World Vision’s Reversal Is the Right Decision


 Since its founding in 1950, World Vision has put the teachings of Jesus Christ into daily practice around the world by feeding and caring for those in dire need. As a ministry, it’s been one the great gems of evangelical Christendom. The organization has made – and is making – a dramatic difference in the lives of countless individuals.

Which is why I was so perplexed and concerned after learning of their policy change allowing their employees to live in homosexual marriage.  Their original decision, announced on Monday, raised significant biblical contradictions that were simply irreconcilable when it comes to fidelity to the Holy Scriptures.

Earlier this afternoon, World Vision has reversed that decision and acknowledged its mistake. This is welcome news. According to a letter just released they will return to their “longstanding conduct policy requiring sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfulness within the Biblical covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.”

I believe the Board of World Vision had the best of intentions when they cited a desire for “unity” in making their original decision.  But however well-intentioned, nothing is more important than adherence and faithfulness to the clear teachings of Christ. No matter how hard culture tugs, we cannot relinquish God’s truth.

There was a strong reaction when World Vision made their original announcement, and rightly so. These are critically important issues with far-reaching ramifications. But now that the Board of this important organization has asked for forgiveness, it’s time for us to do the right thing, too.

 They made a mistake.

They’ve apologized.

I pray that Christians will now respond likewise with a spirit of grace and humility. World Vision does not deserve to be harmed by this incident. The security and fate of too many children are at stake to hold a grudge and punish them by withholding support.

At the same time, there are those on the cultural left who might now feel compelled to chastise World Vision for their reversal. Those inclined to castigate often label those who hold to biblical definitions of human sexuality as “bigots.” In reality, true Christian love is the exact opposite of bigotry. True love demands that we speak God’s truth. As the Apostle Paul so eloquently wrote, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?” (1 Cor. 6:9).

In other words, it’s not loving to stay silent. We are called to share God’s perspective, which is always loving and true.

It should also be noted that Paul didn’t single out one sin over the other. There is no super sin. “Do not be deceived,” he wrote,  “neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” [1 Corinthians 6:10].

As my friend Dr. Al Mohler recently reflected, “Paul’s point is not that homosexuals are uniquely sinful, but that all of us are sinners in need of the grace and mercy of God that come to us in the gift of salvation.”

So, again, love demands that we speak truth, not what simply tickles the ear. We find no way around it, no matter what culture calls for or demands.

I also pray that this incident will serve as a teachable moment for those of us within other Christian organizations. Just because the times seem to be changing doesn’t mean we have to be compelled to change or amend the universal and historic teachings of the Church.

The apostle Paul’s words ring true:

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

Sign up for my weekly e-newsletter

Leave a Comment

Rebekah Overbey More than 1 year ago
Great post
Joy Clemens More than 1 year ago

--I am glad WV changed their position. Read "Let Your Heart Be Broken with the Things That Break the Heart of God" by Bill Pearce and PRAY for World Vision. PRAY for their leadership.  PRAY that the Gospel will be upheld and Jesus Christ be glorified. PRAY for all the WV orphans that they will hear the Gospel and come to know the Savior.  World wide PRAYER on their behalf is the best "consequence" that could happen to WV!

Karen Broderick More than 1 year ago

--@AdamjRead…When I first read your post my heart was broken for you because I thought you must be a new Christian and hadn’t read about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who gave everything because of love. I thought if you had read the New Testament surely God would have revealed His love and desire that we should ALL be with Him for eternity which is why He sent Jesus.

But then I reread your post and saw that you were “in this faith for decades” and still address the Almighty God with disrespect and disdain. This is not the response of a Holy Spirit filled Christian, so I must conclude that while you were “in this faith for decades” you were not a follower of Jesus Christ nor did you know His love or His power or His grace or His truth through the Holy Spirit. Or perhaps, at some point, you were pulled away by the lies of this world and the father of lies himself and left your first love. This is a sad state indeed, which having been “in this faith for decades” you should know.

Perhaps you could read the Word of God again with an open mind and a positive attitude and see if you come to know the one true God who is justice and love. It would behoove you to pray first and ask God for whatever it is you feel you need along with forgiveness, remembering that Jesus died for YOU so you can come boldly to His throne. I pray for a new revelation of truth for you, so you can dwell in the house of the Lord forever as is God’s will for you.

Better is one day in His courts…

Connie Benham More than 1 year ago

--Hello Mr. Daly,

While I appreciate your comments,  I think that the issue that should be addressed is  why the change in policy was made initially and the real reason that it was reversed.

The statement that they did not know that the decision was incorrect is really THE point that should be addressed.  The issue is that the PEOPLE at World Vision lost their focus on GOD and His Word and His Plan. That is usually what leads people to lose their way and brings them to a place where they do not know the TRUTH.

It is very sad that they had diluted the Truth to the point that Stearns said of the backlash. "Again, I think it goes back to we hadn't done enough consultation on this. We hadn't vetted this issue with people who could have given us really valuable input in the beginning."

The PEOPLE that lead the organization,World Vision, decided to go the way of some churches that allow the customs of our time to redefine their Christianity.  THEY did not think that the Bible should be accepted as the Word of God by their organization any longer and they thought that popular culture should dictate truth.  It is obvious that they based such an important decision on "information" that indicated a "need" to change their policy which was formerly to "stand on the traditional belief on the authority of Scripture.

Well the Church intervened and let them know they were wrong.

I've read their press statement and it thinly veils that it was not until they realized how much money they would lose from the Church that they reversed their decision. Stearns said he didn't know how much money World Vision had lost or gained over the two days. Repentance is not making a change based on money or cultural acceptance. Repentance is a change in heart and direction with God as the sole focus. This is the Bible's definition of Repentance (and my personal experience).

What matters now is what the PEOPLE in this organization plan to do to bring their focus back to God, His Word and His Plan.

My prayer is that the PEOPLE that lead the organization, World Vision, will keep their focus on GOD and HIS PLAN and Trust that He will take care of the details of money, culture and unity as HE promised HE would when His Will is done.

Deborah Maffettone More than 1 year ago

--It is very sad day for all Christians, and mostly for Christ Himself, when an organization of this magnitude, influence and stature succumbs to the world and begins to live "of" the world, not in the world. Shame on you for leaing others dictate your decisions which shold solely be based on God's Word and what HE says.

Alden Johnson More than 1 year ago

--From World Vision's original policy change notice:

"...[s]ince World Vision is a multi-denominational organization that welcomes employees from more than 50 denominations, and since a number of these denominations in recent years have sanctioned same-sex marriage for Christians, the board—in keeping with our practice of deferring to church authority in the lives of our staff, and desiring to treat all of our employees equally—chose to adjust our policy."

I find it incomprehensible that World Vision's president and board of directors (according to the notice...(which) includes deeply spiritual and wise believers, among them several pastors, a seminary president, and a professor of theology) spent "several years praying about and discussing this issue." What's to pray about and discuss? What produced the 'green light' signal? It certainly couldn't be looking, even superficially at Scripture? Such 'wisdom' is in opposition to God's Word. The people I know and trust regarding spiritual decision-making, always look to Scripture for the basis of their decisions.

As we have watched denomination after denomination succumb to secular, worldly, and sinful pressures regarding issues involving sexuality that plainly violates Scripture, should we find it strange that they would "defer to the authority of local churches," rather than to Scripture?

Although I am gratified that World Vision's board saw fit to reverse their decision, it's time for new blood on the board of directors--those who will affirm and adhere to the authority of Scripture, not social pressure from the world, when making decisions regarding organizational policy. The fact the the president acquiesced and/or embraced such a policy change requires his resignation. That the original decision was made in the first place is extremely problematic.

Martha A Pinnow More than 1 year ago

--I go with Jesus on this John 8 7-11

PHILLIP JACKSON More than 1 year ago

--This is for Adam Reed.  Hello Sir.  You stated that you cannot serve a God that burns up cities and send floods.  Your perspective is tainted because you are allowing your human reasoning to define the actions of a Holy, Righteous and Omniscient God who by his own character, must judge sin. It would have been easy for God to just wink at the wickedness in Noah's and Sodom's day, but that would make him less than Holy. Jesus was the sacrifice for the "sins of the world," and all who believe on him and trust him, "Shall not come into condemnation." God makes the rules, not us.  You can choose to worship a nice god who just loves any and everybody without judgement, but you are setting yourself up for eternal hell because you CHOOSE to REJECT GOD'S offer of love, mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Don't be deceived into think that God will overlook sin and not judgement.  The Bible warns, "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation."  The Bibles makes it clear, 'Who hath known the mind of God, who has been his counselor?" Disagree if you wish, but our lives are in God's hands and his judgement will not be subject to appeal or scrutiny. Jesus said this "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28)  I hope you allow the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and seek and serve the one true Living God.  

Rev. Jackson

Liv Peace More than 1 year ago

--I am not perfect, I make mistakes and I am grateful for grace.  I do not think this is an easy issue that we are facing.  LOVING while also clinging to the TRUTH of Jesus is difficult and each of us must struggle through to find the decision that is most God-honoring.  I believe World Vision has a deep desire to love everyone, not just the children they reach in other countries, but the people within their organization and the people of the United States.  Although I agree with the reversal what I see in their initial acceptance of homosexual marriage for their employees is an attempt to struggle through how to love.  Christ pointed out the two greatest commandments; LOVE GOD, and love others.  We should maintain the truth given to us by God and uphold marriage between one man and one woman.  However, each of us needs to ask ourselves how we can love better every moment of every day and how we can be most God-honoring in ALL that we do, not just our reactions to homosexual "marriage".

Alexia Houchins More than 1 year ago

--This is an amazing Biblically inspired article on how God's word does not condemn homosexuality as it is practiced today in loving relationships.

Carolyn Morton More than 1 year ago

--Sure they will change their mind when support begins dropping off and I 'm sure it will and probably already has.  So Sorry.

Adam Twelve More than 1 year ago

--@MAnthony, Barabbas? Political correctness? In a word, no.(And the double Bs in the name is significant. Mathew gives his name as Jesus Barabbas; Jesus, son of the father.)

Jesus bar Abbas was an insurrectionist, trying to overthrow the Romans with violence. Jesus bar Joseph might have been trying to lead a non violent resistance to the Romans but he was much more about getting the people to change their own hearts. He wanted us all to be kind to each other and was particularly noted to be kind to sinners and outcasts.

The term "politically correct" was a term coined by people on the left to refer to cranks in their own midst. You might remember a great hue and cry in the US in the 1980s about flag burning. That was all about a guy named Joey Johnson and the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade. "Mao more then ever" they would chant as they carried aloft a giant picture of the Chairman Mao. These are the kind of people that any organization tries to disassociate from and most all leftists in the US never desecrate a flag. (To the contrary, the US pledge of allegiance was written by a communist.) Of course, now the term is used by Fox news to just refer to anybody left of center.

The idea of supporting an armed uprising against the Romans over and against peaceful coexistence with them (bar Abbas over bar Joseph) might be something that a leftist crank would support but it is also something that most anybody right of center would support. But it is something that no mainstream leftist would support. The leftists are all bleeding heart pacifists.

So what happened with World Vision? They took one step closer to the teachings of Jesus, the one who welcomed those regarded as sinners, so they welcomed homosexuals. But then there was a backlash, a press of right-wing political correctness, and they reversed. They wanted to be more like Jesus but in the end they didn't have the courage. The seeds hadn't fallen on good enough soil.

MaryBeth Anthony More than 1 year ago

--In the early persecuted church we learn of many martyrs, those who held firm in Jesus the Christ. What about those who did not? They were at least chastised and most ostracized for having denied Christ. I forget which biography of an Early Church Father it is, but he as a Bishop or just before that point of leadership, did deny Christ. Why? Why do any of us falter? I am sure he learned a little more on humility, self-forgiveness,and asking for forgiveness. He did go on to become a Church Father and he did reduce the negative impact of denying Christ. We must lean on Christ in all things. Know the Holy Spirit and trust Him in all things. This is a great time of year, Lent, to refocus our life on God.

This is the season we remember that we allowed the name of Barabas (Political Correctness???) to be heard over the name of Jesus. World Vision is shouting the name of Jesus. Please don't turn your back on those who falter while in the arena. There are lions out there waiting to devour them. WV needs prayer time, and we need to be in prayer time for them.

ken cox More than 1 year ago

--You said and I quote you "I believe the Board of World Vision had the best of intentions when they cited a desire for “unity” in making their original decision." I don't think they thought it through before their original decision. There was probably some motive behind it, because you don't just all of a sudden change your policies on something that controversial. I will forgive them for there wrong doings but I think the President and the board members that voted it in should immediately have to resign. I think if they do this people can regain their trust in this organization.

Frank Hawkins More than 1 year ago

--I am a Christian 75 years young and thank God for his manifold blessings every day. I am saddened by the recent events regarding World Vision. Our family and our children have supported them for many years. I am saddened because they reversed their decision. I don't believe the bedrooms of consenting adults should be a place for me, or any organization to enter. What takes place there, is between two adults and God. Some use the Bible as an authority when it comes to sexual behaviour. The time and culture when the Bible was written knew very little about the origins of mental illness, homosexuality, various diseases etc. As a Christian I am instructed to love my neighbour as myself. It is unfortunate that the words of the Bible are taken as the words of God relevant for all times and place. The letters of Paul written to the church at Corinth, some take as literally relevant for the 21st century church of New York, Montreal etc. Yet they do speak to my heart and speak 'truths' that are universal, relevant for all times and places. Having said that - some of us are indeed slow learners. Slavery, an acceptable institution in the days of Jesus finally got put aside, with much opposition, in the latter part of the 20th century. I find it somewhat ironic that creativity and innovation are sought after qualities in almost every human endeavour, except religion and our faith traditions. Thus it is that our traditions are themselves worshipped….held up as the whole purpose of the religious enterprise, confusing right practice and right thinking with what is then called faith. As to the question of Israel and Palestine, perhaps we need to gently remind each other that the problems here are indeed complex, with right and wrong on both sides. Putting forth the concerns of the Palestinian people does not have to be viewed as anti Israel. As for committed Christians in a homosexual relationship called marriage, they have my prayers and my blessing. Brothers and sisters…..may they know we are Christians by our love!!!

Post Script - there is nothing Christian about marriage……..but there can be!  

Carmen Gutierrez More than 1 year ago

--Change of leadership and Board members is imperative. They have clearly demonstrated without the shadow of a doubt, that THEY DO NOT read or believe  the Bible as they should. Forgiveness is in order, yes, but I just don't trust their integrity. I no longer trust their judgement to make sound, biblical decisions. WV is a good organization that happens to have the wrong leadership at the moment.

dedrick williams More than 1 year ago

--We, as brothers and sisters of our Most High God, cannot judge a man to condemnation.  However, we have every right to judge a man’s character based on decisions that are made and observable behaviors.  If I happen to see an old friend from 20 years ago in the street and he just finished robbing a bank and is trying to get away… but states to me that he did it because Jesus wanted him to as a Christian, I cannot judge his heart.  However, I sure can make a quick judgment call based on his actions and character and act accordingly.

If a person is caught committing a crime and is caught, but states that he/she is truly sorry, the question then is, is this person sorry because he/she got caught or is the person sorry for actually committing the wrong act.  I am to forgive and love but not take a person’s statement at face value and run with it blindly in full support.  At times, we all need to make quick decisions in situations while facing clear temptation - as well as times when we ask for a quickened spirit of discernment to recognize deception.  This happens on a personal level with our indwelt Holy Spirit as a true believer.  Me believing that the Holy Scriptures are the inerrant, infallible Word of God is not based a human feeling or emotion.  It is Revelation Knowledge that can only occur as God reveals His Truth to me.

Such is the case with World Vision.  I don’t know what motives or agendas prompted them to make a poor decision like that in the first place – and I also don’t know why they reversed their decision.  I don’t want to stop supporting WV if they truly repented from such a spirit that would have them make that choice in the first place.  I also don’t want to support them if their decision was based on anything other than true repentance because my support may be funneled to programs that are not pleasing to God… so I will pray and ask for the Holy Spirit to lead and direct me in these times of challenge as I trust every other True Worshiper is also doing before making a tough decision like this.

Darryl Malcolm More than 1 year ago

--I, sadly, have to add my voice to those who forgive but cannot forget.  I agree that their convictions change was too acute to be based upon a sincerely experienced spiritual enlightening.  I believe they still have the tainted views and the reversal was solely financially motivated.  If someone were praying about such a weighty issue that would, clearly, have wide ranging repercussions for years, you would have thought it was based upon deep-seated convictions.  This turn on the dime does not appear to be pure.  I will not be returning to their fold.

Chris Chaikowsky More than 1 year ago

--Of course we support the decision to reverse their stance. However, since they are not the only ministry of this kind and we do have alternatives, I feel other ministries would be the wiser choice. I, too, question the motives for a reversal, and will continue to support my Compassion children with no reservations whatsoever.

RICHARD BROWN More than 1 year ago

--When my wife told me about what World Vision President who I feel show be terminated for his/her change of policy, we realized that no matter where Lesbians/Homosexual's are intrusive and disrespectful. Yes, like someone had mentioned I will throw that rock for I am a sinner as well as everyone else. But, this does not mean the people should be advertize. Especially in this Christian Organization. We have supported over 50 children since we joined back in the 1995.

We have bee very proud in helping the children who did not and don't have. I forgive them for their stupidity, but this president or whoever suggested this policy should be terminated. They have created to thousand of people concerns. This though the change was because of monetary value and not moral value. The President should have read the verses in the Bible in Deuteronomy, Romans, and Corinthians; God's to the Israels during the following God's Law, then in the New Testament Romans and Corinthians verse that Jesus tells Paul and the others to homosexuality. This got to stop.

GQ Shaw More than 1 year ago

--Please do not carried away with well crafted apology from World Vision.  It is a strategic move to curb and stop  the huge number of sponsorship cancellations received by the organization per inside sources.  Also many organizations partnering with WV have cancelled their partnerships and this is all part of a strategic damage control move.

GQ Shaw More than 1 year ago

--I posted

GQ Shaw More than 1 year ago

--Please be aware this reversal means nothing. It's done because the sponsorship cancellation rate hit the roof.  The ECFA president urged World Vision to reconsider their policy change decision otherwise they were under pressure from other members to drop World Vision. So laso the president of the National Religious Broadcasters Association, who gave them 2 days to reverse their decision or else they'd drop them too. I also heard that Rich Stearns called an all staff meeting where after apologizing to the staff he did say that his and the board's decision to change the policy was misunderstood by the people and christian leaders and churches and he stood by that decision..  He said that if a homosexual person signs World Vision's  statement of faith , he would welcome them to be on staff with open arms.... nothing has changed folks.  I have been informed by staff members that it took 3 years of discussion on the board to arrive at the change in hiring and conduct policy to redefine marriage as being between 2 committed individuals and thus paving the way to hire LGBTQ persons on staff at World Vision.  However it took one evening phone meeting with the board to reverse it.  Seriously!!... The sponsorship cancellation hit the roof.  The churches and artists like Casting Crowns dropping their partnerships (and many other organizations) denouncing their partnership with World Vision led to this overnight decision to reverse the policy... Please don't fall for this. Support your local church projects with the extra donation or support organizations like Focus on the Family and other credible Christian Organizations

Robin Smith More than 1 year ago

--Thank you, Jim Daly, for raising awareness of this important issue and fighting the good fight. Seeking forgiveness is important, even after we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. We must remain humble and go to the cross continually, keeping short accounts with God. It is disappointing that those in high profile positions, whom we entrust our monies with for ministry, sometimes abuse it. I am learning to love my enemies and do good to those who persecute me, as God instructs. And I understand that the Bible indicates that we are to abhor what is evil and cling to what is good. And that God made it clear that vengence belongs to Him. With that said, we must make decisions about who we entrust our money to, and when that trust is broken, I do not believe it is considered vengence or retaliation to remove our support and go elsewhere. I believe that is wisdom. And I agree that those who made the wrong decision should step down.

Susan Shipanik More than 1 year ago

--I've supported world vision since 1999. When I heard about their 1st decision I was sick & grieved. I know we are all sinners. I called & cancelled  I forgive them. We live in lost world  their decision to change, was a joy to me. However did they change because people stopped pledging?  Do they know they grieved people deeply? I hate sin. I hate that I sin I am ready for"home".  Jesus come quickly at least for me