Seriously, My Fellow Evangelicals?????

Today we are going to circle back to that World Vision thing.

OK.  I know it’s over a week old and most of the world has moved on already and won’t I just drop it for crying out loud?  But I can’t let it go.  Because this is seriously blowing my mind.

Think about it, people.  Two thousand of you pulled your sponsorships of World Vision children because you disagreed with a change they made to their hiring policy.  Two thousand children and families are now without food and money and all the other benefits of sponsorship because you wanted to make a political point.

Seriously, my fellow evangelicals?????  SERIOUSLY??????????????

You sit here, in a level of wealth and luxury that is simply unimaginable to most of the outside world, and you play games with the lives and livelihoods of children and families in distressed parts of the world just because you don’t like the politics of the organization that is sponsoring them.  These people are now no longer worthy of your money, time, attention, or prayers simply because the organization sponsoring them changed its hiring policy and you wanted to take your support to other organizations whose values “are more closely aligned” with yours.  What’s more, this policy change attempted to give at least some measure of worth and dignity to a class of people whom you consider to be undeserving of worth or dignity or anything remotely resembling these–at least until they repent and become straight like you.

And you consider this to be like Christ.

Shame on you, my fellow evangelicals.  You are better than that.  Christianity is better than that.

Come on, people.

Okay.  Now I know there are some people out there reading this who are outside of evangelicalism, looking in at all of this and saying “See?  Told ya.”  You read my criticisms of evangelicalism and you could have told me the exact same thing.

Do not think that I will be joining you in your criticisms of evangelicalism.

Why?

An example would serve best to illustrate:  Georgia’s football program has had kind of a rough offseason.  Several players have gotten arrested, and some have even been kicked off the team.  This has been an ongoing issue at Georgia, and has prompted fans to voice concerns over coach Richt’s handling of the football program.

A couple of weeks back, Kirk Herbstreit took to the ESPN airwaves and expressed the exact same concerns.  This prompted an immediate and visceral reaction from the Bulldog nation.  Why?  Because Kirk Herbstreit is a longstanding and well-documented Georgia hater.  He played quarterback for Ohio State.  We punked him and Ohio State in the 1992 Citrus Bowl, and he has been eating sour grapes ever since.

Two friends may be in a knock-down, drag-out argument over some issue or other.  But let an outsider jump in and take one side or the other, and both will unite and turn against him.  It’s hypocritical and it’s unfair, but it’s human nature.

I am a Georgia fan.  Those of you who have tracked with me long enough know this.  When Georgia loses horribly you know that it can get quite visceral around here.  Why?  Because I care.  As a Redcoat, I got to experience Georgia football up close and personal for four-plus years.  Because of this, I have a deep and profound emotional investment in Georgia football.  I would like to think that this entitles me to want to see Georgia get better, to have opinions about what has to happen in order for Georgia to get better, and to express those opinions.

Those of you who are Florida fans know better than to assume, when you read my rants, that I am about to burn all my red and black, go get some jean shorts and put on orange and blue and come do the Gator chomp (or whatever you call that crazy arm thing you do) at the next Florida pep rally.  You would know better than that.  Even if I threaten to do exactly that, as I may sometimes do in exasperation when my team shows up monumentally unprepared for a crucial game.  You would have enough sense to know that if you were to attempt to invite me to the next Florida pep rally, it would probably not go very well for you.

Likewise, I rant about evangelicalism because I care.  I would like to believe that I have been around long enough and am emotionally invested enough to care.  I would like to believe that I have enough of an emotional investment to be entitled to want to see evangelicalism get better, and to have opinions of my own as to what has to happen in order for evangelicalism to get better.

Those of you who are outside of evangelicalism:  It probably comes as no surprise to you that this World Vision thing is happening.  You could have told me long ago that evangelicalism has a monumentally shitty track record when it comes to engaging the gay community.  Some of you probably left evangelicalism for that very reason.

Please don’t expect me to join you.  I care too much to simply walk away and pretend it means nothing to me.  I could say “I DON’T CARE!!!!!!!!” all day long and it would be a complete lie.  My words would give me away.

My final words are for you liberals.  Don’t think you’re getting off scot-free tonight, because you’re not.  Last year Louie Giglio was supposed to deliver a prayer at Obama’s inauguration.  This was in recognition of all that Passion and the Do Something Now campaign in all its forms and incarnations over the years has done to raise awareness among young people of human sex trafficking and other such injustices.  And then some of you–who have WAY too much spare time on your hands–went snooping around in the sermon archive and found some things he said about homosexuality over a decade ago that you disagreed with, and Giglio was off the program.

Guess this World Vision thing means we’re even now.

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