The Presbyterian Church in America is leaving the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE).
Presbyterian elders voted at their annual meeting last week to leave the NAE, which the church has been part of since it was founded in 1973.
The vote was 60 percent in favor of the split and 40 percent against.
Currently, the head of the NAE is Walter Kim, a member of the PCA and a teacher-in-residence at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Presbyterian elders voted for the split, saying the NAE’s renewed political advocacy on climate change, immigration, the death penalty and COVID-19 contributed to the denomination’s decision to leave the group. Other elders who voted to stay with the NAE said churches need to work together in today’s culture.
“Now is the wrong time to be breaking ranks with other Bible-believing churches that are standing with us on most issues and can provide resources greater than ours for addressing the sanctity of life, biblical racial reconciliation, …biblical marriage, and for providing the judicial expertise and legislative influence that is needed to preserve each,” said Pastor Ken McHeard, chairman of the PCA’s Committee of Commissioners for Interchurch Relations.
Meanwhile, PCA pastor Carl Robbins said the Presbyterian Church needed to leave the NAE and possibly join other similar groups such as the International Conference of Reformed Churches.
“Those of us who wish to depart from the NAE have no problem with fellowshipping with Christians who are not like-minded,” he said. “We all do that in our communities … What we do have a problem with is other churches speaking for us.” Robbins added that the PCA’s participation in the NAE was infringing on the “Christian liberty” of churches that didn’t agree with the NAE, which he said is “usually a source of confusion or embarrassment to most of us.”
Annual dues to the NAE were about $20,000.
Individual PCA churches can still join the NAE, according to Christianity Today.
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.