Monday, December 21, 2009

The Manhattan Proclamation

The Manhattan Proclamation

Finally, after hearing all of the brouhaha about the Manhattan Proclamation, I’ve read it in its entirety. This document was developed and adopted by a group of Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant Evangelicals who joined together to protest three basic issues that I feel very strongly about:

1. The Sanctity of Human Life

2. The Dignity of Traditional Marriage

3. The Rights of Conscience and Religious Liberty
I certainly agree with their listed reasons for protest regarding all these areas. But I’m wondering if we are selling our souls to ecumenicalism in an attempt to unify under a political or social banner. The more important calling of all Christians is to proclaim the unadulterated Gospel of Jesus Christ. While the goal of addressing these issues is admirable and noble are we not drinking the poison? When we lump ourselves together with denominations who deify Mary and base their salvation on works are we doing more harm than good? Are we helping to legitimize a system of belief that is contrary to the true word of God?
The differences between these three groups is fundamental and explicit. The lines of demarcation between the fundamental truths found in the gospels and the heretical apostasies are blurred. The document begins with these words: “We are Catholic, Orthodox and Evangelical Christians…” How can these three gather under the same gospel banner when their fundamental beliefs regarding the gospel have differed for thousands of years?

It is a dangerous thing when large numbers of denominations and those with different interpretations of the gospels all try to cram under one tent. Once the camel’s nose gets under the tent just about anyone is welcomed? Why are there not also Muslims and Buddhists and Mormons involved in this movement? They too have strong feelings about these issues.
As an associate pastor of a local Nazarene Church, my primary obligation is to be true to the gospel of Jesus Christ. As a shepherd of a flock we are too protect the sheep from the introduction of error at all costs. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life and there is no other way.” Rather than joining hands with those we consider apostate, why don’t evangelical Christians begin a movement of their own?
Some good and honorable evangelicals see it differently: Dr. James Dobson, Randy Alcorn, Kay Arthur, Gary Bauer, Chuck Colson, Josh McDowell, Joni Eareckson Tada, Dr. Michael Youssef, Dr. Albert Mohler, Dr. Wayne Grudem and Ravi Zacharias all signed the Manhattan Declaration.
Some equally good and honorable evangelicals failed to sign: Dr. R.C. Sproul, John Piper, John McArthur, Alistair Begg, James White, and Mark Driscoll.
I love how the document addresses the three social issues but I don’t feel the document defines what is the true gospel message. Therefore, I will not sign.

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