Kefa said of the writings of Sha’ul these words:
“And consider that the longsuffering of Adoneinu is for Salvation; even as our beloved brother Pavlos also, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his letters he speaks concerning these matters, in which there are certain things so hard to be understood that those who are ignorant and unstable twist their meaning, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, my beloved, seeing that you know these things beforehand, beware, lest you follow the error of those without Torah, and fall from your own steadfastness.”
Yes, I reference this scripture a lot, but today I do so for a slightly different reason, other than discussing the importance and relevance of Torah in our lives.
Kefa said that those who twist the scriptures are ‘ignorant and unstable.’ It is difficult to prove ignorance in someone who has been long dead. But, thankfully, history has left a trail to show us that Calvin was indeed ignorant and unstable.
Not the cute guy in the cartoon above. But the beast of a man that was a so-called ‘reformer’, who is the pride of many religionists today: John Calvin. His adherents look on him as innocently as newspaper comic fans look on Calvin, of Calvin and Hobbes fame, saying his antics were harmless. I don’t buy it.
This is not meant to be a dissertation on his theology, which is indeed twisted, but more an infomercial on who the man was, and how mentally deranged and prideful he was. Most of his adherents are not aware of the many people he executed. Yes, murdered.
How could a man of such ‘notoriety’ and acclaim be heralded a father of the reformation, and have so many people look to him for guidance on what salvation is? Because people did not heed or continue to heed Kefa’s warning.
Calvin believed that a saved person was saved ONLY because of the will of G-d, and that a person who would not accept his Christ was predestinated to go to hell, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. He believed this so strongly that he executed anyone who would not submit to him, or that opposed him in any way. This is the ‘instability’ Kefa warned us about. He forced most of the people of Geneva into conversion, deeming them worthy of death and hell if they did not submit.
Many are not aware of Calvin’s one-time friend, Michael Servetus. He was much like myself, half Jewish, but a believer in Messiah. He opposed the Catholic church, and that was the basis of their friendship at the first. But when Calvin published his “Institutions,” Servetus read it, wrote comments on it in the margins of his copy, and sent it to Calvin. Calvin swore publicly that if he ever saw Servetus again, he’d kill him. And he did. He burned him at the stake, making sure the wood was green so it would take longer, and increase his suffering. He never once showed any remorse for having done it, but instead nine years later was still rejoicing in his decision. He believed that it was his duty to kill Servetus, and that Servetus was predestined for that fate, and the fate of burning in hell, in spite of Servetus’ confession of trust in Messiah.
This is the man too many today follow, in their ‘plan of salvation.’
They cannot read the word with any clarity, seeming to prefer the socratic, twisted logic of John Calvin, which is laced with hatred and pride.
The two main passages they use to justify their doctrine are so distorted by their logic, and so many today pride themselves in being able to follow that twisted train of logic, that they think the logic must be true. They dismiss and discourage the plain reading of the text itself, and completely ignore two-thirds of scripture in order to perpetuate Calvin’s lies, and forgive him of his heinous crimes against mankind, though he himself remained unrepentant.
The scriptures that are twisted are these:
“And we know that those who love Elohim are helped by Him in everything, for the good, to those who from the beginning are destined to be called. He knew them in advance and He marked them with the likeness of the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren. Moreover, those whom He marked in advance, He has called, and those whom He has called, He has declared righteous, and those whom he has declared righteous, He has glorified.” Rom 8:28-30
A couple of things to point out:
He marked in advance those who ‘would’ love Him,’ knowing them ahead of time, and THEN HE ‘called’ them, and THEN he declared them righteous, because THEY responded to the call, and THEN He glorified them.
Another passage that they twist is Efisim 1:
“Since, as from the beginning, He has chosen us through Him before the foundation of the world, that we may become consecrated and without blemish before Him, in love, as at the first, for Himself. And He marked us for Him, and appointed us to be sons through Yeshua HaMashi’akh, as was the pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His compassion that He has poured upon us by His beloved one. ….. And He marked us from the beginning, so He would carry out everything according to the good judgment of His will, that we should become the first to trust in Mashi’akh, to His honor and His glory. In Him you also have heard the Davar HaEmet, which is HaB’sorah for your life; in Him you have trusted, so you are sealed with The Ru’akh HaKodesh that was promised, which is the pledge of our inheritance for the redemption of those who live, and for the glory of His honor.”
Nothing in this indicates that there is no response on the part of the one who trusts. On the contrary, the impetus of trust is put on us. A response is elicited. The response to the call of those who were marked to be called is clearly seen. Yet Calvinists ignore the many, many places in scripture, invent new terms to explain their doctrine, and condemn anyone who does not believe their ‘idea’ about how salvation works. They’re arguing semantics over the trust that must be in us, and dismissing everyone of the duty to trust and to obey, and further think that there is NOTHING they can do thereafter that would fate themselves to hell. I would sooner believe Calvin in hell than many others I know, based on his life AFTER his so-called “Institutions” were written.
The short of it is this: G-d knows ahead of time who will respond to His call, so He marks them ‘to be called.’ The trickiness of Sha’ul’s writing here cannot outweigh all the many passages of Yeshua’s words that tell us WE must believe. He indeed GIVES US the ‘power’ and the ‘authority’ to become sons of Elohim. But we must do the ‘becoming.’ Just because Elohim ‘marked’ us for that purpose ahead of time, does not remove the impetus of us to believe, and to love Elohim, and WE must obey Him.
I wish I had time to further expound and explain the foreknowledge of Elohim. But, what I really want to point out in this is the CHARACTER of John Calvin, the man who twisted these writings of Sha’ul, and invented the doctrine that so many today are following again. “You shall know them by their fruits.” Here is a man who very cruelly tortured and murdered a Messianic Jewish man, simply because he disagreed with him doctrinally. And he did so standing on the foundation of his ‘predestination’ doctrine, which gave him the seared conscience one would need in order to so murder someone without any guilt. No one can claim to follow the Son of G-d and commit murder without calling his very salvation into question. Calvin simply became the alternative pope of Geneva, guilty of the very same crimes of the ‘church’ he left. That is NOT the fruit of the Spirit of Messiah Yeshua.
And Servetus is NOT the only one Calvin murdered. Some that he murdered he did so for even less serious ‘crimes’ than Servetus.
Some of John Calvin’s ‘accomplishments’ while ‘religious magistrate’ in Geneva:
A man was banished from the city for three months because he heard a donkey bray and said as a joke: “He prays a beautiful Psalm.”
Three men who had laughed during a sermon were imprisoned for three days.
Three children were punished because they remained outside of a church to eat some cakes.
A child was whipped publicly for calling his mother a thief.
A girl who slapped her mother’s guiding hand away was beheaded!!!!
A person was imprisoned for four days because he wanted to call his child Claude instead of Abraham.
In Geneva, a secret police was forged under the name of The Consistory. Every home was compulsorily examined and searched. The City was divided into districts and committees of the Consistory were empowered to search and interrogate all residents without previous notice. Attendance at public worship was commanded and watchmen were directed to see that people went to church. The one thing that Calvin did not endorse was religious liberty.
From 1541 to 1546, John Calvin caused 58 people to be executed. His victims ranged in age from 9 to 80. All executions were public, and Geneva residents were forced to watch. The executions were spaced out so as to exert a continuing policy of fear and terror. Others were killed for advocating local church autonomy; opposing the tie-in of church and state: and preaching that Messiah died for all sinners.
While in Geneva, Servetus made the mistake of attending church on Sunday where he was recognized and arrested. It was on Calvin’s information to the magistracy that Servetus was put in prison, which fact Calvin did not deny. The trial lasted over two months and Calvin himself drew up a document of thirty-nine accusations against Servetus.
On the way to the stake, Servetus asked G-d to pardon his accusers. Because of the use of green wood, Servetus suffered for half an hour, while Calvin watched. No one with the mind of Messiah could burn a fellow believer simply because he disagrees, and revel in his torture. This is the pinnacle of instability, and is the work of HaSatan, and is the product of ignorance of the Torah. Just as Kefa predicted.
Yet so many today are beginning again to follow this man. It is disgusting and abhorrent.