What is the reason for it?
For so many prominent Christians signing Colson’s ecumenical, Manhatten Declaration?
“Oh. Yeah, that’s where people from various religions—Greek Orthodox. Roman Catholic, Mormons, and Christians agree to stand together to fight the inroads of anti-religious movements into our American culture.”
I guess that you could put it that way. It’s a strange mixture of sorts.
“How can they—from their differing perspectives—do this?”
Well, they’re supposed to stand together only where they agree.
“But they don’t agree on fundamentals.”
Of course not! They disagree—radically.
“How did this come about?”
Frances Schaffer first conceived and promoted the approach under the title “Co-belligerents.” We would fight together for common causes.
“But, from what you tell me, a Christian’s world-view will not allow him to do this. He can’t really find common cause with unbelievers—even when they claim some sort of Christianity. Is this possible? Their underlying supposed “common causes” aren’t common.
A batch of well-known Christians think so. But, then, again, there are some good-thinkers –Sproul, MacArthur—who evidently think otherwise. I understand they refused to sign it.
“You didn’t either, I gather.”
Right. I couldn’t work together with Roman Catholics who have still not repudiated their anathema of the biblical doctrine of salvation by grace, through faith, alone. And—of course, for similar reasons I wouldn’t think of joining any coalition of Mormons, Seventh Day Adventist, or Greek Orthodox leaders either. This is Colson’s latest idea of how to bring us closer to Romanism. He’s been promoting such rapport for some time with little success. I think that this seems to be his underlying concern above and beyond the “common causes” concept. If I’m not wrong, this is just another way—using concerns we all have about the way Christianity is being treated in the US—to bring about such re-approachment. To become a participant is to let your bars down, and fail to stand for the doctrines that differ.
“But it isn’t getting together about the matters where we differ, is it?”
If you work on truly biblical presuppositions, everything rests upon your doctrinal beliefs. You can’t divorce them from issues that way. And to do so, is to bring together those who—it is hoped by the leadership—will buddy-up to one another in such a way that it may lead to a closer working together on other issues as well.
I could be wrong—but I don’t think I am. So, I’m not having anything to do with it, and I hope that others won’t either.