Chuck Colson: Evangelicals Should Be Uniters, Not Dividers
What all this boils down to is that we evangelicals are heirs of the Reformation and that we best understand evangelicalism as a reform movement seeking to renew and strengthen orthodox faith within the holy, catholic, and apostolic church to which we belong and whose creeds we embrace. The church is one because it is centered in Jesus Christ; holy not because its members are perfect but because Christ is pure and spotless; catholic not through allegiance to an earthly magisterium but because it is universal in mission and outreach; and apostolic because it is faithful to the teaching of the prophets and apostles found in Scripture.
When we realize we are seeking to reform the whole church, not just evangelicalism, we show the world that we are uniters, not dividers. The Manhattan Declaration is a great example of this approach. Evangelicals joined with Catholics and Orthodox to address the most pressing moral issues of our day: the defense of human life, traditional marriage, and religious liberty. We come from different traditions, but we chose to focus on our oneness in Christ as members of his body, the church—not on our theological distinctives or political differences. The result was half a million signers and a reshaping of the debate over these critical issues.
We can see more of the same if we remain faithful to the evangelical vision of a renewed, reinvigorated church, firm in its orthodox faith, bearing a positive witness both to individuals and in the public square.
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Previous columns by Chuck Colson and Timothy George include:
Flaming Truth: Recalling Francis Schaeffer's Challenge | With laser-like precision, Schaeffer hit on the fundamental issue of our day. (February 15, 2012)
Education Is in Our DNA | We should support every effort to upgrade our failing schools. (December 13, 2011)
The 'Big Love' Strategy | What are Americans learning from pop culture portrayals of polygamy? (October 18, 2011)
An Improbable Alliance | Catholics and evangelicals used to fight over religious liberty. Not anymore. (April 11, 2011)
- Catholics and Baptists Together
- The Man Who Birthed Evangelicalism
- Sacrilege Is Real
- Against the Stream
- Charles Colson & Timothy George: Churchless Jesus