On March 24 the Seattle-based Christian ministry, which employs more than 1,100 staff in the United States, announced that it would no longer require its staff to adhere to the biblical principle that marriage is only between a man and a woman. While the organization stipulated that it would maintain its policy requiring abstinence outside of marriage, it would permit individuals in legal same-sex “marriages” to work for World Vision.
In making the announcement Richard Stearns, president of the international humanitarian-relief group, said that the World Vision board had prayed for years about how to handle the issue as various denominations and ministries throughout the nation had begun to cave in to the demands of homosexuals. But in a letter to World Vision staff Stearns insisted that the group, started in 1950 and with a present operating budget of nearly $1 billion annually, was not “sliding down some slippery slope of compromise, nor are we diminishing the authority of Scripture in our work. We are the same World Vision you have always believed in.”
Stearns claimed that the change in policy was made in an effort to prevent the “divisive” issue of homosexuality “from tearing World Vision apart and potentially crippling our ability to accomplish our vital kingdom mission of living and serving the poorest of the poor in the name of Christ.”
In an interview with Christianity Today, Stearns said that World Vision's board was “overwhelmingly in favor” of the change, but insisted that “this is not an endorsement of same-sex marriage. We have decided we are not going to get into that debate. Nor is this a rejection of traditional marriage, which we affirm and support.”
Stearns also said that his group had not been forced into its decision by a threatened lawsuit or pressure from homosexual activists. “There is no employee group lobbying us,” he told the evangelical magazine. “This is simply a decision about whether or not you are eligible for employment at World Vision U.S., based on this single issue, and nothing more.”
Click here to read the entire article.
Photo: AP Images