Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Riverside Church: Liberalism and Unchanged Hearts

The Rockefeller family have funded Communist and humanistic projects and groups for years. With major financial support from John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the Riverside Church in New York City was planned and built. The land was purchased by Rockefeller and construction was completed in 1930. Upon completion, the church had a large, magnificent cathedral-like church.The tower, rising to a height of 392 feet, was the first of its kind to serve a functional purpose, providing 24 floors for the congregation's programs.

The church was started as an ecumenical/interdenominational ministry with its roots in both the American Baptist Church and the United Church of Christ. Their weekly meetings emphasized communication and cooperation between denominations. Since John D. Rockefeller believed that it was critical that Christian theology reflect current concerns and needs, they have always been known for their controversial/heretical beliefs. [1]

Riverside Church has opened its pulpit to some of the 20th Century’s most controversial leaders. In addition to Martin Luther King – who preached at Riverside six times between 1960 and 1967 – Fidel Castro, Nelson Mandela, Cesar Chavez, Andrew Young, Marian Wright Edelman, Desmond Tutu, Jesse Jackson and scores of politicians, writers, actors, journalists have found common cause, encouragement, and an open forum at Riverside.[2]

The Riverside’s pastors have consistently found scripture and liberal social activism intertwined. Most are proponents of Liberation Theology, and the church is a member of the Communist organization - the National Council of Churches.

Former Senior Pastors

The Rev. Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick, 1930 - 1946

  • Rev. Fosdick was a leader of the NCC, and was a former President of the Rockefeller Foundation.
  • He was a graduate of Union Theological Seminary.
  • He did not believe in the essentials of the faith - such as the Virgin Birth, the deity of Christ, and the substitutionary doctrine of the Atonement.
  • Fosdick believed that the democracies were largely to blame for the rise of fascism.
The Rev. Dr. Robert James McCracken, 1946 - 1967

  • Rev. McCracken was a former professor of theology.  He was Scottish-born, and defined his approach as “life-situation” preaching.
The Rev. Dr. Ernest T. Campbell, 1968 - 1976

  • Campbell taught at several seminaries, including Union Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary (his alma mater). Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Claremont School of Theology and Garrett-Evangelical Seminary. 
  • His preaching missions abroad served as inspiration for his books Christian Manifesto and Locked in a Room with Open Doors.[3]
The Rev. Dr. William Sloane Coffin, Jr., 1977 - 1987

  • "William Sloane Coffin was a Skull and Bones member, Class of 1949. This would have made him companions with George Bush. Coffin comes from a long line of Skull and Bones Coffins. 
  • Coffin was famous in the Vietnam War protest days as a leader of the left protest against the war.[4]
  • He became President of SANE/FREEZE. It was a socialist, international group pushing for the United Nations military force and general disarmament of national armies, naval, and air forces.
  • Coffin was involved in the environmental movement.
  • He was the keynote speaker of the World Federalist Association, which is a group for a one-world government and end of American sovereignty and independence. [Dr. Cathy Burns]
The Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr., 1989 - 2007

  • The church’s first African-American pastor, Forbes came from a Pentecostal background in North Carolina. 
  • Master of Divinity Degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
  • He was Professor of Preaching at Union Theological Seminary when called to the Riverside pulpit.
  • Forbes continued the Riverside tradition of theological liberalism and social activism.  The New York Times observed that he had also run into significant opposition with some members of his “highly educated, highly involved congregation.”[5]  
  • He is President of the Healing of the Nations Foundation, which promotes unity and inclusion [acceptance of gays].
The Rev. Dr. Brad R. Braxton, 2008 - 2009

  • The Rev. Braxton joined Riverside Church in Manhattan in September of 2008, only to announce his resignation less than a year later. 
  • Riverside Church had broken up into factions. They embraced a broad spectrum of faiths including: Christianity, Hindi, Buddhism, and additionally welcoming people from all walks of life.  Dr. Braxton attempted to help the church decide “how to bring an interfaith, interracial, progressive religious institution from the 20th century into the 21st century.”  Braxton’s method of preaching served to isolate many members of the congregation, since he preached “at times what they considered a Riverside heresy: that Jesus and only Jesus was the way to salvation.” [6] View video
The Rev. Stephen Phelps, 2010 - Present

  • Rev. Stephen H. Phelps was selected as Interim Senior Minister for the Riverside Church in December of 2010 and began his position in January of 2011. 
  • He earned his M.Div. at Yale Divinity School.
  • Rev. Phelps has taught and initiated programs to strengthen contemplative practices, prison ministries, multi-cultural community, justice and inclusion for gays and lesbians, and interfaith learning and dialogue. [7]
  • He is a proponent of interfaith dialogue.[8]
When this church came into being, the Church became infiltrated with an all out social agenda - Communism. It was intended that the Word of God be attacked so that people would question its accuracy. The Rockefeller family knew that if they opened this church, it would be "one of a kind" and would change what Christians hold as dear. The church leadership took a major step toward creating the one world religion. 

Riverside Church was a social experiment that created an alliance of believers and unbelievers that would model future churches to come. They took the heretical teachings from the Union Theological Seminary and muddied the waters completely with false teaching. They created for themselves a system of religion that would never enable them to know the God of the Bible. It was a system that could never change hearts.

It would be wonderful if the believing Church could create true change by shaking off the misguided steps of the past and get back to the Truth about who Christ is. Unfortunately, the damage has already been done. It will only be a matter of time when the Protestant and Catholic church will become one, then they will join together with the other religions of the world to worship who they believe is the one true God. Won't they be surprised to find it was the snake in the Garden, all along.

"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." Colossians 2:8