As a Christian, I don’t hate anyone especially with those I disagree with like Calvin, Arminian, Luther or any of the Reformers. We cannot blindly follow someone’s teachings without comparing it to scripture. What I hate is false doctrine. We have to remember though that some of the Reformers were heavily influenced by Catholicism and carried out the same punishment on heretics that which they themselves deemed unChristlike when the Catholic Church did it to them. Not all the Reformers were killing false teachers, only those who were devoid of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that the way a Christian would be identified would be through love as seen in John 13:35 which says, By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
Does that love include unbelievers as well meaning everybody?
43 “You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don’t even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Jesus summed up all of His teachings in two commandments. If we live by these two commands we will keep them all.
34 When the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. 35 And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test Him: 36 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?”
37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
If you love the Lord with all your heart, you will not replace Him with an idol in the form of materialism, people, animals or a statue.
If you love your neighbor as yourself, you won’t harm him/her in any way. You will tell them the good news, help them in any way possible so that they can see Jesus in you.
How about if your neighbor is a false teacher? God commands you to love the false teacher by telling them the truth in a loving way and to continue to pray for their salvation.
How did John Calvin treat his neighbors who were false teachers? He gave them a one-way ticket to hell by putting them to death. Folks, that is NOT love, especially when as Christians, we are appointed to direct them to Jesus for salvation not send them to hell by any means.
One Calvinist stated:
“In Calvin’s day there was a zeal like Phinehas had where God’s truth was concerned. They took it most seriously the stewardship to keeping it unsullied. They also feared for the eternal souls of those who could easily be led astray by those who spouted false doctrine.
I, too, love my brother in Christ, John Calvin. I’m also glad that he was used by God in spite of his imperfections and failings. It gives me hope and also makes me appreciate God’s patience toward us.”
Folks, do you see how they twist the scriptures? In the time of Phinehas, the Jewish people were under a theocratic state meaning that Yahweh the Lord was their King and He ruled His people through His Priests namely Moses, Aaron and his sons in the time that the Jews were in the wilderness for 40 years.
This Calvinist is referring to Numbers 25:6-9 which says, 6 An Israelite man came bringing a Midianite woman to his relatives in the sight of Moses and the whole Israelite community while they were weeping at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 7 When Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw this, he got up from the assembly, took a spear in his hand, 8 followed the Israelite man into the tent, and drove it through both the Israelite man and the woman—through her belly. Then the plague on the Israelites was stopped, 9 but those who died in the plague numbered 24,000.
So this Calvinist is justifying John Calvin killing heretics based on these Old Testament passages which would make killing false teachers justified. Even though we are under the New Covenant just like all the Reformers were. Does time dictate how we should view the Bible or should we view the Bible how it dictates to us how we should live regardless of the times we live in? for the Word of God does not change, Jesus does not change.
If the laws were to change today and would give us the right to kill and destroy all false religion or cults like The Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses and so on, would you, as a born again believer go out there and murder them? Would the times that you live in give you the right to override the Bible’s teachings? Of course not, for the Word of the Lord is eternal and doesn’t change. We as Christians must obey Jesus Christ regardless whatever time we are born in. How can you tell the difference between a true and false Christian? You can tell by their fruits which will affect their doctrine as well.
15 “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. 16 You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So you’ll recognize them by their fruit.
What fruit did John Calvin produce?
16 “I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling. 2 They will ban you from the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering service to God.
Ladies and gentleman, John Calvin was in a ministry of killing heretics thinking he was doing a service to God. God calls this a false teacher and the scripture warned us to let us know that the Lord will never send a Christian that displays those qualities which are unChristlike. Who else does this today? The Muslims, not all but those who take the Qur’an seriously and literally. John Calvin is no different.