Tag Archives: NCC

Good news about the National Council of (apostate) Churches

Time for some sweet, sweet schadenfreude: By good news about the NCC I mean bad news for them: NCC Nears Financial Collapse?

The once influential National Council of Churches (NCC) may again be approaching possible financial collapse.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Presiding Bishop told the NCC’s September board meeting: “We have 18 months sustainability.” All voting NCC board members were scrambling for “immediate sustainability,” mostly behind closed doors as they discussed the NCC’s audit and budget. Further highlighting the crisis was an interruption of the meeting by placard waving union employees distressed over benefit cuts to NCC staffers.

That is great: Union employees — which the NCC no doubt supports — are interrupting them when they are trying to survive.  Maybe the NCC will realize that the unions would rather the NCC fold than cut benefits to union employees, and that the union demands are part of the reason they are failing.  No, they probably won’t get it.

. . .

NCC member denominations, many of them losing members, like the United Methodists and Presbyterian Church (USA), continue to reduce their contributions. For instance, the UMC reduced from giving $543,265 last year to offering $ 442,404 this year. Some members like the Greek Orthodox Church and historic black denominations continue to give nothing or token amounts. The Orthodox Church in America, for example, contributed a mere $1,000 to the ECF Fund. Now, private donors are reducing contributions too.

Maybe it will occur to them that if their donors are having to make big cuts that perhaps they also don’t have more money to pay in taxes.  No, they probably won’t get that, either.  They’ll keep pushing Caesar to confiscate money from neighbor A to “give” to neighbor B.

 . . . Trimming staff is proving to be one of the most painful experiences for the ecumenical movement.

Welcome to the real world, folks!  Businesses make tough decisions like that all the time.

Eventually, some important information rose to the surface as NCC President Rev. Peg Chemberlin and Women’s Ministry director Rev. Ann Tiemeyer both mentioned losing a million-dollar donor. Since last year’s budget was around $4 million, this cut is quite significant. Even the Aetna Corporation’s starter grant of $25,000 offered little encouragement.

Yes, even though the NCC is mainly politics disguised as religion so that false teachers like Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie can quote them as authorities, they get contributions from non-religious groups as well.  The NCC hides that information, of course.  That reminds me of how deceptive  Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis was in denying the large contributions to Sojourner made by atheist George Soros.  Why do these atheists care to prop up these leftist “religious” organizations?

At one point, the board broke up into small table groups to propose solutions to these besetting toils. One table, headed up by Bishop Mark Hanson and United Methodism’s Betty Gamble, even recommended the NCC take a “jubilee.” Under this plan, the NCC would withdraw from public activities and focus on fundraising. Many delegates pointed out that such a recess would negate any reasons for donors to contribute.

Please stop and  meditate on that.  These leaders, who probably have zero business experience, thought they should stop fulfilling their charter so they can spend a year asking for more money?!  Can you imagine a business doing that?  “Dear customer: I’ve run my organization into the ground, so please send me money for a year while I stop providing goods and services to you.”

Accentuating the tension was an interruption by the NCC staffers’ union, the Association of Ecumenical Employees, which marched into the board meeting waving placards. Ironically, the pro-union NCC has been trying to reduce retirees’ health benefits with its own union. It seems that contract negotiations have lasted nearly eight months, prompting distressed unionists to conduct their silent interruption, after which they quietly marched out.

I love it.

Amid the troubled finances, both Kinnamon and Hanson advocated the NCC rediscover its theological identity. As NCC President-elect Kathryn Lohre suggested, “It would be wise to see if we’re going through some kind of purification for the greater good.” But there were no talks about sin and salvation. Instead, most voices emphasized traditional NCC liberal political themes. Staffer Jordan Blevins, for instance, led a peace litany that read, “We pray our children pursue peace-vocations.” Also, a Children’s Defense Fund’s representative met agreement when she urged members to “make sure the rich and powerful contribute their fair share.”

It wouldn’t be an NCC meeting without a healthy dose of coveting and zero mention of sin and salvation!

In similar turn, female board members touted feminist activism while minority voices emphasized affirmative action.

Feminist activism = the right to destroy innocent yet unwanted human beings.  And this group claims to be Christian.

Kinnamon and Hanson want the NCC to focus on poverty issues (i.e. mostly touting government programs) for the moment. Hanson observed; “You can talk abstractly about ecumenism or you can join with those causes that are furthering the kingdom of God now” like Sojourners and the “Circle of Protection” protest against government welfare and entitlement spending limits. Kinnamon went on to say that the “Circle” is “not a matter on which we can be divided or silent.” At the conclusion of the frayed and frustrated gathering, a Quaker representative exclaimed: “Some new thing was trying to birth among us today…the new fire is not just for the young people. It’s among us and it just needs to be captured.”

They oppose corporate welfare?  Like what Obama gives GM, GE, Solyndra and so many others as political paybacks?

As senior NCC officials try to rally around traditional liberal political causes, many traditional Christians may ask what is so unique about such stances. If only offering a narrow set of political and economic policies, the NCC is merely slapping religious terms on liberal initiatives. Would the NCC’s removal from America’s religious landscape have any major consequence?

Short answer: No.

False teachers abuse scripture to oppose 2nd Amendment

False teacher Chuck “Jesus is not the only way” Currie and the National Council of (mostly apostate) Churches get scripture wrong, as usual, in advancing their religion-disguised-as-politics agenda in Connecticut Mass Shooting Re-Affirms Need For Gun Control; End To Gun Violence.  Let’s examine the bad reasoning in selected portions:

The Brady Center notes this morning:

This morning at least 11 people lost their lives in two incidents of mass gun violence, one at a Connecticut workplace, another at an Indianapolis party….These two mass shootings are examples of the continual tragedy of gun violence in our country.  Every day in the United States, 300 people are shot and 85 die from gun violence.  We must do better.

Gun violence is a bad thing.  Agreed.  So are car accidents, but we don’t ban cars.  The issue is how to best deal with the bad things of the world.

The National Council of Churches USA (NCC) and other religious organizations have been outspoken advocates of ending gun violence in America.  Earlier this year NCC, a communion of “36 faith traditions encompassing 45 million Americans in 100,000 local congregations,” adopted a statement on gun violence saying:

When thinking about the problem of violence, Christian faith is both “idealistic” and “realistic.” On the one hand, there is a stream within the Christian tradition that counsels non-violence in all circumstances. A seminal text is the Sermon on the Mount,found in Matthew’s gospel, where Jesus instructs his followers to bear violence rather than inflict it.

Even if they get the biblical text right (hey, it could happen someday!) they ignore something obvious: How about all the non-Christians who may not want these (false) religious beliefs forced on them?  Where is the ACLU when you need them?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also…. You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you . . . (Matt. 5: 38-39, 43-44).

Great passage, but it is about insults and not violence.  Note Jesus’ specificity in referring to the right cheek.  90% of people are right-handed, so a strike on the right cheek is probably a slap.  Jesus never said that if someone attacks you that it is a sin to defend yourself.

Pure pacifism is a moral evil.  To sit by while innocent people — including yourself — are violently attacked isn’t Christianity, it is cowardice.

It is difficult to imagine that the One whose own Passion models the redemptive power of non-violence would look favorably on the violence of contemporary U.S. society.

Yes, and it is difficult to imagine Jesus looking favorably on false teachers like Chuck and much of the NCC who are pro-abortion.  Abortion is as violent as it gets, but Chuck & Co. think the Constitution says you can crush and dismember innocent people in the womb but you can’t defend yourselves.  The hypocrisy of pro-abortion pacifists is astounding.

Present-day violence is made far worse than it otherwise would be by the prevalence of weapons on our streets. This stream of the Christian tradition insists that it is idolatry to trust in guns to make us secure, since that usually leads to mutual escalation while distracting us from the One whose love alone gives us security.

The facts speak otherwise.  Criminals aren’t totally stupid.  They understand risk-reward scenarios pretty well and prefer to go where people are unarmed.  If the NCC wants to preach to their members about guns, go ahead.  But again, why force their (false) religious beliefs on others?

. . . the stark reality is that such weapons end up taking more lives than they defend, and the reckless sale or use of these weapons refutes the gospel’s prohibition against violence.

That statement is pure fiction.  They have no way to support it.  And again, who said the gospel is opposed to self-defense?  People like Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution”Wallis make up new meanings for the Gospel all the time.  I’ll stick to the Bible, thanks.

They close with these stats. They should include the 4,000 per day who die from abortion, a much more preventable form of violence.

EVERY DAY (on average)

  • Every day, 300 people in America, 67 of them children and teens are shot in murders, assaults, suicides, accidents, and police intervention.
  • Every day, 85 people die from gun violence, 35 of them murdered.
  • Every day, 9 children and teens die from gun violence.
  • Every day, 215 people are shot, but survive their gun injuries.
  • Every day, 57 children and teens are shot, but survive their gun injuries.

Good and bad ecumenism

cross1.jpgEcumenism is a movement promoting unity among Christians.  It is biblical in concept, given that Jesus prayed for believers:

John 17:20-23 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

But there is good and bad ecumenism.  If the unity is based on the essentials of the faith, that is to be encouraged.  But if it is gained by abandoning the essentials then it isn’t real or desirable unity.

Many times, such as with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the National Council of Churches (NCC), “unity” is achieved by watering down key doctrines.  Those organizations are virtually indistinguishable from radical left politics. 

But I’ve come across many excellent examples of ecumenism.  Interestingly, they were not founded on ecumenism but on a common desire for service, fellowship and worship.  When I step back and analyze them I can’t help but notice the diversity of denominations, ages, races, etc. of Christians united for good.  The following organizations come to mind:

  • Christians @ HP employee network group — we had lunch time Bible studies with a wide variety of people, yet denominational differences never got in the way.
  • Kairos Prison Ministry — people from many denominations unite behind the essentials and accomplish incredible things.
  • CareNet Pregnancy Center — you’ll find a variety of backgrounds helping to save lives now and for eternity.
  • World Vision and similar charities — millions are served by non-denominational, Bible-based organizations.

My advice is to focus on the essentials and living out authentic Christian lives, then ecumenism will follow.  But if you lead with ecumenism you’ll get weak, watered down organizations at best and may end up with something non-Christian.

What Jesus didn’t say?

cross3.jpgLifeSite News reported that Dr. Bob Edgar, the general secretary of the National Council of Churches, said “Jesus never said one word about homosexuality, never said one word about civil marriage or abortion.” He said this to CBS News at a recent gathering of liberal Christian leaders in Washington.

Sadly, this is a common sound bite from people who should know better. Their reasoning goes like this:

  • Whatever Jesus did not specifically condemn in the Bible is morally permissible (or unimportant).
  • In the Bible, Jesus did not specifically condemn abortion or homosexual behavior.
  • Therefore, abortion and homosexual behavior are morally permissible (or unimportant).

There are several problems with this reasoning.

  1. As you may have noticed, their “logic” goes off track in the first bullet. In the Bible, Jesus also didn’t specifically mention slavery, drunk driving, child sacrifice, and many other sins, but they are still sins.
  2. Jesus is God (and anyone quoting him like Edgar did should know that), so He authored all the moral laws in the Bible – including the crystal-clear ones against homosexual behavior and murder. And He created the institution of marriage, of which 100% of the verses refer to the ideal as a one man/one woman union.
  3. He may not have specifically mentioned these issues because they weren’t hot topics for his primarily Jewish audience. And Jesus reiterated the original purpose for marriage, and noted that it involved one man and one woman.

For “leaders” like this to (mis)quote the red letters and to commit the logical fallacy of arguing from silence is negligent and foolish.

Hat tip: RealChoice blog