November 24th, 2009 by M. French

Jesus-followers from various denominations and movements have put together a document called the Manhattan Declaration, which Chuck Colson described as “a wake-up call—a call to conscience—for the church.  It is also a crystal-clear message to civil authorities that we will not, under any circumstances, stand idly by as our religious freedom comes under assault.” Colson drafted the declaration along with Robert George (Professor, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University) and Timothy George  (Professor, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University).  The declaration is summarized on their website in the following way:

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.

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.

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.

Dr. Brown had the following to say about the document:

In the words of this important declaration, this is a clarion call for us to rise up as a “truly prophetic Christian witness,” reclaiming our biblical heritage and the best elements of our historic, sacrificial witness, serving humanity as agents of good and as ambassadors of God’s grace. In this darkened and lost generation, our opportunity to shine as bright lights has never been greater. Let’s seize the moment, affixing our names to this document and investing our lives in the advancement of the Great Commission. If we don’t stand for truth and righteousness and moral sanity, who will?

The full text of the Manhattan Declaration can be found here.  You can sign it by clicking here.

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