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John UK wrote: So you reckon it's addressing the problem, eh? So do we look forward to a good result of moral incline? Or should we be realists and expect the decline to continue. Besides, here is the realism: Ye are the salt of the earth
John. I'm going to let you into a little secret. The Manhattan Declaration is not trying to evangelise Manhattan or anywhere else. Ok? Now if you want to nip across to America and evangelise them, then I'm sure they will be glad of the help.
The Declaration simply contends with the current secular-liberal mind set of ditching traditional moral values. Society whether UK or USA, in fact all western society, needs to address the issues involved. If non-church people can be brought to see the point being made, by this means, then ultimately it may bring fruit for the future of society.
As for evangelising and preaching the gospel to this same society, THAT should be a work in progress around ALL congregations world wide. BUT as you know sadly, that is not the way of it. The recent decline of the church is not simply numerical, but also doctrinal and it is weakened by a lack of heart, knowledge and fortitude. That may explain the root of current moral decline but will take time to revert; (if possible).
June wrote: More thoughts of Dave Hunt of the Berean Call / Christian Activism: Is It Biblical?
"Instead of protesters we need prophets who call the world to repentance:
Yeah but lets get real here shall we!! If God is not providing lots and lots of "prophets" just now, then we deal as best we can with the problems at hand.
John UK wrote: Your concern ought really to be the worldwide preaching of the gospel to every man,
As I said below John, this Declaration is addressing the specific problem of moral decline happening all around us now in western society. If you want to evangelise the masses then that is a different approach, - and hey go to it if you've got the time and the denominations with the spiritual wherewithal to do it.
But has God provided you with that particular calling to do a planet wide evangelising campaign? If not, without Him behind you, then it will not be a success.
Whereas the current demise of moral values in society has awoken this group to respond, which proves timely and relevant today. Planting this seed now could have a knock on effect to provide a later base to evangelise at. After all, one step at a time!
Remember folks this is not evangelism - it is simply reaching into society with a view to alerting them that there are still some folks who disagree with the current trend to destroy traditional moral standards.
John UK wrote: a) How about preaching on the subject of what God calls SIN,
b) You can write and sign a million declarations,
c) ecumenical syncretic cause
d) please state your opinion on how we are to know God's will
a) Why John there are floods of churches and Christians out there doing this kind of evangelism already. Arn't there.
b) The declaration is addressing a specific problem in a way which is relating to the uninitiated (into theology) in society. It will not result in ecumenism, nor is it trying to be evangelism.
c) I am not ecumenical nor have I ever been so.
d) God's will is in the Bible and learnt by prayer and study thereof.
Alan H wrote: We are not talking about "the majority of people in our nation," but Christians and their aligning themselves with apostate religionists contrary to God's precepts.
Or are we talking about concerned citizens anxious about society's future and moral decline. Thus joining with said citizens in making a public statement and supporting others so concerned, who maybe seeking support.
Alan I consider myself to be of Reformed Doctrine in all its teachings. This Declaration I do not see as a threat to God's ultimate purpose per Eph 1.4-12.
Alan H wrote: That quote implies that these groups are all Christian, and the gospels which they each embrace are not diverse, but one and the same.
Taking your post to its ultimate degree you are convinced that you are one of the elect, and that you only stand together with the elect on earth to witness. The problem of this statement is that "likeminded" people sit with you in the pews on Sunday, but many are not known by Christ.
This declaration is directed at a society full to the brim with sinners who will go to hell. The idea behind the declaration is not to convert, but to declare Biblical facts about the moral situation of "everybodies" society today. Common grace is well served by this means, even the reprobate has a conscience.
The majority of people in our nations really don't care or understand theological doctrinal variations. There are also many in the churches like that too, as you will be aware.
But this is not about evangelising the masses, your denomination has other ways of achieving that. But the nations today have a greater need to stem the flow of moral decline.
Many voices together have a better chance of serving this than any preaching upon the subject of doctrinal 'perfection'.
Alan H wrote: While I agree that the cause is just, the union is not, and the cause can never justify "that union which places a veil over the doctrinal differences" which remain between those diverse groups.
I seem to have rattled a few cages on this one.
I will respond to your post Alan since the main thrust of the discussion here is on the "union" which you have described. I am glad at least for your concurrence as to the cause being just.
As to the "union"
The declaration is going out to the public in general, which btw obviously will include Roman Catholics. Society as we know is predominantly secular in its beliefs, legislation and practices today. Moral standards in the western nations were once Christian in their foundations, even if not adhered to as much as we would like. Today we observe a collective decline, more so than in times past.
This declaration goes out to society specifically about Biblical statutes and precepts. God is the ONLY real power behind this and the ONLY real cause in any change effected. To initiate such a declaration which rejects any denomination on the basis of theological differences (over this) prevents the quote "church" u/q from being taken seriously in this multi-opinion society.
John UK wrote: How about signing a declaration against the moral decline in the RCC since its inception as the church of antichrist? You seen the news today? And you want me to stand with these antichrist followers??? Not in a million years. Thank you.
Ah one thing at a time John. Clearly it takes courage to join with these folks in the Manhattan Declaration, about the moral decline and sins of society. Thus this particular witness is a public testimony to all society and their/(our) leadership, demonstrating a commitment to Biblical moral values.
As I said before the "Elect" are already chosen, eg Eph 1:4,5, so the issue here is not simply a matter of salvation or evangelisation, or even sound doctrine, but a show of strength and solidarity over these specific moral issues touching western nations today.
Do you know, I even believe that some of you guys might actually feel quite strongly about these same issues yourselves, homosexuality abortion etc. So maybe you could write your own declaration with the necessary disclaimer of association with those who are NOT the Elect.
Oh I forgot you don't know who the Elect are do you.
The idea that this is quote "yoking yourself" together with other denominations - or a form of ecumenism is so far fetched as to be ludicrous.
The Gospel is adequately laid out clearly in the Bible. The signatories of the Manhattan were completely aware of that simple fact. MacArthur has got his wires crossed and he appears to have associates with that problem. However free speech is nearly still available in western society.
Just because God has ordained that he will only deliver the Truth to the Elect, which are not retained in any one denomination, it remains valid to agree on such a point as this and make public to all and sundry that homosexual practice and abortion is still wrong in the community. That is a good thing to do.
The reality of this is that we can still appeal to the non elect about moral standards in human society, with the hope that a seed of decency can be planted. After all even atheists, Roman Catholics and muslims have morals and a conscience.
So yes MacArthur got it wrong - but I suppose he is like some of you guys - sinless and perfect, and only agree with perfect people.
Don't forget folks only the Invisible Church in your denomination are saved. Have a nice day.