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, with one single line that was in the WV statement and echoes throughout evangelicalism, and in my opinion is a flat out 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 absolutely false and damaging theology.
There is only ONE Word of God–Jesus. Yet evangelicals have messed this relationship up by essentially synonymously using the words of God (the Bible) as the Word of God.
The statement makes sense when read:
We believe that Jesus to be the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
But that’s not the intent. For evangelicals predominantly out of reformed traditions, their faith erroneously rests on ‘sola scriptura’. Curiously, The same pursuit that Luther sought to free Christians from paternalistic oppression of the clergy, has been used to return power to present day denominations propelling a large chunk of Christianity in the US and Canada into the mire we see today.
It also means that most of the energy Christians/churches spend is to protect items of doctrine rather than living out commandments of Jesus.
The Bible and Jesus can’t both 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