Saturday, April 5, 2014

CNN and SSM - A Christian/Political Viewpoint

Rachel Held Evans recently wrote on her CNN Belief Blog about evangelicals and their response to Same Sex Marriage (SSM). In her article she was bemoaning a decision by World Vision to reverse their decision not to discriminate against employees in SSMs.

Is that confusing? Here’s what it means. World Vision had adopted a position of not discriminating against their employees because of their “sexual orientation.” Following concerns voiced to them from the evangelical community, they reversed their position. Evans blamed the “reversal” on an outcry from evangelicals, including Southern Baptists and the Assemblies of God, who spoke out to encourage World Vision to reverse their stand.
She reported: “Evangelicals took to Twitter and Facebook to threaten to stop sending money to their sponsored children unless World Vision reversed course.

“Within a day of the initial announcement, more than 2,000 children sponsored by World Vision lost their financial support. And with more and more individuals, churches and organizations threatening to do the same, the charity stood to lose millions of dollars in aid that would otherwise reach the poor, sick, hungry and displaced people World Vision serves.”

She went on to write: “…some people, satisfied with the reversal, have called World Vision headquarters to ask, ‘Can I have my child back?’ as though needy children are expendable bargaining chips in the culture war against gay and lesbian people.

“Many of us who grew up evangelical watched with horror as these events unfolded.”

Then she epistemologically whined about how poorly the homosexual community is treated by evangelicals and questioned why evangelicals quote Bible verses about homosexuality and exclude the passages that refer to taking care of the needy. She asks, “Why are the few passages about homosexuality accepted uncritically, without regard to context or culture, but the many about poverty so easily discarded?”

Her discussion quickly evolved into a discussion of the “gay marriage” battle with Evans complaining that evangelicals’ “victory” is not worth its costs.

OK, let’s make one thing clear. “…ANYBODY (whosoever) believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” That’s from John 3:16. Just as when we argue that “ALL” in Romans 3:23 means “ALL,” we must also argue that “ANYBODY” means “ANYBODY,” unless we think the Bible is inconsistent with itself.

It is not.

A person, a church or a corporation (World Vision) is not “Christian” because it does or does not recognize Same Sex Marriage. It is Christian because it places its trust in, and only in, Christ and His finished work at the cross of Calvary.

Marriage exists in two worlds, the secular world and the Christian world. The secular/ legal world does pretty much as it pleases with regard to marriage. They call marriage what they want to call it, change its meaning according to their most current linguistic trends and holds it generally in disrespect. For centuries the secular/legal world followed the Christian lead in dealing with marriage. That is no longer the case.

The Christian world considers marriage in a totally different light.

In the Christian world view, marriage is a sacred covenant made with God by a man and a woman. Once they are united before God, they are made one by Him. They no longer operate as separate entities. They no longer treat their possessions as “his and hers.” They each give 100% of themselves to the other expecting nothing in return. They understand that marriage is an earthly picture of the relationship between Christ and His Bride, the church. They take seriously Ephesians 5:21. (You had better read that verse. It probably will be a surprise to you.)

At the risk of sounding political, I would like to point out that the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America tells us that “Congress (that is, the federal law making body) shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion…or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” If the Constitution is worth the paper it’s written on, that means that the federal government cannot interfere with religious matters in any way whatsoever, whether individual or corporate.

What World Vision decides to do about same sex couples is no business of the federal government. It should not be the business of any columnist, either. Since she enjoys the benefits of the very same First Amendment, though, she should be allowed to write what she wants to, which she has done.

That being said, Ms. Evans has proclaimed, “I’m going AWOL on evangelicalism's culture wars so I can get back to following Jesus among its many refugees: LGBT people, women called to ministry, artists, science-lovers, misfits, sinners, doubters, thinkers and “the least of these.”

Sorry. That she cannot do. She cannot have Christ in her heart and call sin “not sin.” She can (and should) help those who need help, regardless of their life choices, but she cannot follow Christ by castigating World Vision for its decision about its employees.

Notice that World Vision has not decided to stop helping the world. They have only decided to make certain decisions regarding their own hiring practices. So, what in the world is Evans complaining about? Does she think she should be the arbiter of what others should do?

(Does this remind you in any way of Hobby Lobby?)

11 comments:

Duckys here said...

If the Constitution is worth the paper it’s written on, that means that the federal government cannot interfere with religious matters in any way whatsoever, whether individual or corporate.
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The corporation didn't exist at the time of the founding.
Seems you're stretching a bit here, Joe.

Duckys here said...

It should not be the business of any columnist, either. Since she enjoys the benefits of the very same First Amendment, though, she should be allowed to write what she wants to, which she has done.
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That's mighty big of you, Joe.

Joe said...

Ducky: "The corporation didn't exist at the time of the founding."

Irrelevant to the point.

Xavier Onassis said...

Joe - "If the Constitution is worth the paper it’s written on, that means that the federal government cannot interfere with religious matters in any way whatsoever, whether individual or corporate."

Well, first of all, the Constitution isn't written on paper, it's written on parchment, which isn't the same thing at all.

But let's just put that aside for the moment on concentrate on your contention that "...the federal government cannot interfere with religious matters in any way whatsoever, whether individual or corporate..."

So, if I decide to establish a religion in which I am the Deity and I declare that all women should be required to be naked at all times, and that feasting on the actual flesh and blood of murdered evangelical Christians shall be the Holy Communion by which my followers can achieve Salvation so that they can spend eternity in a Heaven populated by promiscuous strippers surrounding a central Beer Volcano, that would be totally OK with you and you would fight any effort by the federal government to keep my cult followers from killing and eating evangelical Christians because we are simply exercising our Constitutionally protected religious freedom.

You really need to think these things through before making broad proclamations under the assumption that they only apply to Biblical faith's that you sanction.

Lone Ranger said...

"If the Constitution is worth the paper it’s written on, that means that the federal government cannot interfere with religious matters in any way whatsoever, whether individual or corporate."

Pfft. I don't hear that argument when liberals ban bibles in school or suspend children who are caught praying.

I once again wish there were a roller-coaster cam at the gates of hell, to record the expression on the face of people who call themselves Christian, but who manipulate the Bible to mean anything they want it to mean.

Duckys here said...

Tonto's Catcher, can you give any evidence that a student was suspended fr praying in school or are you blowing smoke?

Duckys here said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

XO: "...you would fight any effort by the federal government to keep my cult followers from killing and eating evangelical Christians..."

Yes. The federal government has no business enacting a law affecting, establishing or prohibiting the free exercise of religion (or speech, assembly or the press).

I trust the states, counties and cities as well as the people to keep these things in check.

In most states, if you kill somebody, even in the name of religion, you will be rightly prosecuted.

You really don't get this restriction on the power of the FEDERAL government thing, do you?

BTW: Allowing and establishing are not the same thing.

Dave Miller said...

What Evans is complaining about is a Christian mindset that professes love for others, yet chooses to not practice that love to the least of these because the organization that is helping those kids, chooses to not discriminate against gay people.

Joe, or Glenn, tell me how people pulling support from innocent kids shows Christian love and charity?

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Dave Miller,

I wouldn't support kids through WV to begin with, because they preach the social gospel rather than the gospel which saves. So anyone pulling support for children through WV hurts no one.

Feeding the hungry, etc, without the Gospel just sends well-fed and clothed children to hell. The Church's mission is NOT the social gospel.

Joe said...

DM: "Joe, or Glenn, tell me how people pulling support from innocent kids shows Christian love and charity?"

It doesn't. This isn't about that at all.