If you have been watching the news or keeping up with the World Vision saga this week, you are probably as sick of hearing about it as me. But I am particularly intrigued by the recent accusations made against the organization using the term, “discriminatory”.
Is World Vision’s code of conduct discriminatory?
World Vision is a Christian organization. That is their primary identity. In 2007 a few employees decided that they no longer believed in the Christian faith and their employment was terminated on that ground. For four years the former employees sued and fought World Vision pushing their case before the Supreme Court who ultimately refused to hear it. Why? Because World Vision is a Christian organization. All employees sign a statement of faith, affirm their belief in Jesus Christ for salvation and agree to a code of conduct.
They agree to a code of conduct.
Within this code is the submission to Biblical authority, expectation of church involvement, and a lifestyle free from outward, intentional sin. Yes, all World Vision employees sin. But if World Vision employees willfully engage in a lifestyle that is not consistent with the teachings of Jesus, they can be and are terminated. Fired. And they agree to it up front. All employees sign off on the code of conduct which states that if they have an affair they will be fired. If they have sex with their boyfriend/girlfriend they will be fired. These sins are not normally associated with a career or the workplace unless, of course, you have sex on the conference room table. Then you might get fired in the non-religious corporate world. World Vision employees participate in devotions, prayer and Bible study. In the workplace.
The U. S. District Court, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court all declared that World Vision was legally free and able to hire and fire based on one’s personal belief system because they are a Christian organization.
To be a Christian is a job requirement.
To be a Christian who submits to the authority of Scripture and lives to the best of his ability to abstain from sin is a job requirement.
Wikipedia defines discrimination as “the prejudicial treatment of an individual based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or category, ‘in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated'”. So. Is World Vision treating homosexuals with a discriminatory attitude?
The answer is quite simply no.
There are homosexuals who work for World Vision. They are submitting to the authority of Scripture and are living an abstinent lifestyle, just like the non-marrried heterosexual employees. And the married employees are practicing marriage as defined by God in Scripture as the union of one man and one woman, and are faithful to their spouse.
World Vision has not said that those who have homosexual tendencies and struggles may not work for them. They have said that those who do not repent of their sin may not work for them.
Have I mentioned before that getting drunk is grounds for dismissal from the company?
If World Vision could be accused of discrimination, it would be on the grounds of adhering to the Bible and only hiring Christians. Would a Christian be surprised if they were not hired by a Muslim company? Or a Hindu by a Buddhist company? Not all companies are created the same, some unite for other reasons that capital gain. Some unite for faith. And World Vision will employ people who struggle with any temptation, as long as they submit to God and His word. And, of course, are qualified to work the job for which they applied.
Let’s not overly accuse a company for standing on its self-declared purpose and mission statement that has been established since the beginning.