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
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
Outside 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.