World Vision reverses decision on same-sex ‘marriage’ hiring policycomment (0)
April 3, 2014
Leading Southern Baptists are thanking World Vision U.S. for reversing a two-day-old change in its employee conduct policy that would have allowed the major hunger relief organization to hire legally “married” gay Christians.
World Vision’s U.S. board of directors announced March 26 its abandonment of a change it had made March 24 to allow the hiring of legally “married” gay Christians. World Vision reverted to its longstanding conduct policy requiring sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfulness within the biblical covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.
Southern Baptist lead ethicist Russell D. Moore, who had called the original change a mistake that threatened the gospel of Jesus Christ, tweeted thanks and praise to World Vision for its decision.
“World Vision has done the right thing. Now let’s all work for a holistic gospel presence, addressing both temporal and eternal needs,” tweeted Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “World Vision’s right decision, as articulated in their board letter, conveys a spirit of Christlikeness and humility in tone and content,” he added.
World Vision U.S. President Richard Stearns and board chairman Jim Bere announced the reversal in a letter to supporters, expressing regret that they ever changed their policy in the first place.
“We are brokenhearted over the pain and confusion we have caused many of our friends, who saw this decision as a reversal of our strong commitment to biblical authority,” the letter reads. “We ask that you understand that this was never the board’s intent.”
“The board acknowledged they made a mistake and chose to revert to our longstanding conduct policy requiring sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfulness within the biblical covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.”
Moore urged Christians to rejoice at World View’s repentance.
“It’s the older brother who questions motives in repentance. Don’t be like that,” Moore urged, evoking the Luke 15:11–32 story of the Prodigal Son. “The father’s house rejoices, receives.”
World Vision never intended to indicate an abandonment of the biblical definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, the board said, but had sought to be inclusive of all supporters, who represent some 50 religious denominations.
In a statement posted to their Facebook page March 27, Christian band Casting Crowns addressed World Vision’s reversal of the March 24 decision and its 10-year partnership with the organization.
In the statement, lead singer Mark Hall shared in part, “World Vision released a statement yesterday reversing the decision that was made earlier this week. After hearing their humble and sincere apology, we are walking through all of the information, seeking godly council and praying for God’s direction on our partnership in the future. We will always be a voice for the poor and the powerless. Our families will continue to sponsor the World Vision children we’ve committed to and we encourage others to do the same.”
In an interview March 27, Stearns suggested that the number of World Vision sponsors lost was under but around 5,000. Those who sponsor a child pay $35 each month, so the loss could have tallied up to $2.1 million a year.
Stearns said, “We’re learning that a number of people are calling back since the reversal to reinstate their sponsorship. They’re forgiving; they’re saying, ‘Hey we stand with you.’”
(BP, RNS, TAB)