Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Catholic, Evangelical and Orthodox leaders issue bold statement on critical moral issues and ultimately civil disobedience. Add your name as well.

A number of leaders in the Christian community - evangelical, Catholic and Orthodox - have signed the "Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience". It's a lengthy statement on Christian engagement in the culture and responds to the three critical areas of current social contention -- abortion and life issues, marriage and efforts to redefine it, and religious freedom and growing efforts to infringe on religious freedoms.

A summary of the Declaration on their webpage states:

Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family.

We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are:

  1. the sanctity of human life
  2. the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
  3. the rights of conscience and religious liberty.

Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Maybe the most significant and new aspect of the statement is that it's a bold statement that they will not be forced to violate Christian convictions on important matters like abortion and marriage.

"Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; not will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage an the family. We will fully ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar's. but under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God's."

The Declaration raises the specter of civil disobedience. Christians will not be forced to participate in immoral activities.

I think it's new and significant that this concern is being raised front and center by a growing number of prominent individuals and church leaders across all denominational lines. I think the battle lines are being drawn between Christians and a culture and society which embraces values hostile to Christian values.

Individuals can add their name to the list of signers here.


Troy said...

I took the time to read the manifesto, er, declaration and it is more of the same. Divorce is bad, but not worth the same fight as against the gays. Admitting Christians are not perfect and have sinned terribly, then judging other sinners.

Same old message in another dull package. nothing to see here, move on folks....

Herb said...

Christians are the ones with the HIGHEST divorce!