The Common Good

Evangelical Giant Changes Policy On Same-Sex Employees, Exposes Hypocrisy

Date: March 25, 2014

A Twitter dust-up was stirred yesterday when the board of the American arm of the Christian humanitarian relief organization World Vision announced that it had changed its standards of conduct to “allow a Christian in a legal same-sex marriage to be employed at World Vision.” The letter explained that the change in the employee conduct policy reflects the reality of its engagement with Christian denominations which “in recent years have sanctioned same-sex marriage for Christians.”…

Evangelical leaders like Jim Wallis have long attempted to construct a “body of Christ” in service to others that would ignore controversial theological issues, which in practice means that progressives set their concerns about gender equality, marriage equality, and reproductive justice aside in the name of serving the poor, healing the sick, and so on. World Vision is now, in effect, asking conservatives to return the self-censoring favor. Mohler makes clear what most progressives have known all along: religious conservatives just can’t.

In this light, Mohler is probably right to suggest that there’s something disingenuous in Stearns’s claim that the policy does not signal a move away from traditional Christianity—at least as Mohler and other conservative Christians understand it. The World Vision announcement does, however, show that “traditional Christianity” is continuing to do what traditions will: it’s changing.