More than 150,000 people have so far signed the Manhattan Declaration, just a week after the document was unveiled.And one of the document's drafters, Chuck Colson, hopes the number will soon reach a million so that Christians would put America on notice that they will not compromise their faith, no matter what.Leaders from the evangelical, Orthodox and Catholic traditions released "The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience" last week to stand firm on what they consider the three most foundational issues in society the sanctity of life, the historic understanding of marriage, and religious liberty.It serves as a proclamation to the nation's leaders that they will not abandon or compromise their conscience on the three issues and as a call to the Christian church to unite in upholding the truths as followers of Jesus Christ.Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family and who was among the leaders at the release, has called the document "a historic development within the American church.""The document is a fresh and lively presentation, a renewed rallying cry to those who have been engaged in this historic effort of spiritual and cultural conversion," Daly stated in an e-mail Wednesday. "This is not a manifesto for culture war; it is a prescription for cultural change.""This is a document that exhorts us to champion Christian truths in a Christian manner," he asserted.But not all Christian leaders have affixed their names to the declaration.Well-known evangelical pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, Calif., believes the document "falls far short of identifying the one true and ultimate remedy for all of humanitys moral ills: the Gospel."The Gospel, he said, is barely mentioned in the declaration.He also doesn't agree with playing down the differences between evangelicals and the other faith traditions involved, such as Roman Catholics, whom he considers "purveyors of different gospels.""Instead of acknowledging the true depth of our differences, the implicit assumption (from the start of the document until its final paragraph) is that Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant Evangelicals and others all share a common faith in and a common commitment to the gospels essential claims," he stated.Supporting the document would "tacitly relegate the very essence of Gospel truth to the level of a secondary issue," MacArthur argued. "That is the wrong way perhaps the very worst way for evangelicals to address the moral and political crises of our time."Pre-eminet evangelical Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., also believes the Roman Catholic Church teaches doctrines that are unbiblical and doesn't sign documents between evangelicals and Catholics that attempt to establish common ground on theological issues.But he added his name to the Manhattan Declaration, citing that the document is a limited statement of Christian conviction on three crucial issues and not a theological document."The Manhattan Declaration does not attempt to establish common ground on these doctrines," Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, stated in a recent commentary. "We remain who we are, and we concede no doctrinal ground."The Manhattan Declaration, which was drafted last summer, comes as Christians feel the sanctity of human life, traditional marriage and freedom of religion and conscience are under assault. The original signers have stressed, however, that it is not a political statement and that the document could have been released 10 years ago or even 10 years later.The message emphasized in the document is the same message Christians have been proclaiming for centuries but this is the first time Catholics, Orthodox believers and evangelicals have rallied together behind it, Dr. Timothy George, one of three leaders who drafted the document, noted last week.Though the church leaders hope the time will not come when they would be compelled to practice civil disobedience, they say if American laws impinge on their conscience in any way (i.e. forced to conduct an abortion procedure), then they will not comply with the law in order to honor their own conscience."We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence," the declaration states. "It is our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season. May God help us not to fail in that duty."[url=http://www.christianpost.com/article/20091126/over-150-000-americans-sign-manhattan-declaration/index.html]SOURCE[/url]
Among the list of signatures of well known theologians and evangelical leaders are:Randy AlcornKay ArthurWayne GrudemErwin W. LutzerJosh McDowellAlbert MohlerJ.I. PackerChuck SwindollMichael YoussefRavi ZachariasChuck ColsonColson had this to say about the conference:"There, in front of all those cameras and lights, Christian leaders lovingly, winsomely, and firmly took a stand. I will never forget the picture. I stood between Archbishop Wuerl of Washington and Cardinal Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia. I looked over at Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Jim Daly of Focus on the Family, and Ron Sider, president of Evangelicals for Social Action.To my left was the brilliant Bishop Harry Jackson, a man who has mobilized African American churches in the District to oppose gay 'marriage.' And there was Fr. Chad Hatfield, chancellor of St. Vladimirs Orthodox Seminary. I was missing only one man, my dear friend, the late Richard Neuhaus.It was a foretaste of what were all going to see in heaven, when those of us who can truly trust the Bible, who love Christ with all our hearts, minds, and souls, are re-united in the presence of our gracious and loving God."
I would agree with MaCarthur in this case. And also, the notion that the Evangelical movement can stand and speak authoritativly on the sanctity of marriage when almost half of all Evangelicals are divorced seems a littl disengenuous. Just a side note to back up what MacArthur says about Catholicism(I am an ex-Catholic)I have a friend whose father was removed from Colson's prison ministry because , in answer to a question, told the men that there was no such thing as purgatory. He was told not to do this again, yet when the question was again asked about six weeks later, and he again affirmed that there was no purgatory, he was asked to leave. I guess there are many forms of disobedience, civil or othewise. It reminds me of what the Apostles told the Pharisees when they were told not to share....Act 5:29 And Peter and the apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than menReligous men are still about their business, and the answer from God's people is still the same..........Frank
As i understand they are addressing the moral and social issues in american crises from a christian perspective. As i understand this is not about ecumenism but about a call to all christians to resist and do something about the moral evils of our society.In my philosophy christians should always be advocates of the good of humanity.We should stand firm on our faith and be uncompromising in our core convictions.Im agaisnt any worldly corrupt ecumenicle movement, but in this case i dont understand why we should be affraid to denounce the evils of our day by joining our voices with others.The truth is that true reform comes from inside of the church of God. When the church is revived and awakened and proclaims the true gosple with power and unction. Professing "Christian co-alitions" no matter how good is their motives for social reform, are morally powerless if the church is not living the truth that they preach and belief.
Elected, you wrote......." As i understand this is not about ecumenism but about a call to all christians to resist" and ...."Christian co-alitions no matter how good is their motives for social reform, are morally powerless if the church is not living the truth that they preach and belief."Do you see the language Elected? You are saying that Catholics are Christians or are you? You also said "Christian co-alitions," do you mean by that , that Catholics are another branch of Christianity? If you do, which of course you are entitiled to believe, I would just respectfully disagree..........Frank
[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=753q0YnKHl0]Pastor Fred preaches the word.[/url]
Just so everyone knows, I would totally reject the so called Rev Phelps. An ugly man indeed........Frank
May be my words are not expressing my sentiments.The catholic and orthodox churches have died long time ago as a movement, so are most the protestant denominations.Im not naive, i dont expect any spiritual good from declarations like this from religious leaders. Lets put it this way, lets suppose that a group of atheists and agnostics stood up for freedom of faith and speech and for judeo-christian traditional values of marriage or against abortion, i would have applauding the same way their stand for social justice as the proffessing christians would have done.I hope Frank that will help :-) Edited
Hi Elected, we agree on the death of denominationalism :-) I think my major problem is the legitimacy that is endowed on groups when you work together with them. If you start from the premise that almost two billion people around the world are Catholics, but not Christians, and that this represents a thrid of the world's popluation, then this fact eclipses any particular moral problems that may be facing America.And remember, this subject is not taking place in a vaccuum. There was the infamous evangelical agreement not to prozeltyze Catholics back in the 90s, the main reason being that they were already brothers in Christ. So, considering that Catholics represent a third of the world's population and the hierarchy of that organisation is actively opposed to genuine Christianity, and the "Evangelical compromise," then I think we must be clear and make a bold stand. I would say to anyone, if you truly love Catholics, share the Gospel with them........Frank