World Vision to Hire Married Gay Christians
By Julio Severo
The prominent Christian relief agency World Vision said Monday it will hire Christians who are in homosexual marriages, a dramatic policy change on one of the most divisive moral issues facing Christian churches.
World Vision President Richard Stearns told that his organization will be changing its employment policies with regard to individuals in a homosexual lifestyle.
The organization previously required its some 1,100 employees at the American branch to abide by a policy that required fidelity within marriage and abstinence outside of marriage, and only recognized marriage between a man and a woman. However, now World Vision is allowing gay Christians in legal homosexual “marriages” to be hired.
The agency’s new hiring policy was first reported by Christianity Today magazine.
In short: World Vision hopes to dodge the division currently “tearing churches apart” over homosexual relationships by solidifying its long-held philosophy as a parachurch organization: to defer to churches on theological issues, and focus instead on uniting Christians around serving the poor.
World Vision philosophy: For the sake of the poor, homosexual and non-homosexual Christians should get united.
Based in Washington state and started by evangelicals, World Vision now has an international operating budget of nearly $1 billion and conducts economic development and emergency relief projects around the world. Last year, the charity reported receiving 18 percent of its annual funding from the U.S. government, which requires any group that receives federal funding to end any hiring restrictions on gays and lesbians.
Stearns felt that the new policy of his organization is not an endorsement for homosexual “marriage.” He said, “I want to be clear that we have not endorsed same-sex marriage, but we have chosen to defer to the authority of local churches on this issue.” So if a local liberal church chooses to send a homosexual to work in World Vision, it is ok for them.
World Vision requires employees to affirm, through the agency’s statement of faith or the Apostle’s Creed, that they follow Christ. Stearns said the agency will continue to follow that policy. So it will be enough for gay employees to remain faithful to this statement of faith. World Vision says it hires staff from many Protestant denominations with different views of homosexuality.
The staff of World Vision draws from over 50 Christian denominations, some of which have allowed homosexual “marriage” within the church, included the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church (USA). Stearns cited the multi-denominational nature of World Vision employees as a reason for the switch.
In a new release, Franklin Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, stated:
I was shocked today to hear of World Vision’s decision to hire employees in same-sex marriages. The Bible is clear that marriage is between a man and a woman.
My dear friend, Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse, would be heartbroken. He was an evangelist who believed in the inspired Word of God.
World Vision maintains that their decision is based on unifying the church — which I find offensive — as if supporting sin and sinful behavior can unite the church.
From the Old Testament to the New Testament, the Scriptures consistently teach that marriage is between a man and woman and any other marriage relationship is sin.
Apparently, the U.S. World Vision is not alone in its involvement in controversies. The director of World Vision Brazil, Ariovaldo Ramos, was involved in the controversy of having praised Hugo Chavez and his “service” to the poor. Ramos has also lamented publicly the death of the Marxist strongman.
Everything for the sake of the poor.
With information from The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Christianity Today.
Portuguese version of this article: Visão Mundial vai contratar cristãos gays “casados”
Source: Julio Severo in English