World Vision reverses controversial decision

By March 27, 2014
World Vision board reverses controversial gay-marriage decision.
World Vision board reverses controversial gay-marriage decision.

World Vision board reverses controversial
gay-marriage decision.

USA (MNN) — Just two days after a bomb-shell announcement about a change in policy allowing same-sex partners to be hired at World Vision, the organization’s board reverses its decision.

In a letter sent to supporters late yesterday afternoon, President of World Vision Richard Stearns wrote that the “World Vision U.S. board publicly reversed” its controversial policy change allowing the hiring of same-sex married couples.

He writes, “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.”

According to Stearns, they were confronted by “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.”

Stearns acknowledges that the organization “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.‘”

Stearns fielded questions from nearly 20 individuals during a teleconference call yesterday following the board’s decision. “It wasn’t about money,” he said.

He told the group that World Vision was guilty of not seeking enough counsel on its initial decision which he says received overwhelming board support. However, this recent decision which resulted from the huge ground-swell of protest was also overwhelmingly supported.

This is an issue that will continue to be discussed among board members in the weeks and months ahead, says Stearns.

Were board members surprised by the negative reaction from World Vision supporters and friends? “We shouldn’t have been surprised, but we were surprised, yes,” Stearns responded.

Many child sponsors called to cancel their sponsorships, Stearns says, “which really hurts the kids. That’s the hard part of all of this.”

He says the board is “brokenhearted over the pain and confusion” caused to supporters, who saw this decision as a reversal of their commitment to Biblical authority, which he claims was never their intent.

Stearns goes on to say that the organization stands firm on the biblical view of marriage and that World Vision strongly affirms “that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, are created by God and are to be loved and treated with dignity and respect.”

Stearns says World Vision is committed to listening to the wise counsel of Christian brothers and sisters in the days and weeks ahead. It’s yet to be seen how many disenfranchised supporters will respond.


  • John says:

    Richard Stearns needs to be replaced. His leadership given to the board on this matter is why they originally even considered the change in policy. Now . . . As long as Stearns is at the helm there will still be a question mark of trust and a question mark of belief concerning World Vision.

  • stephanie says:

    I thank and praise the Lord godly counsel was sought in this reversal of decision. I hope this was not a test to see if the former decision would meet any resistance. As ppl who’s hearts are supposed to be after God our desire is for forgiveness and to extend that same forgiveness to our brothers and sisters. The ones that left maybe not a will co e back because of not being able to trust this decision will remain on place. The ones that feel they can continue to rely on this reversal will return. In Jesus. Ame

  • Lance says:

    This is so sad! The fact that this group jumped on the band waggon to hire same sex couples speak volumes that things were falling apart. If no one had said or did anything like pulling out their support it seems that this new policy would have continued. Money played a part in reverting this decision .this is indeed a very sad story”w
    “Where there is no vision the people perish”
    Glad they reverted but to have gone that way in the first place is sad sad sad!!

  • Shirley says:

    I’m so thankful this decision was reversed! The leadership responded humbly and this is an answer to my prayers and those of many others who were crying out to God about the decision! We must stay true to God’s Word! Praise God!

  • To Whom It May Concern:
    Yesterday I mailed a letter canceling my sponsorship of a young boy through World Vision. I was heartbroken when I heard the announcement of your decision to employ same-sex couples. Today I am thankful to learn that the Board has reversed yesterday’s announced decision, but it will take time to restore the trust of your supporters.
    For 4 decades I taught high school English, and when I taught MACBETH to seniors, I stressed that the title character had the freedom to make his own choices, which included killing his king. But I was clear that Macbeth’s story teaches us, as does the Bible, that we do not have the choice of consequences. And there are always consequences to wrong choices.
    I pray that your future decisions and actions will, in time, be able to restore the trust that your supporters had in World Vision in the past.

  • Verita` says:

    Should the first decision been final, it would have only continued to spiral downward. When we choose against God’s council, obtained from His Word, we’re choosing the enemy’s. Would having on WV staff, doctors who perform abortions be next? Sin always spirals downward at increased speed. Thank you Lord, for not allowing the gates to stay open:)

    In His Grace,

  • Elaine says:

    In the article above I heard a lot about talking things over. Where is the PRAYING a lot? Maybe this is how World Vision started to walk down a very slippery path and maybe a lot of people praying pulled them back. I know my heart was broken and I started to cry for such a wonderful Christian organization to get lost in the lies of our culture. But as in Acts the pressure on the church is from the outside AND the inside. I thank the Lord for calling World Vision back into the light.
    But I want you to know that God used World Vision’s wrong turn to call together a group of Christ-centered Bible-based, Spirit-led Christians – ministers and laity – to start Naming our prayer requests and building them on Scripture promises that God has made. (Using a book on prayer by Mark Batterson “The Circle Maker. And no I have nothing to do with Mark or his church but this book has radically changed my prayer life.) Together I pray that we may pray huge audacious prayers to God so that He may start healing His church and His people, our nation and the world.
    World Vision – keep praying – or if needed – start praying hard.

  • The thing that I find troubling is that this issue even NEEDS to be debated and discussed, especially within evangelicalism, which became a reform movement to get back to biblical truth and out of “churches” that had abandoned it. Evangelicals are supposed to have a high view of Scripture. This issue ought to be a non-starter, with the exception that individuals, churches and parachurch organizations will need to decide very quickly what they are going to do to respond when government steps in and tries to coerce compliance with sin. At that point, we will have a choice – to be Daniel and stand while everyone else is bowing, or to be faithful to our God and His Word.

    There is much hue and cry over “love” and the false charge that the biblical position on homosexuality is unloving and hateful. Instead of meeting that false charge head on with a strong refutation, we cave in. No doubt, some have been less than Christlike in their response to people caught up in this sin. That’s a given and also should be rebuked when it happens.

    All that said, accepting sin and saying it is OK, redefining what sin is, or redefining the Word of God on the subject is NOT love. True biblical love is evidenced by obedience to God and His Word. It is love of the highest order to tell the truth that sin is sin, and that we are commanded to repent of it and trust in Christ for salvation. Then as true believers, we live lives of love and repentance. Accepting sin and living in sin is not love to God, nor is it love for others. There can be no compromise. When you leave the door open by saying “we will continue to discuss this,” those on the other side of the issue rejoice, because a stone is worn down by continual dripping. That is why liberals love ongoing, facilitated “dialogue.” After they dialogue long enough, they eventually get their way.

  • I couldn’t believe World Vision would make such an unbiblical decision! Praise God, you have reversed that decision. Much prayer has gone up from all of us. Even as God loves us but hates our sin, we need to love those who live in sin, but hate the sin itself. God will bless you for following Him in this matter. We cannot weaken our beliefs to fit into the world’s frame of reference. We must be strong in the Lord in everything or our testimony becomes a laughing stock. Thank you for this reversal and may your former decision not hurt the cause of Christ worldwide. And may God keep you from reversing your reversal.

  • Brooks Cone says:

    Feel the pain? The pain of the child not supported. The pain of the board who accept their error. The pain of the loyal supporters who feel betrayed. The pain the men who courageously exposed the faults. The pain of the GLBT who feel rejected again. I thank The Lord for his Word, His mercy, His Grace. He cares your pain, and He is here to listen to you vent in prayer. Ps 29:11

  • rich says:

    God lives sinners he also forgives sinners, world vision made a mistake. They sinned just like we all do every day. They repented and confessed and asked to be forgiven just like we do every day and our heavenly father forgave them and so should we. Let us not shoot our wounded and be living.

  • Pamela says:

    Glad to hear devout Christian supporters of World Vision took a stand. Hope the leadership will return to their first love of Christ.

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