The dust hasn't settled on World Vision's recent controversial policy change that it then quickly reversed, as observers are calling for changes.
World Vision, headed by Richard Stearns, announced on Monday (March 24) what it described as a "very narrow policy change" allowing it to employ "gay Christians" who were married in states where it's legal. Reaction was swift as Christian groups bombarded the WV board with objections, stating the humanitarian aid group had deeply damaged its credibility. Within two days, following an emergency meeting, the World Vision board reversed the policy, labeling it a "mistake."
Dr. Don Boys of CSTNews.com, a preacher and educator, has written that he expects "corporate heads will roll within a few days" at World Vision.
"I think that Stearns should go; I think he will go," he says. "But I think all the members who voted for that position [on hiring homosexuals] should be removed from their positions – because it's not just a mistake or a misspeaking; they planned this." Several Christian leaders and groups took that same position last week.
And while Boys strongly supports forgiveness, he has doubts in this situation that World Vision should be trusted.
"Obviously they can't be trusted. Okay, we'll forgive them. But if a child molester trusts Christ as Savior and his life is transformed – of course we forgive them," he explains. "But we don't put them in charge of a [children's] Sunday school class. You just don't do that. You've got to be realistic."
Boys said he actually stopped trusting World Vision 15 to 20 years ago when the organization stopped evangelizing. He says after it started in 1950 with a focus on spreading the gospel, World Vision "drifted away from evangelism to international welfare to qualify for federal funds."
According to Boys' column last week, 18 to 33 percent of the one-billion dollars World Vision raised last year was from the U.S. government.
An absence of accountability
Dr. Boys isn't the only Christian leader calling for World Vision board members to step down.
"Mr. Stearns and those who voted for this need to resign and do so quickly for the sake of the cause – because this cause is important," says Jim Garlow, lead pastor of San Diego's Skyline Church. "We accept their forgiveness, but the evidence of that is that they'll step aside for the sake of the cause and not cause contraction of the organization."
While forgiveness is a key to a Christian's faith, Garlow contends Stearns and the board members who voted for it have lost the trust of Christians and many Christian leaders.
"Well, bottom line is there's absence of accountability for those who, after supposedly seven years of extensive prayer, were told to violate the Word of God," the pastor concludes. "And so the only way the organization can regain trust – and regain it quickly – is for those people to, in a magnanimous way, quietly step aside [and] acknowledge their failure" and go through a restoration process.
Otherwise, says Garlow, World Vision's credibility as a Christian organization is at stake.
Pastor Garlow made his comments Monday on American Family Radio.
Comments by Jim Garlow were added several hours after this story was first posted.