New Age Charity

Philanthropy isn't just philanthropy any more. These days, it may well have an ideological twist. And that twist may well be anti-Christian. A good example is the Council of Foundations. The Council is a trade association of more than 1,200 foundations and corporate giving programs. Together its members donate some $4 billion each year to various causes. The Council includes many of the most respected philanthropic organizations in America. Its public image is one of untarnished generosity and compassion. But journalist Marvin Olasky attended the Council's annual conference and uncovered a very different side: an open hostility to Christianity. It began on day one. Festivities were kicked off by media mogul Ted Turner, who rambled on about how Christianity is the root of all our social ills because it says human beings are more important than sea otters and that's why we have overpopulation and crime and why little children are shot in drive-by shootings. Turner concluded by urging foundation heads to give more money to abortion. And that was just the beginning. Many of the conference speakers preached New Age themes. Several sessions even opened with prayer—prayer to various Native American deities, that is. People who would never tolerate a Christian prayer in public eagerly joined in praying to a Seminole Indian god. The highlight of the conference was a series of workshops opened by an expert on transcendental meditation. He urged foundations to fund groups that teach people to practice psychic technologies for "inner awakening." Workshop participants were then led through a series of visualization techniques, presumably to promote their own "inner awakening." Just picture it: Foundation heads and corporate executives closing their eyes and singing songs like "I want to ride along your stream of energy." After all that hard work, evenings were given over to entertainment. One program featured a lesbian comic, whose language was too explicit to repeat on this program. Suffice it to say that many of her jokes were directed against Christian leaders, especially the pope. The audience laughed and applauded. She got laughs again when she recommended that all pro-lifers be treated to what she called "retro-abortion." She apparently meant that if we kill babies before birth, why not do the same thing after birth to people we disagree with? Let me remind you that this was not some small, radical fringe group. The Council of Foundations is highly respected and includes several of the nation's major foundations, supported by many big businesses. What the story illustrates is the insidious way New Age spiritualism has permeated even mainstream America. Not even respected professionals are immune. So before giving your money to any philanthropic causes, take a close look at what they really stand for. Be sure you know their real agenda. And you just might ask whether they attended the conference of the Council of Foundations.


Chuck Colson


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