- Rick LoPresti
According to Webster, an manifesto is "a public declaration of policy and aims". Wikipedia says it is "a published verbal declaration of the intentions, motives, or views of the issuer". There have been may well known manifestos issued throughout the years such as the Communist Manifesto, the Humanist Manifesto (I, II, and III), the Unabomber Manifesto . If you send your children to public school, you should be familiar with the Humanist Manifesto. Hitler wrote "Mein Kampf." The Declaration of Independence can be considered a manifesto. The Bible is God's manifesto, and is therefore the church's. Several people in the Bible had what could be seen as a manifesto such as the psalmist in Psalm 119 and Paul in Philippians 1-3.
Individuals, families, and organizations need to have a manifesto whether or not it is written. A manifesto makes it clear to us an everyone else who we are and what we are about. A manifesto is something we can be held accountable to. Some people do not want specific and clear definitions like this because they want to avoid accountability. They prefer to avoid taking a stand and letting it be known. They don't want to say anything that can be brought up later if they fail to live up to it. They want the "freedom" to not be held to any set of beliefs. This is actually slavery to darkness and confusion, and not freedom at all. Jello may be a dessert some people enjoy, but it does not make a good skeleton.
There is no spiritual Switzerland where can be exempt from taking sides on anything. Jesus said we are either with him or against Him (Mt 12:30. Laban tried a neutral stance and it did not work (Gen 24:50, Gen 31:24-29). When the angel appeared to Joshua, he asked him whose side he was on (Josh 5:13). Moses asked the Israelites who was on the Lord's side (Ex 32:26). God set up the principle of light and darkness at the beginning (Gen 1). We must make ""a public declaration of policy and aims". That is what is really meant by confessing with your mouth the Lord Jesus (Rom 10:9). It is more than just a verbal acknowledgement that Jesus exists. If that were the case, the devil and his angels would be saved (Mk 1:24, Lk 4:34, Acts 19:15, Jam 2:19). It means we are taking a public stand before God, others, and ourselves that we will follow the Lord and be accountable to that commitment. Stating you are a Christian is not a ticket to see Santa Claus. It is a manifesto of who God is, who we are, what we believe, and how we will live.