Dear readers, let us be up in arms! Don’t you hear the trumpet blast of our leaders? Don’t you see the glitter of armor and cloud of dust, as once again a mighty surge of the enemy sallies forth to destroy the church? We look to be outnumbered, again, some one thousand to one; but never mind that, our Sword, when we use it, will never fail to slay and destroy the enemy. Let us not sit back and watch the battle, or still worse, grow bored and disinterested. The enemy rallies round the standard which now clearly reads “The Federal Vision.”
The Federal Vision is the old heresy of works righteousness that has plagued the church through the ages. This time it comes in the cloak of the covenant. Yes, the covenant! The doctrine which God has been pleased to have developed in our own Protestant Reformed churches in all its beauty! The doctrine which forms the heart and soul of our homes, schools, and marriages is being used to clothe heresy. As such it threatens every area of our life.
The Federal Vision is a Trojan Horse that has infiltrated well nigh every church of the Reformation. Its progress is rapid, and little is being done outside of our churches to check its advance. It is only a matter of time before the conquered forget the freedom they once enjoyed under the gospel of grace, as the Federal Vision binds them body and soul to Rome.
“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel” (Eph. 6:13-19).
Our pastors and professors have led us, bearing this armor, to stand up against the foe. They are seasoned warriors and have become skilled with their Swords through constant use and struggle. They boldly charge with the shield of faith into clouds of fiery darts. You will find details of the battle in “The Standard Bearer,” pamphlets such as “The Unconditional Covenant in Contemporary Debate” by Professor Engelsma (www.trinityprc.org), “Keeping God’s Covenant” by the professors Hanko and Engelsma (www.britishreformedfellowship.org.uk) and a recent lecture by Professor Engelsma entitled “The Latest Attack on Grace in the Reformed Churches: Justification by Works” (www.prca.org) Perhaps you will not find yourself fighting in the front lines, but we must all be ready to fight when the gospel and our salvation is challenged in our reading, our conversation with the neighbor, school curriculum material, or even members in our own church who succumb to the enemy.
Let us be up and follow. Watch and learn. Practice and fight with them. This is a call to our readers to join the battle in the way of defending a biblical doctrine of the covenant with writing in the Beacon Lights. We hope to publish many articles on this topic. Read books, listen to lectures, study the ways of the enemy, meditate upon God’s word, and above all, pray “with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.”