Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The willingness to say we blew it

While I was critical of World Vision's recent decision to hire "Christians in Gay marriages" I applaud their willingness to acknowledge two days later that they were wrong. Too many organizations and individuals are unable to make that humble statement and it takes humility. They did it and I applaud Rich Stearns and his board. They did the right thing and we should take them at their word and move on.

I have seen elders in local churches do some unfortunate things and on occasion I have seen them own those decisions in front of congregations and say they were sorry. That not only takes courage but it is the right thing to do. I applaud them and their congregations ought to be the first to let go of their anger, forgive and move on together.

As a leader I know that it is not easy to say "I blew it" and sometimes I have had to take responsibility for things that happened on my watch even when I was not directly responsible. But it is the right thing to do - hard as it is. It is interesting that in a few cases, no matter how many times I apologized for certain actions people did not let go of the "offense." 

All of us blow it. All of us need from time to time to own our stuff and ask forgiveness, apologize or make amends. When someone does, we need to celebrate that they did the right thing and move on. The lack of forgiveness among some evangelicals is a sad thing. If I don't forgive, why should I be forgiven and none of us is above that need. So, I hope that believers will not abandon World Vision or the work they do or the kids that are impacted. Let's move on.

(Posted from Milwaukee)


Kelly Larson said...

I think that is a little to simplistic to simply move on. They were not just a little out of bounds. They called this a "Narrow change in policy" which is anything but that as affirmed by the response.

I agree with giving them grace but honestly feel that they need to have someone (i.e. another organization) come along and bring some theological integrity and trust, maybe that leads new leadership as well, I don't know. If a leader would fail in any ministry position, they would be removed and worked with, nurtured etc., before being placed at the helm once again.

The entire leadership team made this decision after years of prayer, and now they reverse it in two days, my discernment is that they are not on track yet and still need help. I have my concerns as well that the "recant" is disingenuous. Forgiveness does not mean we yield to them the same level of trust/responsibility, at least not without supervision, but it does mean we reach out to them with grace and a helping hand.

They have done much in the name of Christ, and I see this as a "cry for help". I hope the Christian community rallies around to bring that help.

Thanks T.J.

Anonymous said...

I certainly agree that apology is essential. If we refuse to admit error, we are liable to make the same mistakes over again. I know this is what my church so often does: works themselves ever deeper into the pit of blind sin, because they don't admit it when they know they're wrong. It utterly destroys trust.