| Why John Calvin wrote his Institues|
I found this in John Calvins own commentaries. Here he explains why he wrote his institutes:
"Now, if my readers derive any fruit and advantage from the labor which I have bestowed in writing these Commentaries, I would have them to understand that the small measure of experience which I have had by the conflicts with which the Lord has exercised me, has in no ordinary degree assisted me, not only in applying to present use whatever instruction could be gathered from these divine compositions, but also in more easily comprehending the design of each of the writers. And as David holds the principal place among them, it has greatly aided me in understanding more fully the complaints made by him of the internal afflictions which the Church had to sustain through those who gave themselves out to be her members, that I had suffered the same or similar things from the domestic enemies of the Church. For although I follow David at a great distance, and come far short of equaling him; or rather, although in aspiring slowly and with great difficulty to attain to the many virtues in which he excelled, I still feel myself tarnished with the contrary vices; yet if I have any things in common with him, I have no hesitation in comparing myself with him. In reading the instances of his faith, patience, fervor, zeal, and integrity, it has, as it ought, drawn from me unnumbered groans and sighs, that I am so far from approaching them; but it has, notwithstanding, been of very great advantage to me to behold in him as in a mirror, both the commencement of my calling, and the continued course of my function; so that I know the more assuredly, that whatever that most illustrious king and prophet suffered, was exhibited to me by God as an example for imitation. My condition, no doubt, is much inferior to his, and it is unnecessary for me to stay to show this. But as he was taken from the sheepfold, and elevated to the rank of supreme authority; so God having taken me from my originally obscure and humble condition, has reckoned me worthy of being invested with the honorable office of a preacher and minister of the gospel. When I was as yet a very little boy, my father had destined me for the study of theology. But afterwards when he considered that the legal profession commonly raised those who followed it to wealth this prospect induced him suddenly to change his purpose. Thus it came to pass, that I was withdrawn from the study of philosophy, and was put to the study of law. To this pursuit I endeavored faithfully to apply myself in obedience to the will of my father; but God, by the secret guidance of his providence, at length gave a different direction to my course. And first, since I was too obstinately devoted to the superstitions of Popery to be easily extricated from so profound an abyss of mire, God by a sudden conversion subdued and brought my mind to a teachable frame, which was more hardened in such matters than might have been expected from one at my early period of life. Having thus received some taste and knowledge of true godliness I was immediately inflamed with so intense a desire to make progress therein, that although I did not altogether leave off other studies, I yet pursued them with less ardor. I was quite surprised to find that before a year had elapsed, all who had any desire after purer doctrine were continually coming to me to learn, although I myself was as yet but a mere novice and tyro. Being of a disposition somewhat unpolished and bashful, which led me always to love the shade and retirement, I then began to seek some secluded corner where I might be withdrawn from the public view; but so far from being able to accomplish the object of my be desire, all my retreats were like public schools. In short, whilst my one great object was to live in seclusion without being known, God so led me about through different turnings and changes, that he never permitted me to rest in any place, until, in spite of my natural disposition, he brought me forth to public notice. Leaving my native country, France, I in fact retired into Germany, expressly for the purpose of being able there to enjoy in some obscure corner the repose which I had always desired, and which had been so long denied me. But lo! whilst I lay hidden at Basle, and known only to a few people, many faithful and holy persons were burnt alive in France; and the report of these burnings having reached foreign nations, they excited the strongest disapprobation among a great part of the Germans, whose indignation was kindled against the authors of such tyranny. In order to allay this indignation, certain wicked and lying pamphlets were circulated, stating that none were treated with such cruelty but Anabaptists and seditious persons, who by their perverse ravings and false opinions, were overthrowing not only religion but also all civil order. Observing that the object which these instruments of the court aimed at by their disguises, was not only that the disgrace of shedding so much innocent blood might remain buried under the false charges and calumnies which they brought against the holy martyrs after their death, but also, that afterwards they might be able to proceed to the utmost extremity in murdering the poor saints without exciting compassion towards them in the breasts of any, it appeared to me, that unless I opposed them to the utmost of my ability, my silence could not be vindicated from the charge of cowardice and treachery. This was the consideration which induced me to publish my Institute of the Christian Religion. My objects were, first, to prove that these reports were false and calumnious, and thus to vindicate my brethren, whose death was precious in the sight of the Lord; and next, that as the same cruelties might very soon after be exercised against many unhappy individuals, foreign nations might be touched with at least some compassion towards them and solicitude about them. When it was then published, it was not that copious and labored work which it now is, but only a small treatise containing a summary of the principal truths of the Christian religion, and it was published with no other design than that men might know what was the faith held by those whom I saw basely and wickedly defamed by those flagitious and perfidious flatterers. That my object was not to acquire fame, appeared from this, that immediately after I left Basle, and particularly from the fact that nobody there knew that I was the author. Wherever else I have gone, I have taken care to conceal that I was the author of that performance; and I had resolved to continue in the same privacy and obscurity, until at length William Farel detained me at Geneva, not so much by counsel and exhortation, as by a dreadful imprecation, which I felt to be as if God had from heaven laid his mighty hand upon me to arrest me. As the most direct road to Strasburg, to which I then intended to retire, was shut up by the wars, I had resolved to pass quickly by Geneva, without staying longer than a single night in that city. A little before this, Popery had been driven from it by the exertions of the excellent person whom I have named, and Peter Viret; but matters were not yet brought to a settled state, and the city was divided into unholy and dangerous factions. Then an individual who now basely apostatised and returned to the Papists, discovered me and made me known to others. Upon this, Farel, who burned with an extraordinary zeal to advance the gospel, immediately strained every nerve to detain me. And after having learned that my heart was set upon devoting myself to private studies for which I wished to keep myself free from other pursuits, and finding that he gained nothing by entreaties, he proceeded to utter an imprecation that God would curse my retirement, and the tranquillity of the studies which I sought, if I should withdraw and refuse to give assistance, when the necessity was so urgent. By this imprecation I was so stricken with terror, that I desisted from the journey which I had undertaken; but sensible of my natural bashfulness and timidity, I would not bring myself under obligation to discharge any particular office. After that, four months had scarcely elapsed, when, on the one hand, the Anabaptists began to assail us, and, on the other, a certain wicked apostate, who being secretly supported by the influence of some of the magistrates of the city, was thus enabled to give us a great deal of trouble. At the same time, a succession of dissensions fell out in the city 13 which strangely afflicted us. Being, as I acknowledge, naturally of a timid, softer and pusillanimous disposition, I was compelled to encounter these violent tempests as part of my early training; and although I did not sink under them, yet I was not sustained by such greatness of mind, as not to rejoice more than it became me, when, in consequence of certain commotions, I was banished from Geneva. By this means set at liberty and loosed from the tie of my vocation, I resolved to live in a private station, free from the burden and cares of any public charge, when that most excellent servant of Christ, Martin Bucer, employing a similar kind of remonstrance and protestation as that to which Farel had recourse before, drew me back to a new station. Alarmed by the example of Jonas which he set before me, I still continued in the work of teaching. And although I always continued like myself, studiously avoiding celebrity; 14 yet I was carried, I know not how, as it were by force to the Imperial assemblies, where, willing or unwilling, I was under the necessity of appearing before the eyes of many. Afterwards, when the Lord having compassion on this city, had allayed the hurtful agitations and broils which prevailed in it, and by his wonderful power had defeated both the wicked counsels and the sanguinary attempts of the disturbers of the Republic, necessity was imposed upon me of returning to my former charge, contrary to my desire and inclination. The welfare of this church, it is true, lay so near my heart, that for its sake I would not have hesitated to lay down my life; but my timidity nevertheless suggested to me many reasons for excusing myself from again willingly taking upon my shoulders so heavy a burden. At length, however, a solemn and conscientious regard to my duty, prevailed with me to consent to return to the flock from which I had been torn; but with what grief, tears, great anxiety and distress I did this, the Lord is my best witness, and many godly persons who would have wished to see me delivered from this painful state, had it not been that that which I feared, and which made me give my consent, prevented them and shut their mouths. Were I to narrate the various conflicts by which the Lord has exercised me since that time, and by what trials he has proved me, it would make a long history. But that I may not become tedious to my readers by a waste of words, I shall content myself with repeating briefly what I have touched upon a little before, that in considering the whole course of the life of David, 15 it seemed to me that by his own footsteps he showed me the way, and from this I have experienced no small consolation. As that holy king was harassed by the Philistines and other foreign enemies with continual wars, while he was much more grievously afflicted by the malice and wickedness of some perfidious men amongst his own people, so I can say as to myself, that I have been assailed on all sides, and have scarcely been able to enjoy repose for a single moment, but have always had to sustain some conflict either from enemies without or within the Church. Satan has made many attempts to overthrow the fabric of this Church; and once it came to this, that I, altogether feeble and timorous as I am, was compelled to break and put a stop to his deadly assaults by putting my life in danger, and opposing my person to his blows. Afterwards, for the space of five years, when some wicked libertines were furnished with undue influence, and also some of the common people, corrupted by the allurements and perverse discourse of such persons, desired to obtain the liberty of doing whatever they pleased, without controls I was under the necessity of fighting without ceasing to defend and maintain the discipline of the Church. To these irreligious characters. and despisers of the heavenly doctrine, it was a matter of entire indifference, although the Church should sink into ruin, provided they obtained what they sought, the power of acting just as they pleased. Many, too, harassed by poverty and hunger, and others impelled by insatiable ambition or avarice and a desire of dishonest gain, were become so frantic, that they chose rather, by throwing all things into confusion, to involve themselves and us in one common ruin, than to remain quiet by living peaceably and honestly. 16 During the whole of this lengthened period, I think that there is scarcely any of the weapons which are forged in the workshop of Satan, which has not been employed by them in order to obtain their object. And at length matters had come to such a state, that an end could be put to their machinations in no other way than cutting them off by an ignominious death; which was indeed a painful and pitiable spectacle to me. They no doubt deserved the severest punishment, but I always rather desired that they might live in prosperity, and continue safe and untouched; which would have been the case had they not been altogether incorrigible, and obstinately refused to listen to wholesome admonition. The trial of these five years was grievous and hard to bear; but I experienced not less excruciating pain from the malignity of those who ceased not to assail myself and my ministry with their envenomed calumnies. A great proportion of them, it is true, are so blinded by a passion for slander and detraction, that to their great disgracers they betray at once their impudence, while others, however crafty and cunning, cannot so cover or disguise themselves as to escape being shamefully convicted and disgraced; yet when a man has been a hundred times found innocent of a charge brought against him, and when the charge is again repeated without any cause or occasion, it is an indignity hard to bear. Because I affirm and maintain that the world is managed and governed by the secret providence of God, a multitude of presumptuous men rise lip against me, and allege that I represent God as the author of sin. This is so foolish a calumny, that it would of itself quickly come to nothing, did it not meet with persons who have tickled ears, and who take pleasure in feeding upon such discourse. But there are many whose minds are so filled with envy and spleen, or ingratitude, or malignity, that there is no falsehood, however preposterous, yea, even monstrous, which they do not receive, if it is spoken to them. Others endeavor to overthrow Gods eternal purpose of predestination, by which he distinguishes between the reprobate and the elect; others take upon them to defend free will; and forthwith many throw themselves into their ranks, not so much through ignorance as by a perversity of zeal which I know not how to characterise. If they were open and avowed enemies who brought these troubles upon me, the thing might in some way be borne. But that those who shroud themselves under the name of brethren, and not only eat Christs sacred bread, but also administer it to others, that those, in short, who loudly boast of being preachers of the gospel, should wage such nefarious war against me, how detestable is it? In this matter I may very justly complain with David,"
Question was his church disciplin to put people to death?
Thats how i interpret his words.
Source : http://www.ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom08.vi.html#vi-p7
| 2013/2/13 9:46||Profile|
| Re: Why John Calvin wrote his Institues|
Afterwards, for the space of five years, when some wicked libertines were furnished with undue influence, and also some of the common people, corrupted by the allurements and perverse discourse of such persons, desired to obtain the liberty of doing whatever they pleased, without controls I was under the necessity of fighting without ceasing to defend and maintain the discipline of the Church. To these irreligious characters. and despisers of the heavenly doctrine, it was a matter of entire indifference, although the Church should sink into ruin, provided they obtained what they sought, the power of acting just as they pleased. Many, too, harassed by poverty and hunger, and others impelled by insatiable ambition or avarice and a desire of dishonest gain, were become so frantic, that they chose rather, by throwing all things into confusion, to involve themselves and us in one common ruin, than to remain quiet by living peaceably and honestly. 16 During the whole of this lengthened period, I think that there is scarcely any of the weapons which are forged in the workshop of Satan, which has not been employed by them in order to obtain their object. And at length matters had come to such a state, that an end could be put to their machinations in no other way than cutting them off by an ignominious death; which was indeed a painful and pitiable spectacle to me. They no doubt deserved the severest punishment, but I always rather desired that they might live in prosperity, and continue safe and untouched; which would have been the case had they not been altogether incorrigible, and obstinately refused to listen to wholesome admonition. The trial of these five years was grievous and hard to bear; but I experienced not less excruciating pain from the malignity of those who ceased not to assail myself and my ministry with their envenomed calumnies. A great proportion of them, it is true, are so blinded by a passion for slander and detraction, that to their great disgracers they betray at once their impudence, while others, however crafty and cunning, cannot so cover or disguise themselves as to escape being shamefully convicted and disgraced; yet when a man has been a hundred times found innocent of a charge brought against him, and when the charge is again repeated without any cause or occasion, it is an indignity hard to bear. Because I affirm and maintain that the world is managed and governed by the secret providence of God, a multitude of presumptuous men rise lip against me, and allege that I represent God as the author of sin. This is so foolish a calumny, that it would of itself quickly come to nothing, did it not meet with persons who have tickled ears, and who take pleasure in feeding upon such discourse. But there are many whose minds are so filled with envy and spleen, or ingratitude, or malignity, that there is no falsehood, however preposterous, yea, even monstrous, which they do not receive, if it is spoken to them.
This is a long section to quote from the article or explanation of John Calvin but it contains the answer to what he believed clearly in so far as he says, "but I always rather desired that they might live in prosperity, and continue safe and untouched". He then goes on to explain why they were not "untouched" and then reinforces the notion that they "deserved the severest of punishments". You might ask what the crime of these "Libertines" was! Well according to this article it was predominately slander against John Calvin's ministry and labours, which being proven false "an hundred times" over were nevertheless persisted in. Which Calvin then asserts "when the charge is again repeated without any cause or occasion, it is an indignity hard to bear". You might ask therefore whether the eventual execution of the "Libertines" reflected something of Calvin' personal affront, or whether it reflected a measure of success of the Libertines in continuously managing to find a meet ground for the accusations to find roots leading to rebellion of some at least and the harming of Calvin' (and others) labours. Calvin gives his own reason, "Because I affirm and maintain that the world is managed and governed by the secret providence of God, a multitude of presumptuous men rise lip against me, and allege that I represent God as the author of sin." This is indeed a most peculiar saying in that it demonstrates Calvin' conviction and understanding that God Himself is sovereign, [therefore] "a multitude of men rise lip service against me". In short Calvin appears to be saying, as he must, that what God permits, God permits. Finally what was the slander and what was the charge against Calvin. That he [represented God] as the author of sin. The root of which lies in Calvin' strong presentation of the predestination of men. To whit the accusation, if a man is predestined and cannot thereafter perish, this amounts to claiming that God is the author of sin, for what need a man fear again if his eternity is secure by reason of God' sure election and predetermination. It is of course expressed in the accusatory and therefore it is in truth a slur of Calvin' own motives. Personally I can't really see that Calvin actually desired or else pressed for the execution of the "Libertines", but did clearly by his own admission acknowledge the warrant of it.
| 2013/2/13 10:29|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Re: |
You might ask what the crime of these "Libertines" was! Well according to this article it was predominately slander against John Calvin's ministry and labours,
Whenever Libertines was used in old literature including the Geneva Bible notes it was referring to all Anabaptist and dissenting groups and not just the actual Libertine groups that were promoting outward sin in the name of grace.
Sadly the remnant believers were the persecuted by Rome and the Reformed during that period of time. We can safely say that Gods true work is always an underground work, it is not recognized by politicians and kings, Gods kingdom is not of this earth and is usually despised and persecuted.
Our Lord was crucified with a crown of thorns and you think they will do less to you?
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2013/2/13 10:57||Profile|
| Re: Why John Calvin wrote his Institues|
I have heard many reformed apologist try to distort Calvins intentions as though he only was opposed to the radicalism of the violent radicals like Thomas Müntzer or they will try to make a strawman by sterotyping all anababtist of that time as being like Muntzer.
None of the such seems accurate according to the small amount of study that I have done on the subject.
In Calvins Treatises against the Anabaptist and against the Libertines, He is directing his opposition not to Muntzer and his like but rather of the defensless swiss brethren, Sattler and his like.
The treatises is a direct refutation by Calvin in opposition to the Anabaptist Schleitheim Confession
This is the Schleitheim Confession (7 articals) that Calvin was so opposed to: (Calvin was opposed on to each point)
Schleitheim Confession (7 articals)
The Seven Articles
The articles we have dealt with, and in which we have been united,15 are these: baptism, ban, the breaking of bread, separation from abomination, shepherds in the congregation, the sword, the oath.
I. Notice concerning baptism. Baptism shall be given to all those who have been taught repentance and the amendment of life and [who] believe truly that their sins are taken away through Christ, and to all those who desire to walk in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and be buried with Him in death, so that they might rise with Him; to all those who with such an understanding themselves desire and request it from us; hereby is excluded all infant baptism, the greatest and first abomination of the pope. For this you have the reasons and the testimony of the writings and the practice of the apostles.16 We wish simply yet resolutely and with assurance to hold to the same.
II. We have been united as follows concerning the ban. The ban shall be employed with all those who have given themselves over to the Lord, to walk after [Him]17 in His commandments; those who have been baptized into the one body of Christ, and let themselves be called brothers or sisters, and still somehow slip and fall into error and sin, being inadvertently overtaken.18 The same [shall] be warned twice privately and the third time be publicly admonished before the entire congregation19 according to the command of Christ (Matthew 18).20 But this shall be done according to the ordering of the Spirit of God before the breaking of bread.21 so that we may all in one spirit and in one love break and eat from one bread and drink from one cup.
III. Concerning the breaking of bread, we have become one and agree22 thus: all those who desire to break the one bread in remembrance of the broken body of Christ and all those who wish to drink of one drink in remembrance of the shed blood of Christ, they must beforehand be united23 in the one body of Christ, that is the congregation of God, whose head is Christ, and that by baptism. For as Paul indicates,24 we cannot be partakers at the same time of the table of the Lord and the table of devils. Nor can we at the same time partake and drink of the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils. That is: all those who have fellowship with the dead works of darkness have no part in the light. Thus all those who follow the devil and the world, have no part with those who have been called out of the world unto God. All those who lie in evil have no part in the good.
So it shall and must be, that whoever does not share the calling of the one God to one faith, to one baptism, to one spirit, to one body together with all the children of God, may not be made one loaf together with them, as must be true if one wishes truly to break bread according to the command of Christ25.
IV. We have been united concerning the separation that shall take place from the evil and the wickedness which the devil has planted in the world, simply in this; that we have no fellowship with them,26 and do not run with them in the confusion of their abominations. So it is; since all who have not entered into the obedience of faith and have not united themselves with God so that they will to do His will, are a great abomination before God, therefore nothing else can or really will grow or spring forth from them than abominable things. Now there is nothing else in the world and all creation than good or evil, believing and unbelieving, darkness and light, the world and those who are [come] out of the world, God's temple and idols. Christ and Belial, and none will have part with the other.
To us, then, the commandment of the Lord is also obvious, whereby He orders us to be and to become separated from the evil one, and thus He will be our God and we shall be His sons and daughters.27
Further, He admonishes us therefore to go out from Babylon and from the earthly Egypt, that we may not be partakers in their torment and suffering, which the Lord will bring upon them.28
From all this we should learn that everything which has not been united29 with our God in Christ is nothing but an abomination which we should shun.30 By this are meant all popish and repopish31 works and idolatry,32 gatherings, church attendance33, winehouses, guarantees and commitments of unbelief,34 and other things of the kind, which the world regards highly, and yet which are carnal or flatly counter to the command of God, after the pattern of all the iniquity which is in the world. From all this we shall be separated and have no part with such, for they are nothing but abominations, which cause us to be hated before our Christ Jesus, who has freed us from the servitude of the flesh and fitted us for the service of God and the Spirit whom He has given us.
Thereby shall also35 fall away from us the36 diabolical weapons of violence--such as sword, armor, and the like, and all of their use to protect friends or against enemies--by virtue of the word of Christ: "you shall not resist evil."37
V. We have been united as follows concerning shepherds in the church of God. The shepherd in the church shall be a person according to the rule of Paul,38 fully and completely, who has a good report of those who are outside the faith. The office of such a person shall be to read and exhort and teach. warn, admonish, or ban in the congregation, and properly to preside among the sisters and brothers in prayer, and in the breaking of bread,39 and in all things to take care of the body of Christ, that it may be built up and developed, so that the name of God might be praised and honored through us, and the mouth of the mocker be stopped.
He shall be supported, wherein he has need, by the congregation which has chosen him, so that he who serves the gospel can also live therefrom, as the Lord has ordered.40 But should a shepherd do something worthy of reprimand, nothing shall be done with him without the voice of two or three witnesses. If they sin they shall be publicly reprimanded, so that others might fear.41
But if the shepherd should be driven away or led to the Lord by the cross,42 at the same hour another shall be ordained43 to his place, so that the little folk and the little flock of God may not be destroyed, but be preserved by warning and be consoled.
VI. We have been united as follows concerning the sword. The sword is an ordering of God outside the perfection of Christ. It punishes and kills the wicked and guards and protects the good. In the law the sword is established44 over the wicked for punishment and for death and the secular rulers are established to wield the same.
But within the perfection of Christ only the ban is used for the admonition and exclusion of the one who has sinned, without the death of the flesh,45 simply the warning and the command to sin no more.
Now many, who do not understand Christ's will for us, will ask; whether a Christian may or should use the sword against the wicked for the protection and defense of the good, or for the sake of love.
The answer is unanimously revealed: Christ teaches and commands us to learn from Him, for He is meek and lowly of heart and thus we shall find rest for our souls.46 Now Christ says to the woman who was taken in adultery,47 not that she should be stoned according to the law of His Father (and yet He says, "What the Father commanded me, that I do")48 but with mercy and forgiveness and the warning to sin no more, says: "Go, sin no more." Exactly thus should we also proceed, according to the rule of the ban.
Second, is asked concerning the sword: whether a Christian shall pass sentence in disputes and strife about worldly matters, such as the unbelievers have with one another. The answer: Christ did not wish to decide or pass judgment between brother and brother concerning inheritance, but refused to do so.49 So should we also do.
Third, is asked concerning the sword: whether the Christian should be a magistrate if he is chosen thereto. This is answered thus: Christ was to be made king, but He fled and did not discern the ordinance of His Father.50 Thus we should also do as He did and follow after Him, and we shall not walk in darkness. For He Himself says: "Whoever would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."51 He Himself further forbids the violence of the sword when He says: "The princes of this world lord it over them etc., but among you it shall not be so."52 Further Paul says, "Whom God has foreknown, the same he has also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son," etc.53 Peter also says: "Christ has suffered (not ruled) and has left us an example, that you should follow after in his steps."54
Lastly, one can see in the following points that it does not befit a Christian to be a magistrate: the rule of the government is according to the flesh, that of the Christians according to the Spirit. Their houses and dwelling remain in this world, that of the Christians is in heaven. Their citizenship is in this world, that of the Christians is in heaven.55 The weapons of their battle and warfare are carnal and only against the flesh, but the weapons of Christians are spiritual, against the fortification of the devil. The worldly are armed with steel and iron, but Christians are armed with the armor of God, with truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and with the Word of God. In sum: as Christ our Head is minded, so also must be minded the members of the body of Christ through Him, so that there be no division in the body, through which it would be destroyed.56 Since then Christ is as is written of Him, so must His members also be the same, so that His body may remain whole and unified for its own advancement and upbuilding. For any kingdom which is divided within itself will be destroyed.57
VII. We have been united as follows concerning the oath. The oath is a confirmation among those who are quarreling or making promises. In the law it is commanded that it should be done only in the name of God, truthfully and not falsely. Christ, who teaches the perfection of the law, forbids His [followers] all swearing, whether true or false; neither by heaven nor by earth, neither by Jerusalem nor by our head; and that for the reason which He goes on to give: "For you cannot make one hair white or black." You see, thereby all swearing is forbidden. We cannot perform what is promised in the swearing, for we are not able to change the smallest part of ourselves.58
Now there are some who do not believe the simple commandment of God and who say, "But God swore by Himself to Abraham, because He was God (as He promised him that He would do good to him and would be his God if he kept His commandments). Why then should I not swear if I promise something to someone?" The answer: hear what the Scripture says: "God, since he wished to prove overabundantly to the heirs of His promise that His will did not change, inserted an oath so that by two immutable things we might have a stronger consolation (for it is impossible that God should lie").59 Notice the meaning of the passage: God has the power to do what He forbids you, for everything is possible to Him. God swore an oath to Abraham, Scripture says, in order to prove that His counsel is immutable. That means: no one can withstand and thwart His will; thus He can keep His oath. But we cannot, as Christ said above, hold or perform our oath, therefore we should not swear.
Others say that swearing cannot be forbidden by God in the New Testament when it was commanded in the Old, but that it is forbidden only to swear by heaven, earth, Jerusalem, and our head. Answer: hear the Scripture. He who swears by heaven, swears by God's throne and by Him who sits thereon.60 Observe: swearing by heaven is forbidden, which is only God's throne; how much more is it forbidden to swear by God Himself. You blind fools, what is greater, the throne or He who sits upon it?
Others say, if it is then wrong to use God for truth, then the apostles Peter and Paul also swore.61 Answer: Peter and Paul only testify to that which God promised Abraham, whom we long after have received. But when one testifies, one testifies concerning that which is present, whether it be good or evil. Thus Simeon spoke of Christ to Mary and testified: "Behold: this one is ordained for the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign which will be spoken against."62
Christ taught us similarly when He says:63 Your speech shall be yea, yea; and nay, nay; for what is more than that comes of evil. He says, your speech or your word shall be yes and no, so that no one might understand that He had permitted it. Christ is simply yea and nay, and all those who seek Him simply will understand His Word. Amen.64
| 2013/2/13 11:25||Profile|
| Re: |
No, not according to wikipeida. They were not the Anabaptist.
even though Calvin accuses Anabaptist for civil disorder and assailing him in this text also.
So he is not saying they are the same.
THe libertines were people that in the name of Christ commited sexual adultry etc THey said we are free from the law of Christ and therefore can do what we want.
Thats what I have read about them atleast.
| 2013/2/13 11:38||Profile|
| Re: |
wikipedia is not a reliable source of information. wikipedia is a joke among those who are serious about any type of research.
that duz not mean i think u r wrong, brother. just dont depend on wikipedia. as soon as some1 says "well, wikipedia says this or that", thinking people tune out.
there has been a tremendous amount of revisionist history when it comes to the reformers, particularly john calvin. there is an immense hatred 4 him and others and it is even evident here. the catholic church began a smear campaign against him and the reformers that is still entrenched in the mind of many even 2 this day. they were not perfect, but neither were they the beasts that many thing of them being 2day. but human nature being what it is, we would rather listen to rumors than actually dig for the facts, especially when it comes to john calvin.
| 2013/2/13 11:44||Profile|
| Re: Josef83 |
Josef83 wrote/// No, not according to wikipeida. They were not the Anabaptist.
even though Calvin accuses Anabaptist for civil disorder and assailing him in this text also.
So he is not saying they are the same.///
In Calvins treatises against the anabaptist and the Libertines.
Calvin does address them as seperate and he does give seperate treatise against each.
The treatise against the Anabaptist is a direct attempt at refutting the 7 articals
He shows no mercey nor compashion to either.
| 2013/2/13 11:55||Profile|
| Re: |
Is it not possible in this thread to set aside considerations as to what may be legitimately proven by research of the available sources, in an effort to either impugn or else defend a man, and rather consider the deeper importance of what must be a matter of reality to ourselves today. Otherwise, this as all other threads on this topic will end up as no more than agreeing to disagree. My own comments above have no more to do with an historical understanding of those times of Calvin than my faith in Christ was first met in a knowledge of scripture. It was the risen Lord who set my heart on fire and it must be the risen Lord which keeps me in such a condition other wise I am become an outward thing with no inner substance to hold onto. If outward then let it be Calvin or else another, but if inward then let it be Christ.
It ought not to surprise any one of us that in every age there are a few who truly reflect God' will and intentions for all men, but in which ages there are always the many who do not lay hold of it, but who nevertheless comprehend Christ crucified for sin. Similarly in every age there is always a confusion of Satan, both within and without the camp of the saints. If we always lay hold of the divisions and do not comprehend the unity we will also become divisive and find in the end that we have ourselves missed that perfect opportunity to be proven in the day of the Lord, as of that remnant, obedient and faithful.
| 2013/2/13 12:16|
| 2013/2/13 12:47||Profile|
| Re: Josef83 |
Josef83, you misunderstood me I agree that they where indeed seperate libertines and anabaptist, but calvin sharply rejected them both.
| 2013/2/13 12:50||Profile|