The next 5 posts are 5 chapters from the devotional I wrote titled, “Retweeting Jesus”. I hope you are challenged and encouraged by each chapter. These 5 posts are about the “tweet-able” phrases that Jesus spoke while being crucified. I pray that you draw closer to the Lord throughout this week as we prepare for celebrating His resurrection on Sunday! Have a Holy Easter.
It has hit the Christendom fan. World Vision, a self declared Christian Ministry, publicly came out with a position saying that as a Christian Organization they have decided to leave the “theology” up to the Church and they are going to hire people who are openly living outside the guidelines of the Bible. They have specifically created a policy saying that it is okay for their Christian Organization to hire people in a Same Sex marriage to be on their leadership team of their Christian organization. Let’s dialogue about all this…
I first want to say… I hope that these posts will be studied and accepted by all people living in any situation or circumstance as posts of love, directness, and based from a Bible perspective. I personally have friends from most walks of life and life-styles and I believe they know me to be a person who is not judgmental, but as very direct and truthful.
We have to have this discussion without someone throwing the stupid “judgmental christian” card…these issues are of utmost importance that have eternal consequences. Let’s be direct with each other, but loving and seeking truth. We have to have these discussions. We have to seek the Truth.
I want to address the issues that World Vision’s decision has uncovered and stirred up. There are many. This blog will be split up into many separate blogs. I know this material will be long…but I am confident that it will be content that is worth your time. I also want to say that I am doing everything I can to type this in an attitude of love, directness, and minus my personal opinion as much as possible. I want the Bible to be my foundation for this whole series of blog posts.
LET’S GET STARTED…
The arguments that have been stirred by World Vision should not be just about homosexuality and/or same sex marriage. Some want to make World Vision’s decision to be about that…but I want to be clear…
This post is about sin of any kind and it’s mixing with Spiritual Leadership of any kind.
FIRST…World Vision said that they want to leave Theology up to the local Church. Here in lies the problem with World Vision…they have been led to believe that the local Church is a Top Down power structure that has a piece of property and a building, usually with a steeple, that people gather in, typically on Sundays, and that is called…The Church.
This idea is a worldly-developed idea from the Corporate world that has crept into the Church. This mentality has caused even Pastors and others to believe and teach that there are Para Church Organizations and Missions Organizations and then there is the Church….They teach, “The Church” is the one that you drive to on Sundays to sing, take an offering, listen to a message, go home and do it again next Sunday.
Q: Where in the Bible do we have this kind of teaching and segregation? A: It’s not in the Bible.
There are no “Para Church” Organizations in the Bible. Shame on us for separating/creating them. There are no 501 c 3 organizations in the Bible. There are no missions organizations in the Bible. Not for Profits…etc.
The Bible says, that those who are followers of Jesus Christ as Lord, are the Body of our God. Period. The Body of Jesus IS THE CHURCH and again…He is the head! (READ 1 Corinthians Chapter 12 for details on this)
Jesus is the head and everyone of us make up the other “body” parts of the Church. We all have different gifts and changing gifts and strengths. It is shameful that we as the Church have divided our Church body into Church / Para Church / Missions Orgs / Not for Profits / etc. It has gotten so out of hand that different parts of Jesus’ Body get different accountability standards. ie…this wrong system has created double standards where Church boards hold mission organizations to standards that they don’t even follow themselves. They created organizations that measure how these”mission orgs” spend their money. Charity Navigator is one example that has been created. This system sticks it to the “missions orgs” and what is commonly called “The Church” get’s a free pass. The Corporate Church board says that “missions orgs” really shouldn’t be spending more than 5% of their budget on Administrative/management costs while they themselves spend upwards to 50% to 60% or more on their administrative costs in what they call their local churches. (I have been a Sr. Pastor in what is commonly called the Church, and I am now as they call it, a missions leader…I know first hand what the standards are from both perspectives.) WE as the Church today, have taken on a Corporate structure and called it church, and we believe that the para-church organization…doesn’t even have to live according to Jesus’s standards, because it’s Para Church…or Missions…or Not for profit. Thus…Richard Stearns says, “We are going to leave the theology up to the Church.” Is he thinking he has a free pass on honoring the Bible, because somewhere along the way, he believes he and World Vision are not the Church?
We are ALL…THE Church! The Biblical Standards are the same all across the board. The Church is anybody CONNECTED to the Head…Jesus The Christ…The King. The Church is anybody declaring Jesus as Lord of their life and live as the King has commanded.
Richard Stearns’s declaration that World Vision is leaving the theology stuff up to the Church…is crazy wrong. Since when did “The Church” get to say or designate what the standards of Jesus are? SINCE NEVER! Jesus sets the standards and had them recorded in the Bible. The Bible says what the standards of Jesus are and the Church is either in sin or not in sin as they obey/disobey the standards of Jesus recorded in God’s Word…The Holy Bible! The Church, the public, popular vote, governments, individuals can’t change Jesus’s standards…ever.
So…THERE IS ONLY BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY…aka..The Church!
There should not be any segregation of the Church into para church, missions orgs, Not for Profit orgs, Religious Orgs, Denominations, etc…NO…WE ARE ALL THE CHURCH, ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE. Please do not let the world’s corporate structure, that has been forced on Christianity, deceive you into thinking they are all different. It’s all the Church. It is all Christianity.
WE ARE ALL THE CHURCH! When we all…individually…stand before Jesus someday for Judgment…Mr. Richard Stearns of World Vision…you will not be able to say to Jesus…“Um, Jesus…I left the theology up to the Church…Um, Jesus…some in the “Church” said that it is okay to ignore that commandment of Yours. Um, Jesus, that Church group over there didn’t follow that command of yours, so I assumed it was okay for me too…”
Do you get my point? One on One with Jesus is where you and I will be someday. You and I cannot blame anyone for our decisions. It will be You and Jesus at that point…and like it or not…if you say you are a follower of Jesus…YOU ARE THE CHURCH! The above paragraph is not just written to Richard Stearns…it is the same truth for me and you. You will be held accountable for the Truths and the Standards that are written in God’s Word…The Bible. It doesn’t matter what anyone else does or tells you to do…only you will be accountable for the truth and standards that Jesus gave us in The Holy Bible.
Before this first part of this blog post finishes…I do want to add this. There are LEVELS OF JUDGEMENT coming when Jesus returns.
There will be those who are not teachers and leaders of Christianity who get one level of Judgment from Jesus. And then…
There will be those who are judged with even more strictness….these are the Teachers and Leaders of Christianity.
James 3:1 in The Holy Bible says, “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”
It’s a very dangerous thing to lead, teach, or be on staff in Christianity…whether that Church be called World Vision, The Salvation Army, The YMCA, ReturnHope International, or your local congregation on the street corner with a steeple. We will all be held accountable for our spiritual leadership in Christianity…THE CHURCH….Individually.
World Vision is pretty much saying anybody can lead and teach in Christianity and leadership within a Christian organization…no matter their life choices…but have they considered the warnings of James 3:1?
Thus…part 2 post…coming soon…