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THE MANHATTAN DECLARATION and EVANGELICAL CO-BELLIGERENCE
Camp On This ^ | TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2009 | Steve Camp

Posted on 12/31/2009 12:59:38 PM PST by streetpreacher

THE MANHATTAN DECLARATION and EVANGELICAL CO-BELLIGERENCE
...the ineffectual intersection of politics and faith

 

 

The goal of both the church and the state is to advance the public good.”
-Francis Beckwith

 

 
The ultimate goal of the church biblically
is not the public good,
but the glory of God in the proclamation
and advancement of His gospel of sola fide.
God, not the audience, is sovereign.
The “public good” is political speak for tolerance.
The gospel, however, does divide;
it is a stumbling block, offensive and foolishness
for those who are perishing.

 


alt

 

Here we go again!


In the face of President Obama's economic wasteland and political indecision vacuum concerning Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq; coupled with an abortion provision being slipped into the latest health care bill championed by Harr Reid yand company - the religious right has found reason again to try itself in the political arena through The Manhattan Declaration.

It is nothing more than ECT (Evangelicals and Catholics Together) and Justice Sunday revisited. Same framers and advocates of the benign philosophy of political remedy for moral malady. The religious right of the past 24 years has all but been silenced. And despite the grass-root efforts by many well respected evangelical leaders and politicians, our country remains unchanged on key social and family issues. So once again, those who are impassioned about important social issues from a "faith perspective" such as abortion, same sex marriage, and religious liberty and freedom, are all but silent about the real "faith solution" for these same issues. The solution being regeneration through the Lord Jesus Christ and not political legislation. The solution for the Christian must be Gospel-Centered; Christ-Centered; and Cross-Centered. Anything less is ineffectual in bringing real resolve spiritually to these concerns.

The lack of sea change in American society to a conservative political ethic for many of us has been frustrating. But attempting to fight spiritual battles with carnal weaponry is just as disappointing. Christians who in the past have sought real change on key cultural issues did so, in part, absent of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. IOW, the gospel became the afterthought, not the primary thought. That failed strategery to keep the proclamation of the gospel center in a righteous quest I have defined as Evangelical Co-Belligerence (ECB).

I offer the following definition:

Creating alliances with individuals or groups who do not share belief in or with orthodox biblical Christianity, in order to fight an agreed upon social, moral, cultural cause that seeks to undermine the traditional family and family values. This includes, but not limited to: gay marriage; abortion; euthanasia; etc. and those who aid, influence, or control such societal moral decline such as the Supreme Court, Congress, state and local officials, and a run-a-way Federal Judiciary. This is accomplished by using boycotts, petitions, picketing, legislation... any political remedies available to resolve the moral maladies in our nation.

This is further accomplished by organizing evangelicals/local churches as PAC's, lobbyist groups, or as some refer to as "Christocrats", as Christian voting blocks to threaten with militant tones sitting politicians with the prospect of not being reelected if they fail to adopt the ECB moral/family agenda. This tactic is being championed by many evangelical leaders, seminary presidents and pastors absent of the authority of Scripture, absent of the preaching of God's Word, and absent of the heralding of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
 -Steve Camp, July 14, 2005

Christianity in culture does have impact and does produce change. But it only does so as long as Christianity doesn't become a political organization and remains at its very core deeply gospel-centered. Is it wrong for believers to enter politics? Of course not. Is it wrong for Christians in politics to use their office, driven by a biblical worldview, for the good of society and their fellow man as say Wilberforce did on the issue of slavery? Absolutely not. But the church itself is not driven by the brilliance of U.S. Constitutional ethics, but by the Scriptures of the living God.

So again, what is the solution to the plight our nation finds itself in? The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.And that brief answer is not about offering cultural reform back to an era of family values and more virtuous days. Jesus Christ did not come to transform America, but to transform Americans. The gospel is not the new nationalism for the conservative, but the hope for any sinner (like me and you) who by God's sovereign electing love trusts that eternal life and salvation is attained only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord alone.
 
IOW beloved, in this hour in our nations history may I propose a simple mandate: it is time for the church to be the church.

Gospel-driven Worship:

Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.

Gospel-driven Welfare:

44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,

Gospel-driven Witness:

47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.



TOPICS: Current Events; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: chuckcolson; ecb; ecumenism; manhattan; manhattandeclar; manhattandeclaration; politicsfaith
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1 posted on 12/31/2009 12:59:38 PM PST by streetpreacher
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To: streetpreacher

Here are the main reasons I am not signing the Manhattan Declaration, even though a few men whom I love and respect have already affixed their names to it:

• Although I obviously agree with the document’s opposition to same-sex marriage, abortion, and other key moral problems threatening our culture, the document falls far short of identifying the one true and ultimate remedy for all of humanity’s moral ills: the gospel. The gospel is barely mentioned in the Declaration. At one point the statement rightly acknowledges, “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”—and then adds an encouraging wish: “May God help us not to fail in that duty.” Yet the gospel itself is nowhere presented (much less explained) in the document or any of the accompanying literature. Indeed, that would be a practical impossibility because of the contradictory views held by the broad range of signatories regarding what the gospel teaches and what it means to be a Christian.

• This is precisely where the document fails most egregiously. It assumes from the start that all signatories are fellow Christians whose only differences have to do with the fact that they represent distinct “communities.” Points of disagreement are tacitly acknowledged but are described as “historic lines of ecclesial differences” rather than fundamental conflicts of doctrine and conviction with regard to the gospel and the question of which teachings are essential to authentic Christianity.

• Instead of acknowledging the true depth of our differences, the implicit assumption (from the start of the document until its final paragraph) is that Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant Evangelicals and others all share a common faith in and a common commitment to the gospel’s essential claims. The document repeatedly employs expressions like “we [and] our fellow believers”; “As Christians, we . . .”; and “we claim the heritage of . . . Christians.” That seriously muddles the lines of demarcation between authentic biblical Christianity and various apostate traditions.

• The Declaration therefore constitutes a formal avowal of brotherhood between Evangelical signatories and purveyors of different gospels. That is the stated intention of some of the key signatories, and it’s hard to see how secular readers could possibly view it in any other light. Thus for the sake of issuing a manifesto decrying certain moral and political issues, the Declaration obscures both the importance of the gospel and the very substance of the gospel message.

• This is neither a novel approach nor a strategic stand for evangelicals to take. It ought to be clear to all that the agenda behind the recent flurry of proclamations and moral pronouncements we’ve seen promoting ecumenical co-belligerence is the viewpoint Charles Colson has been championing for more than two decades. (It is not without significance that his name is nearly always at the head of the list of drafters when these statements are issued.) He explained his agenda in his 1994 book The Body, in which he argued that the only truly essential doctrines of authentic Christian truth are those spelled out in the Apostles’ and Nicene creeds. I responded to that argument at length in Reckless Faith. I stand by what I wrote then.

In short, support for The Manhattan Declaration would not only contradict the stance I have taken since long before the original “Evangelicals and Catholics Together” document was issued; it would also tacitly relegate the very essence of gospel truth to the level of a secondary issue. That is the wrong way—perhaps the very worst way—for evangelicals to address the moral and political crises of our time. Anything that silences, sidelines, or relegates the gospel to secondary status is antithetical to the principles we affirm when we call ourselves evangelicals.

John MacArthur


2 posted on 12/31/2009 1:13:00 PM PST by streetpreacher (Arminian by birth, Calvinist by the grace of God)
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To: streetpreacher
The ultimate goal of the church biblically is not the public good, but the glory of God in the proclamation and advancement of His gospel of sola fide. God, not the audience, is sovereign. The “public good” is political speak for tolerance. The gospel, however, does divide; it is a stumbling block, offensive and foolishness for those who are perishing.

Amen to that! :-)

3 posted on 12/31/2009 1:17:06 PM PST by Star Traveler (At Christmas - remember to keep "Christ" in the One-World Government that we look forward to)
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To: streetpreacher
"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." -- Matthew 5:13-16


"When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.

By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked." -- Proverbs 11:10-11


4 posted on 12/31/2009 1:17:56 PM PST by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: streetpreacher

(sigh) Sometimes I think some Protestants are just stupid.

Francis Beckwith said:

“The goal of both the church and the state is to advance the public good.”

Then Steve Camp, in an amazing display of stupidity, wrote:

“The ultimate goal of the church biblically is not the public good, but the glory of God in the proclamation and advancement of His gospel of sola fide.”

So, salvation is not for the common good? After all, Camp is essentially saying that salvation is not for the “public good.” And since when is standing up for the gospel (which would include upright moral behavior) not something for the “glory of God”?


5 posted on 12/31/2009 1:34:14 PM PST by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: vladimir998; streetpreacher
You were saying ...

And since when is standing up for the gospel (which would include upright moral behavior) not something for the “glory of God”?

It's this "standing up for the moral good" that has to be dashed -- in people's minds in regards to the Salvation through Jesus, the Messiah of Israel.

There's the problem, along with the problem of the "Social Gospel" -- both being a perversion of the true Gospel... which is salvation by faith and not of works... (i.e., no amount of "standing for upright moral behavior").

6 posted on 12/31/2009 1:44:12 PM PST by Star Traveler (At Christmas - remember to keep "Christ" in the One-World Government that we look forward to)
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To: streetpreacher
I like MacArthur, but we are confronted with an onrushing juggernaut propelled by a bizarre alliance of secular Marxism and radically heretical Islam, and he is continuing with his feud with Catholic/Orthodox Christianity. The people who would destroy our culture believe in things like "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." There are different flavors of socialism, yet they all work to destroy the West. Shiites and Sunnis hate and slaughter each other, yet they work together for our defeat.

MacArthur and those like him remind me of libertarians. They are more concerned with being doctrinally pure than with winning battles. Hasn't he heard that "the perfect is the enemy of the good"?

7 posted on 12/31/2009 1:47:06 PM PST by hellbender
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To: streetpreacher

“(Arminian by birth, Calvinist by the grace of God) “

Got to take issue with that. How do you, as a Calvinist, know you are saved?


8 posted on 12/31/2009 1:50:01 PM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: vladimir998
So, salvation is not for the common good?

How do you define "the common good"? If you define it as "all religions are equal and should be homogenized into one lukewarm religion that offends no one", then no, salvation is clearly not for "the common good".

What the government sees as "the common good" and what Christ sees as "the common good" are often very different things. And that is clearly what Camp is referring to.

The fact is that Jesus says "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man's enemies will be the members of his own household."

This does not sound like a man who earthly governments will think of as "advancing the public good".

9 posted on 12/31/2009 1:52:25 PM PST by Anitius Severinus Boethius
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To: hellbender

“and he is continuing with his feud with Catholic/Orthodox Christianity. “

Catholics and Evangelicals will have plenty of time to feud in their shared prison cells.


10 posted on 12/31/2009 1:53:02 PM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: vladimir998

“So, salvation is not for the common good? After all, Camp is essentially saying that salvation is not for the “public good.” “

You can have both.

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”


11 posted on 12/31/2009 1:55:42 PM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: vladimir998

“(sigh) Sometimes I think some Protestants are just stupid....So, salvation is not for the common good? After all, Camp is essentially saying that salvation is not for the “public good.” And since when is standing up for the gospel (which would include upright moral behavior) not something for the “glory of God”?”

Very, very well said, V. I reserve, however, my oft repeated concern that some are measuring the orthodoxy of belief by the content of personal political philosophies.


12 posted on 12/31/2009 1:56:04 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: streetpreacher
Christians who in the past have sought real change on key cultural issues did so, in part, absent of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. IOW, the gospel became the afterthought, not the primary thought.

Not true. The opening shot of the American Revolution was the 1750 sermon A Discourse concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers. Colonists believe England was depriving them of their God ordained rights. Parliament's 1766 Declaratory Act was seen in New England as blasphemy. Only God ruled in "in all cases whatsoever."

13 posted on 12/31/2009 2:04:09 PM PST by Brugmansian
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To: PetroniusMaximus

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

you left out part...

“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

It apparently, ain’t everyone...


14 posted on 12/31/2009 2:19:02 PM PST by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: aMorePerfectUnion

“you left out part...”

I didn’t “leave out” anything, friend. You just quoted a different version.


15 posted on 12/31/2009 2:21:07 PM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus
If they are even alive. Purists like MacArthur should realize that no one will be able to preach the Gospel at all if communism or Islam win the war we are in.
16 posted on 12/31/2009 2:24:55 PM PST by hellbender
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To: hellbender
Just what do you mean by being "doctrinally pure"?

You can't get it [the means of salvation] partially right and partially wrong. You can't mix the agenda of God and the agenda of the world, and hope to get it right. Doctrinal purity is all there is...getting it God's way, not man's way.

17 posted on 12/31/2009 2:26:10 PM PST by LiteKeeper (When do the impeachment proceedings begin?)
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To: streetpreacher

The concept of the public good has been around for much longer than the modern corruption of pseudo-tolerance to which you refer. I am sure you misjudge Beckwith’s use of the term. In its simplest form, it means whatever advances a safe, happy, healthy, virtuous society. Christians are told to pray for the public good, i.e., for kings and those in authority, precisely because they set and enforce public policy that either makes a quiet Godly life possible, or not.

It is in that sense that I understand the Manhattan Declaration. It is not a proclamation of doctrinal unity. It is an affirmation of Natural Law, i.e., the principle that any society has access via conscience to the benefits of righteous living. We all certainly fall short as individuals, but a society cannot last long that, contra Romans 13, punishes good and rewards evil, as Marxism certainly does. Furthermore such a perverse society actually blunts the call of the Gospel to repent, as it seriously dilutes the notion of sin itself, thus corrupting the conscience and deadening the ear of the heart.

Most importantly, the Manhattan Declaration is a proclamation to the government that our obedience as Christians is ultimately centered in God, and not primarily in human law. We will honor government to the extent that doing so does not put us at odds with our Creator and Savior. In particular, we will not bend the knee to the idolatry of abortion, which sets human autonomy above the right of God to create a new human life. These principles could be arrived at, not only as among various Christian denominations, but by virtually any person with moral sensitivity alerting them to the existence of a higher moral order. As Christians, we know that moral sense comes from God. That others may experience conscience and not identify its source as clearly as we do, does not preclude their joining common cause with us to defend the idea of a righteous society.


18 posted on 12/31/2009 2:47:08 PM PST by Springfield Reformer (Winston Churchill: No Peace Till Victory!)
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To: Star Traveler

You wrote:

“It’s this “standing up for the moral good” that has to be dashed — in people’s minds in regards to the Salvation through Jesus, the Messiah of Israel.”

No, I suggest that people merely get it right instead. We MUST be obedient to God and that means avoiding sin with God’s grace. We, therefore, since we must restore all things in Christ (Eph. 1:10), stand up for what is right in the public sphere so that “Christ may be all and in all”(Col. 3:2).

As Pope Pius X wrote in 1903:

“Hence it follows that to restore all things in Christ and to lead men back to submission to God is one and the same aim ... If We, through the goodness of God Himself, bring this task to a happy issue, We shall be rejoiced to see evil giving place to good, and hear, for our gladness, “ a loud voice from heaven saying: Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ.” (Apoc. xii., 10.) But if our desire to obtain this is to be fulfilled, we must use every means and exert all our energy to bring about the utter disappearance of the enormous and detestable wickedness, so characteristic of our time - the substitution of man for God; this done, it remains to restore to their ancient place of honor the most holy laws and counsels of the gospel; to proclaim aloud the truths taught by the Church, and her teachings on the sanctity of marriage, on the education and discipline of youth, on the possession and use of property, the duties that men owe to those who rule the State; and lastly to restore equilibrium between the different classes of society according to Christian precept and custom. This is what We, in submitting Ourselves to the manifestations of the Divine will, purpose to aim at during Our Pontificate, and We will use all our industry to attain it. It is for you, Venerable Brethren, to second Our efforts by your holiness, knowledge and experience and above all by your zeal for the glory of God, with no other aim than that Christ may be formed in all.” http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_x/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-x_enc_04101903_e-supremi_en.html

You wrote:

“There’s the problem, along with the problem of the “Social Gospel” — both being a perversion of the true Gospel...”

The term ‘Social Gospel’ is way too loaded to be understood as meaning one thing to all people. And correct Social Doctrine is never a perversion of the true Gospel but a manifestation of charity and love of God.

“which is salvation by faith and not of works... (i.e., no amount of “standing for upright moral behavior”).”

1) James 2:24 makes it plain that it is not just faith that is rewarded with grace.

2) You are making the almost chronically common Protestant mistake of misunderstanding the role of morals. Again, restore all things in Christ.


19 posted on 12/31/2009 2:53:47 PM PST by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: Springfield Reformer

So WELL said!


20 posted on 12/31/2009 2:55:28 PM PST by presently no screen name ( Elected officials are WELFARE RECIPIENTS.)
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To: PetroniusMaximus

Caricature Calvinists, of course, cannot know. Real, living breathing Calvinists know the same way any other genuine believer knows. We love Him because He first loved us. Believers ... believe. That’s how we know. We take Him at His word. He says believe and you will be saved. So we believe. Not rocket science. Nothing in Calvinism says you have to do some Gnostic double secret handshake to find out if you were chosen, you know, like finding out what your grade is before it gets posted. He says to the Calvinist as much as to anyone else, come to Him, and you will not be turned away.


21 posted on 12/31/2009 2:58:12 PM PST by Springfield Reformer (Winston Churchill: No Peace Till Victory!)
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To: Anitius Severinus Boethius

You wrote:

“How do you define “the common good”? If you define it as “all religions are equal and should be homogenized into one lukewarm religion that offends no one”, then no, salvation is clearly not for “the common good”.”

And you think that is what I was doing? Please show me with evidence from my post as to how you came to such an incredibly bizarre conclusion.

“What the government sees as “the common good” and what Christ sees as “the common good” are often very different things. And that is clearly what Camp is referring to.”

What Camp should be referring to is how the state should be restored in Christ.

“The fact is that Jesus says “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.””

Yes, He did say that. And that means we are to embrace Christ and His teachings no matter what the cost. And part of that must be to FIGHT evil not just close our eyes and hide in our churches being sanctimonious about how sure we are that we’re saved while the “great unwashed” outside will burn in hell because of abortion, gay marriage and so on. Is abortion morally right? No. FIGHT IT. Is gay marriage moral? No. FIGHT IT.

“This does not sound like a man who earthly governments will think of as “advancing the public good”.”

Then fight the government and change it. Restore all things in Christ. Period.


22 posted on 12/31/2009 3:00:27 PM PST by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: PetroniusMaximus

You posted:

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Just a reminder: the angels never said that. It is very popular at Christmas time for people to break out that verse, but it’s an incorrect translation of Luke 2:14 from the King James Bible. The verse actually says, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.”

God wished peace to men of good will. He wasn’t wishing peace to men who were evil.


23 posted on 12/31/2009 3:08:38 PM PST by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: Springfield Reformer

“the same way any other genuine believer knows.”

I’m glad to see you allow that. Many Calvinists around here call noncalvinists “heretics”.

“We love Him because He first loved us. Believers ... believe. That’s how we know. “

Ok, but as a Calvinist, you must know that those words do not apply to everyone who reads them. The unelect, reading those words, can take no comfort from them.

Why can you?

“He says believe and you will be saved. So we believe.”

So ultimately your “assurance” is based on your own actions.


24 posted on 12/31/2009 3:11:54 PM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: LiteKeeper
Does evangelical Christianity have nothing whatsoever in common with Catholicism? Can't we make common cause against our common enemies--people who are radically, totally opposed to every aspect of Christianity, people who will make it impossible to even preach the gospel? The Manhattan Declaration is not about the means of salvation. (Incidentally, am not a Catholic, and agree that the RCC has erroneous doctrines.)
25 posted on 12/31/2009 3:23:06 PM PST by hellbender
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To: PetroniusMaximus

PM,
Guess you are right. The KJV leaves out the meaning of the Greek text. Others may as well.

tn This is a generic use referring to both males and females.

sn The idea of people with whom he is pleased alludes to those who are marked out by God as objects of his gracious favor. It is not a reference to every single person, so the phrase should not be translated “good will toward people.”

Happy New Year,
ampu


26 posted on 12/31/2009 3:26:39 PM PST by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: streetpreacher

John MacArthur does not believe in acting on ones faith if it means confronting corrupt government. He is under the mistaken understanding that God put those people in their positions for His purpose.

John MacArthur is, of course, wrong!!!


27 posted on 12/31/2009 3:30:17 PM PST by SeaHawkFan
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To: PetroniusMaximus

My assurance is the inevitable response of a believing heart. Calvinism allows that a person responds to God. The deeper question is why did that person respond at all? If we are dead in our sins, unalterably opposed to God in the natural man, at what point and by what means do we then become seekers after Him? The Calvinist answers that question by crediting God with giving the undeserved gift of new spiritual life, where before there was none. The fact that such belief can be experienced and the benefit of assurance felt through it does not detract one iota from crediting God alone for that newly alive condition. Indeed, many a true believer initially has the idea, like the first disciples, that they chose to follow Jesus, only to learn many years later, from Scripture, that it was He who had chosen us.

As for those who are not chosen obtaining no comfort from the recognition of salvation through belief, you must realize that the spiritually dead have no inclination to seek such comfort, at least not in the same manner as the penitent soul who sits trembling in the back row hoping for mercy. The front row chest-beater really wants nothing from God anyway. He’s out to impress himself and his friends. No, anyone who truly seeks Him and the comfort of His mercy will most assuredly find Him.


28 posted on 12/31/2009 3:47:40 PM PST by Springfield Reformer (Winston Churchill: No Peace Till Victory!)
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To: streetpreacher; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

Obama Doesn’t Want His Daughters Punished with a Baby

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNzmly28Bmg

CNN on Obama’s Infant Born Alive Act Rejection

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPZCXcTwZPY

Jill Stanek on Obama and Born Alive Infant Protection Act (MUST SEE)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIdbYjmbFzo

Obama Cover-up Revealed On Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Bill

http://www.nrlc.org/ObamaBAIPA/ObamaCoverup.html

Explosive Audio Found Obama arguing against BAIPA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypDwNpgIUQc

Babies left to die!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIdbYjmbFzo

Obama Says A Baby Is A Punishment

Obama: “If they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”

29 posted on 12/31/2009 3:48:56 PM PST by narses ('in an odd way this is cheering news!'.)
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To: Springfield Reformer

“My assurance is the inevitable response of a believing heart.”

Practically speaking, you look inward... and what you see there (i.e. belief, love, humility etc.) gives you assurance.

But the fact remains, you might be wrong. You might be self deceived.(Remember all that stuff about the heart being wicked...) Because, as a Calvinist, you salvation depend on events you have not been privy to and have had no part in. Therefore, ultimately you can not know with certainty that you are one of the elect. The only certainty you can obtain is entirely subjective in nature.

_________

“If we are dead in our sins, unalterably opposed to God in the natural man, at what point and by what means do we then become seekers after Him?”

So you would say that a person can do nothing pleasing to God before they are born of the Spirit?

_________

“As for those who are not chosen obtaining no comfort from the recognition of salvation through belief, you must realize that the spiritually dead have no inclination to seek such comfort”

You’ve got to be kidding friend! Do you think the “unelect” don’t fear their own death as seek solace from it’s inevitability!?!?


30 posted on 12/31/2009 4:05:32 PM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: PetroniusMaximus

Practically speaking, I look to Him. It is His assuring presence which grants me my comfort. If you must assign credit based on which direction my inner eye is looking, then credit Jesus once again. Is it wrong for Him to give me comfort? Is it wrong for me to thank Him for it? If my looking inward were the first and only act, I would find nothing there to comfort me. You would paint me into a corner where my relationship with God must have a Kantian origin within myself. As tempting as that is philosophically, I must rely on Scripture, not Kant, which clearly teaches that our new birth is of heavenly, not earthly, origin, regardless of our perceptions.

As for uncertainty due to the evil of our own hearts, surely you prove too much. If the heart is so evil it cannot be made to know it has a relationship with God, then the power of God to redeem is so limited as to be lost altogether. And worse still, if it is not God who brings that ship into port, who shall? If it relies on your deeds, how do you know you have done enough, believed hard enough, trusted the right authorities, etc? Your estate is worse than mine, for not only is your contribution uncertain, but so is God’s.

Aristotle once said that circular logic is OK if the circles are small enough, by which he meant of course that there are some truths which do not lend themselves to infinitely deep inspection, yet which are essential to rational thought. If God has told me to believe, and I believe, and if he may be relied upon to keep his word, that really is sufficient. Trying to find some ex nihilo point of origin for that dynamic within my own soul is an exercise, not only in hubris, but in futility, as it is well beyond my capacity as a philosopher. Trying to find that point of origin in Him, on the other hand, is a practice of long standing and fully harmonious with Apostolic teaching.

As for whether one can please God without faith, you tell me what the Scripture says on that, and that will be my answer.

As for comfort, no, the “unelect,” as you call them, are spiritually dead already, as we all were at one point, and so do not seek the comfort of which I speak. Extrapolating from my experience to theirs, I did fear death before God rescued me, but I had no special desire for the embrace of God. I merely wanted to avoid the pain of ceasing to exist, or worse, of eternal punishment. No more than a rational response to facts as I understood them.

But the Scripture plainly says our love for God is a result, not a cause, of His work in us. And it is that love that seeks out the comfort of knowing we are in a right relationship with him. No unsaved person knows what that is, because you can’t really want what you don’t believe in. Belief is the prerequisite to desire, and God’s work of enlivening grace is the prerequisite to belief.


31 posted on 12/31/2009 4:57:55 PM PST by Springfield Reformer (Winston Churchill: No Peace Till Victory!)
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To: vladimir998; PetroniusMaximus
"It is very popular at Christmas time for people to break out that verse, but it’s an incorrect translation of Luke 2:14 from the King James Bible. The verse actually says, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will.”"

Actually, the Byzantine Text agrees with PM.

"Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ, καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη· ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία.

What you are quoting is a variant from the Alexandrian text type:

"Δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις θεῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκίας.

32 posted on 12/31/2009 5:36:21 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: vladimir998

Wow... that is a mighty broad brush you are painting with.


33 posted on 12/31/2009 6:19:08 PM PST by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: ThisLittleLightofMine

You wrote:

“Wow... that is a mighty broad brush you are painting with.”

Not unless you think a lot of Protestants are stupid. I wrote: “Sometimes I think some Protestants are just stupid.”


34 posted on 12/31/2009 6:25:15 PM PST by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: Kolokotronis

The Textus Receptus (Byzantine Text) was what was used by the KJV translators.

I have no reason to believe that the Textus Receptus is more correct than other compilations of editions. I know some scholars of Greek say this boils down to a copyist’s error with a genitive.


35 posted on 12/31/2009 6:39:47 PM PST by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: Springfield Reformer

“Practically speaking, I look to Him. It is His assuring presence which grants me my comfort”

Isn’t that subjective also? Could you be wrong about your feelings in this matter?

______________

‘You would paint me into a corner where my relationship with God must have a Kantian origin within myself. As tempting as that is philosophically, I must rely on Scripture,”

I didn’t paint you there, my friend. I believe your theology deposited you there.

Here’s the crux, if you believe in predestination then you can’t “trust” the scriptures because you can’t know if they apply to you or not - because you can’t KNOW FOR SURE whether you are one of the elect or if you are self-deceived.

______________

“And worse still, if it is not God who brings that ship into port, who shall? “

God provides the port and “whosoever will” may come.

______________

“If God has told me to believe, and I believe, and if he may be relied upon to keep his word, that really is sufficient. Trying to find some ex nihilo point of origin for that dynamic within my own soul is an exercise, not only in hubris, but in futility, as it is well beyond my capacity as a philosopher.”

Nice move, but you can’t escape the logical trap that Calvinism makes for it’s adherents. If salvation has nothing to do with you then you can’t know with certainty that you are saved. It’s one of the cracks in Calvinism’s foundation.

________________

“As for whether one can please God without faith, you tell me what the Scripture says on that, and that will be my answer.”

Well, you rephrased my question slightly. Let me ask it again, according to the Scriptures, can you do anything to please God or exhibit faith before being born of the Spirit?

_______________

“As for comfort, no, the “unelect,” as you call them, are spiritually dead already, as we all were at one point, and so do not seek the comfort of which I speak.”

The comfort I speak of is the comfort of knowing their is life after death - something which virtually all men in all ages have sought.


36 posted on 12/31/2009 7:27:31 PM PST by PetroniusMaximus
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To: vladimir998

“I have no reason to believe that the Textus Receptus is more correct than other compilations of editions.”

Nor do I as a general proposition.

“I know some scholars of Greek say this boils down to a copyist’s error with a genitive.”

Yup, an error one way or the other. As the Byzantine Text writes it, it is in accord with “A Morning Prayer” found in sec. V of Book VII of the Constitutions of the Holy Apostles which is likely from the very early 4th century which makes it earlier than the Vulgate, to the extent, no doubt very limited, that that makes any difference. As a matter of curiosity, I checked the Vetus Latina. It is the same for this verse as the Vulgate. +Methodios the Martyr (June 20), the great antagonist of Origen, uses the Byzantine text in his Oration Concerning Simeon and Anna which was written before 311 when he was martyred. It also shows up in Topic XII in Twelve Topics on the Faith attributed, probably wrongly, to +Gregory Thaumaturgus, so that’s 3rd century and Alexandria.

The only non-scriptural writing I know of where the Alexandrian text type wording shows up is in the Gospel of Pseudo Matthew, which is an interesting read dfor all sorts of reasons. I think +Jerome may have been familiar with this manuscript or whatever it was based on. Are you aware of other instances where the Alexandrian text type wording shows up?


37 posted on 12/31/2009 7:36:02 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!)
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To: PetroniusMaximus
Catholics and Evangelicals will have plenty of time to feud in their shared prison cells.

"Prison cells"? Optimist!

It will be more like "Catholics and Evangelicals will have no time to feud as their bodies molder in a mass grave."

38 posted on 12/31/2009 7:50:15 PM PST by Poe White Trash (Wake up!)
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To: Kolokotronis

You wrote:

“Are you aware of other instances where the Alexandrian text type wording shows up?”

Not that I can think of off the top of my head, no.


39 posted on 12/31/2009 7:54:37 PM PST by vladimir998 (Part of the Vast Catholic Conspiracy (hat tip to Kells))
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To: PetroniusMaximus

The problem, and you have not yet admitted it, is that your universal test, “Isn’t that subjective also,” applies to virtually everything. It is the trap Kant could not escape, and it helped bring forth the ruination of western philosophy. Your certainty, whatever it issues from, is subject to the same accusation you constantly lay at my feet. I repeat, you did not address my challenge to you concerning this. Why are you any more certain than the Calvinist? Do you not have a propensity to sin as much as anyone else? Do you know when you’ve believed enough? By what objective measure?

Yet you claim I, as a Calvinist, must base my assurance on some empirical, faithlessly obtained knowledge that God has chosen me. Why? Scripture does not teach that and neither does Calvin. God has not asked me to obtain or demonstrate that knowledge, only that I rely on Him and Him alone for my salvation. I cannot know, and do not need to know, in some abstract, impersonal way whether anyone at all is chosen. In fact, without faith, I cannot even believe in Scriptural doctrines such as divine election, not as God would have me believe, because the focus is all wrong, with man and not God at the center.

But this I can know, that I do believe in Him, because my heart looks to Him and not to myself for my salvation. Why would you add to or impose on Calvinism the condition of a special knowledge, even though neither Scripture nor Calvinism requires it? And please do not resort to Kant’s all-pervasive subjectivism. It solves nothing. We are discussing Biblical doctrine, not humanistic philosophy. At least that is my hope.

To answer your other question more directly, without faith it is impossible to please God. As faith is a gift of God, the unbeliever does not have it. That is why they don’t believe. Do you remember what Jesus said to the Pharisees? Read it carefully. He did not say, “You are not my sheep because you do not believe.” He did say, “You do not believe because you are not my sheep.” John 10:26.

Contrariwise, if you would demonstrate that Pelagius was right, that faith can mix concurrently with unbelief to produce a God-pleasing God rejecter, I am willing to have you try and prove it. I would only ask that in doing so you strictly adhere to Scriptural proofs as opposed to philosophical excursions. I do not have version allergies. Anything reasonable close to the Byzantine will do just fine.


40 posted on 12/31/2009 9:02:04 PM PST by Springfield Reformer (Winston Churchill: No Peace Till Victory!)
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To: Springfield Reformer

I have really enjoyed reading through your posts on this thread; you have given me much to think about.


41 posted on 01/01/2010 12:50:13 AM PST by streetpreacher (Arminian by birth, Calvinist by the grace of God)
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To: SeaHawkFan

Show me where MacArthur states that he does not believe in confronting corrupt government.

On your second point, you are actually saying the Bible is wrong, not MacArthur.


42 posted on 01/01/2010 12:52:32 AM PST by streetpreacher (Arminian by birth, Calvinist by the grace of God)
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To: Springfield Reformer

Excellant..thank you.


43 posted on 01/01/2010 1:03:52 AM PST by caww
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To: Springfield Reformer

(.....anyone who truly seeks Him and the comfort of His mercy will most assuredly find Him.)

I am surely such a one as this...and I know that I know.


44 posted on 01/01/2010 1:12:57 AM PST by caww
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To: streetpreacher
It's in the book, Why You Can't Stay Silent by Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family. I'll try and find the book and locate it for you sometime tomorrow. Today is dedicated to football and sleeping after a long night of dancing last night.
45 posted on 01/01/2010 7:46:42 AM PST by SeaHawkFan
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To: caww

Amen.


46 posted on 01/01/2010 9:58:42 AM PST by Springfield Reformer (Winston Churchill: No Peace Till Victory!)
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To: streetpreacher; Dr. Eckleburg; Quix; wmfights; Gamecock; Alex Murphy; HarleyD
This document is NOT just a social-ethical document meant to show common concerns amongst the broad range of Christian traditions.

This document is implicitly an affirmation of the judiaizing gospel of Romanism.

It is an affirmation that the gospel is a NATURAL LAW GOSPEL. It is at it's core a rejection of the Reformation principle of the Law/Gospel dichotomy. Like all judiaizing gospels it claims that the Law saves instead of the Law driving us to the Gospel.

Notice how the main drafter, the Romanist Robby George, gloats over how he hoodwinked Timothy George and Chuck Colson.

I asked George several times if he was really hoping to ground a mass movement in abstract principles of reason so at odds with the prevailing culture. It was a bet, he said, on his conviction about the innate human gift for reason. Still, he said, if there was one critique of his work that worried him, it was the charge that he puts too much faith in the power of reason, overlooking what Christians describe as original sin and what secular pessimists call history.

It is a debate at least as old as the Reformation, when Martin Luther broke with the Catholic Church and insisted that reason was so corrupted that faith in the divine was humanity’s only hope of salvation. (Until relatively recently, contemporary evangelicals routinely leveled the same charge at modern Catholics.) “This is a serious issue, and if I am wrong, this is where I am wrong,” George acknowledges.

Over lunch last month at the Princeton faculty club, George noted that many evangelicals had signed the Manhattan Declaration despite the traditional Protestant skepticism about the corruption of human reason. “I sold my view about reason!” he declared. He was especially pleased that, by signing onto the text, so many Catholic bishops had endorsed his new natural-law argument about marriage. “It really is the top leadership of the American church,” he said.

“Obviously, I am gratified that view appears to have attracted a very strong following among the bishops,” he went on. “I just hope I am right. If they are going to buy my arguments, I don’t want to mislead the whole church.”


47 posted on 01/01/2010 10:40:16 AM PST by the_conscience (I'm a bigot: Against Jihadists and those who support despotism of any kind.)
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To: vladimir998; streetpreacher

“Francis Beckwith said:

“The goal of both the church and the state is to advance the public good.”

Then Francis Beckwith was wrong on both counts.

The goal of the church is NOT ‘to advance the public good’, but what God predestined for her: “In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”

If enough people in a country follow God, it will also be for the common good, but that is NOT why the church exists!

Nor is it why governments exist. It is why demagogic politicians PRETEND government exists, but the history of governments is not one of seeking common good, but advancing the cause of a few over all the rest. Common good is NOT what Obama is attempting!


48 posted on 01/01/2010 11:03:54 AM PST by Mr Rogers (I loathe the ground he slithers on!)
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To: Springfield Reformer

Well said.

My defense of the declaration...

There are many theological differences among Catholics, Evangelicals, and Orthodox. Some are real and fundamental. Others are relics of times when political differences were expressed in religious language.

But the Moslem infidel army is at the gates, the enemy within is working to destroy “life unworthy of life,” and political correctness unites the enemy within to the enemy without.

Catholics, Evangelicals, and Orthodox should recognize one another as fellow Christians with whom one has theological differences. But they should unite in defence of Christendom and basic principles of Christian morality. And unite with those who argue for the same moral principles, whether on grounds of Jewish tradition, other religious beliefs, or “the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.”

Historically, the Moslems have exploited or benefited from the divisions among Christians — Coptic vs Byzantine, Armenian vs Byzantine, East vs West, Protestant vs Catholic. We can’t afford these divisions now.


49 posted on 01/01/2010 11:10:06 AM PST by omega4412
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To: the_conscience; streetpreacher; Dr. Eckleburg; Quix; wmfights; Gamecock; Alex Murphy; HarleyD
“The goal of both the church and the state is to advance the public good.”
-Francis Beckwith

No, the goal of the church is to preach Christ. The public good is advanced when that is done properly.

50 posted on 01/01/2010 11:17:52 AM PST by Gamecock (We always have reasons for doing what we do.)
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