The Manhattan Declaration
Our Regretful Inability to Become a Signatory
Shalom in Christ Jesus,
The Manhattan Declaration
(Website; Manhattan Declaration Summary pdf; Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience (Full) pdf) is the latest bandwagon that a number of Evangelicals are
flocking to due to the serious lack of biblical discernment that has become
epidemic in the church. Considering that a few of Evangelicals on the list of signatories have been strong defenders of Scriptural truth, one has to wonder
if this decision was based on emotion rather than proper prayerful and
Scriptural consideration. It is my opinion that those such as Dr. R. Albert
Mohler, Jr. and Kay Arthur clearly should know better.
Below are five responses on
why Bible believing Christians should not "sign on" to this cause. As you will
see, it is not the cause (which is quite noble and godly) but false unity with
unbelievers that is clearly forbade by the Holy Scriptures.
Surely there will be some
who have problems with the viewpoints presented and will disagree, but please
realize that in each case the view presented is well referenced with Scripture
and if you do have a problem, then it is with The Word of God, not man.
I pray this alert helps to
encourage and strengthen your walk in these days of ecumenical compromise and
apostasy in the church.
May the Lord bless you and
2 Corinthians 6:14
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;
But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of fathers' households of Israel said to them, "You have nothing in common with us in building a house to our God; but we ourselves will together build to the LORD God of Israel,...
The Manhattan Declaration
Our Regretful Inability to
Become a Signatory
By Jacob Prasch
On behalf of Moriel
December 2, 2009
In an era of the diminishing
Judeo-Christian religious and moral liberty upon which the founding of both
American and British democracy were historically predicated there is indeed a
vital urgency to actively confront the assault on those rights by the agenda
set by what in effect amounts to a tyranny of a highly vocal and
disproportionately over-represented minority in everything. This has manifested
itself in a virtual suppression of solid scientific fact in everything from the
implausibility of Darwinist presupposition to the clinically documented reduced
longevity of homosexuals to the embryonic and obstetric realities of elective
non- clinical abortion as a de facto means of birth control. The forced
imputation of these and other social insanities to the violation of the moral
convictions of a statistical majority constitutes an abrogation of both
constitutional principle and the very national heritage that bequeathed us
constitutional government and liberty to begin with. No one in his right mind
could read the preamble of the U. S. constitution, the Declaration of
Independence or the highly theistic writings of the British parliamentarians
and logically arrive at the absurd non-theistic misinterpretation of separation
of church and state currently demanded by such organizations as the ACLU.
We further state that in the
USA, despite the efforts of certain political moguls to attribute these trends
to the liberal Democratic Party, it was in fact Eisenhower's Republican Supreme Court of Earl Warren who ordered
God out of the classroom contrary to the will of the popular majority; it was
the Nixon Republican Supreme Court of Warren Burger who ordered God out of the
maternity ward with Roe v. Wade; and it was Ronald Reagan's Republican
pro-abortion Supreme Court appointee, Sandra Day O'Connor (appointed by Reagan
after he lied to voters promising to be pro-life) who ordered God out of the courtroom
with the decision she authored to remove the 10 Commandments from the Alabama
Judicial building. Again, it was Reagan's Sandra Day O' Connor who also wrote
the Supreme court decision outlawing Texas anti sodomy laws opening the flood
gate for same-sex marriages. It was likewise a George W. Bush appointed
Republican federal judge who ruled against intelligent design being allowed to
be taught in schools alongside of Darwinistic evolution.
All of these policies,
legislated from the bench by an out of control judiciary usurping the power of
congress and imposing anti-democratic decisions on the majority, were achieved
courtesy of the Republican Party who were usually supported by the "religious
right" and many undiscerning and na´ve Christians who foolishly believed the
lies of these professional connivers. Thus we note that the Manhattan
Declaration's senior architect, Chuck Colson, is a recognized kingpin of this
religious right of the Republican Party who have consistently betrayed the
Christians who voted for them by doing the diametric opposite in areas of
religious freedom and social morality from what they promised. We find it
impossible to accept Chuck Colson as anything more than a stooge of a
Republican Party establishment that has repeatedly proven itself to be no more
interested in Christian concerns than the Democratic Party, and the Manhattan
Declaration must in significant part be viewed in that context.
Chuck Colson also, however,
is co-author of the Evangelicals and Roman Catholics Together betrayal, which sells out
the millions of biblical Evangelicals who converted from Roman Catholicism to
scriptural Christianity. This agreement defers from the biblically Evangelical
Gospel to the sacramental and auto-atonement purgatorial false gospel of Roman
Catholicism, rejecting the need to evangelize Catholics and accepting its
transubstantiated idolatry and necromancy as somehow compatible with The New Testament, which it is not.
The iconic theosis
and necromancy of Eastern Orthodoxy is likewise not Orthodox Christianity in
the biblical sense but a heterodox Patristic invention of the Eastern Church
Fathers alien to the authentic Gospel. More alien still are the beliefs of
Mormonism which teaches that Jesus Christ, whom Scriptures identify as "monogenes"
or "only begotten" of the Father is rather the "spirit brother of Satan".
It is obvious that Moriel
and Jacob Prasch share in all of the concerns expressed in this declaration and
always have even prior to its being drafted regarding the important issues of
assisted suicide, non-therapeutic abortion, embryo destructive research, and
same-sex marriage (in effect made possible by Mr. Colson's fellow Republicans).
If this were a mere secular
document on behalf of Moriel, Jacob Prasch could and would easily become
signatory. It is however packaged and presented as a Christian document
inherently carrying the implication of accepting elements of Christendom, which we
cannot, on the basis of Scripture, hold to be genuine Christianity as our
This is not to imply any
opposition to Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Mormon people by Moriel or
Jacob Prasch. It is, however, to establish our fundamental disagreement of
their basic doctrinal theology and to voice our firm opposition to ecumenical
figures Mr. Colson, Norman Geisler and other supposed Evangelicals who
compromise the essential substance of the New Testament Gospel for a
counterfeit unity not grounded in scriptural truth.
The current pope Benedict,
upon assuming office, issued a statement, which was tantamount to a papal edict proclaiming
that only Roman Catholicism is a true church. As we speak, another humongous
scandal exposing widespread pedophilia by sex criminal Roman Catholic clergy is
unfolding in Ireland where they were protected by the hierarchy under a Roman
Catholic doctrine that allows intentional misleading of people and authorities
in order to protect criminal sex pervert pedophile priests and nuns instead of
the defenseless children whose lives they destroy without their "church"
considering it to be a lie [Ed. Note: Alert soon forthcoming]. Countless thousands of small children have been
victims and droves of child molesting sex criminals shielded from arrest and
prosecution according to official Irish government investigations.
Mormonism has likewise
repeatedly denounced in its doctrines and covenants non-Mormon Christianity
and, dating back to the serial polygamy of its founders, has an ugly history of
what most would consider to be pedophilia.
One signatory of this
declaration is Peter Kreeft who argues in print for a vision of Mohammed and
others having salvation and being in heaven without a personal saving faith in
Christ. In his book,
Ecumenical Jihad Kreeft calls for ecumenical union with Islam to morally
Moriel and Jacob Prasch can
have no partnership with such wickedness and cannot convey any impression that
we accept those propounding such erroneous beliefs and practices to be our
brethren in Christ. Indeed, the evils perpetrated by these false religions are
as co-equally wicked as the evils the declaration seeks to counter. Mr. Colson
is an arch-agent of a deception we are compelled on the basis of God's Word to
classify as utterly satanic. (2 Cor. 11:14-15)
Independent of ourselves, we
learned that such figures as John MacArthur and Alistair Begg have nobly voiced
some of our concerns involving the compromise of the biblical Gospel inherent
in this declaration and likewise have quite correctly declined to become
signatory although endorsing its aims. We thank God and them for their stance
and Christian integrity.
We again emphasize that we
are not opposed to Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Mormon people
personally and we share in the convictions contained in this declaration. While
sanctioning the contents, however, we can never become signatory to anything
published under the demonic auspices of ecumenical deception or allow ourselves
to be hoodwinked by the political antics of Mr. Colson and the religious right
of the Republican Party, which has duped Christians and betrayed us so
J. Jacob Prasch
Posted on the Moriel Ministries Website
Mike Gendron/Proclaiming the
Reply to Moriel and The Manhattan Declaration
|December 2, 2009
My brother Jacob,
I commend you for speaking
the truth in love. The document that was drafted by Chuck Colson and Princeton
University professor Robert P. George, a Roman Catholic [and] is clearly another
attempt to bring ecumenical unity to all of professing Christianity and blur
the lines that separate apostates from true Christians. Why are evangelicals
putting their signatures on another accord drafted by Colson, who has stated
that the following differences should not divide Catholics and Evangelicals as
"brothers and sisters in Christ" - baptismal regeneration, the Eucharist,
sacramental grace, justification by works, purgatory, indulgences, the role of
Mary and the saints in salvation, and salvation for those not evangelized?
(1997 ECT II).
Many of the signers of
Colson's Evangelicals and Catholics Together Accord have given their name to
this accord as well. Purposefully, the Gospel is never defined, explained or
presented in the Manhattan Declaration. This is because of the contradictory and
opposing views on the issue of justification and salvation that are held by the
signatories. The implication throughout the document is that Roman Catholics,
Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant Evangelicals share a common faith. This
blatantly ignores the fact that there can be never be spiritual unity between
true Christianity and apostate Christianity, between believers and unbelievers
or between light and darkness (2 Cor. 6:14-18). The apostle Paul never signed
unity accords with people who perverted the Gospel of Jesus Christ; he
condemned them with anathema (Gal. 1:6-9). It was Paul's great fear that, just
as the serpent deceived Eve, we would put up with counterfeit Christians who
preach another Jesus and another gospel (2 Cor. 11:4). He warned us that these
false apostles and deceitful workers, who disguise themselves as our brothers
in Christ, would corrupt our minds and lead us astray (2 Cor. 11:13).
Whereas it is good to unite as co-belligerents with a united voice
to fight moral and political issues, any accord that attempts to overlook,
dismiss, nullify or compromise the Gospel is antithetical to the command for
all Christians to earnestly contend for the faith. We can never deny the
profound importance of protecting the life of every baby and the sanctity of
marriage between one man and one woman. We must earnestly contend against those
who seek to destroy both. However, we must remember that this is a spiritual
battle, which can only be won through fervent prayer and the proclamation of
the true Gospel, a Gospel that is denied by every Catholic priest when he
offers the Eucharistic Christ upon his altar for the forgiveness of sins. If
Evangelicals must put their names on accords, why not draft our own accord
that, first and foremost starts with a God-honoring, Christ-exalting unity in
the one and only Gospel of grace?
Charles Spurgeon said
"To pursue union at the expense of truth is treason to the Lord
Jesus". Since we have been sanctified by the truth, we must remain
separate for God's glory and purpose. Let us pray to our sovereign Lord,
proclaim His glorious Gospel and contend earnestly for the faith.
Proclaiming the Gospel
The Manhattan Declaration
|(By John MacArthur)
Posted on Shepherds' Fellowship, a ministry of GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH - November 24, 2009
Here are the main reasons I am not signing the Manhattan Declaration, even though a few men whom I love and respect have already affixed their names to it:
In short, support for The Manhattan Declaration would not only contradict the stance I have taken since long before the original "Evangelicals and Catholics Together" document was issued; it would also tacitly relegate the very essence of gospel truth to the level of a secondary issue. That is the wrong way-perhaps the very worst way-for evangelicals to address the moral and political crises of our time. Anything that silences, sidelines, or relegates the gospel to secondary status is antithetical to the principles we affirm when we call ourselves evangelicals.
- Although I obviously agree with the document's opposition to same-sex marriage, abortion, and other key moral problems threatening our culture, the document falls far short of identifying the one true and ultimate remedy for all of humanity's moral ills: the gospel. The gospel is barely mentioned in the Declaration. At one point the statement rightly acknowledges, "It is our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season"-and then adds an encouraging wish: "May God help us not to fail in that duty." Yet the gospel itself is nowhere presented (much less explained) in the document or any of the accompanying literature. Indeed, that would be a practical impossibility because of the contradictory views held by the broad range of signatories regarding what the gospel teaches and what it means to be a Christian.
- This is precisely where the document fails most egregiously. It assumes from the start that all signatories are fellow Christians whose only differences have to do with the fact that they represent distinct "communities." Points of disagreement are tacitly acknowledged but are described as "historic lines of ecclesial differences" rather than fundamental conflicts of doctrine and conviction with regard to the gospel and the question of which teachings are essential to authentic Christianity.
- 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.
- This is neither a novel approach nor a strategic stand for evangelicals to take. It ought to be clear to all that the agenda behind the recent flurry of proclamations and moral pronouncements we've seen promoting ecumenical co-belligerence is the viewpoint Charles Colson has been championing for more than two decades. (It is not without significance that his name is nearly always at the head of the list of drafters when these statements are issued.) He explained his agenda in his 1994 book The Body, in which he argued that the only truly essential doctrines of authentic Christian truth are those spelled out in the Apostles' and Nicene creeds. I responded to that argument at length in Reckless Faith. I stand by what I wrote then.
The Manhattan Declaration
|TRUTH FOR LIFE - By Alistair Begg - November 25, 2009
The release of The Manhattan Declaration (an ecumenical document addressing the issues of life, marriage, and religious liberty) has already generated significant discussion. Since I have been on the receiving end of many questions concerning it, I thought it best to address it directly. The declaration reads in part as follows:
"We are Christians who have joined together across historical lines of ecclesial differences... ...to speak and act in defense of these truths."
I was present at the meetings in Manhattan in October when the draft of this document was presented.
I listened carefully and was stirred by the ensuing discussions.
I share the concerns expressed in the document.
I also have respect for those who wrote the paper and also for many who have subsequently signed it.
Why then have I chosen not to append my name as one of the initial signers? Because of my convictions about the nature of the Gospel, and the importance of Christian co-belligerency being grounded in it. The activity of the Christian as a citizen engaging in co-belligerency over civic and moral issues is not the same as the declaration of Christians mutually recognizing the reality of each other's faith. This is what I wrote to Chuck Colson:
"Thank you for sending me the amended document. I care deeply about these issues, but I cannot in conscience sign on with those with whom I have fundamental disagreements on the nature of the Gospel. (I just re-read Calvin in the Institutes, Book IV, section 18.)"
This particular section of Calvin's Institutes provides us with his response to the Roman Catholic doctrine of the mass.
It was maintained at the meeting in New York that this document was not to be viewed as a product of ECT (Evangelicals and Catholics Together). However, in light of the evangelical leadership behind the declaration, it is hard not to take into consideration the most recent ECT paper on "The Blessed Virgin Mary in Christian Life and Faith". In examining the place of Mary, the writers "acknowledge the primary authority of Holy Scripture." This at least gives the impression of a concession to Roman Catholicism. Protestant theology affirms the sole authority of Scripture. Sadly contemporary evangelicalism seems little concerned with the solas of The Reformation and is therefore susceptible to initiatives, which make something other than the Gospel, the basis of unity and the focus of our declarations.
I am reminded in this connection of the declaration of Jude.
"Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints."
It is quite common for people to view The Reformation as simply a disagreement between two groups of men. The protestant martyrs and their monuments testify to the fact that they died, not on account of ecclesial differences, but because the issue was the way of salvation. (Interestingly, exactly the same was true of the Roman Catholic martyrs!)
Are we wise to lay aside crucial historical differences of eternal significance so as to secure temporal advantages? George Smeaton, in his classic work on the atonement observes, "To convert one sinner from his way is an event of greater importance than the deliverance of a whole kingdom from temporal evil."
I do not believe it is possible to embrace the premises of ecumenical strategy and still draw the conclusions of evangelical orthodoxy.
In accord with others who have chosen not to sign, my reservation is not with the issues themselves, or in standing with others who share the same concerns, but it is in signing a declaration along with a group of leading churchmen, when I happen to believe that the teaching of some of their churches is in effect a denial of the biblical gospel. I wonder whether it might not have been more advantageous for evangelicals to unite on this matter, rather than seeking cooperation with segments from Rome, Eastern Orthodoxy and the Latter Day Saints. The necessary co-belligerence, as far as I'm concerned, can never be rooted in a Gospel other than that which has been given to us.
(updated and expanded November 25, 2009)
Unity, Diversity and Division that Glorifies God
A monthly Internet teaching ministry of
Calvary Chapel of Hope - Pastor Claude T. Stauffer
803 County Line Road, North Amityville, New York 11701
Phone: 631-789-4837 or 631-224-1761.
There is a unity that glorifies God. There is a diversity that glorifies God. There is a division that glorifies God. God is clear on what unity, diversity and division is acceptable to Him and brings glory to Him. The Bible reveals that in the Last Days there will be a one world religion. This religion of unity is referred to as Mystery Babylon and has its roots at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). This false religious system will ultimately be brought down by God (cf. Revelation 17). The unity of Mystery Babylon is not glorifying to God but opposes God with all deception and rebellion against Him and His word. This false unity is on the rise today. That is a unity true Christians do not want to be a part of. Having a Biblical God ordained understanding of how unity, diversity and division relate to one another is critical to glorifying God by both what we participate in and what we separate from.
What marks the unity that glorifies God? Jesus expressed that one of His main purposes was to bring a unity to His followers that would be representative of the unity He experienced in the Triune Godhead (John 17:20-23). It glorifies God when people come together who are steadfastly devoted to the Bible, fellowship, worship and prayer (Acts 2:42-47). God is glorified by the unity of those who hold to "the foundation of the apostles and prophets" with "Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone" and where the Holy Spirit dwells (Ephesians 2:19-22; 4:4-6; Philippians 2:1-2).
What marks the diversity that glorifies God? Jesus acknowledged diversity in ministry (Mark 9:38-41). He initially came to give the gospel to Israel but thank God He also spoke of opening the gospel to the diversity of the Gentile world! (John 10:16). When people of different races, nations, actual genders, financial means, intellectual capacities, and cultural backgrounds come together in Christ, it glorifies God. When people who have different spiritual giftings, callings and roles in the church (1 Corinthians 12) come together in the love of Jesus (1 Corinthians 13) it glorifies God. When people who worship God differently come together it glorifies God. Whenever people who agree in the essentials of the faith but differ in nonessentials of the faith come together, it glorifies God.
Diversity in the body of Christ is good. We can all learn from those who are different from us. And diversity is necessary to make us whole. God Himself is diverse in that He is One God in Three persons. My wife and I are different in many ways. She is a woman. I am a man. She is practical. I am not always practical. I am big and strong. She is delicate and soft. She sees things I do not always see. I see things she does not always see. Separately we might be vulnerable. Together we are strong and watch each others' back. The same is true of the church. When churches unite regardless of denomination, location, or mode of worship, it glorifies God. People in the church are different in many ways but our differences make us stronger. Our differences make us more versatile, perceptive, sensitive to the needs of the lost and empathetic. Our differences enable us to watch each other's back. Such diversity does not only glorify God, it is the will of God.
What marks the division that glorifies God? Division based on prejudice, ignorance and a lack of love never glorifies God. Division characterized by backbiting and gossip in the church does not glorify God. But there is a division that glorifies God. God glorified Himself when His people separated from Egypt (Exodus 4-14). And when God's people were about to enter the Promised Land He warned them through Moses to remain separate from the pagan peoples, false prophets and their false teaching (Deuteronomy 7; 13 and 18). God tells us to watch out for those who cause division because of doctrinal deception and false teaching and that we are to "keep away from them" (Romans 16:17). It is not doctrine or the teaching of God's word that we are to keep away from; we are to unite in the truth of God's word. We are to stay away from those who teach false doctrine. Whether a person or group holds to the teaching of God's word determines whether they belong to God and so this is eternally important and therefore worth dividing over (2 John 9).
What makes this area of division a bit more complicated sometimes is the mindset expressed by the Arabian quote the enemy of my enemy is my friend. There are certain circumstances and situations in life where we are tempted to join with those who we had previously opposed to unite in confronting a common foe. Is it ever right to unite with a secular group or religious group who has unscriptural or Christ denying ways? There are many diverse groups that oppose abortion, immorality, and what we would call sin. Uniting with those who believe differently than God says in His word is permissible if and only if you can maintain your scriptural Christian identity. But don't allow yourself to be manipulated into a situation where you compromise the truth of God's word. If uniting in such situations means approving of or condoning sin or scriptural heresy and falsehood, then it would be better to fight whatever cause it is separately. God put Joseph in a position that was second in command to Pharaoh of pagan Egypt to save the messianic line (Genesis 37-50). God used the pagan Persian King Artaxerxes to help Nehemiah rebuild the walls of the holy city of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1-2). God can use the unsaved for His purposes. And it is by infiltration rather than isolation that we can be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16). In such situations we serve as a restraining force against evil (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7).
But the Bible also says we are to "come out" and not be "unequally yoked with" unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6). We are not to be united with unbelievers in a way that disregards the holy difference of God's people. Unity with the ACLU, NOW, or the Church of Satan would not glorify God but division from them would. A worship service where Christians unite with Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and other religions would be inappropriate because all of these groups define "God" in unscriptural and even blasphemous ways. What about certain church movements? Would it glorify God to unite with churches that ordain homosexuals or who perform same sex marriages or who approve of abortion, even partial birth abortion? No, divisions from such groups and opposition to their sin by proclaiming the truth of God's word in love to them is what would bring glory to God. What about uniting with those who claim to be a church but whose teachings deny the truth of God's word? For instance, what if a "church" group denies the deity of Christ or teaches that salvation is by works and not by God's grace through faith alone in Christ alone? What if a "church" teaches that Jesus is not the only way of salvation but that there are many roads of many religions that are acceptable to God? (See John 14:6 and Acts 4:12.) Do we really want to unite with "churches" that misrepresent God? God is clear on how He feels about those who misrepresent Him; His judgment is on them. God barred Moses from the Promised Land because he misrepresented God (Exodus 17:1-7 and Numbers 20:1-13). God allowed His people to be defeated and taken into captivity because of their associations with pagan sinful peoples and adopting their sinful religious practices (2 Chronicles 36:14-21). The New Testament is full of exhortations to maintain purity and unity in the teachings of God's holy word (for example Jude 3-4). When we divide from those who disregard or rebel against God, it glorifies God. It glorifies God because it demonstrates we put Him and His word above the comfort that comes from tolerance of sin and compromising the truth He has revealed (for example Matthew 5:10-16; 10:32-39). But even if we disagree with someone and have to remain separate from them, it should still always be in love (John 13:34-35). Making the distinction and separating from the groups I just mentioned is clear cut to anyone who respects and holds dear God and His word. We speak the truth in love and share the gospel with such groups, but we do not unite with them. Division sometimes glorifies God.
There is a unity, diversity and a division that glorifies God. I pray we obey God and submit to Him in these things and that He is glorified greatly as a result.
Pastor Claude Stauffer
Calvary Chapel, Amityville, NY (USA)
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