Thursday, August 25, 2005

The National Council of Churches' Liberal Ways

John Couretas over at the Acton Institute's PowerBlog has an interesting post today on the National Council of Churches and its fervent support of liberal political causes. Many are quick to criticize evangelical Christian organizations, such as Focus on the Family, for . . . aligning itself with conservative political issues, and often rightly so, but shouldn't the NCC, a group that is supposed to act as a unified voice of Christian denominations of various stripes, be held up to the same scrutiny, if not more? Of course, the NCC is quickly losing influence as more and more orthodox Christian denominations pull out of the organization. (The Antiochian Orthodox Church left last month, and the Orthodox Church in America is now considering a similar move.)

In his post, Couretas links to an article by the Rev. Johannes Jacobse ("United Churches of Castro") that's posted today at FrontPageMagazine.com. In the article, Jacobse takes a detailed look at the NCC's political leanings and its history of offering support to communist regimes. He writes, "The NCC plays a duplicitous game. Its public statements are laced with the language of Christian benevolence but its policies read like a laundry list of hard-Left causes."

Couretas goes on to write in his blog post: "When he was hired to run the NCC in 1999, Rev. Bob Edgar said he had 'no issue' with the group's history. And what is the NCC doing today to further the goal of Christian unity? It is organizing opposition to the Iraq war, camping out with Cindy Sheehan in Crawford, Texas, opposing private Social Security accounts, stumping for the Kyoto protocol, etc., etc."

14 Comments:

At Thursday, August 25, 2005 3:27:00 PM, Blogger Roch101 said...

Hi Mickey,

I'm not sure I understand your point. Is it that Christian organizations should stay out of politics, or that it's not proper for Christian organizations to campaign for peace and good stewardship of God's earth?

 
At Thursday, August 25, 2005 5:21:00 PM, Blogger Mickey McLean said...

Roch, I believe that Christians, organized or not, should involve themselves in politics. However, they should never be absorbed to the point where political ideology begins to override Christian doctrine. And that's where some groups have crossed the line. The National Council of Churches has become an extremist political group (a la MoveOn.org) instead of being an organization that seeks to unite Christian denominations, which is what it was designed to be.

 
At Thursday, August 25, 2005 9:03:00 PM, Blogger Roch101 said...

Extremist because they disagree with your politics?

 
At Friday, August 26, 2005 9:17:00 AM, Anonymous Fred said...

http://reformed-theology.org/html/issue07/apostasy.htm

There is quite a history behind this organization's activities. Please see the site listed above for the whole story.

 
At Friday, August 26, 2005 1:32:00 PM, Blogger Mickey McLean said...

Yes, Roch, "extremist" is a relative term. Those who agree with the NCC's support of communist causes and willingness to compromise Biblical doctrine to further political agendas instead of fostering "ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States" (as its Web site claims), would most likely not find them extreme at all.

 
At Saturday, August 27, 2005 8:46:00 AM, Blogger Roch101 said...

Mikey, Can you please point me to information that will back up your claim that the NCC supportts communist causes?

Can you tell me how campaigning for peace and good stewardship of God's earth are a compromise of Biblical doctrine (seems to me they are right in line with Biblical teachings).

Perhaps there is something else they advocate that you consider contrary to Biblical doctine, can you name it?

 
At Saturday, August 27, 2005 12:20:00 PM, Anonymous Fred said...

The National Council of Churches 1968 General Assembly at San Diego demanded that America:

"Stop the bombing of North Vietnam as a prelude to seeking a negotiated peace"; "Avoid provocative military actions against Communist China in the knowledge that it has a legitimate interest in Asia"; "Press for the admission of the Peking government to the United Nations"; "Create conditions for cooperation between the United States and the Communist countries of Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union and Cuba"; "Recognize the government of Cuba and acknowledge the existence of the East German Republic"; and, "Remove restrictions on imports from Communist countries and on cultural exchanges between the U.S. and the Soviet Union."

 
At Saturday, August 27, 2005 12:26:00 PM, Anonymous Fred said...

The preceding info looks pretty one-side to me.

 
At Saturday, August 27, 2005 2:38:00 PM, Blogger Mickey McLean said...

Roch, read the Rev. Johannes Jacobse's article ("United Churches of Castro") from the original post, the article Fred linked to in his first comment ("APOSTASY: The National Council Of Churches") and an article from The Christian Post ("Orthodox Church Leaves National Council of Churches") on why the Antiochian Orthodox Church left the NCC.

I agree with Father George Kevorkian of the Antiochian Orthodox Church when he said: "Unfortunately, the NCC USA started to adopt an agenda and positioning that appeared to depart from the primary purpose of spreading and witnessing the gospel of Jesus Christ. It seems to have taken a turn toward political positioning."

 
At Saturday, August 27, 2005 3:44:00 PM, Blogger Roch101 said...

Mikey, I read the original article before I started posting in this thread. It doesn't answer the questions I've posed. Repeating:

Can you please point me to information that will back up your claim that the NCC supportts communist causes?

Can you tell me how campaigning for peace and good stewardship of God's earth are a compromise of Biblical doctrine (seems to me they are right in line with Biblical teachings).

Perhaps there is something else they advocate that you consider contrary to Biblical doctine, can you name it?

 
At Saturday, August 27, 2005 4:44:00 PM, Anonymous Winston Churchill said...

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it. Ignorance may deride it. But in the end, there it is.

 
At Saturday, August 27, 2005 7:14:00 PM, Blogger Mickey McLean said...

Roch: Can you please point me to information that will back up your claim that the NCC supportts communist causes?

Mickey: It is listed in detail in the two articles cited. Here are some examples from those articles:

Jacobse writes, "In the 1950's and 1960's, the NCC was one of the leading contributors to the Program to Combat Racism (PCR) created in 1939 by the World Council of Churches (WCC), an NCC affiliate. PCR subsidized revolutionary Communists governments in the Third World, shuffling more than $5 million to 130 organizations in 30 countries - all under the guise of Christian charity."

And . . .

Jacobse writes, "The NCC wrote educational tracts for American children that praised Cuban totalitarianism. It lauded Cuban health care. It was front man for the deportation of Elian Gonzalez. It condemns the American economic embargo on Castro’s behalf."

And . . .

According to Reformed Theology's article, "During the meeting of this group's General Assembly at San Diego in February of 1968, a presentation titled 'NCC Ministries and the Communist World' revealed that in 1967 over $1,584,000 had been given to the Communist Government of Poland through an N.C.C. on-going ministry called Church World Service. Although the aid was received in the name of the Polish Ecumenical Council, it was administered by the Communists for their own purposes. During the period from 1952 until 1967, over $40 million worth of food, clothing, and other material was give by the N.C.C.'s Church World Service to the Communist Government of Yugoslavia. Even stranger was an admission in this N.C.C. report that the National Council was operating a 'refugee program' which picked up the tab for relocating Brazilian Communists in Mexico."

Roch: Can you tell me how campaigning for peace and good stewardship of God's earth are a compromise of Biblical doctrine (seems to me they are right in line with Biblical teachings).

Mickey: There's a distinct possibility that some things the NCC does is good and possibly well-intentioned and maybe even in line with the Bible and its teachings. However, in my opinion, most of what it stands for is driven by political ideology, not God's Word, which is not a good thing for religious groups on the extreme left or right or anywhere in-between. Pat Robertson's comments earlier this week were an excellent example of that.

Roch: Perhaps there is something else they advocate that you consider contrary to Biblical doctine, can you name it?

Mickey: With the many non-religious issues he has chosen to tackle, the leader of the NCC, Bob Edgar, has made the organization primarily a political one rather than a religious one. As Father George Kevorkian of the Antiochian Orthodox Church told The Christian Post, "It is the broader-based representation of the NCC leadership that became a repress. The action we took began when the core leadership started to develop and document political positions."

But when Edgar has had the chance to take on religious issues, he has demonstrated that what the Bible teaches is no match to what the political left desires. A good example was when he originally chose to take the Biblical position by signing a declaration against same-sex marriage along with other Christian organizations but then, after being pressured by pro-homosexual political groups, changed his mind, removed his signature and declared the NCC was for same-sex marriage.

I guess he was a lot like John Kerry and his indecision on supporting the war in Iraq: Edgar voted against same-sex marriage before he voted for it.

 
At Sunday, August 28, 2005 12:18:00 PM, Blogger Roch101 said...

Miskey, when you wrote of the "NCC's support of communist causes" that sounded like present tense to me. I didn't know you were referring to events 40 years ago. If you want to condemn an organization for once have "supported" causes with which you disagree, that's one thing. Pretending like they still support those causes is disengenuous.

You explain that your condemnation of the NCC for "compromising Biblical doctrine" by writing that "most of what it stands for is driven by political ideology," a statement void of any specifics, which sounds to me like, well, to be polite, hot air.

It's pretty clear to an outside observer that the NCC is no more political with its religion than you are, Mickey. They just seem that way because their interpretation of the Bible leads them to different political conclusions than you (which are just as Bibilically justified). The truth is though, you are both two sides of the same coin.

 
At Sunday, August 28, 2005 3:33:00 PM, Blogger Mickey McLean said...

Roch, Bob Edgar and the NCC's support of Cuba and Castro's communist regime continues to this day.

And to compare me and my beliefs and convictions with the NCC and where its stands is a bit bizarre. As a Christian, a conservative, a blogger or whatever, I am no way pretending to be an organization that exists to foster "ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States."

Fortunately, some denominations are seeing the NCC for what it really is and are now looking elsewhere for ecumenical unity.

 

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