You Like Manifestos?
This post is in response to
A True Christian Manifesto
A Biblical declaration honoring the work of Jesus Christ to set us all free to serve God from the heart and not the flesh, such that we are all adopted children of God by faith alone
We believe that there is only One True God, the God of the Bible, and that he does not share His glory with any other so-called gods.
We believe that God created humankind as the crowning glory of creation, in His image, male and female, to responsibly manage the earth on His behalf, and that male and female as one flesh and bone are to stand as equal partners in this task.
We believe that while sin has broken the relationship between God and mankind, that mankind still reflects His image1 and is therefore still distinct from all other creatures, but that all who would be restored to God must come to Him in faith, accepting Jesus’ sacrificial death and resurrection on their behalf.
We are resolved that the community of believers is never to get its values from the surrounding culture but only from God, and that we must not let down our guard even when parts of the culture reflect Godly designs, knowing that the winds of change can subtly turn us from His ways.
We believe that Jesus Christ came to restore the broken relationship between God and humankind, and that our mission as believers is to spread the knowledge of this to all, and show them the way to be reconciled.2
As Christians, we desire to honor God by living lives that do not bow to cultural norms such as slavery, misogyny, racism, elitism, or seeking preeminence, but to heed Jesus’ command for the greatest to be the least, and the master to be the servant, remembering that the first shall be last and the last shall be first, and that every believer is to follow the example of Jesus Himself3 as the role model for all.
To that end, we affirm that...
Scripture is God’s authoritative written Word, revealing His nature, methods, and plan for us-- a plan that found its ultimate expression in Jesus Christ, whose example was one of humility, of considering others better than ourselves, of serving each other as equals instead of seeking to control them, with Love as the overarching principle.
We glorify God and experience His blessing when we no longer act as the world with its hierarchies and chains of command, but instead as the Body of Christ whose parts cannot say to each other,
I have no need of you.
As redeemed sinners, we cannot sustain this ideal cooperation without the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit and continual instruction in the full counsel of God as revealed in His Word.
Husbands and wives are not separate classes of beings with one a mere assistant to the other, but equal partners whose unique perspectives, gifts, experiences, and personalities can be truly complementary such that they are much more than
the sum of their parts and become
one flesh, allowing each one to support the other’s weaknesses and exalt in their strengths.
We are called as Christians to affirm and encourage each other, all of us taking our example of humility from Christ and following His example of lifting each other up, recognizing those among us who are mature in the faith and following their example until we too exemplify the truly transformed life of a disciple, instead of trying to play the part of God to any other.
Marriage, as created by God, is a lifelong union between one man and one woman, representing the mystical union between Christ and His Body, the community of believers-- not that between the Father and the Son, or the Son and the Spirit.
When we respond humbly to the leadership of mature believers and follow their examples, we can grow to become like them and then in turn lead others who are younger in the faith, and in this way the whole Body grows together in love and faithfulness.
Selfish insistence upon flesh-based privilege, tradition, or other worldly traits is contrary to the spirit of Christ3 and His example for all believers regardless of race, class, or sex, that we should all humble ourselves and be like Him in His humanity, choosing to lay aside privilege as He did for the betterment of others.
Human life is precious to God and we do not have the right to take it except as God has ordained governments to punish wrongdoers, and we recognize that no one can be held responsible for anything worthy of punishment before they are born or have reached an age or mental state whereby they are responsible for their actions.
Children are a blessing from God and benefit most when both parents lovingly and firmly protect, nurture, and guide them until they are capable of independence, with each parent providing what God has enabled them to provide, working together as a team for the benefit of the family.
God’s plan for believers is for them all to grow into the likeness of Christ and His humble example, and no believer is exempt by virtue of any quality of the flesh or any traditional worldly notions of propriety, but instead are all to strive for the fruit of the Spirit.4
Suffering is an inevitable reality in a fallen world, and believers of all generations have had their faith tested in this way, regardless of the winds of change and whims of society, such that we should not think it unusual or doubt God’s provision or abandon His teachings.
Mature Christians have a responsibility to leave a legacy of faith for the less mature, exemplifying the humble service we all are to render to each other and training them to know the Word and pass on the message of salvation in Jesus Christ.
Believing the above, we declare our desire and intent to be
True Christians that follow their Master. We consecrate ourselves to abandon all ambition for preeminence or rule over another and replace it with a servant’s heart and a warrior’s protection of those they love. By His grace and in humble dependence on His power, we will:
- Seek to exhibit our love for God by loving his children.5
- Gladly yield control of our lives to Christ as Lord.
- Be people of the Word and true followers of Christ, following His example for us all in humility, service, and sacrifice for the betterment of others.
- Nurture our relationships with God and His children by forgetting self and pride.
- Discard the world’s hierarchies and chains of command in favor of the unity of the Spirit as parts of Christ’s Body.
- Follow the examples of mature believers and emulate their lives, that they may do this with joy because it is for our good.6
- Recognize and encourage the spiritual gifts in others instead of trying to restrict or control them, so that the Body may be built up.
- Be examples to the unbelieving world in the way we treat both leaders and followers, parents and children, those who agree with our personal convictions on secondary matters and those who do not.7
- Be always ready to either gently explain the gospel to the seeking8 or to rigorously defend the faith against the hostile.9
- Pray for a true revolution in Christianity such that the world and its ways are excised from the Body, allowing it to heal and become the strong, unified whole it was meant to be, with all the
partsworking together instead of interfering with each other or playing the part of the
brainto other parts, resulting in that against which
the gates of hellcan never prevail.10
- James 3:9
- 2 Corinthians 5:20
- Mt. 20:28, Phil. 2:5-11
- Galatians 5:22-23
- 1 John 4:7-8, 5:2
- Hebrews 13:7
- Romans 14:1-23
- 1 Peter 3:15
- Jude 1:3b
- Mt. 16:18