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:
- the sanctity of human life
- the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
- the rights of conscience and religious liberty.
Although I have yet to read the complete document, what I have heard seems positive. I have seen the typical reactions: conservative right labeling it as anti-christian and the liberal left, well basically ignoring it. The majority in the center – Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians – at least seem to be entering into a dialogue over this. That can only be a good thing.
Here are a few posts that I found interesting:
The ultra-conservatives booed it down, mainly because of the presence of the Catholics and Orthodox or assuming it was a statement about the gospel. Steve Camp called it the “New Downgrade and John MacArthur rejected it as he did the Evangelicals and Catholics Together document. The liberals tended to shy away from it also.
I read it through with my American wife. The reason we didn’t sign it … has more to do with not knowing how our vote will be used in the long tail of American politics.
“The church is being redefined before our very eyes. Soon it will be just a faint memory of what God had truly designed it to be; like an old faded picture on a wall.” -Author Unknown
In his response to the declaration, Jonathan Merritt, a younger evangelical in age as well as spirit, wrote in The Washington Post, “Older evangelicals have been largely silent on these issues and in similar fashion this declaration has relegated them to little more than a footnote.”
Finally, because of the above points and because this is from a widespread group of Christian leaders, because I respect those who have signed it and those who drafted it, because it is ecumenical both on the basis of the great tradition and on the basis of shared moral values, because they have overtly claimed this is not just a partisan statement — and there are folks from both sides of the political spectrum on their list — and because they are not claiming these moral statements about abortion and marriage are the only central moral issues of our day, I hereby publicly endorse The Manhattan Declaration.I hope you will join me or at least join us in a conversation.