Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

Posts for March, 2014

World Vision Reverses Its Decision on Married Gay Employees

Jim Burroway

March 26th, 2014

World Vision, the Christian charitable organization which earlier this week announced that they would employ persons in same-sex marriages according to the same fidelity expecations for those in opposite-sex marriages, have now reversed their decision following a backlash from contributors and supporters. In a letter sent to supporters this afternoon, World Vision says that they “made a mistake” and “humbly ask for your forgiveness.” The full letter to supporters follows:

Dear Friends,

today, the World Vision U.S. board publicly reversed its recent decision to change our national employment conduct policy. The board acknowledged they made a mistake and chose to revert to our longstanding conduct policy requiring sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfullness within the Biblical covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.

We are writing to you our trusted partners and Christian leaders who have come to us in the spirit of Matthew 18 to express your concern in love and conviction. You share our desire to come together in the Body of Christ around our mission to serve the poorest of the poor. We have listened to you and want to say thank you and to humbly ask for your forgiveness.

In our board’s effort to unite around the church’s shared mission to serve the poor in the name of Christ, we failed to be consistent with World Vision’s 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. 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.

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. We ask that you understand that thi was never the board’s intent. We are asking for your continued support. We commit to you that we will continue to listen to the wise counsel of Christian brothers and sisters, and we will reach out to key partners in the weeks ahead.

While World Vision U.S. stands firmly on the biblical view of marriage, we strongly affirm that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, are created by God and are to be loved and treated with dignity and respect.

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 us in our mission to be “an international partnership of Christians whose mission is to follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in workig 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

Oh the apostasy, the apostasy!!

Timothy Kincaid

March 25th, 2014

Long time Box Turtle Bulletin readers will recognize Michael Brown.

Brown is the pastor in Charlotte, NC, who for years led a red-shirted mob to protest and harass witness to attendees at the local gay pride. He used the opportunity of the massacre at a gay youth center in Tel Aviv to complain the Proposition 8 supporters had received “death threats”. He railed against programs designed to reduce anti-gay bullying. And then I stopped paying attention.

Brown is pretty much the educated man’s Linda Harvey. Every bit as mean, but with a better vocabulary.

So Brown is a perfect candidate for the Christian Post to have respond to the article in Christianity Today about the change in policy at World Vision. A fixture in the brand of Christianity that believes that Jesus came primarily so that the Old Testament’s purity codes could be expanded to Gentiles (he’d never put it this way, of course), it was a sure thing that Brown would denounce World Vision in certain and absolute (if somewhat comical) terms.

He didn’t disappoint.

The Apostasy of World Vision Embracing Gay Marriage

World Vision has decided to embrace homosexual “marriage” among its employees and to recognize practicing homosexual employees who profess faith in Jesus as true Christians.

This is a betrayal of the gospel, a betrayal of the Lord, a betrayal of the family, and a betrayal of the countless thousands of Christians who have put their trust in World Vision as a legitimate Christian organization.

Because surely professing faith in Jesus is not a measure of “true Christianity”. True Heaven forbid!!

It reminds me of the time that I read the definition of True Christians that True Jesus established:

John 13: 34-35 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love reject one another, even as I have loved ranted at you, that you also love condemn one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love restrictions, litmus tests, and accusations of apostacy for one another.” [True Christian Version]

World Vision unifies marriage requirements

Timothy Kincaid

March 24th, 2014


World Vision is one of the largest charities in the world, pulling in between 1.5 and 2 billion dollars each year. They are also highly rated, with good transparency and spending about 85 cents of each dollar on program services.

Focused on fighting poverty, hunger and injustice, they provide services to about 100 million people in 100 countries basing their charity on need, not on religious belief or political ideology. Although they are one of the largest AIDS services providers in the world, they also focus strongly on community development and sustainable futures.

World Vision is decided an Evangelical Christian organization. And, as such, they have strict rules about hiring, requiring employees to be Christian and to adhere to sexual ethics which includes “abstinence outside of marriage, and fidelity within marriage”.

Now World Vision has decided to, well, NOT change the terms of those requirements. They have, however, decided that gay Christians who seek employment with them must follow the same rules as heterosexuals. (Christianity Today)

“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,” he said. “It also allows us to treat all of our employees the same way: abstinence outside of marriage, and fidelity within marriage.”

This was a decision based on the reality that Christendom is no longer unified on the place of gay people in society or the church. With many Episcopalians and Lutherans and Congregationalists now finding grace in same-sex marriages, World Vision decided that it was not its job to hold to some purity test for just who could be the hands of Christ to a sick child or impoverished family.

Stearns took pains to emphasize what World Vision is not communicating by the policy change.

“It’s easy to read a lot more into this decision than is really there,” he said. “This is not an endorsement of same-sex marriage. We have decided we are not going to get into that debate. Nor is this a rejection of traditional marriage, which we affirm and support.”

“We’re not caving to some kind of pressure. We’re not on some slippery slope. There is no lawsuit threatening us. There is no employee group lobbying us,” said Stearns. “This is not us compromising. It is us deferring to the authority of churches and denominations on theological issues. We’re an operational arm of the global church, we’re not a theological arm of the church.

“Denominations disagree on many, many things: on divorce and remarriage, modes of baptism, women in leadership roles in the church, beliefs on evolution, etc.,” he said. “So our practice has always been to defer to the authority and autonomy of local churches and denominational bodies on matters of doctrine that go beyond the Apostles’ Creed and our statement of faith. We unite around our [Trinitarian beliefs], and we have always deferred to the local church on these other matters.”

The organization leaves a great deal of autonomy to local affiliates in hiring decisions, so this policy will not necessarily have global impact. For example, although World Vision opposed the anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda, there is a recognition that the Christian community in Uganda is homophobic so there is little expectation that local managers will hire someone in a same-sex marriage.

Nevertheless, this is a hugely important shift.

Until just a few years ago, marriage was a shared position of much of Christian faith and those who supported inclusion were an anomaly. Now it appears that one’s take on recognition of same sex marriage is becoming – at least to this important organization – a issue of denominational theological variance, an interesting and respected matter of opinion but not essential to Christian faith.

[The article is incorrect on one item: the Presbyterian Church (USA) does not allow its ministers to conduct same-sex marriages. It is likely that this policy change will occur at the next convention (it narrowly lost in 2012), but at present the Presbyterian Church (USA) is not a marriage equality denomination.]