MANHATTAN DECLARATION: A CALL TO CHRISTIAN CONSCIENCE.

Posted: July 25, 2010 in false teachers, Manhattan Declaration, Roman Catholic Church, Social Trends
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Why this document is called the Manhattan Declaration?

  • It is called that because that is where the declaration started from: Manhattan in New York.

What is the Manhattan Declaration?

  • The declaration is a document of agreement which attempts to seek unity within Christianity on such things as the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife,” to declare the dignity of all people, and promote religious liberty.  The declaration is decidedly Christian in that it affirms the triune God of the Bible and states that it is “our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in its fullness…”

The document has many good and relevant points. If there was ever a need for unity among the true brethren it is now.   So while I agree to the spirit of the declaration, I cannot in all conscience sign it.  The document is ecumenical in its stance.  It is one more step toward strengthening ecumenical ties with Rome.

Unity for the sake of unity is no unity at all.  We can only unite under the banner of truth, and not some social necessity.

I CANNOT IN ALL CONSCIENCE SIGN THIS DECLARATION.

The Manhattan declaration reads:

  • DECLARATION
    WE, AS ORTHODOX, CATHOLIC, AND EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS, HAVE GATHERED, BEGINNING IN NEW YORK ON SEPTEMBER 28, 2009, TO MAKE THE FOLLOWING DECLARATION, WHICH WE SIGN AS INDIVIDUALS, NOT ON BEHALF OF OUR ORGANIZATIONS, but speaking to and from our communities. We act together in obedience to the one true God, the triune God of holiness and love, who has laid total claim on our lives and by that claim calls us with believers in all ages and all nations to seek and defend the good of all who bear his image. We set forth this declaration in light of the truth that is grounded in Holy Scripture, in natural human reason (which is itself, in our view, the gift of a beneficent God), and in the very nature of the human person. We call upon all people of goodwill, believers and non-believers alike, to consider carefully and reflect critically on the issues we here address as we, with St. Paul, commend this appeal to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.
  • WE ARE CHRISTIANS WHO HAVE JOINED TOGETHER ACROSS HISTORIC LINES OF ECCLESIAL DIFFERENCES TO AFFIRM OUR RIGHT—AND, MORE IMPORTANTLY, TO EMBRACE OUR OBLIGATION—TO SPEAK AND ACT IN DEFENSE OF THESE TRUTHS. WE PLEDGE TO EACH OTHER, AND TO OUR FELLOW BELIEVERS, THAT NO POWER ON EARTH, BE IT CULTURAL OR POLITICAL, WILL INTIMIDATE US INTO SILENCE OR ACQUIESCENCE. 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. MAY GOD HELP US NOT TO FAIL IN THAT DUTY.

“ORTHODOX, CATHOLIC, AND EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS”

This has the same spirit as the Evangelicals and Catholics Together document from a few years back

The first thing that should strike the reader is the declaration that assumes that Roman Catholicism is Christian.  It is not.  Consider the following quotes from official Roman Catholic documents.

Justification

If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.” (Council of Trent, Canons on Justification, Canon 14).

In Roman Catholic salvation initial justification is granted to you via baptism (Catechism of the Catholic Church par 2020; 1247), successive sacred rites (CCC 1248), not by faith alone (CCC 1815), but with service (CCC 1816).

The Bible teaches:

  • Rom 4:3 “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness,”
  • Rom 4:5 “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness,”
  • Rom 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”

So according to the Roman Catholic Church anyone who holds to a doctrine contrary to Catholic tradition is under the anathema of God.  How can a Christian sign a document of freedom with those who would deny him that very freedom?

Penance

  • “As a means of regaining grace and justice, penance was at all times necessary for those who had defiled their souls with any mortal sin. . . .The Council of Trent (Sess. XIV, c. i).

Penance is not repentance.  It is a means by which Catholics can work their way back into Gods good books.

Heaven a reward for good works

  • In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere ‘to the end’ and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ,” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par. 1821).

If it is not of works then consider how many have entered into eternity hoping their good works will save them.  How many believing themselves in purgatory  for a short time will soon come to realise that they have been lied to and deceived into embracing another gospel.

  • Eph 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Salvation

  1. “…so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments,” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par 2068http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p3s2.htm)

No matter to what degree that a Catholic tries to live a good life and keep the commandments of their church.  There is no justification by the keeping of the law.

  • Gal 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

Idolatry concerning Mary

  1. 2. Mary, “…by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation…Therefore, the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.” (CCC par. 969)
  2. 3. “By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the ‘Mother of Mercy,’ the All-Holy One. We give ourselves over to her now, in the Today of our lives. And our trust broadens further, already at the present moment, to surrender ‘the hour of our death’ wholly to her care.” (CCC 2677).

This queen of heaven is not the lowly Mary of the Bible but the deification of a pagan idol.

Are these teachings Christian?  Not at all, and they are sufficient enough to violate the essentials of the Christian faith.

  • 2Cr 6:14 “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”

The very fact that the Roman Catholic Church maligns hates  and curses all those who would appose it has been proven over the centuries.  By its own creed the Catholic Church cannot change and will not. Therefore to unite to a pagan and heretical cult is contrary to scripture and the teachings of our Lord.

  • 2Cr 6:17 “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you”

Does this verse speak of unity in the face of heresy?  Does it not say that if you unite with the unclean and heretical teachers then God will not receive embrace you.  You are therefore walking in disobedience.  We are called to come out from among them, not join them.

Another thing is that the declaration is worthless for by its own statement

  • “WHICH WE SIGN AS INDIVIDUALS, NOT ON BEHALF OF OUR ORGANIZATIONS”

Say a Roman Catholic bishop signed this.  Yet the Pope was to decree something different the bishop must then adhere to what the pope has decreed.   Therefore it does not matter what the Bishop or priest signs.  If it is not in line with catholic teaching it means nothing.

  • “WE ACT TOGETHER IN OBEDIENCE TO THE ONE TRUE GOD”

The trouble here is that the Roman Catholic Church does not act in obedience to God.  The entire history of the Catholic Church proves that they do not act in obedience.

  • RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
  • THE STRUGGLE FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY ACROSS THE CENTURIES HAS BEEN LONG AND ARDUOUS, but it is not a novel idea or recent development. The nature of religious liberty is grounded in the character of God Himself, the God who is most fully known in the life and work of Jesus Christ. Determined to follow Jesus faithfully in life and death, the early Christians appealed to the manner in which the Incarnation had taken place: “Did God send Christ, as some suppose, as a tyrant brandishing fear and terror? Not so, but in gentleness and meekness…, for compulsion is no attribute of God” (Epistle to Diognetus 7.3-4). Thus the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the example of Christ Himself and in the very dignity of the human person created in the image of God—a dignity, as our founders proclaimed, inherent in every human, and knowable by all in the exercise of right reason.
  • Christians confess that God alone is Lord of the conscience. Immunity from religious coercion is the cornerstone of an unconstrained conscience. No one should be compelled to embrace any religion against his will, nor should persons of faith be forbidden to worship God according to the dictates of conscience or to express freely and publicly their deeply held religious convictions. What is true for individuals applies to religious communities as well.

The struggle for religious liberty across the centuries has been long and arduous.  That in part is because the Roman Catholic Church has persecuted and killed countless thousands.  How can a Catholic priest sign a document which actually condemns the very movement which he has given his allegiance to?  The fact the office of the inquisition still exists and without any change in teaching and doctrine against such an office. This makes such a signing a piece of hypocrisy on the part of any Catholic priest.

  • 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. MAY GOD HELP US NOT TO FAIL IN THAT DUTY

As we have seen the Roman Catholic Church does not proclaim the true gospel of our Lord Jesus.  So the signing of this declaration has to be an act of hypocrisy and duplicity.  So far I have only dealt with the Roman Catholic Church.    The idea of signing a declaration in order to unite against a common evil might sound good, But  in leaving the back door open for anyone to walk through seems rather like an open invitation to be mugged.  There are very little safe guards defining what the proclamation of the gospel actually means.  Vague statements such as “it’s our duty to proclaim the gospel in its fullness” is then open to any reinterpretation by whoever signs this treaty.    Even   Mormon or Jehovah Witness could sign this document as still be regarded as a preaching the gospel in its fullness.

THE DOCUMENT SEEKS TO ASPIRE TO GOOD DEEDS BUT AT THE COST OF ABSOLUTE TRUTH. A UNITY BUT NOT IN ACCORDING TO OBEDIENCE.

Many signed out of conviction, many signed out of ignorance, and many signed because their motives may be questionable.  But according to scripture they all signed in disobedience.

  • Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Just a small number of those who have signed this declaration.

Pastor Che Ahn
Harvest Rock Church (Pasadena, CA)  Che Ahn was involved in the Lakeland fiasco and prophesied falsely over Todd Bentley

Chuck Colson
Founder, the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview (Lansdowne, VA)

Dr. James Dobson
Founder, Family Talk (Colorado Springs, CO)

Chuck Swindoll
Founder and Chairman of the Board, Insight for Living, Senior Pastor—Stonebriar Community Church (Frisco, TX), Chancellor—Dallas Theological Seminary

Joni Eareckson Tada
Founder and CEO, Joni and Friends International Disability Center (Agoura Hills, CA)

Dr. J.I. Packer
Board of Governors, Professor of Theology, Regent College (Canada)

The Manhattan declaration boasts of 461,525 signatures in favour of the declaration.   That is 461,525 which are walking in disobedience.

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Comments
  1. This is pastier David Mugisha in Uganda i have come across your website and i loved very mach your vaos that is very great, to have sache a high calling to serve the lord with out fear and not to be intimidated, i love you.
    And also i love to with it is my humble request that you extend your ministry in uganda. i love you , i will get happy to hear from you. with mach love
    pr David Agape ministries Uganda

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