A coalition of conservative African American churches from 15 denominations claiming congregants numbering almost 16 million have declared they are no longer in Christian fellowship with Presbyterians over that church’s acceptance of same-sex marriage – and they ‘urge the entire [of] Christendom to do so as well.’
The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) claims to represent 34,000 African American churches and say that Presbyterians have deviated so far from traditional Christianity by allowing church marriages for gays and lesbians that they can ‘no longer call themselves a Christian entity in the body of Christ.’
‘It has forsaken it’s right by this single wrong act,’ NBCI president Rev. Anthony Evans said in a statement released Monday.
‘[Presbyterians’] manipulation represents a universal sin against the entire church and its members. With this action, [Presbyterians] can no longer base its teachings on 2,000 years of Christian scripture and tradition.’
The National Black Church Initiative called on Presbyterians to repent from their acceptance of same-sex couples as spiritually acceptable for marriage within the church.
However the Presbyterians’ new policy only allows those pastors who wish to perform same-sex marriages to do so and dissenting Presbyterian pastors do not have to preside over same-sex weddings against their will.
The Presbyterians may be the largest church in the United States to accept same-sex couples as acceptable for marriage but they are by no means the first.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America began officially allowing blessings of same-sex couples in August of 2009 as have the Quakers, Unitarians and Metropolitan Community churches and a number of other smaller churches for many years.