NCC Places Emphasis on Orthodox Church during Assembly

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005 Posted: 5:20:31PM EST

Delegates to the 55th National Council of Churches (NCC) General Assembly nominated an Orthodox bishop as president-elect and reconfirmed the need to strengthen ties with Orthodox churches within the Council.

Bishop Vicken Aykazian, a Turkish-born priest who represents the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America in Washington, was nominated on Tuesday – the first day of the Nov. 8-10 General Assembly in Hunt Valley, Md. If confirmed, he will serve for two years as president-elect and be automatically confirmed as president for the next term.

Also on Tuesday, former NCC president Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky of the Orthodox Church in America encouraged members to become “better acquainted with one another to avoid misrepresentation and miscommunication.
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NCC News

Subject: [OrthodoxNews] Kishkovsky calls upon NCC member communions to avoid misunderstandings by getting to know one another

2005.11.09 NCC:

Kishkovsky calls upon NCC member communions to avoid misunderstandings by getting to know one another

Hunt Valley, Md, Nov. 9, 2005 — The unexpected withdrawal last summer of the Antiochian Orthodox Church from National Council of Churches USA membership is a reminder to the remaining 35 communions that they must become “better acquainted” with one another, a former NCC president said.

The Very Rev. Leonid Kishkovsky of the Orthodox Church in America, chair of the Council’s Membership and Ecclesial Relations Committee, also cited the World Council of Churches improving relations with its Orthodox members and suggested the NCC study its approaches.
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Moral Equivalence Thinly Concealed: Missourian responds to Renee

Moral Equivalence Thinly Concealed

Rene writes in part 2 of Note 1. Here is the complete text of question number 2 and Rene’s answer.

Are the US soldiers in Iraq terrorists?

When speaking about war we tend to choose and use terms in a way that helps justify our actions. Usually we don’t define or describe war as it feels, looks, or is experienced by the people that we are warring against. Military recruiters may not tell potential soldiers that they will be part of ‘?a systematic use of terror, violence and intimidation’? Nevertheless, those we use these tactics against might think of soldiers (and by association all of us in the U.S.) as terrorists whether we like it or not.

Rene’s starts with the declaration that:

“When speaking about war we tend to choose and use terms in a way that helps justify our actions. “

Missourian replies: If, after careful consideration, an individual decides to support a war effort then it is natural and perfectly acceptable if he expresses hisr support for that war effort in positive terms. Ideally an adult should be able to articulate a justification for his actions and positions taken on various issues. This certainly applies to something as important as war.

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Antioch exits the NCC

Terry Mattingly email newsletter

Summer is the season for church conventions that talk about hot issues.

Last week’s 47th convention of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America passed a resolution that addressed both sexuality and the Iraqi war. But this time the lofty words led to an historic change.

The assembly voted to oppose “divisive and dangerous” positions taken by “left-wing” and “right-wing” groups. To be specific, it rejected “support for same-sex marriage, support for abortion, support for ordination of women to Holy Orders, support for the concept of war that is ‘pre-emptive’ or ‘justifiable’ and the labeling of other faiths and their leaders with hateful terminology.”

The archdiocese — a blend of Arab-Americans and many converts — vowed to avoid groups that “promulgate these extreme positions” and renewed its commitment to seek Orthodox unity in North America.

Then the delegates cheered as Metropolitan Philip Saliba announced his decision to withdraw from the National Council of Churches USA.
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Orthodox Church in America Explores Leaving WCC, NCC

Institute for Religion and Democracy Steve Rempe

The one million-member Orthodox Church in America (OCA) is examining a proposal to remove itself from both the World Council of Churches and the National Council of Churches. The proposal will be reviewed by the OCA All-American Council, which meets in Toronto July 17-22.

According to the position paper Orthodox Relations, “The most advisable course for the Orthodox Church in America would be to eventually withdraw from the NCC and the WCC.” Any withdrawal would be done in consultation with those Orthodox churches that remain members of the councils.

Among the reasons cited in the report for withdrawing from the church councils are the increasingly political agendas that they pursue. “The very politically-oriented theologies of many Protestant denominations have often threatened to derail the agenda of councils away from dialogue and unity, and towards political advocacy and activism,” says the report. “. . . [T]he ecumenical organizations in which we participate, in their theological and social views, are oriented towards policies which are not in harmony with Orthodox views.”
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Religious Left Denounces “Moral Values” Voters

Mark Tooley, November 10, 2004

At a press conference organized by the pro-abortion Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), representatives of the Religious Left expressed deep angst about the recent U.S. election results. And they warned the Bush Administration not to heed the agenda of socially conservative voters.

The RCRC officials were clearly disturbed by exit polls showing “moral values” being the number one concern of a plurality of voters, ahead of the economy, terrorism and the war in Iraq. These moral values voters, motivated by issues such as abortion and same-sex “marriage,” strongly favored President Bush’s reelection.

“The leaders of the Religious Coalition are outraged at the underlying message of the election story—that religion and morals are the exclusive property of social conservatives,” exclaimed RCRC president Carlton Veazey. RCRC, founded 30 years ago, is a coalition of mostly mainline church agencies that lobby against all potential restrictions on abortion.
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God’s Plan for Reforming Health Care

Rev. Robert Edwards, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches (the institutional voice of the Christian left) weighs in on the election:

An Associated Press dispatch illustrates why liberals and Democrats have such trouble with “moral issues”:

“We need to work really hard at reclaiming some language,” said the Rev. Robert Edgar, general secretary of the liberal-leaning National Council of Churches.
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A President’s ‘Theology of War’

Article available for seven days only. By GREGORY J. WELBORN October 29, 2004; Page W15 Wall Street Journal

For some time now, Glen Stassen, a professor of Christian ethics at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. — the nation’s largest — has been helping to circulate an open letter criticizing President Bush’s “theology of war.” Last week the letter went wide, so to speak, when it was announced that it had garnered the signatures of more than 200 theology professors from more than 30 seminaries — including those at Princeton, Duke, Wheaton, Northpark and Southern Methodist. Titled “Confessing Christ in a World of Violence,” the letter has made quite a stir in evangelical circles.
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NCC Memorial Day grandstanding

Since when did the NCC become supporters of our nation’s soldiers?

Resources for Memorial Day 2004 At 6 p.m. May 27, the Thursday before Memorial Day Weekend, the National Council of Churches USA will host an interfaith worship service at National City Christian Church, on Thomas Circle in Washington, D.C., to mourn the growing number of fallen sons and daughters of our nation, struck down in Iraq while in the patriotic service of their country. We also will pray for the families of the thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians caught in the crossfire, along with all the other soldiers, reporters and non-military personnel who have lost lives and limbs in this conflict. All are precious in the eyes of a loving God. Read the entire press release on the NCC website.