PCA, the conservative branch of the mainline denomination, has voted to cut ties with NAE because of the group’s political activity, according to the resolution passed by its General Assembly.
Jeff Walton of the Institute on Religion and Democracy tells AFN the NAE has embraced one side in hot-button political issues, such as environmental regulations and advocating for immigration. Those political positions from a religious group grew tiring for the PCA, he says.
The resolution quoted from one of the church's confessions that PCA churches "are not to intermeddle with civil affairs which concern the commonwealth."
“And there was a specific argument made that the Heidelberg Catechism articulated the role of the church in a way that confined it to, basically, church-focused things,” he explains. “And the NAE was going beyond that.”
What is not clear is if the PCA has a problem with all political activity, or just the issues mentioned in the resolution, considering the NAE has lost support from many evangelical churches and organizations because of its liberal stances on a number of issues.
Neither the PCA nor the NAE responded to several requests for comment.
Either way, Walton says the Presbyterian Church USA had had enough.
“They argued, essentially,” he says, “that the NAE as an ecumenical body was exceeding the scope of its authority.”