Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bill Ward's Speech to U-46 School Board: Re: Chief of Equity and Social Justice

Background: Our school district, U-46, recently hired a "Chief of Equity and Social Justice". It made national news. See: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/illinois-school-hires-social-justice-chief-for-120k/. My husband Bill and I attended last night's School Board Meeting and he gave the following speech:

"All hail the new chief of equity and social justice, voted in unanimously without consent or hearing, by the mind-numbing naivety of the U46 school board.

And how pleasant it sounds. Equity, social Justice, and fairness and for all our children. But educationally speaking social justice is not concerned with individual excellence, but rather in the equalization of outcomes. The equalization of outcomes has always been a religious myth of the progressive left. It does violence to the very laws of nature, and it dispirits the exceptional. The job of this school system is to educate the students toward excellence, and that’s it! It is not for transforming society or establishing some mythological social equity.

But more to the point, social justice is all about the redistribution of wealth. Forget the propaganda, it's ALL about the money. The redistribution of wealth is absolutely central to social justice. And this, is simply a nicer word for stealing. Why steal money the old fashion way: illegally with a gun. It’s much more pleasant to don a suit and tie and a big smile and do it “legally”. But social justice takes it even one step further, because some tender hearted people are still uncomfortable with legalized theft. So the our new chief will show us how, it’s not only legal , but it’s actually the moral thing to do. Why only the truly immoral and greedy among us want to hold onto our wealth and provide for our own families. And so in the upside down world of social justice, self reliance becomes immoral, and stealing becomes a virtue.

Unless of course you are talking about the unions and the administrators. Because the dirtiest little secret is that very little of this stolen money ever trickles down to the underprivileged it was intended for. Rather it ends up in the coffers of the district; and thus into the pockets of the union and the administrators in the form of even more social programs, greater prestige, higher salaries, perks and benefits. And here we are again today as another $132,000 a year more of our money is wasted on another failed idea from the religious left. Every teacher making one half or a third of this amount should be livid. Where are you? Speak up.

This school district and other districts have become like children in a sandbox, who, instead of creating something beautiful out of the sand and toys available, become consumed with envy and spend their energy conspiring how to steal more sand and toys from the other children; because it's just not fair! Thus the lie of social justice becomes attractive as a self-righteous excuse, and a moral imperative, of why it's okay to steal."

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The "Hole" in World Vision's Gospel Remains: A Response to Their Response

World Vision’s full response is posted in the “comments” section of my original post (“The Hole in World Vision’s Gospel”).  Here I will endeavor to respond to their response.

Dear World Vision,

Thank you for responding so quickly to my original letter. Sadly, your response only confirms my decision to withdraw my support from your organization. 

You said:

 “In many countries in which we serve it is often against the law to speak openly about the Christian faith, or even to convert. In some places, initiating a religious conversation could cause us to be expelled from the country. Yet if we are questioned concerning our faith, we are allowed to reply. In countries where there are few, if any, Christians, World Vision workers show their faith, hope, and Christian values through Christlike living and caring actions, as they work with the children and their families.”

“India is identified by World Vision as one of the countries in which we ask sponsors to refrain from referring to Jesus or Christianity, using evangelistic language, or making comparisons between religions when sending packages, writing letters, or sending emails.”

Does India censor its outgoing mail? This was not a card from me to my sponsored child. It was a card from him to me. I have a hard time believing it is against India’s law to speak openly about the Christian faith. My place of employment has people from all around the world. I asked a colleague who grew up in India if there was religious persecution there. He said the country is 81% Hindu. There are scuffles between the Hindu and Muslims, but for the most part, Christians (with a few exceptions) are not a part of these scuffles. Perhaps my colleague is from a different part of India than my sponsored child, but he told me he grew up in a poor area where he had no running water and a dirt floor in his house. And I believe that World Vision is ministering in poor areas, so his comments appear to be applicable. If this is the case, it appears that World Vision could be more than a bit bolder here.

You said:

“World Vision is grateful to be allowed to work in countries where culture and religious beliefs prevent many other organizations from reaching out to hurting children and families. Our concern for the safety and well-being of the children and families we serve may prevent us from sharing the gospel outright; however, as we work alongside people of different faiths, we strive to reflect the compassion and care of Christ. That unconditional care, along with our staff's commitment, competence, and character, are tangible witnesses to Christ. The loving commitment of our donors also serves as a powerful demonstration of God's love.”

Am I to understand correctly that I have been sponsoring a child through your CHRISTIAN organization for years, and it is possible that he has not heard the Gospel? “Faith comes by HEARING [not eating], and hearing by the word of God.” What shall it profit a man if he gains a full belly but loses his soul? Christ was not interested in just feeding people. Merely feeding people perishable food is not “Christlike”. Consider John 6:26-27: “Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.’”

Judas was similarly focused on the temporal. To quote my husband, Bill Ward:

The "Hole in the Gospel" is the same hole that Judas Iscariot saw in his dealings with Jesus.  He became frustrated.  Judas' dream was to unify Israel and defeat the Romans.  While traveling with Jesus he saw people being fed and the lame being healed.  Jesus could do all these wonderful things and the people loved Him for it.  But he couldn't seem to make Jesus aware of the wondrous potential that he possessed.   Judas could see in Jesus the power to unify, end world hunger, heal the brokenhearted, and the ensure world peace derived after obtaining freedom from Roman tyranny.   Judas truly had a world vision that Jesus couldn't seem to grasp.  Jesus kept speaking about Himself, as if He were more important than all these good works: “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters (Luke 11:23).” But Judas could see that these divisive words kept marginalizing Jesus from the good people he was trying help. Judas thought:  "The poor must matter more than Your feet and hair…" 

 But Judas, as all left-leaning social gospel Christians do, missed the point.  Jesus did not come to perform good works, heal the sick and feed the poor, but Jesus did these things to testify about Himself.  Christ is what is important, not the works.  It's all about Christ, but ministries like World vision have made it all about their good works.  And this in turn leads to all the other silly things that they believe (e.g., global warming).  Once you've become accepting of the first lie, you'll believe any other lie.  This leads to the inability to discern good from evil, truth from lies, and God from the devil.

 World Vision's gospel is as shallow as a bowl of rice and as deep as a cup of water.  Once the bowl and cup are consumed, hunger and thirst soon return.  The true gospel and water that Christ gives is one of which when drank from, one will never thirst again. 

 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven (Matthew 10:32-33).”

I will move on now to your defense of global warming and of Rich Stearns’ book, “The Hole in Our Gospel”.

You said:

"World Vision has seen the growing and destructive impact of climate change on the impoverished children and families we are privileged to serve."

Even scientists with highly sensitive instruments cannot "see" global warming with any certitude (though many of the dishonest ones cooked their data to prove that they could – remember Climategate?), so how can World Vision see it? This is nothing but propaganda, and a thinly veiled disdain for and envy of industrialized countries, the biggest and most productive of which most of your donations come from - those poor people, so dumped upon by America who has caused the global temperature to rise. (Lest you misunderstand, there is again, no credible evidence that global warming is anthropogenic, unless of course, you are Al Gore).

Finally, your defense of Rich Stearns' "The Hole in Our Gospel” is just too much to take. He foolishly believes the amount of wealth in the world if fixed, so that if a person or country is wealthy they must have stolen from a poor person or country. That is again, a thinly veiled hatred of America and all that is exceptional about her. We have been so God-blessed because we were founded by the blood of Christian patriots who understood the value of diligence, hard work, reward for one’s labor, and who loved God’s most fundamental value – liberty (“for when He gave us life, He gave us liberty at the same time”).  And America sends more humanitarian aid, missionaries, etc. around the world than any other nation on earth.  It’s not even close.

In conclusion, your reply to my original letter only indicates that you are recalcitrant in your propagation of leftism in place of the Gospel.  World Vision, the Kingdom does not bring in the King. THE KING BRINGS THE KINGDOM.  You have not changed my mind; you have only steeled my intention to sound the alarm concerning your apostasy far and wide, lest others be ensnared by it.

Jeanette Ward

Monday, August 1, 2011

The "Hole" in World Vision's Gospel

Dear World Vision,

I have sponsored one or more children through World Vision since the year 2000, including one “Hope Child” in Africa.  I see quite a disturbing trend that has developed in the World Vision organization that replaces the teaching of true Gospel of the Lord Jesus with “social justice” or the “social gospel”. This is on full display in your founder Richard Stearns’ book, “The Hole in Our Gospel”. A critique on the book with which I agree can be found at http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2010/06/15/a-hole-in-our-gospel/.

Here is a quote from the aforementioned article, to give you a flavor for what I find so objectionable:

“Second, the way Stearns employs statistics is misleading. He states that “the wealthiest 7 people on earth control more wealth than the combined GDP of the 41 most heavily indebted nations.” But why say “control” instead of “earned” or “created”? He tells us that “the top 20 percent of the world’s population consumes 86 percent of the world’s goods” (122). But why not give statistics on what percentage of the world’s goods that twenty percent also creates? I’m sure many rich people are rapacious goons, but it is unhelpful to frame the numbers as if wealth were a zero-sum game. Stearns argues that “the wealthiest countries, where just one-fifth of the world’s population lives, spend 90 percent of the world’s health care dollars, allowing the remaining four-fifths of the planet to spend only 10 percent of the money” (141). This makes it sound like there is a fixed pie of health care dollars and all the rich countries raided the pie before the poor countries had a chance to get to the table. This is bad logic and bad economics.”

I have seen the results of this “social justice gospel” in the writing and literature that has been sent to me by my sponsored children. I have held my peace for this long because I did not want to jeopardize children. However, I am now convinced that you are “causing these little ones to stumble” because you are preaching a false gospel.

Here are three examples which demonstrate the problem:

Example 1: In 2009, I received the following “Christmas” card from my sponsored child in India:
Cover of card
Inside of card

I say “Christmas” card tongue in cheek, since there is no mention of Christmas or CHRIST anywhere in the card. To add insult to injury, the leftist Gandhi is quoted. Since when is peace a right? Apparently Matthew 10:34-36 is not being taught to my sponsored child: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’” Perhaps you mean peace with God (although that is not a right, either), but that is only possible through His Son, Who is not mentioned at all on this card.

Example 2: In 2010, I received the following “Christmas” card from my sponsored child in India:

 Outside of tent folded card
Inside of tent folded card

Again this “Christmas” card makes no mention of Christmas (again with the “Season’s Greetings”) or of God’s only begotten Son.  It despicably cloaks environmental leftism in Christianity. Fools! It is not possible to “bequeath to our children a world which is safe, clean, and productive” - though we should strive for those things - but not as an end in themselves. What we CAN do for children is to teach them to recognize and combat lies like this with the truth, clarity, and purity of the true gospel in a wicked and perverse generation.

Example 3: Today I received my sponsored child’s annual progress report. Inside, it describes for me just what my sponsored child has been learning, courtesy of World Vision and my sponsorship money.

In the “Life School Transformational Development” section, I read, “In this program 415 children, [and] teachers from 22 communities participated. Children gathered together in one place for the 3 day program and they participated with full enthusiasm. The topics emphasized were Environment, Education, Child-Rights, Global warming and Gender Equality.” WHAT? Again, no mention of Christ. (You are a “Christian” organization, are you not?) Instead, you are teaching global warming? Perhaps you are unaware of all the evidence that global warming is not occurring? Do you not care about the truth? What are child-rights? The “child-rights” that I am aware of involve the sanction by the UN of children suing their parents for spanking them.

The “Hole in Your Gospel” is that you do not preach the true one.  I will no longer allow you to use the fruit of my labor to lead His children astray. You may NOT continue to charge my credit card. I am ending my sponsorships.

Jeanette Ward