September 2, 2013

United Methodists Still Lavishly Propping Up Leftist National Council of Churches

With our denomination’s own finances declining, we cannot afford to keep carrying dead weight.  

Decades of steady U.S. membership decline are finally catching up with the United Methodist Church. Some parts of our bloated denominational bureaucracy are now being forced to make significant cuts.

But one area where denominational expenditures have remained relatively high is in funding the notoriously leftist National Council of Churches (NCC).

For years, IRD has documented serious problems with the National Council of Churches (NCC), from our high-profile exposes of its funneling American offering-plate money to pro-Marxist groups during the Cold War to its more recent zeal for demonizing and opposing more conservative Christians to its ongoing exploitation of the names and resources of its affiliated churches to promote divisive, partisan political causes. With yawning predictability, the NCC continues devoting its energies to supporting whatever the lefty political priorities of the day are, such as defending a large welfare state, gun control, liberalized immigration, one-sided critiques of Israel, and opposing U.S. policy towards Cuba. NCC rhetoric can tend to suggest that there is no room for disagreement within the body of Christ on such issues, and that there is no place in the already-shrinking NCC-affiliated churches for people uncomfortable with offering-plate funding of the NCC’s knee-jerk leftist activism.  We have also documented how the NCC sometimes promotes liberal agendas on sexual morality and abortion, in direct opposition to the positions of many of its own member communions.

Efforts to confirm details of NCC finances are somewhat hindered by the NCC’s now having an official policy, according to an NCC staffer’s email to IRD, “not to disclose financial records to the public.”  The broadly worded nature of staffer Lisa Greer’s terse explanation of the NCC’s commitment to financial non-transparency contrasts with the fact that at last Springs NCC governing board meeting, I asked for and received copies of some NCC financial information, albeit not as much as was made available in previous years.  And it of course raises questions about what exactly the NCC is trying to hide from the church members whose money they take and for whom they purport to represent.

In any case, the information presently available indicates that total UMC denominational contributions to the NCC have declined only slightly (and not consistently) over the last half-dozen years to $425,541 in the last calendar year. The UMC’s 2012 contributions amounted to between 32 and 37 percent of the NCC’s annual denominational income by that point, similar to our earlier contribution percentages.

At the last NCC governing board meeting, the NCC formally adopted a policy of not expecting to have any one NCC member communion contribute more than 25 percent, with the added caveat they will still “gladly accept all donations.” It is unclear how much this policy will actually change in practice.

In any case, even 25 percent of denominational income is high for the UMC, since our 7,526,642 U.S. members constitute just 18.8 19 percent of the 40 million U.S. members of NCC-affiliated churches.

Roman Catholic, some Eastern Orthodox, and the bulk of Protestant churches are not NCC-affiliated.


9 Responses to United Methodists Still Lavishly Propping Up Leftist National Council of Churches

  1. Steve Finnell says:

    ABORTION?

    Are unborn humans, babies or just unidentified blobs of matter?

    Genesis 25:21-22 Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the Lord answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 But the children struggled together within her……

    They were called children. They were not fetuses or blobs of matter.

    Luke 1:41,44 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb…..44….the baby leaped in my womb for joy.

    John The Baptist leaped for joy. There was no non-human fetus leaping for joy inside the womb of Elizabeth.

    The unborn, are babies. There is never a valid reason for killing unborn babies.

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY CHRISTIAN BLOG. Google search>>> steve finnell a christian view

  2. Adrian Croft says:

    Found this great quote by C. S. Lewis:
    “I really think that in our day it is the `undogmatic’ and `liberal’ people who call themselves Christians that are the most arrogant and intolerant.”

    That was dated 1951. He might, or might not, have been surprised at how that situation has worsened.

  3. polistra says:

    Persuading any of the mainline churches to pull even slightly away from Satan is like persuading your lungs to pull away from your body and function independently. It’s physically and logically impossible.

    A non-Satanist has only one course of action: Get out of the mainline churches.

  4. Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB says:

    I had to smile when I read, “…whatever the lefty political priorities of the day are, such as defending a large welfare state, gun control, liberalized immigration, one-sided critiques of Israel, and opposing U.S. policy towards Cuba.” In most of these cases, the NCC position is pretty much the position of the US Catholic bishops and the papacy. In my view, Popes Benedict and Francis, and the US bishops, don’t follow lefty political priorities of the day, but the Gospel. That the secular world labels it left (or anything else) is irrelevant. The author’s politicizing stance is unfortunate.

    • Mike says:

      Not sure why the positions of Benedict or Francis or the US Catholic bishops is relevant to an article on the UMC’s support of the NCC. (1) The Vatican doesn’t even recognize the UMC as a ‘church’ so I’m not sure what difference it even makes to someone in the Catholic church what groups and causes we Methodists decide to support. (2) Conversely, as a Methodist layperson, I’m not sure I’m really swayed by where the Pope or the Catholic bishops stand on this issue. (3) As this article points out, the Catholic church doesn’t support the NCC either–if the positions of the NCC are so in harmony with those of the Catholic church and–more importantly–the Gospel itself, then why not?

    • Greg Paley says:

      What’s fortunate is that there are plenty of churches that are not left-wing in any way – not mainline Protestant, and not RC either. If you equate “the gospel” with the full plate of liberal policies, maybe you haven’t read the NT lately.

  5. John S says:

    Remember, designate your offerings to the seperate entities in your church (building fund, food bank, shelter, after school program, family emergency fund) so you can support your church but reduce the money available for the GC to funnel to places like the NCC.

  6. Alvin says:

    The UMC lost me in ’92 when it backed Clinton with his position on abortion. They further alienated me with their positions on immigration, homosexuality, environmental concerns, gun control issues, and their permissive attitudes towards these problems.

    How is their clergy able to stand at the pulpit on Sunday and preach the word of God for an hour only to be undermined by the Church’s support of positions antithetical to the Bible? The UMC, along with every denomination, are seeing declines in attendance. Perhaps if the Churches would cease their dual messaging they would see this trend reverse.

  7. billo says:

    I left the Methodist Church after the Elian Gonzales fiasco, when the Methodists decided that it was better for the boy to be raised and die an atheist without God than suffer the indignity of being raised in a Christian family.

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