The US branch of international poverty ministry World Vision appears to have quickly changed its mind about allowing the hiring of Christians who are in same-sex marriages.
It was less than two days ago that World Vision America president Richard Stearns (pictured) said in an interview with Christianity Today that such a change in policy would be taking place.
But World Magazine reported today that the organization's board was reversing its decision due to backlash.
Board member Stephen Hayner, president of Columbia Theological Seminary, said in an email to the magazine: 'The Board of World Vision is just concluding a meeting and will be releasing a statement shortly reversing the decision that was made. It was never the intention of the Board to undermine our firm commitment to the authority of the Scripture.'
UPDATE: The board issued this statement late Wednesday (26 March): 'The board acknowledged it made a mistake and chose to revert to our longstanding policy requiring sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfulness within the Biblical covenant of marriage between one man and one 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.'
Stearns had earlier said the Evangelical Christian humanitarian aid, development, and advocacy organization wanted to make its policy on gay married employees 'more consistent with our practice on other divisive issues.'
'It also allows us to treat all of our employees the same way: abstinence outside of marriage, and fidelity within marriage,’ he said of the original decision.
Stearns made clear that the move was not an endorsement of same-sex marriage nor was the organization reacting to any lawsuits or peer pressure.