Wednesday, April 1, 2015
One of the world's most influential black-led church coalitions has broken with the US Presbyterian Church over its endorsement of gay marriage
The National Black Church Initiative, a coalition of 34,000 African-American and Latino churches representing nearly 16 million Americans, and which work to eradicate racial disparities in healthcare, technology, education, housing and the environment said that it had split with the Presbyterians because of their "arbitrary change of Holy Scripture." The Presbyterian Church recently decided to redefine marriage as a "commitment between two people" to take into account same-sex marriage. Anthony Evans, president of the National Black Church Initiative, called on the Presbyterians to "repent and be restored to fellowship." He said that the change in doctrine was a "sin" and represented a break with 2,000 years of tradition. "No church has the right to change the word of God. By voting to redefine marriage PCUSA automatically forfeits Christ's saving grace," Evans wrote. Bishop Janice Hollis, presiding prelate of the Covenant International Fellowship, said that she agreed with Evans. Too many members of the clergy were "preoccupied" with secular values, she said. "God has the final say, but we all have to say something about what we believe and not live in hiding. We must share our faith and when we don't, we lose ground to our spiritual enemy that comes to devour and destroy." Conservative Christians in America's African-American community are among the critics of US President Barack Obama's liberal attitudes on issues such as same-sex marriage.