Friday, December 11, 2009

...the Manhattan Declaration

-Titus 3:1-8-

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities,
to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one,
to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.
3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray,
slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in
malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.
4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,
5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness,
but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and
renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly
through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace
we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things,
so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote
themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

I posted this on Twitter the other day and I wanted to share it with you here. It is graphic and bold driven by the desire to see evangelicalism return back to its fundamentals biblically. To be God-centered; Christ-centered; Gospel-centered; Cross-centered once again. This surrounds the latest of evangelicalism's attempt to be culturally relevant, politically expedient in order to overcome the moral maladies sweeping through our nation. However this has been attempted again without the centrality of the gospel of sola fide being proclaimed as the cure.

Here is my post from Twitter:
"The Manhattan Declaration is the dung dropped from the bowels of an evangelical cobelligerent ecumenism, with the gospel of sola fide shrouded in Rome's Papal robes."
The current partnership with Romanism among mainline evangelicals is bewildering to me. Even those well respected leaders within the reformed camp that I admire and hold in high esteem have now lended their signatures and ministries in support of this latest foray into politics via a Papal mandate. Ecumenism has been the mantra of Rome for centuries. They are inclusive by theological wrested conviction. Cults always are. They will marry error with some truth and call it orthodoxy. But the rags of their skewed gospel cannot hide the nakedness of their false teachings. Satan would like nothing more than for you to worship anything except the biblical Jesus and His gospel even if what he is counterfeiting comes in the name of Jesus through social, political, even moral means.

Abortion, same sex marriage and Christian freedoms are all spiritual issues and cannot be battled with carnal weaponry. The minister of the gospel has been given a heavenly charge to not let anything detour them from "the ministry of the Word and prayer." Two powerful weapons: the Word of God and prayer! And when those things are done in the power of the Holy Spirit - the church can "take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."

The supplanting of the centrality of gospel preaching and gospel truth coupled with the utter disregard for biblical fidelity and yoking with unbelievers in ministry within culture is jack-hammering away at the very foundations of biblical Christianity. And once again, hell is burning while the church sleeps!

The Reformation of the 1500's led by Luther gave birth to Protestantism and recovered the gospel of justification by faith at a great cost to many. Many sacrificed their lives for the glory of Christ and His truths. With the signing of this document, their names and contribution in history for the preservation of biblical Christianity has been trampled under foot - let alone the very Word of God. So I come to you concerned and burdened for this latest trend again. We need revival beloved; we need reformation; we need to be calling our leaders to repentance in this area of ministry.

Let us remember our heritage; let us remember our heavenly charge to preach the Word in season and out of season; let us remember what biblical Christianity means; and may we serve Him with an undivided, uncompromised zeal. The hope for this world (abortionists, homosexuals, religious rights deterrentists, etc.) is the same as it is for you and I - the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Petitions, declarations, political rally's cannot change the heart of anyone.

Let us not let anything eclipse the gospel as we serve daily in our neighborhoods, towns, cities and communities.

Lord, revive us again...


Anonymous said...

Thank you to Steve Camp for this commentary on the Manhattan Declaration. We need to continue exposing the danger of the MD and those who have signed it. Here is a link to the signatories:

James Hunt said...

Mr. Camp,

Thank you so much for standing firm and being clear about gospel reasons why regarding this issue. Your posts on the MD have been very refreshing wind to me in a sea mostly dominated by stale winds of compromise. All glory to God.

Anonymous said...

Thanks brother Steve.

I stand with you.

Talk soon.


Christinewjc said...

I can certainly understand your feeling the way you do about the Manhattan Declaration. I have run across several Christian friends who agree, and some who disagree with the decision to sign it.

Hope you don't mind if I share some thoughts on this issue.

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.

I found your argument, another brother in Christ's argument, and the blog called 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!

I realize that my words will most likely not change any minds here. But thank you for reading this.

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

Anonymous said...

Dear Christinewjc,
I hope you do not mind if I respond to your comment as I am a friend of several of those arrested in Philadelphia while witnessing at the "gay pride" event a few years ago. Your using their arrest to justify joining together with unbelievers when God plainly tells His people to not be unequally yoked is unfair. Those Christians arrested are sincere believers and I doubt if they all agree with the signing of the MD. Please do not use their Christian witness to promote unrighteousness. Thank you.

Christinewjc said...

Friend for Life,

I used that incident as an example as to why hate crimes laws are so dangerous to religious freedoms. I did not claim, (nor will I) that "their arrest [was]to justify joining together with unbelievers." I also did not claim that they "all [would] agree with the signing of the MD."

You took that portion of my comment out of context. If you will notice, I ended my opinion about the controversy over the declaration with the following:

I realize that my words will most likely not change any minds here. But thank you for reading this.

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

If Mr. Camp wants to delete my comment, that is his free speech right to do so...just as I have a free speech right to voice my opinion(s).

Anonymous said...

Amen ! Thank you Steve for taking a stand for the truth.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
John said...

"...the dung dropped from the bowels of an evangelical cobelligerent ecumenism, with the gospel of sola fide shrouded in Rome's Papal robes."
Why don't you tell us what you really think!
Seriously, thanks for a great post. When will the Church learn that the Gospel transforms?

Simplydannygirl said...

("The Manhattan Declaration is the dung dropped from the bowels of an evangelical cobelligerent ecumenism, with the gospel of sola fide shrouded in Rome's Papal robes." )

Amen Steve! It's Budlerdash! lol! Totally bogus!

It's wide road that leads to Rome, then on to destruction.

Bless you Steve for earnestly contending for the Faith!


Simplydannygirl said...

"The Manhattan Declaration is the dung dropped from the bowels of an evangelical cobelligerent ecumenism, with the gospel of sola fide shrouded in Rome's Papal robes."

Amen Steve! It's Budlerdash!!! lol!

It's the wide Road that leads to Rome.Then on to destruction.

Bless you for earnesly contending for the Faith!


Unknown said...

'spiritual issues cannot be battled with carnal weaponry' I think this sums it up well, thanks for the insight Steve. I thought it tied in well with the issue of Evangelical Co-Belligerence - compromise - comfortable middle soil, man pleasing, 'God pleasing', and a safe way to play, easy christianity. Dangerous place to be, but it doesn't put us out of our confort zones, that would be catastrophic now wouldn't it!!!
Thanks again for your wisdom.

Unknown said...

Steve you are absolutely correct. I appreciate your stance on this.

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Rosilind Jukic said...

I know I am late in commenting on this. I had heard of the MD, but being a missionary overseas I knew very little about it, yet found it somewhat suspect given the ecumenical nature of it.

It is refreshing - albeit rare - to find evangelicals today who realize the danger Christianity faces in welcoming the Catholic Church into its midst.

I, myself, did not see the magnitude of this danger until after I had lived on the mission field in a staunchly Catholic country for some time. The rising tide of ecumenism in the body of Christ gives me great cause for alarm because one never knows where it will end. Who is to say that we will not remove all boundaries and embrace the New Age lie that "there are many roads to God" or that He encompasses all religions? Unfortuantely, I can see the path we are on leading straight to that end.

I am greatful that there is a remnant that has not only refused to bow the kneee but whose voice is also heard. May we hearken to the truth remembering Paul's warning of those who preach a strange gospel.

Thank you once again!