Vowing To Be More Civil, But Only With Those With Whom You Agree

A few weeks ago, we noted that Sojourners had release something called “A Covenant For Civility: Come Let Us Reason Together,” which was aimed at creating a more civil discourse on controversial issues of the day among “Christian pastors and leaders with diverse theological and political beliefs.”

In addition to a handful of Religious Right leaders like Harry Jackson, Samuel Rodriguez, Robert George, and Chuck Colson, Dr. George O. Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, also signed on … who is now demanding to have his name removed from the list because of theological differences with some of the other signatories: 

“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,” Wood told freelance writer and conservative Christian blogger John Lanagan.

Some of the other signatories that have raised a red flag for conservative Christians include Brian McLaren, author of A New Kind of Christianity; Lillian Daniel, senior minister of a First Congregational Church which is pro-gay; and Dr. Ken Brooker Langston, director of Disciples Justice Action Network which is pro-choice.

“The problem is the tent that has grown so large on the signatures of this that are including people who are supportive of gay marriage and abortion rights,” Juleen Turnage, spokeswoman for the Assemblies of God told Religion News Service.

“He (Wood) just felt that he could not become a part of a large tent.”

The entire point of the covenant was to bring together Christians leaders of “diverse theological and political beliefs” who would pledge to “contribute to a more civil national discourse.” 

And Wood was on board, at least until he learned that “leaders with diverse theological and political beliefs” meant that not every person who signed would share his theological or political views, at which point he backed out.