Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Question to World Vision's policy change

Christianity Today reported World Vision in America has a slight change in its employment policy: They can now employ gay Christians in legal same-sex marriages.

Extracts from the interview with Wold Vision U.S. president Richard Stearns:
"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."

"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... This is simply a decision about whether or not you are eligible for employment at World Vision U.S. based on this single issue, and nothing more."

"But if we're making a statement at all, I hope it's a statement about unity...I hope it's a statement that says when Christ left, he gave us the Great Commission [to make disciples] and the Great Commandment [to love others as ourselves], and we're trying to do just that...Bridging the differences we have, and coming together in our unity."
In the same interview, Stearns also said, "Abstinence outside of marriage remains a rule."
I wonder if Stearns is saying that those who are not abstained from sexual activity outside of marriage are not eligible, yet those in legal same-sex marriage are? Does this mean that those who do not practice abstinence have no place in church unity?

The only way for them to justify such policy is to make a theological (or ethical, if you like) assumption that being in a same-sex marriage is more acceptable (which is implied in their disclaimer that this policy change is not endorsement of same-sex marriage, and they still affirm traditional marriage) than non-abstinence outside of marriage. If so, then what is the basis for this theological assumption? If there is no theological deliberation over it, then this policy change is indeed a discrimination against those who are not practicing abstinence.