I have heard a lot of discussions in the year since the 2008 election season that we as Christians must remember that Matthew 22 instructs us to render unto “Caesar” what is his. The discussion has been that this not only refers to our monetary concerns such as taxes, but also to laws of the land such as Roe vs. Wade. These are, after all, the “law of the land” as it stands. But, I wonder where are we to quit complying rendering everything to “Caesar”, especially that which does not belong to him in the first place or that which should never have been placed under “Caesar’s” authority?
These issues have been weighing heavily on my heart in this past year. When Barack Obama was elected president, all of us that are Christian conservatives knew that we were on the crux of massive uphill battles; I think that we all saw “the writing on the wall” as it were. But, doesn’t the task seem completely overwhelming at times? It does to me anyway. I am involved in pro-life ministry and although recent polls show that the sentiment in our country is that there is a pro-life majority, the voices for “choice” seem so much louder and “in your face”. It is indeed frustrating and defeating at times.
But then something like this comes along, The Manhattan Declaration, and I am reminded that there are not just a few of us out here! My heart is lifted when God reminds me that all across this great nation of ours are others that stand on biblical truths just as I do and they are not keeping silent about it.
It is of course impossible for one group to take on all of the injustices against God that humans perpetrate, but this declaration certainly speaks to some large issues facing our nation today. The declaration also makes great points that show that although we as Christians are to follow the rule of law; these laws do not supersede what Scripture commands.
As Christians, we take seriously the Biblical admonition to respect and obey those in authority. We believe in law and in the rule of law. We recognize the duty to comply with laws whether we happen to like them or not, unless the laws are gravely unjust or require those subject to them to do something unjust or otherwise immoral. The biblical purpose of law is to preserve order and serve justice and the common good; yet laws that are unjust—and especially laws that purport to compel citizens to do what is unjust—undermine the common good, rather than serve it.
Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other antilife act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family. 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.”
I wonder where this leaves us as Christian conservatives. What is our next step when our government continues to turn a deaf ear to our concerns and wishes? I don’t honestly know. What I am sure of is that we must continue to stand firm on Biblical truths about things such as the sanctity of life and it seems to me that groups such as the one that collectively presented us with The Manhattan Declaration are moving in the right direction. Please take some time to check it out and prayerfully consider it.