Rev. Dwight Liles writes regarding the exclusionary statement approved by the 191st General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church:
I cannot be silent about this, at whatever risk. I cannot be silent. The Confession of Faith of my denomination, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, states in article 6.31 the following:
“The covenant community affirms the lordship of Christ who sought out the poor, the oppressed, the sick, and the helpless. In her corporate life and through her individual members, the church is an advocate for all victims of violence and all those whom the law or society treats as less than persons for whom Christ died. Such advocacy involves not only opposition to all unjust laws and forms of injustice but even more support for those attitudes and actions which embody the way of Christ, which is to overcome evil with good.”
This week, the General Assembly of my denomination, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, adopted a statement towards the LGBTQ+ community within our denomination that stands in direct contradiction to the above paragraph of our Confession of Faith. I must stand in dissent and protest. I’ve seen too many of my LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters disowned by their families, turned out of their churches, insulted, oppressed, and driven to depression, despair, and suicide, to remain silent. I am an ally of the LBGTQ+ community, and I will be so even if it costs me my ordination, and if because of that stand I am never invited to stand behind a pulpit again. I cannot be silent.
The action taken this week by the 2022 General Assembly of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church against the LGBTQ+ community within our denomination does not represent me, and I do not approve.