John MacArthur's comment on the Manhattan Declaration. Here is the excerpt: Here are the main reasons I am not signing the...
"If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:13-14
Here is the only real and lasting solution to the problem. The Lord says, "if my people..."
If there are those who are not included within that statement, they may be a part of the problem, but they are certainly not a part of the solution, nor can they be, if God's words mean anything. For, what can those do who oppose God in doctrine and practice to bring about God honoring results? No, evidently there is hypocrisy within the camp somewhere! For those who despise the ways of God can only pretend to honor and serve Him; therefore, there must be other intentions within their hearts than just those openly declared.
Admittedly, there are also those who are sincere in their interest, but they are ignorant of the consequences of serving God using unlawful means and trusting in unlawful alliances to supposedly accomplish God's will.
The real problem with this ecumenical thinking is not only the alliance of the godly with the ungodly, but the diversion of the godly from their real duty toward God, as prescribed within those verses above. They wrongly suppose that they can resist the Devil without first submitting to God. (James 4:7) No, this assures the Devil of victory, no matter how strong and united the forces against him. This diversion from the duty and proper method of battling in the conflict, I think, is a far more serious matter than the illegitimate alliance of believers and unbelievers.
The first duty of God's people, it seems to me, is to humbly recognize that God is the only solution to the problem, whether personal or social. The alliance which they most desperately need, both as individuals and corporately, is with Him, who alone can heal, forgive, and restore. Any other alliance will only worsen the very problems they seek to resolve.
The next thing God's people need to do is to acknowledge the fact that they are not innocent. We all tend to think that things are a mess, but we ourselves have not contributed to the situation. That's just not true. We are "all" at fault. God told "all" to turn from their wicked ways, in the verses above... Look at Daniel's prayer to God below. Does he "include" himself, or does he "excuse" himself? If any man was a godly man, Daniel certainly was, but look how he humbly prayed:
"O Lord, righteousness [belongeth] unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, [that are] near, and [that are] far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee." Daniel 9:7
"O Lord, to us [belongeth] confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee." Daniel 9:8
Did you ever wonder why things seem to be getting worse, even though there is more awareness of the things going on and in many cases more resistance to those ungodly things than there has been in the past? Still it seems like wickedness is prevailing at breakneck speed, in spite of any resistance. There is so much corruption in high places and there is less resistance to those wicked practices among the princes than there is among the general public. So what can we do who have no power and no authority? Notice that those verses which I first quoted say nothing about those in leadership, but only "if my people..." So the leadership is not the solution, and "that" includes the religious leadership. They seem to be increasing the problem rather than resolving it. The reason things are getting worse is because the godly are using carnal weapons, such as political activism, etc. to try to fight a spiritual battle. It can't be done! We can't win! It's not God's prescription!
The alliance of Christians with so-called conservatives has also done a great deal of damage. Most conservatives are only "political conservatives." Conservatives are not necessarily Christians, in fact, most probably are not, but they are treated as if they were and are trusted in, simply because they profess and promote certain moral standards on issues which concern us personally. This is a deception and the same thing as this Manhattan Alliance, because their standards are often both very limited and also subject to the winds of political change. On the other hand, Christian morality is neither limited nor subject to any change, because it is based upon different principles, which are found in THE WORD OF GOD, and to change them, either in precept, practice, or principle, is SIN & APOSTASY. Anyway, I too am guilty of this false confidence, which trusts those, to do Christian things and to remain faithful to Christian principles, who are not even Christians. How foolish I am sometimes... But not me only! This is human nature and so we are all prone to it.
Anyway, there needs to be an unfeigned seeking of God among the godly. We only really seek God, when we quit seeking deliverance by others. And only then will God allow Himself to be found. A turning to God and a turning away from "OUR SINS." Not those of others around us, but ours. This is part of God's prescription.
And, of course, there needs to be prayer... Humble prayer! Prayer which changes the heart of the person praying. I believe that's the prayer that God will hear, not the prayer that tries to change God. That's sincere prayer!
May God help me to follow this advice myself. It's my duty, unless I don't care whether I am part of the problem or a part of the solution. Oh, how I want to be a part of the latter.
It is then very evident and too plain to be missed, in those verses which I first quoted above, that the best thing which I can do personally to aid in the restoration of a society in decline is to "GET MY OWN HEART RIGHT WITH GOD." If this is not done, then, indeed, I am a part of the problem and cannot be a part of the solution.
"Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and [your] joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up." James 4:7-10
I would like it to be noted that in the verses which I just quoted above "you," "ye," and "your" are all second person plural in the Greek. So this is talking about a cooperation of submission and resistance, but it is not talking about an ungodly alliance with those unwilling to follow those mandates. If it be otherwise, "that" is to be "unequally yoked." And is there that submission prescribed by God where there is a willingness to yoke ourselves with those who are unwilling to follow God's will, which is what His mandates are? Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind, but I am already. This is not submission!