The parable of the (gay) samaritan

Yesterday, World Vision made an announcement. Evangelical Christians have been withdrawing their support in droves.

This comes to mind from Luke 10:25-37:

A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, Go and do likewise.”

AN Morot - The Good Samaritan

AN Morot – The Good Samaritan

Maybe the man attacked by robbers was as needy as  the world’s starving children.

And maybe the Samaritan was as reprehensible to Jesus’ hearers as gay Christians are to evangelicals today.

The point of the parable was not to go and be a Samaritan. The point of the parable is to show mercy to your neighbor.

Let’s go and do likewise.

30 thoughts on “The parable of the (gay) samaritan

  1. You should have put (gay legally married) Samaritan. There’s a big difference between struggling with same sex attraction and embracing such a disorder through marriage. I know something of being born with a disorder and struggling against it. ellenmandeville.com/battling-disorder/

    • You rock Ellen

      I for one do not wish to be a part of an organization that blatantly condones homosexuality like that. They don’t have to hire these people on their staff, just like how we don’t have to send them funds. Why are we the bad guys for not supporting World Vision when World Vision is the one who is blatantly contradicting the Word of God?

      • One problem with your comment…”these people”. You’re not a bad guy for having your beliefs. You’re a bad guy for the way you regard a group of people with whom you disagree. You sound ignorant.

      • The ignorant one is the guy who doesn’t know how to speak proper English. Homosexuals want to work for World Vision and when you talk about THEM, you can say THESE people… simple English…

  2. Love the post Bron. I have been reading so many comments from folks on the WV statement that make me wonder if anyone has actually READ the WV statement or only the headlines and critiques. Living the gospel of Jesus, living out radical love, is risky business … I mean, it got Jesus crucified, right?

  3. My bigger problem with World Vision is what they pay their president. According to Charity Navigator, Richard E. Stearns, President receives $405,975 per year. That’s quite a bundle for a charity organization. Compared to Feeding America’s Hungry Children’s (FAHC), whose president receives $0.00 compensation. I’m finding there are many other organizations, where my money is better spent. My absolute favorite charity is Matthew 25 ministries, whose president Rev. Wendell E. Mettey receives $111,312 annually. My second favorite is Doctors Without Borders, whose president, Sophie DeLaunay, receives $142,015 annually.

    So, please people… don’t stop giving. Just find a different organization if you do not believe as World Vision does. There are plenty of places to send or give your offerings. Just do your research first!

  4. Good post Bronwyn! I agree with your friend Karen d – PLEASE read the whole article folks!! WV is not endorsing or otherwise – they are leaving the theology to churches and doing what they do best in serving the poor (however, Christy’s point is also taken).

  5. My ache is really for the kids and their families! We just returned from a sponsor tour with Compassion International and got to meet 2 of the children we sponsor. It was AMAZING! I know first hand that they have NO idea what happens at corporate, but their lives will potentially be horrifically altered should their sponsor drop them in order to make a point. I am praying that people seek different ways than that to make their beliefs known.

  6. I don’t know what to think. We have a gay son that we love with all our hearts! However, though he was raised as a Christian and has gone another way, we couldn’t possibly support him being in a leadership position in a church or ministry. Jesus is love, grace and mercy for sure. But he also told those sinners he liked to be around to go and sin no more. It is presumed that they stopped stealing, prostitution, homosexuality, being greedy, ect. Jesus is also a God of justice and he told us to obey his commands. the only ones I ever hear by gays are the 2 that tell us to love God and love our neighbors. What about the entire rest of the NT that sets rules for Christians to follow and obey? there’s something wrong with the way the church is beginning to think these days. We are NEVER to be haters and I will always love those that society rejects but that does not make same sex marriage right in God’s eyes. WE cannot justify sin of any kind but we can love people unconditionally without condoning their actions, no matter what they are.

    • Hi Nancy, thanks so much for commenting. You have walked through the pain and the heartbreak of how this issue impacts families first hand.

      I have written before about how I’m not prepared to take a stand on gay marriage: I’m not in support of it, but I’m also not willing to condemn it ( http://bronlea.com/2013/08/26/why-i-wont-take-a-stand-on-gay-marriage/). I totally hear what you are saying.

      By posting this today, I was not seeking to endorse gay marriage, nor am I supporting WV’s decision. I do think their position is confusing at a number of levels. What I am upset about, however, is the many children and families who will directly bear the cost of this squabble if support is withdrawn from generous American sponsors. My husband and I don’t agree on how to handle this issue either. We happen to support kids through Food for the Hungry rather than through WV or Compassion, and I asked him what we would do about our sponsor kid if it was FH making this statement. He said he would keep supporting our kid until there was a natural change over and our kid grew out of the program or moved away from the community. At that time, we would choose to support another child elsewhere through another program – but we wouldn’t want to desert our current sponsor child whose daily access to meals and a classroom depends on our continued support of him. I respect his and your position tremendously. It’s the suddenness of withdrawing support that I’m upset about – because it is real children who will bear the cost, not WV per se.

    • Nancy… I really appreciated your post. I believe the key to the whole matter is, “go and sin no more”. This is truly what I believe. We all sin, but are doing something about it? Are we asking forgiveness for our sins? If not, we are missing the boat. We must ask Jesus to forgive our sins, then turn away from them. We must Turn Away From Them. If we do not, in my opinion, it is like mocking God. So, my thoughts are homosexuals believe they are doing nothing wrong, so in turn, probably not asking for forgiveness for their sin. In addition to that, if they are practicing homosexuals, they are not turning away from their sin. Again… love the sinner, hate the sin! I agree with everything Nancy said and my prayers are with her and her family.

  7. Hi Bronwyn – Agree that individuals who have been giving to a specific child or mission through WV should continue to do so (protesting to WV if they do not agree with the policy of hiring people in SSM). However, as pointed out elsewhere, there are other worthwhile organisations that also help children and communities in need. WV’s loss does not necessarily mean the loss of Kingdom works of mercy.

    I thought Jen Hatmaker’s article had some good points (though I think she tended to throw out the baby with the bathwater on the whole relativism thing) but I did agree that WV should “man up” (as we say here in the South) and accept that they will receive approbation and loss of donors with this policy. I would say that the SSM issue is more akin to slavery or the systematic maltreatment of a group in it’s foundational seriousness compared issues like evolution or divorce/remarriage.

    • Thanks for commenting, Kris. I agree, WV’s loss doesn’t necessarily mean loss of kingdom works of mercy in the macro sense, but I do think it means loss for specific children in specific communities where WV is present and other relief agencies are not. What I appreciated about jen hatmakers approach was that she acknowledged that even if one did feel compelled to withdraw support from WV, to still do so in a planned and prayerful way rather than just to freak out and pull the plug.

  8. Hi Bronwyn,
    I thought I’d share this link that I just read: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2014/march-web-only/world-vision-reverses-decision-gay-same-sex-marriage.html

    Honestly, I’ve been very conflicted over this issue. We have friends who work at WV and this issue is difficult. I wanted to tell you that I really appreciate you opening dialog where we can all share ideas and listen to other viewpoints. I want to be challenged about how I think about issues so that I can then go back and pray, meditate on God’s word and talk with people I respect before taking a stance.

    • Thanks, Elizabeth. I just saw this announcement, and in my head I keep imagining the letter Screwtape is writing to Wormwood congratulating him on his excellent work over this issue. I’m so sad about the brouhaha. Thanks for your encouragement and prayerfulness.

      • Hi Bron – as I feared, World Vision waffled. If the original decision had been a carefully considered one based on Godly principles I think they should *not* have backed down, certainly not so quickly, regardless of what it did to their donor base. That they caved within a day and reversed themselves is truly disheartening . . . (I am not saying that I agreed with their original decision).

  9. So the World Vision president realized he was going against Scripture. How do you respond to his now being faithful to Scripture? Are you going to criticize him or still criticize the believers who love God more than they love the poor?

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