John Stonestreet on the Manhattan Declaration After 10 Years: Never Render to Caesar What is God’s

The year 2019 is the ten-year anniversary of a statement that drew the line for Christians on three central issues: life, marriage, and religious liberty. There were many prophetic lines in the Manhattan Declaration, which was co-authored by Chuck Colson, Dr. Timothy George of Beeson Divinity School, and Dr. Robert George of Princeton University, but none were more important than the last line:  that “we will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar,” but under “no circumstances” could we “render to Caesar what belongs to God.” Half-a-million Christians signed on.

In the ten years since those words were written, Caesar (in other words, the state) has claimed more and more of what belongs to God, especially in the areas of life, marriage, and religious liberty.

Just think of New York lawmakers high-fiving each other after they ensured unrestricted abortion up to the point of birth, or the governor of Virginia advocating infanticide. Or consider that doctor-assisted suicide is now legal in seven states and the District of Columbia. And what about marriage? Recall the White House lit up in rainbow colors after the Obergefell decision mandated same-sex “marriage” on all fifty states.

And think of all the stories we’ve now heard of believers forced to choose between their faith and their livelihood, or adoption agencies forced to choose between their existence and their convictions. Or business owners like Jack Phillips and Barronelle Stutzman having to go to court to fend off Caesar’s demands.

Still, let’s be clear. Far more important than what Caesar demands is what Christians are willing to concede. A new Barna survey revealed that the number of Protestant pastors who are “very concerned” about religious freedom has dropped significantly in just three years—from 55 percent to only 34 percent.

This is why Christians must decide where they stand, not based on the pressure of the cultural moment, but on the rock-solid, unchanging truth revealed to us in the Story of Scripture. We cannot render to Caesar what belongs to God.

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Source: Christian Headlines