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A Statement of Faith

29 Mar

The following is being used as an example and in no way does this post try to attack, criticize or injure World Vision. Someone has to be an example and since I have been reading their president’s book, they are it.

We acknowledge one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In Jesus Christ, the love, mercy, and grace of God are made known to us and all people. From this overflowing abundance of God’s love, we find our call to ministry.

We proclaim together, “Jesus lived, died, and rose again. Jesus is Lord.” We desire Him to be central in our individual and corporate life.

We seek to follow Him — in His identification with the poor, the afflicted, the oppressed, the marginalized; in His special concern for children; in His respect for the dignity bestowed by God on women equally with men; in His challenge to unjust attitudes and systems; in His call to share resources with each other; in His love for all people without discrimination or conditions; in His offer of new life through faith in Him. From Him we derive our holistic understanding of the gospel of the Kingdom of God, which forms the basis of our response to human need.

We hear His call to servanthood and see the example of His life. We commit ourselves to a servant spirit permeating the organization. We know this means facing honestly our own pride, sin, and failure.

We bear witness to the redemption offered only through faith in Jesus Christ. The staff we engage are equipped by belief and practice to bear this witness. We will maintain our identity as Christian while being sensitive to the diverse contexts in which we express that identity.

– See more at: http://www.worldvision.org/about-us/who-we-are#sthash.oTI7k9ak.dpuf

You may think it sounds good but once you start looking past the surface then the problems begin to show themselves. Let’s go through this point by point shall we:
#1. We acknowledge one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In Jesus Christ, the love, mercy, and grace of God are made known to us and all people. From this overflowing abundance of God’s love, we find our call to ministry.
Yet, what about creation? Do they accept God as the creator or do they go for alternative beliefs or allow for a mixture of ideas concerning our origins? Then they focus on love, mercy and grace but what about discipline and punishment for sin? And how do they define the word ‘love’? Is it the feel good emotion everyone talks about these days because they do not want to be reminded that they may be wrong and in error? Or is it the love that warns/talks about there being a right, wrong, and morality which if disobeyed there will be consequences including being sent to hell?
#2. We proclaim together, “Jesus lived, died, and rose again. Jesus is Lord.” We desire Him to be central in our individual and corporate life.
What about his being a Savior, who came to save people from their sins? Does not that fact get some air time? How does that desire go? Is it that they will do what they want when they want or are they being humble servants who obey God’s instructions and guidance? The words, ‘we desire’ do not bring any real confidence that they really want God to be central in their personal and professional lives. it sounds like lip service to appease a group of contributors who want to see something Christiany in World Vision’s structure.
#3. We seek to follow Him — in His identification with the poor, the afflicted, the oppressed, the marginalized; in His special concern for children; in His respect for the dignity bestowed by God on women equally with men; in His challenge to unjust attitudes and systems; in His call to share resources with each other; in His love for all people without discrimination or conditions; in His offer of new life through faith in Him. From Him we derive our holistic understanding of the gospel of the Kingdom of God, which forms the basis of our response to human need.
Uhm, Jesus did not ‘identify’ with anyone nor did he have special concern for children. Everyone was treated the same, there were no special privileges, treatment or alterations to his message for anyone. All people children on up to the oldest adult needs to be born again. The only people he treated with any real disdain were those called to lead the flock and they abused that call by instituting their own laws and requirements. He was called a friend to sinners not a friend to just the poor and the children. Sinners are found in every age group, gender and social status level.
Jesus did discriminate and have conditions. To follow him they had to give up their sin, their love for the world and so on. Those unable to do that were not part of his initial group nor of his church.
#4. We hear His call to servanthood and see the example of His life. We commit ourselves to a servant spirit permeating the organization. We know this means facing honestly our own pride, sin, and failure.
Actually Jesus’ call was to obedience to his word, being holy and keeping God’s house pure as well as many other things.
#5. We bear witness to the redemption offered only through faith in Jesus Christ. The staff we engage are equipped by belief and practice to bear this witness. We will maintain our identity as Christian while being sensitive to the diverse contexts in which we express that identity.
Again, ‘identity’ is the wrong word to use here. Anyone can ‘identify as a believer, even say the correct words at the correct time without really believing those words.  I am not sure what they mean by ‘being sensitive to diverse contexts’  but if it means watering down the Christian faith and its teachings then it is not a good thing. We are to be a light unto a dark world including those diverse contexts and we do not alter that light because someone doesn’t like being shown that they are sinning and in need of a savior.
This statement of ‘faith’ is far too general and opens the door for alternative believers, false teachers, out right unbelievers and others to join up and spread their lies to unsuspecting people made vulnerable because of the offer to meet their needs. Christian organizations need to tighten up their statements of faith in order to eliminate this problem from taking place.
We cannot tolerate  appeasing those who want to be christian yet cannot bring themselves to believe God, his word or the message he brings to us. This particular statement of faith sounds more like new age or politically correct speech than it does a true Christian statement of faith. It seems to be grounded in a spirit of compromise not the word of God. It certainly does not illustrate who the Trinity really is but seems to reflect the desires of those in the organization, which is to look Christian to get the money and to look secular to be accepted.
Then, the owner of Formerly Fundie is whining about the many people who left supporting World Vision
because of the latter’s failure to exclude sin from their midst.  What his article is saying is that bringing sin into God’s area is okay and does not matter; yet when we search scriptures we see how God views that attitude and action– he gets rid of it in a very harsh manner. We can point to the rebellion against Moses’ leadership, the Sin at Jericho where one man cost others their lives at Ai and if you want a NT example, then look no further than Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5) and see how God sees sin in the church.
Believers have the right and permission to hold supposedly Christian organizations to the correct biblical teachings and principles.  We cannot turn a blind eye when one of them starts to ignore God’s word and starts siding with secular culture and ideologies. If they want to be called Christian and have Christian support then they need to obey God’s rules.
Here’s reality: there have been between 15,000 – 19,000 children like the one you see here– children who viewed their sponsors as part of the family and a lifeline– who abruptly stopped receiving letters. The relationships were broken and dismissed. No more encouraging notes. No more special gifts on birthdays or holidays. No more funds for emergency clothing or food rations. It just stopped.
So what? We should be working to restore the family and get the father working so he can take care of his own children. This guilt trip is useless because it is not being ordered by God. It is also a very dishonest presentation as it ignores how other similar organizations support rose during the same time period. Children were not being abandoned but the homosexual supporters do not care about that, they are upset that the homosexual is deprived from church activities and excluded from being called Christian.
They are upset because they cannot bring sin into Christianity. We need to stop these organizations from rejecting God’s way before their decisions become major problems for the church.
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Posted by on March 29, 2015 in church, controversial issues, faith, leadership, theology

 

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