Sunday, January 07, 2007

National Council of Churches Under Secularist Influence?

I received this note from an Evangelical friend:
The Institute on Religion and Democracy

January 5, 2007

Contact: Loralei Coyle (lcoyle {at} ird-renew [dot] org)

Upcoming IRD Press Conference
On Controversial National Council of Churches Funding

“The National Council of Churches, a body founded to pursue Christian unity, is no longer supported principally by its member churches. Secular left-leaning foundations have stepped in to save the council, thus artificially amplifying the voice of the declining religious left.”
-Alan Wisdom, IRD Vice President

WHO: Report Authors and Church Renewal Movement Leaders:

• Alan Wisdom, author
• John Lomperis, author
• The Rev. Parker Williamson, editor emeritus, The Presbyterian Layman
• Fr. John Reeves, Orthodox Church in America priest
• The Rev. Keith Almond, United Methodist pastor

WHAT: Release of new IRD report “Strange Yokefellows: The National Council of Churches and Its Growing Non-Church Constituency.”

WHEN: 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, January 10th (Duration Approximately 45 minutes)

WHERE: Murrow Room of the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor - Washington, DC

The Institute on Religion and Democracy, founded in 1981, is an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians working to reform their churches’ social witness, in accord with biblical and historic Christian teachings, thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad.

The National Council of Churches was founded in 1950, and is made up of numerous mainline Protestant denominations and Orthodox Churches, and has been most notable for its lack of Catholic participation. Nominally an ecumenical organization, it is instead most known for pursuing socialist policies, including the funding of Marxist guerrillas. The NCC is also criticized for not denouncing Communist countries that persecute Christians. Membership in the NCC's mainline denominations have been sharply declining over recent decades due to their loss of faith in Christ, instead, the group now gets much of its funding from organizations such as the Ford Foundation. Orthodox members have never been comfortable with the NCC, and some are leaving the group; some say that an alliance is instead needed with the Catholic Church.


  1. No surprise there, they've been heading that way from the start. People tend to forget just how much liberals controlled the mainline Protestant denominations even that far back. By the sixties they were in the driver's seat.

  2. Just read this piece of commentary on

    Regardless of your opinion of the IRD or the NCC, the report raises serious questions about the National Council of Churches and it’s sources of funding. Bob Edgar, like the UCC’s John Thomas, doesn’t like to have his motives questioned and will undoubtedly respond by claiming a right-wing conspiracy instead of actually explaining why the National Council of Churches hasn’t been more transparent about it’s sources of funding. In September, 2005, the United Methodist Church (Edgar’s own church and the largest member of the National Council of Churches) sent a “letter of concern” to the NCC over the departure of the Antiochian Orthodox Church and called for “immediate steps to understand” why the Orthodox church left the NCC. In the same letter, the United Methodist Church also expressed it’s “disdain” over a politically loaded fund raising letter that Edgar sent out in June of 2005.

    Edgar’s initial reaction to the criticism he received from the letter was to suggest a conspiracy by “those who try to dilute our witness and mislead our friends by suggesting that the National Council of Churches is a partisan, left-leaning organization.” However, his tune changed after the UMC letter. Thomas Hoyt, then President of the National Council of Churches, said that Edgar now “has acknowledged that the letter was sent from the development office without proper review.”

    The IRD, on the other hand, has a clear political agenda. Unlike the National Council of Churches, their agenda is transparent and their sources of funding are very public. But the biggest difference between the NCC and the IRD is their constituency. Whether you love them or hate them, the IRD’s members voluntarily and directly subscribe to their values and principles. The 45 million members that the NCC claims to represent are so buried under multiple levels of bureaucracy between their local churches, associations, conferences and denomination offices that there is literally no connection between the NCC and it’s members. Further, since the NCC claims to speak with a prophetic voice on a range of issues, it has a moral obligation to publicly disclose it’s sources of funding and political alliances – but it does not. At a minimum, the IRD report provides a level of transparency that the NCC won’t disclose on it’s own.