Evangelicals Respond to World Vision's Reversal on Hiring Gay Married Employees

Many Evangelicals and conservative Christians are expressing support for World Vision's decision to reverse course on a policy change allowing for the hiring of gay married employees.

As the announcement of the reversal in policy change was released Wednesday, many figures commented on the new development.

Russell D. Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, expressed his approval of the reversal on Twitter.

"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 on Wednesday.

Assemblies of God General Superintendent George O. Wood released a statement via email expressing "appreciation for the prompt decision."

"I therefore encourage Assemblies of God churches and individuals to continue supporting World Vision with prayers and finances, along with other Pentecostal and Evangelical charities that have similar humanitarian missions," said Wood.

"I especially encourage Pentecostals and Evangelicals who hastily canceled their sponsorship of children in World Vision programs to immediately reinstate that support in order to ensure continuity of care for the poor children whom Christ loves."

Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, said in a statement, "World Vision's reaffirmation of orthodox faith helps to ensure it has a robust, if not easy, future ahead."

"Maybe World Vision in the future will lose corporate support. Maybe it will lose government support. All traditional Christian groups operating in the current Zeitgeist face an impending winter of secularist hostility," continued Tooley.

"But religious groups that surrender their core convictions almost always are diminished and become irrelevant."

On Monday, World Vision President Richard Stearns announced that the Christian humanitarian organization was going to allow for the hiring of Christians who are in same-sex marriages.

Stearns stated that while they were doing this to "treat all of our employees equally," World Vision would remain opposed to gay marriage.

After considerable backlash from Evangelicals and Pentecostals, World Vision announced Wednesday that they were reversing their original decision.

"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," read a letter sent out by World Vision in part.

While many Evangelical and conservative leaders rejoiced at the news, others, including liberal Christian blogger Rachel Held Evans, expressed disappointment.

"This whole situation has left me feeling frustrated, heartbroken and lost. I don't think I've ever been more angry at the Church, particularly the Evangelical culture in which I was raised and with which I for so long identified," wrote Evans.

"I confess I had not realized the true extent of the disdain and stigmatization many Evangelicals have toward LGBT people, nor had I expected World Vision to yield to that disdain and stigmatization by reversing its decision under financial pressure. Honestly, it feels like a betrayal from every side."

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