Manhattan Declaration leader encourages LCMS Lutherans

Comments (2)
  1. Ann M.Moe says:

    As a Confessional Lutheran I fail to understand how and why this article about the Manhattan Declaration that contains teaching(s) in opposition to our doctrine is being offered to Confessional Lutherans to sign. I offer this insightful blog post by R.C. Sproul.

    Ligonier Ministries Blog
    The Manhattan Declaration: Why didn’t you sign it, R.C.? by R.C. Sproul

    1. Harold says:

      Among Christians, there is often a conflation of human and cultural values. The Manhattan Declaration is a prime example. You have hit the nail on the head that there are doctrinal differences and the one that leaps off the pages is the single-kingdom theologies shared by Catholics and most Protestants. It leaves them open to conflating confusing God’s gifts – those things with which are endowed (life, sustenance, abilities) but not deserved or merited – with individual rights. As Americans, we are taught to hold to self-evident truths (not revealed truths – reasoned ones) that regard the Creator as establishing rights in the individual (inalienable = inseparable) that are a fundamental components that we are entitled to assert – quite the opposite of an undeserved gift. Things like the Manhattan declaration are a desire to war for God, to stand up and be accounted, assert one’s rights and protect the rights of others.

      To be in accord with Lutheran theology, such a document would insist that God has the right to life (yours, mine, the unborn) – we do not. Body and soul, we are not ours with rights in our persons. God is the only one with a right to us. Marriage is God creating a union of two into one, male and female given by God to each other – not based on their individual desire or right to come together. We are his handiwork and so is marriage. We do not worship freely according to conscience but by the call and command of God. That call has never depended on cordiality with other faiths or allowances from the state. The Church is created by God for His purposes, not ours, and we are not in the Body of Christ by the free choice and discernment of conscience. He calls us, forges faith in us, sustains us, and prepares a path for us to follow. There is no act of will in discipleship

      This is simple Scripture as eloquently expressed in the Catechism. So, it also concerns me when people in the LCMS support such efforts as “Free to Be Faithful” – the truth is, we are nothing free from sin and slaves to Christ and no rational rights or laws made by man can affect that. We are not so much “Free to Be Faithful” as we are “Free Because God is Faithful.”