Frank Pastore

John Lomperis and Alan Wisdom at the Institute on Religion and Democracy have put together a 90-page report entitled Strange Yokefellows: The National Council of Churches and Its Growing Non-Church Constituency. It’s free from their website I encourage you to read the whole thing. But for now, here are the main points you need to know.

The National Council of Churches represents 35 denominations and claims to represent 45 million people. From their website ( the Preamble to their Constitution reads,

The National Council of Churches is a community of Christian communions, which, in response to the gospel as revealed in the Scriptures, confess Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God, as Savior and Lord. These communions covenant with one another to manifest ever more fully the unity of the Church. Relying upon the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, the communions come together as the Council in common mission, serving in all creation to the glory of God.

Nice sounding words. Do you think they believe them? In the beginning, no doubt, the founders of the NCC believed every word. Solid foundation. Noble goals. Good for them.

But, let’s take a look at what it means these days to “manifest ever more fully the unity of the Church.”

As the NCC drifted away from the authority of Scripture and increasingly embraced the Social(ist) Gospel, attendance and giving began to fall. By 1999 the churches were nearly empty and they were millions of dollars in debt. They hired Bob Edgar to head the organization with his primary job to raise money. Lots of it.

He did. But not from the people in the pews.

Between 2001 and 2005, revenue from member denominations dropped 40%, from $2.9 million to $1.75 million. During the same period, non-denomination revenue rose from $800,000 to $2.9 million, a jump of 362%. And in June of 2005, for the first time, outside giving ($1.76) surpassed denominational giving ($1.75), officially making the National Council of Churches financed more from non-church sources than from the people in the pews they claim to represent.

Today, of the 35 member denominations, eight of the communions contribute nothing, while two of them contribute over half, the United Methodist Church and the PCUSA – two denominations whose leadership is proudly pro-abortion and pro-homosexual, like that of the leadership of the NCC.

Who are these sources of this “non-denominational revenue”? Many of them are liberal foundations listed here.

So, instead of going out of business because they had run off their customer base, the NCC got subsidized by groups that care little about the NCC Preamble, the Gospel, Jesus, or just churches and religion in general–but they do care a lot about politics and advancing their agenda.

So much for the “church” part of the National Council. These liberal groups really are putting their money where their mouth(piece) is, right onto the lips of the NCC.

The next time you hear or read the words “National Council of Churches”, remember they don’t represent the people in the pews, they represent the liberal foundations and organizations that are keeping them on life support.

The market had shouted. The NCC should have died.

Frank Pastore

The Frank Pastore Show is heard in Los Angeles weekday afternoons on 99.5 KKLA and on the web at, and is the winner of the 2006 National Religious Broadcasters Talk Show of the Year. Frank is a former major league pitcher with graduate degrees in both philosophy of religion and political philosophy.
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