More than 34,000 black churches from 15 denominations, representing 15.7 million African Americans, have pulled away from the Presbyterian Church (USA) because of its newly declared endorsement and acceptance of same-sex "marriage" through a recent vote.
Spearheaded by the faith-based National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) — comprising the 34,000 congregations — the separation was announced to rally behind the Word of God and acknowledge that the PC(USA) is now preaching another gospel apart from the Gospel of Christ.
After the Presbyterian General Assembly — the main legislative body of the PC(USA) — voted last summer to amend its constitution on marriage, the NBCI resolved to break from the denomination for succumbing to cultural pressures rather than adhering to biblical teachings.
NBCI president Rev. Anthony Evans calls out the Presbyterian Church (USA) for its "flagrantly pretentious and illegitimate maneuver by a body that has no authority whatsoever to alter holy text.
"NBCI and its membership base are simply standing on the Word of God within the mind of Christ," Evans declared. "We urge our brothers and sisters of the PC(USA) to repent and be restored to fellowship."
Accountable to God and the Church … not society at large
NBCI isn't considering looking past the PC(USA)'s decision to forsake the Scriptures, calling its decision a grave offense to both God and the Church.
"PC(USA)'s manipulation represents a universal sin against the entire church and its members," NBCI stated in its press release Monday. "With this action, PC(USA) can no longer base its teachings on 2,000 years of Christian [S]cripture and tradition, and call itself a Christian entity in the [B]ody of Christ. It has forsaken its right by this single wrong act."
NBCI fights the PC(USA)'s rebellion with Scripture, using the Apostle Paul's words of warning to the Galatians:
"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel — which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!" - Galatians 1:6-9 (NIV)
Sticking to Scripture, NBCI argues that man cannot presume to have the authority to deviate from God's teachings in the Bible, no matter how he tries to rationalize it with the current conventions of society.
"No church has the right to change the Word of God," NBCI contends. "By voting to redefine marriage PC(USA) automatically forfeits Christ's saving grace."
Hardened hearts or repentant spirit?
Members of the initiative acknowledge that God forgives those who fall short of obeying his Word — if they come to him with a repentant heart.
"There is always redemption in the body of Christ through confession of faith and adhering to Holy Scripture," NBCI expressed in its public statement.
However, NBCI leaders attest — with the backing of their 15.7 million members — that what the Presbyterian denomination did regarding same-sex marriage was willful and unrepentant disobedience to God's Word — an act that was not only pre-mediated, but celebrated by PC(USA)'s leaders and members alike.
"In this case, PC(USA) deliberately voted to change the Word of God and the interpretation of holy marriage between one man and one woman," agreed the leaders of NBCI. "This is why we must break fellowship with them and urge the entire Christendom to do so as well."