On Monday, Christian parachurch organization World Vision announced an HR policy change that now allowed for the hiring of professing born-again employees who were in same-sex marriages that were legal in their states (World Vision is located in Washington state, where same-sex marriages are legal).
33 minutes ago, they announced that after reconsideration (and a storm of controversy, donor backlash, and pulled funding) that they would be reversing their decision.
Now, there is much to wade through in terms of theology, ecclesiology, essentials and non-essentials, when to appeal to the local church, etc… but allow me to sum up this reversal decision in one graphic:
Theology, agendas, leadership, and American values aside, this was ultimately going to boil down to funding. Without funding, World Vision’s organization and mission closes up shop tomorrow. This is one of the realities of the marketplace in America — and why we don’t need legislation protecting pro-gay folks from discrimination in the marketplace. If people vote with their money, then there is already a penalty within the marketplace for standing one’s ground — As World Vision just found out.
I heard Al Mohler say recently that one of his primary strategies for Southern Baptist Theological Seminary was to connect the “funders” to the “future.” SBTS has no shortage of vibrant scholastic activity and is churning out pastors, missionaries, and professors at an amazing rate. Some seminaries are drying up and dying. Why? They are not connecting their funders to their future, for various reasons.
If World Vision wants to continue (and, it may be too late), they are going to have to connect their historical funders (many of whom look like my grandma, vote like my grandma, read the Bible like my grandma, and believe in the value of marriage like my grandma) with their future. Their future may be more in favor of gay marriage, but their funders are certainly not — as today’s reversal reveals.
My prayer for World Vision is much like Trevin Wax’s prayer — that the children would be spared. I pray that the grandma’s with the money have not pulled all funding from World Vision and given it instead to Compassion International — a ministry that has not ever made a decision to affirm gay marriage as a theological point of emphasis.