After making a very controversial decision to change their policy in hiring people in same-sex marriages, World Vision has reversed their decision. Their decision to hire people in same-sex marriages created a mega-uproar in evangelicalism. Liberal christians applauded their decision while conservative evangelicals were quite shocked and even hurt by the decision.
World Vision has always had a great reputation for the work they do and the convictions they have held. It appeared they had chosen to leave those convictions at the door in the name of “unity.” Thankfully, Richard Stearns (who I respect greatly) and has seen their error in the decision and apologized.
This makes me very happy for two reasons:
1) Every organization is going to have to make the call to stand with Scripture or not. Though for a few days it appeared World Vision had chosen to bend with the culture, they have instead chosen to stand on biblical convictions.
2) Their original decision was going to cause a big hit in their work. I am glad that this is now not going to happen. World Vision is making a big difference world wide and I am thrilled to see it continue.
World Vision has gotten it right and they have done it with humility and Christlikeness.
All of my experiences with Richard Stearns (reading his book, articles, and giving addresses) have been very positive. I believe him to be a solid brother in Christ. There will be a temptation to think he only did it because of money, but I think we owe Stearns the benefit of the doubt as a Christian brother.
Below I have posted their apology in full. (emphasis added by me)
Today, the World Vision U.S. board publicly reversed its recent decision to change our employment conduct policy. 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.
We are writing to you our trusted partners and Christian leaders who have come to us in the spirit of Matthew 18 to express your concern in love and conviction. You share our desire to come together in the Body of Christ around our mission to serve the poorest of the poor. We have listened to you and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness.
In our board’s effort to unite around the church’s shared mission to serve the poor in the name of Christ, we failed to be consistent with World Vision U.S.’s commitment to the traditional understanding of Biblical marriage and our own Statement of Faith, which says, “We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.” And we also failed to seek enough counsel from our own Christian partners. As a result, we made a change to our conduct policy that was not consistent with our Statement of Faith and our commitment to the sanctity of marriage.
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. We ask that you understand that this was never the board’s intent. We are asking for your continued support. We commit to you that we will continue to listen to the wise counsel of Christian brothers and sisters, and we will reach out to key partners in the weeks ahead.
While World Vision U.S. stands firmly on the biblical view of marriage, we strongly affirm that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, are created by God and are to be loved and treated with dignity and respect.
Please know that World Vision continues to serve all people in our ministry around the world. We pray that you will continue to join with us in our mission to be “an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice, and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God.”
Sincerely in Christ,
Richard Stearns, President
Jim Beré, Chairman of the World Vision U.S. Board