Seth Udinski, FISM News
In a report that parallels the impending split in the United Methodist Church over issues of same-sex marriage, it has been revealed that the oldest Protestant denomination in the United States may facing fracture over the same issue.
The Reformed Church in America (RCA), a 400-year-old denomination, is splitting due to a disagreement over the allowance of LGBTQ clergy and the affirmation of homosexual marriage, according to the results of its 214th General Synod in Tucson this past week. Some conservative congregations in the denomination have already left and many more are planning to leave over this disagreement. Some reports indicate that over 100 churches are planning to leave, and in a denomination with fewer than 1000 churches, that is a significant number.
The denomination has formulated a restructuring group known as Vision 2020 to bring the remaining congregations through the process. Vision 2020 member Brian Keepers said,
We believe that the RCA has an opportunity in this moment to act in an exemplary way by providing a generous exit path for churches who decide to leave, and also by inviting these churches to act generously themselves.
It is difficult to discern the nature the RCA’s future, but it seems possible that the denomination will follow the way of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA). The PCUSA is another denomination that affirms historical Reformed theology by name but disregards the basic biblical doctrine of marriage in practice, while also opening the role of pastor/elder to women.
In this development, it is important for Christians to remember that there are issues such as the biblical doctrine of marriage that are worth taking such drastic measure as the conservative members of the RCA have done. Some churches erroneously split over trivial things, such as worship style, but others are faced with serious issues that may call into question the very foundations of the Christian faith.
Hopefully the faithful believers in the RCA will be able to worship in a way that upholds biblical faithfulness.