Thursday, May 8, 2008

Reading in regard to The Evangelical Manifesto

This week, a select group of men (if there are any women involved, none have been identified) will issue a document they are calling “An Evangelical Manifesto: The Washington Declaration of Identity and Public Commitment.” We know just a bit about this embargoed document’s existence, not its content, because Warren Cole Smith, publisher of the Evangelical Press News Service, has written about the plan and process of producing the declaration that purports to represent American evangelical beliefs and values. Smith’s point in writing about the manifesto is that the timing of the release makes it a political document, and the closed group of people working on the content apparently excludes traditional conservative and pro-family evangelical voices.

However, no amount of pious-sounding rhetoric about our common American values will obscure the policy litmus tests on the great moral issues of the day upon which our humanity hangs; nor should it. As Christ warned the Disciples, standing for truth is not the route to public acclaim. The term “evangelical” means a Biblical worldview and this dictates a philosophical/theological perspective on the timeless moral issues of Scripture. Those positions ought to be clear and unequivocal, rather than muddied by sophisticated rhetoric and clever obfuscation. The subtle danger is, as the old axiom states: “Those who stand for nothing will fall for anything.”

The above quotes form the opening and closing paragraphs of an artile written by Janice Shaw Crouse, Ph.D., Senior Fellow at the Beverly LaHaye Institute, entitled Muddying the Evangelical Waters, which discusses The Evangelical Manifesto.

Without discussing it myself at this point, I present the article for awareness, for thought, and for believers to learn to be discerning of the need to distinguish Christianity (and a biblical world and life view), and to understand how other interest groups (whether political or otherwise, whether from a perspective of the right or the left, etc.) though they may present themselves as "Christian" or "evangelical", while they may have some things in common may also differ or leave out others, and even have different motives or interests in mind. Believers are not to be naive, and particularly when it comes to the area of politics, need to be discerning and not blindly believe, follow, accept, or associate themselves with all that they hear, are taught, or are sold.

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