Sunday, September 30, 2007

Federal Defiance

Yesterday Jeffery Meyers posted an essay called “Subscription and Freedom” on De Regno Christi, explaining the reasons he repudiates imputation of the active obedience of Christ by appealing to chapter 20 of the WCF, “Of Christian Liberty, and the Liberty of Conscience,” and comparing him and his fellow Visionists to (a) John Calvin, (b) the martyrs whose blood the Inquisition spilt, and (c) Mel Gibson in the movie Braveheart. Darryl Hart nailed Meyers for appealing to Westminster, writing,

JMyers, thanks for the answer. But I have to admit I’m stunned that the debate over active obedience comes down to freedom of conscience. Isn’t a tad odd to cite the doctrines and commandments of men (WCF 20) to proclaim liberty from the doctrines and commandments of men? I would have also thought that concerns for the unity and peace of the church might keep one from insisting on his own interpretation as opposed to those of his brothers in the church.

So I wonder if more is involved here. Surely, Pastor Myers, wouldn’t you concede that your response has more the ring of rebellion than pastoral concern for the good of the church. That is, if truth is at stake, what is that truth (re: active obedience)? Or is it simply a case of your rights?

This is the sum total of the Federal Vision movement — defiance. They postulated the objectivity of the covenant and the Reformed church found them wanting. Now, rather than submit to the truth in honesty, they have played every trick in the book, including the final one — liberty — for as Johnson said, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

But this is not Mel Gibson opposing tyranny in Braveheart; no, not even close. It’s James Dean smoking cigarettes, acting cool, and playing chicken (debate) in Rebel Without a Cause. I say this because two months ago Jeffrey Meyers signed a statement that affirmed, “we do want to be teachable, willing to stand corrected, or to refine our formulations as critics point out ambiguties [sic], confusions, or errors.” Now he says, “The real reason I deny it [IAOC] is because I’m being told that I must affirm it. . .”

At least we know the real reason he denies it. We also know that he isn’t as teachable and willing to stand corrected as he affirmed in writing. I wonder, did his fellow Federal Visionists force him to sign their “Joint Statement” under pain of torture? or was it another misleading statement from the FVers designed to leave a false impression? I suspect the latter because every time you turn around, the Federal Visionists are just as James Dean described, “You, you say one thing, he says another, and everybody changes back again!”