Publicly, Pentecostals and evangelicals were enraged and lobbed threat after threat. Privately, it would seem cooler heads prevailed and at least a hard but respectful conversation was held behind closed doors. The result was the same, either enough money was at stake, or enough hate mail bullied the board of directors to reverse the decision (someone is losing their job over this row because the message was 180 degrees).
I’m ashamed at the complete about-face. It is a very public embarrassment of how broken and pathetic evangelicalism is in the US (and beyond).
The mess can be summed up, in my opinion, in one single line in the WV statement. This line echoes throughout evangelicalism, and in my opinion is a misrepresentation of the Christian faith.
Part of World Vision’s statement of faith includes the popular evangelical line:
We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
I understand what they’re trying to say, but it’s led to deep confusion.
Christians should know there is only ONE Word of God–it’s Jesus. Evangelicals have conflated this relationship by synonymously using the words of God (the Bible) as the Word of God (Jesus).
(The two are not the same and not related. Evangelicalism has, within their theology, likened the two.)
Re-written, that WV statement would make sense if it said:
We believe that Jesus to be the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
But it doesn’t, and that’s not the intent.
Most evangelicals root their faith in ‘sola scriptura’. Curiously, the same pursuit that Luther sought to free Christians from power oppression from the clergy, has been used to return power and influence to participating denominations which leads evangelicals into the cultural mire we see today.
It also means that most of the energy Christians/churches spend is to protect doctrine over the embodied commandments of Jesus.
The Bible and Jesus cannot simultaneously be the authoritative Word of God which means there’s a fundamental choice to be made that will impact all the rest:
Bible or Jesus