World Vision Switches Tracks. Says They Won’t Hire Gay Marrieds. Can Their Supporters Trust Them After This?


It’s been an interesting 24 hours for the folks at World Vision.

Franklin Graham took them to task for their decision to hire people who are in same-sex marriages. Their supporters responded with a sense of betrayal and outrage. World Vision President, Richard Stearns, gave an interview to Christianity Today in which he tried to parse the decision into something it wasn’t, saying in part:

“It’s easy to read a lot more into this decision than is really there, he said, “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.”

My reaction after reading this earlier today was that Mr Stearns needs to run for Congress. He’d fight right in. While the decision to hire people who are involved in gay marriages may not be a formal, written-out endorsement of gay marriage that was specifically voted on and approved by the board of directors of World Vision, it was, in fact and in practice, a public endorsement of the practice.

The Latin phrase is de facto. It was a de facto endorsement of gay marriage.

The reasoning Mr Stearns gave for this decision doesn’t hold any more water than his claims that the decision itself was just a teeny-tiny policy change with no serious ramifications.

After this particular dog didn’t hunt, something happened behind the scenes at World Vision. I don’t know what, but I have a feeling it wasn’t good times had by all for the people who went through it. What came out of it was a reversal of the organization’s earlier decision to hire people who are in gay marriages. From Christianity Today:

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.

I am relieved that World Vision has taken this step back into Christian fealty. I pray that they stick with it in the days to come. Christians everywhere are being challenged by the changes in our society as we move deeper into a post Christian world.

World Vision flirted almost disastrously with allowing themselves and their ministry to slip over into public apostasy. Their reasoning, which seemed to be based on the notion that a lot of their supporter churches were slipping into this apostasy, is the oldest and weakest reason going.

“Everybody else is doing it” is an excuse that my kids gave up after they tried it on me and got a fail. Where this large organization got the notion that this line of thinking was a reasonable response to the challenges of being a faithful Christian in a post Christian world, I do not know.

I am glad that they are back where they should be.

I donate to other organizations rather than World Vision, so the next consideration is not one I have to think about. That consideration is, Can we trust them to stay with it?

That’s a legitimate concern, considering the bizarre leap of illogic they used to try to justify this move. If that is an example of how easily they get off the Christian track and how mush-minded they are about these things, there’s a real question, at least in my mind, as to when they’re going to jump off the track again.

I say that because I am certain without doubt that the challenges to Christians are just beginning. We are not even really out of the gate when it comes to the dissolution and dissing that is heading our way.

Can they take it?

Can you?

I’m pretty sure that we’re all going to get the chance to find out.

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  • Jakeithus

    In my previous comment on the issue, I mentioned that there are times I am jealous of the Catholic church, this is another one of them. From what I know, changing Catholic doctrine isn’t easy, but when it is done it takes time, thought and lots of reflection and prayer. What happened here was nothing but flip-flopping and jerking people around, so I think you’re right about him fitting in with all the other politicians.

    I’m disappointed with World Vision for looking like they haven’t thought
    their decisions through. I might not have been in total agreement with
    the original decision, but if it was something they had come to after
    long, hard thought and prayer, I would understand it. To reverse it this
    quickly, after the backlash they should have known was coming, is
    evidence of a failure to seriously consider their actions and
    statements. It was careless, on an issue that calls for more care to
    begin with

    • Theodore Seeber

      “From what I know, changing Catholic doctrine isn’t easy, but when it is done it takes time, thought and lots of reflection and prayer. ”

      Yep. My favorite example is the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, first proposed by St. Jerome when he was working on the translation of the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke into Latin.

      Infallibly proclaimed in 1854 by Pope Pius IX.

      Over 1400 years of prayer and study went into that one.

      I don’t see the doctrines on abortion and gay marriage changing with less time, prayer, and study.

      • Dave

        For abortion and gay marriage, the change is impossible. The Church’s teaching can develop, but it can’t contradict. Otherwise, the claims of the Church would simply collapse. The Church could never say, “abortion is wrong” and then later say “never mind, it’s OK.”

        • Theodore Seeber

          I pray that Christ’s prediction that the gates of hell shall not prevail, but I am sinking into the despair that they already have. When I read Jesuit priests preaching that the Church *should change* on these issues, I know we have lost the culture war.

          • pagansister

            Perhaps the Jesuit’s have their reasons for thinking the Church should change —–

            • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

              Unfortunately, the non-missionary Jesuit provinces do. It is a lot to do with allowing themselves what they want for others. Incidentally, the membership of this order is collapsing.

              • pagansister

                The membership in that order is collapsing. That’s too bad.

                • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                  In general, all Catholic or so-called Catholic groups that agree with you are dying on their feet.

                  • pagansister

                    That’s sad to hear.

            • Theodore Seeber

              They most certainly do. I’m struggling to understand it, but they most certainly do.

              They want a world where sin is denied by ignorance.

              • FW Ken


                “Liberal” religion, which is quite illiberal in practice, always dies. The Episcopalians are losing about a quarter of their membership annually. Most other classical protestant churches are on the same path. In the same manner, lefty Catholics are dying out, the reason being they simply don’t replace themselves. It isn’t so much a matter of orthodox Christian doctrine (the Mormons are also growing), but clarity of doctrine and vision. Jesuits who have a clear vision of Ignatian spirituality and a firm commitment to the Catholic Faith make new Jesuits. Jesuits compromised by the culture, don’t. It’s really that simple.

                • Theodore Seeber

                  And yet, America Magazine continues to be published and applauded.

          • Bill S

            In the end, reason and logic will prevail, not the gates of hell.

            • Theodore Seeber

              I hope so, but at current time, lust and irrationality are prevailing over anything close to logic or reason.

            • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

              Exactly. And you will not like it when they do.

              • Bill S

                I will not like reason and logic?

                Hmm. I’m pretty sure I will.

          • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

            As I have already said somewhere else, we are promised the gates of Hell would not prevail. We were never promised that they won’t have a bloody good try.

  • oregon nurse

    The cynic in me says that Stearns found out he was about to lose a lot more money from the pull-out of the ‘politically incorrect’ churches than the ones he was pandering to. Hopefully he discovered that sinking to the lowest common denominator is not the way to go. And hopefully some people, Stearns included, are going to lose their jobs over this.

  • SisterCynthia

    I wouldn’t trust World Vision after this UNLESS their current president and his board are replaced. The convoluted logic the fellow is engaging in to make excuses while trying to patch things up with the angry sponsors tells me there is no firm conviction re: what is/isn’t acceptable, NOR repentance from the heart for taking this path. Which means, once he and those on the board sense the culture has REALLY shifted, they will probably try it again. :( If I was supporting a kid with them now, I’d probably stay, but their routine special appeals would fall on deaf ears, and if the kid left the program, I’d decline to take another from their lists. There are other groups out there who care for children. :-/

    • Bill S

      NOR repentance from the heart for taking this path.

      Why would someone need to repent for accepting a same sex couple? What injustice has been done and to whom. It’s really obvious to the whole world who the good guys are and who the bad guys are when it comes to gay marriage.

      • Theodore Seeber

        The repentance is for making it public, not the original action.

        And yes, it is clear to those who still think we could have a future, where the minds of those for gay marriage are at: wilful destruction of civilization.

        That is paranoid, but Bill S., you’re among those who have proven to me that America has no future. Gay marriage denies the future directly, by destroying the ability to have future generations.

        • Bill S

          But America does have a future. You just choose not to enjoy being a part of it.

          • Theodore Seeber

            I don’t see a future in refusing to breed. At best, we’ll be recolonized after we’ve finished raping the land for the last of its natural resources.

            • pagansister

              Believe me, Theodore, there will never be a lack of children on this planet—”breeding” as you put it, will continue. Those that choose not to, and there has always been those that do not wish to “breed”, will not cause a problem. I have a married family member who married and she and her husband have consciously chosen not to be parents. Then I know a family who has 8 children—there will always be “breeders”. As to messing with our natural resources I sincerely believe we will continue to wise up and take care in what we do.

              • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                And you think the family that has eight children lives in the same moral world as the people who believe “gay marriage” is anything but an oxymoron?

                • pagansister

                  The family with 8 children are Catholic. You can decide if you feel they live in the “same moral world as the people who believe “gay marriage is anything but an oxymoron”. Not all heterosexual couples have children, either on purpose or because they are physically unable to conceive. Yes, we all live in the same world. IMO “morality’ is not a static thing with the same definition agreed upon by all.

                  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                    Morality changes?

                    • pagansister

                      It can.

                    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                      Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife (or husband). Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s goods. These have changed?

                    • pagansister

                      We can hope that those won’t change. However, as an example, in some cultures one can “morally” kill a woman who has been raped because it was, of course, her fault. An extreme? Perhaps. All cultures do not follow those you mentioned. “Do as you will as long as it harms no one”. I tend to live by that as much as I can.

                    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                      so cultures are absolutes? We cannot criticize and even oppose features in others’ cultures, or for that matter in our own?

                    • pagansister

                      We’re all free to criticize and oppose as you well know. Why do you ask? :-)

                    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

                      I don’t think you see the point of my questions. It’s an either-or matter. EITHER we can judge cultures, including our own, in the light of morality; IN WHICH CASE morality is above culture, a fixed standard, by which cultures may be judged; OR culture is the ultimate reality of our behaviour, and morality merely an epiphenomenon of it. It is in the latter case that you can legitimately say that morality changes, or that there are many moralities.

                    • pagansister

                      I vote for the later case.

                    • oregon nurse

                      “Do as you will as long as it harms no one”

                      Well, I guess that means YOU must be the final arbiter of all things harmful and non-harmful. Did that come with your Wiccan membership?

                    • pagansister

                      Don’t have a Wiccan membership nor do I belong to any faith group. Basically it is the “Golden Rule” that I’m sure you are familiar with.

                    • oregon nurse

                      That may be the pagan/wiccan golden rule but it’s not the golden rule of ‘do unto others…’ that most people follow. All kinds of wickedness can be excused by adopting a personal definition of ‘harm’.

                    • pagansister

                      I disagree that those 2 thoughts are not similar. Both can be used for good or for evil. If one is mistreated by another,(harmed) they can use the “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (or has already been done unto you) then what do you think would be considered OK? For some—same treatment?. Harm and doing unto another—not much difference in some circumstances.

            • Bill S

              Ted. It’s almost as if you hope this country won’t prosper and that we will all be punished for being unrepentant sinners. You want this country to fail because you think it is hopelessly immoral.

        • pagansister

          You are so pessimistic, Theodore. America has survived many things, and we’re still here. This time is just another situation in our history. I’m glad I have a much better outlook on things.

      • johnnysc

        “It’s really obvious to the whole world”

        Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

      • AnneG

        ” obvious to the whole world ”

        Mark 8:36 For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?

        That’s the profit, Bill. I’ll pray for you and for those whose sins cry out to heaven.

  • fredx2

    Don’t be too sure that we are moving into a “Post Christian world”. I think we might have hit bottom. Millions of people are disgusted with things but they are very quiet. . Let the New Evangelization start to work. We may be on the cusp of something enormous. Remember this Pope is the first one in history that is able to reach millions directly, at the touch of a keypad. More people have read Evangelium Guadium than all the encyclicals by all the previous Popes put together. This is a time when the possibilities for evangelization are endless.

    • Howard

      Yeah, and John Paul II talked a lot about a new springtime. All that may come, but not for a decade at least, and probably not in our lifetimes — at least not to us. We (the West and the US in particular) have been sowing the wind too long not to expect a rich harvest.

    • Theodore Seeber

      And Evangelii Gaudium isn’t even an encyclical, it is an exhortation.

  • Manny

    Well, we had an impact! Kudos to Franklyn Graham for putting the spot light on this. But I’m with Cynthia. I wouldn’t trust World Vision. It was a grudging backstep.

  • Theodore Seeber

    You’d think they would have learned from the Komen folks, that switching ideologies quickly doesn’t work real well.

    Last I heard, after Komen pissed off both pro-choice and pro-life people in their 48 hour turnaround, donations are down around 60%.

  • Michael Paul

    I thought World Vision gave in on abortion, too, about ten or more years ago. I wouldn’t give them a dime.