INTER-RELIGIOUS COOPERATION

 

The Leader of the Free World
Turns to Representatives of World Religions for Counsel

President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

EXCERPTS FROM

President’s Advisory Council

Report of Recommendations to the President

 

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COUNCIL MEMBERS

Diane Baillargeon, President and CEO, Seedco

Anju Bhargava, President, Asian Indian Women in America Founder,
Hindu American Seva Charities

Bishop Charles Blake, Presiding Bishop, Church of God in Christ
Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association
Dr . Arturo Chávez, President and CEO; Mexican American Catholic College

The Reverend Canon Peg Chemberlin, President, National Council of Churches;
Executive Director, Minnesota Council of Churches

Fred Davie, Senior Director, The Arcus Foundation

Nathan J . Diament, Director of Public Policy,
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America

Dr . Joel C . Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland, A Church Distributed

Harry Knox, Director, Religion and Faith
Program Human Rights Campaign Foundation

Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, Bishop, Thirteenth Episcopal District,
African Methodist Episcopal Church

Dalia Mogahed, Senior Analyst and Executive Director,
The Center for Muslim Studies, Gallup

The Reverend Otis Moss, Jr ., Pastor Emeritus, Oliviet Institutional Baptist Church

Dr . Frank Page, Vice-President of Evangelization, North American Mission Board;
and Past President of the Southern Baptist Convention

Dr . Eboo Patel, Founder and Executive Director, Interfaith Youth Core

Anthony R. Picarello, Jr., General Counsel, United States
Conference of Catholic Bishops

Nancy Ratzan, President, National Council of Jewish Women

Melissa Rogers, Council Chair, Director, Center for Religion and Public Affairs
of the Wake Forest University Divinity School

Rabbi David saperstein, Director and Counsel,
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

The Reverend William J . shaw, President, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
The Reverend Larry J . snyder, President and CEO, Catholic Charities USA
Richard E . stearns, President, World Vision United States

Judith Vredenburgh, Immediate Past President and CEO,
Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

Jim Wallis, President and CEO, Sojourners

The Reverend Dr . sharon E . Watkins, General Minister and President,
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada

 P. 11

President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships - March 2010

INTRODUCTION 

 

It is difficult to overstate the generosity of the American spirit. From the rubble of Haitian neighborhoods to underserved communities across our own country ,Americans are working to address the needs of the most vulnerable among us. The Government is often a partner in this critical work, collaborating with local groups to serve those in need.

It is difficult to overstate the generosity of the American spirit. From the rubble of Haitian neighborhoods to underserved communities across our own country ,Americans are working to address the needs of the most vulnerable among us. The Government is often a partner in this critical work, collaborating with local groups to serve those in need.

The Council shall bring together leaders and experts in fields related to the work of faith-based and neighborhood organizations in order to: identify best practices and successful modes of delivering social services; evaluate the need for improvements in the implementation and coordination of public policies relating to faith-based and other neighborhood organizations; and make recommendations to the President, through the Executive Director [of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships], for changes in policies, programs, and practices that affect the delivery of services by such organizations and the needs of low-income and other underserved persons in communities at home and around the world.

Within this report, the Advisory Council proposes a number of such recommendations, and it urges President Obama and his Administration to adopt them. As members of this Council, we are encouraged by the fact that the President and his Administration have made sustained dialogue with a diverse set of leaders a key part of this process, and we thank them for inviting the recommendations we present here.

President Obama asked the Council to focus its attention on making recommendations in the following priority areas:

Economic Recovery and Domestic Poverty

Environment and Climate Change Fatherhood and Healthy Families

Global Poverty and Development

Interreligious Cooperation

Reform of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Pp. iv & v

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Inter-Religious

Cooperation

Members of the Taskforce

Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, Immediate Past President, National Council of Churches; and

Legate, Diocese of the Armenian Church of America

Anju Bhargava, President, Asian Indian Women in America; Founder, Hindu American Seva Charities

Nathan J . Diament, Director of Public Policy, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America

The Reverend Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, General Secretary, Reformed Church in America

Bishop Mark Hanson, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Dr . Joel C . Hunter, senior Pastor, Northland, A Church Distributed

Dr . Ingrid Mattson, President, Islamic Society of North America

Dalia Mogahed, Senior Analyst and Executive Director, The Center for Muslim Studies, Gallup

The Reverend Otis Moss, Jr ., Pastor Emeritus, Oliviet Institutional Baptist Church

Dr . Eboo Patel, Founder and Executive Director, Interfaith Youth Core

Rabbi David saperstein, Director and Counsel, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

James D . standish, JD, MBA, Department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters

Dr . William Vendley, Secretary General; and

The Reverend Donald "Bud" Heckman, Director for External Relations, Religions for Peace

Miroslav Volf, Director, Yale Center for Faith and Culture

P. 69

The Seventh-day Adventist Church did not make it to Council membership status, but there is its representative on the Inter-Religious Cooperation list – in the embrace of Caesar and the world’s false religions.

Adventist, other faith representatives share ideas to bolster relationship between religious groups, government

'A Seventh-day Adventist Church representative joined other faith leaders at the White House this week to share ideas on inter-religious cooperation with a government office launched last year to give community organizations -- including faith groups -- a voice in policy decisions. . . .

"The intersection of faith and government is complex and fraught with pitfalls, but ignoring [them] doesn't make them go away," said James D. Standish, a task force member who also directs United Nations relations for the Adventist world church's department of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty.

"Our goal was to provide thoughtful guidance to the president on ... means he may want to employ to improve the way the government relates to faith," said Standish, who wrote the religious liberty section of the report.

Standish lent the task force an expert grasp on "the role that church-state separation and religious freedom play in keeping faith independent and vital," said Melissa Rogers, council chair and director for Religion and Public Affairs at the Wake Forest University Divinity School.'

This all looks well at first sight, but it is deceptive.  A. T. Jones represented the Seventh-day Adventist Church before Congress on the Blair Amendment; however, he was there as a representative from the outside.  In these times the Church is burrowing into membership in apostate church organizations, and into the centers of temporal power.  The motto seems to be “if you can’t beat them [by the power of Truth] join them.”

The rationalization is a delusion, proving that when you depart from the Truth, you also depart from the reality of Truth.

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
2 Thess. 2:8-12 (NKJV; emphasis added)

What stronger delusion can beguile the mind than the pretense that you are building on the right foundation and that God accepts your works, when in reality you are working out many things according to worldly policy and are sinning against Jehovah? Oh, it is a great deception, a fascinating delusion, that takes possession of minds when men who have once known the truth, mistake the form of godliness for the spirit and power thereof  . . .”
Who can truthfully say: "Our gold is tried in the fire; our garments are unspotted by the world"? I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare the defilement beneath. Then He said to me: "Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character?
'How is the faithful city become an harlot!'  (8T 249; emphasis added)