FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — One of America’s largest Christian charities announced on Monday that it has altered its employee handbook to allow staff members to enter into same-sex ‘marriages’ as long as they profess to be Christians.
World Vision, a Washington-based organization that has been assisting the poor and orphaned worldwide for over 60 years, stated that it decided to change its policy to bring “unity” among Christians. President Richard Stearns told Christianity Today that he wants to avoid the division over homosexuality that has been “tearing churches apart.”
“Changing the employee conduct policy to allow someone in a same-sex marriage who is a professed believer in Jesus Christ to work for us makes our policy more consistent with our practice on other divisive issues,” he stated. “It also allows us to treat all of our employees the same way: abstinence outside of marriage, and fidelity within marriage.”
Stearns denied that he was under any pressure to make the policy change, and asserted that the organization was not caving into the homosexual agenda by allowing employees to enter into same-sex “marriages.”
“This is not us compromising. It is us deferring to the authority of churches and denominations on theological issues. We’re an operational arm of the global church, we’re not a theological arm of the church,” he stated. “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.”
However, some have expressed great disappointment in the decision, regardless of Stearns’ contentions that he is not compromising his faith. Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality wrote in a press release on Tuesday that World Vision has actually caused division and confusion through its policy change.
“World Vision now puts hundreds of thousands of biblically faithful and compassionate Christians in a bind: they want to keep supporting poor children through World Vision sponsorships, but they do not want to give their money to a charity that actively undermines God’s Word through its policies,” he explained. “Many Christians will abandon World Vision and children will suffer.”
LaBarbera stated that the policy is also harmful to World Vision employees.
“World Vision does a great spiritual disservice to its ‘gay married’ employees. By implying that unrepentant, practicing homosexuals can be faithful servants of Jesus Christ while living openly in grave sexual sin and mocking true marriage, World Vision becomes an impediment to their repentance before God,” he said. “Salvation requires humbly acknowledging and turning away from sin, just as genuine marriage requires two people of the opposite sex joining to produce a natural family.”
He also asserted that instead of avoiding the discussion over homosexual “marriage,” World Vision has now fueled the fire for the furtherance of the homosexual agenda.
“By recognizing homosexual ‘marriages’ in its hiring practices and treating them like actual marriages, World Vision has not only entered the debate over this issue but greatly advanced the LGBT agenda by lending ‘Christian’ credibility to ‘gay’ activists’ misleading ‘marriage equality’ propaganda,” LaBarbera stated. “World Vision also undermines religious liberty by signaling that immoral laws that defy God’s law are more binding than Scripture—unilaterally throwing up the white flag of surrender on freedom of conscience.”
World Vision was founded in 1950 by Bob Pierce and estimates assisting over 70 million people worldwide each year. As previously reported, according to the latest report available, Stearns makes over $379,000 a year as president of the organization.