Archives for January 2011

Court Upholds World Vision’s Right to Hire People of the Same Faith

The Bible ask believers an important question as found in Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” That answer is no, although the world rarely understands what this verse means. Christians, of course, labor in the harvest field, but when it comes to bringing a unified message of Good News to a dying world, only those who share the same vision can work together.

World Vision has sought to present a consistent message even as it’s ministry and influence expand. In 2007, the Christian relief, development and advocacy organization terminated three employees who said they no longer agreed with the organization’s U.S. statement of faith.

Christian Faith

The organization notes that our “Christian faith has been the foundation of our work since the organization was established in 1950, and our hiring policy is vital to the integrity of our mission to serve the poor as followers of Jesus Christ.”[1] Anything else or less than that diminishes the message, something World Vision leadership is well aware of.

The three terminated employees filed a lawsuit against World Vision in 2007, even though they “…denied the deity of Jesus Christ and disavowed the doctrine of the Trinity,” according to Christian Today.[2] That’s critical, because followers of Jesus know that He is God and salvation comes through and by Him alone.

Upheld Decision

This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, upheld World Vision’s right to hire people of the same faith. That court affirmed a 2-1 decision made by the US District Court for the Western District of Washington in August 2010, a decision appealed by the terminated employees.

Some may call World Vision’s hiring practices discriminatory, but they are protected by law. The 1964 Civil Rights Act gives religious organizations an exception when it comes to hiring, allowing them to choose people who share the same faith.[3] That right is extended to other religious groups too including Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and so on.

What’s Next

Will the terminated employees appeal to a higher court, perhaps the Supreme Court of the United States? They have the legal right to do so, but only if the court decides to hear the case. Christians should not be surprised when those among us may not agree, but co-laboring in Christ means that we’re equally yoked in all matters of faith.


[1] World Vision: Our Mission

[2] Christian Today: US Court Says World Vision Can Hire on Basis of Faith

[3] U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: Civil Rights Act of 1964: Exemption (Sec. 702)

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