Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Manhattan Declaration

I am pleased to see this come to fruition...

Read the Manhattan Declaration here.

The times are indeed desperate. We are on a precipice from which now we must turn, or it will be too late and there will not be the ability to stop a complete fall.

I am pleased to see the active role PCA elder and WORLD magazine editor Joel Belz played in the production of this document (and many other Reformed leaders signed).


Rick Calohan said...

Let me get this straight you were/are still oppose to ECT but endorse OECT?

Parachurch objectives I do not disagree with however how can any church that denies Justification by Faith Alone be called Christian?

Reepicheep said...


I am in favor of the Manhattan Declaration for it's clear statement about the sanctity of life and marriage.

It's not a statement advancing a doctrine of justification, but rather a call to unity for those who agree with the sanctity of life and marriage coupled with the need to disobey wicked laws.

Rick Calohan said...

From OCECT: AKA Mahattan Declaration AKA ECT II
“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.”

• And do tell how do non-Believers play a role in this? I think Romans 1 speaks to this.

• So long as any so-called Christian denies justification by faith alone is not a Christian

• And finally I also like to add I liked Chuck Colson better when he was a Watergate Co-Conspirator.

Jesse said...

It looks like the video link is down. Was it a news piece or a video from the signers of the declaration? Would love to find it.

Reepicheep said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reepicheep said...


The document isn't an effort to define Christians. It's an effort to unify those who believe themselves to be Christians (based on a common acceptance of the Apostle's Creed) around the three key areas of sanctity of life, marriage, and religious liberty.

You're confusing the prior ECT effort with this. I urge you to not do so. The hour is too desperate.

Regarding your question-

"And do tell how do non-Believers play a role in this? I think Romans 1 speaks to this."

Sure Rick, I will tell.

Christians act as salt and light. This doesn't mean we make everyone else a believer in Christ, but their actions can, in fact, be altered when pressure is applied by the Church. I don't know exactly who are the genuine Christians among the three groups who have unified (Orthodox, RC, and Evangelical), but I do know there are genuine Christians in each group. Therefore, God works in the hearts and lives of these individuals and the corporate entity of the visible Church to influence society. This is the kind of influence Christians had on the founding of our country.

Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were not Christians, but they were signers of documents that were influenced heavily by Christians and so upheld God-honoring principles that have lasted for decades, even centuries.

I don't think Romans 1 specifically applies here.

You are naive to think such an effort could not have a great impact on our culture, regardless of the personal regeneration of each signing member.

Don't sign it Rick. No one is forcing you to. If you think it's about Justification, your mistaken, but don't sign it.

For me, I joyfully signed it along with many of my mentors (Joel Belz, Bryan Chapell, Steve Brown, Ravi Zacharias, etc.)

Rick Calohan said...


Grace and Peace to you in the name of the Lord! Amen.

While Dr. Chappell and yourself has every right to sign or not sign whatever you please I will not. While I know the domestic issues of our nation are such as spelled out in the declaration and while those who profess in Christ should speak out, to unite on political issues and yet still be divided on Justification by faith alone is a denial of the Gospel. This was the very issue that made ECT so hard to swallow by many. It is not that I am diametrically opposed to Para church cooperatives for the good of mankind such as what takes place in third world countries and inner cities throughout the United States.

Does this domesticate Jesus? Well, if God is Sovereign in all things, and things are as such in our country, are we calling on Jesus to fix our nation ills for our (Christians) sake? Is that no different than the Apostles and the Jewish people in the time of Christ to ask him to lead a revolt against Rome to be the God King like David?

Christ came to fulfill the law and save sinners from their eternal death. The ills that this document speak to addresses that but again how can a non-believer help out? Romans 1 in my view says they cannot.

How can those who profess to understand the Gospel when they deny Justification by faith alone? Which every non-Reformed signatory i.e. Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians while not denying Justification by Christ do deny Justification Alone. Is that not preaching another Gospel which is no Gospel at all?

While I may be a conservative, and while I may be a Republican, I don’t go around thinking Christ is, because that would be domesticating our Lord.

Finally Chuck Colson was responsible for ECT, J.I. Packer was a signer to ECT and although I have not done further research, I would venture to guess the majority of signatures of the Manhattan Document can also be found in ECT. If ECT was rejected by most if not all Reform Circles by the likes of R.C. Sproul, John McArthur, and the late Dr. D. James Kennedy, then why or why would anyone such as Dr. Chappell or Joel Belz sign on?

Also nice to know that TE Tim Keller whose church is non-ordaining Deaconeses at Redeemer in New York. In fact I think Pastor Scott Sauls was in charge of this ceremony.
In Omnibus Ipse Primatum Tenens “That in all things He (Christ) might have the preeminence.”

Jesse said...

thanks for reposting the video... clearly something to consider

Reepicheep said...

ECT was at its heart about justification by faith. The Manhattan Declaration is about standing for biblical conviction about three specific issues- Life, marriage, and religious liberty. For this reason I can sign it, along with several of my fathers in the faith.

I respect your choice to not sign.

Roger Mann said...

Pastor, with all due respect, the issue isn’t whether genuine Christians may exist within all three groups, but whether all three groups are genuinely Christian and part of the visible Church. If the visible Church “consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion” (WCF 25.2) -- and justification by faith alone is the very heart and soul of the “true religion” -- then members of Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism cannot be considered members of the visible Church. Only those who “profess the true religion” should be recognized as fellow Christians -- period. And we certainly shouldn’t be signing public documents with people who claim to be fellow “Christians” and openly reject the doctrine of justification by faith alone! It may be permissible to work with members of these organizations as concerned citizens of the United States of America, but not as fellow citizens of “the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ” (WCF 25.2). That’s the problem I see with this document -- it says “We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians…”

Reepicheep said...

As you read the document you will find it to be biblical in what it asserts about human life/marriage/religious liberty. There are only two real discrepancies I have. The use of John 10:10 to support the sanctity of human life isn't really applicable and the arminianish statement about God loving all sinners (seemingly regardless of repentance) isn't accurate. Otherwise, I find it to be a pretty biblical statement no matter who is signing it.

Again, I respect a person's decision not to sign it. For me, I praise God for the statement it makes in a time when the statement needs hearing.

I don't need to say more on this.

Zach said...

Whoa, Nellie! You know you're in trouble when Mr. Calohan opens his reply to you with "Grace and Peace to you in the name of the Lord! Amen." It thought that happy salutation was reserved exclusively for Papists!

Woody Woodward said...

I would count it a joy to sign this petition of unity for life! I can easy set aside all differences, even stand with the Mormons on this one. If we are to be “salt and light”, then let His light shine, even in darkness, that others might see Christ in me. I will stand for truth and whatever evil comes out of Congress, bring it my way!

Malcolm said...

Did everyone miss that there was a spokesman from Princeton!!!??? I think that is pretty mind blowing.