The Highway
Posted By: Anonymous Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Thu Jan 29, 2004 8:37 PM
The following is an accurate quote from a book entitled 'Reckless Faith: When the Church Loses Its Will to Discern' written by Dr. John F. MacArthur, Jr. copyright 1994, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL - on page 202 MacArthur writes:
"Of course, the Catholic Church is by no means the only religious body guilty of atrocities. Martin Luther consented to the deaths of thousands in the Peasants' Revolt in sixteenth-century Germany. Many leading Reformers joined with the Catholics in calling for the deaths of Anabaptists. John Calvin sanctioned the burning of Michael Servetus, an arch-heretic who was condemned by both Catholics and Calvinists for his anti-trinitarianism. Oliver Cromwell's Puritan armies treated Irish Catholics with appalling ruthlessness. Cromwell himself signed the death warrant when Charles I was executed. The Puritans in colonial Massachusetts executed four Quakers before laws making heresy a capital offense were repealed."

"Yet all those evils pale in comparison to the horrifying waves of tyranny and inhumanity carried out in the name of Roman Catholicism...."

I wish I could continue quoting from Dr. MacArthur's book, but I don't have a scanner and I would have to manually enter the text. Moreover, I think this book is well worth reading in its entirety.

According to an article by Dr. Michael Horton, written in 1992, entitled 'Was Geneva A Theocracy?', which can be found on this website, the historical records in the Servetus trial do not show John Calvin "sanctioned the burning of Michael Servetus." Dr. Horton claims the records show Calvin tried to have the court be lenient with Servetus and failing in this appeal, he tried to have them execute Servetus in a more humane manner.

Pilgrim and myself agree that both Dr. Horton and Dr. MacArthur are notable and we agree both Dr. Horton and Dr. MacArthur are Calvinists.

I have said the best way to determine the truth, as to whether or not John Calvin "sanctioned the burning of Michael Servetus", is to ask both Dr. Horton and Dr. MacArthur to provide more pertinent information.

Pilgrim has disagreed with me. I can't speak for him, but I think he is saying he believes the best way to determine the truth is to examine the historical records.

The meaning of the word 'sanction' is: 1) To approve authoritatively; confirm; ratify 2) To countenance; allow.

If someone only consults the official records of the court in Geneva there may be no record of Calvin "sanctioning Servetus' burning." However, it's possible Dr. MacArthur has other records showing Calvin did "sanction the burning of Servetus." These other records may include letters Calvin wrote, sermons he gave, or a letter written by a personal friend of Calvin's documenting a conversation in which Calvin "sanctioned the burning of Michael Servetus."

All this would be mere speculation and conjecture if it were not for the facts that 1) Dr. MacArthur is a notable Calvinist and 2) he wrote his book two years after Dr. Horton wrote his article. Therefore, in the two years between the writing of the documents, evidence may have surfaced which wasn't available to Dr. Horton.

This is why I believe the best way to find out the truth is to ask both Dr. MacArthur and Dr. Horton to give us more information, i.e. the sources they used to write what they wrote. This seems to be very reasonable. Would you agree?

God judges us by what is in our hearts. He knows our inner-most thoughts. We cannot correctly judge another, because we can only see what is on the surface. However, in the special cases of those who teach doctrine, Scripture tells us: "Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them." Matthew 7:15-20 NKJV

I will not say I understand exactly and completely what Jesus is saying here, but He's essentially saying, "Beware of false Christian leaders (false prophets in sheep's clothing) and if even one instance of 'bad fruit' can be seen, the 'tree' is bad. If the 'tree' is good, then all the 'fruit' coming from the 'tree' is good.

What Jesus means by 'fruit' and 'tree' is debatable. One definition of 'fruit' is: "The outcome, consequence, or result of some action, effort, situation, etc.: the 'fruit of labor'." One definition of 'tree' is: A diagram or outline resembling a tree and showing family descent: a genealogical 'tree'."

Dr. MacArthur's book was directed at Catholics. His theme throughout was to tell Catholics not to trust Catholic doctrine, because Catholic leaders have continually exhibited bad fruit and don't show any remorse for their actions throughout history.

But, Dr. MacArthur also states that Protestant leaders, i.e. Luther, Calvin and Cromwell, also committed "atrocities" and says their deeds were "evil."

Does the fact that this 'fruit' was not as bad in any way exempt them from being a 'bad tree'? What Jesus said is, "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit." It's clear to me it doesn't matter how bad the 'fruit', what matters is whether there is any 'bad fruit' at all.

So the importance of determining whether or not John Calvin "sanctioned the burning of Michael Servetes" has enormous implications. If Calvin did "sanction the burning of Michael Servetes", as alledged by the "notable Calvinist" Dr. John MacArthur, then our Lord warns you to beware of him.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Thu Jan 29, 2004 7:11 PM
Quote
So the importance of determining whether or not John Calvin "sanctioned the burning of Michael Servetes" has enormous implications. If Calvin did "sanction the burning of Michael Servetes", as alledged by the "notable Calvinist" Dr. John MacArthur, then our Lord warns you to beware of him.

Only if we accept your definition of "good fruit", and uphold that the saved never commit further sin.


God bless,

william
Posted By: MHeath Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Thu Jan 29, 2004 7:22 PM
1 Corinthians 5:1-6
1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles--that a man has his father's wife! 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. F11 6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

Wow.. i wonder if Paul was a Christian?!?<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratchchin.gif" alt="" />

Michele
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Thu Jan 29, 2004 7:36 PM
See http://www.crownrights.com/books/calvin_servetus.htm (sorry, I don't know how to make this link clickable). Luther was an "anti-semite" too, which I can start to understand when I try to explain the wonders of the doctrines of grace to some of my Assemblies of God "friends."
Posted By: DaveVan3 Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Thu Jan 29, 2004 7:41 PM

Quote
So the importance of determining whether or not John Calvin "sanctioned the burning of Michael Servetes" has enormous implications. If Calvin did "sanction the burning of Michael Servetes", as alledged by the "notable Calvinist" Dr. John MacArthur, then our Lord warns you to beware of him.


Let me paraphrase your quote slightly to show the absurdity of this statement:

Quote
“So the importance of determining whether or not Paul sanctioned the stoning of Stephen has enormous implications. If Paul did “sanction the stoning of Stephen, as alleged by the noteable writer of Acts”, Dr Luke, then our Lord warns you to beware of him.”

Dave
Good one, Dave! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bif.gif" alt="" />
I recommend you take a look at this website: What Love Is This? Though it is addressed more particularly to Dave Hunt's book, What Love Is This?, it has some information about the Servetus affair that is pertinent.
Posted By: Tom Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 6:11 AM
Yes it was a good one. Also with 1saved's reasoning, I guess we could conclude that King David is in hell right now. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bif.gif" alt="" />

Tom
Posted By: fredman Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 11:50 AM
I originally posted this email under the "Covenant Succession" thread, because 1Saved insisted that my pastor and boss was some how giving a negative treatment to John Calvin for the death of Servetus. It looks as though the moderators, or 1Saved himself, started a new thread with this as the topic. Because he again mis-cites John from an appendix in his book "Reckless Faith" I wanted to make sure that those who stumble across this thread would read what I responded to 1Saved at the other thread.

I am not absolutely sure why John Mac is being involked in this discussion, but seeing that I personally work for the guy here at his radio ministry, I just wanted to comment upon this statement from his book.
The section is from an appendix on the changing nature of Roman Catholicism. John is establishing how, through out all of church history, there is a history of persecution. I would add, that the persecution of dissenting "heretics" was due to more of a state/church monstrosity of the time, but that is neither here nor there. Suffice it to say, John is simply establishing that even though Protestant Christians, individuals we hold up as heroes of the faith, and rightly so, had their share of doing bad things in the name of Christianity, they had nothing on the RCC. John goes on to say that the persecution carried out by Protestants "pale in comparison to the horrifying waves of tyranny and inhumanity carried out in the name of Roman Catholicism." John is only setting up an historical contrast.

Now, where I am a bit lost is with why John MacArthur mentioning John Calvin sanctioning Servetus's death is relevant. Are you saying, George, that John is implying that Calvin was not a Christian? Or that he has nothing worthy of his rightful honor as a tremendous contributor to Christianity and Christian thought? That would be a difficult point to establish seeing that Dr. MacArthur gave a series of lectures on the importance of preaching at the seminary chapel a few years ago, and he used John Calvin as his primary model and example of how we should preach.

Granted, John is not a Calvinist in the sense that Pilgrim mentioned, but Calvin is one of John's spiritual heroes and he would never tell anyone not to read Calvin just because Calvin helped establish charges in the trial and death of Servetus.

By the way, not to excuse Calvin; Servetus's death was a horrific crime, but if you know anything about Servetus and his angry, stalker like personality, especially toward Calvin, he sort of had it coming.


With that re-posted, I might ask George - 1saved - a question: What relevance does Calvin's involvement with Servetus have on how we understand predestination, election, the atonment, etc? I always find it slightly amusing that any time Calvinism is involved in a discussion, at some point the anti-Calvinist antagonist will drag out the burned corpse of Michael Servetus as to why the Five points of Calvinism are heretical and should be rejected. But what bearing does the death of Servetus have on understanding what the Bible teaches on the nature of salvation? How does Servetus's unjust death change the exegesis of Romans 9 or Ephesians 1 or 1 John 2:2 for that matter? It is illogical to suggest that Calvin's involvement with Servetus nullifies the Bible's teaching on the doctrines of grace as Calvin taught in his theology and his followers continued to teach after his death. This is similar logic employed by anti-Bush haters who think Bush's drunkedness in college 30 years ago has some connection to American military policy in Iraq today. Maybe you can answer these questions George before Joe posts you back.

Fred
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 2:38 PM
Brother Fred,

Thank you so much for your reply, as it has reinforced the testimony of Dr. MacArthur in his book "Reckless Faith."

I want you to be assured that I greatly admire Dr. MacArthur as a Bible teacher and acknowledge him as my brother in Christ. That said, I also want to tell you that I do not agree with everything Dr. MacArthur writes, but I do agree with a great majority of what he teaches.

In fact, when I first was saved in September, 1996, I received the bulk of my doctrine from the teaching of Dr. MacArthur while listening to his radio program "Grace To You" every morning while going to work on WMBI.

I have heard his 6-part tape message entitled "The Way To Heaven" and agree with every thing John said. I also recommend his 8-part tape message entitled "True Worship." I highly recommend these teachings of Dr. MacArthur for everyone to listen to and would suggest to every minister they be required listening within their church. I also liked Dr. MacArthur's tapes entitled "Show Me Your Faith", which is his expositional commentary of the Book of James. There are other teachings of Dr. MacArthur I could recommend, but I'll time out before I can finish.

I also recommend Dr. James M. Boice as a Bible teacher. I also do not agree with everything he wrote.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 2:55 PM
The saved are dead to sin as they have been crucified to Christ. Their sin debt has been fully paid by the blood sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus. Praise His Holy name.

Read carefully what I wrote. The passage in Matthew 7:15 was given to us to help us determine whether a Christian religious leader is/was a false prophet or a true prophet of God. What did the leader's 'fruit' say about him? That is the question.

I'm not talking about followers, I'm talking about leaders. Dr. MacArthur exhibits good fruit, but he is a Calvinist. The leader of the Calvinist doctrine was John Calvin and it's his fruit we should examine to see if there was even one example of bad fruit.

You should also examine the 'fruit' of men like Augustine, Luther, Arminius, Cromwell, Wesley, Whitefield, Scofield, etc. I did not include them in the original post, but the same argument applies to them as well.
First off, simply put, "Nicely Done." to all you who have already posted.

But, I would like to look at the second part of the definition supplied for the word "sanctioned" which you say is "2) To countenance; allow." I would point out that sometimes we must allow what we do not agree with. So, wether or not Calvin sanctioned, your definition is ambiguous as I understand it, even if Calvin did sanction this death of a man who was a convicted criminal by their laws (or to put it simply, if Calvin upheld the death penalty) it may have been a matter of Calvin upholding the power of the local coart.

Also, I don't know who this Horton guy is, have't read his stuff yet, but do you hold Johnny Mac or his work as being of some higher quality? I point out that you said, "Pilgrim and myself agree that both Dr. Horton and Dr. MacArthur are notable and we agree both Dr. Horton and Dr. MacArthur are Calvinists." So, this guy is a doctor of something, he's notable and he's calvinist? You're saying the same thing of MacArthur but you're using MacArthur as a superior source? This does not make sense to me.

Also, "it's possible Dr. MacArthur has other records showing Calvin did" and "evidence may have surfaced which wasn't available to Dr. Horton." but you have no proof that Dr. MacArthur is using something other than the official records? That's speculation, so your case could be argued against on a topicality basis. Until this can be confirmed, even though these men may be of good report, your case is still a matter of speculation, their good names do not make their cases fact. *See my next objection*

"This is why I believe the best way to find out the truth is to ask both Dr. MacArthur and Dr. Horton to give us more information, i.e. the sources they used to write what they wrote. This seems to be very reasonable. Would you agree? "
Great, so why doesn't someone just look at their bibliography pages or e-mail them and ask?


Also, I love that you put this one in here, "We cannot correctly judge another, because we can only see what is on the surface." you point out that we cannot correctly judge someone b/c we are unable to see beyond the surface, and while I would love to argue that point and get more clarity, that's for another thread another time, BUT if we cannot see beyond the surface, how are we to judge the actions of John Calvin? We were not there, we did not know Calvin personally and as I understand it, we cannot know him through his writing's b/c he only wrote the institutes, right? So, how are we to judge the surface of Calvin if we cannot even see the full surface of Calvin?
Also, I really detest the liberal usuage of the word "judge" which while I use it here for the sake of ease, I really would like defined. Judge can be mean anything as light as "to libel and slander" to "Condemning the heretic to hell", clarification is greatly desired.

"What Jesus means by 'fruit' and 'tree' is debatable. One definition of 'fruit' is: "The outcome, consequence, or result of some action, effort, situation, etc.: the 'fruit of labor'." One definition of 'tree' is: A diagram or outline resembling a tree and showing family descent: a genealogical 'tree'." "
I just point out that "One definition" but that does not mean it is the entire or necessarily right definition of Fruit or Tree. As I understand the passage, Jesus is saying by way of a metaphor that a man's actions will speak about his character and that you will be able to judge how to approach him and act towards him.
Also, geneological charts are obviously not the correct rendering of the word trees here, otherwise you'd be saying, 'You will know this man by the outcomes and consequences of his family history chart.' If you're going to give a definition, give one that can actually be used in context, thank you.


"It's clear to me it doesn't matter how bad the 'fruit', what matters is whether there is any 'bad fruit' at all."
"bad" in the case of fruit is a matter of perspective, I personally don't see the upholding of a law (even a questionable one by my cultural standards (which would be an ethnocentric attitude on my part) as being evil). You argued earlier that we are finite creatures unable to judge beyond the surface. I tell you the truth, we cannot know what the continued allowence of a "arch-heretic" (that was even condemned by the Papacy) would have had upon society. In all likely hood lives were saved and grace was magnified the more by the death of this man, and besides, he's a heretic that had been confronted with the Gospel, if he was elect he'd have been saved, otherwise, he'd have gone to hell, by executing him it just saved someone else the trouble later by getting him there sooner. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


Also, as if I needed to go on, it's common in debate and argument to admit and concede certain things so as not to appear completely arrogant and rude, and it surely cannot be a sin to point out a few historical facts which are easily learned. MacArthur was probably just showing that he doesn't consider the Reformers to be infallible.
Also, when did Oliver Cromwell become a major church leader??? Cromwell was a leader in a British revolution, this I know, but I've not read any treatise or book about the Christian religion or Christian living, I've never seen his systematic theology, so why are we talking about him??? Excuse me if I sound ignorant, I admit (though I admit that I"m to be a history major)modern history isn't my strong point, but how in the world does Cromwell come into all this?

"So the importance of determining whether or not John Calvin "sanctioned the burning of Michael Servetes" has enormous implications. If Calvin did "sanction the burning of Michael Servetes", as alledged by the "notable Calvinist" Dr. John MacArthur, then our Lord warns you to beware of him. "
I think I've already made all the objections I need to make, except, as I recall my history, the 5 points were drawn from Calvin's teachings yes, but they were done so after his death to make arguing with the Arminians a little easier. Again, the 5 points are only 5 doctrine's we hold dear, there are others, and we cannot use the 5 points as a looking class through which we interpret all other doctrines. IF our theology is correct, then the 5 will go complimentry to all the other doctrines as they are in scripture, just as the 5 are taken directly from scripture.
Also, this doesn't have enormas implications, b/c we need to beware of everything we learn, we must make certain that we learn what is true and scriptural, that's a call to any true disciple. Only an fool pays no attention to the information he is learning.

This post was full of ifs and alledged's and all kinds of things that make it suspect, a case built on circumstantial evidense at best, hot air at the worst.
I, too, fail to see how the burning of one heretic can lead to the downfall of the truth, it cannot, the heretic got what we all deserve, and praise God that in His mercy He has spared us!

I'm certain there are other arguments to be made, I would greatly enjoy reading them, but this is about all I can think of at the moment.

God bless,

-Brother Luke
Posted By: fredman Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:09 PM
Quote
Thank you so much for your reply, as it has reinforced the testimony of Dr. MacArthur in his book "Reckless Faith."

(Fred) How exactly? I pointed out that you are totally misusing John's quote to some how libel the character of John Calvin as a Christian man. That was not John's intention at all.

Quote
Read carefully what I wrote. The passage in Matthew 7:15 was given to us to help us determine whether a Christian religious leader is/was a false prophet or a true prophet of God. What did the leader's 'fruit' say about him? That is the question.

I'm not talking about followers, I'm talking about leaders. Dr. MacArthur exhibits good fruit, but he is a Calvinist. The leader of the Calvinist doctrine was John Calvin and it's his fruit we should examine to see if there was even one example of bad fruit.

(Fred) So what you are trying to set up is that John Calvin was lost and a false prophet? Let us pretend that John Calvin never existed, how would you understand Romans 9, Ephesians 1? Are men dead in sin and with no ability to come to faith in Christ unless God work in their hearts first? Or would you deny that? Whether or not John Calvin was a Christian is irrelevant to our understanding of the Bible and what it reveals regarding the saving work of Christ and God's saving grace.

For some reason, you are under the impression that if you can demonstrate that Calvin was a false teacher, then Calvinism is wrong and we all here at this board have errant views of election, the atonement, etc. But the truth of the matter is that Calvin's character has no bearing upon what the Bible teaches regarding salvation. And besides, John Calvin was not the leader of the Calvinist doctrine that bears his name. That system of theology didn't come around until 40 years or more after his death, and it was a needed response to the heresies of the Arminian Remonstrance. Please do some reading in Church history. The Christians of the time didn't suck these beliefs out of their thumbs.

Fred
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:10 PM
Michele,
Are you agreeing that Servetus should have been burned to death for teaching what he taught? Do you also agree with the Calvinists who executed the followers of Arminius after the trial at the Synod of Dort?
If you do, what Scripture can you cite to support your position, other than this in 1 Corinthians? Paul doesn't say execute them. He said to turn them over to Satan. Have you some confirmation that the Holy Spirit has taught you correct exegesis of the passage you quote? Can you say you asked God and he told you "turn them over to Satan" means execute them?
Before you answer this, I'd like to remind you that Scripture prohibits women from teaching. Yes, you're allowed to have your own opinion and as you know I have agreed with you in the past, but on this issue I cannot agree.
Posted By: fredman Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:17 PM
1Saved,
It would be helpful if you could list the names of those Arminian individuals who were supposedly executed by the Synod of Dort.
Again, we need to know why those pronouns are important to Ephesians 1. Any word from Joe yet?

Fred
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:26 PM
Thank you for the link. I've copied part and paste it here:

Calvin had Servetus arrested when he came to Geneva, and appeared as his accuser. He wanted him to be condemned to death, but not to death by burning. On August 20, 1553, Calvin wrote to Farel: "I hope that Servetus will be condemned to death, but I desire that he should be spared the cruelty of the punishment" -- he means that of fire. Farel replied to him on September 8th: "I do not greatly approve that tenderness of heart," and he goes on to warn him to be careful that "in wishing that the cruelty of the punishment of Servetus be mitigated, thou art acting as a friend towards a man who is thy greatest enemy. But I pray thee to conduct thyself in such a manner that, in future, no one will have the boldness to publish such doctrines, and to give trouble with impunity for so long a time as this man has done."
Calvin did not, on this account, modify his own opinion, but he could not make it prevail. On October 26th he wrote again to Farel: "Tomorrow Servetus will be led out to execution. We have done our best to change the kind of death, but in vain. I shall tell thee when we meet why we had no success." (Opera, XIV, pp. 590, 613-657).
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:37 PM
Greetings Dave,

No your comparison between Calvin and the apostle Paul is not valid for this discussion.

I'll agree that if this alleged "Calvin sanctioning the burning of Servetus" occurred BEFORE Calvin wrote his doctrine and then Calvin repented his actions and received his doctrine from the Holy Spirit, your point would then be valid. That is not the sequence of events with Calvin, but certainly was the case with the apostle Paul.

I hope I have explained to your satisfaction.
Posted By: fredman Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 3:57 PM
Quote
I'll agree that if this alleged "Calvin sanctioning the burning of Servetus" occurred BEFORE Calvin wrote his doctrine and then Calvin repented his actions and received his doctrine from the Holy Spirit, your point would then be valid. That is not the sequence of events with Calvin, but certainly was the case with the apostle Paul.

(Fred) Again, 1saved, you are displaying a lot of general ignorance about the events surrounding Calvin.

First, how do you know he didn't "repent" of his actions with Servetus. That is speculative.

Secondly, you tend to remove his consent from the historical context where the events took place. In Calvin's time, it was upholding the law to execute heretics, Sevetus being the Kingpin heretic of his day.

Third, Calvin did not develop the doctrine (I take it that you mean the 5 points) that bears his name. That happened 4 to 5 decades past his death.

Fourth, the Bible teaches those doctrines as they are systematized into 5 points. I do not believe them because I follow Calvin (I have only read scant portions of his institues).

Fifth, Paul sanctioned slavery in his epistles. Is he a false teacher because he told slaves to submit to their masters? Manstealing is just a much a condemned sin as murder, is it not?

My boss, Phil Johnson, a few years ago wrote an excellent response on another message board to similar accusations concerning Calvin and Servetus. It would be good to post his reponse here:

There are only two actual historical cases of any significance where anti-Calvinist dissidents were put to death for their beliefs in Geneva during the time of John Calvin's ministry there.

These represent the sum total of all existing "proof" that Calvin was a ruthless tyrant who put people to death merely for disagreeing with him. Here's the truth of the matter: when the facts about these two cases are examined, it becomes clear that Calvin's opponents have distorted the facts for propagnda purposes.

MICHAEL SERVETUS (1553)

Modern Catholics and Arminians love to try to tag Calvin
personally with the responsibility of killing Michael Servetus. But Calvin's position in Geneva was only as the city's spiritual leader. He had no dictatorial powers, and he certainly was not the sort of thundering, murderous tyrant many Catholics, Arminians, and Anabaptists would like to portray. In fact, he had regular run-ins with the city's civil leaders. He was by no means the one calling the shots when Servetus was executed. Alister McGrath's
biography _A life of John Calvin_ (Oxford: Basil Blackwell Ltd., 1990), p. 116, says this: "Servetus was the _only_ individual put to death for his religious opinions in Geneva during Calvin's lifetime, at a time when executions of this nature were commonplace elsewhere." McGrath includes a lengthy section on the Servetus episode that is instructive.

Why Calvin so often is painted as a demon for this episode is mystifying. It was the Genevan Council (the civil magistrates), not Calvin, who "ordered that Servetus be burned alive. Calvin asked for a milder form of death for the heretic, but did not gain his point" [S. M. Houghton, _Sketches from Church History_(Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1980), 109.] Calvin's only role in the fiasco was that he approved of execution as a fit punishment for heresy (as did virtually everyone else in that era). He specifically gave approval for Servetus's execution, but he pleaded for a merciful form of execution. Other than that, he did
not participate in the event.

A point of historical interest: Servetus was already under penalty of death from the Roman Catholic Church before Geneva executed him. Roland Bainton noted, "Servetus would have expiated [his heresies] at the stake in Catholic France had he not escaped and paid the same penalty in Protestant Geneva" [_The Reformation of the Sixteenth Century_ (Boston: Beacon, 1952), p. 136]. Servetus
had previously been informed by Genevan authorities that the city would offer no refuge to a heretic such as he. He chose to come anyway, preferring to take his chances with the Calvinists rather than face the Papal inquisitors.

Of course, all those facts do not excuse Calvin. Approving of Servetus's death was one of the biggest mistakes he ever made in his life, and his enemies have used it against him right down to the current day. But his friends have also been quick to acknowledge that "Calvin was certainly at fault, not of course in opposing the heresy of Servetus--he exposed it thoroughly--but in accepting the widely-held belief of the age that heretics should be put to death" [Houghton, p. 109].

Remember, though, this _was_ the belief commonly held by virtually all sides in that age, and not something unique to Calvinism. Those who try to haul out the ashes of Servetus as an argument against Calvinism will find those ashes quickly blow away when held out in the open.


Fred
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 4:02 PM
Thank you brother, Kyle.

This website has a very long dissertation on the events surrounding both Calvin and Servetus. I stopped before reading a third of the material. I found this, however:

The way from Vienne or Toulouse, where he may have gone first, leads through Grenoble, Modane, and Turin. Why then such a wearisome detour? Moreover he had every reason to avoid Geneva because Calvin had warned him for many years. As early as 1546, he wrote to Farel that should Servetus come to Geneva he would not leave alive, provided his authority was still respected. From the connection of the letter, I conclude he must have written to Servetus in like manner. According to the documents of the trial, Servetus. seemed to be of the opinion that Calvin himself served notice on him in Vienne.



The testimony above says the official documents of the trial of Servetus may imply something different than what Dr. Horton wrote, i.e. there is no official trial record of malice toward Servetus by Calvin. I'm hoping Dr. Horton or a representative of his will clarify this apparent conflicting testimony between Hunt and Dr. Horton.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 4:21 PM
King David immediately repented his sin after the prophet Nathan showed him his error. Nevertheless, God could not overlook David's sin and punished David by causing adversity against him from his own house by taking away his wives and killing his son. 2 Samuel 12:1-15

How is this argument germane? Are you defending the alleged "Calvin sanctioning the burning of Servetus" by referring to David's sin, as somehow justifiable?

If so, please provide the logic, for I do not see it at all and therefore cannot point out any other errors I may find in it.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 5:00 PM
Quote
except, as I recall my history, the 5 points were drawn from Calvin's teachings yes, but they were done so after his death to make arguing with the Arminians a little easier.
Well, let me enlighten you just a bit more for your edification and to set the historical record before you. "Calvinism" existed a millennium before Calvin was born. Augustine, was one of the first to bring these doctrines to the public arena in his disputes with Pelagius. They were held by many others during the time of Augustine and even before... obviously being taught by the Apostles and even Jesus Christ Himself. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

As to the infamous "Five Points", there are "5" because it was the followers of Arminius who posited "5" articles of disagreement to the church; aka: Remonstrants. At the Synod of Dordtrect, between the years of 1618-1619, for 18 months the representatives of the Reformed Churches, to which these dissenters were also members and office-bearers, deliberated and searched the Scriptures concerning these "Five Points". At the end of the day, the vote was unanimous against the Remonstrants. And, the reply given was formulated in keeping with the original "Five Points". This is why there are 5 points of Calvinism.

See here: The Canons of the Synod of Dordt.

Also, if you haven't done so, you should download the free reference program which contains many of the great Evangelical Creeds and Reformed Confessions for many denominations. You can do so here: Refcon3 Info Page.

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 6:28 PM
Greetings BrimstonePreacha,

I quoted the definitions for 'sanction', 'fruit' and 'tree' from the same source, i.e. Funk & Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary, copyrights 1963, 1966, 1968, Funk & Wagnalls, New York.

I didn't choose the word 'sanction', Dr. MacArthur did. I deliberately included all the pertinent definitions from the dictionary, to avoid anyone accussing me of bias.

As to who Dr. Horton is and what his credentials are, you can find them with his article on this website. Dr. Horton was vice-chairman of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals when he wrote the article in 1992. I don't know anything about Dr. Horton, but because I know and respect the teaching of Dr. James M. Boice who was chairman of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals at the same time as Dr. Horton, I have agreed with Pilgrim that Dr. Horton is a "notable Calvinist."

Let's make every effort to not disparage the reputation of our brothers, as we try to determine the truth as to whether or not "Calvin sanctioned the burning of Servetus."

I may be wrong, but it seems you don't really care whether Calvin did or did not "sanction the burning of Servetus?" In fact, by your last paragraph you seem to say that you also "sanction the burning of Servetus." Am I correct?

Have you ever seen the movie "A Few Good Men" starring Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise? You sound a lot to me like the character Jack Nicholson played. At the end of the movie Tom Cruise interrogates Jack Nicholson and asks him, "Did you order the code red?!!!" To which Nicholson replied, "You're d****d right I did, because it probably saved lives."

Have you ever considered Who is really in control? Have you trusted Him in faith? Scripture says, "Judge not, that you be not judged. For by what measure you judge, you will be judged, and the measure you use, it will be measured back to you." Matthew 7:1,2 NKJV and "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12 NKJV
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 7:03 PM
Brother Fred,

I'm no expert on logic, but I believe the statement I made was: 1)The burning of Servetus would have to have been BEFORE Calvin wrote his doctrine AND 2)Calvin would have to have repented AND 3)Calvin would have to have received his doctrine from the in-dwelling Holy Spirit.

All three statements would have to be true before I would agree with using Paul as a comparison to Calvin in this instance. If I had written OR, then you would have a point.

Fred, why don't you take this entire matter to Dr. MacArthur and tell us what is his response? I'm sure we would all be very interested to know what Dr. MacArthur meant when he wrote, "John Calvin sanctioned the burning of Michael Servetus, an arch-heretic who was condemned by both Catholics and Calvinists for his anti-trinitarianism."

This was the very reason for my posting this discussion, other I had to start a new topic to avoid the moderator deleting anything further I wrote in reply to the previous thread. Therefore, I started this discussion reluctantly, but was determined to find out the truth.

Is there something wrong with finding out the truth? If so, please explain it to me. I say God is TRUTH. When you are searching for the truth, you are seeking God. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with finding out the truth! Do you all agree with me on that?
Posted By: fredman Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 7:20 PM
Quote
I'm no expert on logic, but I believe the statement I made was: 1)The burning of Servetus would have to have been BEFORE Calvin wrote his doctrine AND 2)Calvin would have to have repented AND 3)Calvin would have to have received his doctrine from the in-dwelling Holy Spirit.

Lets look at your logic then, point by point.

1)The burning of Servetus would have to have been BEFORE Calvin wrote his doctrine

It may be helpful for you to explain what you mean by "doctrine." Do you mean specifically the 5 points? If yes, then the formation of Calvins doctrine took place long after both Servetus and Calvin were dead. If no, then I need you to tell me what doctrine you have in mind.

2)Calvin would have to have repented

Who is to say that Calvin did not, that we just haven't heard about it?

3)Calvin would have to have received his doctrine from the in-dwelling Holy Spirit.

Calvin did receive his doctrine from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, because the Bible affirms the doctrine he taught. The spirit can not lie against the truth of scripture, thus, Calvin did receive his doctrine from the Spirit.

Quote
All three statements would have to be true before I would agree with using Paul as a comparison to Calvin in this instance.

(Fred) As far as we know, all three points are true with regards to Calvin, thus, the comparison with Paul, particularly the one I raised in which Paul sanctions the keeping of slaves is legitimate.

Fred
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 7:41 PM
Brother Fred,

One step at a time, please. Do not read into something what isn't there nor try to guess someone else's motives.

You reinforced the testimony I gave, because you work for Dr. MacArthur and are therefore an obvious witness as to whether or not John wrote this book. You also have testified, by implication, you agree the quote provided is accurate and that the theme of the book is as I described.

There are those who would delay the truth-finding process by 1)questioning whether Dr. MacArthur wrote the book, then 2)questioning whether I quoted him accurately, then 3)questioning whether the book's theme is as I described it, then 4) demand the entire book be posted so they can see whether or not I took Dr. MacArthur's statements out of context.

To get agreement established on the first three points may have taken a week or more and on the fourth, more than a month. You reduced the process to one day. Thank you again.

No, I checked by Emails and I have still not received a reply from Joe. I assure you the answer is there in Ephesians 1 and can be readily discerned directly from the text of Scripture using legitimate hermeneutics and exegesis as established by the ICBI. You should pay close attention to the prounouns Paul used and keep in mind that Jesus said, "Many are called, but few are chosen (elected)." You can also read what I wrote in reply to conditional perseverance, but I must still wait for Joe to reply to my private message before I say anymore in fairness to him.

By the way, Fred. Do you know Dr. Horton and do you think he might give more information to this discussion forum to help us determine the truth?
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 8:26 PM
Brother Fred,
By what you say, Calvin had no "doctrine", since the Calvinist "doctrines" weren't officially compiled until after Calvin's death. Thus, Calvinist doctrine didn't come from Calvin, by your definition of "doctrine." Right?

Does it matter that Calvin wrote books on theology, but didn't name the books 'My Doctrine'? When did Calvin write his books on theology, before or after the burning of Michael Servetus? Who influenced what he wrote? Augustine or the Holy Spirit?

I looked up "doctrine" in my Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary, edited by Ronald F. Youngblood, copyright 1995, 1986 by Thomas Nelson Publishers on page 363, I quote:

"Doctrine -- a body of beliefs about God, humankind, Christ, the church, and other related concepts considered authoritative and thus worthy of acceptance by all members of the community of faith."

I'll accept this definition of doctrine, so long as you accept that the words "considered authoritative" does not mean the body of beliefs are "absolutely authoritative" or "unquestionably authoritative."

You may consider all your doctrine to be authoritative and your brother, another born-again Christian, may not consider all your doctrine to be authoritative. In fact, your born again Christian brothers, are obligated to point out the error in your doctrine, as they are led by the Holy Spirit.

Dr. John MacArthur wrote a little book entitled, "Why One Way?", copyright 2002, W Publishing Group. Have you read it? Do you agree with him? On page 26, Dr. MacArthur says:

"Authentic Christianity has always held that Scripture is absolute, objective truth. It is as true for one person as it is for another, regardless of anyone's opinion about it. It has one true meaning that applies to everyone. It is God's Word to humanity, and its true meaning is determined by God; it is not something that can be shaped to fit the preferences of individual hearers."

Assuming you agree with Dr. MacArthur, do you suggest that only Calvinists are saved, because only Calvinists know and follow Calvinist doctrine. If yes, was no one saved before John Calvin? If yes, then how could Calvin have been saved, since Calvinist doctrine wasn't compiled until long after his death?
Posted By: MHeath Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 8:27 PM
Well, I will respond to some of what you said here.

What I was trying to get across with my post, was that while we don't know the means by which Paul turned that man over to Satan, it was for the destruction of the flesh... because "a little leaven leavens the whole lump."

I don't know anything about the executions of the followers of Arminius, so I cannot comment on it.

As for your exhortation to make sure I don't phrase my post in a "teaching manner" I am going to ignore it. You are not my husband, nor my pastor. I have no reason to "obey" you, much less even listen to you.

I don't recall us agreeing in the past either. If I did, it's cool, I just don't remember.

Do I agree that Servetus should have been executed? I don't know.. I live in post modern western society. I think if I lived back then, under the severe persecution that the reformists were enduring, I may have another opinion. I may love the truth of the Word, the Word of God more than I do today.

You know, the thing is, John Calvin did not throw himself on the fire and try and cut Servetus free. We know that he sanctioned the execution. It seems he did not sanction the means by which he was executed. Either way, who cares? What is your point? Are you saying that you have never done anything "sinful" since you were saved? If in fact you have been saved? Be careful not to hold yourself up as a teacher.. they are held to a stricter judgement. You keep saying that a "tree" should not bear "ANY" bad fruit whatsoever. I would say that you are using such confused logic, and your posts are so confusing (even to me.. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/moron.gif" alt="" />) that the one verse that comes to mind, is that God is not the author of confusion. That is not good fruit.

Also, you tried to qualify "fruit" for us. Well, the Bible TELLS us what fruit is. It IS the fruit of the Spirit. Plain and simple.

Anyway, the baby is crying and dinner is almost done.. gotta make the salad.

Michele
Posted By: Tom Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 8:29 PM
1saved

If I was you I would stay as far away from Hunt's writing and teaching as possible. He has proved himself to be very unreliable. In fact despite some of his friends (Calvinists and non-Calvinists) urging for him to correct obvious errors in his book before going to publication, he kept these errors in.
One of these errors of course is his saying that CH Spurgeon was not a Calvinist. That is laughable for anyone who has done any serious reading of Spurgeon.
Hunt of course says in defense of his keeping this false information in his book. (Not exact words) That his opinion is that Spurgeon wasn't a Calvinist, regardless of whether or not others claim he was.

If there is one thing I know beyond a shadow of doubt, is that Spurgeon was a Calvinist, to say otherwise is delusional.
I have focused on Spurgeon, not because there aren't many other falsities in Hunt's book, but because in my opinion it is the most glaring.
Posted By: Tom Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 8:34 PM
1saved

Do you except the writing of King David as being part of the canon of Scripture?
If yes, why? Don't you know that he was both a murderer and an adulterer.

Tom
Posted By: Tom Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 8:48 PM
1saved

Perhaps you have missed something.
Calvin did not sanction the burning of Servetus, he sanctioned the execution of Servetus. He argued for a more humane form of execution.
Also, I would like to point out that almost every Christian of that time would be in agreement of Calvin in have Servetus executed.
I guess, you would lump every single one of them as not having the Holy Spirit.

Tom
Posted By: Tom Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 8:56 PM
1saved

I look at the 5 points as something like the doctrine of the Trinity. The Church always taught it (at least some of the Church anyway), but it wasn't necessary to compile the doctrine in written form until heretical teaching entered the Church.

Tom
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 9:13 PM
Quote
but I must still wait for Joe to reply to my private message before I say anymore in fairness to him.
What bearing does Joe's reply to a Private Message you sent to him have to do with your answering the questions several have posed to you concerning your "secret revelatory insights" into the true interpretation of Eph 1? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratch1.gif" alt="" /> You might as well answer the question(s) as Joe in all likelihood is not going to reply to you for he is gone for an extended period of time.

Since we are all without the truth and you alone have had the "spirit" reveal this to you and the Lord Christ commands you to spread that truth to all who will hear it, which we all here are waiting for with much anticipation, then get on with it, if you don't mind and enlighten us with proper exegesis and hermeneutics as prescribed by the ICBI. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 9:42 PM
Quote
Have you ever considered Who is really in control? Have you trusted Him in faith? Scripture says, "Judge not, that you be not judged. For by what measure you judge, you will be judged, and the measure you use, it will be measured back to you." Matthew 7:1,2 NKJV and "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:12 NKJV

The typical cry of every heretic. Yet scripture denies yourt usage, and your actions here prove this is exactly what you are doing concerning John Calvin.


God bless,

william
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 10:24 PM
Greetings William,

I fail to see your logic. Are you saying I'm unfairly judging John Calvin. You are the judge in this discussion forum. I am the advocate. I'm pleading the case for the truth. Truth is the defendant. Truth has 'said', there is sufficient reason (probable cause) to bring discussion as to whether or not the alleged "Calvin sanctioning the burning of Servetus" is true.

Dr. John MacArthur is a witness and Dr. Horton is a witness and the postings from the other sources are all witnesses in the case.

You or anyone else for that matter, can be John Calvin's defense attorney. I suggest someone ask Dr. Horton to defend Calvin. I've already suggested Dr. Horton or his representative join this discussion forum. I have absolutely nothing to hide from the clear light of the truth. If I thought Calvin to be completely innocent, I would defend him, myself!

If you read carefully, I don't make unsubstantiated remarks. I don't use false logic and I don't slander anyone's reputation. I'm trying to be very, very careful to accurately present the facts of this case in as unbiased a manner as humanly possible.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 10:35 PM
Tom,

I never said I liked the writing of Dave Hunt. All I did was read something of Hunt's someone else posted and take an excerpt of it to post. I didn't even read 1/3 of Hunt's article.

I have read only one book by Dave Hunt entitled 'A Woman Rides the Beast'. In this book, Hunt claims the woman who rides the beast in Revelation is the Roman Catholic Church.

Whether or not I agree with that book of Hunt's, is not germane to the issue being discussed here, since it has to do with eschatology.

Thanks for the warning, although I'm not afraid I'll be deceived by any false teaching, since I trust the in-dwelling Holy Spirit to guide me and teach me truth from fallacy.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Fri Jan 30, 2004 10:58 PM
Quote
I'm pleading the case for the truth.
That alone is a falsehood! You aren't "pleading for the truth", but rather you are trying to establish some bizarre notion that if John Calvin agreed (sanctioned) with the civil authorities who condemned Michael Servetus to death for the crime of gross heresy and blasphemy, he is THEREFORE devoid of the Holy Spirit and all that he taught after that point in time is fallacious and should be rejected. The premise itself is not only indefensible but it is obnoxious on its face.

You have made a bold statement that you NEVER consult or use extra-biblical sources when discussing theology. Yet, on myriad occasions you have resorted to Funk & Wagnall's Encyclopedia, Webster's Dictionary, fallible men, e.g., John Bunyan, John MacArthur, James Boice, et al, and the audacious claim to have been given private tutoring from the Holy Spirit. The church is no stranger to Gnosticism. For even the Apostle John, when writing his Gospel was combating the devilish teachings of the Gnostics of his own day. There is nothing new under the sun, eh?

What is certain, is that you are a very confused man.

1 John 4:1 "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."


May the LORD God be gracious unto you and show you mercy.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Sat Jan 31, 2004 12:30 AM
Pilgrim,

The Bible is written using words. We need to have some standard for what each word means. If not Funk & Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary, submit some reference source you recommend.

By the way, you misquoted me, I didn't use Webster's Dictionary as a source.

The other dictionary I have is 'The American Heritage Dictionary' copyright 1982, 1985. If you like we can use it for purposes of defining the meaning of words.

I quoted an article on Bunyan's life from the World Book Encyclopedia as an example of a Scriptural doctrine clearly written in James 1:2-4.

Since you've questioned whether or not I have received this understanding from the Holy Spirit, I suggest you provide some testimony witnessing to some other source. Find some one who ever came to this same conclusion. Did I get this from Dr. MacArthur, or Dr. Boice, or Dr. Feinberg, or John Bunyan? If it came from Bunyan then produce the document John Bunyan wrote.

Did I plagiarize it from doctrine of either of the Catholic Churches, or the Methodists or the Dispensationalists?

If the doctrine is not correct, then you provide your own exegesis of the passage and explain what it means. If your exegesis contradicts other Scripture it must be false. In the same way, if my exegesis contradicts other Scripture, then my exegesis is false. The proof is in Scripture and only in Scripture.
Posted By: DaveVan3 Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Sat Jan 31, 2004 1:19 AM
George:

Here’s why your conclusion is (still) absurd:

Quote
You state:
I will not say I understand exactly and completely what Jesus is saying here. What Jesus means by 'fruit' and 'tree' is debatable.

You start by stating that you evidently are not sure what “bad fruit” really is.

Then in your conclusion, your logic then jumps to the fact that.....some sort of “Sin” is “bad fruit”. Especially Calvin’s sin. You called it “Sanctioning the burning of Servetus”. What would this “sin” be, asssuming the worst of Calvin? Complicity in murder? A sin of omission for not speaking out against “capital punishment”, which was the law of the land? Premeditated murder? Whatever it is it is some sort of “Sin”.

Then your logic..jumps again and presumes....1st he is guilty of “Sin” and 2nd he is un-repentant of sin before he “received his doctrine from the Holy Spirit” and/or after. (your words) Therefore..he is a bad tree. This logic also applies to Paul...he also is guilty of “Sin”....especially prior to his conversion...and didn’t Paul state “O wretched man that I am!”..... after his conversion......but your logic says “our Lord warns you to beware of him.”...because he is/has “bad fruit”....”SIN”.

Since your definition of “bad fruit” by default is some sort of “sin”..shouldn’t we also beware of “George Fitt”? I would wonder if there may be some un-repented sin..concerning the 9th commandment and John Calvin. In your presumption that Calvin was unrepentant...have you ever read any of the published prayers of John Calvin? If not here’s a sample for your perusal:

Quote
Grant, Almighty God, that though we daily depart from thee by our sins, we may not yet be wholly removed from the foundation on which our salvation depends; but do thou so sustain us, or even raise us up when fallen, that we may ever continue in our degree, and also return to thee in true repentance, and whatever may happen to us, may we learn ever to look to thee, that we may never despair of thy goodness, which thou hast promised to be firm and perpetual, and that especially while relying on thy only-begotten Son our Mediator, we may be able to call on thee as our Father, until we shall at length come to that eternal inheritance, which has been obtained for us by the blood of thine only Son. — Amen.

From what I’ve read of Calvin, I would imagine that not a day went by without a cleansing of the soul in humble repentance before his God. We would all do well to imitate it.


Dave
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Sat Jan 31, 2004 5:52 AM
Dave,

To answer your rebuttal to me, I can definitely say that the evidence of praying doesn't mean anything. There any many Roman Catholic monasteries and convents where prayer is done continually.

As a matter of fact, prayer should be done privately, in secret. Matthew 6:6 So, if Calvin's prayers were open to public knowledge, this only indicates he didn't follow Scripture.

As far as I'm concerned, this case is closed. Pilgrim has admitted John Calvin agreed to the death of Servetus, when Pilgrim wrote, "...because he agreed that Servetus got a fair trial and received a just punishment for his sin, even though he tried to change the method of his execution to something other than burning at the stake."

The only difference between the subject of the discussion and Pilgrim's statement is the difference in meaning between 'sanctioned' and 'agreed'.
Posted By: DaveVan3 Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Sat Jan 31, 2004 10:59 AM
Quote
George wrote:
if Calvin's prayers were open to public knowledge, this only indicates he didn't follow Scripture.

Let me give just one more published prayer. It may have special significance to you. It does for me.

Quote
Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. Paul, II Cor 7,8

Dave
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Sat Jan 31, 2004 3:02 PM
Dave,

Thank you providng the Biblical text confirming my position, which is - Christians are to seek the truth.

I think you are claiming, by implication, that what I've done is evil. But by seeking the truth and finding the truth, I have done what is good.

If you can't recognize truth, God is not in you. For the in-dwelling Holy Spirit confirms to you what is the truth.

All true Christians (all my brothers and sisters) understand this, it's a fundamental way to know whether someone else is a believer. All true Christians rely upon the Holy Spirit to guide them. The Bible says we are led by the Spirit. Led how? Led by discernment. Fundamental to discernment is recognizing truth from error.

All those reading the discussion as to whether or not Calvin agreed to the death of Servetus can be divided into two categories. Either they discerned that Calvin did agree or they did not discern Calvin agreed.

All those who discerned Calvin agreed to the death of Servetus are divided into two categories. Either they discerned this by their own intellect or they discerned it by the Holy Spirit.

When you break an idea down into a logical process of establishing whether something is one choice or another, then you are thinking rationally and logically. What is wrong with that?

This does NOT mean that those who did not discern that Calvin agreed do not have the Holy Spirit. They could have the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit didn't give them the information. The are still my brothers and sisters, but they perhaps they didn't ask, or perhaps they asked but doubted.

As to Paul's prayer being in Scripture, what's your point, so is the Lord's prayer. This is no argument against what I said. I know Jesus prayed, but He did so privately.

Where in Scripture did Jesus or any of His followers lead a multitude in prayer or even hold a prayer meeting? Is it wrong to pray? Of course not! Just don't try to convince anyone you're holy by some superficial jesture. You won't fool a true believer.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Sat Jan 31, 2004 3:36 PM
Quote
1saved said:
Brother Fred,

Thank you so much for your reply, as it has reinforced the testimony of Dr. MacArthur in his book "Reckless Faith."

George your missing the point John Macarthur isn't condemning Calvin for the death of Servetus he is pointing out that the Roman Catholic Church persecuted more people (and if they had gotten their hands on Servetus before he went to Geneva he would have been burned by them) then the Protestants did. As Fred pointed out he is setting up a historical contrast. Something you seem to be missing. That being said Horton is then providing the necessary information with regards to how Servetus' death came about and what John Calvin's role was regarding it.

Quote
I want you to be assured that I greatly admire Dr. MacArthur as a Bible teacher and acknowledge him as my brother in Christ. That said, I also want to tell you that I do not agree with everything Dr. MacArthur writes, but I do agree with a great majority of what he teaches.

In fact, when I first was saved in September, 1996, I received the bulk of my doctrine from the teaching of Dr. MacArthur while listening to his radio program "Grace To You" every morning while going to work on WMBI.

I have heard his 6-part tape message entitled "The Way To Heaven" and agree with every thing John said. I also recommend his 8-part tape message entitled "True Worship." I highly recommend these teachings of Dr. MacArthur for everyone to listen to and would suggest to every minister they be required listening within their church. I also liked Dr. MacArthur's tapes entitled "Show Me Your Faith", which is his expositional commentary of the Book of James. There are other teachings of Dr. MacArthur I could recommend, but I'll time out before I can finish.

I also recommend Dr. James M. Boice as a Bible teacher. I also do not agree with everything he wrote.

George the more I read from your posts the more I am convinced that you don't understand anything that either John MacArthur or James Boice taught. In fact I see more of a tendency for "ear tickling" than for true understanding you just listen to what you want to hear not what the Scriptures are plainly teaching.

And last but not least George
Quote
Fred asked George this:

With that re-posted, I might ask George - 1saved - a question: What relevance does Calvin's involvement with Servetus have on how we understand predestination, election, the atonement, etc? I always find it slightly amusing that any time Calvinism is involved in a discussion, at some point the anti-Calvinist antagonist will drag out the burned corpse of Michael Servetus as to why the Five points of Calvinism are heretical and should be rejected. But what bearing does the death of Servetus have on understanding what the Bible teaches on the nature of salvation? How does Servetus's unjust death change the exegesis of Romans 9 or Ephesians 1 or 1 John 2:2 for that matter? It is illogical to suggest that Calvin's involvement with Servetus nullifies the Bible's teaching on the doctrines of grace as Calvin taught in his theology and his followers continued to teach after his death. This is similar logic employed by anti-Bush haters who think Bush's drunkenness in college 30 years ago has some connection to American military policy in Iraq today. Maybe you can answer these questions George before Joe posts you back.

Do you think you have wherewithal to answer Fred's questions here? I know you gave him the glad hand routine when you found out that he was employed by John MacArthur but you seemed to avoid the direct questions. Think you can answer now or will you just keep avoiding it?
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Sat Jan 31, 2004 3:46 PM
Quote
1saved said:
Thanks for the warning, although I'm not afraid I'll be deceived by any false teaching, since I trust the in-dwelling Holy Spirit to guide me and teach me truth from fallacy.

I'm afraid that you've already proven that statement false here on these forums Sir.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Sat Jan 31, 2004 4:20 PM
Quote
1saved said:
Thank you brother, Kyle.

This website has a very long dissertation on the events surrounding both Calvin and Servetus. I stopped before reading a third of the material.
Too much conviction for you George? Perhaps you weren't finding what you wanted ie: the condemnation of John Calvin?

Quote
The way from Vienne or Toulouse, where he may have gone first, leads through Grenoble, Modane, and Turin. Why then such a wearisome detour? Moreover he had every reason to avoid Geneva because Calvin had warned him for many years. As early as 1546, he wrote to Farel that should Servetus come to Geneva he would not leave alive, provided his authority was still respected. From the connection of the letter, I conclude he must have written to Servetus in like manner. According to the documents of the trial, Servetus. seemed to be of the opinion that Calvin himself served notice on him in Vienne.

The testimony above says the official documents of the trial of Servetus may imply something different than what Dr. Horton wrote, i.e. there is no official trial record of malice toward Servetus by Calvin. I'm hoping Dr. Horton or a representative of his will clarify this apparent conflicting testimony between Hunt and Dr. Horton.

I am not a representative of Dr Michael Horton but I think I can clear this up easily let me quote from James White:

Quote
Further, Dave [Hunt] is not a scholar. In fact, he is proud of his lack of training in biblical languages, historical backgrounds, etc., (and the requisite training in the use of source materials in a proper and fair way that goes along with those studies). His tradition eschews that kind of study as being “elitist,” and surely that attitude resonates with many in evangelicalism today where, due to post-modern influences, everyone’s opinion is considered equal to everyone else’s. (here is the entire quote: http://aomin.org/CalvCon.html)

Dave hunt isn't a scholar, any works he submits must then be held to strict scrutiny because his lack of scholarship errors are likely to occur. Something that was pointed out frequently in Dave Hunt's book on Calvinism. Dave Hunt got it all wrong George, completely. Numerous times it was pointed out to him by Calvinists and Non-calvinists alike that he was wrong in his assertions. If you had read more than a third (or less) of the dissertations there this would have been obvious to you.

Okay George issue solved lets move on.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Sat Jan 31, 2004 4:28 PM
Quote
1saved said:
Dave,

To answer your rebuttal to me, I can definitely say that the evidence of praying doesn't mean anything. There any many Roman Catholic monasteries and convents where prayer is done continually.

As a matter of fact, prayer should be done privately, in secret. Matthew 6:6 So, if Calvin's prayers were open to public knowledge, this only indicates he didn't follow Scripture.

As far as I'm concerned, this case is closed. Pilgrim has admitted John Calvin agreed to the death of Servetus, when Pilgrim wrote, "...because he agreed that Servetus got a fair trial and received a just punishment for his sin, even though he tried to change the method of his execution to something other than burning at the stake."

The only difference between the subject of the discussion and Pilgrim's statement is the difference in meaning between 'sanctioned' and 'agreed'.

George that must be the most idiotic statement I ever read in my entire life up to this point (I don't know I haven't read the rest of your posts perhaps your lack of sense degrades further) Pilgrim categorically stated that you were in error! https://www.the-highway.com/forum/showthr...mp;o=7&vc=1 Admit the truth you are wrong!
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Sat Jan 31, 2004 4:42 PM
I should have read further! Unbelievable!

Dave responded to you:

Quote
Quote
George wrote:
if Calvin's prayers were open to public knowledge, this only indicates he didn't follow Scripture.

Quote
Let me give just one more published prayer. It may have special significance to you. It does for me.


Quote
Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. Paul, II Cor 7,8

Dave

George, George, George you state one thing and then you take it back when confronted with the truth.

Quote
1saved retorted:
As to Paul's prayer being in Scripture, what's your point, so is the Lord's prayer. This is no argument against what I said. I know Jesus prayed, but He did so privately.

Where in Scripture did Jesus or any of His followers lead a multitude in prayer or even hold a prayer meeting? Is it wrong to pray? Of course not! Just don't try to convince anyone you're holy by some superficial jesture. You won't fool a true believer.

Seriously George by your words you have already proven that you need to repent and come to the truth. Please George quit living this lie that says you've come to a saving knowledge of Christ it is obvious that isn't true. Listen to the truth repent of your sins trust in Christ alone.

Pete
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Sat Jan 31, 2004 5:54 PM
Brother Sanctus Stultus:

I waded through about a third of the post, found something germane to the issue and posted it as a service to others.

The only writers outside Scripture I've recommended to this website are Dr. MacArthur, Dr. Horton, Dr. Boice, Dr. Feinberg, John Bunyan and the book 'Inerrancy' edited by Norman Geisler.

In the future, I may choose to use another author than one of the above. For examples, I have books written by popular writers trying to understand and explain eschatology, i.e. Dr. John Walvoord and Tim Lahaye. I have a book by Rev. Billy Graham.

Should I check with you first? Is there some approved author list published on this website, so I would know who you will accept and who you won't accept as being notable or trustworthy?

By posting it, I did not recommend it, or its author, as having any credibility. In my response concerning Dave Hunt, I admitted to only reading one of his books called 'The Woman Rides The Beast', but since it involves eschatology, it was therefore not germane to the discussion. I deliberately didn't give any opinion on it, to show no bias!

I am certainly aware everyone is scrutinizing everything I've said, looking for someway to attack my logic and question my truthfulness. For example, Pilgrim thinks the dictionary I used (Funk & Wagnalls) is showing bias to define the words 'fruit' and 'tree' or 'sanction'. I offered to use the 'American Heritage Dictionary' instead, if he prefers, but he didn't answer.

I welcome honest concerns. You need to know whether someone is truthful and logical. But in doing so, be careful, for you are criticizing your brother. Jesus teaches us to remove the log from our own eye, before we look for the speck that's in our brother's eye.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Sat Jan 31, 2004 6:53 PM
Quote
1saved said:
Brother Sanctus Stultus:

I waded through about a third of the post, found something germane to the issue and posted it as a service to others.

The only writers outside Scripture I've recommended to this website are Dr. MacArthur, Dr. Horton, Dr. Boice, Dr. Feinberg, John Bunyan and the book 'Inerrancy' edited by Norman Geisler.

In the future, I may choose to use another author than one of the above. For examples, I have books written by popular writers trying to understand and explain eschatology, i.e. Dr. John Walvoord and Tim Lahaye. I have a book by Rev. Billy Graham.

Should I check with you first? Is there some approved author list published on this website, so I would know who you will accept and who you won't accept as being notable or trustworthy?

By posting it, I did not recommend it, or its author, as having any credibility. In my response concerning Dave Hunt, I admitted to only reading one of his books called 'The Woman Rides The Beast', but since it involves eschatology, it was therefore not germane to the discussion. I deliberately didn't give any opinion on it, to show no bias!

I am certainly aware everyone is scrutinizing everything I've said, looking for someway to attack my logic and question my truthfulness. For example, Pilgrim thinks the dictionary I used (Funk & Wagnalls) is showing bias to define the words 'fruit' and 'tree' or 'sanction'. I offered to use the 'American Heritage Dictionary' instead, if he prefers, but he didn't answer.

I welcome honest concerns. You need to know whether someone is truthful and logical. But in doing so, be careful, for you are criticizing your brother. Jesus teaches us to remove the log from our own eye, before we look for the speck that's in our brother's eye.

Okay lets do this by the numbers:

1.) You quoted this:
Quote
I found this, however:
The way from Vienne or Toulouse, where he may have gone first, leads through Grenoble, Modane, and Turin. Why then such a wearisome detour? Moreover he had every reason to avoid Geneva because Calvin had warned him for many years. As early as 1546, he wrote to Farel that should Servetus come to Geneva he would not leave alive, provided his authority was still respected. From the connection of the letter, I conclude he must have written to Servetus in like manner. According to the documents of the trial, Servetus. seemed to be of the opinion that Calvin himself served notice on him in Vienne.


The testimony above says the official documents of the trial of Servetus may imply something different than what Dr. Horton wrote, i.e. there is no official trial record of malice toward Servetus by Calvin. I'm hoping Dr. Horton or a representative of his will clarify this apparent conflicting testimony between Hunt and Dr. Horton.


I pointed out that Hunt's scholarship is in question something attested to by many people. You don't see this with regard to Dr. Michael Horton's scholarship. Is it possible for you to understand this? Did I use too many syllables if so I'll try to keep it down to words consisting of two or less.

2.) I find it incredulous that you who stated:
Quote
Saying something doesn't make it true. Quoting Calvin's doctrine doesn't make it true either. I will only accept the inspired Word of God as having any authority in doctrine.

and
Quote
What I have learned in Ephesians 1 was not received from any man, but came by the teaching of the in-dwelling Holy Spirit.

Now you go on to quote many different authors lending them credence and then get defensive when you are called on the carpet for it! Figure it out George are you a man who "only accepts the inspired Word of God" and "teaching of the in-dwelling Holy Spirit" or do you accept outside sources also? You accuse us of being unscriptural when we quote things like the Westminster Confession or the Institutes of Calvin. But are quick to use your articles and books for your own defense so who is being the hypocrite here?

3.) Finally let me say once again George you need to repent. Whatever your assuming to be the basis of your salvation is being made evident here to be deficient by your words and by your attitude which speak volumes to your actual condition. Repent George come to Christ trust on him alone.

Pete
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Sun Feb 01, 2004 12:26 AM
Sanctus Stultus,

Perhaps you are not aware that Pilgrim and I agree that both Dr. MacArthur and Dr. Horton were 'notable Calvinists.'

If you look up the word 'notable' in your dictionary you will see why Dr. Norton's credibility was not in question. His credibility was established for the purpose of this discussion. Therefore I wrote what I wrote.

When I use the word 'authority' it is with a specific purpose in mind. Look this word up in your dictionary as well. If we can't agree to the meaning of words or how to determine their meaning, we might as well stop communicating with each other.

I'd provide the definitions of words for you, but what dictionary do you agree everyone should use, so I can extract them for you? Beyond that, which of the many choices for each word? Should we say that only the Oxford English Dictionary and the first definition of each word is acceptable?

How would you like to begin discussing which translation of Scripture everyone should agree to use. Do I have to use the same one John Calvin used, which was in Latin? Should I use the Tyndale, or the KJV only because that was what was probably used at the Westminster Confession of Faith?

Should we all insist on using only an antique dictionary from the 16th or 17th century? Maybe we should insist that everyone write in a olde English manner, so we have uniformity there as well?

I thought we were seeking the truth, not trying to coverup the truth. Coverups never succeed anyway. Wasn't this the lesson of Watergate and the Bill Clinton affair?

If you insist on claiming John Calvin did not "agree to the death of Servetus", then re-open the case. The legal system has provisions for an appeal in cases of a mistrial and I have no problem going over all the testimony again, if you think there is any value to do so.

You can contest the testimony of all the witnesses if you like and you can place any new evidence on the board. If you want to throw out the testimony of Dave Hunt, feel free.

The "guilty as charged" verdict wasn't based upon a decision by a judge or jury. The verdict was determined by the admission of guilt by Calvin's defense attorney, Pilgrim.

Therefore, there was no longer any reason to continue bringing any more evidence to the forum. If you want to defend Calvin against the charge made by Dr. John MacArthur as quoted in his book, you will have to challenge Dr. MacArthur's reputation as a credible witness. Are you prepared to do that?
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Sun Feb 01, 2004 3:05 PM
I shake the dust of my feet off.



Pete
Quote
The only writers outside Scripture I've recommended to this website are Dr. MacArthur, Dr. Horton, Dr. Boice, Dr. Feinberg, John Bunyan and the book 'Inerrancy' edited by Norman Geisler.

Mostly doctors, implying formal education . . . oh dear me. What is this? Can formal education be used to enlighten the Christian on right doctrine? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/flee.gif" alt="" />
Completely worthless. You've pulled it out of context so I have no means of knowing where it's from unless I go and look through the entire site once more!

Perhaps if you had read through the entire site, you would see that your persistence in this issue is in the wrong.
Quote
To answer your rebuttal to me, I can definitely say that the evidence of praying doesn't mean anything. There any many Roman Catholic monasteries and convents where prayer is done continually.

As a matter of fact, prayer should be done privately, in secret. Matthew 6:6 So, if Calvin's prayers were open to public knowledge, this only indicates he didn't follow Scripture.

Are you insane? Is Christ guilty of sin for having made public knowledge the Lord's Prayer?

We are to pray in private RATHER THAN to seek accolades for false righteousness by praying aloud on the street corner. We are not commanded that we should never pray aloud or in public!
Quote
I think you are claiming, by implication, that what I've done is evil. But by seeking the truth and finding the truth, I have done what is good.

You sought truth and adopted a lie---a lie which has been shown false innumerable times. And yet you continue to insist upon this lie: that the death of Servetus proves that Calvin was reprobate.

Your charge is libelous and you ought to repent.
Quote
I'm not talking about followers, I'm talking about leaders. Dr. MacArthur exhibits good fruit, but he is a Calvinist. The leader of the Calvinist doctrine was John Calvin and it's his fruit we should examine to see if there was even one example of bad fruit.

And one example automatically proves them to be foreign to the Kingdom of God?
Quote
Let's make every effort to not disparage the reputation of our brothers, as we try to determine the truth as to whether or not "Calvin sanctioned the burning of Servetus."

Hypocrite.

You've already judged Calvin a "bearer of bad fruit" and hence one not indwelled by the Holy Spirit.

Quote
Have you ever considered Who is really in control? Have you trusted Him in faith? Scripture says, "Judge not, that you be not judged. For by what measure you judge, you will be judged, and the measure you use, it will be measured back to you."

Indeed, you are blinded by the plank in your own eye!
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Mon Feb 02, 2004 8:18 AM
"Servetus lately wrote to me,and coupled with his letter a long volume of his delirious fancies, with the Thrasonic boast,that I should see something astonishing and unheard of. He takes it upon himself to come hither,if it be agreeable to me. But I am unwilling to pledge my word for his safety,for if he shall come, I shall never permit him to depart alive,provided my authority be of any avail. "

Part of Calvins letter to Farel, Geneva 1546
Posted By: fredman Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:51 PM
Ok, Ok, Ok,
John Calvin is burning in a devil's hell, George. Everything he taught was a lie. Now, can we get back to what God says, through the apostle Paul, about the nature of His saving Grace as taught in Ephesians 1?

Fred
Dear 1Saved,
Thank you for the clarifications. I appreciate your mentioning which dictionary you got these out of and where the word "sanction" came from. I apologize if my post came off as being offensive. I admit, my knowledge of the life of John Calvin is not nearly what I'm sure it could be, not on par with the rest of this board, but there were a few questions I was left wandering after reading your first post on this thread and I was trying to point them out with my original response.
I also thank you for pointing out who this Dr. Horton is, as I said, I've never heard of him. I will take your and Pilgrim's word's on this matter.

ALSO,
I must admit that I fail to see how I "disparage the reputation of our brothers," and especially after I understand you to have questioned my salvation (with your last paragraph), which would seem to indicate that you don't believe me to be your brother in Christ?

In all actuality, I'm afraid to report that it doesn't keep me up at night worrying whether Calvin allowed someone to kill a heretic or if he allowed poker night every week or something like that. If we judge a system of belief on the sole basis that the actions of an individual or a group of individual's then we're not judging a belief but it's adherents which doesn't really prove much at all. The pagans judge like that.
So, I don't really give a great deal of care and there's not much I can do about it if I did. And if I don't care then I most certainly don't sanction or oppose it. My post was strictly about your post.
Also, couldn't we just dumb this argument down to a matter of do you support the authority "established of God" and do you support the death penalty? Basically the only difference between those two questions and this one is that your argument is based on an incident mentioned in a book which happens to mention a famous theologian being invovled.

Oh, THANK YOU VERY MUCH, I appreciate it when people say I'm odd, and getting compared to a Jack Nichelson character is definatly a new one for me, I laughed quite hardily after reading that one. It might help my understanding though if I had watched "A Few Good Men" but I've been too busy doing work and fellowshipping with church people to sit down and watch a hollywood production.

Finally, Yes, I know Jesus, I know that He is in control, it's as simple as our PreSchoolers put it, "God is in Control" I hope that you do as well, as I hope that all the members and readers of this board do. Ultimately though, my salvation is up to the Lord and I must work it out with fear and trembling. I cannot trust Him except He calls me with Irresistable Grace.

And by the way, my dad (an arminian) tries to use that verse from Matthew whenever I say anything questioning somebody, and if you actually read the chapter and in context and think about it, especially in the Greek, I think you'll come to discover that it's speaking about slandering people, otherwise it would negate your case since you're judgeing the fruit of John Calvin.

-Brother Luke

P.S. Now I might be wrong, but there are several points I don't believe you've addressed yet from my first post, but that's your business. "Have a nice day!"
Dear Pilgrim, <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bingo.gif" alt="" />
I greatly appreciate your patience with my ignorance, but I did in fact already know what information was supplied in short in this post. I appreciate your inclusion of these two links which I fully intent to examine.
It is clear though that the 5 points themselves are not known as "The Five Points of Calvinism" before Calvin existed though, but I understand and agree that this doctrinal system is evident throughout the Bible, especially in the writing's of Paul. And from what I've read of Augustine, it's most certain that he clung to these doctrines with all his might and loved them dearly. I would however caution (certain other persons) as I have been cautioned that the usage of the 5 points cannot be done at the expense of other biblical doctrines, we must let the Bible define our theology. That was the point I was trying to get across.

The "as I recall" that I used in my original post was more of a sarcastic or automatic wording, when I post all I'm doing is typing what I would say if this person were in front of me. I apologize if my way of speaking is confusing.

Speaking of all this history though, I still want to know how Oliver Cromwell got into all this? I don't really feel like going back to rediscover who mentioned him, but someone in this thread mentioned him and I'm just thinking, what in the world does Cromwell have to do with anything?

Anyway, that's enough showing my ignorance for one day.

Thank you very much,
Your Brother in Christ,
-Luke <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bravo.gif" alt="" />
Mark,

What on earth is your point?
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Tue Feb 03, 2004 7:18 AM
To let folk know part of Calvins thought on the matter.

Why Kyle ? Whats your problem with that ?
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Tue Feb 03, 2004 1:26 PM
BrimstonePreacha,

Your apology is accepted and thank you for replying to my post. I will endeavor to explain in more detail what I wrote to you so we are not confused by misjudging one another's meaning.

I said: 'Let's make every effort to not disparage the reputation of our brothers, as we try to determine the truth as to whether or not "Calvin sanctioned the burning of Servetus."

Clearly, I did not only mean you, because "Let's" means 'Let us.' And 'us' would include myself and everyone reading my reply.

So, to everyone still wanting to discuss this topic, let's make every effort to not disparage the reputation of our brothers, as we try to determine the truth as to whether or not "Calvin sanctioned the burning of Servetus."

I used the word "brothers" to mean all my/our fellow saved Christians to the exclusion of all those who are not my/our fellow brothers in Christ. Since I don't know whether you are my brother in Christ or a tare growing among the wheat, I can't use the pronoun "our" exclusively. As soon as I discern you are my brother, that will change.

"Judge not, that you be not judged." Matthew 7:1 NKJV

My MacArthur Study Bible says the following: '7:1 Judge not. As the context reveals, this does not prohibit all types of judging (v.16). There is a righteous kind of judgment we are supposed to exercise with careful discernment (John 7:24). Censorious, hypocritical, self-righteous, or other kinds of unfaif judgments are forbidden; but in order to fulfill the commandments that follow, it is necessary to discern dogs and swine (v.6) from one's own brethren (vv.3-5).'

Quite frankly, BrimstonePreacha, your own words have testified as to what is in your heart. You have indicated you don't care whether Calvin sanctioned the burning of Servetus.

You have said, your Arminian father has pointed this same passage out to you and quoted the same text of Scripture. Dr. MacArthur has also quoted from this same text of Scripture to make the same point in his excellent 6-part tape sermon 'The Way To Heaven.'

I discern your father and John MacArthur are my brothers and I believe Dr. MacArthur's testimony is accurate with regard to Servetus. I also believe all true believers would agree with Dr. MacArthur and myself with regard to this issue. That's the reason for my words, "Let's make every effort to not disparage the reputation of our brothers, as we try to determine the truth as to whether or not "Calvin sanctioned the burning of Servetus."

I sense you're not only trying to disparage Dr. MacArthur's and my reputation, but by bringing your Dad's testimony into this discussion and using "trying" and "arminian" to describe him and his testimony, you are trying to disparage his reputation as well. Are you ashamed of your father being a follower of Jacobus Arminius? If yes, then show me what 'bad fruit' Arminius or Wesley ever exhibited.

Unregenerant people can't discern the truth. This is because God is not in them. For if God were in them, He (God, the Holy Spirit) would testify to them of the truth.

In this issue, i.e. whether or not it matters to you that 'Calvin sanctioned the burning of Servetus,' or 'Cromwell's armies treated Irish Catholics with appalling ruthlessness', a line is drawn separating wheat from tares. If you are wheat it does matter. If you are tares then it does not matter.

I have said elsewhere there are only four categories of people. There are believers who know the truth (spiritually mature), there are believers who do not know the truth (little children), there are unbelievers who know the truth about their own spirituality (atheists) and there are unbelievers who do not know the truth about their own spirituality (all others.)

Are you claiming to be more spiritually mature (knowledgeable of the truth of God) than Dr. MacArthur? If you are, please provide the evidence, for I find evidences of this lacking in any testimony you have presented at this forum discussion.

Now, as to whether I agree with the authority of the Word of God, that sir, shows how little you have read my replies. I have been disparaged by many people at this website for clearly stating I accept ONLY Scripture as having ANY AUTHORITY.

Clearly Scripture allows for the death penalty, in fact God commands certain people be put to death - by stoning them - not by burning them. I also know Dr. MacArthur agrees with the death penalty and my opinions agree with those of Dr. MacArthur on the death penalty.

There's testimony presented here that Servetus wrote to Calvin in length to discuss Servetus' reasons for disagreeing with the official church doctrine on the trinity. There is no evidence presented that Calvin ever read what Servetus wrote. Does it matter to you IF "Calvin sanctioned the burning of Servetus" without reading what Servetus wrote? IF Calvin did not read what Servetus wrote can it be said he followed the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 7:1?

What is unChristian about disagreeing with the doctrine of the trinity as expressed by the Roman Catholic Church and Calvin, when NO ONE can explain the concept of the trinity to ANYONE'S satisfaction based ONLY on Scripture.

Even Dr. MacArthur has said he can't explain the trinity from Scripture, since it's a mystery, but he accepts the doctrine of the Church in faith.

As to questions you asked, but you say I haven't answered. If you will please tell me which questions you think I failed to answer and re-post them or Private Message them to me, I will do my best to answer them.
Posted By: fredman Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Tue Feb 03, 2004 1:41 PM
George,
No one here is disputing Calvin's role in sanctioning the death of Servetus. We all agree that he did. The issue of disagreement is that you believe his sanctioning of Servetus's death somehow demonstrates that Calvin was not saved, un-Christlike, and thus you conclude that the theology that he taught is false. First, I do not believe it demonstrates Calvin's unsaveness if we can call it that. I believe he was a spiritfilled, spirit fruit bearing man, just like John Bunyan. And secondly, it is an illogical conclusion to draw in the first place, because what Calvin did in his personal life with regards to Servetus has no bearing upon what he taught from scripture in regards to man's sin, election, and redemption.
Why is it that you refuse to draw this distinction?

Fred
Posted By: James Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Tue Feb 03, 2004 1:49 PM
I thought the eveidence showed

1. Calvin concurred with the death sentence on Servetus.

2. He was familiar with Servetus' teaching.

3. He did not agree with the manner of execution but sought a less painful method.

4. He did not have the authority to procure arrest and punishment by execution. This was the action of the civil not church authorities in Geneva.

On a different point you will find plenty of bad fruit in the life of Wesley in the many disparaging comments and slurs he sent out to Calvinists. I suggest you take the time to read a biography on him.

As for judging whether people are saved by their fruits one must look at the whole tenor and character of their lives, not simply condemn them for one fault. Who of us could withstand such scrutiny?

As for whether we agree with the teaching of various Christian forebears we are to compare what they taught with Scripture which is the supreme (though not the only) authority in the church.

On a most serious note you state:

Quote
What is unChristian about disagreeing with the doctrine of the trinity as expressed by the Roman Catholic Church and Calvin, when NO ONE can explain the concept of the trinity to ANYONE'S satisfaction based ONLY on Scripture.

Even Dr. MacArthur has said he can't explain the trinity from Scripture, since it's a mystery, but he accepts the doctrine of the Church in faith.
There is a great difference between explaining the Trinity in the sense of fully comprehending it; and explaining the Trinity in the sense of showing what the Biblical data is concerning the Godhead. None of us fully comprehends the Trinity. All orthodox Christians accept the Scriptural truth of this doctrine and that it is faithfully reflected in the teachings of the church. Servetus did not accept these things and was justly condemned as a heretic.

Regards,

James.
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Tue Feb 03, 2004 2:19 PM
Quote
BookMark said:
To let folk know part of Calvins thought on the matter.

Why Kyle ? Whats your problem with that ?

Perhaps Mark because it seems to be that you are aligning yourself with Mr. Unfit.


Pete
Quote
What is unChristian about disagreeing with the doctrine of the trinity as expressed by the Roman Catholic Church and Calvin, when NO ONE can explain the concept of the trinity to ANYONE'S satisfaction based ONLY on Scripture.

What's unChristian about it is that the Trinity's existence is CLEARLY ESTABLISHED by Scripture. Whether or not we can make reasoned arguments for the Trinity APART FROM Scripture is beside the point; that God exists eternally in three Persons is biblical.

Here is what Servetus taught; judge for yourself whether it is heresy!

Quote
Servetus rejected the doctrine of original sin and the entire theory of salvation based upon it, including the doctrines of Christ's dual nature and the vicarious atonement effected by his death. He believed Jesus had one nature, at once fully human and divine, and that Jesus was not another being of the godhead separate from the Father, but God come to earth. Other human beings, touched by Christian grace, could overcome sin and themselves become progressively divine. He thought of the trinity as manifesting an "economy" of the forms of activity which God could bring into play. Christ did not always exist. Once but a shadow, he had been brought to substantial existence when God needed to exercise that form of activity. In some future time he would no longer be a distinct mode of divine expression. Servetus called the crude and popular conception of the trinity, considerably less subtle than his own, "a three headed Cerberus." (In Greek mythology Cerberus is a three-headed dog-like creature of the underworld.)

Servetus did not believe people are totally depraved, as Calvin's theology supposed. He thought all people, even non-Christians, susceptible to or capable of improvement and justification. He did not restrict the benefits of faith to a few recipients of God's parsimonious dispensation of grace, as did Calvin's doctrine of the elect. Rather, grace abounds and human beings need only the intelligence and free will, which all human beings possess, to grasp it. Nor did Servetus describe, as did Calvin, an infinite chasm between the divine and mortal worlds. He conceived the divine and material realms to be a continuum of more and less divine entities. He held that God was present in and constitutive of all creation. This feature of Servetus' theology was especially obnoxious to Calvin. At the Geneva trial he asked Servetus, "What, wretch! If one stamps the floor would one say that one stamped on your God?"

Calvin asked if the devil was part of God. Servetus laughed and replied, "Can you doubt it? This is my fundamental principle that all things are a part and portion of God and the nature of things is the substantial spirit of God."

The devil was an important factor in Servetian theology. Servetus was a dualist. He thought God and the devil were engaged in a great cosmic battle. The fate of humanity was just a small skirmish in salvation history. He charged orthodox trinitarians with creating their doctrine of the trinity, not to describe God, but to puff themselves up as central to God's concern. Because they defined God to suit their own purposes, he called them atheists.

Servetus' demonology included the notion that the devil had created the papacy as an effective countermeasure to Christ's coming to earth. Through the popes the devil had taken over the church. Infant baptism was a diabolic rite, instituted by Satan, who in ancient days had presided over pagan infant sacrifices. He calculated that the Archangel Michael would soon come to bring deliverance and the end of the world, probably in 1585. (Source: Michael Servetus.)
Posted By: fredman Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Tue Feb 03, 2004 7:27 PM
Quote
Even Dr. MacArthur has said he can't explain the trinity from Scripture, since it's a mystery, but he accepts the doctrine of the Church in faith.

(Fred) I just caught this and need to respond. John has never stated this. What he has stated is that the concept of three persons in one God is mysterious to understand. Never has he claimed that it is difficult to explain the Trinity from the Bible. One only has to go to Ephesians 1:4-14 or 1 Peter 1:2 to see the Trinity is clearly affirmed in scripture and affirm by John MacArthur.

Fred
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To let folk know part of Calvins thought on the matter.

Why Kyle ? Whats your problem with that ?

I don't have a problem with it, I just don't know what it had to do with what I wrote.
Posted By: Tom Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Tue Feb 03, 2004 8:36 PM
Fred

I caught that remark too and somehow I doubted it was true. Thanks for clearing it up. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Tom
Dear sir, and I use that term loosely, let me first of all make it absolutely clear that you have annoyed and disturbed me to no end.

Also, let me make it clear that I was not apologizing for my implications, I was apologizing for your inferences taken from my post. I also apologize that you have been so poorly taught as to be unable to read what I have posted in plain English, I DON"T GIVE A FIG NEWTON ABOUT A LEGAL DECISION, I CARE ABOUT YOU INSULTING MOST EVERYTHING I BELIEVE IN, I CARE ABOUT YOU AND PERSON'S LIKE YOU MISREPRESENTING THE CHRISTIAN FAITH BY POSTING SUCH WILD LEAPS OF LOGIC AND CONTRIBUTING TO THE LACK OF INTELLIGENCE WE SEE SO PREVALENT IN THIS SOCIETY, THAT AMONGST OTHER THINGS IS WHAT I CARE ABOUT.

I sir have not disparaged Johnny Mac or your reputations, though I am greatly tempted to say some rather unkind things about you, but in kindness I hold back (for now).

If I can post what I have posted in this thread and others and not be a Christian then I have imitated one soundly enough that I deserve the largest of helpings to hellfire for forgery and perjury, but I KNOW the ONE in whom I have believed.

Furthermore, you discern that a Calvinist of note and an Arminian of which you have only read a sentence of are your brothers? But then to so liberally imply a lack of salvation upon my part? Again, your leaps of logic are astonishing.

I am less embarrassed by my dad's lack of understanding than I am by churches that allow for such a lack of understanding, one of which I even now work to encourage to the study of church history and doctrine. It is such church's that I would discern people like unto yourself come from. As has been pointed out, I needn't speak as to the reputations of Jacob Arminius and John Wesley, God will judge them on that final day, but their reputations can very easily speak as to their behalf, I suggest you study them as I see you are already on the way to learning their craft in my opinion.

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You remarked:
Unregenerate people can't discern the truth. This is because God is not in them. For if God were in them, He (God, the Holy Spirit) would testify to them of the truth.
I bear this in mind when I deal with persons such as yourself.

I further reiterate that I do not have a problem with the work of John MacArthur, from what I have heard he preaches Christ and Him crucified, that I applaud. I do not however consider Johnny Mac as being authoritative, he is just as human as the rest of us.

Nevertheless, whatever your supposition, whatever your hypothetical situation, Calvin upheld the law in this matter, and there are others here arguing that he asked for mercy on the behalf of this heretic, so even amidst your bashing of John Calvin and his reputation it is clear that Calvin was obeying the Bible.

As to the explanation of the Trinity, as you have already pointed out, the regenerate will be enlightened by the Holy Spirit, I trust that if you need an explanation of it from Scripture you shall either ask one of those who has born good fruit upon this board or you could read one of the many sermon's linked to this site and other reputable Christian sites.

Oh, and just as a general note to anyone who reads this, the only reason I mentioned the usage of Cromwell as an example is to ask when he became a leader of the church since I've never seen him addressed as anything but a political figure in British history. If Cromwell was a protestant, that's sweet, but I won't accept him as a plausible example of anything except what I know him to be until I see evidence of him being something else.

And that is all I really have to say on this matter at this time.

-Brother Luke
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Wed Feb 04, 2004 8:22 AM
Pete, I quoted Calvin from HIS OWN pen - as is always best.

If you noticed ,the above letter in which Calvin had already comdemned Servetus in his own mind was written in 1546. Servetus was not arrested and tried until 1553- 7 years later.

Just presenting some facts concerning the question possed in this thread <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Wed Feb 04, 2004 12:49 PM
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BookMark said:
Pete, I quoted Calvin from HIS OWN pen - as is always best.

If you noticed ,the above letter in which Calvin had already comdemned Servetus in his own mind was written in 1546. Servetus was not arrested and tried until 1553- 7 years later.

Just presenting some facts concerning the question possed in this thread
Mark,

Frankly, I don't know what your point is either? Michael Servetus was a known heretic long before his public trial. In fact, he was a "wanted" man for over 10 years who changed his name, moved to various places and even denied his real identity when confronted.

Anyway.... either make a salient point or stay out of the discussion. One of the Guideline rules is that "frivolous posts" will be removed.

[img]http://www.the-highway.com/Smileys/guidelines.gif" border="0[/img]
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Wed Feb 04, 2004 3:55 PM
Sir,

We shall see as to who is telling the truth and who isn't.

"You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." - Jesus Christ
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Wed Feb 04, 2004 5:16 PM
Brother Fred,

Thank you for correcting my words regarding what Dr. MacArthur said. I did not mean to imply that the doctrine of the trinity is wrong, or that Dr. MacArthur does not agree with the doctrine of the trinity. I was only trying to point out that the Godhead/trinity is a mystery to some.

If I said 'Trinity', when I should have said 'Godhead', is a mystery, then I apologize for my ignorance. I have always thought the words were synonymous.

Checking my college dictionary, 'Trinity': Theol. A threefold consubstantial personality existing in the one divine being or substance; the union in one God of Father, Son and Holy Spirit as three infinite persons.

'Godhead': The essential nature of God; the Diety.

Checking my Bible Dictionary, 'Trinity'- the coexistence of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the unity of the Godhead (divine nature or essence).

Godhead - an old English term that is a synonym for God, with an emphasis on that which makes the triune God essentially one (Rom. 1:20; Col. 2:9).

Romans 1:20 "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so they are without excuse, NKJV
I checked my MacArthur Study Bible and Dr. MacArthur doesn't use the word 'Trinity' in his exegesis of this passage.

Colossians 2:9 "For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;..." NKJV Again, Dr. MacArthur doesn't use the word 'Trinity' in his exegesis of this passage, either.

Ephesians 1:4-14 does not even use the words 'Godhead' or 'Trinity' in the NKJV, nor do I find any menion of either word used by Dr. MacArthur to exegete this passage in his study Bible.

1 Peter 1:2 - "...elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:..."

Again I find neither the word 'Godhead' nor the word 'Trinity' used here. Nor do I find the word 'Godhead' or 'Trinity' used by Dr. MacArthur in his exegesis of this passage in his study Bible.

I only provide this information to those who may not have 'The MacArthur Study Bible.' I do not claim his study Bible contains everything Dr. MacArthur teaches or believes. I have said that I believe 'The MacArthur Study Bible' is usefull and informative, but I do not call it an AUTHORITY, therefore I will not use the word 'authoritative' to describe it, to avoid any confusion.

I'm relaying information I heard Dr. MacArthur say and if I used the word 'Trinity' when I should have used the word 'Godhead' it was an HONEST mistake, since I still don't see any real difference between the two words.

Again, since we do not know exactly what was in the letter Servetus sent to Calvin, how do we know Servetus said anything contradicting Scripture? For all we know or Calvin knew, Servetus may have repented! Although I'm quite sure he (Servetus) would have used that defense at his trial in Geneva, if given the chance.

All we know for sure is Calvin decided along with the Roman Catholic Church that Servetus' teaching was 'heresy' and agreed with the Catholics to the death of Servetus.

That was the point I was trying to make. I was not condoning Servetus' teaching, because obviously I don't know what it was.

I'm simply saying that to agree to execute someone for teaching 'heresy' is unChristian based upon my understanding of the teaching of Christ in 'The Sermon on the Mount.' I've previously cited Matthew 5:38-43, but this passage applies also.

"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.' But I say unto you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire." Matthew 5:21,22 NKJV

What cause did Calvin have for being angry with Servetus, if Calvin never read the letter it is alleged Servetus sent to him?

If any of you are angry with me for bringing this to your attention, be warned, I am the brother of Jesus Christ and a child of God the Father.

He who has eyes to see, let him see. He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Wed Feb 04, 2004 7:11 PM
1saved,

Once again you have provided a source of humour by your comments. Why would you reply upon the definition of "Trinity" as found in a pagan, dictionary as opposed to the official declarations of the Church which have been held for centuries, and defended against all forms of heretical teachings? Perhaps you haven't read the Nicene or Athanasian Creeds? Regardless, I have reproduced them for your enlightenment below:

The Nicene Creed


This creed was first formulated at the First Ecumenical Council, held at Nicea, located in what is now Turkey, in 325, as a response to the Arian heresy, which denied the divinity of Christ. It was revised at the Second Ecumenical Council, held at Constantinople in 381 as a response to the Macedonian or Pneumatomachian heresy, which denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit. The Western church later made a few additional changes which were not accepted in the Eastern church. The Western version is given here, but the differences between the versions are not shown. It states the doctrine of the Trinity.

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I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;



And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried; and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.



And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord, and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spake by the Prophets. And I believe one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church; I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.



AMEN.




The Athanasian Creed


This creed is attributed to Athanasius, the fourth century bishop of Alexandria who was the strongest defender at that time of the doctrines of the Trinity and the divinity of Christ. However, It seems to have come from the Western church and to have been an anonymous work with its present form dating no earlier than the ninth century. It defines the doctrines of the Trinity and the nature of Christ in very concise language.

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Whoever wills to be in a state of salvation, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic [universal] faith, which except everyone shall have kept whole and undefiled without doubt he will perish eternally.



Now the catholic faith is that we worship One God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is One, the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit; the Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated; the father infinite, the Son infinite, and the Holy Spirit infinite; the Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet not three eternals but one eternal, as also not three infinites, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one infinite. So, likewise, the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty; and yet not three almighties but one almighty. So the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Spirit God; and yet not three Gods but one God. So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; and yet not three Lords but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be both God and Lord; so are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say, there be three Gods or three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and the Son, not made nor created nor begotten but proceeding. So there is one Father not three Fathers, one Son not three Sons, and one Holy Spirit not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity there is nothing before or after, nothing greater or less, but the whole three Persons are coeternal together and coequal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Trinity in Unity and the Unity in Trinity is to be worshipped. He therefore who wills to be in a state of salvation, let him think thus of the Trinity.



But it is necessary to eternal salvation that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The right faith therefore is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man. He is God of the substance of the Father begotten before the worlds, and He is man of the substance of His mother born in the world; perfect God, perfect man subsisting of a reasoning soul and human flesh; equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood. Who although He be God and Man yet He is not two but one Christ; one however not by conversion of the Godhead in the flesh, but by taking of the Manhood in God; one altogether not by confusion of substance but by unity of Person. For as the reasoning soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life eternal, and they who indeed have done evil into eternal fire.



This is the catholic faith, which except a man shall have believed faithfully and firmly he cannot be in a state of salvation.

In His Grace,
Posted By: Anonymous Re: Did John Calvin sanction the death of Servetus? - Wed Feb 04, 2004 10:02 PM
Pilgrim,

I believe in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. This, I call the 'Godhead' and I think it's synomynous with 'Trinity.'

I do not deny the deity of Jesus nor do I deny the deity of the in-dwelling Holy Spirit.

Define 'baptism', and I'll tell you whether or not I agree 'baptism' can cause a remission of sin.

Yes, I agree there is one baptism for the remission of sin. Which is, the 'baptism of fire' by the Holy Spirit; first given by the grace of God to us at Pentecost, but given by the grace of God to all believers for the remission of sin.

I fail to see your point and how have you decided my 'Funk & Wagnall's Standard College Dictionary' is pagan, i.e. 1) One who is neither a Christian, a Jew, nor a Moslem; a heathen. 2) In early Christian use, an idol worshipper. 3) An irreligious person.

Perhaps you're referring to my 'Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary' as being pagan, i.e. "Pagan - a follower of a false god or a heathen religion; one who delights in sensual pleasures and material goods. After the return from Captivity, Ezra and Nehemiah carried on a vigorous campaign against the practice of marriage between Israelites and the pagan women of the land (Ezra 10:2, 10-18, 44; Neh. 13:26-27, 30).

I fail to notice any real difference in definitions between the two dictionaries, either for the words 'Trinity' and 'Godhead' or for the word 'pagan.'

Please provide the source the writers of the Nicean Creed used to define the words they used to write the creed.

As for the Athanasian Creed, please define 'touching' in this phrase, "equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood."

My Bible dictionary does not define the word 'touching.' My Funk & Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary has 22 definitions for the verb 'touch.' My Webster's has 29 definitions for the verb 'touch.' My American Heritage Dictionary has 20 definitions for the verb 'touch.'

The American Heritage Dictionary says this about 'touching' "adj. Eliciting a tender reaction. -prep. Archaic. Concerning, about." These two definitions for 'touching' are essentially echoed in the other two dictionaries.

My question is, "Do I assume the word 'touching' is being used as a verb, or an adjective, or as a preposition in the phrase "equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood?

Since you don't know for sure who wrote this creed nor when it was written, I won't bother to ask you to provide the source they used to define the words they used to write the creed.

Furthermore, they did not write their creeds in English. Who translated the creeds into English? What proof do you have the creeds were translated correctly?

In faith, I believe God has providentially given me His Word in a language I can understand. If that's not true, I'm lost, since I can't read Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. I have, however, received the Holy Spirit of God Who testifies to me. He testifies which Bible translations of Scripture are better or more suitable for the need I have.

Most often I use the NKJV, but not always. I trust the in-dwelling Holy Spirit to guide me through the process of discerning the meaning and significance of God's Word.

This does NOT in any way mean I don't agree with what was written in either creed you provided. I may or may not agree as confirmed to me by the power of the in-dwelling Holy Spirit of God, Who knows all things. He tells me what to believe and I trust His judgment implicitly. This is what FAITH is.

Faith is belief and trust in God as revealed in Scripture or by direct revelation from God. Thus, Abraham had faith in God although Scripture was not yet written. Therefore, it cannot be said that faith is only believing in the written Word of God.

Yet, the testimony of the Holy Spirit cannot contradict Scripture. The Holy Spirit teaches us the meaning of Scripture and the significance of Scripture in our lives.

Thus, one person will get a different significance from Scripture than someone else my get even though the meaning of the Scripture is the same. Therefore, one person may be strengthened by the Word, while another is convicted by the same Word and a third is corrected by the same Word.

Jesus said, "I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8 NKJV

Why would Jesus question whether faith could be found anywhere on the earth when He returns? Don't all churches claim to have faith? The problem is that you have reckless faith. You believe in your church doctrines, creeds, councils, etc. Instead, we should ALL be believing in the testimony of the in-dwelling Holy Spirit.

I don't know how to make it more clear to you than I already have. Scripture does not support some of your positions. You keep wanting to tell me your church doctrine is right, but everytime I show you where it is wrong and say I learned this from the Holy Spirit, you question my motives.

I'm telling you what the in-dwelling Holy Spirit testifies to me is true. It sometimes is different than your church doctrine. Are you claiming the Holy Spirit has lied to me? Are you saying I, a professing Christian, am a liar? If so, then prove it. If you believe I'm in error, show me my error in SCRIPTURE.

I have told you many, many times I will not accept ANY church doctrine, creed, council, statement of faith, etc. as having ANY AUTHORITY.

You're wasting your time posting 'traps' to see if I'm lying. I'M NOT LYING. I trust the Holy Spirit to tell me the truth. I know He has always told me the truth in the past. I know He is now always telling me the truth in the present. I believe He will continue to always tell me the truth in the future.

Why would I doubt God? Why would I doubt His Word? God has never given me any reason to doubt Him. He has always answered any questions I have asked in faith, exactly as written in Scripture (James 1:5-8). He does not keep me waiting for an answer either. How He tells me is not always the same, either.

If you don't believe me - go ask fredman. He knows exactly what I'm talking about, as does Dr. John MacArthur.

Your problem is you have taken God's grace for granted. I say this about you, because you almost never talk about faith, except your 'reckless faith' in believing Reformed Calvinist church doctrine without any reservation.

This is not to say ALL Reformed Calvinists are/were without faith. I have already said I greatly admire Dr. James M. Boice who was chairman of the board of the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals. He was a man of faith. But, I do not agree with EVERYTHING Dr. Boice taught. When he taught in error, I tried to show him his mistakes as well.

You believe you were pre-destined to salvation, but where is there any proof of that in how you treat a Christian, let alone how you treat your enemies? Examine yourself and if you're honest with yourself, you'll know what I'm saying is true.
Posted By: Pilgrim Re: The end of Mr. George Fitt, aka: 1saved - Wed Feb 04, 2004 10:31 PM
George,

I really think that you have overstayed your welcome here and have exhibited yourself to be a very misguided, misinformed, and biblically ignorant man at best and a deceiver and accuser of the brethren at worst. At this point it really doesn't make much difference as you have so many times violated the stated Guidelines for being a member of this Board.

I am also sure that there are many here who are wondering why the Staff has waited so long to remove you. But we do like to display a measure of patience to all with the hopes that the Spirit of God will enlighten the minds of those who are lost and/or in error and come to the knowledge of the truth once delivered unto the saints.

[Linked Image]
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Again, since we do not know exactly what was in the letter Servetus sent to Calvin, how do we know Servetus said anything contradicting Scripture? For all we know or Calvin knew, Servetus may have repented! Although I'm quite sure he (Servetus) would have used that defense at his trial in Geneva, if given the chance.

I love this. Perfectly willing defend the heretic, but a man whose faith in God was evident is dismissed because of one "bad fruit"!

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What cause did Calvin have for being angry with Servetus, if Calvin never read the letter it is alleged Servetus sent to him?

Servetus was a heretic who insisted upon his false teachings and who decried all others as worshipping God falsely.
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As for the Athanasian Creed, please define 'touching' in this phrase, "equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood."

"Touching," in this context (and it is rather clear), means "related to." Thus, "equal to the father as related to His Godhead, inferior to the Father as related to His Manhood."

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I don't know how to make it more clear to you than I already have. Scripture does not support some of your positions. You keep wanting to tell me your church doctrine is right, but everytime I show you where it is wrong and say I learned this from the Holy Spirit, you question my motives.

You haven't shown anything to anyone, except that you have some strange need to show that Calvin was not indwelt and that Bunyan was uneducated and not a Calvinist. You have not shown any doctrine held here to be wrong based on the Scriptures.
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