In 2009, the late Chuck Colson led the charge among Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christian leaders to draw up a declaration that addressed three key issues crucial to the health and well-being of the culture: life, marriage, and religious freedom. Within months, over a half a million people signed the Manhattan Declaration.
Ten years later, we at Focus on the Family remain firm in our support of the tenets detailed in the Manhattan Declaration. In fact, to reaffirm them, we’ve invited John Stonestreet, the president of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, to our studios for a timely conversation about how Christians can keep their bearings in a culture that’s ever-changing.
On our Focus on the Family Broadcast, we’re shining a spotlight on these foundational truths:
- We believe that human beings are created by God in His image. Therefore, every person, from conception to natural death, possesses inherent dignity and immeasurable worth – including preborn children, elderly individuals, those with special needs and others marginalized by society. Christians, then, are called to defend, protect, and value all human life.
- We believe that the institution of marriage is a sacred covenant designed by God to model the love of Christ for His people and to serve both the public and private good as the basic building block of human civilization. Marriage is intended by God to be a thriving, lifelong relationship between a man and a woman enduring through trials, sickness, financial crises and emotional stresses. Therefore, Christians are called to defend and protect God’s marriage design and to minister in Christ’s name to those who suffer the consequences of its brokenness.
- The closing line of the Manhattan Declaration says, “We will ungrudgingly render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, but we can never render to Caesar what belongs to God.”
- The First Amendment couldn’t say it more plainly: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Religious freedom lies at the heart of American freedom. The Constitution builds “a wall of separation” to protect people of faith from the government, not the other way around.
The Christian faith is about modeling the very essence of God on this earth. The question is, how do we express that in authentic ways with the Fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, self-control, and mercy – in what is increasingly an alley fight?
John Stonestreet says, “Ideas have consequences. Bad ideas have victims.” Christians can impact and change the culture only if they’re clear on their convictions. The way we help the next generation is to give substantive answers to the questions, “Who am I?” “Why did God create me?” “What is God’s purpose for my life?”
John Stonestreet is the president of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. John has co-written a great book called A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today’s World that helps moms and dads equip their children to engage the culture and to share the love of Christ in these challenging times.
Let us put this resource into your hands. I’d like to do that for a gift of any amount. Give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459) or visit our website for more information. If you can’t afford it, we’ll find a way to get it to you.