I've heard some about the Manhattan Declaration, but between work and Number One Son being back in the hospital twice in the last month, we've been busy. When I read Sproul's blog post, I went and read the Declaration. In general, it makes me glad to see the Church making a principled stand on three of the serious issues facing America. I would prefer more clarity on fighting the evils of divorce and fornication too, but that's just me.
I also have trouble agreeing with RC's insistence that it would be wrong to sign the document because of whom else is signing it: Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians. Sproul says:
The Manhattan Declaration confuses common grace and special grace by combining them. While I would march with the bishop of Rome and an Orthodox prelate to resist the slaughter of innocents in the womb, I could never ground that cobelligerency on the assumption that we share a common faith and a unified understanding of the gospel.
As a Restoration Movement adherant, I am naturally hesitant to distinguish between types of Christians. I believe in "Not the only Christians, just Christians only" motto. Sproul goes too far (IMHO) in condemning Catholics and the Orthodox in not agreeing with his theology.
Nonetheless, I won't sign, because Sproul is not totally wrong. There is a difference between saying "You're not Christian enough" and saying "I can't co-sign on your theology". Chuck Colson said, "This document is, in fact, a form of catechism for the foundational truths of the faith." I don't believe it is an adequate catechism; that is reserved for the Bible itself. Second, the document is incomplete: any such document should have condemned divorce, fornication, and the sexualization of our society (porn, etc.) in equally strong terms.
Finally, if it is a statement of theology, then I can't agree that all Catholics and all Orthodox are preaching exactly the same Gospel as I am. There are saved Catholics and saved Orthodox. However, the Orthodox church and the Roman Catholic church both teach as doctrine non-Biblical principles. I may be in Christian union with believers in both organizations, I most certainly am NOT in union with either organization itself, and the document implies that I am.
Even without arguing the Stone-Campbell "no creed but Christ", I won't be signing the Manhattan Declaration, no matter how much I agree with 99% of it.