The following is an exchange of letters published in the Raleigh News & Observer regarding the Council’s mission.
I have the pleasure of serving on the board of the N.C. Council of Churches. I agreed to serve on the board because the council reflects many of my life’s values. The council’s website states: “The Council enables denominations, congregations and people of faith to individually and collectively impact our state on issues such as economic justice and development, human well-being, equality, compassion and peace, following the example and mission of Jesus Christ.”
Our new president, Stan Kimer (news story, Dec. 28) will capably lead us in working toward the admirable goals of “following the example and mission of Jesus Christ.” Stan’s faithfulness to his church and the council, along with his business acumen and other skills, were factors in his election. His sexual orientation was not.
I look forward to continuing the exciting and rewarding work of the council, including the critical issues of peace, hospitality and stewardship of the Earth.
The Rev. Deborah Fox
Hay and stubble
The writer of the Jan. 2 letter “Christ’s example” exposed the spiritual corruption of the N.C. Council of Churches, of which she serves as a board member, through her statement that the “work of the council [includes] the critical issues of peace, hospitality and stewardship of the Earth.”
Although these are exemplary, the example and mission of Jesus Christ in coming to this Earth as true God and true man was first and foremost to bridge the gap between sinful man and a holy and righteous God, through his death and resurrection in paying the penalty for your sin, and mine, and purchasing a place in Heaven for us.
In that light, all the good works of the council and its associated churches are as wood, hay and stubble if members are not taught that they are sinners and that they need a savior.
Unfortunately, that central theme appears nowhere in the stated values of the writer nor the mission statement of the council.
Mission in the world
The N.C. Council of Churches was founded 75 years ago by ecumenically minded ministers opposed to segregation. The Jan. 10 letter “Hay and stubble” complains that the council does not emphasize the theme of Jesus’ work in saving sinners. This letter misunderstands how the council works.
The council is a Christian organization made up of 18 denominations which, as our constitution states, “accept Jesus Christ as the incarnate Son of God and Saviour of the world and that sincerely purpose to bear ecumenical witness to Him through the medium of the Council.”
While those denominations agree on the fundamental importance of Jesus’ saving work, they express and implement it differently. It is not the council’s mission to deal with theological questions of expression and implementation.
The council brings Christians together to address, quoting our mission statement, issues such as economic justice and development, human well-being, equality, compassion and peace, following the example and mission of Jesus Christ. We believe that how Christians live in our complicated world is an important witness to Jesus’ saving work, and we take seriously his words in Matthew: [W]hatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
Second Vice President
N.C. Council of Churches