Leith Anderson "Fiddles"
While The Church Burns
by Eric Barger
National Association of Evangelicals President, Leith Anderson, is "fiddling" around again.
Not many years ago we watched in puzzled amazement as Reverend Anderson joined a collection of liberals, apostates, Emergents, and other neo-evangelicals in signing the now infamous document, "Loving God and Neighbor Together: A Christian Response to a Common Word Between Us and You." The document was produced by the sad bunch at the Yale Divinity School. You'll recall that "A Common Word" declared that Islam's Allah and Jehovah God are actually one and the same, a fact that every Muslim clerics knows is incorrect but relishes the gullibility of these foolish Christians leaders who blindly proceed under that mistaken supposition. (See info here)
Then, earlier this year, during the semi-annual meeting of the NAE board, Anderson either engineered or at the very least allowed a panel discussion between Mormon leaders and several NAE members that intended to explore commonalities. Amid protests from me and many others in the apologetics community, the panel was filled with NAE members who were each on record as being solidly pro-Mormonism. Though Anderson privately insisted that he understood Mormonism was cultic, he publicly played politics, evidently deciding that a panel including those predisposed to Mormonism and absent of any apologist who might voice a dissenting view was more expedient to his assumed goal of unity with the cult. (Click here to read "Statement Regarding Standing Together," a letter written to the members of the NAE Board and signed by two dozen leaders, including a number of heart-sick pastors in Utah.) ("Also, click here for my report, "Evangelicals Courting the Mormons?)
Reverend Anderson's latest misadventure is an initiative called "The Circle of Protection," the adherents of which contend that, regardless of our nation's out of control spending and debt, no social/humanitarian aid programs should be trimmed. In essence, Anderson and other high profile "Christian" leaders are advocating that government is the answer for all that ails us. Excuse me, but just where is that in the Bible? No, Reverend Anderson, the Church - not the government - has been called to help the needy. All government seems to be able to do is create dependents, which is neither biblical nor American. Since the time of FDR, we have allocated unimaginable sums of tax dollars to allegedly eradicate poverty and to care for those our politicians deem as needy. However, the reality is that all we have actually done is to enable generation after generation to expect the government to finance nearly every aspect of our lives with no questions asked. With a whopping 48% of all Americans now benefiting from entitlement programs, haven't we proven that instead of whipping poverty we've merely added to it? And now, with our country facing an unparalleled debt crisis, leaders in our beloved National Association of "Evangelicals" (a truly suspect word these days) are acting like dyed-in-the-wool leftists!
Brannon Howse of Worldview Weekend cut to the chase saying, "It now appears that Leith Anderson, and the NAE, has openly embraced socialism... Many of those that make up what is being called the 'Circle of Protection' would not even believe in or defend the essential Christian doctrines."
Oh, and then there's the name "The Circle of Protection." Did anyone up at the NAE bother to do a simple search for that phrase to find out where it came from?
The "Circle of Protection" is straight out of the occult. It relates to the casting of spells and hexes, allegedly to protect people from unwanted spiritual powers. In essence, it is employing occult powers in an effort to resist other occult forces. We find "The Circle of Protection" spoken of by ancient occult masters. Today, it is utilized throughout the practices of magick, witchcraft, and satanism, and is a staple used in modern occult games. During this writing, a Google search revealed over 180,000 pages on the Internet that include the phrase "Circle of Protection" - including the NAE website and several recent news stories reporting on Anderson and the initiative.
Note, the most recognizable occult symbol of our day - the pentagram (middle) - includes the "Circle of Protection."
It would be interesting to know just who at the NAE came up with the name and theme, "The Circle of Protection," anyway. More intriguing would be whether whoever suggested it knew of its origin and true meaning.
Regardless of whether or not the name of the new NAE initiative engenders specific occult overtones, the list of signers to it is a Who's Who of liberal Christianity - the very sort of folks whom the NAE was founded in 1942 to combat. Here are just a few of Leith Anderson's allies in trying to stop the necessary federal budget cuts that, unless otherwise made, will sooner or later bankrupt our nation and imperil us all.
Rev. Peg Chemberlin
President, National Council of Churches of Christ
President and CEO, Sojourners
President, Evangelicals for Social Action
President, World Vision United States
Bishop Mark S. Hanson
Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
General Secretary, General Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Church
President, Evangelical Environmental Network
Senior Pastor, Northland: A Church Distributed
General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Christ
President, Bread for the World
General Minister and President, United Church of Christ
President, Catholic Relief Services
Ambassador Tony Hall
Executive Director, Alliance to End Hunger
Director of Compassion & Justice Ministries, Willow Creek Community Church
Senior Pastor, Vineyard Columbus
Stanley J. Noffsinger
General Secretary, Church of the Brethren
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Bishop Sharon Zimmerman Rader
Ecumenical Officer, Council of Bishops, United Methodist Church
Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins
General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Rev. Dr. Stephen Sidorak
General Secretary, General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, United Methodist Church
Notice the name, Jim Wallis, in this partial listing of signatories above. Wallis was a committed Marxist in the 1960's, saying the happiest day of his life was when America "lost" the war in Viet Nam. Of course, a résumé like his makes one a candidate to become one of President Obama's spiritual advisers. I think I'd rather have Miss Cleo read my palm than take advice from Jim Wallis! Seriously, for Reverend Anderson to be in cahoots with individuals like Wallis is particularly disturbing. One can presume that nothing has changed in Wallis' worldview since the '60's except that now we have the highest leader in evangelicalism yoking with this blatant socialist.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me put it in the most basic terms. We have watched as our government has become the sugar daddy to nearly everybody possible and for any and every reason. Entire generations of people have grown up believing that living off the government dole is their right and privilege. Today, millions of citizens perceive that government handouts of varying types are not just to help the person simply down on his or her luck. Instead, government has become the paymaster for those who simply do not want to work. How could this be? It is because our politicians have decided that redistribution of the wealth is the American way and that it's their job to see to it that it's accomplished - along with assuring for themselves the votes of those they distribute said wealth to in every future election. Concerning the role of Anderson and the others involved in "The Circle of Protection," author and activist, Mark Tooley, of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, stated, "The faith that unites these groups seems to be in perpetually expanding 'Big Government.'" Tooley concluded, "That this false idol will deliver endless debt and reduced economic opportunity without helping the poor does not seem to distress these self-proclaimed 'prophetic' voices." I agree.
As painful as it is to see the poor around us, Jesus assured us that they would always be with us. And for every time I hear a liberal or "red letter" Christian quote Matthew 25 on feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, I remember the balance Paul introduced when he told the Thessalonians, "...this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat" (II Thess 3:10). I doubt we'll hear Jim Wallis quote that verse anytime soon.
Indeed, we are to do whatever we can to help those in real need. Simultaneously though, it is our Christian responsibility to present to them the only lasting hope that any of us will ever have - the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The problem is, when Christians join in unholy alliances with those whose chief goal is not seeing the lost redeemed, then we relinquish carrying out the central mission of why the Church actually exists at all. This is why I am perplexed and disappointed that those who have risen to leadership in the NAE have chosen to align with unbelieving heretics, even if it is for what appears to be a good cause.
Frankly, if we do not first recognize the leftists in our midst, and if they are not stopped, I greatly fear for where we're heading. Thus, two things need to occur. First, real, authentic, biblical Christians need to either call for folks like Leith Anderson to repent or show them to the door. We absolutely must have uncompromising leaders, willing to follow the Bible instead of the crowd, and only those dedicated to serving the Lord and not themselves need apply. Second, unless we quickly stop the monumental spending spree of those currently running this country, our ability to help anyone in times future is in serious question. If our government continues funding social programs like a proverbial drunken sailor, there will not be any wealth left for real Christians to use to help ourselves, let alone the poor. Accompanying that future poverty, we'll watch the economic engine that God has used mightily for more than 200 years come to a screeching halt, forcing us all to cuddle up to any politician who claims he or she will allow us a mere morsel to exist on. The sugar daddy train must stop and the Church ought to be leading the charge. Instead, Leith Anderson - the man who is supposed to represent us who believe the Bible - is lobbying for more from the government handout machine! Incredible.
Recently, I was in a large room where Leith Anderson was seated for dinner. At the time, I remarked to friends I was with that, though I wanted badly to approach him, I didn't feel the setting was conducive to confronting him. Now, I wish I would have thrown protocol aside and caused what would probably have been a very uncomfortable and unseemly scene. If I would have taken the opportunity, at least then I might have been able to ask one or two hard questions about some of the unbiblical alliances he's made while President of the NAE. Since I may never have the opportunity again, I bitterly regret not having done what it appears the NAE board (and his Minnesota congregation) isn't doing either: holding him accountable for misrepresenting what it means to operate as a true Evangelical. The lost are perishing; the Church is splintering; and our leader is intently "fiddling" around with Muslims, Mormons, and Marxists. God help us.