I was listening to this song at work today and thought: “this expresses my feelings on all this World Vision foolishness going online.”
Derek Webb. If You Love Me, You Will Love the Church.” She Can and Must Go Free.
It seems to me that both sides should take the words of this song seriously and focus their thoughts through its prism. Here’s the thing, the Church is both an institution and a community of individuals; and to truly love the Church is to love it as both the institution and the individuals. It can’t just say you’re going to love one or the other. This means respecting the institutional authority of the Church to shape the lives of its followers; but it also means loving the individuals within the community for who they are and for where they are. We can and must finds ways (sometimes creatively) to love both at the same time.
To my friends standing with World Vision, I applaud you for loving the individuals represented by WV as well as the children these individuals are serving. You are right. We shouldn’t jeopardize the health and safety of the least of these to make political and institutional points. We should continue to care for and nurture these kids not leaving them in the cold just because we don’t like the behavior and principles of those caring for them.
To my friends bemoaning World Vision, I applaud you for loving the church by taking seriously the commands of scripture. You are right. We shouldn’t jeopardize our faith by allowing cultural sensitivities to affect the plain teachings of scripture. We should be concerned with continuing to follow the teachings of the church even when (especially when) there are cultural consequences which leave us potentially looking like the bad guys.
Can we not agree that standing for scripture and for the least of these should not and must not be deemed as mutually exclusive? Can we not find ways to be honest to scripture while be caring’ loving neighbors to both the poor and the LGBT community? Is it possible that are zeal for being right is standing in the way of our ability to be righteous? Is it possible that our love for others might blind us to the truth of scripture? Must we stand on one stand of the aisle demanding that all those who read scripture differently must use the other aisle? Can we be both biblically faithful and lovingly gracious at one and the same time?
These are tough questions that cannot be answered on twitter or facebook. They cannot be answered in one blog post or maybe even 100 blog posts. They can only be answered in community. They can only be answered as we walk down the same aisle and partake of the same meal and serve the same savior. They can only be answered sitting around the local watering hole sharing food and drink. They can only be answered sitting around each others houses.
They cannot be answered if you are over there and I am over here.
For the sake of Christ’s death and resurrection, can we at least stay together. Can we at least make it through one week without going for each other’s throats. Can we not tarry one week. one day. one hour.