It’s amazing how free some people are to pass along false charges. I was just sent a link to this page which is supposed to tell us about Reformed denominations. It’s supposed to be a “primer” so what’s the harm, right?
But as we go down the page, we find this statement next to the CREC entry: “Composed of Presbyterian, and Reformed Baptist churches, but more congregational in church order. They allow believers and infant baptism and communion, depending on what the local church says, Many advocates of the Federal Vision heresy,which denies justification by faith alone, have come here (e.g. Steve Wilkins), but thankfully there are also members who do not follow this movement (e.g., RC Sproul, Jr).”
(the red ink is the author’s, not mine — and so is the mysterious comma after “the local church says”).
Aside from the unsubstantiated charge of “heresy” there’s the statement identifying the “Federal Vision” with a position that “denies justification by faith alone.” This in spite of the fact that everyone I know who would be identified as a “Federal Visionist” affirms “justification by faith alone.” Speaking for AAPC, here’s point #1 of the statement we adopted in 2006 in an attempt to put some slanders to rest:
1. We affirm that justification is received by faith alone and is not grounded in any sense upon man’s works.
We further affirm the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the sinner. We have never viewed human works as the ground (either partial or total) of justification before God. We have never taken any exception to the statement of this truth found in the Westminster Confession of Faith and catechisms. We unanimously adopted our summary statement on “Covenant, Baptism, and Salvation” which included this affirmation in the first point:
“Salvation is by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and not of works. It is founded upon the obedience, death, and resurrection of the faithful Second Adam, Jesus Christ. Justification is an act of God’s free grace wherein sinners are accepted as righteous in God’s sight by virtue of the righteousness of Christ imputed to them and received by faith alone (WSC Q. 33). This justifying faith is always accompanied by all other saving graces and virtues (WCF 11.2). Justifying faith, therefore, is never vain but one that works by love (Gal. 5:6).”
This is the position we have always held, never denied, and, God willing, a position from which we will never depart.
is this really unclear? Or do we have another case of a Christian who has no regard for truth while he supposedly defends the truth (and, yes, in case you’re wondering, I tried to deal with this privately, but the email address provided by the author [like his moral compass] was not in working order).
Having now seen all the denunciations, refutations, accusations, and rebukitations from individuals and respected denominations against the “Federal Vision” I am forced to conclude that what has now come to be identified as the “Federal Vision” is not a position I hold or have ever held — and I happily join with the PCA, OPC, RPCNA, RCUS, RPCUS, UCRC, ARP, GMAC, AARP, UAR, RCA, ESPN, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, NPR, UAW, and Wikipedia, in denouncing this position and whoever in the world might possibly hold it (though I have no idea who they might be). I say with a clear and, please note, courageous voice, “If you’re out there, you are walking around under my official CENSURE!” And I hope you feel guilty and repent!
(And don’t look at me like that, you know who you are)