Prominent evangelicals urged Christian conservatives Wednesday, May 7, 2008, to support “an expansion of our concerns beyond single-issue politics,” angering some leaders on the religious right who have been closely allied with the Republican Party. The Manifesto was made public at the National Press Club in Washington,D.C., by a panel representing the Drafting Committee of the document that was some three years in the making.

In a 19-page document called “An Evangelical Manifesto,” more than 70 theologians, pastors and others said faith and politics have been too closely mixed. They warned against Christians adopting any one political view. The first order of business for the Manifesto is an attempt to reform the evangelical movement itself by regaining the original meaning of the label. But simultaneously they are speaking to the public through the media informing the American society at large as to what this movement has been historically and theologically rather than culturally and not reflective of any one ideology, including I might add, on a major issue like the Iraq War.

Many of us have been very hesitant to be labeled “evangelical” since the rise of the “Moral Majority” because we have seen a deterioration of the theological base on the one hand and a corresponding emphasis on certain, highly politicized agendas among leaders using the label. This is a much needed correction that I urge everyone to pay attention to. From this date on, it will be irresponsible for example, for any journalist in the country to ignore what was said emphatically at this press conference and continue to use the word evangelical to describe a specific political position. It will be very helpful for those of other Faiths, especially Jews and Muslims and Atheists to study this document clearly. In many ways it sets the “gold standard” for what biblical Christians of all stripes seek to live by, the teachings and the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It also plainly announces the intention to join with others to work for the common good of the country and the world and to do so in a “gentle and reverent manner”. It is a new call to civility in the public square. It is also a not-too-subtle declaration to any political party that would try to claim the evangelicals for their own agendas.

Watch this water-shed press conference as four Prominent Evangelical leaders representing the Committee articulate for the secular press what they hope will restore the savor to the salt. VIDEO

READ the MANIFESTO (pdf)

E4Unity is not ashamed to promote the kind of things that are articulated so well in this document in our present cultural context as it relates to faithfully serving our present generation.

Advertisements