No doubt by now most Christians have heard of an ecumenical document titled, “Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience.”
As a practice I have an aversion to ecumenism simply because it waters down the gospel for the sake of unity; unity that is primarily in effort on matters of mutual concern. Now I am not against cooperating with those of other beliefs for political reasons if we are of the same mind.
However, this declaration proclaims:
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.
This begs the question, do we as “Christians…Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians…who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences” even proclaim the same gospel?
Do Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians believe in the sufficiency and authority of Scripture, aka Sola Scriptura?
Is the Bible alone sufficient for all matters of faith and practice, or is sacred tradition equally binding on the Christian?
Does the Church alone have the power and authority to interpret the Bible, or does the Bible teach of the priesthood of all believers and the individual believer’s trust that the Holy Spirit can guide in the reading and interpreting of Scripture?
Does Ephesians 2:8-9 teach that man is saved by faith alone, aka Sola Fide, or must a Christian be saved through faith and meritorious works?
Does the Apostle Paul’s writing in Romans 4 teach justification as a one-time act or must I build upon my salvation with good works to merit God’s grace?
If these four questions are not answered in agreement by Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians, four very serious doctrinal issues, it is beyond my understanding of how the signatories can possibly, in a unified manner, fulfill their “duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness.”
Please don’t get me wrong; I am thankful that people of faith, of differing doctrines, want to unify and “to speak and act in defense of these truths.”
We must understand that if we do so, it will not be done by proclaiming the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness because ecumenism does not make agreement in that Gospel possible.
I personally will not be signing the declaration.
I will however, continue to strive to bring political and moral clarity into the fog of political correctness, knowing fully that will at times bring me at odds with many of my readers.
I look forward to your comments here.
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