow

    Your grace over the past few days has been beautiful and powerful to witness, friend. This post had me in tears. So much love to you.

    • http://www.registeredrunaway.com/ Benjamin Moberg

      Your continued encouragement and support has been a powerful witness to me! So thankful to call you a friend.

  • http://www.liverenewed.com/ Emily @ Live Renewed

    I am a new reader of your blog over the past two days with this whole WV debacle, and I have to say, that your words here moved me to tears. I am a straight, slowly recovering evangelical, and I too was so heartbroken and angry with the announcement of the reversal yesterday. And what is most telling to me, is your, and other’s, words of response that are full of grace and love and beauty, even in the midst of extreme hurt and anger. Compare that to the original responses from the conservative evangelical leaders on Monday night and Tuesday – words full of blame and hate and ugliness. I can read and feel and see here how the Spirit is actually living and moving in people’s hearts and lives. The verse Luke 6:45 comes to mind, “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

  • http://www.emergingmummy.com/ Sarah Bessey

    You are so loved and appreciated, Ben. Thank you for leading.

    • http://www.registeredrunaway.com/ Benjamin Moberg

      Thank you so much, Sarah.

  • http://anitamathias.com/ Anita Mathias

    Hey Ben, I am new to your blog, and am enjoying your passionate posts of the last few days. You write beautifully!

  • http://www.brennadambrosio.com/ Brenna

    Thank you, Ben.

  • Kimberly Marciniak

    I am so sorry… I just wanted to say: I love you and Jesus does too don’t forget that.

    *hugs through the computer*

  • http://www.jezamama.com/ J.K. McGuire

    I am so terribly saddened bythis whole situation.
    This morning all I feel is such deep grief and tears.
    One of my favorite stories and verses from scripture says, “Jesus wept.”
    I know this to be true in my life… he has wept with me in my grief and I believe this to be true of what has happened within the American church this week.
    We failed miserably. It is devastating.
    So I came back to this space to try to find some voice of sense in this chaotic hellhole of a mess…
    thank you for your words and the reminders of what grace looks like. Thankfully as Lamott says grace does not leave us where it finds us. May this be true in this moment.

  • Eva Sullivan-Knoff

    Thank you Benjamin for sharing your heart and choosing grace even in the midst of betrayal. I am grateful for your words. I am an ordained Evangelical minister, but more I am a person who loves Jesus and all the people whom God has made. I am also a parent of a transgender daughter who I love and support with all my heart. She has taught me much and she is a beautiful reflection of God. I was heartbroken yesterday at the reversal and for the message it sent to the LGBTQ community. That is not the God I know and love. So know that I stand beside you and weep. I am grateful for God’s presence with you and me and in all of this.

  • Vanessa

    Wow, this is beautifully written, Ben. I thought of you as soon as I read the news. I’ve met Jay also, and thanks for reminding me of some of the things he said and lived.

  • Juliet Vedral

    Such wisdom and grace. Thank you, Ben.

  • http://www.leighkramer.com/ Leigh Kramer

    The grace filling this post has me in tears, Ben. I was stunned by yesterday’s news and my thoughts turned toward you right away, wondering how you were feeling and what was running through your mind. I had no words for the heartbreak of this whole situation and I poured my confusion in to prayer. It’s still all I can do today. I am so grateful for your voice, grateful for you. Thank you, Ben.

  • Tana Hendricks

    Ben , my heart seems to be hurting so much these last couple of days. The way the conservative Christian right slammed WV, made me ashamed to call myself a Christian. The response from the LGBTQ community was so loving and thoughtful and then the reversal, again, I felt crushed. Through it all have been blogs by you and others that have helped me see the forest through the trees, that God is in control of all of this and this will not be the end of this topic. I love that you are extending grace, and so I will also. We can rise above this and show love and forgiveness and hold tightly to God. Bless you!

  • Theresa Kredell Stockdale

    You write with amazing grace. Your words are strong, profound, and hopeful. I was on a call with Richard Stearns today. He referred to how he loves ALL brothers and sisters in Christ and is broken that this has caused more hurt. He never imagined this hurt. I am so sorry for how this hurt you and many other Christians. I have volunteered with WV for many years, connected hundreds of sponsors with children, met my sponsored children, raised awareness and funding. I have been condemned and belittled because of my affiliation with WV. I have been bullied and frustrated by the way WV handled this. And, at the end of the day, I keep coming back to their work, their staff, the children I’ve met, the lives that are changed. I am hurt, and I am hurt that others are hurting. We will press on. The children may not. So, I will continue to ask people boldly to sponsor children. And when they feel the need to tell me I’m not Christian anymore because I affiliate my heart with World Vision’s work, I will ask them if they can help me get back to the business of helping children. I am very encouraged by your willingness to share, to be vulnerable, and to choose to press on. You inspire me to press on. http://tiny.cc/TheresaStockdale

  • Kate Carmer

    Dear Ben,

    I’m grieving the whole evangelical response to the World Vision debacle. Saddened beyond measure that they reversed their decision. But please once you have recovered from your justifiable anger, grief and breathtaking grace, continue to share your journey so others might change.

    There is an interesting insight to inner workings of World Vision at Tony Jones blog, Theoblogy.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tonyjones/2014/03/27/lets-talk-about-what-happened-yesterday-at-world-vision/

    For all those who have come here to support the traditional view of LGBTQIA in the church, before you speak I believe that you should do your Due Diligence.

    We need to do our Due Diligence before rejecting the beautiful LGBTQIA child that the Lord gave us.
    We need to do our Due Diligence before speaking or commenting on LGBTQIA issues.
    We need to do our Due Diligence before withdrawing support from an organization that does not discriminate against LGBTQIA individuals.
    We need to do our Due Diigence before supporting organizations that propagate hate of LGBTQIA individuals who are made in the image of God.

    Due Diligence is more than reading a version of the Bible that translates a few words in a possibly inaccurate way.
    Due Diligence involves more than accepting the current evangelical fear-based narrative that LGBTQIA orientation is a choice and is curable.
    Due Diligence involves developing an understanding of LGBTQIA individuals and the very real agony they go through to acknowledge their orientation (especially if they have been raised in a Christian home).
    As part of a Christian’s Due Diligence, before speaking or acting on the LGBTQIA issue, I recommend that every Christian who loves the Lord consider reading any/all of the following books:
    “Love is an Orientation” by Andrew Marin
    “Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate” by Justin Lee
    “Mom, I’m Gay” by Susan Cottrel
    “A Letter to My Congregation” by Ken Wilson
    “Bible, Gender and Sexuality” by James V Bronson
    There are lots of other resources that can help Christians learn how to express love in a tangible way to the LGBTQIA people who have been created in God’s Image and are worthy of love, respect, jobs, encouragement, and the ability to serve the Lord they love in the ways that God has gifted them.
    Ben we need your voice. Please continue to speak.
    Kate

  • http://adelasteria.blogspot.com/ Kelley Danahy

    Thank you for this. Your grace and courage over the last few days has really illuminated the gospel, and given me hope in those moments when I’ve been ashamed to be associated with the name ‘Christian.’

  • http://freedhearts.wordpress.com Susan Cottrell Freedhearts

    So beautiful, Ben. I love your love. I love your Jesus.

    • sa gui

      That “jesus” doesn’t exist, Never did. It is a fantasy created by an homossexual to feel more comfotable with his sinful lifestyle. That is NOT what the Scriptures tell us. You guys will be hold accountable for that. The Bible is very clear on it. Both Old and New Testament.

  • http://gracerules.wordpress.com/ Liz Dyer

    Thanks for giving a voice to what so many are feeling!

  • Jim Caldwell

    Today
    I woke to a dream. The extended family (no real faces–just a bunch of
    people I knew were my group) were having a huge picnic in a park. We
    took up a bunch of tables but the park was huge and very busy. Then I
    noticed there was a ring of unused tables all the way around our
    group–all the rest were taken in the park. I stepped out and asked
    someone why no one was using these tables around our group. The answer
    was, “Oh, it is way to violent in that group. We don’t want to get near.
    Those people are devouring one another.”
    Maybe I need a therapist.
    Ben, you are the bigger and better human being. Thanks for your voice and the sweet aroma of Jesus I smell here.

    • sa gui

      Nope. Jesus is not this figure you created on your minds. That is idolatry. You created a ‘god” that make you comfortable. That accepts your SIN and abomination. It ain’t work that way. He is perfect and NO sin will be part of Him or His kingdom. You will be judged by your choice of rejecting the Truth.

  • Katy Hoppa

    Ben,
    “God loves you just as you are”…because he created you in His image, beautiful and wonderfully made.

    • sa gui

      Nope. Grace is not license to live a sinful lifestyle. He set us free from th e bondage of sin. Homossexuality is SIN and the Scriptures are VERY clear about it.

  • http://carlygelsinger.com/ Carly Gelsinger

    Thank you, Ben.

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  • UK Disciple

    From the WVUK website “At WVUK we are saddened by any distraction to our core mission to bring hope to the world’s most vulnerable children”

  • Cynthia Astle

    Amen, Brother Ben. We can do grace, much as it hurts both those of us who are gay and those of us who are straight allies of our LGBT sisters and brothers. My heart goes out to you.

    • sa gui

      You are a minority trying to change the Bible, the Scriptures for a cursed, abominable sexual apetite. You gotta be kidding!!! The Bible couldn’t be more clear about this. Old and New Testament. Homossexuals will NOT inherit eternal Life. If you want to live this lifestyle you WILL be judged by Him. After all He has done for us you still reject it and rather embrace your passions. Sad, very sad.

      • Tired of the hypocrisy

        The Bible couldn’t be more clear about loving each other and showing grace. This judgment you’re giving? Not your job. So how about you leave the judgment to God & worry about yourself?

        • sa gui

          Nope. Jesus tell us to judge. Judge the fruit. The Scriptures does not condemn the individual but the behaviors, actions that lead to death and hell. The Scriptures define sin. This is not about subjectivity. Who are you to tell me that I don’t love? Love is to say that gay lifestyle is OK before God? is that it? absolutely wrong and sin. Ask a mother of a criminal if she still loves him? of course she does. But she condemns her son’s behavior.

          • Tired of the hypocrisy

            The way you’re addressing the commenters here IS NOT LOVE. You have zero credibility to condemn anyone here but yourself.

          • sa gui

            Nope. in your world, “credibility” is to accept your life style oohhhh ssooooo cute, it is ooookkkk…”my truth”, ‘your truth” GROW UP.

          • http://adelasteria.blogspot.com/ Kelley Danahy

            The fruit which is love***, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness self-control?
            Okay. I see that in the lives of many gay Christians I know. And love radiates from this blog.

            Frankly? I don’t see these fruits in your comments.

          • Sheila Warner

            “Judge the fruit.”

            I am a straight Christian, and I can judge fruit, too. The only fruit I’m judging is seeing other straight Christians drop the sacred relationships and trust they have cultivated over years of sponsorship. That relationship is more important than anything WV does or does not do. I would never drop sponsorship if WV hires gays, or if it does not. It is that relationship which is what I am accountable to God for.

            At the end of time, Jesus will separate sheep from goats based on some very concrete behaviors, apart from anything sexual. Did we give water to the thirsty, did we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned, welcome the stranger? No list of sins in any epistle are mentioned. None.

            Find another charitable organization if you want to, or even start your own. But don’t think that, if you drop a child, you won’t have to answer for that behavior, as listed by Jesus himself as important–more than important, actually. It determines whether or not we remain with him at the end of time.

  • Wes Granberg-Michael

    Ben, I don’t know you, but I want to thank you for the honesty and clarity of what you have expressed. Yours are evangelical voices which evangelical leadership deeply needs to hear. Wes Granberg-Michaelson

    • sa gui

      that kind of voice offends God. It is an ABOMINATION to Jesus to make sin acceptable. It is not. If you were really Christians you would renounce your sinful lifestyle and not defend it at all costs! you guys are amazing.

  • jtheory

    You can come serve children alongside me any time. And I will learn from you how to love.

    - Justin

  • http://theartofsimple.net/ Tsh Oxenreider

    Ben, just wanted to say I keep coming back to read this post. Your words are actually balm to my soul, oddly enough, because they encourage me. Not that you’re hurting—not at all—but that maybe there are enough of us willing to say, “This is SO WRONG” and we can weep and be the Body together in a way unseen in awhile.

    Thank you for teaching me so much with your words here. Grateful for you.

    • sa gui

      That is NOT wrong!!! it is absolutely RIGHT!!! are telling us to throw away the Bible, its authority, offend God?? to defend a sinful lifestyle, an sexual apetite? what are you talking about?

  • http://prairierainbow.tumblr.com/ Kevin R. Tengesdal

    This commentary truly reflects my sentiments as a gay Christian who was denied service by Wycliffe Bible Translators, and a graduate of a Bible college that will not acknowledge me as who God made me to be. It seems that for every ministry that affirms Christians who are gay, there are three other ministries that are louder in opposition. And yet, I too stand awash in God’s amazing grace through it all.

    • sa gui

      There is no such a thing like “gay” and Christian.
      If you are truly in Christ you will renounce sth that offends God. That is plain and simple. If someone is truly a Christian and yet has homossexual sinful attractions, that person will renounce his sexual life because he Loves His Heavenly Father. Many are free from homossexuality, no matter how loud some around here will scream against it.

      • thinkFirstBlogLast

        Wrong. One word: “Whosoever”.

  • http://practicingtheway.com Joe Macias

    Thank you for sharing this with us Ben. Your voice is heard and heeded by an ever growing number of your brothers and sisters; there will be a tipping point.

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  • sa gui

    “evangelical leaders incited a mass backlash of dropped funds”. This is the dirtiest lie. Christians in hundreds and hundreds of thousands were shock by WV president and board’s rejection of the Word. That is the WHOLE REASON this organization started! World Vision is a CHRISTIAN organization first. The Authority of the Scriptures is not “debatable”( like some men who practice sodomy want us to believe). We are not throwing the Scriptures away, because your sexual apetite doesn’t fit in. I read all these “mexican melodrama” texts, articles and blogs written by gay or lesbians talking about “betrayal”. Did you guys completely LOST your mind??? you guys are so dirty and “diverse” in your attacks. Amazing. Melodrama, bullying, nazi tactics, intimidation. You want to ban the Bible, rewrite it, attack those who follow it and play victim! hilarious GROW UP

    • Tired of the hypocrisy

      Perhaps you are the one not in your right mind. Instead of attacking a fellow believer who is feeling hurt and betrayed, have you taken a step back to think how you might help? How you can learn from this situation?

      You are the one creating drama here, with bullying and intimidation tactics. Not ok, pal. Not ok.

      • sa gui

        Nope. It doesn’t matter his “feelings”. Sin is sin. Stop playing the mexican melodrama soap opera. The Scriptures condemns and no individuals with homossexual, lesbian lifestyles will inherit the Kingdom of God. Those who have these sinful passions, who renounced their life style (even relapsing at times) WILL be on heaven.

        • Tired of the hypocrisy

          Until you can learn to spell properly, go away. Your “argument” loses all validity when you can’t even spell.

          Also? Check your Bible. Have you renounced every sin? Do you live a perfect life? I didn’t think so.

          • sa gui

            really? but your sexual apettie is valid? wow
            No, but I renounce every sin. If I fail sometimes it is another conversation. I am doing much better than I was in the past. And that is victory through the Holy Spirit. I wouldn’t imagine not doing certain things years ago. ONLY through the Power of Holy Spirit you can do. But you can!

          • Tired of the hypocrisy

            Yes, my “sexual apettie” is valid. Thanks for asking!

            Have another drink, tipsy.

          • Guest

            already losing? apetite apetite apetite…. you guys will EVER force sin and darkness of light.

          • sa gui

            already losing? apetite, apetite, apetite…you guys will never force sin and darkness on light. EVER

          • sa gui

            Romans 1:18-32
            But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness…. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles.

            So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.

            That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.

            Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. (NLT)

          • Aidan Bird

            Go read this: http://www.whosoever.org/bible/ It takes down all your arguments and will show you Christ. It may even help you take the giant log out of you own eye, so that you can see clearly again, because right now, you are not seeing clearly. Christ mourns for you.

            Maybe someday you’ll come to fully realize who Jesus Christ is, and then you’ll realize that your judgement and condemnation is not Christ and does not come from Christ. Until then, may God have mercy on your soul.

          • jj1954

            Everything you’ve said here has been a sin. You aren’t loving your perceived “enemy” as yourself and you are judging. Let ye without sin cast the first stone.

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  • sa gui

    Uncredible how a homossexual attacks those who will be faithful to the Truth. World Vision knew that hundreds of thousands wouldn’t sell their soul to the devil. and give him money. World Vision is a Christian organization. NOT a secular organitation. There is no Christians who live a gay lifestyle. We judged by the fruit as Jesus told us. People who were transformed by His Blood, Grace and Power were set free. Those who weren’t they renounce their sex life by the power of the Holy Spirit. Those are real men. Not someone who write a blog who put in Jeopardy the Word of God Himself!!
    and to defend a cheap sexual apetite! you will be hold accountable. Do not talk about things you have no clue about it. You attack people, you gays and lesbians always bullying, trashing the Bible, vandalizing churches,,etc. Even wrote your “gay bible”. Jesus is much more than a charity guru. He transform lives and that is the reason that Christians will rather DIE than to accept homossexuality. It is a SIN and we will always defend the Word of God. We founded the World Vision. If one day the organization turn secular, fine. Just take it away the word “Christian”. We fought to build that organization and now the force of darkness playing victims (one more nazi manipulative tactic) want to assault it. Not so fast.

    • http://www.natalietrust.com/ Natalie Trust

      No one here is interested in your crass commentary. Please leave what many of us consider to be sacred space. Thanks.

      • sa gui

        You rather love your sin and passions than the Truth. wow. Jesus loved the prostitutue, never judged her and said…”go and SIN NO MORE”. Please, RENOUNCE your sexual life if you truly Love Him. You can’t live on sin and be God’s friend. He knows your weaknesses, your traumatic past or anything else. He has Power to set you free!

        • http://adelasteria.blogspot.com/ Kelley Danahy

          You don’t know (and have no business knowing) anything about her sexual life. Sa gui, perhaps, since you take the Bible so seriously, read what Jesus said about judging before you know someone.

          • sa gui

            It has nothing to do with knowing what she or you do sexually. If you defend homossexual behavior and their free lifestyle, you can’t be part of a Christian organization. You obviously know nothing about Jesus. Absolutely nothing. He rejects your behavior kelley. It is sinful and an abomination to Him. And to me! His words are clear about sin and the gospel demands you take a personal decision about it. Not this cumbaia thing love, grace, anything goes, hell doesn’t exist, let’s all hug each other and make this world better right?? back off satan!! you will EVER make us to embrace your satanic culture of abortion, orgies, homossexuals, lesbians, assassinations, adultery, corruption, lies, war. We stand for the Truth, the Scrptures. You dont’ like it? go start your OWN organization. Because we Christians found and took care of World Vision from the getco. So get back off.

          • http://adelasteria.blogspot.com/ Kelley Danahy

            I will “ever” make you embrace? Wow, I didn’t know I had that kind of power or desire! ;) (sorry, I couldn’t resist joking. I joke when I get upset. Sorry.)

            In all seriousness? …I am praying for you. Perhaps, instead of ripping me apart with your misconcieved notions, you should pray for me, too? It’s pretty cool what this prayer thing can do.

          • Sheila Warner

            Also read what Jesus said about who are the sheep, and who are the goats. Our sexuality is not mentioned there.

        • jj1954

          Who made you judge of all people? Where is your love that Jesus taught us to have for everyone? You are doing exactly what He taught us NOT to do. Seems as if you are being quite selective on what parts of your Bible you read. I pray God fills your heart with the joy and love of Jesus to replace the hate and darkness that seem to fill your soul right now.

  • Tired of the hypocrisy

    I would like to be the first to tell Sa Gui that we all love him and stand beside him. It is a difficult decision to come out, but we will not judge as he does.

    • sa gui

      I am not judging. The Scriptures already did. It is up to you to accept as Truth and Word of God, or NOT.
      p.s.; is not going to help play victim and mother theresa because your attacks say otherwise – yo

      • sa gui

        great comment!

        • Jeff Preuss

          You seriously are congratulating yourself on a great comment? Because given the way you’ve posted the same thing as sa gui and guest elsewhere on here, it’s apparent that these are also both you.

      • Tired of the hypocrisy

        Yo. I read the Bible daily. You ARE judging and your thinly veiled homophobia is out of line, especially in this place. I will not validate you with another minute of my time until you offer a sincere apology to everyone you crudely judged on this board.

        • sa gui

          You read? so you know that your homossexual lifestyle is a sin. And those who live in it will go to hell. Why then to keep doing what you are doing here?

        • Sheila Warner

          Let’s agree to pray for those who are so blinded by hate, that they will understand the love of Jesus. My heart breaks for them as well as for the children. Darkness truly blinds. I’m so happy you are here in support of Benjamin. I stand with you.

    • sa gui

      The Scriptures judged already. I don’t need to.
      Have you ever opened a Bible?

    • Sheila Warner

      I agree. Which is why I challenged him on Jesus’ exhortation to give water to the thirsty, food for the hungry, clothes for the naked, shelter to the stranger, and visitation to the sick & imprisoned. All the things that will separate the sheep from the goats at the end of time. All of the sins listed in the OT & NT are not mentioned by Jesus. None of them. We are to be about our Father’s business, which is listed by Jesus to us as believers. I am sad and sorry for people who would give up a relationship with a child because of a need to condemn homosexuality. It’s really quite striking, this contrast between doing good and spewing vitriol.

  • sa gui

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11
    Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people-none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (NLT)

    1 Timothy 1:8-10
    Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine … (ESV)

    Jude 7
    And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment. (NIV)

  • Danielle

    Aloha from Hawaii, Benjamin!

    I stumbled across your blog from a link in a thread on Jamie The Very Worst Missionary’s FB page.

    Your post offers an intriguing perspective and I agree that there should be more of Christ’s love and grace extended to the LGBT community from the body of Christ here on earth. There’s one thing you wrote though that seems to show a fundamental difference between what you understand to be the Gospel message and what I understand from my reading of Scripture. If you have a minute to expound on your thoughts about this, that’d be cool.

    Heres’s what you wrote:

    “And so I will channel it all into doing my job here as a blogger, as a believer, loving gay kids and talking about the Jesus that wouldn’t change them for the world.”

    The part that gave me pause is the last part, “…the Jesus that wouldn’t change them for the world.” Ponder with me for a moment more about this, if you will. As I read the Gospels, I definitely see that the Jesus of the Bible didn’t shy away from people who the pharisees and religious elite would avoid; he hung out with tax collectors and prostitutes. Jesus loved people where they were, or “not as they should be,” like the Brennan Manning quote you referenced in your post. However with each person Jesus encountered, touched, healed, and saved, there was a command given for a change of lifestyle that required supernatural power. The oft-quoted “Go and sin no more,” from John 8:11 and the story of the woman caught in adultery comes to mind as one example.

    My assertion is that Jesus loves people as they are but also loves people too much to leave them as they are. If God truly is love (1 John 4:8), and one trusts that God truly has plans to prosper and not to harm (Jeremiah 29:11), and that Jesus came that we might have life to the full (John 10:10), wouldn’t the appropriate response to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross be to surrender completely to Christ and allow Him to change the core of one’s being to make it a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)? It seems to me that the Jesus of the Bible came to change everyone in a good way. Telling ANY kids that God doesn’t want to “change them for the world” seems like a short-selling the Gospel by neglecting the desires God has to make them a new creation and conform them more and more into the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29).

    May we all come to a fuller understanding of who God is and how much He loves us as we study His divine love letter to the world and grow in knowledge of His grace.

    Grace and Peace,

    Danielle

  • litlover

    I’ve been aching, because of the World Vision issue and because of other personal ones, for evidence that grace can be lived. This post exudes it. Thank you.

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  • Sunshine on Leith

    This policy only seems to apply to World Vision US, who are behind most other World Vision Offices. World Vision Australia, World Vision New Zealand, World Vision Ireland, World Vision Canada, World Vision UK, World Vision Switzerland, World Vision Finland, World Vision South Africa and several others have all publicly distanced themselves from the US policy and have stated that they do not discriminate by sexual orientation in who they employ or serve.

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  • http://pentriloquist.com/ Amy

    Just wanted to say, “I love you.” I’ve been one of those sorts of people who probably would’ve ranted and raved in the past from some sort of thinking that it was my responsibility to speak out and defend the faith and whatnot. But God has changed me. I’m realizing God doesn’t need me to defend him. I’m not responsible for convincing anyone of anything, or convicting them, or demonizing them. And all I can say is… “hurting people hurt people.” Wherever we are isn’t where we’ll be in a year, or 5, or 20. I’ve had a lot of hurt at the hands of church people, and I bought the responsibility that the Pharisees of Jesus’ time bought… the tight hold on every “right” thing in an effort to be good, to be right, to not allow ourselves to go off the rails on a crazy train and lose God’s favor. And it’s hard living there. And you have no idea how cold it is there – until you move out and just climb up into God’s warm loving arms… heresy! I know. I read that book – The Hole in our Gospel and it changed my life also.

    This is my first visit here… hopped over from a blog link elsewhere.

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  • Jennifer J

    More and more I see that I must not only stand on the sidelines but speak out. Walking away from evangelical is hard since I was there most of my life. But I can’t be quiet anymore. Not against such hate and judgement. My Jesus is not like that. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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