The leftist National Council of Churches (NCC) has recently announcedthe nominee for its new General Secretary / President: Jim Winkler. Winkler is wrapping up his thirteenth year working for the United Methodist Church’s political lobby office, the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) as its General Secretary.
The choice seems sadly appropriate.
Both the NCC and GBCS have had great potential to serve as unifying forces in the body of Christ and provide a space for faithful representation of the United Methodist Church – and chosen to do quite the opposite.
The NCC openly opposes historic Christian teaching (still officially espoused by many NCC member churches) on sexual morality and compassion for unborn children threatened by violence, while under Winkler’s leadership, the GBCS directly opposes some of the very UMC social stances it is paid to promote. Having extensively monitored and attended meetings of both the NCC and GBCS for years, it’s hard to miss very similar behaviors of both very theologically liberal institutions: abusing the names and resources of churches for yawningly predictable, leftist partisan politicking, self-servingly demonizing and bearing false witness against members of their own churches who dare to question their divisive political agendas, simultaneously suggesting that they somehow speak for all members of their affiliated churches, and enjoying little to no effective accountability.
It is rather revealing that the NCC’s likely choice for its next leader is another DC-based partisan political activist rather than someone with more of a background in theology, evangelism, or genuinely Christian bridge-building. For much of the first decade of this century, the NCC was led by the recently deceased Bob Edgar, an ordained United Methodist minister and former Democratic Congressman. Perhaps the selection of yet another United Methodist leader is related to the fact that the United Methodist Church has long provided roughly one-third of the NCC’s total denomination income, despite the fact that United Methodists only constitute only one-sixth of the 45 million U.S. church members the NCC purports to represent.
With the NCC’s entrenched secularized, politically partisan, and actually very anti-ecumenical orientation, Winkler can be trusted to offer no significant shifts to the NCC’s increasingly irrelevant, stuck-in-the-1960s, Liberal Protestant orientation.
Given the left-wing echo chamber that the NCC seems quite happy to remain, I would expect Winkler’s nomination to be quickly rubber-stamped at the NCC governing board meeting next week.
Buy my unsolicited advice to Winkler would be to not get too comfortable in his new perch. The NCC has recently been shedding income and programming as rapidly as GBCS supporters shed core biblical teaching.