Last Friday, Christian leaders across America united in a historical stand for freedom. 152 leaders from the Catholic, Orthodox and Evangelical traditions signed a 4700-word document entitled “The Manhattan Declaration”. The statement, drafted by national Christian scholars including Robert George (Princeton University) and Timothy George (Samford University), affirms three fundamental truths:
- the sanctity of human life
- the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
- the rights of conscience and religious liberty.
In an interview with Mike Huckabee Saturday, Chuck Colson, a member of the drafting committee, stated: “We pledge to one another that we will not compromise or be a party to a compromise to the fundamental principles on which the faith is based and on which our country is based as well.” Colson committed to Jesus’ command, to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” (Matt 22:21), and quickly added: “under no circumstance will we render to Caesar what is God’s.”
He went on to say that the community of faith is taking a stand for what is just and good, and those signing the document are prepared to pay the price. Colson quoted from Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail, “An unjust law is no law at all.” On Friday’s BreakPoint, Colson stated: “The Manhattan Declaration is a wake-up call—a call to conscience—for the church. It is also crystal-clear message to civil authorities that we will not, under any circumstances, stand idly by as our religious freedom comes under assault.”
The Manhattan Declaration, an unprecedented document for the American church, was presented at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Friday, November 20. But that was merely the beginning of the momentum. Since then, over 90,000 signatures have been added via the website as of the time of this writing. I unashamedly added mine. Will you?