A New Jersey native, David was born of Jewish parents and became a Christian in college after reading the Bible for the first time.
He holds degrees from Rutgers University and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, N.C.). He is currently a Doctor of Ministry student at Trinity School for Ministry near Pittsburgh.
This post first appeared in a different form at The Reformed Pastor. Links below have been added by MethodistThinker.com — Ed.
At CatholicVote.org, Thomas Peters recently wrote about the effort by homosexual billionaires to change the Roman Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality by funding dissident groups within the church. Peters catalogs funding to the tune of almost $600,000 to various Catholic groups through something called the Arcus Foundation.
After reading Peters’ article, I went to the Arcus website and discovered that it isn’t just Roman Catholic groups this foundation is funding. Money is also going to many dissident groups in mainline Protestant denominations.
Here are some of the grants listed for 2010 alone:
In 2009, the Arcus awarded the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) in the UMC $300,000 (over two years) to support “a comprehensive strategy to advance LGBT inclusion within the United Methodist Church that includes passage and implementation of pro-LGBT denominational policy regarding Church membership, ordination and same-gender [sic] marriage.” (In 2007, Arcus awarded RMN $100,000.)
Also in 2009, Arcus gave the communications firm of Douglas Gould and Company a grant of $194,200 to provide communications support to both the UM Reconciling Ministries Network and Lutherans Concerned to assist their efforts “to advance the full inclusion of LGBT people in the United Methodist Church and in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.”
Here are several other Arcus grants from last year:
Despite the lack of stated religious connections on the part of its staff or its board members, the Arcus Foundation has a “Religion and Values” program, the goal of which is described this way:
[Our] goal is to achieve the recognition and affirmation of the moral equality of LGBT people. To accomplish this goal, the program supports the efforts of religious leaders to create faith communities in which LGBT people are welcomed as equal members; it also supports civic leadership to promote the moral and civil equality of LGBT people at state, national, and international levels.
The two-part “measurable program outcome” for the Religious and Values program is stated this way:
Goal 1: Ensure that denominations and faith-based institutions affirm LGBT moral equality and support LGBT rights;
Goal 2: Support pro-LGBT faith-based leaders who form, sustain and drive the movement or LGBT moral equality and civil rights.
In his article at CatholicVote.org, Thomas Peters notes that the total given by the Arcus Foundation since 2007 to groups operating within Catholic and Protestant churches is $6.5 million. That’s a lot of scratch.
The questions raised by this attempt to influence church doctrine and policy are enormous. Arcus certainly has every right to fund organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD that are working for homosexual rights in the political arena. But by what right does a secular foundation, operating from principles at odds with historic Christian faith, seek to influence Christian churches to abandon aspects of that faith?
That funding is dwarfed — in both scale and breadth — by the money given out by Arcus.
It’s also the case that the IRD supports the traditional stances of the churches to which it speaks. It is not seeking to bring about radical change in historic teaching and practice.
In the current issue of First Things, George Weigel of the Ethics and Public Policy Center has a fascinating article about the infiltration of the Catholic Church by various agents of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies during the post-World War II era. The aim was to influence church policy with regard to the Soviet bloc, and to seek to garner support for the bloc’s foreign and domestic political agendas.
What the Arcus Foundation is doing may be more public, and may involve using money to fund others rather than using their own “agents,” but make no mistake: this is just as much about infiltrating the churches to push a political agenda.