World Vision U.S. President Richard Stearns and board chairman Jim Bere announced the reversal today (March 26), just two days after drawing ire from the Christian community by saying World Vision would begin hiring legally married gays.
"Today, the World Vision U.S. board publicly reversed its recent decision to change our employment conduct policy," the letter reads. "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 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," the board wrote. "We ask that you understand that this was never the board's intent."
Hiring married gay Christians would have broken with the ministry's commitment to biblically traditional marriage, and was made without adequate counsel with ministry partners, World Vision said.
"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,'” the board said. "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."
World Vision confirmed its commitment to the biblical view of marriage and asked for the Christian community’s continued support.
Compiled by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press general assignment writer/editor. For Baptist Press' March 24 story about the World Vision employment policy announcement, click here. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
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