Here We Stand: a plea for civility; a call to denounce religious violence
These are perilous times. Evil people of almost every religious stripe are using terroristic violence to force their worldview upon others. It is therefore imperative that people of all faiths declare where they stand, both in relation to each other and to those who seek to use religion for coercive purposes.
The Midland Declaration therefore attempts to accomplish two goals: First, it declares where we stand regarding our own faith perspectives in relation to those who differ. Second, it calls upon all people to join in opposing those who seek to destroy our democratic way of life by using violence to convert others to their religion, or kill them. Our ultimate purpose is to create an atmosphere of understanding and trust among religions in order to work toward peaceful co-existence.
Article I: Our Christian commitment is to be faithful followers of Jesus the Messiah, as the Way and the Truth and the Life.
Article II: Our Christian desire is to see all people brought into the forgiveness of sins and the inheritance of eternal life that the Bible teaches is the gift of God given to faithful followers of Jesus the Messiah.
Article III: Our common burden with our Muslim neighbor is a shared abhorrence of the growing moral decadence of secular culture, and its uncivilizing influence on the world.
Article IV: Our uncommon Christian solution is to recognize that the moral decadence and decline of society is not something that can be remedied by mere law, whether Mosaic, Democratic, or Islamic, as though by forcing compliance outwardly we have somehow solved the problem. We believe it is only through the spiritual rebirth of each individual, as affected by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit through interior conversion, that the societal renewal we all seek will be accomplished.
Article V: Our willingness as Christians is to distinguish between those who are committed to the fundamental precepts of their faith that honor life and the freedom of the individual conscience versus those who would use their fundamentals to justify violence against others who disagree.
Article VI: Our Christian pledge is to defend the right of every individual to practice his or her religious convictions without interference, as long as that practice does not interfere with the rights of others.
Article VII: Our Christian plea is for all people of all religious faiths and worldviews to show civility toward those with whom they differ. We call upon every person of every religion to denounce all acts of violence for the purpose of religious conversion, hatred, conquest, or imperialism.
Adopted December 9, 2014