Will Calvin be in heaven?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Heavenly Pilgrim, Jun 19, 2006.

  1. Heavenly Pilgrim

    Heavenly Pilgrim
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    I have always wondered if in fact John Calvin ever showed any remorse or repentance for having Servetus burned at the stake for disagreeing with him over the Trinity? Much is said about Paul killing Christians, and many indict him for 'sinning' in the process, when in fact God showed him mercy due to the fact he did it innocently. What about Calvin, already a professing Christian? Will he be found within the pearly gates?
     
  2. Brother Bob

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    We condemn the Muslims for such acts but want to look over John Calvin. I have wondered too but he was not the only one there were many that killed Chistians and called it God's work.
     
  3. billwald

    billwald
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    Calvin didn have Servetus burned at the stake. The city council over ruled him

    Second, Servetus deserved to die for stupidity.

    Third, I suspect that most of humanity will be in Heaven.
     
  4. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Forgive me for that minor technical error. It seems that Calvin really desired to have him beheaded, but that was over ruled and they had Servetus burnt at the stake. Calvin clearly concurred in agreement with the killing, to the point of writing afterwards in defense of it, did he not?
    For some strange reason I do not find your comments any less insensitive and inflamed than Calvin acted. He deserved to die??

    It is beginning to seem a bit clearer how in the last days so-called believers will kill, thinking they are doing God a service. God help us.
     
  5. Jarthur001

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    You mean this story?


    *****
    The one event in Calvin's life that has cast a shadow over his fair name, and which has exposed him to the charge of intolerance and persecution is the burning of the heretic Servetus. Calvin's enemies have played this event to the hilt. Facts have often been withheld or misconstrued so as to put Calvin in a bad light. That the burning of Servetus was a mistake is admitted by all. History knows only one spotless being — Jesus Christ, the savior of sinners. All others have marks of infirmity in their lives.

    Servetus was a Spaniard who opposed Christianity, both in its Roman Catholic and Protestant forms. He denied the Trinity and was the most audacious and even blasphemous heretic of the sixteenth century. He opposed the teaching of justification by faith and infant baptism. Servetus was a very strange person, and to understand him we have to look into his background. He had a split personality, and perhaps some of this can be traced to the fact he was castrated at the age of five. He was religious and superstitious, but not Christian. He followed astrology like a religion and consulted the stars rather than the Bible for guidance. He was a proud, vain and arrogant man.

    Servetus had fled to Geneva from Vienna, France. Before he came to Geneva, he corresponded with Calvin, and Calvin did all he could to help this man see the truth of Christianity, but with no success. Servetus regarded Calvin as the pope of orthodox Protestantism whom he was determined to convert or overthrow. When Servetus first came to Geneva, he tried to align himself with the liberal city council that was somewhat opposed to Calvin. Calvin apparently sensed this danger and was in no mood to permit Servetus to propagate his errors in Geneva. Hence he considered it his duty to make so dangerous a man harmless, and determined to bring him either to recantation or to deserved punishment. Servetus actions were in one sense sedition — because in a theocracy there is a mixture of state and church, his attempt to overthrow the church was an attempt to overthrow the government of Geneva. Servetus was promptly arrested and brought to trial.
    Calvin and other pastors in Geneva spent days with Servetus, trying to help him to see the error of his way, but Servetus was as hard as stone. He was convinced that the liberal council would throw Calvin out and let him out of jail.

    The trial of Servetus was left to the civil court, which charged him with fundamental heresy, falsehood and blasphemy. The city council at this point was not favorable to Calvin. The libertines hoped to use the Servetus situation as a means of getting Calvin expelled from Geneva. The court's decision was:
    “Inasmuch as you, Michael Servetus of Villanueva in the Spanish kingdom of Aragon, have been accused of terrible blasphemies against the holy Trinity, against the Son of God and other principles of the Christian faith, whereas you have called the Trinity a devil and a monster with three heads, whereas you went about to destroy poor souls by your horrifying mockery of the honor and majesty of God, too wicked to be mentioned, whereas refusing to be taught in any way, you called Christian atheists and magicians, whereas, whereas, whereas . . .

    “We, the mayor and judges of this city, having been called to the duty of preserving the church of God from schism and seduction, and to free Christians of such pestilence, decree that you, Michael Servetus, be led to the place of Champel and be bound to a stake and with your book be burned to ashes, a warning to all who blaspheme God.”
    The verdict was “guilty,” and the sentence punishment by fire. Calvin, agreeing that Servetus should be put to death, opposed the state’s method of execution and pleaded for the sword to be substituted for the fire. The council refused Calvin's request. The final responsibility for the burning rested with the city council, not Calvin.
    Had Servetus been executed in any other way than by fire, his death would have passed almost unnoticed.

    Calvin considered Servetus the greatest enemy of the Reformation and honestly believed it to be the right and duty of the state to punish those who offended the church. This act was based on the Old Testament principle of death for heretics (Lev. 24:16). Calvin also felt himself providentially called to purify the church of all corruptions, and to his dying day he neither changed his views nor regretted his conduct toward Servetus.

    We should not be too hard on Calvin in the matter of Servetus, for the spirit of the day among all, except the Anabaptists, whether Catholic or Protestant, was to put heretics to death. The treatment of heretics was an error of the age, and we dare not judge Calvin by our twentieth century standards. We must remember that Servetus was given a fair court trial, which lasted over two months, and that he was sentenced by the full session of the civil council in accordance with the laws which were then recognized throughout Christendom.

    It should be noted that only Servetus was put to death in Geneva and no one else. No Catholic or Anabaptist was ever executed in Geneva for the sake of his religious conviction.

    Calvin's course in regard to Servetus was fully approved by all the leading Re-formers of the time. Melanchthon, Bucer, Bullinger, Farel and Besa all felt that Calvin and Geneva dealt fairly with Servetus. The city council sought the advice of the other cities in Switzerland as to the fate of Servetus and received the following answers:
    From Zwingli's city: “No severity is too great to punish such an offense. Our preachers are in total agreement with what Calvin thinks of his doctrine.

    From Schaffhausen: “Stop the evil, other-wise his blasphemies, like a crawfish, will eat away the members of Christ!”

    From Basel: “Do what lies in your power to convince him of his error. If he persists in his folly, then use the power which is entrusted to you by God to prevent him by force from any further injury to the Church of Christ.”

    Even Melanchthon stated to Calvin in a letter, “I have read your book in which you clearly refuted the horrid blasphemies of Servetus . . . To you the Church owes gratitude at the present moment, and will owe it to the latest posterity. I perfectly assent to your opinion. I affirm also that your magistrates did right in punishing, after regular trial, this blasphemous man.”
    Public opinion has undergone a great change in regard to this event, and the execution of Servetus which was fully approved by the best men in the sixteenth century is entirely out of harmony with twentieth century ideas.

    When Servetus was informed of the decision of the council, he was stunned at first, and then began to rant and rave like a mad man. Again, Calvin went to Servetus, hoping to lead him to Christ, and said to him:
    “Believe me, never did I have the intention to prosecute you because of some offense against me. Do you remember,” he spoke now with a tender voice and not in a tone of reproach, “how, in danger of death, I wanted to meet you in Paris sixteen years ago in order to win you to our Lord? And afterwards when you were a fugitive was I not concerned to show you the right way in letters until you began to hate me because you were offended by my firmness? But let's not talk about me, nor of the past! Are you thinking of asking forgiveness of the everlasting God whom you have blasphemed on so many occasions? Are you thinking of being reconciled to the Son of God?”
    Servetus became quite serious and humble as he faced the certainty of death. He asked Calvin to forgive him, and perhaps he asked Christ for forgiveness also. It is recorded that he spent the last twenty-four hours of his life repeating over and over again, “Jesus, Son of the eternal God, have mercy upon me!”

    In Geneva at this very hour, on the place where Servetus was burned, is an inscription placed there by later followers of Calvin which says:

    “As reverent and grateful
    sons of Calvin,
    our great Reformer,
    repudiating his mistake, which was the mistake
    of his age,
    and according to the true principles of the
    Reformation and the Gospel
    holding fast to the freedom of conscience,
    we erect
    this monument of reconciliation
    on XXVII October MCMIII”​
     
  6. Jarthur001

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    But...this only shows that he did it. you asked if he went to heaven. Well...if you believe in salvation by work...Calvin had a bad work he had to deal with. but if you believe God saves by grace, then he can save Calvin too. it all depends on how you look at salvation.

    And being that we cannot see into heaven, and being that we are not God, all we can do is go by the words he wrote.


    You have read John Calvin..have you not? My guess is you have NOTE. Most that do not like Calvin has only read writers that do not like Calvin and have never read Calvin 1st hand.

    If one would do this....then I think you would know the answer to your OP.


    :)

    In Christ..James
     
    #6 Jarthur001, Jun 19, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2006
  7. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: If the ‘best men’ of that century acted like that,………….Hummmmm. We shall soon see what God thought of them. That century must have been running short on real Christians, loving God and their neighbor as themselves. Sounds like party spirit run amuck.
     
  8. Jarthur001

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    HP....is Calvin in heaven? what do you think?
     
  9. Jarthur001

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    SHORT ON REAL CHRISTIANS? again...it seems like you are saying these men were NOT saved. Do I understand you right?

    And again i ask...have you ever read John Calvin 1st hand?
     
  10. Jim1999

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    Will the evangelical, Bible-thumping believers who conducted the Salem witch hunts and executed many innocent people be in heaven? I personally think the question is preposterous. As it is with John Calvin. who was starting to set up a state church and run his country as a theocracy. He was merely following history.

    Yes, read Calvin's writing, and remember, the main book, his Institutes of the Christian Religion, were written early in his life and his doctrines changed somewhat by the time he wrote his later commentary on Romans.

    Read the essential theology of Calvin-for example the response to Arminianism, the five points, or Tulip. Then compare these with scripture to draw your own theological conclusions.

    As far as personal lives are concerned, there is hardly a church around that didn't persecute someone, somewhere down through history, including the Puritans, we love to quote so much.

    We all ought to heed scripture and be slow to anger, not allowing the sun to settle on our wrath. Be patient with all, and try to understand where each is coming from. There is no way we can confirm or deny who will be in heaven, and who won't...except the scriptures tells us plainly HOW to get there...through the efficacious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  11. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    Hi Jim,
    May I add, upon the conditions of repentance, faith and obedience to the end?
     
  12. Claudia_T

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    MUDERERS IN HEAVEN? I dont think so!

    I dont see how a murderer could be in heaven, I would hope Calvin wouldnt be there. The Bible plainly says murderers will not be in heaven and it also says God is no respector of persons. I dont see why just because this guy is some well known Theologian that we would imagine God giving him some special pass to heaven.

    Claudia
     
  13. Jarthur001

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    yes...and lets keep David out too.
     
  14. Jarthur001

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    Read for yourself...

    IN the name of the Lord Amen. In the year 1564, and 25th day of April, I, Peter Chenalat, citizen and notary of Geneva, do witness and declare, that I was sent for by that excellent character, John Calvin, minister of the word of God in this church of Geneva, and enrolled citizen of the same, who, being indisposed in body, but sound in mind, said he was desirous to make his testament, and to express the judgment of his last will; and requested me to take it down, and write what he should dictate and declare by word of mouth; which I profess I immediately did, and wrote down word by word as he pronounced and dictated, without omission or addition, in the following form, dictated by him:

    In the name of the Lord – Amen. I, John Calvin, minister of the word of God in the church of Geneva, finding myself so much oppressed and afflicted with various diseases, that I think the Lord God has determined speedily to remove me out of this world, have ordered to be made and written, my testament, and declaration of my last will, in form and manner following: First, I give thanks to God, that taking compassion on me whom he had created and placed in this world, he not only delivered me by his power out of the deep darkness of idolatry, into which I was plunged, that he might bring me into the light of his gospel, and make me a partaker of the doctrine of salvation, of which I was most unworthy; that with the same goodness and mercy he has graciously and kindly borne with my multiplied transgressions and sins, for which I deserved to be rejected and cut off by him; and has also exercised towards me such great compassion and clemency, that he has condescended to use my labor in preaching and publishing the truth of his gospel. I also testify and declare, that it is my full intention to pass the remainder of my life in the same faith and religion, which he has delivered to me by his gospel; having no other defense or refuge of salvation than his gratuitous adoption, on which alone my safety depends. I also embrace with my whole heart the mercy which he exercises towards me for the sake of Jesus Christ, atoning for my crimes by the merits of his death and passion, that in this way satisfaction may be made for all my transgressions and offenses, and the remembrance of them blotted out. I further testify and declare that, as a suppliant, I humbly implore of him to grant me to be so washed and purified by the blood of that sovereign Redeemer, sited for the sins of the human race, that I may be permitted to stand before his tribunal in the image of the Redeemer himself. I likewise declare, that according to the measure of grace and mercy which God has vouchsafed me, I have diligently made it my endeavor, both in my sermons, writings, and commentaries, purely and uncorruptly to preach his word, and faithfully to interpret his sacred Scriptures. I testify and declare that in all the controversies and disputes, which I have conducted with the enemies of the gospel, I have made use of no craftiness, nor corrupt and sophistical arts, but have been engaged in defending the truth with candor and sincerity.

    But, alas! my study, and my zeal, if they deserve the name, have been so remiss and languid, that I confess innumerable things have been wanting in me to discharge the duties of my office in all excellent manner; and unless the infinite bounty of God had been present, all my study would have been vain and transient. I also acknowledge that unless the same goodness had accompanied me, the endowments of mind bestowed upon me by God, must have made me more and more chargeable with guilt and inactivity before his tribunal. And on these grounds I witness and declare, that I hope for no other refuge of salvation than this alone – that since God is a Father of mercy, he will show himself a Father to me, who confess myself a miserable sinner. Further, I will, after my departure out of this life, that my body be committed to the earth in that manner, and with those funeral rites, which are usual in this city and church, until the day of the blessed resurrection shall come. As for the small patrimony which God has bestowed upon me, and which I have determined to dispose of in this will, I appoint Anthony Calvin, my very dearly beloved brother, my heir, but only as a mark of respect. Let him take charge of, and keep as his own, my silver goblet, which was given me as a present by Mr. Varanne: and I desire he will be content with it. As for the residue of my property, I commit it to his care with this request, that he restore it to his children at his death. I bequeath also to the school for boys, ten golden crowns, to be given by my brother and legal heir, and to poor strangers the same sum. Also to Jane, daughter of Charles Costans and of my half-sister by the paternal side, the sum of ten crowns. Furthermore, I wish my heir to give, on his death, to Samuel and John, sons of my said brother, my nephews, out of my estate, each forty crowns, after his death; and to my nieces Ann, Susan, and Dorothy, each thirty golden crowns. To my nephew David, as a proof of his light and trifling conduct, I bequeath only twenty-five golden crowns.

    This is the sum of all the patrimony and property which God hath given me, as far as I am able to ascertain, in books, movables, my whole household furniture, and all other goods and chattels. Should it, however, prove more, I desire it may be equally distributed between my nephews and nieces aforesaid, not excluding my nephew David, should he, by the favor of God, return to a useful manner of life. Should it, however, exceed the sum already written, I do not think it will be attended with much difficulty, especially after paying my just debts, which I have given in charge to my said brother, in whose fidelity and kindness I confide. On this account I appoint him executor of this my last testament, with Laurence de Normandie, a character of tried worth, giving them full power and authority, without a more exact command and order of court, to make an inventory of my goods. I give them also power to sell my movables, that from the money thus procured they may fulfill the condition of my above written will, which I have set forth and declared this 25th day of April, in the year of our Lord 1564.

    John Calvin.
     
  15. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: I have a personal copy of Calvin’s Institutes, and have read extensively in them, although I cannot say that I have read them cover to cover. He clearly followed in the errors of Augustine.

    As for my opinion about Calvin being in heaven, one verse comes to mind. ‘Unless ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.’ I would personally desire to be separated as far as I could be from him and those of like deportment, unless of course he had a change of heart that I do not know about. There is just something creepy about men who would rather literally cut off the heads of those that believe that babies are not born wicked, and after they witness the horrific scene of burning such a one at the stake, spend time they should be repenting defending their actions.

    I do not believe such a one has much to offer me in the way of spiritual or Scriptural advice. I can certainly find others of better deportment to gain insight from.

    By the blood on their hands, ye shall know them.
     
  16. Jim1999

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    I thank my Lord, that my salvation is dependent totally on Him and not me or other men or works that I may do. My redemption is sealed in the precious blood of Jesus on the tree.

    You may condemn me to hell all you please, but you will have to deal with my Lord, not me. Murder is not only a physical act. It also happens in the mind, and you, too, are guilty.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  17. Jarthur001

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    Hello HP

    Have you ever read Ecclesiastes?
     
  18. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: Oh please! Pardon me? Don’t pin something on others that you know nothing about. I am no murderer, neither do I harbor hatred in my heart. If you are or do, speak for yourself, but don;t paint us with the same brush. If in fact you are as you might appear to be indicating, you have but one possible chance of seeing heaven as your final home, and that is to repent and ask God to cleanse your heart from that evil. The same goes for all of us.
     
  19. Heavenly Pilgrim

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    HP: No way!! He is my brother in the Lord. He has shown true repentance and remorse, and has received a pardon for those sins that are past. I see no indication that Calvin did the same. I hope he had opportunity and repented, but I see nothing to suggest that he did.

    By the way, it is by their fruits, ye shall know them, not just their words. Calvin's actions spoke louder than his words to me at least.
     
    #19 Heavenly Pilgrim, Jun 20, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2006
  20. Jarthur001

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    Hello HP

    again...Have you ever read Ecclesiastes?
     

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