Monday, June 30, 2014

A light in the Darkness

Let me start by saying I am a sinner. I know that! I also know that I have been saved by God's grace. I struggle daily with the thought that I often fall short. I work in Children's ministry, I have my ministry with Compassion. I have traveled on several mission trips and will be returning to Romania this Fall. However despite the many good things I have my failings. My thinking is not always in the right spot and my actions do not always reflect my values. As hard as I often try I sometimes seem to take that "backwards step". It is a struggle but I know that God holds me close. I just sometimes feel that the "me" everybody thinks I am has not reached that level. Casting Crowns has a song called The Altar and the Door which has spoken to me many times. In fact I wrote an earlier blog post on it back in 2009. My thoughts were expressed here. Amazingly not a lot has changed in five years.

     Which brings me to today's post. Casting Crowns is one of my favorite Christian artists. So many of their songs are relevant and speak to me. Their newest album Thrive is just another great album and I recently saw them on tour supporting the album. My only regret with them was that they are supporters of World Vision. I have nothing bad to say regarding World Vision~I just feel that their sponsorship program is more geared toward the community rather than the children which is my focus. The main reason I am a supporter of Compassion is their model is based on child development through the local church. It was always different seeing Casting Crowns in concert and seeing people sponsoring children with World Vision. I always felt a little out of place being the Compassion advocate I am. I guess I should mention that I am passive aggressive  so typically I wore my Compassion shirts to these events. (See what I mean about my actions above).

    Right after I went to their recent concert in Baltimore World Vision made a statement that rocked the Christian world. In a nutshell they basically stated that they were supporting same sex partnerships in their workplace. I will not debate the politics here but obviously to most Christians this stance was counter to Biblical principles. Many groups called for boycotts and I know many sponsors were considering cancelling their child sponsorships. Casting Crowns holds those values tightly as discussed in many of their songs. It would be interesting to see what the band did with their support. They announced that they would have a decision a few days later around 4pm in the afternoon. A few minutes before their decision World Vision retracted their statement. To me this smacked of being two faced. I would rather they stood their ground and principles rather than cave to pressure. I am still not sure what they are honestly thinking. I had not heard anything from Casting Crowns and I figured this gave them a way out to stay as World Vision supporters. The entire band sponsors children through World Vision so either way it would have been a hard decision.

     As of right now Casting Crowns has not released a public statement regarding World Vision but I have found out that have broken ties with them and will now be supporting Compassion. I am beyond thrilled to have a band of their stature and integrity now encouraging child sponsorships with a ministry I believe in. I will be interested to hear how they transition this with their advocacy but to me they are a light in the darkness. They could have remained with World Vision (with the retraction) and still been fine. However they have taken a stand and made a decision to stick with their principles. To me that is something I don't often see! To me it is an encouragement as I try to grow in my walk. In their new album they discuss how we must dig our roots deep in order to grow and thrive. They are a perfect example of this!