The Manhattan Declaration — Part 3

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This is the third and last installment of this series of articles entitled “The Manhattan Declaration.” I ask still a third time what in the world could a declaration by that name have to do with those of us living here on the south side of Atlanta? Well, it simply bears the name of the place in New York where a gathering of well known and respected national Christian leaders met a year ago last November to make an important and historic faith declaration, much like the governmental declaration that was made in Philadelphia in 1776.

I’m going to share this third and final part of one section of it here with you this week. I shared the first and second parts with you back in November and February. You can look up those articles on my blog on The Citizen’s website.

What follows is the third part of the section entitled “Marriage.” The reason I share it is because I agree with it wholeheartedly and have actually become a “signer” of it, as you can too if you so choose. You can find the whole declaration and sign it on manhattandeclaration.org.

As you will experience when you read what is below, it is quite an in-depth presentation. It may take you more than one reading to comprehend fully both the detailed lines of affirmation and the detailed and thoughtful lines of rebuttal to opposing beliefs.

“No one has a civil right to have a non-marital relationship treated as a marriage. Marriage is an objective reality — a covenantal union of husband and wife — that it is the duty of the law to recognize and support for the sake of justice and the common good. If it fails to do so, genuine social harms follow.

“First, the religious liberty of those for whom this is a matter of conscience is jeopardized. Second, the rights of parents are abused as family life and sex education programs in schools are used to teach children that an enlightened understanding recognizes as ‘marriages’ sexual partnerships that many parents believe are intrinsically nonmarital and immoral. Third, the common good of civil society is damaged when the law itself, in its critical pedagogical function, becomes a tool for eroding a sound understanding of marriage on which the flourishing of the marriage culture in any society vitally depends.

“Sadly, we are today far from having a thriving marriage culture. But if we are to begin the critically important process of reforming our laws and mores to rebuild such a culture, the last thing we can afford to do is to re-define marriage in such a way as to embody in our laws a false proclamation about what marriage is.

“And so it is out of love (not ‘animus’) and prudent concern for the common good (not ‘prejudice’), that we pledge to labor ceaselessly to preserve the legal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman and to rebuild the marriage culture. How could we, as Christians, do otherwise? The Bible teaches us that marriage is a central part of God’s creation covenant. Indeed, the union of husband and wife mirrors the bond between Christ and his church. And so just as Christ was willing, out of love, to give Himself up for the church in a complete sacrifice, we are willing, lovingly, to make whatever sacrifices are required of us for the sake of the inestimable treasure that is marriage.”

Now, I want to take you back to the very beginning of The Declaration and these words which remind us of the lofty intent of those who fashioned this document.

“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 ... the institution of marriage, already buffeted by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is in jeopardy of being redefined to accommodate fashionable ideologies ...

“Because ... the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife (is a) foundational principle of justice and the common good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in (its) defense. In this declaration we affirm: ... (that) marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the creation, and historically understood by believers and non-believers alike, to be the most basic institution in society .

“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.”

Kollmeyer is Pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church on Hwy. 314 in Fayetteville. For more information log on at www.princeofpeacefayette.com

Main Stream
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Again, I did not mock your god, Wedge.

Why would Jesus being gay, be such a scary thing for some of you intolerant christians? Would this make him less "divine" in your eyes? Why would this take away from his enduring message of love, tolerance and sacrifice? Besides, there is no proof that he was or wasn't gay so this issue is very much open for discussion. The "evidence" of his existence, in the bible, describes him as being single, hanging out with his buddies, and loving everyone, including homosexuals, which I'm sure existed 2,000 years ago, just like they do now (shock!). You and your ilk (Kollmeyer) are the ones who are mocking and blaspheming when you all re-interpret the bible continuously. For example, according to your bible, god made man in his own image, and this would include the gay men, and women. Therefore, according to your bible, god doesn't make any mistakes, everything has a plan, everyone has a purpose, so this would include those scary gays as well. But you all judge and persecute the gay community like they were subhuman... yet, they were "made in his image." Seems like you, and the Kollmeyer's of the world, are trying to interpret the bible to fit your own worldview, as well as your ingrained homophobia, and that is akin to blasphemy, which, according to your bible, is punishable by death... stoning is the preferred method I believe.

The Wedge
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Main Stream, Please read

One of the tenets of Christianity is that Jesus was the perfect sinless sacrifice for a sinful mankind. As such we was without sin as documented by the Bible and could be considered by God to be the sacrificial lamb for all. The Bible specific states that homosexual relations are a sin. It states it in the Old Testament and the new. As such, calling Jesus a homosexual states that he was sinful (according to the Bible) and was not an acceptable sacrifice. As such salvation through Christ could not happen. According to a Christian that truly understands their faith, calling Christ a homosexual is mocking God as he himself stated he was.
Now in all honesty I haven't read the above article, nor do I lead any campaigns concerning this. My comment was directly solely to your flippant and really hateful comment to a devout person. And a Christian understands that this is a fallen world, fouled by man's sin. Therefore men are born with all kinds of desires and impulses. I don't have alot of energy for this, as I was curious as to how you can explain how we got here. It is easy to mock someone's faith, espcailly when you are proven to be faithless.

Main Stream
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I read it, Wedge, and?
The Wedge wrote:

"...your flippant and really hateful comment to a devout person."

It would seem that anyone holding a different opinion than yours is flippant and hateful. Are you really that thin-skinned?

Regarding a “sinless Jesus”, there are some christians who “are repelled by the concept of God being so incapable of forgiveness and empathy that he required the torture death of an innocent man in order to allow believers to be saved. They also believe that sins are not transferable. Thus: 1) Present-day humans cannot inherit the sin of Adam and Eve.
2) Jesus could not inherit our sins.

With these beliefs about Hell, Satan, God and sin, there is no need for Jesus to have been a perfect human while on earth. Thus there is no need for him to have led a sinless life.”

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jcsi1.htm

Davids mom
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Main Stream

As you can see - not all Christians demonstrate their faith in the same way, based on the same understanding of the concept - GOD. Many base their understanding on the following definition of God:

God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life , Truth, Love.

Jesus, in his teachings, demonstrated how we as mortals should reflect God. I understand that Jesus saw past the corporeal to see the REAL man - who is spiritual, not material. As I understand it, there is no life, truth, substance or intelligence in matter. .all is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation. Jesus embraced the spirit of man. . . .and by doing so embraced the world and all mankind. . .with LOVE. That's how some Christians embrace the Christian faith. You seem to have a pretty good 'handle' on the Bible!!

The Wedge
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David's Mom, think about this

Once again, not condoning this campaign, but ask yourself this question. Did Jesus approve sin and did he tell people to continue what they were doing that was sinful? He certainly showed love to many, righteous anger when necessary, and compassion to all. What exactly is man's spirit by the way? Are we driven to be virtuous or driven to be sinful?

G35 Dude
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1 Corinthians 6:9

Your problem Main is that you are not smart enough to know that you have mocked God!!!

PTC Observer
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G35 Dude - Not

Not that I am defending Main, but Main doesn't believe in God, so therefore it's hard for him in is mind to mock something that doesn't exist.

I think you are addressing an empty chair.

If you know what I mean.

G35 Dude
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Thats my point PTC Observer

Thats kind of my point PTCO. If he can not acknowledge the possible existence of God how can he be knowledgeable in the subject that he is trying to discuss? Therefore how can he know if he's mocked God? Science can not prove God, nor can it disprove him so it he becomes a matter of faith. Maybe he should look up Pascal's wager?

PTC Observer
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Logic - G35 Dude

If you don't believe in God, then you can't argue that you haven't offended Him, because you can't offend something that doesn't exist. Ergo, you can't argue....period or you accept the notion that He exists.

Hope that makes sense to Main, but my guess is it doesn't.

Does it make sense to you?

His argument is contradictory and arguments that are contradictory are logically false.

G35 Dude
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I understand what you're saying PTCO

I understand your point. You're saying that his mind is closed on the subject and he will not accept that he could be wrong. So that is the only angle that he can see this from. Therefore no God no offense. But to categorically deny something that you can't prove/disprove shows a lack of intelligence wouldn't you say? That takes me back to my first statement.

Main Stream
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PTObservor and G35Dude...

Neither one of you have shown me where I mocked your god after I suggested the possibility that Jesus may have been gay. If there is a god, I doubt that it would be angry just because someone surmised that his messenger may have been gay. With all of the other sins being perpetrated in this world (i.e. pedophile priests, working on Sunday, eating shellfish, worshiping idols, fornicating), this would probably be low on his/her list of indiscretions. We were given the ability to reason, and it is a reasonable assumption, based on the bible, to question whether Jesus was gay, or not.

Regarding your other point, a lack of belief in god(s) does not discount someone’s hypothesis in a discussion, unless you are just using that as an excuse to bow out of our discussion, then so be it. Do you believe in unicorns? Probably not. So, if you were debating the existence of unicorns would your disbelief in them cause your argument to be illogical because you did not believe in them? Your reasoning in this regard, as it relates to our discussion itself, is flawed.

G35 Dude
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Main again I say: 1 Corinthians 6:9

You said:We were given the ability to reason, and it is a reasonable assumption, based on the bible, to question whether Jesus was gay, or not.

Obviously you have not read the bible. I quoted a verse in my first post, not the only verse on this topic, but a verse that says "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,"

Since we know as per the bible that Jesus was perfect and is in heaven he could not have been a homosexual.

hutch866
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G35

Tell me, does this pertain to the Buddhists, the Hindu's, maybe the American Indians? The Bible is THE definitive word in religion? I guess all those Jews are roasting in Hell as we type? The Bible is just one book on religion in this world and for you to use the term We, IMHO is a little presumptuous. Unless of course you are privy to information that the rest of us are denied.

The Wedge
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Come on Hutch

This has been a conversation about Christianity and whether MS mocked God according to Christians. Keep up, you are normally sharper than this

hutch866
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Wedgeand G35

Sorry to disappoint both of you, but I'm having no problem keeping up.

G35 Dude wrote:

Since we know as per the bible that Jesus was perfect and is in heaven he could not have been a homosexual.

That's what I was responding to, and by the way G35 you never did answer my question, but I will give you points on deflection. My opinion is that her comment was tasteless, but I don't see it mocking God. Like I said, it was MY HUMBLE OPINION. Main has said before that she was raised in the Presbyterian Church, so for G35 to say she doesn't know what she is talking about is yet again, presumptuous, IMHO.

G35 Dude
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hutch, The we are Christians!

Since you seem to need everything explained, the we I refer to are Christians that have read the Bible. That is why I phrased my statement as I did. "As per the Bible." Translation "That is what the Bible says". I in no way inferred that you or anyone else were or weren't included in my we since I have no way of knowing what your beliefs are or whether or not you've read the bible. And as I've already stated I don't insult or discount anyone's beliefs. Aren't you deflecting and being presumptuous by assuming that you were included? Was that just a tactic to change the direction of the discussion? Or are you saying that the Bible doesn't say that Jesus was perfect and is now in Heaven? I'm not threatened by Hindus thinking that they'll go to Yama's paradise after death. So why are you threatened by belief in heaven? Maybe both places exist?

G35 Dude
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hutch

Please try to keep up. In Main's post of 4/6/11 at 5:10 he established the bible as his book of reference. So I used the bible to respond to him. While I do think the bible is the definitive word in religion, especially when Jesus is the topic, I do not discount the beliefs of others. Do you think the Buddhists, the Hindu's, et all have more or better information on Jesus than the bible?

PTC Observer
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G35 Dude - The Word

Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are from neighboring nations.

It's all about what you believe, you believe Jesus was perfect. No one is saying that you can't believe this. You are offended by Main by his question and you should be offended based on what you believe. Problem is that we become so passionate about our belief we are willing to do unspeakable things.

Like justifying owning slaves based on the Word.

What would Jesus do? Then you should do the same if you believe. Let God handle Main.

PTC Observer
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Unicorns

"Do you believe in unicorns?"

Do you believe that there is no God?

Then you believe in something, you believe in the non-existance of something. However, how can you deny something that doesn't exist?

Faith is not logical.....even yours.

Here's a mind game that proves that faith is not logical.

Hypothesis: God is all powerful and nothing is greater than His power.
Argument: God can create a rock He cannot lift?

It is contradictory, which makes it faith.

The fact is the human race has searched for the meaning of life (why are we here?) since the dawn of mankind. The only thing that unites us and divides us is our faith. We kill over faith and we do wonderful things because of it, this is humankind's burden.

Now which faith is right? The one you believe in, that's the one.

To answer your question on having mocked God, it is beyond our comprehension to know, but you had better hope you haven't or you're in serious trouble.

I have no problem with you working on Sunday, eatings shellfish, worshipping idols, fornicating or the fact that you are gay. Now as for pedophiles....I would draw the line there. And I don't care if anyone believes in unicorns either.

Don't go off on me with some contradictory argument, please.

The Wedge
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Ahh, Dawkin's flawed logic
PTC Observer wrote:

Here's a mind game that proves that faith is not logical.

Hypothesis: God is all powerful and nothing is greater than His power.
Argument: God can create a rock He cannot lift?

It is contradictory, which makes it faith.

This is the fallacy of bifurcation. Here is succinctly what this implies (attributed to others and my scholarship): Natural laws govern the universe we live in, only things that obey these laws exist in the universe, God does not obey the laws of the universe, therefore God does not exist. This logic passes off faulty assumptions as fact. To wit-God can only exist if he exists solely in this universe. If all (even atheists) can admit that there was a point before space and time (pre big bang)and that other universes may exist, why does God need to be confined to this universe solely? It is faulty logic that passes assumptions off as fact. Why would God need to be bound by the laws of his creation? As I have heard, it is similiar to asking on what page of Shakespeare's Macbeth can I find Shakespeare?

PTC Observer
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Dawkin's Logic

Ok wedge if you say so.

My point is that faith is based on anything but logic.

Faith is blind as they say.

Chris P. Bacon
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Howdy Brother Wedge!

Speakin' of mocking God, have you had your colon checked recently?

It would appear (to me, anyway) that the good Reverend who authored this post has found Biblical justification for his overt homophobia. In part 2 of his babblicious teachings, he showed us that homo marriage inevitably led to polygamy and incest! He's a bit more moderate than most of his fellow Christian homophobes, though, nary a single claim of bestiality (certain Alabaman posters here will be soooo disappointed!)

It never ceases to amaze me how the teachings of Jesus Christ can devolve into a psychological Rorschach test. I was brought up to believe that Jesus had a message of redemption and love, this Reverend obviously believes in a more vindictive and vengeful interpretation of Christ's teachings, condemning a great many Christians for the sin of not interpreting the Bible as he does.

Oh well, unlike the Republican party, the Christian faith is the ultimate "big tent", where God-is-love Christians like me can coexist with the followers of "Big-Weapons-Systems Jesus".

The Wedge
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Hey Bacon

I was not responding on the article, merely on MS's post. I didn't comment on that at all. Have you ever responded to that plagarism charge levied against you? I haven't seen it

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Protestants Can Have Many Wives

I think Martin Luther said it best when he said,

"I confess that I cannot forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not contradict the Scripture. If a man wishes to marry more than one wife he should be asked whether he is satisfied in his conscience that he may do so in accordance with the word of God. In such a case the civil authority has nothing to do in the matter."

G35 Dude
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Many Wives?

Any man dumb enough to have more than one wife gets what he deserves!!!! LOL

The Wedge
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It is interesting how it was set up

The old testament certainly has many instances of multiple wives. They seemed to have taken the precep of "Be fruitful and multiply" and ran with it. Many cultures still run that way as well.

Chris P. Bacon
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uh oh Brother Wedge!
The Wedge wrote:

Jesus verified the Old Testament completely. Spoke and cited Old Testament scripture in its completeness.

The Wedge wrote:

The old testament certainly has many instances of multiple wives.

If what you're saying is true, and you've never EVER lied to us before (right?), the Pastor Kollmeyer is mocking God by claiming (in part 2) that there's no Biblical basis for polygamy!

I pity that poor pastor's colon when God gets done with him. God is not mocked. Ask Grubby Herman Cain!

The Wedge
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Hey, Hey Bacon

Once again, I was never in this blog discussing the article. Merely Main Streams assertion that Christ was gay. As the self professed Christian that you are, have you read the Bible? In that I mean that the Bible describes mandates and then traces the history of man and our sinful ways. It describes the faults of David, but that doesn;t mean that it condones his behavior. The Bible defines marriage early: Genesis 2:18-24. I do not see multiples mentioned, but multiples are certainly traced in the Bible, right. I find it interesting how you revel in wishing ill on people. I just watched Boy in the Striped Pajamas today. You would have most likely fit in there, the relish that you have for suffering and the joy that you receive.