In late March, the Covenant for Civility was made public with great fanfare. Spearheaded by progressive Jim Wallis, the document featured the signatures of 114 leading members of the religious community.
According to CNN, those who signed are “from a broad swath of Christian Traditions, including the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, the head of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, a major Pentecostal organization.”
The covenant calls for an end to bitter debate and rancor, and urges kindness and respect when dealing with one another.
However, the covenant now has a prominent defector, with others certain to follow. Dr. George O. Wood, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, has asked that his signature be removed from the agreement.
In his email to me, Superintendent Wood has stated, “I have put in a request to NAE (National Association of Evangelicals) for my name to be withdrawn as a signatory.They are working on it and will let me know if it can happen and how. Like you, I do not want my name or the Assemblies of God to be associated with persons who claim to be in the Body of Christ yet reject the moral teachings of Scripture.” (Bold mine)
Although the covenant addresses the “unity we have in the Body of Christ,” many of the signatories oppose the Biblical Christ. The best known of these is probably Brian McLaren.
Included among the signatories are representatives of pro-gay churches, and even an individual who has served on the Board of Directors for a pro-choice religious organization.
According to Dr. Wood, “The statement on civility was distributed at a board meeting of the National Association of Evangelicals that I hosted at our Assemblies of God headquarters in Springfield, Mo. There were approximately 65 or 70 at the meeting. I was not aware of other signatories that must have been added later. I understood the document to be one committed to by fellow evangelicals.”
Dr. Wood’s action is to be commended, particularly in light of the publicity this document has received from the secular press. It is good to see the leader of a Christian denomination do what is right, rather than what is expedient. http://www.mywordlikefire.wordpress.com