Skip to comments.How World Vision Can Regain Trust (After it Reverses Its Decision to Support Gay Marriage)
Posted on 03/27/2014 7:51:20 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
In the spirit of forgiveness that God Himself extended to us through Jesus, I believe we should accept World Visions statement of repentance with graciousness and offer their leadership the forgiveness they requested, commending them for their contrition.
This could not have been an easy thing to do, as they will now have to deal with accusations of being double-minded, not to mention the pro-gay activist backlash they will surely face along with accusations that they were not sincere in their repentance but rather acted out of mercenary concerns, and so we need to be just as vocal in affirming them as we were in rebuking them.
The question is: Since they recognize that they deeply betrayed the trust of a large number of their constituents, how can they now regain that trust? (When speaking of World Vision throughout this article, Im referring only to the U.S. branch, which made the initial, tragic decision.)
Not surprisingly, many are questioning the motivation of World Visions reversal, suggesting that they did not act out of conviction but rather out of pragmatism, not wanting to lose a massive amount of donor support. Of course, World Vision could have said, But our mission to help the poor depends on money, and when we realized that our initial decision to change our employment policy regarding homosexuality was going to hurt us financially, we decided to reevaluate that decision.
But that is not what World Vision said (and, candidly, such a response would hardly be worthy of a purportedly Christian organization). Rather, their statement of repentance was unequivocal.
We have listened to you, they said, and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness.
They acknowledged that they failed to be consistent with World Vision U.S.s commitment to the traditional understanding of Biblical marriage and our own Statement of Faith.
And they explained that, We are brokenhearted over the pain and confusion we have caused many of our friends, who saw this decision as a reversal of our strong commitment to Biblical authority, claiming that this was never the boards intent.
Further, they affirmed that, World Vision U.S. stands firmly on the biblical view of marriage.
In light of this apology, I believe it is important that we extend forgiveness and that we commend the leadership of World Vision for their act of humility and repentance. And certainly, we want World Vision to succeed, since they are doing something of great importance in the eyes of God and man, namely, helping the helpless.
The problem that World Vision faces now is that they lost the trust of many of their constituents. How can they regain that trust?
As someone wanting to help, not hurt, I humbly submit these questions to you, Mr. Stearns, and to the leadership of World Vision, in the hope that your organization will now demonstrate the reality of your corporate repentance. (The biblical expression is to bring forth fruit worthy of repentance; see Matthew 3:8; Luke 3:10-14; Acts 26:20; 2 Corinthians 7:10-11.)
The questions that follow are direct, but they are notmeant as accusations. Instead, they are intended to bring clarity, since there is tremendous disparity between the views expressed in the interview on Monday in Christianity Today and the repentance statement released two days later. We really need to know where you stand if we are to be able to stand with you, and we do desire to stand together with you in ministering to the poor and the oppressed.
1) In your interview on Monday, with reference to homosexual marriage, you challenged the idea that Scripture is very clear on this issue, responding with, Well ask all the theologians and denominations that disagree with that statement. In contrast, in your statement of repentance, you said, World Vision U.S. stands firmly on the biblical view of marriage.
So, what do you actually believe? Many of us are genuinely confused. Are you now saying, Although some churches may differ on this, we are reaffirming our strong belief that in Gods sight, marriage is the union of one man and one woman, while homosexual practice is always against the law of God, even in the context of monogamous, homosexual unions?
On Monday did you feel that the biblical definition of marriage was debatable but on Wednesday you decided that this was not the case? If so, what produced such a drastic change? Your clarification here would help to instill greater confidence.
2) Do you recognize now that your policy change actually was, in fact, an act of compromise and did, indeed, represent a serious slide down the slippery slope? (In your interview, you said, Were not on some slippery slope. . . . This is not us compromising.) If you do repudiate your earlier comments, would you be willing to state that clearly?
3) Since official, organizational policies are of great importance, is anything stopping you from writing the biblical definition of marriage into your bylaws, committing to hold to this standard regardless of societal change and regardless of financial implications (the latter, in the offhand chance that standing on scripture will ultimately cost you financially)? And since you speak of the shifting views of some churches on this subject, will you commit in writing to honoring Gods Word even if the majority of churches associated with you apostasize from biblical standards?
4) Will you require all of your senior leadership to affirm the biblical definition of marriage? And since the voice of conservative evangelicals within World Vision was ignored or overruled as the policy announcement was being made, are you taking steps to win back the hearts of those who were offended?
On a personal note, in the late 1970s, when my pastor heard about the plight of the Vietnamese refugees from World Vision, he mobilized our church to sponsor these refugees (known as the boat people) and many of us, including my own family, opened our homes for several years to host these men, women, and children. How precious those days were to all of us involved, and it was your organization that did so much to help us to help them.
And on Monday and Tuesday of this week, I was flooded with messages from brokenhearted World Vision supporters, saying that they were devoted to the children they were sponsoring but were now doing so with mixed emotions, planning to direct their giving to another organization once the promised sponsorship was completed.
Hearing the news of your repentance, some of them are thrilled while others still dont know what to think, and it is with people like them in mind that I encourage you to do what is needed to rebuild the trust.
All of us want the name of World Vision to shine brightly once again.
Boards and elitists.
They better get all their executives to give the “I have sinned!” speech - one by one - and beg on their hands and knees, and then we’ll see!
Sometimes the only answer is to DESTROY what was built up before - when it becomes corrupt. “Companies” and “organizations” do NOT RECEIVE SALVATION or even forgiveness from God - only “people” do - but that does not mean what they “built” will survive!!
Its all about the bucks. Corporate donors, who are heavily influenced by the homosexual lobby put the squeeze on World Vision, much the way they pressured the Boy Scouts. Either change your policies or the corporate donations will cease. World Vision quickly learned they would lose from more from their traditional donors. However this is a vile and effective tactic that will be employed again.
It's not necessarily a bad thing, though. This whole thing has served to separate some chaff from the wheat. There are many other worthwhile Christian charities in need of support.
Absolutely. They didn’t really repent - other than repenting of making a financial mistake.
When most ministry organizations grow huge, things become all about the money. They still may do good things, but money drives almost everything.
And when money drives the decisions, things are corrupt.
There are always consequences for sin even if forgiveness is asked.
The aprropriate consequences here should be the resignations of all members of the board to resign and replaced with individuals known to believe and support Biblical marriage.
Since they did not tell the truth about why they caved in the first place, it is equally clear they are not telling the truth about why they backtracked. The only thing that would clear up this mess is some heads on a platter.
Their “mistake” was not done casually. The people who made this decision must have a radically different view of Christianity than my wife and I do or they could never have made this decision in the first place.
Their action was reversed quickly, but only after they realized they had just chased away a big part of their donor base. Their press release was good, but actual repentance by their leaders is suspect.
Personally, it looks like rot at the top to us.
Unless heads role over this we will reduce and/or eliminate our contributions to what we thought was a fine organization.
Not trying to start a debate or anything, just clarifying: Does your statement imply that there is now no possible way World Vision can recover from this, that they are forever ‘accursed’?
Again...not defending them, just making sure I’m reading what I’m reading.
Below is the full letter from World Vision on its reversal:
Today, the World Vision U.S. board publicly reversed its recent decision to change our national 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.
We are writing to you our 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.
In our board’s effort to unite around the church’s shared mission to serve the poor in the name of Christ, we 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. “ And we also failed to seek enough counsel from our own Christian partners. As a result, we made a change to our conduct policy that was not consistent with our Statement of Faith and our commitment to the sanctity of marriage.
We are brokenhearted over the pain and confusion we have caused many of our friends, who saw this decision as a reversal of our strong commitment to Biblical authority. We ask that you understand that this was never the board’s intent. We are asking for your continued support. We commit to you that we will continue to listen to the wise counsel of Christian brothers and sisters, and we will reach out to key partners in the weeks ahead.
While World Vision U.S. stands firmly on the biblical view of marriage, we strongly affirm that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, are created by God and are to be loved and treated with dignity and respect.
Please know that World Vision continues to serve all people in our ministry around the world. We pray that you will continue to join with us in our mission to be “ an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice, and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God .”
Sincerely in Christ,
Richard Stearns, President
Jim Beré, Chairman of the World Vision U.S. Board
World Vision may claim to be a "Christian" organization, but it's the very worst sort: an ostensibly self-loathing, apologetic, cowardly one.
Their actions define them now.
They must have gotten hit real hard in the wallet.
It looks like many Evangelicals are expressing support for the reversal decision.
Many Evangelicals and conservative Christians are expressing support for World Vision’s decision to reverse course on a policy change allowing for the hiring of gay married employees.
As the announcement of the reversal in policy change was released Wednesday, many figures commented on the new development.
Russell D. Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, expressed his approval of the reversal on Twitter.
“World Vision has done the right thing. Now, let’s all work for a holistic Gospel presence, addressing both temporal and eternal needs,” tweeted Moore on Wednesday.
Assemblies of God General Superintendent George O. Wood released a statement via email expressing “appreciation for the prompt decision.”
“I therefore encourage Assemblies of God churches and individuals to continue supporting World Vision with prayers and finances, along with other Pentecostal and Evangelical charities that have similar humanitarian missions,” said Wood.
“I especially encourage Pentecostals and Evangelicals who hastily canceled their sponsorship of children in World Vision programs to immediately reinstate that support in order to ensure continuity of care for the poor children whom Christ loves.”
Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, said in a statement, “World Vision’s reaffirmation of orthodox faith helps to ensure it has a robust, if not easy, future ahead.”
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Insofar as the current Board and leadership (its mouth-piece president who goes out to defend hiring same-sex married persons) has trashed its own credibility -- both by its original decision AND by its ambivalently explained change of mind -- the only action at this point which can restore the organization's credibility is for the entire Board and its president to resign.
Until those resignations are tendered and received by a replacement Board, I'm going to (1) be pleased with the recession of the policy to hire same-sex married persons and (2) unwilling to trust the current Board or president to implement their so-called allegiance to Biblical standards for sexual morality.
RE: Upwards of 20 percent of the aid World Vision distributes comes from the Federal Government, and their initial decision to hire same-sex married persons looks very much like a pandering to ~that~ funding source,
NOT A GOOD SIGN. Once you lie in bed with Caesar, Caesar will eventually get to dictate your policies ( especially with a government run by Democrats and Obama ).
Can you imagine a missionary organization receiving money from the government? What will happen later? What would they do if someone like Obama tells them to cease and desist from preaching the gospel to Muslims?
Neither would any discerning Christian. Read their "apology." It reads like a politician caught in the act of malfeasance, diverting direct blame and actually blaming their SUPPORTERS for being offended!!!
Question 5. You stated that you prayed on this issue for YEARS. How can you so quickly dismiss the answer from years of prayers?
Question 6. You stated the vast majority of members of the board agreed with this decision. Can you please list the names of those on the board that agreed with this decision?