In an extraordinary about turn World Vision USA made clear cut claims sanctioned by its board to accept employees in same sex marriages  – and then reversed them 48 hours later.

On 24 March Richard Stearns, president of America’s largest Christian charity, World Vision US, announced that as “symbolic not of compromise but of unity”, the charity would now be accepting employees in same sex marriages.  His board were not unanimous but “overwhelmingly in favour of the change,” said Stearns in an interview with Christianity Today.  He also stated that the charity were “not going to get into the debate” over same sex marriage.  However World Vision was straight away plunged into major reactions from evangelical leaders and supporters.  The day after the decision the Assemblies of God churches, America’s largest and fastest growing denomination, urged members to stop their financial giving to World Vision.  The criticism was based on maintaining biblical standards of sexual morality.

Just 48 hours later the decision was reversed.  “The last couple of days have been painful,” Stearns told reporters.  “Rather than creating more unity, we created more division,” he continued, adding that the board acknowledge that the policy decision they had made was a mistake.

The subject is not dead however, as Stearns expects the board to continue to deal with questions about employment and same sex relationships.  The general superintendent of the Assemblies of God churches in the US has now encouraged Pentecostals and evangelicals who had cancelled their subscriptions to World Vision US to reinstate them.


Carole Woodiwis

Source:  Christianity Today

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