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Calvin, Ruckman, Cloud...

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Paul1611, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. npetreley

    npetreley New Member

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    I'm not certain but I think Servetus taught that the Trinity was a demonic invention, and a false teaching. Servetus was actually convicted of heresy in Vienna, not Geneva. I think he entered Geneva by escaping from France. The folks at Geneva allowed him to choose between being extradited to Vienna or tried in Geneva. He chose to stay in Geneva. If he had chosen to go to Vienna, he would most likely have been put to death in Vienna, and Calvin would not even be associated with his death.

    Not that it's terribly important, but I also believe Calvin petitioned to have him beheaded instead of burned alive, because beheading was the more merciful death.
     
  2. Paul1611

    Paul1611 New Member

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    Martin, first of all let me say that I really enjoy a lot of the info you have posted on your blog. Secondly I would have to admit that I am very ignorant when it comes to Calvin, Ruckman, and Cloud. I dont know a whole lot about any of them. I have read very little of Calvins work, Ruckmans work (though I have probably read more of Ruckmans than any other out of the three due to the fact that we have a couple of Ruckmanites in our church) or Clouds work. The remarks that I made about Calvin playing a role in the death of Servatus come from "Calvins Letters" pg 82 Where Calvin writes "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 him 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, provide my authority be of any avail." Now to be perfectly honest with you this is about all that I have read concerning Servetus death and Calvins involvement. But the main point of my post was not to start a discussion about whether or not Calvin had anything to do with the death of anyone, it was to point out that even John Calvin himself is guilty of doing the samething that Ruckman and Cloud do, and that is to insult those who do not agree with them. I dare to say that many of us here on the BB have been guilty one time or another of insulting someone in whom we have disagreed with. As a matter of fact I have read a number of posts here on the BB where the discussion has become heated and names began to be thrown around. All I am saying is that if we condemn Ruckman for calling somebody stupid we would have to do the same for Calvin when he called somebody stupid. If we condemn Cloud for his remarks about the pope, then we would have to do the same with Martin Luther and his comments about the pope.
     
  3. npetreley

    npetreley New Member

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    This seems accurate to me, but remember to put it in context. Taken alone, the above makes it sound as if Servetus died because Calvin had it in for him. But, as I said, Servetus was actually convicted of heresy in Vienna. So this was not some private crusade of Calvin against Servetus. If Servetus had chosen to go back to Vienna, he most likely would have been put to death there, instead. It wouldn't have saved his life to stay away from Geneva unless he escaped altogether.
     
  4. Martin

    Martin Active Member

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    ==There maybe very well be a good element of truth in that statement. However I think we have to be careful to keep John Calvin in his historical context. Any attempt to judge him by our social/legal standards will only lead us to confusion. I believe that Servetus was a heretic who is in hell this very moment. I can't even bring myself to think about the things he said about the Trinity (etc). Calvin was right to be angry with Servetus (as should all Bible believing Christians). However I don't agree with the practice of executing heretics (period). Now, had I lived in Calvin's day, my view would probably have been very different. Was Calvin "evil" because of his views on this matter (and Servetus)? No. He was just a man of his time.

    ==Sure, but let's all at least be glad we no longer burn people at the stake. I know I am. :laugh:


    ==Actually I think Luther hit the nail on the head when it comes to the Pope and Papal "authority". I am not familiar with Cloud and I know very little about Ruckman.

    Thanks for the comment about my blog! It is hard to keep it up to date but I am always encouraged to know that people are reading it.
     
  5. Martin

    Martin Active Member

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    ==That is my reading of the situation as well. I think it is tragic that some authors/publishers (Here I am not talking about anyone on this board) have used the Servetus execution to attempt to discredit John Calvin and indeed Calvinism. It is always important to keep historical figures in their time. No matter who we are studying it will always lead to error if we attempt to understand them by modern, 21st century, western cultural standards. For example I read one author who condemned Spurgeon for smoking cigars. What that author ignored, however, was that we have a much better understanding of the dangers of smoking than they did. I don't know how much they knew but I doubt they thought it was as harmful as we now know it is. My point is that the author was trying to read modern knowledge about smoking into Spurgeon's day. Doing that creates nothing but confusion.
     
  6. Magnetic Poles

    Magnetic Poles New Member

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    Well, wasn't that nice of him?

    This is one reason I hate the word "heresy", because it was used by evil men in the medieval church to torture those they disagreed with, branding them heretics.

    Calvinism is also an evil doctrine, in that if a person is not one of the elect, they are doomed before they are born, and nothing they can do can prevent their eternal torture in hell. Given this, it makes for an evil God who would go ahead and create someone knowing full well there is nothing they can do to prevent a trip to eternal hell.

    I am not saying that people who call themselves Calvinists are evil, but they probably haven't thought it through. I would never attach the name of such a torturer and killer to myself.
     
  7. J.D.

    J.D. Active Member
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    Calvinism is a wonderful doctrine, in that if a person is one ofthe elect, they are assured of heaven before they are born, and nothing can prevent their salvation and eternal bliss in heaven. This makes for a merciful God that would create someone knowing full well that in spite of their sinfullness they would be the objects of His unspeakable grace.

    I am not saying that people that don't call themselves Calvinists are evil, but they probably haven't thought it through. I would never attach the name of such a blasphemous heretic as Servetus to myself.
     
  8. Gregory Perry Sr.

    Gregory Perry Sr. Active Member

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    You Guys MUST Be Kidding

    I haven't posted on here in a while but this looked like as good a place as any to throw in my two cents worth. The comparison between Calvin,Ruckman,and Cloud is just too laughable to be serious. Apples and oranges folks,apples and oranges. I'm familar with all three men. John Calvin showed his true papal colors when he participated (in any way imaginable) in the execution of ANY man for "religious" reasons....and as I'm told ,he never actually testified of ANY conversion experience(somebody correct me if I'm wrong). As for Dr.Ruckman,while I can't hang with his decidedly graceless rhetoric,I do wish to thank the Lord for using him and his ministry to give me a completely UNSHAKABLE FAITH in a pure and perfectly preserved Word of God(in English) in the form of my King James Bible(you can keep your modern versions). I don't keep up with Dr.Pete's crowd anymore but he did give me that.As for Bro. Cloud...I am a thankful subcriber to FBIS and Way of Life and have been blessed many times over by the balanced and thorough approach Bro. Cloud takes when he researches and reports on the topics of the day. To even remotely compare him to the level of diatribe that Dr.Ruckman uses is dishonest at worst and just plain ignorant in my opinion. Is it possible that some of you don't like these guys (Ruckman and Cloud...not Calvin...he is the apple to their orange) because they hammered on YOUR pet sins a time or two?...ehh? By the way....I don't agree with ANY of these guys 100% of the time(as for Calvin...I only agree that God IS Sovereign). We all just need to quit arguing about useless stuff like this,open up a good ole KJ Bible and look unto Jesus...the Author and Finisher of our faith. The only thing that really matters is doing everything we can to lead as many lost folk to Jesus as possible in these last days before the trumpet sounds. And that folks is my humble opinion.

    :jesus: :saint: Greg Perry Sr.
     
  9. Rippon

    Rippon Well-Known Member
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    You started off so well in your post GPS . The name of Calvin mentioned in the same sentence as Ruckman and Cloud is indeed laughable .
    The bulk of your opinion has been duly noted but , regretfully found wanting .
    You are wrong about Calvin not testifying about his conversion experience . Plain Old Bill had started a thread about that very subject not long ago . I had produced evidence regarding his testimony . It is very apparent that you have not read any of his works to make such a claim -- to doubt his being a Christian . If you read some of his material I think you would be brought under conviction a great deal of the time as I have .
    You commented on Ruckman's "graceless rhetoric" is spot-on . Why pay attention to a man who does not exhibit the fruit of the Spirit ? He's a Pastor who routinely evidences bad fruit .
    You are certainly wrong about your KJV Onlyism . ( Thank you for allowing the rest of us to keep our modern versions :laugh: )
     
  10. mnw

    mnw New Member

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    There have been several things that have bothered me about this thread, firstly the defence of Calvin in the situation at hand. Calvin himself is confirmed to have said that he would not permit the guy to live if my authority holds. He seemingly has admitted to a personal desire to kill him.

    Secondly, and perhaps this has the broader implications, the attempt to justify past sin because it was different in those days. We are told to look at the bigger picture. Everyone was burning every one else at the stake so it was okay.

    This smacks of the sort of thing that is prevelant in the emerging church movement.

    Truth was attacked by rationalism and now it is attacked by a further man-made philosophy.



    I just came across two quotes which are interesting in the book by Carson that I am reading on the emerging church. It explains quite a bit about Joel Osteen’s performance on Larry King. And it perhaps explains some people's desire to exonerate Calvin because of his day.

    Describing Brian McLaren’s position he comes to something called “Philosophical Pluralism – It is the stance that asserts that no single outlook can be the explanatory system of reality that accounts for all of life.”

    Couple this with a statement by David J. Basch. Basch says in final point of an eight point list concerning emerging, “Live with the paradox: we know no way of salvation apart from Jesus Christ, but we do not prejudge what God may do with others. We must simply live with the tension”.

    Now I am not saying anyone here is holding to the above positions. But, has that basically philosophy crept into some people's thinking? Absolute truth takes a blow when we start accepting certain behaviour because of context.

    Truth is truth. Sin is sin.

    Lastly, and I know this is long. But here is where I see a problem with eschatological beliefs that the kingdom is here, now, on earth. Was it not Calvin's belief that the kingdom is now and therefore its laws had to be enforced by the word and the sword?

    I know not every calvinist, or perhaps any calvinist today, wants to enforce truth by the sword, but someone has stated that is something they may have done if they were in Calvin's day.

    While I'm at it I'll throw it all out here. :) Was that Augustine's influence on Calvin?

    I am not looking to offend or condemn. I am sharing what I have learned and if it be wrong then show me.

    It seems to me historically that Baptists did not enforce truth by the sword but were always known as pacifists. Baptists or any Christian who held to a dispensational eschatology could not try to establish the kingdom on the earth by the sword because they know that can be accomplished only by Jesus Christ's physical return.

    Anyway, there it is. :) And while I appreciate Calvin's compassion in advocating beheading rather than burning, can we just skip my death sentence all together? Just call me names or something? :)
     
  11. Bro. Williams

    Bro. Williams New Member

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    Excellent post mnw, you stated my thoughts very closely.
     
  12. Gregory Perry Sr.

    Gregory Perry Sr. Active Member

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    Eternal Security..of another sort!

    :laugh: My dear RIPPON...I have no desire to debate either of the convictions I have regarding the faulty theology of Calvinism OR my personal (and eternally secure) conviction regarding the perfect Word of God ( in the form of the KJV). I'm settled and secure in my beliefs and thankful for a God Who lovingly extends His Grace to all (whosoever will)who will accept the free pardon of sin through the shed Blood of Christ,The Lamb of God,the Perfect Sacrifice. I believe in a PERFECT God who preserved His Perfect Word...and as for John Calvin and his faulty system of theology,he would have made a better Islamic Fundamentalist than a Christian since he was of the belief(apparently)that it was OK to have those he disagreed with KILLED.I'd have to do some research but it seems I've read some sources in the past that indicated that he never quite completely broke his ties with the papal whore of Rome in his day. One thing is DEFINITELY for SURE......Calvin was NOT A BAPTIST by ANY description.As Forrest Gump would say.."That's all I got to say about that"

    God Bless Yous Guys,
    Greg Perry Sr.:type: :laugh:
     
  13. Gregory Perry Sr.

    Gregory Perry Sr. Active Member

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    Bump !!!

    Just thought I'd keep this one going.

    Greg Sr.:type:
     
  14. Bro. Williams

    Bro. Williams New Member

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    Here is a helpful bump to second that.
     
  15. Ex-Fundy

    Ex-Fundy New Member

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    Yeah, in other words, if you ain't got nothing to add to this conversation, shut yer pothole....

    (yeah, I'm talking to YOU edwards!)
     
  16. npetreley

    npetreley New Member

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    Again, you're missing the context. Calvin isn't the one who decided that Servetus should die. Calvin didn't try and sentence Servetus. Calvin was agreeing with an existing conviction of Servetus as a heretic worthy of death. He was saying that -- because Servetus was already declared a heretic, and heretics were put to death -- if Servetus came to Geneva, he would not permit him to leave alive.

    As it turns out, Calvin didn't really get his way, anyway, because Servetus was given the choice to stay in Geneva or be extradited to Vienna. If Servetus had chosen to be extradited to Vienna, he would have left Geneva alive, against the will of Calvin. If Servetus had chosen to be extradited to Vienna, it is almost certain he would have been put to death in Vienna, and we wouldn't be having this discussion about Calvin.

    I've only studied this history a tiny bit and I know this much. Why do people still treat the issue as if Calvin had a personal vendetta and knifed Servetus in a dark alley somewhere?
     
  17. mnw

    mnw New Member

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    There seems a fine line between knifing someone in a dark alley and having them burned at the stake or beheaded with the reasoning of - "I don't make the rules, I just enforce them".

    I am sure it made little difference to the victims.

    Anyway, I will, look into it more and see. But from the quote of Calvin earlier on he has condemned himself it seems.

    Anway, just my opinion. :)
     
  18. npetreley

    npetreley New Member

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    Didn't you get the point? If someone assassinated Calvin before he even wrote that letter you quoted, Servetus would still have been executed for heresy.

    The whole Servetus thing is NOT about Calvin, it's about Servetus and the time in which he lived. Get your focus off Calvin for a moment and deal with the fact that, at the time, it was normal to execute a heretic. That doesn't make it right by OUR standards, but that's the way it was. Calvin didn't single-handedly manufacture the attitudes of the time in which he lived. He wasn't even powerful enough to make good on his threat not to allow Servetus to leave alive, since Servetus was offered the chance to be extradited to Vienna.
     
  19. mnw

    mnw New Member

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    Sorry, I am not getting the point. I will go away and study this more, but from the facts presented here I disagree with what Calvin did.

    Now you seem to be saying Servetus was going die anyway, so why not Calvin be invovled?

    So normal in any given era makes something right? Today homosexuality is normal, does that make it right? Will future generations say we were okay to ordain homosexuals and promote bi-sexuals because it was "normal" in our day?

    - John Calvin.

    I don't care which era in which a Christian lives, this is just plain wrong. I am trying to be balanced and fair, I am trying to bow to those who have more in-depth knowledge of Calvin. But, when someone writes what Calvin did above I cannot get my head round it.

    The only defence I see being given is, "Well, that's the way it was."

    Regarldess of his actual ability to carry that threat out, which is debatable it seems, his concluding comments are inexcusable: "for if he shall come, I shall never permit him to depart alive, provide my authority be of any avail."
     
  20. npetreley

    npetreley New Member

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    No, definitely not. But if you disagree with killing heretics (I do), then your complaint is against the church and government of the time, not specifically against Calvin. If Servetus would have been a free man except for Calvin, then you have a legitimate complaint against Calvin. But like I said, if Calvin had died before Servetus was executed, they still would have executed Servetus. So you're misdirecting your complaint if you try to pin the blame on Calvin.
     
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