The top leader of the Assemblies of God wants his name removed from a civility statement signed by religious leaders after learning that its signatories included nonevangelicals.

George O. Wood, general superintendent of the prominent Pentecostal denomination, decided earlier this month that he no longer wanted his name on the statement issued in March, his denomination's spokeswoman said.

"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," spokeswoman Juleen Turnage said in an interview Tuesday.

"He just felt that he could not become a part of a large tent."

Wood, an executive committee member of the National Association of Evangelicals, signed the document during an NAE board meeting in March that he hosted at Assemblies of God headquarters in Springfield, Mo.

The "Covenant for Civility" was signed by more than 100 Christian leaders—from Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson to United Church of Christ President and General Minister Geoffrey A. Black. It aimed to make the church an example of bridging cultural and political divides.

Turnage said Wood agreed with the focus on civility, but thought wording such as "unity we have in the body of Christ" was referring strictly to evangelical Christians.

"He says that he cannot be a part of signing a document that includes people who are taking a viewpoint in their own issues that are clearly contradictory to the moral teachings of Scripture," she said.

The National Association of Evangelicals declined to comment.

The Rev. Jim Wallis, founder of the anti-poverty group Sojourners, which released the document on March 25, said Tuesday he has yet to receive a request to remove ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

July/August
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Current IssueAre Evangelicals Donating Too Directly to Missions?
Are Evangelicals Donating Too Directly to Missions? Subscriber Access Only
When helping hurts the professional helpers.
RecommendedCover Story: Inside the Popular, Controversial Bethel Church
Cover Story: Inside the Popular, Controversial Bethel ChurchSubscriber Access Only
Some visitors claim to be healed. Others claim to receive direct words from God. Is it 'real'--or dangerous?
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickThe Church's Biggest Challenge in 2017
The Church's Biggest Challenge in 2017
Let’s get unchurched evangelicals back into church, and prejudiced evangelicals back to the Bible.
Christianity Today
Assemblies of God Leader Bows Out of Civility Statement
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

April 2010

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.