Leading Southern Baptists are thanking World Vision U.S. for reversing a two-day-old change in its employee conduct policy that would have allowed the major hunger relief organization to hire legally married homosexuals.
World Vision’s U.S. board of directors announced Wednesday (March 26) its abandonment of the change in policy it had made Monday (March 24). World Vision reverted to its longstanding conduct policy requiring sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfulness within the Biblical covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.
Southern Baptist lead ethicist Russell D. Moore, who had called the original change a mistake that threatened the Gospel of Jesus Christ, tweeted thanks and praise to World Vision for its decision.
“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, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. “World Vision’s right decision, as articulated in their board letter, conveys a spirit of Christlikeness and humility in tone and content,” he added in a follow-up tweet.
World Vision U.S. President Richard Stearns and board chairman Jim Bere announced the reversal in a letter to supporters, expressing regret that they ever changed their policy in the first place.
“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 letter reads. “We ask that you understand that this was never the board’s intent.”
“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.”
Moore urged Christians to rejoice at World View’s repentance.
“It’s the older brother who questions motives in repentance. Don’t be like that,” Moore urged, evoking the Luke 15:11-32 story of the Prodigal Son. “The father’s house rejoices, receives.”
Frank Page, president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Executive Committee, also expressed thanks to World Vision, while encouraging a steadfast allegiance to biblical authority that would have avoided the controversy in the first place.
“We are thankful for the change in policy direction by World Vision, a ministry that has helped millions of people over the years,” Page told Baptist Press. “However, I long for the day when people make decisions based not on pressure from other people but pressure from our Lord and His clear, inerrant word.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press