by Robert Fraire
The following is a link to a document called the Manhattan Declaration. It is a document written and signed by Protestants, Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Catholics. The document is found at this link:
In the document the writers and signers pledge to stand united on three areas under attack in the United States today. Those areas under attack are: the sanctity of life, the definition of marriage, and freedom of religious expression.
The document says many things that I agree completely with and I do think that the Christian church in America will face governmental persecutions in each of these areas in the near future.
Some godly men like Al Mohler have signed this document. Dr. Mohler gives his reasons at this site: web site
One small quote from his article says this: "I signed The Manhattan Declaration because it is a limited statement of Christian conviction on these three crucial issues, and not a wide-ranging theological document that subverts confessional integrity. I cannot and do not sign documents such as Evangelicals and Catholics Together that attempt to establish common ground on vast theological terrain."
I respect Dr. Mohler making that statement clear, and his actions and teaching clearly back that statement up.
That being said, I don't believe Protestants should sign this agreement. My reasoning can be summarized in 2 Corinthians 6:14
Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?
You see while we share many common moral stands with Catholics of all types, the fact is unmistakable that the teaching of the Catholic Church is a false gospel. We can not stand in spiritual unity with them on these issues because those that rely on the false gospel taught by the Catholic church for their salvation are unbelievers.
In a practical sense how could this play out? Well take for instance the area of same-sex marriage. The only way we can be successful in defending God's definition of marriage is to proclaim the truth of scripture and call on the people of this nation to repent. And it is at the point of repentance that the gulf between us and Catholics becomes apparent. If people want to repent; to which gospel do we lead them? In order to stand united must we say that it isn't important whether you choose salvation by grace through faith alone (Protestant gospel), or salvation by grace and maintained by godly works and the sacrements (the Roman Catholic gospel)? It is clear to me that we must call me to repentance and the true gospel message of grace by faith alone.
Because of that we must stay independent of all false religion even if they support our moral stance important issues such as life, marriage and religious freedom.