What? Another well-known Christian organization going soft on the LGBTQ movement? Why is this happening? Well, the Jews had a proverb that God, through the Apostle Paul, reminds us of: “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9). Oh, how I despair that much of the church has not taken heed of this! The leaven of compromise is a major contributing factor to the alarming generational exodus from the church and increasing numbers of lukewarm local churches and Christian organizations/institutions compromising on issues such as marriage, sexuality, and gender.
I’m sorry, but I can’t just sweep this under the carpet, [Answers In Genesis] has always had an emphasis on challenging God’s people to stand uncompromisingly on God’s Word from the very first verse and for the church to return to the absolute authority of the Word of God and the vital foundation history of Genesis 1–11. We have always warned God’s people that unlocking the door of compromise in Genesis leads to that door being opened more and more in subsequent generations. After all, Genesis 1–11 is the foundation of the rest of the Bible, of all doctrine, and of our Christian worldview. Compromise destroys! Contaminated salt is no longer “good for anything” (Matthew 5:13). A recent incident we had with another organization regarding its compromise (I’ll give details in a moment) prompted the writing of this article.
Last month, I gave you a challenge. I asked you to encourage your church or Christian institution to craft a more detailed statement of faith to ward against compromise that can undermine and destroy. Well, I want to give you a practical example (in an ongoing situation) of taking up the challenge. This example regards AiG and Holt International, a child sponsorship and adoption agency. Sadly, we had no option but to cancel Holt’s sponsorship of one of our upcoming programs because they have allowed a little leaven of LGBTQ support into the organization. It’s only a little leaven isn’t it? But once that door is open, the cancer will spread.
First of all, many of you may have read about the situation that occurred with Bethany Christian Services (one of the largest adoption agencies in the US). First, they allowed LGBTQ couples to adopt. Now, in the name of “anti-racism,” they are advocating for “racial” discrimination in adoptions because they believe that allowing “white” families to adopt “black” children from the foster care system “can cause a lot of harm to children of color” and therefore “a child’s race should be considered as part of the best interest determination for child placement.” It seems, one by one, many churches and Christian organizations are caving to the immense pressure of the LGBTQ movement and even the social justice movement and Marxist critical race theory.
Because Holt International is a well-known and highly respected Christian organization that provides sponsorships for many Christian events, we had made an arrangement for Holt to be a major sponsor of our upcoming 40 Days and 40 Nights Christian music festival at the Ark Encounter. But one of our staff, who has researched adoption and child sponsorship groups, did a deep dive into Holt’s website and found some alarming matters. I want to document for you what we found as an example for how Christians can lovingly and boldly challenge those opening the door of compromise concerning God’s clear Word.
I wrote twice to Holt to point out that if they don’t change their position on these matters, we can no longer have any sponsorship relationship. They appear unwilling to change (although if they ever reverse course, we would applaud them and restore the sponsorship). Here’s a sampling of what we found:
Washington State Parent Eligibility1
Length of Relationship: We accept married and single applicants of all religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations or gender identities. A part of our assessment, during the orientation and homestudy process, is to ensure that a couple’s relationship can handle the stress of parenting a child from foster care.
Oregon State Parent Eligibility2
Length of Marriage: We accept married and single applicants of all religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations or gender identities. During the orientation and homestudy process, we will access couples to ensure their relationship can handle the stress of parenting a child from foster care.
Foster Care and Adoption Application
Note the drop-down menu that includes gay/lesbian and bisexual.3
More from Holt International4 [Editor’s Note: This link no longer is active]
See the language below on a Holt International’s website relating to WA and OR adoptions about what families their services are open to:
All Children, All Families. We celebrate the value of cultural awareness and will ensure that your ethnic or cultural customs, practices, and beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disability, and/or community differences will be respected. Our Foster Care and Adoption Team is proud to welcome all families in their journey to provide foster care or permanency through adoption of children and teenagers.
Staff Advocates for LQBTQ Clients and Families. Holt International has identified staff advocates for LGBTQ clients and families who may have unique questions of challenges. Feel free to contact our staff:
- Megan Malinoski, Holt International Director of Foster Care and Adoption
- Greg Eubanks, Holt International Senior Vice President
I will now include an excerpt from their second email to us and my reply:
Holt: Thank you for the opportunity to communicate further around Holt International and our shared Christian faith and calling to service. As you know, Holt is a 65-year-old Christian organization founded in, and still firmly grounded in, our faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. As we’ve grown and evolved over these many decades, this core foundation has not changed, even as our work in an increasingly complex and fast-moving world has.
Ken Ham: We do understand the world is complex and changing quickly. Nonetheless, God’s Word does not change and our stand on God’s Word as our absolute authority should not change. We should always judge what the world is doing against the absolute authority of the Word of God.
Holt: The pioneers of international adoption found Harry and Bertha Holt striking out boldly and without hesitation on their Christ-led calling to care for the widow and the orphan, and that every child deserves a loving and secure home. . . . This child-welfare model, unique to Holt, continues to be carried out under the banner of our Christian heritage, values and calling to care for children in need wherever we find them. As we’ve grown, we’ve also come under the structure and legal requirement of local, regional, national and international governance. To do our unique faith-based work we must adhere to laws of a variety of countries, international governing bodies, accreditations, and associations. We’re members of ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability), accredited by IAAME (https://www.iaame.net) and a partner with NCFA (https://adoptioncouncil.org), amongst others.
KH: Yes. But surely the overriding factor has to be that like the Apostle Peter and the other apostles in Acts 5:29, “We must obey God rather than men.”
Holt: In Oregon and Washington in particular (less than 1% of our overall work) where we decided to serve children in Foster Care, we have very specific State requirements. We don’t take these decisions to serve children lightly and measure each against our overall calling and Christian foundations. You and your team did observe some of those requirements on a few of our application/eligibility webpages.
KH: But those requirements do contradict God’s clear teaching on the matter of gender/marriage, etc. Presumably that’s why you don’t add such statements (as per our documentation from your website) for other places. Wouldn’t the correct situation biblically be to state you can’t compromise your position, and therefore can’t add those statements? If those states then tell you that you can’t do business in their state if that is the case, then shouldn’t you seek legal remedy through one of the many Christian law firms specializing in First Amendment issues? If such legal remedy fails, then surely as Christians we must obey God rather than man. Once the door is opened, as you have done by having those statements for Washington and Oregon, what happens when other states say you have to agree to such statements? And once that door is opened and you have placed those statements on your documents, then legally our understanding is it would be harder for you to claim your conviction regarding gender/marriage in other circumstances. For Answers in Genesis as an organization, we are very detailed in our Statement of Faith, and it’s important for us and for any future battles we may be involved in to show we stand by our convictions and are not prepared to give in on such issues.
Holt: I wanted to thank you taking that “deep dive” into our work, and too for pointing out the 2014 blog as well as the expansion of our 501C3 requirement at International adoption page, https://www.holtinternational.org/adoption/.
KH: We are certainly pleased you removed the item on “White Privilege,” but wonder why it was even allowed to be published in the first place. The fact that we had to do a “deep dive” (which is always part of our due diligence as an organization) to find these items also makes it seem to us that you didn’t want this statement to be very public, as many Christians (like us) would object to such an obvious compromise with the world’s moral relativism. As well as the previous items (which we attach again) we have also found that Holt has specific “staff advocates” for LGBTQ clients and families (one of which is the Sr. VP). We read in a job description for the WA and OR adoptions that people must be able to work well with individuals regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. Also it appears to us that every application for adoption (not just WA and OR) has a drop-down menu to indicate your sexuality, which is not just limited to male and female.
Holt: Throughout its history Holt has served and spoken to a Christian community and traditional Christian families filled with God’s love and compassion for Children. This is the foundation of our adoption and philanthropic work. We serve the children-of-God without discrimination whenever and wherever we can, in alignment with our values, our Christian mission, relationship and beliefs. We would value and be humbled by the opportunity to continue this work with you, alongside HOLM and Abraham Productions.
KH: Now while you can say you put those statements on your website because of the children in WA and OR, do you believe it’s best for you as a Christian organization to agree to place children into homes with homosexual and transgender parents? That seems to us what you have agreed to do in those two states, and if so, it has set a precedent for your organization. We don’t see any way forward with a relationship while those statements for WA and OR remain in place.
Holt: Sadly, it appears we won’t be able to find fellowship and grace regarding the “absolute” word of God and how we deliver services in Christ’s name around the world, and here at home in the United States. The absolute word of God and how it’s interpreted through (flawed) men and (even more flawed) organization, and then executed through deed and action throughout the world is an extremely slippery slope, worthy of debate if it was actually worth our time. It is not. When Children are suffering, hungry, endanger [sic] and at immediate and urgent risk around the world, that is a liberty we simply don’t have. Put simply, we serve children not because they are Christian, but because WE ARE! We agree wholeheartedly that God calls all of us to care for “orphans and widows” (James 1:27). But in the very next phrase James states, “And to keep oneself unstained from the world” (James 1:27).
We are certainly not calling on a boycott of Holt International. Many Christian families have used them and will continue to do so. But we are greatly concerned about this slippery slope. We’ve seen so often through the ages that once the leaven is allowed in, it will affect the whole lump. So where will such an organization be in the future as this door to accommodate LGBTQ agendas is opened further? That’s the issue. Well, as Martin Luther was purported to have said, “Here I stand [on Scripture], I can do no other.” That’s who we are at Answers in Genesis. And that’s always been our stand, and I pray always will be.