“In recent years Roman Catholics and evangelicals have made common cause in the political arena, uniting forces in struggles over the abortion issue, homosexuality, etc. These joint efforts have brought together leaders from both sides who had never worked together previously. Personal friendships have been formed, and, as a result, serious doctrinal differences have begun to be down-played. Since there is agreement on some social issues, and since these issues are so important in the life of America today, many leaders on both sides are willing to minimize doctrinal conflicts on the plea that we need to cooperate in ‘saving America’.”1
With Mohler being counted among the star personalities of the so called conservative evangelicals, whom Reformed Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) men have been eager to formalize fellowship with, his signing TMD must surely be problematic. Mohler’s signing The Manhattan Declaration to essentially hold hands with the Roman Catholic Church for social justice irrefutably “compromise(s) the faith by granting Christian recognition and fellowship to those who have denied essential doctrines of the faith.”2
“Al Mohler endorsed, promoted and served as crusade chairman for the last half century’s high priest of ecumenical evangelism, the Rev. Billy Graham. Ecumenical evangelism may not be Mohler’s personal practice, but through his chairmanship of the crusade he did at the very minimum lend tacit support for and endorsement of Graham’s ecumenical evangelism.”
“Without question, biblical truth must be proclaimed and the gospel preached prophetically to our nation. But how could I sign something that confuses the gospel and obscures the very definition of who is and who is not a Christian? I have made this point again and again since the days of ECT. Though the framers of the Manhattan Declaration declaim any connection to ECT, it appears to me that the Manhattan Declaration is inescapably linked to that initiative, which I have strenuously resisted. More than that, this new document practically assumes the victory of ECT in using the term ‘the gospel’ in reference to that which Roman Catholics are said to ‘proclaim’ (Phil. 1:27).”3 (bold added)
“I think my friends were misled and that they made a mistake, and I want to carefully assert that I have spoken with some of them personally about their error and have expressed my hope that they will remove their signatures from this document. Nevertheless, I remain in fellowship with them at this time and believe they are men of integrity who affirm the biblical gospel and the biblical doctrines articulated in the Protestant Reformation.”4
“For the sake of the clarity of the gospel, believers and churches must separate from those who compromise the faith by granting Christian recognition and fellowship to those who have denied essential doctrines of the faith (Rom 16:17 ; Phil 3:17-19 ; cf. 2 Thess 3:6-15 )… We cannot extend Christian fellowship to those who deny fundamental doctrines of the Faith. We cannot ignore the disobedience of those who do so. We cannot blur the line between the church and the world.”5
There has been a steady increase of interest among Reformed IFB men with the evangelicals such as Mark Dever, Al Mohler, John Piper, Mark Driscoll, C. J. Mahaney, John MacArthur, et. al. Men in IFB circles have disagreed over Calvinism yet have shared fellowship in most cases. I cannot, however, recall a time when our separatist IFB brethren have been so willing to embrace evangelicals who demonstrate such obvious compromise.
The growing contemporary convergence of fundamentalists with evangelicals is a powerful force right now. Regrettably, it is growing into a force that is beginning to cause compromises that will eventually leave many without anchor, discernment or purity. This compromise will, in its wake, leave casualties.7
Please continue to the attached discussion thread for additional commentary.
Addendum: With every step of compromise then next step becomes easier. See- Your First Step Won’t Be Your Last
1) Dr. Ernest Pickering: Holding Hands with the Pope: The Current Ecumenical Evangelical Craze This excerpt, which was in response to Chuck Colson’s Evangelicals and Catholics Together (E&CT), is just as applicable to The Manhattan Declaration as it was in 1994 to E&CT.
2) Dr. Dave Doran: Starting at the Right Spot, Part 1 from his Gospel-Driven Separation series.
3) The Manhattan Declaration: Why Didn’t You Sign It, RC?
5) Dr. Dave Doran: Starting at the Right Spot, Part 1.
6) While this may not be a universal sentiment it is wide spread and has been confirmed to me personally by men who are among those in that movement toward conservative evangelicalism.
7) Revised content from personal e-mail correspondence.
Please continue in this series with: Are We Recognizing the “New” New Evangelicalism?