A group representing religiously conservative African-American clergy has broken away from the Presbyterian Church USA over its embrace of homosexual marriage, Breitbart
reported, citing Charisma News.
The National Black Church Initiative, which said it represented 34,000 black churches with 15.7 million African-American and Latino members, has ended its connection to the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) to protest the church's "arbitrary change of Holy Scripture," according to Breitbart.
PCUSA endorsed same-sex marriage in June. The church decided this month to constitutionally rephrase marriage to include a "commitment between two people."
The Rev. Anthony Evans, the National Black Church Initiative president, said that the traditionalists were "simply standing on the word of God within the mind of Christ" and urged PCUSA to "repent and be restored to fellowship."
Evans characterized the PCUSA shift as a "sin" and break with 2,000 years of Christian teachings. He quoted Galatians 1:8, in which Paul condemns those who would alter Christian teachings as "false apostles," "deceitful workers" and, by implication, tools of Satan.
"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, told Breitbart 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 African-American clergy have also repeatedly criticized President Barack Obama for linking gay and lesbian rights with the civil rights movement. The Rev. Bill Owens, president of the Coalition of African-American pastors, termed Obama "a disgrace to the black community" and accused him of "rewriting history," according to Breitbart.
He also denounced the LGBT community for hijacking the civil rights movement.
Owens previously called
upon Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan to disqualify themselves from taking part in any court decisions on same-sex marriage. The two justices have themselves officiated at same-sex marriages.
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