Manhattan Declaration Signers Increase
Special Report - December 7, 2009
An alliance of conservative ministries within several mainline denominations is urging members and leaders of the United Church of Christ (UCC), the Episcopal Church, and other mainline churches to join the hundreds of thousands of Christians who have signed the Manhattan Declaration. The document is a landmark statement released last month that pledges a united stand on three foundational Biblical principles. The Association For Church Renewal (ACR) represents over 30 conservative ministries within several U.S. and Canadian mainline denominations, including groups within the UCC, the Presbyterian Church USA, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (which voted in August to allow homosexual men and women involved in “committed” same-sex relationships to serve as clergy). The ACR issued the invitation on December 2, calling upon clergy, members and leaders in the mainline churches to make a “public commitment as followers of Jesus Christ on behalf of the historic churches, which once established the spiritual foundation of our nation.”
As we’ve previously reported, over 150 Catholic, Orthodox and evangelical Christian leaders signed the 4,732-word Manhattan Declaration upon its release on November 20, 2009. Since then, over 250,000 individuals have signed the document, which was drafted by Dr. Robert George of Princeton University, Dr. Timothy George of Samford University, and Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship Ministries. Described as an ecumenical “clarion call to Christians to adhere to their convictions,” the Manhattan Declaration affirms three core Biblical issues: the sanctity of human life, marriage as the God-ordained union of a man and a woman, and religious liberty. The declaration directly addresses government authorities by pledging that the signers “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 marriage or the equivalent or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.”
In a statement, ACR president, Rev. David Runnion-Bareford, who is an ordained minister in the UCC, acknowledged the potential persecution that members of many mainline denominations could face if they sign the document. “We recognize that brothers and sisters who serve as we do in denominations that have publicly compromised with culture, will take this public stand at personal cost,” Rev. Runnion-Bareford said. “We recognize that in the name of ‘affirming diversity’ and ‘extravagant welcome,’ our denominational structures have created cultures of intolerance in which those who publicly sign this Manhattan Declaration risk your future promotion, placement, and collegial affirmation. In these times the cost of discipleship is real. Come! Let us stand together in the courage of conviction as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
Dr. Timothy George, one of the drafters of the Manhattan Declaration, was recently a guest on the North Carolina Family Policy Council’s weekly radio program, “Family Policy Matters.” The interview will air on Christian radio stations throughout the state beginning this Saturday, December 12, and will also be available on our web site. For a list of stations airing the program, go here. Or you can listen to the interview online beginning December 12.
Go here to sign the Manhattan Declaration.
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