The Manhattan Declaration

All around the Western world the Christian church is under attack, and along with it, the West’s Judeo-Christian heritage. It is not just a specific faith which is being ferociously targeted, but all the attendant goods of that faith. Three chief goods – the sanctity of human life, the institutions of marriage and family, and religious liberty – are all under threat.

Thus to defend Christianity is to take a stand for these tremendous social goods as well. They stand or fall together. That is why one diverse group of Christian leaders – evangelical, Catholic, and Orthodox – came together yesterday to announce the release of an important new Christian document – the Manhattan Declaration.

Charles Colson, one of the original signers to the Declaration, says this about it: “The Manhattan Declaration is 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.”

Over 140 leaders from throughout the Christian community have already signed this historic document, along with thousands of ordinary citizens. The link provided below provides access to three things: the Declaration itself; those leaders who have already signed it; and a place where you can also sign the Declaration.

All believers should become familiar with this document. Therefore, let me here briefly summarise its contents. The Preamble gives a short account of the outworking of the Christian faith in the public arena over the past two thousand years. It highlights the overwhelming amount of social good the Christian faith has brought to the world in its two-millennia history.

It says this “Like those who have gone before us in the faith, Christians today are called to proclaim the Gospel of costly grace, to protect the intrinsic dignity of the human person and to stand for the common good. In being true to its own calling, the call to discipleship, the church through service to others can make a profound contribution to the public good.”

It also makes this affirmation: “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.”

The first main section, on Life, says this in part: “A truly prophetic Christian witness will insistently call on those who have been entrusted with temporal power to fulfill the first responsibility of government: to protect the weak and vulnerable against violent attack, and to do so with no favoritism, partiality, or discrimination. The Bible enjoins us to defend those who cannot defend themselves, to speak for those who cannot themselves speak. And so 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.”

In the next section on Marriage we find these words: “Vast human experience confirms that marriage is the original and most important institution for sustaining the health, education, and welfare of all persons in a society. Where marriage is honored, and where there is a flourishing marriage culture, everyone benefits – the spouses themselves, their children, the communities and societies in which they live. Where the marriage culture begins to erode, social pathologies of every sort quickly manifest themselves.”

It looks at the various threats to marriage and family, chief of which is the push for same-sex marriage. But it also acknowledges how those in heterosexual marriage have often failed: “We confess with sadness that Christians and our institutions have too often scandalously failed to uphold the institution of marriage and to model for the world the true meaning of marriage. Insofar as we have too easily embraced the culture of divorce and remained silent about social practices that undermine the dignity of marriage we repent, and call upon all Christians to do the same.”

This section concludes this way: “And so it is out of love (not ‘animus’) and prudent concern for the common good (not ‘prejudice’), that 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? The Bible teaches us that marriage is a central part of God’s creation covenant. Indeed, the union of husband and wife mirrors the bond between Christ and his church. And so just as Christ was willing, out of love, to give Himself up for the church in a complete sacrifice, we are willing, lovingly, to make whatever sacrifices are required of us for the sake of the inestimable treasure that is marriage.”

The final section, on Religious Liberty, says, in part, “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.”

And further, “In recent decades a growing body of case law has paralleled the decline in respect for religious values in the media, the academy and political leadership, resulting in restrictions on the free exercise of religion. We view this as an ominous development, not only because of its threat to the individual liberty guaranteed to every person, regardless of his or her faith, but because the trend also threatens the common welfare and the culture of freedom on which our system of republican government is founded. Restrictions on the freedom of conscience or the ability to hire people of one’s own faith or conscientious moral convictions for religious institutions, for example, undermines the viability of the intermediate structures of society, the essential buffer against the overweening authority of the state, resulting in the soft despotism Tocqueville so prophetically warned of. Disintegration of civil society is a prelude to tyranny.”

It closes in this fashion: “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.”

On occasions in the recent past various church documents and pronouncements have come forth. Some have been wishy-washy and less than biblical. Thus it is good to find a document like this which is not fearful in tackling some of the biggest threats to religious freedom in general and biblical Christianity in particular.

It deserves not only a wide hearing but solid backing and promotion. The strong stance demonstrated and enunciated in this Declaration is to be applauded and duplicated, if we are to have the sort of impact we need in an increasingly dark and fragmented society.

manhattandeclaration.org/index.php
www.breakpoint.org/commentaries/13534-the-manhattan-declaration

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33 Replies to “The Manhattan Declaration”

  1. I totally agree!

    I for one was very excited when this declaration went ‘live’ yesterday. This is a most impressive document and is taking a real stand with backbone!

    Stuart Mackay, UK

  2. Really encouraging document!
    I was just so sad that I could not put my signature to it 🙁
    Iain Duncan, UK

  3. Bill, interesting that the short para on religious freedom says “No one should be compelled to embrace any religion against his will …” but doesn’t carry on with what (to me) is an obvious continuation “… and no one should be forbidden to change their religion”. Sure, the latter is a corollary of the former but in the light of so many violent murders and fatwas based on the latter, it would have been good to emphasise it. There is a world-wide campaign this year to bring this to the attention of those in power, see http://barnabasfund.org/?m=230%23245%23243
    Graham Keen, Malawi

  4. Thanks Graham

    Yes, Patrick Sookhdeo of Barnabas Fund has a new book on this, Freedom to Believe, which I will be reviewing soon.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  5. The question is, are we willing to stand by and allow individuals whose only crime is to stand up for justice and righteousness, to be isolated and targeted for possible public humiliation, fines, loss of Job and perhaps being sent to prison? To make pledges of bringing a child up in the fear of the Lord, during a dedication or baptismal service will also become illegal.

    Why cannot Christians and maybe fellow travellers send out an unambiguous declaration, not a petition – we have had enough of them – to be sent straight through the front doors of the seats of power (or in the case of Britain, left in a milk bottle outside No 10 Downing Street) in whichever country they reside? This declaration needs to let those who foolishly think that they are God know what our thoughts, feelings and more importantly intentions are, with regard to civil partnerships, the Sexual Orientation Regulations, the Gay Adoption Bill, the allowing of lesbians and homosexuals to have children through IVF, the Incitement to Homophobic Hatred Bill and all other legislation that continues to flow relentlessly from this pit of hell.

    If it was a legitimate thing for the Queen Elizabeth 11, in 1953, to make a Coronation Oath (which, tragically, she is no longer either able or willing to defend) why should we also not make a public statement of intent to defend the Christian truths, values and morals on which our nation was founded? If Queen Elizabeth 11 has been prepared over the last decade to publicly underwrite and declare increasingly godless laws at the beginning of each Parliamentary Year, we the people of Britain need to either quietly bow in acquiescence or stand and say No! Either shut up or put up.

    For those who feel uncomfortable with making public commitments there are plenty of precedents.

    “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD. Then the people answered, ‘Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods! No! We will serve the LORD’.” Joshua 24:15-16

    Back in February 2007, a lady in Britain called Diane Mullally wrote her own impassioned declaration of intent: ”I am a committed Christian aged 63 and so very grieved that a minority in this country could push things so far that the majority of us could be forced into tolerating their views in our churches, schools, businesses and homes or risk prosecution. I for one will not accept that my church will be unable to refuse to marry same-sex couples or hire out halls for gay parties/events or even to accept gay couples into a Christian bed and breakfast. In all these issues including the adoption one – I will gladly go to prison but I will not have these things forced upon me or my family…. I want the right to choose what I teach my children and grandchildren – not have it forced upon me that I must teach them about “another kind of love” as they put it in a leaflet being prepared – I will not teach my grandchildren this, nor stand by and agree to someone else doing so, and I sincerely hope that there are many, many women like me who feel the same in this country. If this law is passed in this country my freedom to choose will have been taken away.”
    http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/?p=1220

    Why are church leaders and their congregations so reluctant to make their voices heard, whilst they still have the freedom? Or has it really reached the stage where they count basic freedoms of conscience that have cost the lives of millions of our predecessors, like Latimer, Ridley and Cranmer, as worthless? I also, in 2007, made an attempt at writing a declaration:

    DECLARATION OF BELIEFS AND INTENTS REGARDING HUMAN LIFE, MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY
    1. We the undersigned believe that human life from conception is sacred. We believe that abortion on demand as a means of contraception is therefore murder.
    2. We recognise only the sexual relationship between husband and wife. Accordingly we refuse to condone or encourage promiscuity, adultery, pornography, polygamy, incest, paedophilia, polyamory or homosexuality – no matter how committed, involved or loving- either in our families, or in the public domain. What people might do in private is their own affair but we refuse to be forced to think, feel and act in ways that violate our own consciences or accept as normal, behaviour which we regard as dysfunctional and immoral.
    3. We believe that a monogamous, heterosexual and enduring marriage is the only appropriate environment within which to raise children. We do not disregard the commendable efforts of those mothers and fathers who find themselves, through no choice of their own, having to bring up children as single parents, but we totally reject the notion that families can come in all shapes and sizes whose partnerships can be of any number, age, gender, duration or even soon of any species. How soon before we have someone who has a child through IVF and surrogacy being married to a horse, both appearing on the birth certificate of a child?
    4. We declare that it is our responsibility, as parents and teachers, to teach our children and grandchildren the truth concerning sex and marriage and accordingly refuse stand by and allow others to teach our children diversity in such matters.
    5 We declare that there are universal and moral absolutes. We reject totally the self -negating “moral absolute” that there are no moral absolutes nor will we allow others to teach our children such intolerant tolerance and diversity.
    6. We declare that we will show solidarity and stand by any organisation or any individual who is isolated, threatened with arrest, public humiliation, unfair dismissal, fines, enforced indoctrination classes and possible prison sentences, simply for trying to uphold Christian values and morality.

    David Skinner, UK

  6. Hi David,

    Exactly which part of the coronation oath is the Queen guilty of failing to carry out in the course of her duties?
    I think the phrase “the utmost of your power” is very telling – politicians and parliaments have for centuries strove to ensure that the “utmost” of the monarch’s power is absolutely impotent. I would love to see Queen Elizabeth take the stand you are calling for, but I am afraid that to do so would be inconsistent with the role society has been so eager to relegate to her.

    Yarran Johnston

  7. Part of the Coronation Oath of Queen Elizabeth 1, 1953:

    Archbishop: Will you to your power cause Law and Justice, in Mercy, to be executed in all your judgements?

    Queen: I will.

    Archbishop: Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?

    Queen: All this I promise to do.

    Yarran Johnston, I believe the Queen is of all subjects in Britain the most to be pitied for she seems to have the least freedom to speak her conscience. When she allows her Bishops, like the Bishop of Winchester to be publicly ridicule by her government for simply trying to defend the truth of God and in the case of Anthony Pridis, the bishop of Hereford to actually be fined £47,000 for maintaining biblical morality, she is failing to honour her oath.

    If her humble Christian subjects are willing to lose their jobs, be fined, humiliated, imprisoned and even suffer death (Harry Hammond) surely it would be no small matter for her to open her mouth. After all neither the Duke or Prince Charles seem inhibited to voice the opinions.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/6904057.stm

    But surely it is the last two or three years when at the opening of each parliamentary year she has read out her government’s godless and evil policies, especially with regard to abortion and homosexuality, that she denies her Christian faith. The Queen is answerable not to the British people or government but to God, which she shall surely do.

    David Skinner, UK

  8. Even I would sign it as a non-Christian if I were allowed. I applaud and support the Christians who wrote and produced this humane declaration who believe in God and manifest a high consciousness in doing good and justice to every human person. In a time of great mistrust, suspicion & darkness this is God sent.
    Siti Khatijah

  9. Thanks Siti

    While it is clearly a Christian document, I am not aware of any restrictions on those who sign it. So I would suggest that you are welcome to do so if you fell so inclined.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  10. I’ve just signed the Manhattan Declaration. I hope many many more will also. Thanks Bill for keeping me informed.
    Dawn McGregor

  11. Dear Bill,

    “Three chief goods – the sanctity of human life, the institutions of marriage and family, and religious liberty – are all under threat.” – as are truth and freedom for everyone.

    Thanks for bringing this to us!

    Gerard Flood

  12. It Is Imperative that True Christians stand for Truth and Walk in Truth.
    John Mills

  13. Thanks David,

    As I said, I wish she would make a stand, I really do….but nevertheless I wonder what the ramifications would be. You are correct -the notion of free speech in the Commonwealth is in many ways a joke because of the absolute limitations placed on the personal expression of such a freedom by the highest office holder in my country and yours,

    With regard to the preservation of the Anglican Reformed Religion – which I expected you would bring up – isn’t it the British government who (in her name) appoints the Archbishop of Cantebury, who in turn would exercise the actual duties described in the coronation oath? Couldn’t the Anglican church make significant changes to its core values and the Queen would be bound to the oath to oversee these, so long as the institution still referred to itself as the Anglican Reformed Religion?

    If the Queen approved of Britain adopting a declaration such as Manhattan or that which you have proposed, wouldn’t she be duty bound by the other conventions of the Crown to only voice support through the official channels if it had first been adopted and ratified by a British Government,

    I don’t defend the Queen’s stance for Christian values without acknowledging the flaws you have described, but I am concerned…should we expect a change in royal policy? I there any profit in writing to Buckingham Palace? Certainly we should be praying for her, as with the leaders beneath her authority?

    But ultimately what you said is true, Her Majesty is answerable to THE Majesty of all Heaven and Earth, but since it is the people who are so hungry for their own foolish wants, I think we see that the values our societies desire their leaders to represent or signify have changed drastically for the works and that it has left a huge gap that some figures, such as our Queen, have been unsure of how to traverse…

    Yarran Johnston

  14. But Yarran, as David said “neither the Duke or Prince Charles seem inhibited to voice their opinions.” And Prince Charles promotes all kinds of nonsense including that were he to become king that he should be considered as “defender of the faiths” not as traditionally “defender of THE faith”.

    The aging Queen Elizabeth is in many ways a portrait of what has happened to Britain since her coronation. Mute and seemingly impotent to stop creeping secularisation and Islamisation of a once great Christian nation.

    Ewan McDonald.

  15. Brits can sign it too.
    Did not see that the first time.

    Signed.

    Iain Duncan, UK

  16. Yarron, many of us wrote to the Queen, over the issue of gay adoption. I believer Andrea Minichiello Williams (worth a thousand men) of Christian Concern for Our Nation, handed in a petition with 10,000 names on it, asking her to intervene. I sent her a letter, reminding her of the story of Queen Esther, suggesting that it was for such as time as this that she had been raised. Though, yes she is officially hide bound by government, she does hold a position of considerable influence. Sad to say I received a letter from one of her attendants, expressing sympathy but sadly she was unnable to intervene in the affairs of state – or something along those lines. My Christian friends have vehemently defended the queen by saying how Christian and what a fine example she sets . Well that may be, but I associate her only with horse racing and the delivery of a milk and water Christian message.

    (I can hear the police knocking on my door.)

    David Skinner, UK

  17. I will make sure that my congregation gets a copy of the document and do all that I can to encourage them to sign it.
    Andy Thomas

  18. Thanks Ewan and David,

    I’ll make this short and my last post on the topic, as I’ve probably taken things off on a tangent a bit from Bill’s original point about the Manhattan Declaration.

    I agree with the point about other senior royals being vocal about certain things, however they are not the Sovereign, so they are not bound in the same way.

    I respect your dedication in writing to the Queen David, the response sounds similar to the official response to the 1975 Australian Constitutional Crisis…so probably it’s her personal and official policy to remain distant from political issues, whether they involve transgressions of Christian values or are purely secular.

    But the trend seems to be (thinking back to Bill’s recent post on biblical literacy amongst politicians and Christians in general) that we cannot really rely on any leaders political or non-partisan to firmly stand for Christian values in the face of opposition. I don’t know whether this will change for the better, or if perhaps all that is left to do is say Maranatha…

    Yarran Johnston

  19. What a milestone for contemporary Christians and Christianity! I can see the light, and taste the salt!

    Let’s hope and pray it will have the same impact as that ancient document nailed by Martin Luther onto the then current community notice board – the Church Door.

    Michelle Shave

  20. Bill,
    John MacArthur has taken a different position on this and has not sign the document. We might not agree with him but he stands by his own convictions. Read his position in http://www.gty.org

    Barry Koh

  21. Thanks Barry

    I enjoy much of what MacArthur writes about, but I think he is simply wrong here. He fails to appreciate the crucial role of co-belligerency (working together with others for limited purposes to achieve certain ends). And he fails to see that one can both preach the gospel and work for social goods simultaneously. Wilberforce is of course the prime example here.

    Indeed, he has said quite similar things in a book he wrote back in 2000. I wrote a review of that book, sharing my concerns: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2001/11/28/a-review-of-why-government-can%E2%80%99t-save-you-by-john-macarthur/

    My same concerns apply here.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  22. Yes back onto the main topic :).

    In relation to Albert Mohler and John Macarthur’s differing views on signing the declaration, I had read Mohler’s statement a few days ago and I had seen just yesterday Tim Challies quote MacArthur on his opposition to signing.

    I understand the need to maintain a strong front and voice on social issues, however the message it sends about doctrinal differences could be interpreted as quite concerning. I hate to sound so pragmatic, but from a coldly strategic perspective it is probably to an advantage that we have on the one hand enough influential evangelicals signing the document to give uniformed authority to the convictions being expressed to society, while on the other hand enough evangelical leaders refuse to sign, which means that a testimony against the faulty doctrine of Catholicism and other organisations is still being highlighted in the midst of this issue. But that’s pragmatics and strategy…From a more personal, convictions-based viewpoint, while I agree with the core principles proclaimed by the declaration, I would have issues about the implications of signing along with “fellow-Christians” when I don’t regard some of the signatories or the denominations they represent to hold to a true Christian gospel that is viable for the salvation of sinners.

    So while it seems my position echoes MacArthur and Challies etc; can I ask Bill and others who are closer to Mohler’s position, two questions:
    a) While we can all appreciate that Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox churches have solid Trinitarian doctrinal traditions, there are other serious issues regarding their interpretations of vital Christian truths. Given this, seeing as how it is seen as acceptable for evangelicals to work with these groups for common social causes, would this extend to non-Trinitarian pseudo-Christian groups and what about other religions with socially conservative outlooks such as Islam. How far should co-operation extend.

    b) Do you see any distinction between working with people of different (or no) spiritual convictions politically when those people are politicians as opposed to religious leaders specifically (as this declaration is focused on. For instance, I see a difference between supporting moves by Roman Catholic politicians such as Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce against abortion and joining some sort of lobby led by one of them if they were the Catholic bishop of one of Australia’s cities. Do others see any distinction?

    Yarran Johnston

  23. Thanks Yarran

    I have spoken about these matters elsewhere, and a full article could be forthcoming here. But let me make a few points. I am of course an evangelical Protestant. I make no apologies for that, and I have not tried to hide that fact. Therefore I will obviously have some theological differences with Catholics. But that is true of other types of Christians as well: I will also have plenty of theological differences with the Orthodox, and even with other Protestants. Indeed, I can often disagree with fellow evangelicals.

    While any reader of this site will certainly see that I put a premium on truth and sound theology, it is also clear that I see the great value of co-belligerency. If we do not work together on so many of these crucial issues, we will simply lose everything.

    Thus while genuine theological differences will always exist, if we can find some common ground to unite against our greater enemies, that is my preference here in this website and in my ministry. Indeed, I am involved with various pro-family and pro-life coalitions which include all sorts of groups which do not agree on a theological level, but have come together for limited, temporary, and tactical reasons, and have been willing to lay aside theological issues, to work for important issues.

    Thus I have worked with Muslims, Mormons, Moonies and all sorts of other groups on some of these limited, tactical and short-term projects. I have no problems with that. The important thing is to take on some of these major challenges we face.

    Indeed, many of these battles are too big for us to quarrel amongst ourselves, while letting the other side get away with murder. And of course co-belligerency is by definition a short-term working together for specific purposes on a specific issue. It has nothing to do with compromising, or abandoning one’s beliefs, etc.

    This has worked wonderfully on the international level. For example when radical feminists, pro-aborts and homosexuals are trying to push something, say, at the UN, it is often a coalition of pro-life and pro-family groups, along with the Muslim voting bloc, and the Vatican, that have combined and successfully defeated their initiatives time and time again.

    The truth is, in these culture wars, if we first come out with a long list of criteria and beliefs that we have to check off before we work with someone else, we will very soon be down to a handful of like-minded folk. I have disagreements with all sorts of people at times. But if I demanded complete agreement on every theological point, then I would be a club of one. And I don’t always agree with myself all the time!

    So we need to learn to work together with others wherever possible, bearing in mind the bigger war we are in. This may not always be possible, but when it is, then let’s go for it.

    I hope this answers your questions. Not all evangelicals will be happy with my response. That is fine. I have to do what I feel is right, and what I sense the Lord is leading me to do. But in some of these areas we may have to agree to disagree.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  24. Thanks Bill,

    I would have to say in response that by and large I have found your hard work in cultural issues to be more worthy of compliment than criticism. I recognise that through your work here as well as involvement with secular and Christian media sources that you are playing a very valuable part in defending the social values that biblical Christians should all hold to as matters of principle.

    Moreover, your recent comments on the dangers of the Emergent/Emerging Church and the need for purer preaching in our churches do demonstrate a commitment to solid, biblical doctrine on your behalf.

    Nevertheless I would still retain some serious concerns over close co-operation with openly non or anti-Christian groups (which does often include certain conservative groups and religious movements by implication) based on where it may gradually lead and what effect it may have on the clarity of well-expressed, Christian orthodoxy over a period of time.

    That being said, I look forward to you writing more on the issue in the future and since I, like you, have an extreme aversion to many forms of social corruption going on in society – which some non-Christians may also oppose – I think that your perspective on these issues, as someone with considerable experience in the area, is worthy of consideration by those of us who still have reservations.

    Yarran Johnston

  25. Thanks Yarran

    It is always dangerous to post a comment here – it may often get me wound up enough to drop everything (even cooking dinner, which I am now supposed to be doing!), and pen an entire article in response! That is what I have just done, so see my thoughts here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2009/11/27/on-biblical-cooperation-and-separation/

    Thanks again for your comments. As always, we need to sharpen one another and challenge one another in the faith.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  26. It is not a declaration of doctrinal beliefs. Anyone may sign it; atheists have done so. The declaration is of agreement with the three main tenets and a willingness to stand firm for them, come what may. It should not be an issue whether or not one shares views on other matters. The declaration states, ‘believers and non-believers alike’.
    Regarding civil disobedience, this surely only means getting on with your normal activities regardless of perverted laws or persecutions, not being intimidated by the Crazy Gang activists or their minions. It’s easy to sign this and think we have done something. What next? Everyone from Catholic adoption agencies to wedding cake makers, carrying on as usual I hope.
    Anita Huxley

  27. Not before time, fabulous! Unless we each indiviually take up the challenge and live our faith, know our faith, really walk the walk and talk the talk, become the living examples of what we are fighting for, it will all mean nothing. The problem is, are we the lights in the darkness that Christ calls us to be? It is being one on one with others, getting our hands dirty showing what we believe by our lives that will show His Love is bigger than it all and we have to share it!
    Joanne Shorthouse

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