The Fulcrum Declaration
God calls humanity to be faithful stewards of his creation — including those institutions and spheres of human endeavor God has ordained for humanity’s benefit — and bestows individual gifts sufficient to fulfill that mandate in each age and culture.
The challenges of our age are skepticism, relativism and declining virtue arising from post-modern worldviews. We seek to use the gifts God gives us to meet those challenges by promoting objective, Judeo-Christian standards of truth, goodness and beauty.
To achieve this goal, we affirm that:
- All human life has intrinsic dignity, worth and meaning because God created us in his likeness and image to be faithful stewards over all aspects of his creation on earth.
- Our aptitudes, skills, vocations and wealth are part of God’s personal call to ministry, because they are manifestations of the individual gifts that God has bestowed upon us. Our duty is to develop and use those gifts in fulfillment of God’s stewardship mandate.
- God is the supreme creator, lawgiver and judge over all individuals and nations, and is the supreme provider to those who individually or collectively love, trust and obey him. Despite humanity’s rebellion and the effects of sin, God remains sovereign over our individual lives, nations and history.
- Although God grants individuals and nations the nominal right to reject his grace and to suffer the consequences of indifference and sin, his ultimate purpose in history — to redeem creation and humanity from the taint of sin — will not be frustrated. Although we may not perceive the efficacy of God’s providence in every particular, our lives have context and meaning as we submit to his grace, enter into intimate and life-giving fellowship with God, conform to his precepts and use our gifts to fulfill his stewardship mandate.
- The great historic doctrines and creeds of the Church provide the Biblical framework necessary to fulfill God’s stewardship mandate. We therefore have confidence in God’s sovereignty, absolute truth as revealed in Scripture, God’s unmerited and efficacious grace, the essential and uninterrupted role of the multifaceted, multi-gifted Church — as the Body of Christ — in history, the progressive advance of God’s covenantal Kingdom as men and women of good will labor to redeem all aspects of creation through the application of God’s precepts, the concurrent opposition and escalation of evil, and the ultimate triumph of God’s Kingdom at the culmination of history.
- Consistent with God’s triune nature, we are created for fellowship with God and for community with each other. Society and the five fundamental forms of government – self, civil, voluntary associations, church and family – are part of God’s created order for the benefit of humanity.
- God, who created all yet transcends all, is the only ultimate and authoritative source of objective truth, goodness and beauty. The qualities of virtue embody those absolutes, because they emanate from the very nature and character of God. They are built into the very fabric of creation, and are foundational for all societies that value liberty.
- Redeeming our nation, culture and institutions involves more than simply impacting the State, politics and the law; it also entails rebuilding the foundations of virtue by becoming creatively engaged through our individual gifts in the full range of human endeavors — including the arts, the media, the professions, enterprise, charity, education and community service, to name just a few.
- We do not seek to impose virtue on our society through coercion or totalitarianism, but trust that God in his sovereignty is able to bear fruit as we, in obedience to God’s stewardship mandate, uphold and proclaim virtue. God is covenantal and blesses those people whose hearts are turned to him and righteousness, rather than those who have God and righteousness imposed on them.
- As beings created in God’s image, we have been given the faculties of reason and creativity. Reason and creativity divorced from revelation, however, lead to the nihilism and despair of post-modernity. Although humanity may dimly perceive objective truth, goodness and beauty as manifestations of God’s handiwork in nature, God in his mercy has brightly revealed in scripture those precepts that are minimally necessary for our well being. Understanding how to apply those precepts to the specific challenges and issues of our age requires wisdom, scholarship and humility.
- The defining character of post-modernity is relativism, which embraces skepticism because it rejects objective truth, goodness and beauty. Through our laws, courts and other institutions, post-modernity increasingly is leading to tyranny as it seeks to supplant all other worldviews. As a result, decency is censured and decadence becomes normative.
- Against the tyranny of post-modernity, true liberty is possible only when the five fundamental forms of government — self, civil, voluntary associations, church and family — stay within their separate jurisdictions as ordained by God. For our society to endure and flourish, each form of government, within its proper limits, must once again practice righteousness, promote virtue and resist vice.
- It is the particular duty of civil government to defend the virtuous, punish evildoers and protect the separate roles of society’s other forms of government. While the State has no authority to dictate piety or personal belief, and the Church should not exercise State power, it is the proper role of the State to promote virtue. Separation of Church and State does not mean that law must be divorced from virtue or that virtue has no role in civil government.
- We reject the myth of neutrality. To be cohesive, all law must be rooted in a particular worldview to the exclusion of all other worldviews. Each worldview is defined by its presuppositions. Presuppositions are a worldview’s most fundamental values and beliefs. There are no neutral presuppositions, and all presuppositions are based on assumptions that must be accepted on faith. It therefore is duplicitous for the State, under the guise of neutrality, to supplant Judeo-Christian presuppositions and values with secular presuppositions and values that are nothing more than a competing, authoritarian belief system.
- A presupposition of post-modernity is the paradoxical but absolute belief that there are no absolutes. Post-modernity therefore seeks to exclude objective, transcendent standards of truth, goodness and beauty from our culture, institutions and laws. Only a Judeo-Christian worldview, in all of history, has been successful in affirming necessary social standards while also protecting, as one of its standards, individual diversity of belief, conscience and piety.
- Tangible consequences follow from the worldview a society chooses, and daily we witness post-modernity’s inevitable bitter fruits of nihilism, despair, moral decay, broken homes and shattered lives.
- The challenge for the Church today is to raise a prophetic voice against personal and social nihilism, alienation and despair — while concurrently proclaiming God’s grace and the beauty of virtue. The Church must also nurture individual discipleship under the lordship of Christ within a community of faith, and equip Christians to use their gifts in service to God, each other and society.
- We reject subjective “me-focused” theological fads, dualistic Gnosticisms that limit our faith to “spiritual” matters while neglecting the “secular” and “material” world of our day-to-day existence, and pessimistic eschatologies of retreat, defeat and escape. Such notions may be popular in our age, but rob Christians of our heritage and destiny. They provide no hope for our individual lives or culture, or any basis — beyond evangelism — for Christians to engage the world. As such, they are antithetical to the lordship of Christ and God’s progressive redemption of not only individuals, but also whole cultures and nations.
- It is imperative that the Church move away from its program-oriented mentality, performance-based worship, podium-focused services and “clergy” dominated ministry. We must recapture the New Testament pattern of: (i) equipping all believers to effectively serve and minister under our full range of unique gifts and callings; (ii) being the church through authentic participatory fellowships where we share the Lord’s supper, minister one to another, and express the joyous, multifaceted life of Christ in us, among us and through us to each other and a watching world; and (iii) regional unity as we cooperate to reach, bless and impact our cities, towns and localities as members of Christ’s diverse Body.
- As Christians, we are committed to engaging our society in the great debates of our age. While remaining faithful to our own distinctive beliefs, we labor together with all who seek to redeem our nation, culture and institutions by upholding objective standards of truth, goodness and beauty.
(c) Copyright 2012, Fulcrum Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
Jim, I am really impressed. Barry and I have been saying the same things down here for years. I truly believe the bride has to get out of it’s four walls and start reaching out to people that don’t have a clue. We need to get involved in community services in any form that we can. Be it going and helping the homeless or entering the political arena. Our actions must speak louder than our words. This nation was founded on Godly principles and the lack of moral absolutes is slowly destroying our land. I believe God has a redeeming plan and we must keep our focus on him to see how we each individually and corporately can contribute to bring about God’s will for our nation.
Stands back from the keyboard in amazement! Thanks!
Kudos to you! I hadn’t thought of that!
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You are a very gifted writer Jim! I have seen other material on some of the things you speak of (though admittedly not much) but your words have captured my attention from the get go compared to some others that I found so boring that I could not read past a paragraph or two.
I see nothing here about the blood of our LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, Salvation, or anything pertaining to personal saving grace.
I became born again 20 yrs ago. I’ve never felt that what was demonstrated of church was what Jesus meant for us. There was so much that was missing. I’ve never felt comfortable in the programs & self help attempts to look holy but in fact it was just religion! B O R I N G.. In the past 7 yrs I’ve really started studying scripture for myself. I believe that there is so much out of order that it’s kind of sickening. I’m sorry but it is not what the Lord would have set up for us. 5 fold must be able to function if we are to mature. Love the teachings I’ll continue to read & study for myself.