How ironic. While Hobby Lobby wages a spiritual battle in the US Supreme Court, World Vision loses one without ever picking up a sword.
Before you read any further, please hear this: My intent is not to debate, defend, or denounce abortion or same-sex marriage.
Neither of those are the real issue anyway. The issue is the believer’s relationship to God’s Word. Will we stand firm on its truth and not be moved? Or will we float on the tide of the cultural stream?
- American craft store giant, Hobby Lobby, is fighting for its religious right to not provide its employees with four specific contraceptive methods, mandated by Obama Care. The Green family, who owns Hobby Lobby, – and many others, scientists included – believe these four, including the Morning After pill and IUDs, can actually cause abortions, which is in opposition to their faith. The US Supreme Court heard the case on Tuesday. An unfavorable ruling will cost Hobby Lobby millions of dollars every year if the Christian-owned store continues to stand firm on what it believes to be God’s truth. (You can read about both sides of the argument in this USA Today article.)
- Earlier this week, World Vision, one of the world’s largest Christian relief organizations, announced a significant employee policy change. World Vision’s American branch will now accept employees who are in same-sex marriages. This is a reversal of the policy implemented under the organization’s founder. According to World Vision’s current president, Richard Stearns, (as cited by this article in Christianity Today) the decision was “not symbolic of compromise but of [Christian] unity.”
Hobby Lobby fights for the legal right to act in accordance with what it believes to be true based on God’s Word. This has been and will continue to be a long, expensive, and painful battle. In contrast, World Vision changes it stand. Why? World Vision once believed that union between one man and one woman was God’s design. They believed that was truth. And while truth hasn’t changed, what our culture accepts and doesn’t accept has.
Let’s be honest. It’s just plain harder to swim upstream. Ask Hobby Lobby.
Yesterday, when I first heard about World’s Vision decision, I was confronted with a decision. What should I do about the child I sponsor through that organization?
Honestly, my knee-jerk reaction was to immediately pull my support. But after praying, listening, and thinking, I sense God leading me to keep my commitment. I made a commitment to a little boy, not to World Vision. And no company – Christian or not – will make right decisions 100% of the time.
Obligation to the Truth
However, if the Bible is God’s inspired, unchanging Word, we have an obligation to stand firmly on it’s truth. To “compromise” on anything we believe God’s Word clearly teaches – even in the name of unity – is to side with sin.
I do acknowledge that no individual believer, group of believers, church, or denomination can interpret or apply the Bible with complete accuracy. In fact, since we are fallible, sinful, humans, we will make mistakes in understanding and handling God’s Word. We will read it through our own worldviews and infuse it with our own prejudices.
Difference in Interpretation or Compromise?
But if we are honest with ourselves, we are more susceptible to compromise than we are to misinterpretation. Will we cling to God’s truth even if it hurts or costs us money or makes us a target? Or will we comprise with the truth in the name of unity or relevance or grace. (FYI – I do believe in love, forgiveness, and grace! Check out my post, “Question Raised by the Duck Controversy,” to hear what I have to say about truth and grace working together!)
The Greens (Hobby Lobby) are willing to put their business and their livelihood on the line rather than compromise the truth of God’s Word. I admire them and hope I would make the same brave choice.
World Vision would rather change their beliefs and compromise with the truth than risk offending the culture. What a dangerous and slippery slope.
The real issue is not what Hobby Lobby believes about the morning after pill or what World Vision believes about same-sex marriage. It’s not what you or I believe about them. The real issue is faithfulness to God and His truth.
Are we willing to stand uncompromisingly on the truth of God’s Word whatever the issue and whatever the risk? I pray so.
Here’s a few other posts on this topic you might find interesting:
- Moore to the Point – Russell Moore declares World Vision’s decision to be a move away from the Gospel.
- Jen Hatmaker – Calls for reason, humility, and grace.
- Billy Graham Evangelistic Association – Franklin Graham is shocked by World Vision’s decision.
Praise God! With humility and repentance, World Vision announced today that the organization has reversed it’s decision! They have admitted to being inconsistent with God’s Word and their own statement of faith. Read More Now.