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March 18, 2010
UK Ministry Promotes MD Evangelical
Letter to the Christian Institute

----- Original Message -----
Pilgrims Covenant Church
Thursday, March 18, 2010 2:01 PM
Wayne Grudem

Dear Mr. Hart,

I am the pastor of Pilgrims Covenant Church, Monroe, Wisconsin, USA. I am also the host of a program called "The Heart of the Matter" which can be heard in your country at http://www.sermonaudio.com/hom.

I and many other ministers in the country are grieved by the fact that a number of evangelical ministers and leaders have joined with Roman Catholics and leaders of the Orthodox Church to sign the Manhattan Declaration which in turn was the launching pad for a new ecumenical movement. I am sure you have already read that statement, but if not, you may do so at http://manhattandeclaration.org/.

While the stated purpose of the MD is to stand against certain moral evils and for religious liberty, it is plain by a simple reading of the document that it declares to the world that the "gospel" of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches is "the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." There are many other similar statements in the Manhattan Declaration. So, while the stated purpose of the MD is one thing, the content and effect of the document is quite another. Put simply, it is a study in spiritual fornication which no evangelical could sign without betraying Christ Jesus and the true gospel. We must judge these matters from the word of God, not by which evangelical celebrity may have signed the document or what they may have done in the past. Certainly the Apostle Peter's past faithfulness and good works did not deter the Apostle Paul from withstanding Peter "to the face" when he fell into grievous error. By the way, you may want to do a little research on the Vatican's reaction to the Manhattan Declaration, as expressed through her bishops. I suggest you start with this article: http://www.catholicvoiceoakland.org/2010/02-22/commentary.htm.

But to come to the point of my writing you: I understand that your Christian Institute is planning on having Wayne Grudem, a signer of the Manhattan Declaration, speak at several meetings. Back on March 10, a friend of mine, Rev. Peter Ratcliff, wrote to ask that you cancel the Christian Institute speaking engagements of Mr. Grudem, which are yet several months in the future. In your response, you refused that request, giving a number of troubling excuses as to why C.I. fully intends to go ahead with the Grudem engagements. But I will quote just this one comment of yours: "The Christian Institute is committed to defending the Protestant Reformed Christian faith. The distinction between Roman Catholic belief and our doctrinal basis is clear. The views of Wayne Grudem are also plain. He has said that the Roman Catholic view of justification 'ultimately destroys the heart of the Gospel' (Systematic Theology, page 729)."

It seems to me what you have pointed out is that Mr. Wayne Grudem is completely without even the semblance of an excuse for signing the Manhattan Declaration. Further, you have also left yourself with no excuse for not canceling him as a speaker. The Scriptures are very clear on the course which you are refusing to take. Having a signer of the Manhattan Declaration speak for C.I. is at odds with the word of God and is totally inconsistent with "defending the Protestant Reformed Christian faith."

In that regard, I have attached to this message to you my response to Dr. John MacArthur who gave reasons, similar to those you have given, in order to justify having Dr. Albert Mohler speak at his, MacArthur's, recent Shepherds' Conference.

In light of his public betrayal of the gospel and in that betrayal influencing others to do likewise, I would like to urge you to cancel Wayne Grudem's scheduled appearances for Christian Institute. This is such a crucial matter that I am copying my letter to you out to our UK mailing list. I am sure they will be praying that you take the courageous and righteous path regarding Wayne Grudem.

I would appreciate hearing from you on this matter. I hope it will be a response which makes the hearts of faithful Christians in the UK glad, as well as the Christians in our country who have been standing against the Manhattan Declaration evangelicals. I hope and pray it will be a response which is consistent with your commitment to defend the Protestant Reformed Christian faith. Otherwise, I would urge you to change both your organization's name and stated commitment.


Ralph Ovadal

Click here to read Pastor Ovadal's response to Dr. John MacArthur.


This web site contains references to Wisconsin Christians United (WCU). That ministry, which was founded by Ralph Ovadal in 1993, has been included as a ministry of Pilgrims Covenant Church since April 1, 2005. 

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