Thursday, January 11, 2007

National Council of Churches Funded by Atheists?

A new report says the National Council of Churches (That Nobody Goes To Anymore) is being propped up financially by secular foundations and other non-church organizations. At least two members of the clergy who were present at a news conference touting that report suggest that may be one reason why the NCC appears to have abandoned its original mission.

The report - titled "Strange Yokefellows: The National Council of Churches
(That Nobody Goes To Anymore) and its Growing Non-Church Constituency" - released by the Washington, DC-based Institute on Religion and Democracy highlights the National Council of Churches' (That Nobody Goes To Anymore) growing dependence on liberal groups for funding and support. At a news conference at the National Press Club on Wednesday, IRD spokesman John Lomperis noted the NCC receives large amounts of funding from non-church entities that promote liberal social and political causes, such as same-sex "marriage."

Lomperis, co-author of the report, shared his observations of NCC board meetings he has attended over the last three years. At those meetings, he says, he was "surprised" to hear talk of the Council receiving and pursuing grants from such entities as, the National Education Association, the Ford Foundation, and the philanthropies of billionaires George Soros and Ted Turner - both of whom, he pointed out, are avowed atheists.

… Lomperis and Wisdom were joined by several other conservative Protestants - Methodists, Presbyterians, and Orthodox - at the news conference denouncing the NCC's ties to left-wing political groups. Rev. Keith Almond, a United Methodist pastor, said reaching the unchurched for Christ and preaching the gospel are no longer priorities for many mainline denominations in the Council - including his own.

…Also speaking at the press conference was an Orthodox priest who echoed Almond's allegations. John Reeves, pastor of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in State College, Pennsylvania, commented that many of the outside funding sources sought by the NCC do not seek to advocate for Christian unity, but instead for "political and social agendas antithetical to orthodox, moral standards - especially in the areas of abortion and homosexuality."

…Reeves, who is former director of the Office of Church Growth and Evangelism for the Orthodox Church in America, says Orthodox Christians who are still involved in the NCC should follow the lead of the Antiochian Archdiocese and withdraw from the Council.

I was going to make a lengthy comment on this, but I just don’t have the energy anymore. What else do we expect? It certainly explains the Episcopal Presiding Bishop's apparent confusion of the Gospel with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.