Desiring a Murderer
“But you denied the Holy and Just One and desired
a murderer to be given to you” (Acts 3:14 MKJV).
Sara submitted this comment to the post "The
New Calvinists" on Francis Murphy's blog [now defunct]:
The following paper will be of interest
and pertinence to you for possibly several reasons among many. It has
been our great honor to discern and identify the error and spirit of
John Calvin, whose rule is yet propagated in the hearts of men with evil
consequences for all. The Lord Jesus Christ has visited us with the Light
of His countenance to put an end to this evil, justifying His servants
whom Calvin murdered, and His Name in the sight of all.
The Fruit of Cain Multiplied: The Murderer John Calvin
Show me whom you follow, and I will know what manner of person you are
or will become. If you do not know whom you are following, don't you
think it is time to find out how and where you are being led? Do you
think you will altogether escape the consequences because ignorant? Think
again. You already suffer them.
John Calvin was one of the most vicious of wolves ever to pose as a
lamb of God. His supremely self-righteous spirit lives on in those who
lionize and follow him, even unbeknownst to themselves. Truly, "that
which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God."
Paul Cohen & Victor Hafichuk
thank you for your comment but I have to disagree. No one regretted
what happened to Servetus more than Calvin himself. It was a regrettable
error on his part. However that does not negate the godliness of the
man and his great wisdom and insights into the scriptures. What is commonly
called Calvism is not an invented system of belief, but a Reformed biblical
Paul Cohen said...
You plainly have not red the article, because the well-documented history
shows that Calvin vigorously defended the murder of Servetus, and continued
to malign him with all kinds of epithets that were not backed by any
substantive evidence. And then you can see what he did to Sebastian Castellion,
whose death he also precipitated with his ongoing ungodly and unjust
Read the paper and then get back to me.
I would in no way wish to condone what happened to Servetus, but I do
believe we have to understand these events in their historical context.
At a time, when the death penalty was being issued for heresy all over
Europe, the city of Geneva and other reformed cities showed relative
restraint. I still do not think this regrettable incident in the life
of John Calvin has any bearing on his credentials as a theologian. There
is scriptural precident for this is there not. Peter cutting off the
ear of a soldier in Gethsemene, Paul with the blood of the first martyr
Stephen on his hands, King David also had blood on his hands. Do we discard
the letters of Peter and Paul or the Psalms because they were written
by men with a violent or disreputable past?
Paul Cohen said...
The historical context argument is trotted out by every doctrinaire
Pharisee I have heard from on this matter. By such a measure, the apostles
should have been the ones killing others, as it is certainly evident
that in their times the killing of religious heretics was commonly practiced
What Calvin apologists fail to note when speaking about David and Paul
having blood on their hands, when justifying Calvin, is that those men
showed true remorse because they had genuine repentance. Calvin showed
no remorse and boasted of his murder of Servetus because he never repented.
You never hear Paul saying about Stephen or other saints of whose deaths
he approved, "Such monsters should be exterminated,
as I have exterminated Michael Servetus the Spaniard."
He who is forgiven much has loved much, Mr. Murphy, but he who is not
forgiven has not loved at all. The latter describes the one from whom
you think to be learning about God. You are deceived.
I have written to several who have presented me with your same tired
argument, and when I bring up Calvin's persistence in justifying the
murder of Servetus and his subsequent persecution of Castellion, it is
interesting to note that none of them dares to further suggest that Calvin
ever repented. So, rather than admit the Truth, they persist in defending
an unrepentant murderer. The only reason they do so is because they are
one with him in their sins. They love their sins and their theology that
they think justifies them before God more than Truth and Light and the
righteousness of God. Does this also describe you?
Why don't you read the paper?
I think we are going to have to agree to differ on this matter and therefore
believe it would be unfruitful for me to continue this conversation.
I pray that God's Spirit continues to guide you on your pursuit of truth.
Stewart Goudie said...
Have you read "A Reading of Calvin's Institutes" by Benjamin
A. Reist? It's a 1991 book, by a guy with a whole career behind him of
teaching Calvin and Barth. He too would distinguish between Calvin's
thought, and later 'Calvinist' doctrines and practice.
Calvin would be the first to admit that didn't live up to the standards
of his teachings. No-one can. We are all fallen failures. Only the
Grace of Christ
can bring us into relationship with God.
Paul Cohen said...
Stewart, there is honest confession of sin and shortfall
of God’s standards, and dishonest confession. Calvin's is the
latter. See the quote to which I have already referred wherein Calvin
to justify his murder of Servetus years after it took place. How can
a man who is justifying his sins be considered repentant?
As for your last statement, consider and believe the implication of
your own words, "Only the Grace of Christ
can bring us into relationship with God." In other words, if one is a sinner receiving the grace
of God through Jesus Christ, he or she can then be brought into right
relationship with God. John described that relationship as follows:
“Everyone who has been born of God does not commit sin, because
His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born
of God” (1 John 3:9 MKJV).
Paul the apostle also says that those in Christ live up to the standards
of God (forget Calvin’s standards):
“Do we then make void the Law through faith? God forbid: yea,
we establish the Law” (Romans 3:31 KJV).
The condemnation of religious sinners like Calvin is not that they do
not keep the Law, but that they say they see and are in agreement with
God when clearly they do not and are not.