The atrocities and heresies of John Calvin

  • John Calvin on the Bible:

In 1536 Calvin wrote: “The Bible is a knotty, difficult text, whose interpretation demands extensive knowledge. If brought into contact with it unceremoniously, many minds are upset and seized with confusion. The Bible is too old a text in too new a world.

Calvin completely disregarding the Biblical teaching of how the Holy Spirit is the one that gives the understanding, and implying that it is only understood by extensive research and study – disregarding the work of the Holy Spirit who illuminates the mind and understanding of the Scriptures at the moment of salvation. 1 Corinthians 2:14) “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 

  • Atrocities for which John Calvin was Responsible.

The truth of the character of Calvin can be seen in the heretic Michael Servetus and others who were accused of violating his laws. Servetus was a scholarly theologian, and a renowned physician. He was condemned as a heretic by both the Roman Church as well as the Protestants for his rejection of the Trinity and infant baptism. He and Calvin corresponded for some time, but Servetus would not accept Calvin’s teachings on the Trinity. Calvin, having failed to convert Servetus, became vindictive and saw him as his devoted enemy. On February 13, 1546, Calvin wrote to his friend Farel “If he (Servetus) comes (to Geneva) I shall never let him go out alive if my authority has weight.

For seven years Calvin sought to capture and try Severtus. When Severtus made the mistake of returning to Geneva and attending one of Calvin’s services he was recognized and arrested and put on trial. Calvin wrote that he hoped the verdict in Servetus’ trial would be the death penalty.

Calvin got his wish and Servetus was convicted of two of the thirty-eight charges brought against him. He was sentenced to be burned at the stake along with his books, and on October 27, 1553, his sentence was carried out. Outside of Geneva, he was taken to a hill and Nigg records that a “A wreath strewn with sulfur was placed on his head. When the sticks were ignited, a piercing cry of horror broke from him. ‘Mercy, mercy!’ he cried. For more than half an hour the horrible agony continued, for the pyre had been made of half-green wood, which burned slowly. ‘Jesus, Son of the eternal God, have mercy on me,’ the tormented man cried from the midst of the flames ….” It should be noted that Servetus was not a citizen of Geneva, but was only visiting the city. Thus, the misdirected piety of John Calvin claimed but another victim.

Nigg said of Calvin, “He (Calvin) did not have the faculty for entering into another person’s ideas. Rather, he tended to decide arbitrarily that such ideas were diabolically inspired. . . no amount of human or historical broad-mindedness can bring us to excuse Calvin’s actions.”This should cause any logical and honest person to question how could this spiritually unsound man be the founder of Protestant Reformed theology. How could Reformed Theology hold him in such high esteem?

Calvin, who had denounced Roman Catholicism for its false beliefs and practices, was giving French refugees asylum from the Inquisition in Geneva. He himself had also been condemned to be burned at the stake absentia, was now conducting his own Reformed Inquisition in Switzerland and personally had people put to death

  • Calvin was a liar.

When Calvin was being severely criticized after the burning of Michael Servetus he sought to defend himself by writing “There was spread abroad, in many places, a rumour, that this vain person (Servetus) was severely bound in prison: whereas, he was perfectly free, and flying about the city openly, every day. And with what malignity some virulent ones imagined and stated, that we wished him to be put to death, you are yourselves our best witnesses.” However, as noted above, long before Servetus came to Geneva and was murdered, Calvin was planning his death.

  • God willed that man sin.

Calvin wrote “God, in a secret and marvelous way, justly wills, the things which men unjustly do.” . . . “Although God and the devil wills the same thing: they do so in an utterly different manner.” He said that God did not will that all men be saved saying, “. . .that few receive the Gospel; we must fully conclude, that the cause, is the will of God; and that the outward sound of that Gospel strikes the ear in vain, until God is pleased to touch, by it, the heart within.”

Thus, Calvin makes God a sinner, contradicting all Scripture regarding God’s purity and holiness. That in Him is no darkness – so how could God be the originator of all sin and wickedness?

  • Calvin believed that God was the author of evil and sin.

He said, “For, unless there were this good, –that evil things also existed; those evil things would not be permitted, by the Great and Good Omnipotent, to exist at all. For He, without doubt, can as easily refuse to permit to be done what He does not will to be done, as He can do that which He wills to be done. Unless we fully believe this, the very beginning of our faith is periled: by which, we profess to believe in God ALMIGHTY!” The conclusion is clear that he believed that God was the author of evil because evil could not have existed unless God allowed it. He believed that God, in allowing evil, caused it.

  • Calvin concluded that if God wills that all should be saved then they would be saved.

This was the logical conclusion of his idea of predestinated salvation. However, this contradicts God’s own word. God says: “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent” (Acts 17:30); “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (1 Timothy 2:4); and “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Peter 3:9)

some scripture refuting Calvin’s doctrine of Limited Atonement

  • Calvin believed in baptismal regeneration.

In The Institutes Calvin said, “For as God, regenerating us in baptism, ingrafts us into the fellowship of his Church, and makes us his by adoption, so we have said that he performs the office of a provident parent, in continually supplying the food by which he may sustain and preserve us in the life to which he has begotten us by his word.” He further stated, “. . . Baptism is, according to Paul, a seal of our future resurrection.” It must also be noted that he taught that baptism was initiatory sign that believers were admitted to the Church. However, he continues and says baptism “. . . is to be a sign and evidence of our purification, or (better to explain my meaning) it is a kind of sealed instrument by which he assures us that all our sins are so deleted, covered, and effaced, that they will never come into his sight, never be mentioned, never imputed.” Note the last part of his statement. Baptism is yes a sign, but it is not a “sealed instrument by which he assures us that all our sins are so deleted, covered, and effaced, that they will never come into his sight, never be mentioned, never imputed.” This certainly suggests Calvin believed in the false gospel of baptismal regeneration.

John Calvin – a heretic, murderer, liar, and preacher of a false gospel. Personally I do not believe he was a true Born Again Christian.

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