Every generation is called upon to make tough decisions. But history reveals that some decisions leave more lasting consequences than others. This is perhaps especially true when it comes to decisions on matters of faith.
Historically, decisions of spiritual consequence led to the formation of edicts, thesis, or creeds, all of which articulated positions that the signers vowed they would not compromise. Examples include: The Apostles Creed, The Nicene Creed (325), Martin Luther’s 95 Thesis (1517), The Westminster Confession of Faith (1646), The Philadelphia Confession (1742), and The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy (1978).
Other less formal but equally powerful movements have shaped the spiritual and social dynamic of the world. The relatively recent history of Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) and the beginning of the American Civil Rights Movement is an example. King’s courage and conviction led to a mass struggle for racial equality that doomed segregation and has thankfully changed America forever.
These “lines in the sand” of the liturgical, political, and cultural morality of their day required bold conviction. Because much was at stake, the price of declaration was almost always costly. But people stood and history was shaped.
Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have always defended the weak and vulnerable and have worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family.
But recent liturgical, political, and cultural climates in America have given ample cause for alarm. Many of us have said aloud or under our breath, “Something has to change!” But like in every generation, real moral change only comes when people stand up with conviction and draw their own “line in the sand.” And here we see the real battle in America today!
The contrast and battle we are witnessing in America is not between Republicans and Democrats. Neither is it a battle of differing religion. Our constitution guarantees us those political and religious freedoms. No, it is much larger than that. It is clearly a battle of worldviews. It is a battle of ideas and values and basic faith which potentially threaten all that is historically American.
But in recent weeks another significant statement called the Manhattan Declaration has been formed as a response. Written by three scholars, this declaration was initially signed by over 150 of America’s leading Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christian figures. Now its influence is sweeping the country as thousands more line up to make their pledge to uphold the values declared.
The call is “to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them.” These truths are:
1. the sanctity of human life
2. the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
3. the rights of conscience and religious liberty.
“Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
I support this declaration because the truths proclaimed in the Manhattan Declaration come out of a Biblical, Christian worldview. If you would like to read the full Manhattan Declaration for yourself and sign your own commitment, go to: www.manhattandeclaration.org
What will we stand for?
The vision of RENEWANATION is to offer every child a Christian worldview.
A Christian worldview is a comprehensive understanding of the world that is formed by the authority of the Bible and the person of Jesus Christ.
We believe K-12 education is a time to formulate and strengthen foundational concepts of worldview that will serve as points of reference and strength throughout all of life.
We are strongly committed to living and teaching Christian worldview because we believe it is foundational to healthy families and to society as a whole. Frankly, we believe that unless we reach today’s children with Christian values, our wonderful American heritage of faith and freedom will cease to be part of the social fiber for future generations. We simply must not let that happen. It would be tragic for those generations and would not honor God.
Our task is God-sized, but we are confident that God is calling and will enable us to get the job done. So, we too are drawing the “line in the sand.” I invite you to join us!