Thursday, December 03, 2009

Christians Disagree Re: The Manhattan Declaration

My blogging friend Matt W. had written a comment under my original post about The Manhattan Declaration that he would not add his signature under the document. He then wrote that he would write an explanation for why he would not sign it at his blog.

Today, I noticed that another Christian blog called "Herescope" [a Christian Discernment group] wrote an essay as to why that particular author and group would not sign it.

It is unfortunate that Christians are divided on this issue. I can't claim who is right or wrong, but I did express to Matt W. in a comment at his blog why I chose to sign the Manhattan Declaration.

Here is my comment:

Hi Matt,

I can certainly understand your feeling the way you do about the Manhattan Declaration (and not signing it) after reading your essay on the subject.

When I first read the declaration, I came away with a very different perspective than yours.

Two things I'd like to mention.

I know of two really good friends who are former Catholics, who became born again Christians while attending a non-denominational Christian Bible study. One still goes to the Catholic church out of respect for her staunch, Catholic husband. She prays for her husband's salvation. The other has been successful at getting her husband out of the Catholic church and into a non-denominational Christian church. Also, there ARE some born again Catholic priests! I know - sounds amazing. But I witnessed a sermon by one several years ago. He gave the invitation to accept Christ as Lord and Savior, but many in the audience [at a Catholic Church service] didn't know what to do.

I also wanted to point out that one of the main reasons that I personally think that Catholics, Evangelical Christians, and Orthodox Christians can agree on this declaration - is because of the threat that the recent "hate crimes" legislation that was put into the war appropriations bill a few months ago will probably be used to silence us on these important moral issues of our day.

In a recent post at my blog, I included a link to 16 posts against hate crimes laws. If you read through them, you might get a better perspective as to why these diverse groups were able to agree on the declaration.

Lastly, I do not see the declaration as a bad thing because it doesn't include the entire Gospel of Jesus Christ. People could very well be led to investigate the Gospel as a result of reading it.

As I had stated in the comment section of this post at Talk Wisdom:

I think that they (the drafters of the declaration) wanted to avoid actually preaching the Gospel in the Declaration because they were specifically trying to object to several political "footballs" used by the left (especially by misusing the hate crimes legislation) to condemn conservative Christians (and ultimately silence us) - and (the signers) state exactly why they object.

December 2, 2009 12:50 PM

*******

I found Matt W's and Herescope's arguments and discernment sound; however, I also find my own arguments and discernment sound.

For instance. Herescope reasons:

There are indications in the wording that there are some political agendas afoot, such as changing laws, or definitions in law, even (alarmingly) civil disobedience.


Didn't the apostle Paul get thrown into jail because of his beliefs about Jesus Christ - which the Romans objected to? Aren't we supposed to stand strong in the face of opposition to the Gospel of Jesus Christ instead of succombing to secular laws that are polar opposites in the morals and values realm? This is why conscientious objectors (Christian or of other faiths) were often thrown into jail when they participated in civil disobedience outside abortion clinics when Roe vs. Wade became (unconstitutionally, I might add) "law."

When push comes to shove, where will each individual Christian choose to stand? On the side of God's Word - the Bible, or on the side of secular humanism?

Lest we forget, the Philadelphia Five (who were taken to jail because they attempted to preach the Gospel at a homosexual event back in the early 2000's) were all eventually exonerated (at a great cost to them and their families). However, they steadfastly chose to stand on their principles, morals, values, and Jesus' Great Commission command rather than back down and cower in fear at those who oppose all that they hold dear through their faith in Jesus Christ.

It may be considered an old cliche', but I think that it is even more important today than ever before: "If you are not willing to stand for something, (especially deeply held religious beliefs) you may fall for anything." Hope I quoted that correctly!

Perhaps this is one of those times where Christians will just have to "agree to disagree."

Readers are invited to share their own thoughts on this matter.

Hat Tips:

Herescope

Thoughts, Commentary, and other various ramblings.

1 comment:

Gary Baker said...

Hi Christine,

My wife and I are both signatories to the Declaration. It was not something that we did lightly in the current social and political climate. Morally, I find the idea of voluntarily paying a tax to support abortion unacceptable. The problem becomes what to do about it.

As I see it, if a law is passed that really mandates it, then the only real option is to leave the country. Even if the penalty for refusing to pay is a fine, eventually the IRS will attach my pay from any job that I legally obtain, and I will pay the tax. That would mean that I could not legally support my family without paying the tax. Worse yet, if my wife and I were to be imprisoned for not paying, our minor children would go into the family legal system and likely not be returned. That is also unacceptable. As sad as it makes me, I've begun to accept the possibility that I might have to look for a home outside of the country I love.