Reformed Church in America officially splits over LGBTQ issues

by Seth Udinski
Reformed Church in America (RCA) officially splits over LGBTQ issues

Seth Udinski, FISM News


In October, FISM News reported on the impending split facing the Reformed Church in America (RCA), the oldest active Protestant denomination in the United States. On New Years Day, the 400-year-old denomination officially fractured.

Forty-two conservative congregations left the RCA to begin a new denomination called the Alliance of Reformed Churches (ARC) due to deep ideological differences. This denomination will hold similar tenants to the RCA, including historic reformed theology, but it will deny homosexual marriage and prevent homosexuals from holding the office of pastor or elder. Some reports say that over 100 other congregations from various denominations are expressing interest in joining the ARC.

Steve Rodriguez, a New York-based former RCA member, said:

Realistically, it’s a large group of conservative churches that are also providing a lot of income to the denomination. I really think the mass exodus of all these conservative churches is going to throw the RCA into a really difficult financial situation. I doubt the RCA will be financially sustainable for much longer.

According to reports, the RCA had been moving in the direction of pro-LGBTQ theology and practice for several decades. It appears the congregations that left to form the ARC did so based on a firm commitment to biblical fidelity.

John Barr, a leader in the ARC, summarized the intent of these congregants in their intent. It was not meant to be divisive, but rather meant to be biblically faithful according to Barr:

As the RCA was attempting to define and clarify marriage and efforts had been happening over the decades in that regard, there continued to be this tension within the RCA of whether or not the Bible was the full authority of God’s Word. We started feeling at Fellowship we no longer belonged within the RCA.