March 26, 2014

World Vision Reverses Course, Reaffirms Traditional Marriage

World Vision, the $1 billion relief group widely supported by Evangelicals, has reversed its previous recent decision to allow same-sex unions among employees, which it now calls a “mistake.” Instead, it’s reaffirming its policy of “sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfulness within the Biblical covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.”

Clearly World Vision’s leadership reacted to the widespread concern that it was abandoning its adherence to traditional Evangelical and Christian beliefs in favor of a diluted religiosity.

Here’s its statement:

Dear Friends,

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


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8 Responses to World Vision Reverses Course, Reaffirms Traditional Marriage

  1. Markettys Dailey says:

    Simply said Thank you and Cont, to follow the word and you will not fail

  2. Crystal Bryant says:

    I am sorry to hear you have reversed your decision to employee person’s in a same-sex marriage. While I believe same-sex marriage is not biblical, I believe in the worth of every human being, and thus the right of every human being to be employee and provide for themselves.
    It is a shame that a large part of the Christian community chose to attack World Vision and the people around the world it supports over this. I would never consider stopping my child sponsorship over something like this. That is not “taking a stand” that is taking a stab at someone else.
    A sacrifice is not a sacrifice when it adversely affects someone else. That is an attack.
    I think World Vision is one of the best agencies out there. Keep doing what you’re doing – being a light in dark places!!

  3. Philip says:

    It’s an insurmountable fact that churches and Christians are divided on homosexuality. While the day may not come soon when all Christian embrace gay marriage, I am reasonably certain the day will not come again in which all Christians are opposed to gay marriage. With these considerations in mind, we are left with two options as God’s people: 1. Either we must allow each other enough grace and mercy to continue working together in our shared mission to make disciples and answer the cry of the needy. 2. Or we can refuse to work in any further communion and allow ourselves to splinter in such a manner not seen since the early days of the Reformation in which one or both sides no longer acknowledges the other as Christian at all. I, for my part, will always strive for the former. I pray none among us desires the later.

    • Augustine Thomas says:

      Your suggestion would lead to yet more heresy and the destruction of yet more Christian communities.
      The Church is strong when it holds fast to Christ’s commandments.
      The parts that reject God for the fashions of the time wither and die.

      • Philip says:

        Is that what you think drives some to embrace same sex marriage and gay rights? Fashions of the time? For some perhaps, but for many of us it’s much deeper and has more to do with the connections and relationships we’ve made with LGBT persons who are seeking to follow Christ. And many of us stood with them in times and places where it was not fashionable. Disagree with us, even condemn us if you must, but don’t underestimate our convictions.

  4. Tony de New York says:

    Just a matter of time World Vision reversed itself AGAIN.

  5. Sherryl says:

    In hindsight, perhaps World Vision should not have “reversed” their initial policies at all…should have left well enough alone. Having to then go back after the uproar and reverse back to the initial policy has caused another uproar. Personally, I believe that a group (World Vision) that professes their work is based on Christian/biblical faith should follow that belief in all their practices, and they should not change because a special group wants them to publicly acknowledge that the special group’s practices are spiritually okay, even if they do go against the faith-based teachings of World Vision. I have sponsored a World Vision child, several, over the past ten years. I believe in the good work they do, and hope they keep changing the lives of children and whole villages for the better. Don’t change your basic faith principles for anyone!

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