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 Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Standard Bearer: Why I Will Not Sign the Manhattan Declaration

Click on this link to see the pdf version of The Standard Bearer. While I do not agree with everything that Rev. Clayton Spronk says in this article, his points about the compromises made by the Manhattan Declaration should be taken seriously by every Reformed believer. You can read the article by clicking on All Around Us and then going to page 175 in the pdf file. Here is an excerpt from the remarks by Rev. Spronk:

Not only does a signature affixed to this document overlook Rome’s doctrine, it pats Rome on the back! Do not the Reformed Christians who sign this document remember what else Rome did in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries? Do they not remember that Rome excommunicated and anathematized people other than those involved in the slave trade, namely, those who were involved in teaching justification by faith alone and all the other great biblical truths of the Reformation? Do they not remember that Rome oppressed faithful, Reformed Christians in a manner that rivals and perhaps surpasses the oppression that slaves experienced under their slave-masters? Rome wreaked havoc on the church and tried to destroy the gospel of Jesus Christ! No, I will not sign the Manhattan Declaration and applaud Rome for seeking the “ common good.”


Charlie J. Ray said...

Bruce Atkinson, a "good" Anglican Church-North America advocate, in an e-mail said:

Why I Won't Pay Much Attention to Clayton Spronk

The Manhattan Declaration is not primarily a theological document, but rather a political document to fight liberal extremists in our nation who promote abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, euthanasia, etc. The Declaration was meant to include Roman Catholics, Jews, and even Mormons if they would agree to sign on. It is an ecumenical enterprise to fight the above-mentioned evils. To expect the Declaration to word its points so that they exactly fit my Reformed views (which as we know, are different from your Reformed views), would be the height of absurdity and naivete, not to mention a total lack of understanding as to the Declaration's nature and purpose.

Therefore, I was happy to sign the Manhattan Declaration. While I would have worded it differently, I wholeheartedly agree with its primary purposes. Sort of like the U.S. Constitution.

And Spronk's reasons for not signing it, are, in my opinion, ridiculous and narrow (not in the sense of the 'narrow gate' but in the sense of the legalistic Pharisees who would strain at a gnat but swallow a camel, and who would argue interminably about words).

It so happens that God does not limit His work in the world to only Calvinists and other doctrinely correct Reformers.
In fact, if we look at post-Reformation history, we can see that God has not very often used Calvinists to do His most important works, despite their more "correct theology."

Funny about that....
Perhaps some things are more important to salvation and bringing in the Kingdom than correct doctrine
(see 1 Corinthians 13).

- Bruce

Love is more important than doctrine. Like loving homosexuals enough to accept them like they are? Loving homosexuals enough to ordain them as ministers and consecrate them as bishops? Love trumps doctrine every time, Bruce. Great logic there:)

The Bible, unfortunately, says as much or more about sound doctrine and right doctrine as it does about "love." Try Proverbs 4:2; Isaiah 29:24; Matthew 15:9; Mt 16:12; Mark 1:27; John 7:16; John 18:19; Acts 2:42; Acts 5:28; Acts 16:17; Acts 17:19; Romans 6:17; Ephesians 4:14; Colossians 2:22; 1 Timothy 1:3; 1 Timothy 4:1; 1 Timothy 4:6, 13; 5:17; 6:3; 2 Timothy 2:15; 2 Timothy 3:10, 15-17; Titus 1:9; 2:1; 2 John 2:9; Jude 1:3-4; Revelation 2:14.

I guess God really isn't concerned about sound doctrine. Why did He mention doctrine and teaching, both true and false teaching, so many times if the Lord is unconcerned about teaching?



kmfrye said...

In a debate, the first person to call the other a "pharisee" loses.

Charlie J. Ray said...

2 John 1:9

Charlie J. Ray said...

In a debate whoever proves his case from Scripture alone wins. Knowing the right information is necessary to saving faith.

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3 NKJ)

"If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), (John 10:35 NKJ)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Mr. Atkinson seems to not believe that every word in the Bible is inspired by God:

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16 NKJ)
But He answered and said, "It is written,`Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4:4 NKJ)
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-20 NKJ)

Charlie J. Ray said...

Spronk is a minister with the Protestant Reformed Church. The PRC is despised as "hyper-Calvinist" by the compromisers. The fact is, the PRCA churches are much more faithful to the Reformed faith than most Presbyterian denominations these days....

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