Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Calvin and Religious Freedom-What Was His Problem With Physicians Anyway?

I have blogged about David Anders, Ph.D's conversion and journey before but I re-read his testimony here.  I was again amazed and how John Calvin became his own "pope", after rejecting the Catholic Church's pope. He made Geneva a religious state and his brand of  Christianity was the only one tolerated.
      Catholicism is often criticized because of its "authoritarian" attempts to control the masses throughout the ages using ex-communication and trials to root-out heresy and schismatics.  Yet, Calvin himself demanded that Genevans obey laws based on his interpretation of Scripture and ex-communicated and punished those who would not adhere, or even just question  his doctrines.He was particularly annoyed with two such "heretics"- both physicians as a matter of fact! See Jerome Bolsec and Michael Servetus .
      When our protestant brothers mention inquisitions and religious persecution by the Church in  their attempt to discredit the  Catholic Church, should we ask them if the behavior of their founders, Luther and  Calvin likewise discredit their belief systems? Both of these reformers had no tolerance  for those who disagreed with their new  theological constructs. I think Calvin for whatever reason particularly despised doctors. I guess its that age-old feud between doctors and lawyers rearing its ugly head.

13 Comments:

Blogger John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Calvin did nothing that was not Biblical. And you cannot cite anything that he did that was not Biblical, not in accord with God's Word.


John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com
Communications Director, Institute On The Constitution
Recovering Republican
JLof@aol.com

October 20, 2010 12:34 PM  
Blogger John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Calvin did nothing that was not Biblical. And you cannot cite anything that he did that was not Biblical, not in accord with God's Word.


John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com
Communications Director, Institute On The Constitution
Recovering Republican
JLof@aol.com

October 20, 2010 12:36 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

John says:

"Calvin did nothing that was not biblical."
I beg to differ. Would you say that employing the civil government to inflict punishment on Christians that differed from his private interpretation of the bible is biblical?

Here are some of the concepts that Calvin came up with that are refuted by scripture:



1. No truly free will (denied by experience, and by the Gospel commands to repent, reform, obey the commandments, perform works of charity, and persevere to the end).

2. Thus no merit or demerit (denied by the whole Bible which testifies to the rewards and punishments God will apportion to all men according to their deeds, e.g. Matt 16:27; Rom 2:5-10; 2 Cor 5:10; Rev 22:11-12; etc).

3. God desires salvation only for the elect. (Denied by 1 Tim 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; Matt 23:37; Ezek 18:23-32; 33:11; etc).

4. Christ died only for the elect. (Denied by John 3:16-17; 4:42; 1 John 2:2; 4:9-14; Rom 5:6,18; 2 Cor 5:14-15; 1 Tim 2:6; 4:10; etc).

5. God provides grace only to the elect. (Denied by Titus 2:11; John 1:9,16; Rom 2:4; etc).

6. God directly predetermines the salvation of the elect, including their good works. (This ignores any cooperation of the will with grace).

7. God directly predetermines the damnation of the reprobate, including their sins. (This is denied by James 1:13-14; Sirach 15:11-20; 1 Cor 10:13; and ignores any true resistance and rejection by the will).

8. The elect will be saved with no merit of their own. (This denies heavenly reward).

9. The reprobate will be damned for no fault of their own. (This denies true guilt and deserved punishment).

October 20, 2010 6:07 PM  
Blogger John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Calvin "employed" no civil government to do ANYTHING. He was never part of any civil government.
Stop lying about Calvin.

John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com
Communications Director, Institute On The Constitution
Recovering Republican
JLof@aol.com

October 20, 2010 6:48 PM  
Blogger John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

And just throwing out a bunch of Scriptures versus what you say Calvin says proves NOTHING. Take one, ONE, direct Calvin quote, with the source for it cited. Then cite one direct Scripture or Scriptures you say show that Calvin was wrong. Be specific. You can't because you don't know what you are talking about.

John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com
Communications Director, Institute On The Constitution
Recovering Republican
JLof@aol.com

October 20, 2010 6:51 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

If he [Servetus] comes [to Geneva], I shall never let him go out alive if my authority has weight."
-John Calvin

A short time later in 1553, Michael Servetus, discover of pulmonary circulatory physiology was burned to the stake.

John, if you can document that Calvin was not involved in the execution of Servetus, I stand corrected. But most sources I checked, both Catholic, reformed and secular, put Calvin as the instigator of this man's death for heresy.

October 20, 2010 8:16 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

To answer your request John:

Here's a direct Calvin Quote:
Through Isaiah he still more openly shows how he directs the promises of salvation specifically to the elect: for he proclaims that they alone, not the whole human race without distinction, are to become his disciples (Isa. 8:16). Hence it is clear that the doctrine of salvation, which is said to be reserved solely and individually for the sons of the church, is falsely debased when presented as effectually profitable to all.(Institutes III xxii. 10)

Now here are the scriptures that refute Calvin's idea that Christ died only for the elect=Limited Atonement.

1 Timothy 2:3 For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For [there] [is] one God and one Mediator between God and men, [the] Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

1 Timothy 4:10 For to this [end] we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is [the] Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning [His] promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

1 John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

Hebrews 10:10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [for] [all].

2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

Matthew 11:28 "Come to Me, all [you] who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 "For My yoke [is] easy and My burden is light."

Romans 5:6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.



2 Corinthians 5:18 Now all things [are] of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.


I find it difficult to accept Calvin's notion that Christ didn't die for all of us given this many verses that say He did.

October 20, 2010 11:19 PM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

John:
While you are trying to defend Calvin, Can you explain why he believed in baptismal regeneration but you and modern Calvinists don't? Here's some of Calvin's thoughts:

"1) My child, are you a Christian in fact as well as in name?

Yes, my father.

2) How is this known to you?

Because I am baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

3) How did you come into this communion of the church?

Through baptism.

4) What is this baptism?

It is the washing of regeneration and cleansing from sin."*

October 20, 2010 11:23 PM  
Blogger DP Cassidy said...

Tiber Jumper,

A couple of things if you want to tackle Calvin and Geneva in the future.

First, get a handle on the Servetus story. for what reason did Servetus flee to Geneva? He was an insurrectionist and hoped - incorrectly - that he would be safe in Geneva since there Catholic governments (!)couldn't put him to death. He was a wanted and hunted man - not unlike Tyndale who was so horribly treated by Thomas More and other Catholic authorities (If you want to start dragging out the stories of executed people, start with Tyndale, whose great crime was translating the Bible into English, for which he was strangled and then burned in Antwerp, and then had his bones pulverized, the dust of these mixed into mortar for pavement stones on which horses could defecate). All Europe rejoiced when Servetus was executed, though of course now such views on the matter would be held in derision by all sides of the ecclesiastical divide. Calvin wrote to Servetus and warned him not to come to Geneva, had NO civil authority in the Servetus case, only appearing as an expert witness to confirm Servetus' denial of the Trinity, visited Servetus in prison to persuade him to recant his views, and then interceded with the court to secure a more humane execution than burning (he was refused, as was often the case in Geneva - note the way they rebuffed him on sacraments, etc). Your 'Calvin as Dictator' caricature is simply mistaken.

As for the question of sacraments, Calvin, Luther, Bucer and other very early Reformers were far closer to the Patristic view on this issue than later Reformed confessional statements. However, Calvin insisted that the sacraments were effectual unto the elect and this through the agency of the Holy Spirit, a view more developed in the Westminster Confession a little less than a century later. The Geneva catechism from which you quote is an excellent example of the high sacramental and ecclesial views of Calvin. With Bucer he hoped for a reunion of the Church in Europe, sans those practices that had become so offensive to so many. The colloquy of Regensberg which very nearly accomplished that great aim was attended by Bucer.

By the way, Calvinists don't deny heavenly reward for work accomplished in life; the denial is in regard to heaven itself as a reward for meritorious work in this life, and that any works done by the Christian are meritorious apart from the mediating grace of Christ.

Your other notes of refutation on what Calvinists hold are typical misunderstandings of the position confessed.

Let me encourage you to read Reformation history more thoroughly, and Reformed theology more circumspectly as written by the Reformed themselves. That's how I read Roman Catholic theology and history.

October 28, 2010 9:33 AM  
Blogger DP Cassidy said...

Tiber Jumper,

A couple of things if you want to tackle Calvin and Geneva in the future.

First, get a handle on the Servetus story. for what reason did Servetus flee to Geneva? He was an insurrectionist and hoped - incorrectly - that he would be safe in Geneva since there Catholic governments (!)couldn't put him to death. He was a wanted and hunted man - not unlike Tyndale who was so horribly treated by Thomas More and other Catholic authorities (If you want to start dragging out the stories of executed people, start with Tyndale, whose great crime was translating the Bible into English, for which he was strangled and then burned in Antwerp, and then had his bones pulverized, the dust of these mixed into mortar for pavement stones on which horses could defecate). All Europe rejoiced when Servetus was executed, though of course now such views on the matter would be held in derision by all sides of the ecclesiastical divide. Calvin wrote to Servetus and warned him not to come to Geneva, had NO civil authority in the Servetus case, only appearing as an expert witness to confirm Servetus' denial of the Trinity, visited Servetus in prison to persuade him to recant his views, and then interceded with the court to secure a more humane execution than burning (he was refused, as was often the case in Geneva - note the way they rebuffed him on sacraments, etc). Your 'Calvin as Dictator' caricature is simply mistaken.

As for the question of sacraments, Calvin, Luther, Bucer and other very early Reformers were far closer to the Patristic view on this issue than later Reformed confessional statements. However, Calvin insisted that the sacraments were effectual unto the elect and this through the agency of the Holy Spirit, a view more developed in the Westminster Confession a little less than a century later. The Geneva catechism from which you quote is an excellent example of the high sacramental and ecclesial views of Calvin. With Bucer he hoped for a reunion of the Church in Europe, sans those practices that had become so offensive to so many. The colloquy of Regensberg which very nearly accomplished that great aim was attended by Bucer.

October 28, 2010 9:34 AM  
Blogger DP Cassidy said...

By the way, Calvinists don't deny heavenly reward for work accomplished in life; the denial is in regard to heaven itself as a reward for meritorious work in this life, and that any works done by the Christian are meritorious apart from the mediating grace of Christ.

Your other notes of refutation on what Calvinists hold are typical misunderstandings of the position confessed.

Let me encourage you to read Reformation history more thoroughly, and Reformed theology more circumspectly as written by the Reformed themselves. That's how I read Roman Catholic theology and history.

October 28, 2010 9:34 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

DP, I guess we will have to agree to disagree regarding Calvin's role in Servetus death. The sources I have found suggest he was planning on taking his life when he came to Geneva. You make it sound like his only role was a corroborating witness. That's how you see it, but not how it was portrayed in my sources.

October 28, 2010 9:15 PM  
Blogger Howard Fisher said...

Since your response is similar to the Arminian arguments and assumptions and many of the "anti-Calvnists misunderstandings and strawmen, I thought a link to Riddlebarger's interaction with the Council of Dort may be of assistance.

http://kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com/notes-on-the-canons-of-dort-in/

http://kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com/notes-on-the-canons-of-dort-fi/

http://kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com/notes-on-the-canons-1-rejectio/

"I find it difficult to accept Calvin's notion that Christ didn't die for all of us given this many verses that say He did."

This assumption is simply read into every verse. Let's face it, exegesis is not the issue here. We both know that RCs have anoverriding Tradition that the Text of Scripture must agree with by definition.

Not to worry though, many Protestants today are wading in the Tiber and are making very similar erros due to their philosophical assumptions on the will of man.

Erasmus was right when he debate Luther. Then entire Reformation was over Rome's view of the will verses the Reformer's. This radically impacts one's view of grace and faith as well. It is also why non-Reformed people either reject Substitutionary atonement or inconsistently adhere to its teachings.

For the life of me, I can't figure out how Protestants that deny the Reformed position are so determined to hold on to Substitutionary atonement. They really are in many ways, Roman.

God Bless

Howard

November 08, 2010 11:34 PM  

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