It couldn’t be otherwise.
"For John, for Greek speakers all the way back to Plato and beyond, “Logos” meant ultimate reality, all that was known or could be known, the glue that holds the universe together."
So Christ is more than a founder of a religion. He is more than my personal savior (and I thank God every day that He is). He is the Logos. And if that’s true, then, the brilliant Dutch politician and theologian Abraham Kuyper was right when he proclaimed, “In the total expanse of human life there is not a single square inch of which the Christ, who alone is sovereign, does not declare, 'That is mine!'
If Christ cries out “Mine” about every aspect of life: Medicine, music, literature, science, family, law, politics, then we, the church, when we look at every aspect of life, must cry out “HIS!”
So our duty is to bring Christ’s truth to bear on every aspect of life. And at no time in my life do I remember a time when it was so important to do so.
"What we are witnessing today in America is a titanic struggle between two antithetical worldviews: Secular naturalism and Christianity. "
We see this struggle all around us. In the classroom, the courtroom, and on Capitol Hill. If man is nothing special, then why not abortion, why not cloning, why not experiment with human embryos? If there is no moral law, no ultimate truth, why not same-sex marriage, why not enshrine individual preference as the ultimate arbiter of human conduct, why not borrow money you can’t repay—who cares how it might affect others?
This is why, last September, 60 protestant, catholic, and Orthodox leaders gathered in New York to fine-tune one of the finest expressions of Christian worldview that I have ever seen: the Manhattan Declaration.
"The Manhattan Declaration, grounded in scripture and the creeds all Christians confess, is a clarion call to conscience, a wake-up call to the church"
The response has been phenomenal. I would not have imagined that within three short months, more than 400,000 people from every Christian denomination would sign the Declaration.
I have been asked by many, however, why it is that the Declaration focuses on these three issues? What about other pressing issues? Social justice? The Environment? Others?
My answer is that these three issues are so foundational, so critical, that every other Christian, indeed human, concern flows out of them.
"First and foremost is human dignity. For 34 years I’ve gone into America’s prisons to witness to the most marginalized among us, precisely because I believe every human being is made in God’s image. "
It’s that very understanding of the sacredness of all human life that sends me into the prisons.
It’s the belief in the sacredness of human life that led the early church to fight the Roman practice of infanticide and abortion; that put Christians in the forefront of fighting slavery, of promoting civil rights, and today, fighting human trafficking across the globe.
The sanctity of human life is the foundation of true social justice.
It’s the same with marriage between one man and one woman. As the Manhattan Declaration proclaims, “Marriage...is the first institution of human society—indeed it is the institution on which all other human institutions have their foundation.”
And even though marriage is more honored in the breach than in observance today, it is remains the bedrock institution that no society can survive without.
Again, the Manhattan Declaration speaks clearly:
Vast human experience confirms that marriage is the original and most important institution for sustaining the health, education, and welfare of all persons in a society. Where marriage is honored, and where there is a flourishing marriage culture, everyone benefits—the spouses themselves, their children, the communities and societies in which they live. Where the marriage culture begins to erode, social pathologies of every sort quickly manifest themselves.
"Is it any wonder that more than 60 percent of our nation’s prisoners grew up in households without a father? The statistics only confirm what I’ve seen myself inside our nation’s prisons."
The third foundational issue is religious freedom, or freedom of conscience. American Christians can no longer ignore the fact that this “first freedom” enshrined in the Bill of Rights is under assault. We see it in the news every day, whether it’s a Methodist camp losing its tax-exempt status because it refused to allow a same-sex marriage ceremony, or Congress’s steadfast refusal to protect the religious freedom of medical providers in the current spate of health-care “reform” bills.
Is the day coming when a Baptist daycare center could be forced to hire homosexuals? Or a Catholic adoption agency being driven out of business because it refuses to place orphaned children with same-sex couples? Well, the latter has already happened.
And more is coming unless the church speaks out.
This is no time for the Church to step away from the fray, hiding behind the excuse that we should “not get involved in politics.” But while these are in one sense political issues, they are first and foremost profoundly moral issues that affect the common good. We neither love God nor our neighbor if we sit idly by as human dignity, traditional marriage, and religious freedom come under attack.
And that is why I am so excited about the Manhattan Declaration. Never, in my lifetime at least, have Christians from all denominations come together to forcefully proclaim “Here we stand!”
I urge you to go to www.manhattandeclaration.org, read the document, sign it, and urge other to do so as well. Are you willing to join us in the closing affirmation of the Manhattan Declaration? “We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.”
Chuck Colson is the founder of Prison Fellowship and the Colson Center for Christian Worldview