World Vision is reportedly actively courting evangelicals after reversing course on a contentious policy change announced in March that would have allowed gays and lesbians who are married and committed Christians to work for the organization’s U.S. branch.
The move sparked a nationwide debate and donors separated themselves from World Vision, leading the organization to quickly cancel the employment amendment and issue an apology.
Now, the Christian group is reportedly taking an entirely different approach, requiring board members to sign a document affirming that marriage is between one man and one woman, according to Religion News Service.
At the same time, World Vision, which had previously referred to itself as a Christian humanitarian group, appears to also be swaying in a more evangelical direction, appointing well-known evangelicals to its board, the outlet noted.
Consider that the Rev. Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals and Jerry White, formerly of Navigators, are both slated to join — well-known names in the faith community.
Adding these individuals could help repair the organization’s image in the wake of the gay marriage controversy, considering that the majority of World Vision’s individual donors are evangelicals.
The short-lived policy change that landed the group in the headlines in March would have required its more than 1,100 U.S. employees to be abstinent outside of marriage, though it broadened employment possibilities for gay Christians looking to work in the faith-based nonprofit realm.
“Changing the employee conduct policy to allow someone in a same-sex marriage who is a professed believer in Jesus Christ to work for us makes our policy more consistent with our practice on other divisive issues,” board president Rich Stearns said at the time. “It also allows us to treat all of our employees the same way: abstinence outside of marriage, and fidelity within marriage.”
But just days later, the organization issued a letter saying that its board members “made a mistake” by allowing for gays and lesbians who are married to work for World Vision.
(H/T: Religion News Service)