Do you ever get a feeling that it is best not to do anything when it is so hard to decide on which way to go? I have been involved in a few different churches of varying denominations over my life and I end up leaving them because there is always something...not quite right...about the leaders and the doctrin that they seem so intent on getting people to believe in and only one way - their way. I came to the conclusion I am better off just staying away from them all and just believing in what I know in my heart and what my mind tells me is right.
The times I have had questions and asked the people who I thought would/should know....well I was told how wrong I was and that it was the devil himself talking to me to make me doubt. So ok, I stay away from churches and gatherings as such, but I still donated money to causes and charities that were supposedly saving the children of third world countries....even though the people who ran those same countries were filthy rich and would make Australias' total yearly budget seem like my small change that I have left over from my fortnightly pension, and furthermore, why weren't these governing people/kings/rulers helping their own??? I seemed to think that if I didn't belong to a church and tithe (which I do not believe in) then the least I could do was help others. It did not matter to me that I was getting into debt by doing this as God was going to provide for me, as I was always hearing from the televangelists that I watched on TV, and felt so guilty if I didn't donate and give.
Well this practice has stopped for me. I know I am a good person and I have for all of my life since I was 6 years old done some form of voluntary work and raised a lot of money for the underprivileged in the communities in which I have lived. Even though I am not capable of holding down employment due to various ailments, I still do voluntary work, and I love it and I get great satisfaction out of knowing that I can help people who need it. So while this is happening I am paying off my debts that I incurred whilst being guilt-tripped into giving. I am no longer under any influence of any denomination and I doubt I ever will be again. I have a love of God and Jesus and as far as I am concerned that is all I need to sustain me in my times of troubles and my happy times of which I give thanks for.
This leads me to an article I have recently read of which was sent to me via subscription newsletter on churches and donations. The link is at the end of the article.
Christians Against Leftist Heresy
National Council of Churches: Far-Left and Dangerous
Posted: 17 Sep 2008 09:00 AM CDT
If you attend a mainstream Christian church, this post is an alarm bell. Do you know where your tithe goes and the philosophies silently, and perhaps unknowingly, supported by them?
When you and I attend the Sunday service at the church of our choice, how often do we contemplate the doctrine behind the church? My pastor is very conservative in thought and sticks to biblical teachings that I can confirm, within the Bible, for myself. From the pulpit, I implicitly trust him.
However, if you attend a church that is a member of the National Council of Churches or the the broader World Council of Churches, there are things to be aware of, issues to ponder and agendas to explore.
It's not as simple as the NCC agreeing with your philosophy...it's the matter of a percentage of the funds you give to your church being sent to the headquarters of your denomination and from there, likely, a donation made to the NCC. These figures are difficult to confirm, but the National Council of Churches must be funded in some manner. On the positive side, family.org reports that donations from mainstream churches have significantly declined, but have been replaced with funds from political-action groups - and numerous qualify as "far-left" activism.
Here are four things to think about:
1) The National Council of Churches advocates for gun control and the Virginia Tech shootings has them hot on the mission. The NCC would disarm America. Does your tithe support this cause?
2) The NCC wants diplomatic relations with the terrorist-sponsored State of Iran, and, indeed, a delegation from the NCC visited Iran in February 2007. Does your tithe support this cause?
3) The NCC met with the President of the terrorist-sponsored State of Syria, President Bashar Assad in
4) The sanctuary of our borders are dismissed by the NCC: "...churches are implementing exciting ministries and are seeking additional support and ideas to enhance their support of neighbors who are sometimes dismissed as 'aliens.
Faultline U.S.A has written a comprehensive post on this subject: United Nations Entrenched Within Most Christian Denominations. It is an older article, April 2007, but just as pertinent today as it was a year and a half ago.
This post is an alarm bell... we need to know to whom and to where our earnestly donated monies go - and we need to know the philosophies we silently, and perhaps, unknowingly, support.
I encourage you to follow the links above to Faultline's article. It is jam-packed with information, and while it may appear long, just a few lines into it and you'll grasp the importance of the issues. In my opinion, the most important link within the Faultline U.S.A. post is the tiny little word "report" which leads to a document by the Concerned Women of America. At the beginning of a paragraph look for this...:
CWA releases a report...
Click on the word report. It puts all the valuable information into perspective.
If you do not know if your church is a member of the National Council of Churches, check the partial list of members below or follow the link at Faultline U.S.A.:
Partial List of Denominational Membership
African Methodist Episcopal Church
The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
Alliance of Baptists
American Baptist Churches in the USA
Diocese of the Armenian Church of America
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
Church of the Brethren
The Coptic Orthodox Church in North America
The Episcopal Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Friends United Meeting
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Hungarian Reformed Church in America
International Council of Community Churches
Korean Presbyterian Church in America
Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church
Mar Thoma Church
Moravian Church in America Northern Province
and Southern Province
National Baptist Convention of America
National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc.
National Missionary Baptist Convention of America
Orthodox Church in America
Patriarchal Parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church in the USA
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
Polish National Catholic Church of America
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.
Reformed Church in America
Serbian Orthodox Church in the U.S.A. and Canada
The Swedenborgian Church
Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America
United Church of Christ
The United Methodist Church
Calling on Christians Speak Against Islamic Persecution
Representatives of The National Council of Churches (NCC) recently made a 12 day visit to the Middle East.
In Damascus, Syria, President Dr. Bachar Al-Assad welcomed the NCC stand support for the peace in the Middle East and their opposition to the war in Iraq.
The delegation met with high ranking Muslim leaders namely: the Grand Mufti of Syria and the Director of Sheikh Ahmad Kaftaro Centre with whom they exchanged with them issues related to Christian-Muslim relations.
The National Council of Churches met with the head of a terrorist state, Syrian President Assad.
Here's a few headlines from around the web about Syria:
Syrian President Bashar Assad Supports Iran Nuclear Program - Two Day tehran Visit
Assad: We won't cut ties with Hezbollah, despite Israel talks (May 2008)
Assad: Syria may host Russian missiles in it's territory Aug. 2008)
Syrian President says democracy not a goal for his country
Now here's a few "news" headlines from the National Council of Churches website:
**The NCC Eco-Justice office has honored "green" churches around the nation.
**Using Earth Day resources developed by the NCC, hundreds... are celebrating Earth Day
**An experienced Mennonite editor has been elected chair of the NCC's Uniform Series Committee. Note: The Mennonites and Quakers are hosting a dinner for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on September 23, 2008!
**Faith groups and individuals sent encouraging messages to Congress yesterday as the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Landscape Conservation System Act by a vote of 278 to 140.
**An elegantly hand-lettered edition of the New Revised Standard Version St. John's Bible was presented Friday to a delighted Pope Benedict XVI.
Where are the headlines and statements about Islamic jihad? There are none.
Where are the headlines of Islamic persecutions of Christians. There are none.
Where is the outrage from our mainline Christian churches in America? There is none.
Why are our mainline Christian churches members of the National Council of Churches?
**** THIS IS EXACTLY AS I HAVE BEEN WONDERING…THE HEADLINES IN MY NEWSPAPER…THE AGE… DO NOT TELL OF ANY OF THIS…see a previous entry where I was asking this****
At the end of the important article below, there is a link to more information about the National Council of Churches.
Christians are targeted by the Palestinians
By Monkey in the Middle
In the Muslim world Jews and Christians have a third-class status known as Dhimmitude. Under the Dhimmitude they have no rights, not even the right to practice their religion if they wished. A special tax called Jizyah is imposed on these groups. Forced conversions to Islam, rape, murder and exile of whole communities is done on a grand scale.
In June I wrote about how the Palestinian Authority (PA) since the 2006 take over of the city of Bethlehem the city's Christian population has gone from being 85% of the population to just over 12% of the population. Nothing has changed, if anything it has gotten worse.
It is estimated that, for the past seven years, more than one thousand Christians have been emigrating from the Bethlehem area annually and that only 10,000 to 13,000 Christians remain in the city. International human rights lawyer Justus Reid Weiner, who teaches at Hebrew University, told the Jerusalem Institute for Global Jewish Affairs that, under the PA-Fatah regime, Christian Arabs have been victims of frequent human rights abuses by Muslims.
"There are many examples of intimidation, beatings, land theft, firebombing of churches and other Christian institutions, denial of employment, economic boycotts, torture, kidnapping, forced marriage, sexual harassment, and extortion," he said. PA officials are directly responsible for many of the attacks, and some Muslims who have converted to Christianity have been murdered.
A systematic destruction of one of the world's oldest Christians communities.
In 2006, Hassan El-Masalmeh, a member of the Bethlehem City Council and local Hamas leader, publicly advocated implementing a discriminatory tax on non-Muslim residents. In late 2007 an evangelical pastor was forced to leave Ramallah under threats from Fatah gunmen, and soon after, his congregation dispersed.
"Incidents of Muslim men ‘seducing' or kidnapping Christian girls have caused growing anxiety among the Christian population. In May 2004, a sixteen-year-old Christian girl from Bethlehem, who was a U.S. citizen, went missing for five days after being kidnapped by a 23 year-old Muslim. " The girl's family contacted the American Consulate in Jerusalem, and it was only thanks to their intervention that she was rescued and left with her family for the United States. The episode received virtually no international media coverage.
In another case, a Muslim family appeared uninvited on the doorstep of a wealthy Christian family in Judea and Samaria and demanded that the Christian family's daughter, known for her beauty, marry their son. Their son was already dressed up for his wedding, accompanied by the sheikh and fifteen Muslim men. To protect his family the Christian girl's father opened fire on the Muslim entourage, killing three and wounding ten. The girl's family immediately abandoned their home and fled abroad."
No child, no woman, no man of the Christian faith is safe. They will be harassed, threatened, raped and killed if they resist.
The PA was involved in the torture of two Muslim brothers from Samaria who adopted the Christian faith.
The first brother was arrested by the PA secret police and accused of collaborating with Israeli and American intelligence. After the interrogation the police placed a cardboard sign on his back upon which was written, ‘Najib the Christian.' Then he was told to ‘curse Jesus.'" He eventually made contact with Israelis who arranged for him to hide in a bomb shelter in a Jewish community and was finally granted asylum in Norway.
His brother spent 21 months in a PA prison after being arrested on fabricated charges. He was held for seven months in underground solitary confinement. Weiner quotes his testimony before him thus: "I was beaten with sticks; they stripped me naked and made me sit on bottles, and on the legs of chairs that they turned upside down, and many, many other sadistic things that I am even ashamed to say." Many times they allowed lynch mobs like the Al-Aksa Brigades to come in and pull prisoners out of the cells. They were taken out and shot on the spot, their bodies then dragged through the streets for all to see."
The young man was sentenced to be executed but was liberated from prison by the Israel Defense Forces. He lives in Israel but his wife and eight children remained behind and are under constant threat of harassment. He hopes to find asylum in Norway.
Another Christian convert, El-Achwal, was initially arrested on fabricated charges of stealing gold. He was kept in a tiny cell and regularly left without food or water for days on end. The torture he sustained during the interrogation required lengthy hospitalization. Weiner, who interviewed El-Achwal, said Ahmed "had suffered extensive and serious burns on his back, buttocks, and legs. The heated torture implement that was applied to his skin reminded me of similar medieval instruments." He was eventually freed but refused to renounce his Christian faith. One day he was beaten by a group of masked men affiliated with the PA security services, who also torched his car. His residence was firebombed and on January 21 2004, he was shot dead by masked gunmen who have never been arrested.
And what is the Christian community in the US saying about this?
American Episcopalians and Presbyterians frequently blame Israel for the Middle East conflict. Leaders of other North American churches including the Methodists, the United Church of Christ, and the Lutherans "have also gone to great lengths to offer up one-sided condemnations of Israeli policies." [**see notes in red text after this article]
They know not what Christianity is it seems. For they condemn those who until they gave up control of Judea and Samaria, had guaranteed religious freedom to all. But that is not enough. What the Methodists, United Church of Christ and Lutherans have actually done is to show themselves to be anti-Semites of the worst form. Instead of a cross, they should place a swastika above their altars.
If this keeps up there will be no Christians in Bethlehem, and one of Christendom's most holy sites will become a mosque. Exactly what the Muslims have been striving for all along.
I ask my Christian friends to speak out about this at your church, to your pastor, to your friends. The western media will not mention it for it puts the PA into a bad light and that is not allowed. And to pray for your Christian brothers and sisters who are facing a persecution the likes of which has never been seen in the land of Israel before.
End Monkey in the Middle article.
From American Thinker, Joseph Puder, The United Methodist Church and Israel
** Susanne Hoder, a member of the UMC's New England Conference Divestment Task Force, led an informational gathering on the Middle East last June. It was intended to provide participants with the opportunity to "learn how companies profit from Israel's illegal occupation of Palestinian lands, and examine the impact of occupation on Israeli and Palestinian society."
**The UMC's General Board on Global Mission Women produced a Mission Study for 2007-2008, endorsed by the national church, which refers to Israel's creation as "original sin," and likens the birth of Israel to the Holocaust and Israeli practices to those of the Nazis.
[I cannot view this report, so cannot verify. Here are links to a powerpoint presentation: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflift or the Simon Wiesenthal Center - scroll to the bottom of the page. If you can view this document, please let me know if you find the above quotes therein].
From Dhimmi Watch: Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Considers Boycott of Israel.
**US Lutherans consider Israel boycott by Haviv Rettig for the Jerusalem Post:
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), which has almost five million members in the US, took a step toward a partial boycott of Israeli goods at its 2007 Churchwide Assembly in Chicago last week.
On Saturday, the assembly, the church's top legislative authority, passed a resolution calling to work toward a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and urging investment in the Palestinian Authority. [better known as the PLO]
National Council of Churches: Far-Left and Dangerous
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