World Vision’s Open Letter Reversing Their Decision to Hire Same-Sex Couples: With My Translation


Hi all,

If you are like me you may have been confused by World Vision’s declaration that it would begin allowing legally married same-sex individuals to be employed by the Christian relief agency only to have that decision suddenly reversed 48 hours later.

Originally Richard Stearns, President of World Vision, had stated the reason for the change:

 World Vision hopes to dodge the division currently “tearing churches apart” over same-sex relationships by solidifying its long-held philosophy as a parachurch organization: to defer to churches and denominations on theological issues, so that it can focus on uniting Christians around serving the poor.

Mr. Stearns statement, however much it was birthed in the Kingdom of God, did not go over well in Evangelical America.  A deluge of protest engulfed World Vision with calls for funding to be withdrawn from some of the biggest names in Christendom.

Two days later World Vision realized the Kingdom of Heaven may be the goal but Evangelical America presently foots their bills.  In an open letter Richard Stearns “reversed” their decision and acknowledged their “mistake”.

Below is a copy of Mr. Stearns letter but because many of you may be unfamiliar with vague code words of Evangelical diplomacy I have provided my version of a translation for your benefit (enjoyment)


Dear Friends,

Today, the World Vision U.S. board publicly reversed (capitulated) its recent decision to change our national employment conduct policy. The board acknowledged they made a mistake (in trying to act like Jesus) and chose to revert to our longstanding conduct policy (pre-conditions for serving the poor and needy) requiring sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfulness within the Biblical covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.

We are writing to you our trusted partners and Christian leaders (Pharisees and Hypocrites) who have come to us in the spirit of Matthew 18 (anti-Christ) to express your concern in love and conviction. (through coercion and intimidation)  You (don’t) share our desire to come together in the Body of Christ around our mission to serve the poorest of the poor. We have listened (heard your threats) to you and want to say thank you (cry “Uncle”) and to humbly ask (beg) for your forgiveness (our funding back).

In our board’s effort to unite around the church’s shared mission to serve the poor in the name of Christ, we failed (succeeded) to be consistent with World Vision U.S.’s commitment to the traditional understanding of Biblical marriage and our own Statement of Faith, which says, “We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.” And we also failed to seek enough counsel from our own Christian partners (evangelical Right Wing). As a result, we made a change to our conduct policy that was not consistent with our Statement of Faith and our commitment to the sanctity of marriage. (as I’m certain none of our more than 1,100 U.S. employees are divorced)

We are brokenhearted over ( the loss of our funding)  and the pain and confusion we have caused many of our friends (the folks who wrote nasty e-mails to us), who saw this decision as a reversal of our strong commitment to Biblical authority (sign that World Vision was going to hire Caligula). We ask that you understand that this was never the board’s intent. We are asking for your continued support (funding). We commit to you that we will continue to listen to the wise counsel of Christian brothers and sisters (promise to do what we are told), and we will reach out to key partners (stumbling blocks to Christian Ministry) in the weeks ahead (starting with a Kowtow to Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council).

While World Vision U.S. stands firmly on the biblical view of marriage, we strongly affirm that all people, regardless of their  (except those with a different) sexual orientation, are created by God and are to be loved and treated with dignity and respect. (But maybe not today) 

Please know that World Vision continues to serve all people in our ministry around the world. We pray that you will continue to join with  (fund) us in our mission to be “an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to (get all of you Evangelical leaders who threatened us to) follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in working with the poor and oppressed to promote human transformation, seek justice, and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God

Sincerely in Christ,
Richard Stearns, President                     
Jim Beré, Chairman of the World Vision U.S. Board


  • This whole thing was so sad from every angle. Everyone loses, especially the children being served by World Vision. Clearly, World Vision’s real vision is limited to whatever those who contribute the most $$$ dictate.

  • Mick

    I applaud World Vision for the reversal of their decision and a recognition that Biblical benevolence and Biblical conviction are friends, not enemies. Marriage is defined as a covenant between a man and a woman and has stood as a building block for human societies throughout history. Marriage between a man and a woman is the only God-ordained means provided for the healthy expression of human sexuality. Any other attempts to mimic Biblical marriage fall short of God’s intended design and purpose.

  • Tim

    Sad in that most Christian ministries and churches are ruled by $$$$. And in this case the Evangelical right has flexed their theological muscles to make World Vision conform. So, it’s “stand with us theologically or we’ll crush you financially.”

  • Bob

    We part company here, Steve. I agree with Mick. World Vision, as a religious non-profit, has the right to make policy according to the foundational beliefs espoused by the organization. While I tire of stereotypical buzzwords and lingo used by some in Christian circles, I become equally exasperated with those so quick to place labels on those who take a position contrary to theirs. The World Vision board realized they made a mistake and they were big enough to admit it. I serve on a non-profit board and I know the agony of making these decisions. It’s easy to be a judge from the outside looking in. I long for the day when we stop name-calling and move toward understanding. Don’t think that happens this side of heaven.

    • Tim

      So then as a Christian it’s more important to “Think right” then to “act right”? “I’ll show them…I won’t give them financial support because we differ on the definition of marriage” The end result? Hungry kids won’t be fed. How would Jesus view this?

    • Steve

      Bob, I agree. If WV wanted to have that position they should have kept it. My issue is when they obviously made a decision as a group and then reversed it within 48 hours when 2000 child supporters pulled their funding. They (WV) make a conscious choice to “rise above” and the full weight of American Christendom reacted because of it. They didn’t wait 6 months to re think the decision, they changed immediately because of money…and if I was Richard Starnes I would have done the same thing. Thats why I unplugged myself from the whole “system”…because I would have done exactly what he did…and I never want to be in that situation again! 🙂

  • Bob

    If I sponsored a child through WV I would continue to do so even if they had not reversed the policy. What I’m saying is that (a) they have the right to have the policy about marriage as they see fit and (b) none of knows what went into all of this but from my years serving on a non-profit board I empathize with how painful and agonizing it must have been. Let’s give them grace and support the great work they do.

    • Steve

      I agree Bob, I was a bit more “cheeky” in this post than usual but I was a little passionate when I saw they reversed their decision within 48 hours. I can appreciate the pressure the WV people are under…and religious pressure can be the hardest.

    • Tim

      Bob, agreed. Every entity is entitled to have their own marriage policy and I’m glad to hear you would support a WV child regardless of what their policy was/is. To Steve’s point, it’s ironic how fast that policy changed when the BIG guns came out. As with most non-profits/churches, it’s a business and $$$ is what keeps the machine going.

  • Once again religion shows its corrupt heart… using the poor and defenseless as pawns in their power struggles. I am sure there are some good and honest souls at WV, but this is the result of getting in bed with religion. The devil is going to want his due… so to speak. Evangelicals show their cards here…. wicked, wicked people.

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