A spokesman for an evangelical renewal organization in the United Church of Christ says the latest vote by church representatives at a recent Atlanta meeting is an important and shameful benchmark for the denomination.
During that gathering, UCC General Synod delegates voted to support a same-sex "marriage" resolution and reject a resolution that favored traditional marriage between one man and one woman.
However, executive director David Runnion-Bareford of Biblical Witness Fellowship notes that the General Synod voted to affirm resolutions regarding the lordship of Christ, the centrality of the cross, and other mainstream evangelical doctrines. That leads him to conclude that the UCC is trying to fool people into thinking there is a legitimate Christian blessing on their liberal, pro-homosexual stances.
Runnion-Bareford contends that, compared to all the other Protestant denominations, the UCC stands alone in authorizing all the homosexual alternative lifestyles in a general resolution from its rule-making body and calling them compatible with Christianity. "This is not just simply a very liberal kind of denomination that just doesn't get it about God," he says. "They really are attempting to create a counterfeit that is saleable."
A further indication of this, the Biblical Witness Fellowship spokesman notes, is the fact that there was media coverage and commentary from around the world, including reports from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and National Public Radio on the UCC General Synod's decision to endorse same-sex marriage.
He even sees something suspect in the timing of an appearance by leading Senate Judiciary Committee Democrat Charles Schumer on ABC's "This Week," where the senator suggested he would make homosexual marriage an issue in the next Supreme Court justice confirmation battle.
Runnion-Bareford believes the UCC intended for its pro-homosexual agenda to get the media attention and discussion it is receiving and took carefully orchestrated steps to see that this would happen. "It's interesting to see the BBC run this as a front item as soon as that vote was taken," he says, "and for Senator Schumer to come out for gay marriage, almost as soon as that vote was taken, in a very strong way."
What is "afoot here" with the United Church of Christ, the church renewal advocate contends, is "an attempt to gain Christian sanction for the ideology that has moved forward in an attempt to let gays gain legal sanctions in the state of Massachusetts."
Runnion-Bareford says now that it is clear the UCC leadership wants to help that agenda along, many local churches in the denomination will be forced to take a stance on their doctrine as it relates to the issues of homosexuality and marriage.
Biblical Witness Fellowship (www.biblicalwitness.org)
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