The Rev. Nancy Petty, pastor of Raleigh’s Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, is speaking out on the anti-LGBT “Manhattan Declaration” to the city’s ABC 11/WTVD.

Reporter Barbara Gibbs briefly explores the topic, noting 11 of the Declaration’s singers are from the Tar Heel State (that number has grown to 13, see the full list at the end):

Signees include 186 prominent clergy who are leaders and scholars from all branches of the American Christian faith. Eleven are from North Carolina, including Dr. Daniel Akin, President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest.

“Paul teaches us in Romans 13 to honor the government, and we should, even if it’s a bad government. And, it demands biblically our respect, prayers and support as long as it doesn’t require us to violate conscience or scripture,” he explained.

Although the Declaration’s main writer, Chuck Colson, says the document isn’t political and is non-partisan, Petty, an openly lesbian pastor, disagrees:

“When you look at it at first glance, you think okay, maybe. But if you really then read the background behind this declaration it becomes obvious quickly – or it did to me – that this really is the agenda of the religious right,” Dr. Nancy Petty, Pastor of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, told ABC11.

Petty won’t sign it, but Colson says it’s neither political nor partisan. He calls it a moral issue that’s addressed in the declaration’s final statement: “We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.”

“If there comes a point where scripture is violated, then at that point, as the apostle said, we have to choose between serving man and God, then man loses,” said Akin.

Akin’s statement, which closes Gibbs’ report, is a paraphrase of the Declaration’s closing statement, which reads:

“Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family. We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.”

And, just for the curious, here’s a full list of the North Carolina signers…

  1. Dr. Daniel Akin
    President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, NC)
  2. Carole K. Ardizzone
    TV Show Host and Speaker, INSP Television (Charlotte, NC)
  3. Joel Belz
    Founder, World Magazine (Asheville, NC)
  4. Rev. Michael L. Beresford
    (Charlotte, NC)
  5. Carmen Fowler
    President & Executive Editor, Presbyterian Lay Committee (Lenoir, NC)
  6. Steven Garofalo
    Founder, National Apologetics Training Center (Charlotte, NC)
  7. Alex McFarland
    President, Southern Evangelical Seminary (Charlotte, NC)
  8. Tricia Scribner
    Author (Harrisburg, NC)
  9. Dr. Dave Seaford
    Senior Pastor, Community Fellowship Church (Matthews, NC)
  10. Randy Setzer
    Senior Pastor, Macedonia Baptist Church (Lincolnton, NC)
  11. Dr. James Emery White
    Founding and Senior Pastor, Mecklenberg Community Church (Charlotte, NC)
  12. Don M. Woodside
    Performance Matters Associates (Matthews, NC)
  13. Paul Young
    COO & Executive VP, Christian Research Institute (Charlotte, NC)

(South Carolina had no Declaration signers.)

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.