The American Council of Christian Churches (ACCC) was founded under the leadership of the controversial and militant minister Dr. Carl McIntire in 1941. It was started as Fundamental Separatist Church group by Carl McIntire, and remains a Fundamental Separatist group today. Prospective members must be in agreement with the doctrinal statement, and be admitted with a 3/4 vote by current members. Membership is denied those who have any affiliation with the World Council of Churches (WCC), National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), anyone associated “Ecumenicism” or the Charismatic Movement.
Current Member Churches and Organizations:
- Association of Ministers of the Reformed Faith (AMRF)
- Bible Presbyterian Church
- Evangelical Methodist Church of America
- Fellowship of Fundamental Bible Churches
- Free Presbyterian Church of North America
- Fundamental Methodist Church
- Independent Baptist Fellowship of North America
- Independent Churches Affiliated
The ACCC 70th Annual Convention took place in Lancaster Pennsylvania October 18-20th. The ACCC passed six resolutions, including one on the issue of abuse in what the ACCC termed “professed fundamentalism.”
At first glance it is encouraging that a fundamentalist Church organization such as the ACCC is at long last recognizing that physical and sexual abuse is a problem within fundamentalism, however there are some problems with this resolution.
The first glaring problem, is that no matter where one stands on homosexuality, it should not be put on the same level as Pedophilia, Rape of Minors, and incest. Homosexuality takes place between two consenting adults, where the latter three do not. Furthermore, whether they like it or not, homosexuality is not illegal, the latter three most definitely are illegal.
Second, there are many adults who have been victims of sexual assault and rape. Most are women, not all. Why are these overlooked?
Third problem is the wording of this part of the resolution:
“The glorious heritage of Christ’s Church is badly stained when such abuse occurs, and more so when those who deal with the abuse fail to address it. The result is that those who reject our message feel free to challenge our genuineness. But for worse, these scandals reproach the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ, giving His enemies an opportunity to blaspheme. (2 Samuel 12:14)”
It appears to me, that they are still trying to blame those who where abused in fundamentalism, and/or those who advocate for those who are abused because many of those people have questioned the genuineness of fundamentalist leaders. Most fundamentalist leaders have turned a deaf ear to the plight of those who were abused. As I see it, they should not refer to those who question these fundamentalist leaders genuineness and imply those who do reject the message, and may be enemies who blaspheme against Jesus.
For example Dr. Bob Jones III spoke on October 19, 2011 at the ACCC 70th Annual Convention. The title of Dr. Jones’ message wasKeep Your Eyes Open and the Doors Shut. Would it be wrong to question the genuineness of Dr. Bob Jones stand against child abuse when he endorsed a book written by a man who is still incarcerated in a Texas State Prison for holding down an 11 year old Hispanic boy while his brother (and co-pastor) beat the boy with two sticks until the little boy went into kidney failure and nearly died? The testimony from Caleb Thompson’s appeal is even worse than all the newspaper articles. There is enough information for an objective, third party to understand the gruesome details of the case and the need for the sentence which was handed down. If Bob Jones, III is truly interested in the facts then he should be willing to read this Appeal and rescind his endorsement.
“Am I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth.” Galations 4:16 (KJV)