Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Manhattan Declaration: To sign or not to sign
Pastor Allen invited us in his message Sunday to read the Manhattan Declaration, consider it, and sign it. I did. I was number 399,475.
But some people haven't signed it. I have actually been following this on the internet for several months now. Among those who have refused to sign are R.C. Sproul, Michael Horton, and John MacArthur. Those who have signed are numerous, and can be seen here.
I wondered what the reason could be that they are not signing this, so I read their statements in order to summarize them for readers on this blog. I thought their objection might be related to the futility of trying to change the country through political power struggles, as opposed to heart change through the power of the gospel. That's partly right. But they also do not want to be associated (in a statement that refers repeatedly to our spiritual heritage as Christians and our faith in God's divine revelation) with others (Roman Catholic and Orthodox, specifically) who may not state the gospel exactly the way that they (Sproul, MacArthur,and Horton) would state it.
It's not that I don't sympathize with those concerns...to some degree. But for me, they are not show stoppers. In regard to the first objection, I am convinced that if Christians do not support Biblical values informing the legal system, someone else's (inferior) value system will determine our nation's laws. Right now that would be politically correct "tolerance" (which tolerates every perversion known to man and wants to snuff out God's Word and His ways). But in a few years it could be the Sharia law of Islam. Either one is unacceptable for this nation.
In regard to the second objection, I have Roman Catholic and Orthodox friends (just as Sproul stated he does) whom I believe are living in saving faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, but who might not be able to articulate the gospel in a way that would pass Sproul's muster. I have been concerned at times that we as Reformed believers put more credence in articulation than faith. I stand with the words in the declaration, and with the brothers in Christ from other faith traditions who can also affirm those declarations.
To read an excellent statement by someone who did sign the declaration, look here.
Tomorrow: What I hope will happen