I thought I had the Federal Vision’s heretical nonsense pretty much under my belt. I understand their blasphemous belief in union that occurs via the waters of baptism and the mumbling of some self-styled priestling that magically engrafts both believers and unbelievers into Christ. I understand that in the Federal Vision light has communion with darkness and righteousness fellowship with unrighteousness. I understand their reworking of the traditional definition of faith whereby the tautological fiducial element that is supposed to make faith saving is really just another name for our own personal obedience. I understand their phony agnosticism concerning the imputation of Christ’s active obedience as they scrape out a role for our own “good works” in justification — or what they fraudulently call “final justification.” I understand their flattening of the Covenant of Works as they eliminate Adam’s probation in the Garden and replace it with a gracious call to faithful obedience. I understand that these men are all liars and antichrists that dishonestly wear the name “Christian” while they pretend to be “Reformed.” In short, I understand the “parallel soteriological system” of the Federal Vision as they continue to lead countless men, women and children, baptized or otherwise, to hell. However, there are certain aspects of the Federal Vision that are so alien to anything even remotely Reformed or Christian, that it rightly places their false religion into the realm of the cults.
I recently stumbled on John Fesko’s 2004 study: The Federal Vision and the Covenant of Works. In this short piece Fesko takes aim at the warped and anti-Christian retelling of the Biblical account of the Fall championed by FV architects Richard Lusk and certifiable lunatic, James Jordan. To be fair, I have read a few things by Lusk over the years that seemed downright crazy, but you don’t have to read very far into almost anything Jordan writes to realize he is a giant bag o’ allegorical nuts. However, I confess reading their respective theories on the Fall was so bizarre I thought I was reading some Dianetics tract written by that dead science fiction writer and cult leader, L. Ron Hubbard. Here is just a sample from Jordan’s “Merit verses Maturity” as cited by Fesko:
What is set before Adam is a choice. He is free to eat of every tree, including the special Tree of Life. He is forbidden to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. Approaching the garden’s center, he must choose which of the Trees to eat first. If he rejects the Tree of Knowledge and partakes of the Tree of Life, he will enter into a process of further life that will eventuate in eternal life. Having obeyed God in faith at the outset, he will set himself on a road of further faithful obedience. If, however, he chooses to eat of the Tree of Knowledge first, he will die and not move any farther down the road to eternal life. We notice that there is nothing of ‘merit’ or ‘work’ here.
Rather than a Covenant of Works “wherein life is promised to Adam, and in him to his posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience,” Jordan fantasizes that had Adam remained obedient one day God would grant him permission to eat of the Tree of Knowledge in order that Adam would continue in a process that would one day “eventuate in eternal life.” According to Jordan’s retelling, and had Adam chosen correctly, “The Tree of Knowledge, then, not the Tree of Life, was the eschatological tree, the tree of promise. The Tree of Knowledge would end Adam’s first phase in life.” Adam was given a choice: eat of the Tree of Life or the Tree of Knowledge. Had Adam ate of the Tree of Life first, Adam would have moved from childhood into a kind of cosmic puberty. Then, I suppose around the time Adam was ready to get his cosmic driver’s license, or in Jordan’s case, his first drink at the Garden pub, Adam would be given the present of eating from the Tree of Knowledge, dying, and then moving on to a home in the celestial suburbs complete with a never ending mortgage payment. However, choosing to eat from the Tree of Knowledge first, Adam still dies, doesn’t pass Go, never has to shave, and must remain in his soiled diapers for eternity. (more…)