Friday, June 01, 2007

FV Controversy and the Role of Sadness

The RCUS recently passed its statement declaring the teaching of the Federal Vision another gospel. The PCA seems to be on deck and the URCNA is the lone hold out as far as I can tell. But statements are not what I want to talk about.

I want to mention an aspect of this debate that seldom comes across on blogs (I am just as guilty as the next blogger). That aspect is the great sadness that we should all have regarding this problem. Whatever the reason for this current debate/crisis, we should be united in complete and total sadness. Some say it stems from Westminster Theological Seminary in the 70s, some think it is a revival of Mercersburg, others think it may stem from the New Perspectives on Paul. Regardless, ministers within reformed churches can no longer agree on what constitutes the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe the FV is another gospel, I voted for the resolution and would do so again. But it was actually a very sad moment. These statements are too often treated as academic exercises. They are not. They serve as pleadings. At least that should be our attitude. "How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings"(Matt. 23:37). Jesus had just pronounced woes upon the Pharisees, but he did it with a heavy heart.

I wish we had a little more of that in this debate. Just take a look the comment sections of these posts and messages! I am not trying to accuse anyone of anything. I know some of the men making comments, and they are good men. One thing leads to another and our sadness for the situation gets buried. It is just not good to let it stay buried for too long.

I believe the FV to be in our churches, a present danger, and that it is another gospel. And that is one of the saddest things I hope I ever say outloud.


eileen~ said...


I wanted to thank you for your continued and tireless effort to keep the errors and heresies of the FV in the forefront of our minds.

It is certainly a sadness, I have an acquaintance that has gone down this road and that has saddened me tremendously as I no longer can have true fellowship with them, but I am also ambivilent in these times. We mourn and yet we can rejoice that God continues to keep a remnant from this error that puts the power of the Gospel into the hands of man and not in the power of God Himself.


Ryan said...

I am deeply saddened by this whole controversy as well, and I have been for a very long time. I have devoted a lot of study to it with an open Bible and a copy of "Reformed Confessions Harmonized." I highly recommend this volume to the armchair theologian.

I can understand why people think that the "Federal Vision" is another gospel. It is because what they call "Federal Vision" IS a system of thought and false doctrine that is completely against the Confessions and antithetical to historic evangelical dogma. Unfortunately what they call the "Federal Vision" is in no way the system of though nor the doctrine taught by those presbyters put into the spotlight so unfairly.

What does this mean? Well, pastors like Wilkins, Liethert, Jeffreys, Lusk, & Wilson have nothing to worry about. Once the damnable heresy of the "Federal Vision" is rightfully condemned by the courts, these faithful pastors can continue to teach the complete system of doctrine taught and believed by the historic Confessions and the writers thereof. They know, and their supporters know, that if anyone believed and taught what the opponents of the "Federal Vision" say the "Federal Vision" is they would be damnable heretics. They know that they neither teach nor believe any of this nonsense and join all Reformed pastors in anathematizing it.

I completely agree, what we need more of is profound sadness. What other response can we have when our precious TR brothers insist that if so and so believes "D" and "E" therefore, they must believe "X," "Y," & "Z." Even though so and so has gone on record denying it repeatedly. I think the fact that so and so denies is means they have nothing to worry about. Obviously they do not teach what obviously needs anathematized.

Concerning the PCA report, it would be a shame if it was actually accepted. It bears false witness against our neighbors and dishonors our fathers in the faith. Have you even read the letter of ten presbyters posted at Joel Garver's blog?

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