Manhattan Declaration

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Berean, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. Berean

    Berean
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  2. preachinjesus

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    I am thankful for this work. It is important to recognize what we agree on and can unify to accomplish.

    I hope it adds santity to our culture of insanity. :)
     
  3. Johnv

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    I concur with the wording of the declaration, but I'm always weary of making an opinion of someone simply based on whether they have signed a particular declaration.
     
  4. Aaron

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    You're wary of the doctrines of Christ.

    To the O.P.: Good statement, however, judging from those who've already signed it, it doesn't appear I have the proper credentials.
     
  5. Johnv

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    What a false and arrogant statement. Oh wait, Aaron said it, so I'll just toss it in the pile with his other false and arrogant statements (I'll put it on top of the one where he said it was okay to intern Japanese Americans in WW2).

    I don't believe we should making an opinion of someone simply based on whether they have signed a particular declaration. McCarthy tried that. We've had tax cut pledges and all sorts of other empty pledges and declarations that make their way around, and we often vote in bad people just because their name appears, while ignoring good people because their name was absent. Such declarations and pledges are often empty ploys to gerner popularity or favor.
     
  6. Martin

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    I printed the Declaration out the other day and read it. To be honest, I was already concerned when I saw that it was being pushed by Chuck Colson (of ECT fame). And when I read the document my worse fears were confirmed. The Declaration lacks Theological clarity on the most important issue in all of the universe: The Gospel. The document smacks of ecuminicalism and compromise on the most important issue in all the world (The Gospel). While I agree with the positions stated with in the document (on marriage, abortion, etc), I cannot side with the document or with those who signed it (though many of them, including Chuck Colson, are godly men/women who I admire).

    I have yet to post on my blog about the document, but I would refer folks to the following article by John MacArthur. He shares many of my concerns. Click HERE.
     
  7. Revmitchell

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    From Martin's Link:


    "• 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 gospel’s essential claims. The document repeatedly employs expressions like “we [and] our fellow believers”; “As Christians, we . . .”; and “we claim the heritage of . . . Christians.” That seriously muddles the lines of demarcation between authentic biblical Christianity and various apostate traditions.

    • The Declaration therefore constitutes a formal avowal of brotherhood between Evangelical signatories and purveyors of different gospels. That is the stated intention of some of the key signatories, and it’s hard to see how secular readers could possibly view it in any other light. Thus for the sake of issuing a manifesto decrying certain moral and political issues, the Declaration obscures both the importance of the gospel and the very substance of the gospel message."



    I would not sign it either.
     
  8. Berean

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    I really can,t believe what I,m hearing as to the resistance to the MD. If your house was on fire would you refuse help from your catholic neighbor who offers to help you extinguish the blaze or if you were seeking an attorney to defend you against a serious charge would you first ask for his church affiliation. If you were drowning would you refuse a rope thrown by Benny Hinn. We are talking about a real enemy of our freedom. Were not talking about a citywide revival.
     
  9. Marcia

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    Okay, there it is.

    The issues it raises for me are:
    1. Are these the highest values or the most "fundamental truths" of a Christian?
    2. How are these values to be "defended and honored?"

    I think that something is missing - a declaration that values change only when one has trusted Christ and become born again. That has to be the basis of any change and/or defense of such values, which derive from God's word (that should be noted as well).

    What bothers me the most here is what is left out.
     
  10. pinoybaptist

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    am right with you in there in principle, Marcia.
     
  11. preachinjesus

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    Well the document isn't about the Gospel it is about our shared beliefs. Not everything has to "be about the Gospel."

    Surprise, surprise John MacArthur is against something else.

    I've read Dr. MacArthur's position, I think it is myopic and nitpicky. At some point we have to move beyond the entrenched positions that have gotten us no where and into moments of humility and reconciliation.

    Honestly when I was forwarded the link today I rolled my eyes and said, "well we had a good run...guess its back to being foolish with God's people." I wasn't wrong.
     
  12. Marcia

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    Well, I think when so-called Christian groups ban together, it should be about the Gospel, since that is the primary mission we have been given, and everything else should flow from that, including social justice and moral causes.

    But Orthodox and RC groups' views of what the Gospel is are not necessarily what I would want to align with.

    The above statement is a mere ad hominem and therefore carries no weight in the debate.
     
  13. windcatcher

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    I'm undecided on this and am reading this thread in hopes of gaining some guidance.

    To 'talk out' my thoughts....scripturally, I'm thinking we're not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.... but there are other scriptures which warn us of apostates even in the church and that it is God's will that the wheat and tares will grow together til the time of harvest at which time He will take care of the separation with some going into the fire and others to joy with the Lord in their reward.

    Because this document is not a tool of proselyzing.. more a statement of values based upon common grounding and principals, I see it more as a statement through which those in agreement in values may show strength in numbers without having to unify in doctrine. However, these values do find their greatest defense and strength in Biblically sound doctrine.... without which they can be weakened by human/secular argument and logic.

    The questions I have is does commonality in values constitute commonality in doctrine... even when there are important areas of doctrinal differences.... or is it possible to unite on common values with agreement these are Biblically based without uniting and endorsing doctrinal unity and eucumentalism?

    These are truths which Christian and non-christian can agree and endorse.

    However, as Marcia points out.... these are not the highest truths of the Christisn's experience or the message of the gospel. In that regard there is a weakness and a distraction if this focus on common values has the effect of diluting our energy and purpose in spreading the gospel.... or substitutes for some in their reliance on 'works' as opposed to saving faith in Jesus and his righteousness.

    I'll keep reading and would encourage others to continued response.


    I do think we need some way to enlarge our voice..... yet, God can move in a whisper..... so I don't trust even my own reasoning as to what is right..... and undetermined as to how God is leading me. I don't like sitting on the fence either, so I think I'll let this rest for now.
     
  14. Aaron

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    When Socialism falls on us, many of us may be sharing prison cells with Catholics and the Orthodox. Socialism is a common enemy, and in fighting that enemy, we are brothers. There is no getting around that.

    I think I could sign the document.
     
  15. Martin

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    ==The Church has no New Testament permission to hold hands with heretics for any reason whatsoever. When the Gospel is compromised everything else is lost. When they hold hands with Catholics and all people of "goodwill", whoever they might be, they have compromised the Gospel. Everything else is secondary.
     
  16. Martin

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    ==I have no "shared beliefs" with the Roman Catholic Church. We might believe some of the same things, but we are coming from totally different directions. I cannot, and I will not, hold hands with the Catholic Church (on anything).

    If, as you assert, the document "isn't about the Gospel" then it is a worthless declaration and a worthless piece of paper. The only hope for people caught in the sins of adultery, homosexuality, abortion, etc, is the Gospel. Moral reform, and political changes, will do them no good whatsoever. In fact, one could argue that moralistic messages, apart from the Gospel, do more harm than good (2Pet. 2:20-22, Matt 12:43-45, etc).

    ==I don't believe the New Testament gives us that permission. We cannot set aside our differences on the most important issue in the universe, in all of eternity. There are somethings we can agree to disagree over and still be partners, the Gospel is not one of them. This is not being "myopic and nitpicky", it is drawing a line in the sand on the most important issue.

    ==Being foolish is thinking the church can "confront the culture" while compromising on the core message (ie... the Gospel). After all, it is only that message that can give anyone hope.
     
  17. Martin

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    ==Socialism, or any other human system, is not the real enemy. The real enemy is the devil behind such human systems (Eph 6:12). Therefore fighting the human system, while ignoring the enemy behind it, is a waste of time. It is like throwing water on the smoke while ignoring the fire. We have to "take up the full armor of God so that you will be able to resist in the evil day" (Eph 6:13). Our weapon is the Word of God (Eph 6:17) and prayer (Eph 6:18), not political systems or social activism.

    As for persecution, I agree it is coming. However we must keep in mind that the United States has, historically speaking, been the exception and not the rule. As American Christians we have enjoyed a wonderful freedom from persecution. However we should not think that will last. The Word of God promises us that "all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2Tim 3:12). Persecution is part of the Christian life, mainly in these last days (2Tim 3:1-5, 13).

    We are not, for any reason whatsoever, brothers/sisters with those who hold to a false gospel (an unsaving gospel). We need to be reaching out to them with the Gospel, not compromising the Gospel to get their help on social reforms.

    In my opinion, the Manhattan Declaration is little more than Evangelicals and Catholics Together recycled.
     
  18. Martin

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    In short, the Reformation is far from over.
     
  19. Revmitchell

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    And that is the fundamental difference between conservatives and liberals.




    No you weren't but for the wrong reasons.
     
  20. Gold Dragon

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    The only arguments presented thus far against the Manhattan statement are ad hominem. My guess is that the same folks criticizing this statement would be its biggest supporters and calling those who disagreed with it all sorts of labels if it were being proposed only by an evangelical group.

    Edit: By ad hominem, I'm referring to disagreeing with a statement because you disagree with something else about the person making the statement. It is pretty commonly practiced on BaptistBoard.
     
    #20 Gold Dragon, Nov 25, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2009

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