Many have written about this new declaration on ecumenical social action. I thought I would give some useful rhetorical and provocative thoughts. I’ll be using the short version, but occasionally drawing on points from the larger.
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.
Excellent, and true. For example, for the better part of two millennia Christian women worked in the home rearing children and didn’t dare split the solidarity of the family by attempting to vote along side their husband, whether in church or state elections.
Also during these 19 centuries Christians educated their children with the Bible, preparing them for righteousness (Ps. 1; 2 Tim 3:16 ff.). They would have laughed at the suggestion of sending their children to an anti-Christ institution where his teachers are forbidden to teach the Scripture (Deut. 6:6-9; John 17:17; 2 Cor. 10:5), recognize Christ as relevant to anything they’re doing (Prov. 1:7; Matt. 12:30), and where his peers are his moral and intellectual inferiors (Rom 4:8-10; 6:7; 8:7; Eph 2:1-3; Jer 19:9). Even when State schools were used by faithful Christians, their purpose was explicitly to transfer the Christian faith from one generation to the next. The New England Primer was a typical and popular curriculum in state schools. As was, not is.
Given that the easy majority of Christian men send their kids to State schools (Deut 6 shows that such is covenant breaking and indicative of a lack of love for God) and their wives to work under and for another man (in Titus 2 Paul says a woman’s staying at home with her children in subjection to her husband is sound doctrine and do do contrary is blasphemous), surely these aren’t the family values they are talking about. If lack of love for God, breaking his covenant, and blasphemy of His Word are not relevant to fixing the “beginning” and “family” portion of “protecting and strengthening vital institutions of civil society”, what reformation could they have in mind for the other institutions?
Life, Marriage, and Liberty
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.
Most pietisic, Galatians and Romans-worshiping evangelicals get their cakes frosted here. As do the Sola Scriptura-mongering John 6er Catholics. They can’t get beyond the idea that it may be feasible for Calvinists, Anglicans, Roman Catholics, and Orthodox to collectively use the laws of God in the Scripture as the basis for our legislative code. God forbid these groups, diverse as they are ecclesiastically and sacramentally, to collectively appeal to Ex 21:12-14, Num 30, and Gen 9 to justify publicly hanging each and all murders (no prisons, no reforms). Sola Fide or the bodily presence of Christ in the Eucharist are not to be compromised, even when numbers cold be gained across denomination lines to first kill our pagan invader/intruders, and then sort out our very significant differences. Who knows, such an act of unity might be the very act of love that will one day unite/reform us all (John 17:11).
Sanctity of Human Life
[Side Note: Why did they dignify Mr. Obama as the "President" when he has paid 1.7 million dollars on attorneys to seal his birth certificate which would alone prove his legitimacy? He is no President, but a usurper of the office. But I digress.]
The basic point in the Declaration here is “we defend and speak for the unborn, the disabled, and the dependent. What the Bible and the light of reason make clear, we must make clear. We must be willing to defend, even at risk and cost to ourselves and our institutions, the lives of our brothers and sisters at every stage of development and in every condition.”
But speak is all they will do. And only in writing documents like this which will will go unnoticed, as most citizens get their news from controlled media. Will they ever take physical action? Will they even encourage their constituents to do anything besides praying for potatoes without grabbing a hoe?
And why didn’t this declaration come forth after the murder of millions in Bush’s unjust wars? Why wait until Obama, the abortion supporter, took office (allegedly). Why not when non-Christian Bush (notice how in this vid the only people who DON”T get to the same God are those who deny “freedom” and who “kill innocent people”!) declared war on an abstraction (terrorism), under false pretense against an innocent nation, killing millions because one of our buildings was the first to fall in its shadow without deomoltion .
Do they even realize the racial genocide that is going on here in America with forced integration, miscegenation, affirmative action, and feminism? Which race suffers for it’s own breath here?
Does “defense at the cost of themselves” only mean the kicking out of an irrelevant, pietistic church, a member who has had an abortion? Whoopee Doo. Pious Christians less than a century ago would have burned down abortion clinics with the same passion that today’s pious Christians watch football and their other favorite reality shows. I hope you see the collective insanity and hypocrisy of Christians today, including your pastor.
Dignity of True Marriage
After much confessing and promising we also get a pledge: “we pledge to labor ceaselessly to preserve the legal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman and to rebuild the marriage culture. How could we, as Christians, do otherwise?”
I’ll believe it when I see it. And again, why fight for the biblical definition of marriage when we contribute to the destruction of our “real” marriages by practicing feminism and Molechism. As if the definition of marriage as a union between man and woman is not a truncated definition in the first place. Is this a legitmate union? Not according to Ezra 10:3; cf. 9: 1-2; 6 ff.
Seriously, what kind of “labor” are these men pledging? Simply to never vote for homo-approving, baby killing Democrats? At any rate, should they ever succeed in overturning Roe v. Wade they will have succeeded in brining to the State-Tit more cadets for egalitarianism and pluralism. True Heroes.
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.
We must first ask Why are the truths about life and marriage foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society? Says who? Popular opinion? What saith God about popular opinion? What saith the Constitution? What saith God about covenants? We don’t know–at least from this Declaration. We only know that Christians have a opinion–and a pretty strong one on paper it seems.
This next bit, though, is really contains the strongest stance–but also the weakest stance. Here it is:
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; nor 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 and the family. We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.
It says “we, we, we, we, we, we will do”. It never says “you will do”. That is the main beef with this approach. It never grants God his sovereign to through his people–who are the pillar and ground of truth, salt and light of the earth–actually correct (rather than pledge away) the problem. The approach should be something like this:
“While you have the media, we have the weekly church service where more than 50 million come every Sunday. We will use these services to proclaim Christ’s law and encourage our congregants to apply it to every square of Jesus’ creation. We will hang abortionists, keep our women in the home raising droves of kids, not hire fags who invite corporate judgment, and never vote for a man who isn’t a God-fearing Christian.”
That will do.
Here’s another significant beef with this Declaration. It’s one thing to choose paper instead of ammunition as your method of resisting acts of war on our people. It’s another think to lie about how you will use your powerless paper. “Forcefully” speak out? Will they fight to speak out on major networks? Will they appear before Congress, like Machen did to stop the creation of the Department of Education? Will they do anything but release the Manhattan Declaration online and in Christian periodicals which are primarily for the choir? Nopers.
Conclusion, Call to Action
Let’s close by looking at their closing lines, which show the utter impotence in such Manhattan efforts at cultural preservation. They close the full statement with an utter lie: “But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.”
How can you pledge this when you send your kids o public school, the very thing that epitomizes giving to the State what is God’s?
Anyhow, let’s diagnose and prescribe. the main problems with this declaration are two-fold:
- Worrying about the worlds’ problems and not our own. Solution: Shepherds need to preach (or first learn) biblical holiness and ethics. Sheep need to pray that God would remove the Shepherds that won’t, and give them ones that will.
- Lack of punch in the things it does promise. Solution: Tell the watching world and powers that be what you will do in God’s name if they fail to honor Him and wage war against His people. And do things other than writing documents for Christianity Today to publish. Use your masses to do radically ethical (which is what true Christianity looks like in Babylon) things, and get those things noticed by many.
It’s true that folks like Bill O’Reilly wrote about the declaration: “That’s a strong statement because it encourages civil disobedience.” That’s what we need, times 10. There will be a time when mainline media quit covering big “declarations” by the Church. You’ve got to get your congregations’ attention before you can get your enemies’. And since we have numbers, once that is done we will be heard.
Worthy and not-so-worthy reads on the Declaration:
- First Word
- John MacArthur
- Andrew Sandlin (responds to MacArthur)
- Ligon Duncan
- Albert Mohler
- Doug Wilson
- Laurie JewStein
- Lane Keister