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Monday, April 25, 2005
 
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Big church halts support of ministries

Cites concerns about Roman Catholics, other faiths


KEN GARFIELD
Staff Writer

One of Charlotte's best-known churches has withdrawn support for a food pantry that serves the needy because the pantry works with Roman Catholics.

Central Church of God explained its decision in a letter March 1 from minister of evangelism Shannon Burton to Loaves & Fishes in Charlotte: "As a Christian church, we feel it is our responsibility to follow closely the (principles) and commands of Scripture. To do this best, we feel we should abstain from any ministry that partners with or promotes Catholicism, or for that matter, any other denomination promoting a works-based salvation."

Loaves & Fishes isn't the only ministry with which the Sardis Road mega-church has cut ties, and Catholics have not been the only reason they've given.

The Rev. Tony Marciano, executive director of Charlotte Rescue Mission, said Burton told him the church could no longer support the agency after it allowed three Muslim students from UNC Charlotte to help serve a meal at the uptown ministry in November. Founded in 1938 by eight businessmen, including Charlotte-born evangelist Billy Graham's father, Charlotte Rescue Mission offers Christ-centered residential care for people fighting drugs and alcohol.

Doug Hartjes, director of development for Crisis Assistance Ministry in Charlotte, said Central Church of God told them it will not provide financial support this year. Crisis Assistance provides emergency financial aid and other help to people. Hartjes said 200 congregations representing Christian, Jewish and other faiths donate money and volunteer time, as do people with no religious affiliation.

The church also ended funding for Love Inc., which provides services for the poor, elderly and disabled in Mecklenburg County.
Ah yes, some of the fundies are beginning to balk at love fest for Ratzinger Benny XVI. Of course they are resorting to their most tried and true method, bigotry. (Muslims serving food... Oh my!!!)

If Benny and the Jets ratchet up the "one church" unification rhetoric that has been prevelant in the Papal speeches, I can assure you that we will see more of this so-called "Christian" behavior.... much more.

The GOP has cynically exploited the abortion issue to bring Catholics into their religious right coalition. I wonder how long the massive theological, rather than policy, differences can remain unspoken before there is a political schism of biblical proportions.
 
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“There’s a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people…and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years…We’re dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon.” -Paul Wolfowitz

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