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revivaltheology
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Joined: 2003/4/8
Posts: 29


 John Calvin's Bodycount...

The victims are listed, followed by references, (A)...(L), the URLs of which are at the bottom.

A. Execution

1. Jacques Gruet
(A)"Thus the State issued dogmatic decrees, the force of which had been anticipated earlier, as when Jacques Gruet, a known opponent of Calvin, was arrested, tortured for a month and beheaded on July 26, 1547, for placing a letter in Calvin's pulpit calling him a hypocrite. Gruet's book was later found and burned along with his house while his wife was thrown out into the street to watch."
(C)"Calvin cut off the head of Jacques Gruet "for having written impious letters, libertine verses, and for working to overthrow ecclesiastical ordinances."
(D)Quoting Stephan Zweig's "The Right to Heresy": "Jacques Gruet was racked and then executed merely for having called Calvin a hypocrite."
(E)"This regime was resisted by a party incorrectly described as 'Libertines', which Calvin succeeded in overcoming by force. Among the opponents executed after torture were Jacques Gruet (1547), Raoul Monnet (1549), and, best known, Michael *Servetus (1553)."
(F)"Even eminent men were not safe from Calvin's control. Jacques Gruet was beheaded for blasphemy, treason, and a threat to the ministers."
(J)

2. Giovanni Valentino Gentile
(A)and(G)"Another victim of Calvin's fiery zeal was Gentile of an Italian sect in Geneva, which also numbered among its adherents Alciati and Gribaldo. More or less Unitarian in their views, they were required to sign a confession drawn up by Calvin in 1558. Gentile signed it reluctantly, but in the upshot he was condemned and imprisoned as a perjurer. He escaped only to be twice incarcerated at Berne where, in 1566, he was beheaded."
(H) & (I) Very full accounts of Gentile

3. Michael Servetus Is much needed about him? Is there any debate about his murder?
(A)
(C)"Seven years before the conference which was now to take place in Calvin's house on the proposals of the queen-mother, Michel Servet, a Frenchman, travelling through Switzerland, was arrested at Geneva, tried, condemned, and burned alive, on Calvin's accusation, for having "attacked the mystery of the Trinity," in a book which was neither written nor published in Geneva."
(E)(J)

4. Raoul Monnet
(E)
(J)page 223 "This regime was resisted by a party incorrectly described as "Libertines, which Calvin succeeded in overcoming by force.Among the opponents executed after torture were Jacques Gruet (1547), Raoul Monnet (1549), and best known, Michael Servetus (1553). By 1555, however, all resistance had ceased and Calvin was the uncontested master of the city."

5. Others
(A)"Calvin also had twenty women burned at the stake after accusing them of causing a plague that had swept through Geneva in 1545."
(A)"Calvin did not shrink from his self-appointed task. Within five years fifty-eight sentences of death and seventy-six of exile, besides numerous committals of the most eminent citizens to prison, took place in Geneva."
(F)"A heretic who also was an anti-Trinitarian was burned at the stake." NOTE: Probably Servetus

B. Banishment (mere banishment!)

1. Castellio
(A)"Gruet's death was more highly criticized by far than the banishment of Castellio or the penalties inflicted on Bolsec -- moderate men opposed to extreme views in discipline and doctrine, who fell under suspicion as reactionary."
(B)
(K) Very full account of Castellio

2. Bolsec
(A)(B)(F)"Jerome Bolsec, a physician who attacked Calvin's doctrine of predestination, was banished."
(L)

3. Others
(A)"Calvin did not shrink from his self-appointed task. Within five years fifty-eight sentences of death and seventy-six of exile, besides numerous committals of the most eminent citizens to prison, took place in Geneva."

A. http://www.biblelife.org/calvinism.htm
B. http://www.gospeltruth.net/heres..._chap5.htm
C. http://www.worldwideschool.org/l...hap16.html
D. http://www.dimensional.com/~randl/calvin.htm
E. http://www.gospelcom.net/chi/HER...l047.shtml
F. http://www.churchlink.com.au/chu...alvin.html
G. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03195b.htm
H. http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/hcc...xv.xiv.htm
I. http://online.sksm.edu/ouh/chapter/13_XIII.html
J. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church; F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone; Oxford University Press;
K. http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/hcc....xv.ix.htm (different page from H)
L. http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/hcc...v.viii.htm

John Calvin is a man who is held up by many evangelicals as an example of the most perfect systematic theologian that ever lived. And yet it would appear that he did not even meet the basic requirements of a NT overseer/bishop as to godly character!

1 Tim 3:2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money.

The New Testament approach to false teachers is the precise opposite of what Calvin's modus operandi was:

2 Tim 2:24 The Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged,
25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,
26 and they may come to their senses {and escape} from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

As to the relationship of his doctrine to his practice, as he plainly taught that everything that happens is God's will (I can provide the quotes if you would like), then it necessarily follows that he considered everything he did as God's will, even having his detractors beheaded, burned at the stake, or banished. I'm saying that one's theology inevitably works out in one's practice, and this was all too apparent in the life of John Calvin.

If I had someone who disagreed with my theology put to death (had I the political power Calvin had), would I be qualified to teach the Word of God?

One's actions don't have any bearing on the authenticity of one's teaching? It seems to me that we should hold ANY theologian to the same moral standard as any other teacher in the body of Christ.

john@revivaltheology.net

 2003/12/4 23:25Profile
jeremyhulsey
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Joined: 2003/4/18
Posts: 777


 Re: John Calvin's Bodycount...

What end are you trying to achieve with this post? I'm just curious if you're taking the approach that Predestination is not a valid teaching because Calvin's moral character was lacking when it came to charity towards those who disagreed with him. While the perceived value of moral teaching can be stained with the failures of its teachers (King David comes to mind here when the Lord said that David had given God's enemies an occasion to blaspheme.), the teaching its self must be allowed to stand or fall on its own merits. If this is not the case then we can discount the cross because of all the hypocrites throughout history who have preached it.

You won't get much of a debate out of me on predestination, I lean towards Arminianism, so I would probably be accused of being Pelagian by men like R C Sproul. I'm just curious what end you are trying to achieve in this post and what point you are wanting to debate. Or are you simply providing us with historical information on John Calvin?

In Christ,
Jeremy Hulsey


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Jeremy Hulsey

 2003/12/5 1:52Profile
revivaltheology
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Joined: 2003/4/8
Posts: 29


 Re: My point is...

My point is found immediately following the historical information and links, where I begin to say:

Quote:
John Calvin is a man who is held up by many evangelicals as an example of the most perfect systematic theologian that ever lived. And yet it would appear that he did not even meet the basic requirements of a NT overseer/bishop as to godly character!



One hears so many (even some here) talk about how godly Calvin was. And yet the facts of his life tell a very different story.

As to predestination, the Bible plainly teaches predestination, just not the deterministic kind like Calvin and Calvinists teach. The Bible teaches [b]conditional[/b] election, [b]conditional [/b] predestination, and [b]conditional[/b] security.

This historical information is not widely known about Calvin; and yes, I am trying to spread these historical facts about the one whom so many in evangelicalism look to as such an esteemed spiritual leader.

 2003/12/5 2:40Profile
CrimsonOffering
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Joined: 2003/11/26
Posts: 4


 Re: John Calvin's Bodycount...

Thank you so much for posting this. Although I have always clearly seen that the Bible is contrary to much Calvanist doctrine, and I always saw that 99% of Calvanists were people looking for excuses not to share their faith or obey Jesus last command, I was SHOCKED to read about these absolute historical facts about his life.

I will now need to do more research on this fellow.

Thank you for opening my eyes!

I must say though, that a man's character DOES, to me, alter how much I will trust other areas of his life, especially in the way of doctrine.

A modern-day example is Ian Paisley. His violent hate rhetoric towards the Church of Rome, which I agree is a cult, does him no favors. Others like Walter Martin (RIP) have produced Protestant/Anti-Catholic/Anti-Pope material that just simply makes Ian Paisley's material look like a bad junior-high essay compared to a Doctoral Thesis. Paisley wants to condemn, Martin wants to rescue. Paisley's open his mouth, Martin open the Bible and the truth and absolutely demolishes the Roman Catholic Church, rips its doctrines to shreds, yet in love, and in and effort to educate and rescue. I think Paisley just loves the sound of his own voice at times.


Many people here like Paisley too. :(

 2003/12/5 5:19Profile
jeremyhulsey
Member



Joined: 2003/4/18
Posts: 777


 Re:

Revivaltheology wrote: "This historical information is not widely known about Calvin; and yes, I am trying to spread these historical facts about the one whom so many in evangelicalism look to as such an esteemed spiritual leader."

Reply: Thank you for clearing that up. I was thrown off because of the section of the forum that you posted this in. I was not sure what, if any, scriptures you were wanting to debate or discuss.

In Christ,
Jeremy Hulsey


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Jeremy Hulsey

 2003/12/5 14:41Profile
Agent001
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Joined: 2003/9/30
Posts: 386
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Re: John Calvin's Bodycount...

Several thoughts.

First, in reading church history, we must keep in perspective by taking into account the historical and cultural distance between the historical figures and us (twenty-first century postmodern people). For instance, the notion of "human rights" in the form as we know it is a very recent one; we should not judge them in light of our present understanding. Zwingli, the other well-known great reformer, could also be accused of being intolerant and violent. It was also clear that regardless of how we see the morality behind his actions, Calvin saw his actions as being in obedience to God in executing the will of God.

Second, some scholars would argue that the absolute form of the teaching attributed to John Calvin, that is, five-point Calvinism as we know it today, may not be what he had in mind, at least not in its extremest form.

Third, to me, even a cursory reading of Calvin's [i]Institutes of the Christian Religion[/i] made it clear, even to magnificent masterpiece, unsurpassed by anyone to date. Moreover, I find that the man John Calvin is very different from the stereotype often attributed to later Calvinists--not only is his work a grand theological treatise, but I find it deeply devotional and bubbling with godly fervour.

revivaltheology said:
[i]If I had someone who disagreed with my theology put to death (had I the political power Calvin had), would I be qualified to teach the Word of God?[/i]

In summary, my main thrust is that just as we must be aware of the historical and cultural distance between the biblical world and us in our bible studies, we must also be sensitive to the distances between figures in church history and us. Any indepth historical study of people (even good people) who lived centuries ago will probably uncover some peculiarities in thoughts and behaviour that are quite out of grasp to the modern person, especially if he is trying to read his own world into the ancient world. That's why I think the quote above is rather problematic in this respect. (By the same logic, Zwingli, among many others, could be accused by the same charge...)


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Sam

 2003/12/8 10:33Profile
rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re:

As Paris Reidhead said in "Ten Shekels and a Shirt," the religion of this age is based on humanism.(paraphrase) Also, I add to this frame of thought, religion today is based on rationalism. If we try to dismiss the faith of a man because we are not living in his same historical and cultural context we are basing it on the thoughts of men and not the leading of the Holy Spirit.

In Christ Jesus, everything is the same. The fruit of His work in our life does not change because of history or culture. This is satan's world. Faith of a man will define who he followed. I submit that the fruit of John Calvin faith are thorns and dead works that will be burned by the righteousness of our Almighty God!


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Jeff Marshalek

 2003/12/8 11:06Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:

In regards to the original post and not in any way excusing him, how would this apply to the likes of Moses, David, Saul (Paul)?

Appreciate the historical background, had never heard about this before.


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Mike Balog

 2003/12/8 11:09Profile
rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re:

In James 2:19-20, "So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God."

By my prior post I am guilty. I was not slow to speak or slow to wrath. Forgive me.

This verse also sheds light for the motivations of men's hearts. God did use Moses and David to execute His judgement on the wicked. The executor never brings about the righteousness of God. That is the work of Jesus bringing about a new life in each individual.

Going back to the first post, the men that were executed by Calvin were not wicked as those who worshiped Baalam during the times of Moses and David. These men were all trying to know God. Also, the judgement of God is swift in its execution. The nature of Calvin's work is not. What was the motivation of Calvin's heart, was he truly used by God as His executioner, or was he trying to bring about God's righteousness? Bad fruit does not come from a good tree.

In terms of Paul, prior to hearing the word of God, Jesus speaking to him, Paul followed his flesh. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be." Romans 8:7 Paul was forgiven of past sin. Jesus changed his nature. What was the fruit then? A good tree does not produce bad fruit.

So the final question is this, did Calvin have a relationship with Jesus? I cannot judge if he was another servant of my Master. But reading of his thoughts in the Institutes of Calvin, he posessed a child like understanding of Scripture. He had a brilliant mind. He was trained as a lawyer. He would expound upon one Scripture for pages using his own thoughts. Just like the lawyers of today do. They create their own truth.

One additional thought came to mind. In the times of Moses, Joshua, and David the presence of God was on the battle field. God opened up the Red Sea so that it could swallow up the army of Egypt. God brought down the walls of Jericho. God rained down hailstone and fire on the armies of Amalek. The Angel of the Lord destroyed the armies of the wicked. The stone pierced Golliath's skull.

One more additional thought, Moses thought he was doing the work of the God of Israel when he killed the Egyptian in Exodus 2:12. At this point like Paul, God had not spoken to him. Forty years later, God speaks to Moses! God spoke to Joshua, march around Jericho. I would have to read up on David to find a similar parallel. David had Samuel and Nathan as God's spokesman.


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Jeff Marshalek

 2003/12/8 11:58Profile
crsschk
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:

Quote:
One more additional thought, Moses thought he was doing the work of the God of Israel when he killed the Egyptian in Exodus 2:12. At this point like Paul, God had not spoken to him. Forty years later, God speaks to Moses! God spoke to Joshua, march around Jericho. I would have to read up on David to find a similar parallel. David had Samuel and Nathan as God's spokesman



This was more along the lines I was thinking, David having Bathsheba's husband Uriah put to death, Moses and the Egyptian, Saul(Paul) persecuting the church. Actually wasn't a very good analogy in regards to character verses doctrine. I digress, and will blame it on this head cold
:roll:


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Mike Balog

 2003/12/8 21:48Profile





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