Mapping the Federal Vision

There is no question that the Federal Division is in many respects a farce and while holding these false teachers up for ridicule and scorn is of some value, nothing diminishes the deadliness of their heretical system of doctrine or that its teachers and fellow travelers are determined schismatics. As one of Wilson’s followers said recently; “I am heartened to know that the Auburn Avenue church may soon be part of a growing, thriving and vibrant denomination like the CREC.” He’s right. The FV is a growth industry for Wilson’s FV denomination, the CREC. And, with pressure building against the FV men, especially since Steve Wilkins has jumped ship for the CREC rather than face trial in the PCA, now is the time for Wilson and his CREC to reap their illicit profits.

Of course, even at this late date, there are still many who are still unaware as to the exact nature of the soul destroying message these men are teaching, but the FV men have been developing their false doctrines for decades and one of the few men who saw the trajectory which has lead to our current situation is John Robbins.

While observing the warfare going lately and inspired by the pontifical self-righteous salvoes launched by James Jordan, I had the opportunity to revisit a piece Robbins wrote back in 1992, The Reconstructionist Road to Rome. In the piece Robbins reviews Jordan’s 1986 book, The Sociology of the Church: Essays in Reconstruction. Virtually all of the central elements of the FV/NPP are there in nascent form including the denial of the biblical doctrine of justification. Robbins observes:

Jordan apparently believes in salvation by works. He writes: “Paul goes on to speak [in Romans 2] of Gentiles who did not have the law, but who did the things contained in the law. The plain implication here is that such Gentiles were saved (by their faithful obedience)” (107).

Apparently is an understatement. A salvation premised on our own “faithful obedience,” as opposed to one premised on the finished work of Christ alone appropriated by belief alone to those for whom Christ died, is something all of the FV men from Norm Shepherd to Doug Wilson wholeheartedly embrace and have unwaveringly been working out the implications of Jordan’s anti-Christian premise ever since. However, what really stuck me by Robbins’ review was the disturbing and cult like view of the church being advanced by these men. Robbins explains:

. . . Jordan thunders, an individual cannot simply leave a church: “If an individual leaves a local church, without transferring, then he has apostatized from the church. He is no longer part of the church of Christ” (74). Jordan stops short of saying the former church member is going to Hell, but he wants the reader to draw that conclusion. He clearly means: Outside the (visible) church there is no salvation. But with most churches today, there is no salvation inside the visible church. A high churchman like Jordan, lusting for dominion over men, cannot permit the masses, the common people, simply to leave a church. They must be scared into staying, even if the church is a liberal Episcopal or the Roman Catholic Church itself. “Intimidation,” Jordan believes, “is a good thing. People should be intimidated by the church [that is, the clergy]” (276).

Every known cult from the Jehovah Witnesses to the Moonies to Scientology to the Roman church-state, all have a similar “Roach Motel” admission policy (people go in but they don’t come out). The goal of the cults is to instill the fear of hell in their members to keep them from leaving. The FV is no different. This explains why the FVs attracts ecclesiastic authoritarians and assorted thugs. One way these thugs terrorize their congregants is through the use of the “liturgy of malediction,” or, what Robbins calls the “liturgy of hate.” Robbins explains:

For special occasions, Jordan recommends cursing as part of the worship service. “It is the church,” he bellows, “that binds and looses on Earth” (280). “She is only to bind on Earth what she knows has been bound in Heaven,” and that is easily discerned. Here are some excerpts from the liturgy Jordan’s Reconstructionist church has used:

“Presiding Elder. ‘Tonight we bring before you the names of _______________, who have attacked the church of Jesus Christ. We ask you to join with us in praying that God will pour out His wrath upon them, and upon all in alliance with them in this sinful act….

(Praying) “Almighty and Most terrible God, Judge of all men living and dead, we bring before You _______________(here name the persons being cursed), who have brought an attack upon the integrity of Your holy government on the Earth. We as Your anointed office-bearers now ask that You place Your especial curse upon these people, and upon all in alliance with them. We ask You to pour out the fire of Your wrath upon them, and destroy them, that Your church may be left in peace…’” (281-282).

What heinous persecution provoked this vitriol? It seems that a former teacher at the church’s school had filed for unemployment benefits (280-281). Well, add another chapter to Foxe’s Martyrs.

Not surprisingly, another practitioner of the liturgy of hate is Doug Wilson. You can find a sample of one of Wilson’s “prayers of imprecation” here.

One of Jordan’s cult members writing on the Greenbaggins blog confirmed the above “liturgy of malediction” was indeed an attempt to bring down God’s wrath on a former teacher whose real error was being stupid enough to work for Jordan. This cult member justified Jordan’s prayer of abuse by blaming the victim and added, “This was a deliberate attempt to get our church engaged in controversy with the state.” So, because Jordan didn’t want to go to an unemployment hearing, which no employer is ever required to attend and at worst can often be handled over the phone, he offers up voodoo prayers invoking God’s wrath on this former employee. I’ll have to try that with my employees sometime. Concerning this “liturgy of hate,” another Greenbaggins participant observed:

The Christian is called to grieve and mourn over the sins of others, not to call down imprecations. Better to humbly remember our own sins when addressing the sins of others. I fear that attempts at a practice of imprecations inevitably leads sinful flesh to exhibit a vindictive, bitter spirit sparse of Christian grace and love.

Of course grieving and mourning over the sins of others is something a Christian pastor would do. Jordan is not a Christian pastor. Neither is Wilson. The point of such a prayer has nothing to do with sin, other than the sin of the one offering it. The point of Jordan’s “liturgy of malediction” is to instill a superstitious fear in the hearts of any remaining cult member. Cross the leader and you just might find your name filling in the blanks. It’s ecclesiastic terrorism and a means of control.

Of course, no sane man can read either Jordan’s or Wilson’s voodoo prayers without realizing these men are cultist, pure and simple. They are ecclesiastic totalitarians and use fear to keep the suckers that follow them in line. These are medievalists who have their heads deep in the dark ages. This is not hyperbole or polemics. These are very sick men.

Another area where Jordan’s irrationalism and superstition becomes evident is in his bizarre view of the Lord’s Supper. To one of his critic he said recently; “Just wait. Weekly communion takes time to change things, but it changes things. Yes. It changes things big time. Believe me.” I can only guess that Jordan believes celebrating the Lord’s Supper weekly will eventually make its recipients positively sympathetic to the FV. I confess, I’ve been taking communion weekly for nearly five years now and I can safely say the FV is just as anti-Christian with its scheme of salvation by faith and works as it ever was. Maybe I have to start having communion daily like some poor deluded Romanist in order to achieve Jordan’s desired effect. I’m sure Jordan wouldn’t object since he says; “[W]e must be open to the values in other Christian traditions – even Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions” (11, Jordan’s emphasis).” I guess along with fear instilling voodoo prayers, shifts in theology occur through eating. As to Jordan’s irrational view of the Supper, Robbins explains:

The mention of the Eucharist gets Jordan’s mind on eating: “Worship is a dance…. The Greek notions of the primacy of internal feeling, or the primacy of the intellect, have nothing to do with Scripture. In fact, if anything, the Scriptures give us the primacy of eating” (31). He quotes Alexander Schmemann quoting the German materialist Feuerbach: “He [man] is indeed ‘that which he eats…’” (31). One can think only of Paul’s condemnation of those “whose god is their belly.” Jordan writes, “By eat, we mean eat: a good chewable hunk of bread and a good-sized glass of real shalom-inducing wine” (230).

“At the climax of worship,” Jordan pontificates, “is the Lord’s Supper. Jesus did not say, ‘Understand this in memory of Me.’ What He actually said was ‘Do this as a memorial of Me.’ The doing takes precedence over any theory of what is being done…. [I]n terms of the sacrament, doing is more important [than knowing]” (31-32).

This, of course, is anti-Christian nonsense. If we truly had no theory, if eating bread and drinking wine were more important than knowing theology, the Supper, and the church, would be pointless. It was the church at Corinth, one supposes, that came closest to practicing Jordan’s primacy of eating and doing. That is why Paul read them the riot act. He told them to eat at home and to stop getting drunk. He also explained the meaning of the Supper to them – again.

Aside from a view of the Lord’s Supper that hearkens back to the Dark Ages, no cult can operate without a constant flow of cash, which is why Jordan makes the offertory one of the central “sacrifices” in his Romeward theory of worship.

. . . Jordan says . . . the Offertory (this is the only act that Jordan capitalizes, perhaps indicating its importance to him). The reading of Scripture and the sermon “is all designed to lead us to the second act of sacrifice: the Offertory…. Thus the offering plates are brought down front to the minister, who holds them up before God (‘heave offering’) and gives them to Him” (27). In this second act of sacrifice, notice that the offering plates are elevated, and the Scripture and sermon are only preliminaries to the offering. At least Jordan is consistent with the rest of his theology when he puts money before truth.

Along with his love of money, Jordan is a man who thinks with his belly, which explains the stuff coming out of his mouth. He is the face and even the bowels of the Federal Division and Wilson and his Krist Kirk Kult are salivating waiting to pick up the crumbs, or whatever else drops to the ground, so they can impose their “offertory” doctrine on another batch of hell bound imprisoned souls as they clean out a new batch of bank accounts.

These men are dangerous gross heretics and schematics of the first order. John Robbins had them pegged back in 1992. Too bad so few P&R men were even paying attention.

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7 Comments on “Mapping the Federal Vision”

  1. rgmann Says:

    Every known cult from the Jehovah Witnesses to the Moonies to Scientology to the Roman church-state, all have a similar “Roach Motel” admission policy (people go in but they don’t come out) that instills the fear of hell in their members to keep them from leaving.

    Yes, like a “Roach Motel” or the “Hotel California” — “Relax said the Night-Man, we are programmed to receive. You can check out any time you like, but you can NEVER leave!” Remember that one?

  2. magma2 Says:

    Do I remember it. I think I grew up to it. =8-()

  3. qeqesha Says:

    What kind of sick institutions produce such sick minds?

    denson

  4. gusg Says:

    OK. Great article. So anybody got some practical advice for ME? I received the Roach Motel treatment from a “Reformed” micro-denomination, which when i was in it was VERY sympathetic to Rushdoony and McCauliffe. The “pastors” incited a rebellion against me in my own congregation, and when I refused to go to their presbytery of which I was at one point moderator they blackballed me. My fellow presbyters eviscerated me. The presbytery was all set for a show trial, and was stacked with incompetents and toadies. ( the moderator who took my place was instructed what to say by the founder of the denomination, from 2000 miles away). So I was excommunicated without trial, without notice, without witnesses, etc. Ever since then EVERY SINGLE attempt to join another reformed denomination has resulted in my being rejected as an apostate. Even though in almost all cases there are no ecclesiastical relations and this group is a cult. Your not a real church after all if you incorporate. My family and I have been in the wilderness ever since, 12 years. As you can imagine I take a VERY DIM view of the visible church.

    I knew Jim Jordan, and yes, he is that nuts.

  5. magma2 Says:

    I have no advice, and, not knowing the particulars, can’t really speak to your situation, but I found this exchange on Greenbaggins interesting and telling. The first, Pduggie, the “cult member” I quote above (this is his full quote), the second is PCA pastor Andy Webb’s response which says a lot:

    pduggie said,

    February 15, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Towne: No, he’d disputing Robbinns chracterization of the reason for the liturgy of malediction

    To rehearse an example: The elders at my church were forced to excommunicate a woman who had been a teacher in the church-run Christian school. At that time, she resigned her employment with the school. Later, she formed a conspiracy with a couple of other excommunicated persons and appealed to the Texas Employment Commission for unemployment compensation in connection with her employment at our school.

    This was a deliberate attempt to get our church engaged in controversy with the state. The state does not have any jurisdiction over the church at all, for the church is established by Christ, not by the state. This is particularly the case concerning hiring and firing practices of the church, since employment by the church is determined by God’s office~bearers, and entails Spiritual considerations that the state has no right to judge. Initially, it appeared as if the state were summoning the church to a hearing. The proper initial response of a church in such a situation is to go before the state and explain that the state has no jurisdiction, and that the church cannot be summoned. We have to fight on the issue of jurisdiction. It appeared to us, thus, as if a long and bitter conflict might be brewing.”

    Andrew Webb said,

    February 15, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Pduggie,

    “Later, she formed a conspiracy with a couple of other excommunicated persons…” Doesn’t this line strike you as mildly problematic, how many small churches in existance for a relatively short period of time have several excommunicated members? How many have several excommunicated members forming secret conspiracies to destroy the church? Do you know of many PCA churches that have that kind of track-record? Also, how many PCA churches would craft an imprecatory liturgy and then hold services to pray against these people? You view this all as perfectly normal behavior for a church?

    I’m not going to touch the church/state mix-up regarding a private school and its employees. Bleargh. If this is the model for the “better way” as it looks in actual execution….

    I’m not a constitutional expert, but I would think the courts should have some means of recourse for those who have been illegally excommunicated from another denomination? For example, suppose someone was excommunicated from Krist Kirk Kult for opposing the idea that baptism unites a person to Christ and instead teaching union with Christ is accomplished only by belief alone, would they be barred from membership in the PCA? That’s a good question and I don’t know the answer, but I would think there is something amiss if a Christian denomination didn’t have a means to address such a situation. I mean, suppose a person was excommunicated from a Roman Catholic church, would that automatically bar him from membership in a Christian church? After all, Luther was excommunicated from the RCC, would any Christian church bar him from membership? FWIW I don’t consider either Wilson’s KKK or the RC part of the visible church as defined by the WCF since neither profess the true religion.

  6. gusg Says:

    Sean,
    Thanks for the comments. There is MUCH more ecclesiastical abuse going on than people can imagine. I saw it, and I participated in it, though I have repented of it. I have seen meetings with protesting sessions PURPOSEFULLY scheduled at impossible times and locations, so that they could not respond and would be found “in contempt”. The implications of the visible/invisible church Reformed view, need to be explored much more deeply for most people, so that they realize that it is outside of the Body of Christ that makes a person an apostate, and that apostates can abide quite nicely within the visible church.

    An example of that occured to a friend of mine. Some people transferred out of a FV church to his PCA church, and accused him of the heresy of antinomianism for teaching the imputation of Christ’s active and passive obedience. Church members, yet certainly not elect, but heretics if they dont give up their heresy.

  7. magma2 Says:

    No question there is a abuse. What else can you expect from a bunch of sinners. OTOH, the P&R system is not only the best check against such abuses (not a guarantee), it is also the biblical model. At least those who are falsely accused have some recourse to appeal their case — something not afforded members or officers in most other denominations.

    Since I could find nothing specific in the PCA’s BCO that deals with those coming from another denom who have been illegally excommunicated (i.e., given the boot for, say, for opposing the idea that baptism unites a person to Christ and instead teaching union with Christ is accomplished only by belief alone), I asked a PCA RE who is much more knowledgeable about such things than I am. He said:

    ” . . . the PCA is officially only bound to recognize the disciplinary actions of fellow NAPARC churches (I think that’s in the NAPARC agreeements), but generally recognizes the actions of other evangelical churches in areas outside of theology. For instance, if someone was excommunicated from the RCC for adultery, the PCA would probably not accept that person without sincere repentance . . . . If someone was excommunicated for a theological issue held in common with the PCA (e.g., condemnation of Pelagianism), that would also be problematic. However, if excommunicated for reasons not recognized by the PCA (e.g., not kissing DW’s statue upon entering the Kirk, holding to infant baptism in a Baptist church, denying transubstantiation in the RCC) then such discipline would not be recognized by the PCA.”

    FWIW I’m even less familiar with the ins and outs of NAPARC, but it does concern me that included in this umbrella group is the OPC. I recall some time back that there was a move to extend formal fellowship of some kind with the OPC and the PCA rejected it because of issues over justification. Maybe things have changed with the OPC’s little report, even though the OPC has a precedent allowing many of the essential FV doctrines per the Kinnaird case. And, I don’t really care that those who defend the OPC claim that Kinnaird is not FV and that his teachings didn’t constitute a terrible breach. They can stamp their feet all they want, but all anyone has to do is read the transcript of the case to see that the OPC GA erred in overturning the lower court’s heresy ruling. And, court precedent has a lot more weight than some report (which also has problems).


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