If ignorance is bliss, it is no more blissful than when it comes to the man John Calvin and his heretical theology. As many have rightfully stated, you should not look at the teachings of John Calvin, before you have first examined the life of John Calvin. Many people are not aware that reformers like Martin Luther and John Calvin bred the anti-Semitism that emboldened and served to encourage Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Even at the Nazi trials in Nuremburg, quotes from the protestant reformers could be heard as they made their defense for exterminating theJews. To quote John Calvin himself, “Their [the Jews] rotten and unbending stiffneckedness deserves that they be oppressed unendingly and without measure or end and that they die in their misery without the pity of anyone.” Luther was even more vehement in his hatred for the Jews. It was his systematic plan to exterminate the Jews that is reborn in the heart of socialist Germany and legally carried out by Hitler and his henchmen.
One might see a statement like that from John Calvin as an error in poor judgment or maybe something that could be attributed to ignorance and youth, but however it cannot. The reality is that life under John Calvin’s reign of terror in Geneva was no different than the life of a Jew in a German concentration camp. Historical records that are without dispute concerning their veracity, paint a picture of an ungodly, sick, feeble and deranged individual. While some want to teach his theological achievements, they are quick to ignore his murderous heart. John Calvin once had a man tortured for over a month and then beheaded, just because he placed a note calling John Calvin a hypocrite on his podium in his pulpit. If that wasn’t enough, he then threw his wife and her children out of their home and set it on fire as she watched it burn helplessly. Life under John Calvin, the “Pope of Geneva” as he is referred to, was no different than the terror unleashed by the Roman Catholic Church on Protestants throughout the rest of Europe. The people of Geneva hated John Calvin, and upon his first stay there, he was run out of town for trying to establish a tyrant’s rule. The same town council who had received him at Guillaume Farel’s pleading, within two years had come to his door to give him three days to get out of town. When Calvin returned to Geneva the second time his life was a complete failure. His father had died in shame mismanaging church funds and his brother Charles had been excommunicated. John Calvin was broke, living in exile and already labeled a heretic. His only accomplishment was a worthless paper on a humanist writing that no one even cared to read. He was an attorney with a Doctorate in Law, not theology. Due to desperation on behalf of the Genčve’s and a bit of fate, John Calvin returned to Geneva a second time after they agreed to submit to him completely. Over the next thirty years, life in Geneva was hell on earth. According to records, from 1541 to 1546, fifty-eight people were executed and seventy-six exiled from Geneva. Calvin was consulted in all affairs of State and his advice was usually followed. Attendance at public worship was mandatory and watchmen were directed to see that people went to church. Three men who were caught laughing during a sermon were imprisoned for three days. Death sentences were routinely imposed and it is reported that even a girl was beheaded for striking her parents. Calvin also had twenty women burned at the stake after accusing them of causing a plague that had swept through Geneva in 1545. Later this would be repeated, as men trained in the school of Calvin, burned the “witches” in Salem, here in America. Anyone who did not attend church had to repeat prayers, and beg for forgiveness. Every home was inspected for sin yearly and children were encouraged to spy on, and report their parents. In Calvin’s church, fines, whippings, and even death punished sinners. The truth of John Calvin’s tyrannical dictatorship is forever etched in the history of Geneva.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. While many have ignorantly followed John Calvin’s teachings, they ignore the inconsistency in every turn of his life. The fact is that John Calvin never had an original thought. This so-called “great” systematic theologian insisted on infant baptism until the day he died. This is quite ironic for a man believing in election. He accused people who believed the earth revolved around the sun of being possessed by the devil. But the greatest tragedy is his insanity brought to America a host of heretical teachings which are the foundation for some Protestantism in America today. These things and more, all came from a man who was as tyrannical and murderous as Adolf Hitler himself, and like Luther, served as Adolf’s inspiration. Next time you call yourself a Calvinist, you will now have a better understanding about who you are and where your beliefs come from. My hope is, you will also have the courage to discard them!
Whom you associate with and defend you are guilty with. "Ye shall know them by their fruits" (Matt. 7.16).