Statement of Assemblies of God General Superintendent George O. Wood Regarding World Vision Decision to Reverse Same-Sex Marriage Policy March 26, 2014
On behalf of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, I am writing to express appreciation for the prompt decision of the World Vision U.S. board to reaffirm its commitment to a biblical understanding of marriage as the lifelong covenant between a man and a woman, and to reverse the policy change, announced Monday, that would have allowed World Vision employees in the U.S. to enter same-sex marriages.
Scripture teaches us that when fellow Christians have repented, their brothers and sisters should “forgive and comfort” so that they will not be “overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.” Moreover, it teaches us to “reaffirm your love” for them (2 Corinthians 2:7–8). The World Vision U.S. board has done this promptly and openly, so we ought to reaffirm our love and support for them promptly and openly too.
I therefore encourage Assemblies of God churches and individuals to continue supporting World Vision with prayers and finances, along with other Pentecostal and evangelical charities that have similar humanitarian missions. I especially encourage Pentecostals and evangelicals who hastily canceled their sponsorship of children in World Vision programs to immediately reinstate that support in order to ensure continuity of care for the poor children whom Christ loves.
Unfortunately, some voices in the media have portrayed the Assemblies of God’s concern about same-sex marriage as a lack of concern for the poor. This is not true. The Assemblies of God is deeply concerned for the poor. Partnering with national Assemblies of God churches, our missionaries worldwide are engaged in helping orphans, widows, and the victims of human trafficking. They dig wells for those without access to adequate water and provide mosquito nets to those in danger of malaria. They provide food and education for children in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Moreover, we partner with and are grateful for organizations that reach out to alleviate suffering and meet human need.
We are deeply concerned with human rights. But we are also deeply concerned with the human right to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the love, grace, and life-transforming power of God to everyone who believes. It is this gospel that motivates everything we do.
The controversy with World Vision has been resolved. Let us, therefore, move forward together in service to the last, the lost, and the least who are loved by Jesus Christ!
George O. Wood
General Superintendent, Assemblies of God Chairman, Assemblies of God World Fellowship