The Manhattan Declaration

Discussion in 'General discussions' started by SolaSaint, Nov 23, 2009.

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  1. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint Puritan Board Sophomore

    Hi All.

    Not sure where to post this, so here goes. Has everyone seen the Manhattan Declaration? It is a gathering of over 140 church leaders from many denominations including evangelicals and Catholics where they have come in unity on several social problems facing America and the church today. It is highly opposed to the current administration and it's attack on Christian values such as pro-life, sanctity of life, pro-marriage and religious liberties. Many good Christian men have signed it like Chuck Colson, Richard Land, Al Mohler, Wayne Grudem and many more. It's a long read but well worth your time, so I've attached the link. Press Kit - Manhattan Declaration Newsroom - DeMossNews.com

    What do you all think the repercussions will be for this bold initiative by the visible church? Will it make a difference in America? Will you sign the declaration? Will you uphold what is in the declaration if pressed to do so by the government? This may the very thing needed today from the church to sepreate itself from the world, and return America back to the Christian nation it was founded as. :pilgrim:
     
  2. Sgt Grit

    Sgt Grit Puritan Board Freshman

    As I see it the politicians in Washington know how we (Christians) feel, and they don’t care. I would not join an organization under the banner of Christ unless they were all Christian organizations and some of them are simply non-profits (not a church), and others are at best pseudo Christian organizations. There are some names I respect on this list, but not enough to attach my name to it.

    I know we don’t need to agree on everything, so if John Macarthur and RC Sproul wanted to form a charitable group for a common cause I would be willing to join, but if it were the Catholic Church and RC Sproul/John Macarthur I would not. I would never link my Church to groups that deny the faith.

    Sgt.
     
  3. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Moderator

    I was just going to post on this. One of the folks in my church brought this to my attention yesterday. There are some Reformed guys on there like Tim Keller, Bryan Chappel, and William Edgar. I'm still reading through it though. :2cents:
     
  4. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    It has been circulated in our presbytery by one of our "older" elders (a TE) with the suggestion that we prayerfully consider signing it.
     
  5. Curt

    Curt Puritan Board Graduate

    :amen:
     
  6. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    I have read through this thing 10 times now and I cannot reason (pun intended) why orthodox Reformed men would sign it.

    -----Added 11/23/2009 at 06:38:34 EST-----

    Every time I read this document I find more and more historical inaccuracies in the preamble. Did anyone fact check this thing?
     
  7. Reformed Thomist

    Reformed Thomist Puritan Board Sophomore

    It's the Packer Effect.
     
  8. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Moderator

    What inaccuracies?

    And why should Reformed men not sign it?
     
  9. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    For starters in the preamble:
    While "true" the historical fact is that Rome was just as much involved in the enslavement of peoples in this period as the people it supposedly was "decrying".

    While all of this is in some way "true" it is full of places that it could be torn apart at the seams by the very people to whom this document is trying to "speak".
     
  10. ADKing

    ADKing Puritan Board Junior

    Hmmm...I think this statement is highy questionable.

    I would admit that the church has not done a great job in recent decades maintaining a biblical prophetic voice to our society and am sympathetic with those who desire to reclaim this.

    However, this particular declaration fails, in my opinion

    1. Because of its syncretism. Say what you will, but I am thoroughly persuaded that Romanists and Eastern Orthodox (and several suppsed evangelicals named in the signatures) are not and should not be regarded as Christians. The Word of God clearly tells us: "And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD." (2 Chronicles 19.2). How can we expect positive benefit from unholy alliances with the followers of Antichrist and other heretics?

    2. For statements such as the following nor should persons of faith be forbidden to worship God according to the dictates of conscience or to express freely and publicly their deeply held religious convictions. What is true for individuals applies to religious communities as well.
    Christians should know better. Religious liberty is not the right to worship God however one desires. It is freedom to worship God according to his word. It is the plain teaching of Scripture (especially following the patterns of the godly kings of Judah) that idolaters ought not to be allowed to express their convictions publicly, either as individuals or as communities. This statement should not be supported.
     
  11. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Moderator

    Yes, that section on religious freedom was not worded very well.

    But do you disagree with them that "no one should be compelled to embrace any religion against his will"?

    And where are they arguing that we have the right to worship "however one desires"? They clearly define "worship God" as the God who reveals himself in Christ, and its a declaration of professing Trinitarian Christians. Certainly we would not agree with how Catholics and Eastern Orthodox churches worship, but they are not saying that anything goes.
     
  12. DMcFadden

    DMcFadden Puritan Board Doctor

  13. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint Puritan Board Sophomore

    I can understand some of you that have opposed this declaration on reason of not wanting to associate with parachurch organizations and Catholics, but looking past this, can't any of you see the importance of standing against the evil policies of this present administration? There comes a time when we are to do the greater good instead of allowing evil to rule at the sake of siding with those who we disagree on doctrine. We are not siding with them on doctrinal issues, but instead we are standing together in agreement that evil has flourished in America because the visible church has stood still while liberals have pushed their agendas down our throats.

    As far as America being founded on Christian principles, I can't believe any reformed Christian would deny this. Just do a study of the early gov't documents and charters. Just do a study on Jonathan Edwards.

    -----Added 11/23/2009 at 08:54:52 EST-----

    Sorry, didn't see it. Thanks
     
  14. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    Where was this group then when the last evil administration was in operation?
     
  15. PastorTim

    PastorTim Puritan Board Freshman

    seems like an attempt to hide politics behind the cross
     
  16. gene_mingo

    gene_mingo Puritan Board Junior

    Personally, I feel by attaching your signature to that document you legitimize romes claim as a christian church. The evil we as Reformed Christians ought to be fighting is rome and the perversion of the Christian Church.
     
  17. PastorTim

    PastorTim Puritan Board Freshman

    America, actually, in separating the church from the state. An undong, as it were, of the Edict of Milan. The church had been intertwined with the state since this time and n the light of the havoc this played with Europe it was the American experiment to seperate them for the first time. America was in no way a Christian nation, albeit it was a nation comprised of Christians.
    If we are to affect social change then it must begin with the gospel. The compass that the world views must be affected by the truth of God. It cannot be mandated for His kingdom is not of this world. We shall never be able to legislate Christian ethics. This document is backwards as well politically motivated, albeit well intentioned. The founders had a view of the world that passed through the eyes of God via His Word, thus resting on Christian ethics. We cannot unite faiths that don't agree on fundamental issues on issues of faith. We cannot sign agreements with those whom we disagree. Any effort to do so will result in synchretism, whereby altering the truth of scripture.
     
  18. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    I agree with Josh on his second point. But not the first.

    If one was consistent in point one then you would give up the creeds "because people might think that you agree with Rome".

    However I am troubled by the idea that I must defend the rights of non-christians to practice paganism. ( & by "non-christians" I mean people that do not baptise in the name of the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit".)
     
  19. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint Puritan Board Sophomore

    The declaration itself doesn't mention the Gospel, it does however mention how far away from truths in scripture, that we as reformed and catholic agree on, that this administration has made as it's platform of reforming America from what used to be a Christian influenced population to one that is now so immoral that it is revolting. I see the majority in here feel that can't sign this due to their disagreement with the Gospel and that is fine, but I'll bet you didn't even read the whole document. That is sad that you are so afraid of being identified with a catholic that you would pass up on something that may be of God.

    -----Added 11/23/2009 at 10:52:08 EST-----

    Would that be Bush or Clinton?:rolleyes:
     
  20. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint Puritan Board Sophomore

    Joshua,

    What I meant was that one won't sign because of a disagreement with the Gospel view, I worded it poorly, my fault, sorry.

    I must ask though, did you read the whole declaration?
     
  21. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint Puritan Board Sophomore

    Here's a portion of Al Mohler's response as to why he signed the declaration:

    I signed The Manhattan Declaration because it is a limited statement of Christian conviction on these three crucial issues, and not a wide-ranging theological document that subverts confessional integrity. I cannot and do not sign documents such as Evangelicals and Catholics Together that attempt to establish common ground on vast theological terrain. I could not sign a statement that purports, for example, to bridge the divide between Roman Catholics and evangelicals on the doctrine of justification. The Manhattan Declaration is not a manifesto for united action. It is a statement of urgent concern and common conscience on these three issues -- the sanctity of human life, the integrity of marriage, and the defense of religious liberty.

    So Joshua, it's great that you read it, but where did it proclaim the gospel?

    -----Added 11/23/2009 at 11:35:44 EST-----

    strike my last question Joshua, I just read your earlier post. Sorry again. I see where you disagree on the the general quote of the Gospel in the declaration and that you cannot sign because it doesn't differentiate between RC and reformed. But still the Gospel from either side isn't spelled out.
     
  22. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint Puritan Board Sophomore

    More from Al Mohler:

    My beliefs concerning the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches have not changed. The Roman Catholic Church teaches doctrines that I find both unbiblical and abhorrent -- and these doctrines define nothing less than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But The Manhattan Declaration does not attempt to establish common ground on these doctrines. We remain who we are, and we concede no doctrinal ground.

    But when Catholic Charities in Massachusetts chose to end its historic ministry of placing orphaned children in good homes because the State of Massachusetts required it to place children with same-sex couples, this is not just a Catholic issue. The orphanage could have easily been Baptist. When Belmont Abbey college in North Carolina is told by federal authorities that it must offer abortion services in its insurance plans for employees, this is no longer just a Catholic issue. The next institution to be under attack might well be Presbyterian. We are in this together, and we had better be thankful that, in this case, we are not alone.
     
  23. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    I have read it, but have not parsed it in great detail.

    One thing that strikes me about this document (as opposed to others) is that it seems to say nothing about articles of faith. In that sense it is vastly superior to the Evangelicals and Catholics Together nonsense.

    I was also surprised by the number of opponents of ECT, and Reformed evangelicals that signed.
     
  24. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thanks and I'm OK with that. God Bless!
     
  25. BJClark

    BJClark Puritan Board Doctor

    I think the very beginning of declaration speaks clearly as to who is standing together..it's NOT organizations...

    So I guess I'm not understanding where anyone would be in agreement w/ "Rome" if they signed this declaration..

     
  26. SolaSaint

    SolaSaint Puritan Board Sophomore

    Rev. King stated:

    "2. For statements such as the following nor should persons of faith be forbidden to worship God according to the dictates of conscience or to express freely and publicly their deeply held religious convictions. What is true for individuals applies to religious communities as well.
    Christians should know better. Religious liberty is not the right to worship God however one desires. It is freedom to worship God according to his word. It is the plain teaching of Scripture (especially following the patterns of the godly kings of Judah) that idolaters ought not to be allowed to express their convictions publicly, either as individuals or as communities. This statement should not be supported."

    I'm not sure I understand. Wasn't Judah a theocracy? America isn't a theocracy, but I'll assume you are not speaking about America but instead the invisible church, is that correct?
     
  27. AThornquist

    AThornquist Puritan Board Doctor

  28. jason d

    jason d Puritan Board Freshman

    I've been thinking about this since I saw all the hussle and bussle about it last week and I thought James White had some wisdom on this and said this better than I could:

     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  29. William Price

    William Price Puritan Board Freshman

    "To pursue union at the expense of truth is treason to the Lord Jesus." Charles Spurgeon
     
  30. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    My thoughts exactly.
     
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