Dr. Wall embraces the Manhattan Declaration, a call to Christians everywhere to be a conscience to the world on three very fundamental principles.
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Jesus as quoted in John 10:10 (NASB)
On November 20, 2009, Charles Colson and two Christian professors published the “Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience.” This document calls upon Christians everywhere to declare their support for three fundamental principles upon which a just society is based and for which Christians have for two millennia in cultures all across the world stood as a conscience to the wider public. These three principles upon which Christians need to proclaim are: the preciousness of life, the sanctity of marriage between one man and one women and freedom of religious liberty.
Here is a brief summary from the Preamble of the Manhattan Declaration on these three principles:
While the whole scope of Christian moral concern, including a special concern for the poor and vulnerable, claims our attention, we are especially troubled that in our nation today the lives of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly are severely threatened; that the institution of marriage, already buffeted by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is in jeopardy of being redefined to accommodate fashionable ideologies; that freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are gravely jeopardized by those who would use the instruments of coercion to compel persons of faith to compromise their deepest convictions.
Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense. In this declaration we affirm: 1) the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human being as a creature fashioned in the very image of God, possessing inherent rights of equal dignity and life; 2) marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the creation, and historically understood by believers and nonbelievers alike, to be the most basic institution in society and; 3) religious liberty, which is grounded in the character of God, the example of Christ, and the inherent freedom and dignity of human beings created in the divine image.
We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right—and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation—to speak and act in defense of these truths. We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence. It is our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season. May God help us not to fail in that duty.
The declaration goes on to articulate why Christians believe the three fundamental principles and the importance of proclaiming them to the wider society. It is a wonderful document and must read for anyone who desires to understand what it means for Christians everywhere to be a conscience for the culture of which they are a part. I encourage all of my readers to take a few minutes to read the entire document. It is 7 pages in length and will only take you a few minutes to read. It will take you a lifetime to fulfill.
On this Thanksgiving season, 2009, I wish to declare my own support for these three principles and the I will continue, as I have from the start of this blog in March, 2009, and throughout my counseling practice and in my personal life, to defend, articulate and live as an example, these as necessary for a meaningful and robust life.
It is my desire to use this blog as a vehicle to show these principles as attractive alternatives to the culture of death, the blurring of boundaries and the tyranny of religious coercion. If you read my blog or come to see me as a client, I pledge that I will not be mad at you for not embracing these principles yourself, but that I will challenge your thinking and encourage you to throw off the weights that so easily entangle you. I will not passively sit there while you describe how you are ruining your life and the lives of those around you and how all of this is fine. It is not fine. You know it in your heart that it is NOT fine. That’s why you are coming to see me or reading my blog.
I’m sure I won’t be as articulate as some of my brethren and certainly not as succinct as the Manhattan Declaration, but I will do my best within my own limitations to declare these truths.