Tag Archives: religious

Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations Appoints Panel Members

ECFA Leading National, Independent Effort to Review, Provide Input on Accountability and Policy Issues Affecting Such Groups

WINCHESTER, Va., Sept. 8, 2011 — Representatives from religious groups, the broader nonprofit sector and the legal community have been appointed to a trio of panels that will work with the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations, the commission announced today.

The Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations was formed following a staff report issued in January by U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) that focused on the financial practices of six high-profile media-based Christian ministries. After releasing the findings of his three-year inquiry, the senator asked ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) to spearhead an independent national effort to review and provide input on major accountability and policy issues affecting religious and other nonprofit organizations.

According to ECFA President Dan Busby, a total of 66 members has been named to the three panels by commission chairman Michael Batts. The panels are each expected to meet twice in Washington, D.C., in addition to participating in other ways. Members of the three panels will work together with the commission by providing input and proposals on the issues.

The Panel of Religious Sector Representatives is composed of 25 leaders from a variety of faiths, including but not limited to Protestant Christianity, Roman Catholicism, Islam and Judaism. For this panel and thePanel of Nonprofit Sector Representatives, made up of 18 individuals, special emphasis was placed on engaging those who represent large segments of their respective faith groups and the nonprofit sector to facilitate broad representation. The 23 members of the Panel of Legal Experts have extensive experience in the arena of exempt organizations, religious organizations and/or constitutional law.

Lists of panel members and their affiliations are posted at http://www.religiouspolicycommission.org/panels.

“The men and women comprising these panels are all experienced leaders representing various faith groups, various elements of the nonprofit sector and the legal profession,” Batts said. “Their participation in addressing the important issues before the commission is essential to the effectiveness of the process, and we are deeply grateful for their willingness to serve.”

Issues before the commission include whether:

  • churches should be more accountable to the federal government;
  • legislation is needed to curb perceived abuses of the clergy housing allowance exclusion;
  • the current prohibition against political campaign intervention by churches and other nonprofits should be repealed or modified;
  • the rules for determining the reasonableness of nonprofit executive compensation should be tightened;
  • penalties should be expanded for nonprofits and their leaders who engage in prohibited activities.

In addition to the panels’ participation, the commission is also receiving input from the Internal Revenue Service, town hall meetings and other informal channels.

The commission also announced it has selected two prestigious law firms, Holme Roberts & Owen (HRO) and Holland & Knight (H&K), to provide independent technical analysis and research for the commission. Stuart Lark and John Wylie are lead attorneys from HRO and are based in the firm’s Colorado Springs, Colo., office. Nathan Adams is lead attorney from H&K and is based in the firm’s Tallahassee, Fla., office. Both firms have agreed to serve on a pro bono basis.

ECFA, founded in 1979, provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with the ECFA standards pertaining to financial accountability, fundraising and board governance. For more information about ECFA, including information about accreditation and a listing of ECFA-accredited members, visit http://www.ecfa.org or call 1-800-323-9473      .

We Need to Return to our Religious Roots – America Was Founded on Christian Values

I truly live by my twitter profile: I’m the Anti-BIG-Government, Gun-slinging, God-Loving, Bible-Toting, Conservative, Christian,YOUR LIBERAL-MOMMA warned you about! LIBTARDS STAY AWAY!  We learned what Vice President Biden thinks about the Tea Party Republicans.

At a meeting with House Democrats on Monday, Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., reportedly told Biden that “the Tea Party acted like terrorists in threatening to blow up the economy.” The phrase was allegedly used several times. Several sources told website Politico that the Vice President responded, “they have acted like terrorists.”

So now I am a “Christian, Conservative, Tea Party Supporting, Terrorist?”  That is fine if you want to include me into a group such as the Tea Party – I am “Taxed Enough Already.” But I wonder what organization I am linked too, since I am a Christian, and a Conservative and a Tea Party Supporter. I am three for three at being one of this administration’s worst nightmares. They have awakened We The People and We are not racist – not violent – We are however just no longer silent.

Some would like you to believe that this nation’s founding fathers weren’t particularly religious men and were especially not Christian. America was founded on Christian values, by many who were of the Christian religion. Of The 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, most of these signers were Christian. When one considers the backgrounds of these men, it becomes obvious the truth about the religious roots of our founding fathers. I’m not going to look into the backgrounds of all these men but I will a few of them.

  • Witherspoon, John (1723-1794), was an ordained minister of the Gospel. He published several books of Gospel sermons and played major roles in two American editions of the Bible, including one from 1791 that is considered America’s first family Bible.
  • Charles Thomson(1729-1824), was the Secretary of Congress, and he and John Hancock were the only two to sign the first draft of the Declaration of Independence. Thomson is another founder responsible for an American edition of the Bible. That Bible called – Thomson’s Bible – was the first translation of the Greek Septuagint into English. It took Thomson 25 years to complete his translation, but even today that work is still considered one of the more scholarly American translations of the Bible.
  • Benjamin Rush (1746-1813), Many of the founding fathers rated Benjamin Rush right along side George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. He started America’s first Bible society, the Bible society of Philadelphia. Dr. Rush pointed out that with a Bible, every individual could discover how to have a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ; secondly he argued that if every one owned a Bible – and would study and obey it – that all of our social problems including crime, slavery, etc., would diminish.
  • Charles Carroll (1737-1832), died in 1832 at the age of 95, the last of the 56 signers. On his 89th birthday he declared, On the mercy of my Redeemer I rely for salvation, and on his merits; not on the works I have done in obedience to his precepts. Carroll also personally funded a Christian house of worship.
  • Richard Stockton (1730-1781), captured by the British and later released, a dying Richard Stockton penned his last will and testament to his children, which became a living testimony to his faith in God. He extolled the greatness of God and his divinity and the completeness of the redemption purchased by Jesus Christ. He encouraged his children to a habitual virtuous life, living by faith. He charged his children to exhibit the fear of God, which he viewed as the beginning of wisdom, and that all occasions of vice and immorality is injurious either immediately or consequently – even in this life.
  • Francis Hopkinson (1737-1791), was a church music director, a choir leader, and editor of one of the first hymnals printed in America. He set all 150 psalms to music.
  • John Hancock (1737-1793), whose large signature on the Declaration of Independence is now a byword for fidelity, loyalty, courage and commitment. Hancock served as a president of congress during the Revolution and later as governor of Massachusetts. As governor on October 15, 1791, Hancock issued a proclamation for prayer asking especially that universal happiness may be established in the world; and that all may bow to the scepter of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the whole world be filled with his glory. Hancock also issued other proclamations to honor God.
  • Samuel Adams  (1722 – 1803), has been called the father of the American Revolution. As governor of Massachusetts, he also issued strong proclamations one of which closed with a request to pray that the peaceful and glorious reign of our divine redeemer may be known and enjoyed throughout the whole family of mankind. Adams often repeated such request as in 1797 which asked that the people pray for speedily bringing on that holy and happy period when the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be everywhere established and all the people willingly bow to the scepter of him who is the Prince of Peace.
  • George Washington (1732-1799), though not one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was the military commander and chief during the Revolutionary war. When Great Britain signed the peace treaty ending the Revolutionary war General Washington immediately resigned his commission to return to private life. He then sent a letter to the governors of the 13 states informing them of his resignation closing the letter with a prayer for the states and governors.

“I now make it my earnest prayer that God would have you and the state over which you preside in his holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to the government to entertain a brotherly affection and a love for one another, for their fellow citizens of the United States at large and particularly for their brethren who have served in the field, and finally that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy and to demean ourselves with that character, humility, and peaceful temper of the mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion without an humble imitation of whose example  in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation.”

In closing I want to say this country is in trouble, financially, and with the economy like it is, our “leader” is not a leader of anything – we need to pray for our country. He has proven that beyond a doubt, that not everyone is cut out to be the leader of the greatest nation of this entire world. We need to carefully study who our next president will be. Because if we end up with Obama, or one just like Obama we will be done.

Source: An article from “The Good News” magazine titled – The Religious Roots of America’s Founding Fathers – article by Jerold Aust

 

Atheists ‘Going Public’ Has Some Christians Hot Under the Collar

BANNOCKBURN, Ill., July 19, 2011 — From eye-catching billboards that proclaim, “I can be good without God,” to a critically acclaimed movie at the Sundance Film Festival, atheists are going public with their beliefs like never before. This has some Christians hot under the collar, but the leader of one of America’s leading evangelistic ministries is urging believers to keep their cool.

Public opinion polling shows that the number of Americans who are unaffiliated with any religion is growing rapidly. Alpha USA president Gerard Long, called one of the “stars of the church-saving circuit” by The Washington Post, is encouraging Christians to direct their time and resources toward giving people opportunities to hear and experience the teachings of Jesus Christ.

“One of the main purposes of the church is to serve and love people outside of its membership,” Long notes. “We’ve got to focus on the work God called us to, loving people and giving them a safe environment to hear and investigate the teachings of Jesus. Jesus himself was always asking people questions, and Alpha encourages people to wrestle with the big questions of life such as, ‘What happens when I die?’”

Alpha will also be going public this fall with a national ad campaign in more than 500 cities. Using everything from bumper stickers and yard signs to billboards and buses, the ads will ask people to consider: “If you could ask God one question, what would you ask?”

More than 30,000 individuals are expected to respond to Alpha’s national “Invitation” to consider the teachings of Jesus, including many atheists and agnostics.

Cejaye Bjarnason grew up not believing in God, but in her 20s had a change of heart as a result of Alpha. She recalls, “I thought church people lived in a make-believe world, and they were going to have a rude awakening when the end of their days came.”

But one day, Bjarnason reluctantly agreed to go to church with a friend. There, she learned about the Alpha course, a 10-week exploration of the teachings of Jesus that answers questions about God, the meaning of life and more: “Everyone was friendly and welcoming. The course made me open my ears, and I asked Jesus into my life. Now, I pray every day. I have let go of my anger … I feel like the Grinch at the end of my favorite Christmas movie. My heart is growing bigger every day.”

Since 1997, Alpha USA has seen more than three million people take the Alpha course. The number of U.S. churches using Alpha has more than doubled in the last two years alone, with more than 4,700 churches representing all major denominations now running the course.

To learn more about this year’s national Invitation, visit http://www.alphausa.org/invitation or call 1-800-DO-ALPHA (362-5742). For interviews with Alpha USA president Gerard Long, contact Janine Longoria at [email protected] or 224-588-8526.