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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Co-Belligerency Is Not the Gospel: The Manhattan Declaration

The Anglican Church League has posted a theological statement, The Manhattan Declaration, signed by many "evangelicals" which is admirable in regards to the moral and ethical stands taken in the document. However, the statement, which is one of co-belligerency, is confused with the Gospel itself. The Gospel is not about abortion, traditional marriage between a man and a woman, euthanasia, human cloning and stem cell research as important as these ethical issues are. Rather, the Gospel is essentially about the question, "Where will you spend eternity?" Whenever we confuse ethics and morality with the Gospel we open the door to theological relativism.

Different church traditions teach different doctrines and some even teach another Gospel and another Jesus (Galatians 1:6-8; 2 Corinthians 11:3-4). Simply because Roman Catholics, Anglo-Catholics, Eastern Orthodox christians, and various other church traditions can agree on moral issues does not necessarily indicate that they are genuine Christians. Christian doctrine determines what is and is not true Christianity and there are certain non-negotiable doctrines which distinguish between orthodoxy and apostasy. The five solas of the Protestant Reformation are non-negotiable. Christians must be born again by the Holy Spirit and they must understand the doctrine of justification by faith alone through the one sacrifice of Christ alone. Scripture and not the church is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice, though the church is a secondary authority to be tested by Scripture.

I will not bother to go through all the signatories on this document but needless to say not all of them are necessarily "Christian." The problem with the Manhattan Declaration and others like it is the failure to distinguish between "co-belligerency" and "Christian fellowship."

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well thought out. i am wrestling with the is document and appreciate a faithful call the purity of the gospel

Charlie J. Ray said...

If morality and generic Christianity is all there is to the Gospel, then Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox are good Christians on their way to heaven. Unfortunately, the Bible says salvation is by grace alone through faith alone. This means that only Protestants who accept the doctrine of justification by faith alone are genuinely Christian. Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox are on their way to hell unless they reject their false doctrines of works as a means of meriting forgiveness and justification.

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