Christian Charity? Religious Right Reacts to World Vision’s LGBT Inclusive Policy
The Christian relief agency World Vision announced a dramatic policy change Monday that it would hire Christians who are in same-sex marriages.
"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," World Vision President Richard Stearns said in a statement. "It also allows us to treat all of our employees the same way: abstinence outside of marriage, and fidelity within marriage."
He added: "This is not an endorsement of same-sex marriage. We have decided we are not going to get into that debate. Nor is this a rejection of traditional marriage, which we affirm and support. "We're not caving to some kind of pressure. We're not on some slippery slope. There is no lawsuit threatening us. There is no employee group lobbying us."
The policy change unsurprisingly sparked outrage from those bent on banning same-sex marriage throughout the country. As Right Wing Watch reports, it didn't take long before those who strongly oppose LGBT rights took to the Internet to lash out at the charity's inclusive decision.
"World Vision long ago abandoned evangelism, as a condition of accepting money from the federal government," radio show host and director of issues analysis for the American Family Association Bryan Fischer told OneNewsNow. "Now they have abandoned morality as well. Is there now anything, anything at all, that makes this an organization worthy of evangelical support?"
He added: "World Vision's experience is a sobering reminder that once you abandon God at one point (evangelism) eventually it is inevitable that you will abandon him on other points (sexual morality). One compromise ineluctably leads to another until all is gone."
AFA issued the following statement officially launching a boycott of World Vision
This decision by World Vision to equate homosexual "marriage" to natural marriage between a man and a woman is in direct conflict with the Holy Scriptures. The first chapter of Romans is very clear. World Vision has abandoned the warning of Paul and compromised the integrity of a ministry financially supported by Christians who regard Scripture as the final authority on the issue. Christians who support World Vision should stop as should all of the artists and authors who raise money for them. There are many other organizations that sponsor children around the world who remain true to the gospel.
Peter LaBarbera, president of the Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, said in a statement: "World Vision's sellout is part of a disturbing trend in evangelicalism to capitulate in the Culture War over homosexuality-while the pro-LGBT lobby only ramps up its advocacy of sexually immoral laws and corporate policies."
He continued: "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, WV becomes an impediment to their repentance before God. 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."
Matt Barber of the Liberty Counsel told OneNewsNow the problems he has with World Vision's new policy.
"When faced with a choice to either go with the path of least resistance and embrace the lie of the world and the lie of the father of lies -- versus embracing the truth of Christ and the truth of scripture and standing firm on the Word of Life, World Vision has chosen to take the path of least resistance," he said. "Just because you say you're not an official wing of the church or that you're a para-Christian organization does not release you from the command to adhere to biblical truth and biblical reality as it pertains to sexual morality.
So that is a cop-out -- and anyone with a clear understanding of scripture can recognize it as such," he added. "This very dramatic, counter-biblical, apostate move by World Vision shows where they stand. They have destroyed their credibility as a Christian organization with one fell swoop -- and it's heart-wrenching."
According to Wikipedia, World Vision International is an Evangelical Christian humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy organisation.
Since its founding in 1950, it has grown into one of the largest relief and development organizations in the world with a total revenue including grants, product and foreign donations of $2.79 billion in 2011.
You can read more anti-gay responses over at Right Wing Watch.