The Attributes of Deity
In many ways, what was discussed in the previous chapter amounts the conclusion of this book. It is where the remainder of this work will lead us if we follow it through. From this chapter on, I will lay out my arguments against Paul and the false doctrines associated with him in the order in which I dealt with them over time in my search for the truth. The thing that started it all for me was my run-in with predestination and Calvinist doctrine.
It seems there are few subjects that arouse contention more than the subject of the sovereignty of God, the attributes of Deity, and related issues such as God's will versus man's free will. The controversy itself is almost as old as recorded history. Many have succumbed to apathy and no longer bother trying to sift through the mountains of literature in search of the truth. In fact, there are many religious leaders who use this fact as a pretext to discourage those who would rise to the occasion and question their brand of established doctrine. The things discussed in this chapter will amount to an overview of the main issues related to the subject of the Sovereignty of God. This is not an exhaustive study of the issue. To address every argument that has arisen would take far more time and space than most would be willing to deal with. What I present is a framework upon which can be built a far more stable and secure structure of truth. The remaining arguments which are not directly addressed fall under the weight of what is presented.
In Christianity, the opposing sides are commonly known as Calvinism and Arminianism. Calvinism is the ultra-sovereign picture of God who has foreordained absolutely everything that has and will transpire... including man's will to sin as well as the eternal torment of the 'reprobate'. Arminianism is generally considered more toward the other end of the spectrum. Though Arminianism holds to the concept of the infallibility of the Christian Bible, it attempts to put more weight on the responsibility-of-man side of the equation. Arminianism asserts, and I concur, that the Calvinist's picture makes God the author of sin and evil. Between these two are any number of varying positions on the issue. Within Judaism there are similar opposing groups.
When God created man, He gave man the ability as well as the right to identify, classify, and name everything He had created. Genesis says; "whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name." It is interesting to note that as far as names are concerned, the name that man gave to an object is the same name God used for it. This can be seen throughout the Bible where God identifies something by the name that man has given it. This is true even of the stars and the constellations. In the book of Job, God makes mention of stellar constellations, the names of which have astrological meanings. Job 9:9 38:31-33 Some have suggested that in doing this, God has sanctioned astrology! He has not. In reality it is no more than His recognizing the right He had given man to name what He had created. When it comes to classifications, and defining the rules by which created things are classified, God also gave man the right to define and draw the lines where he wished. For instance, in ancient times a whale was considered a fish because the lines of classification were more simple then. If an animal had fins, swam like a fish, and lived its entire life in the water like a fish... it was a fish! Man can change the rules if he so desires as well. Notice the differences in translation between Jonah 1:17 and Matthew 12:40 NKJV. Today, man calls the whale a mammal and draws the lines of classification along different criteria such as nursing its young. In ancient times a bat was considered a bird (Leviticus 11:13-19)... and so on. If a creature meets a certain criteria established by man to be classified as x... then x it is! This is man's God-given right that even He honors. Now here is a most important point:
God did not give man the right to draw lines of classification to establish criteria for defining what constitutes Deity!
Naming and classifying created things is the first job of someone who has been given "dominion" over creation. God does not fall under man's domain! For man to take it upon himself to classify God, is taking his God-given job way too far... presumptuously attempting to have dominion over God. In short, God does not need to ask man if He qualifies for the title of "God". God Himself has communicated to man what characteristics define and describe Him. Regrettably, much of what goes on in both Christianity and Judaism to define the attributes of Deity is little more than the vain self-serving philosophy of mere men.
Today, there is a vast amount of mere human philosophy prevailing over which attributes constitute Deity. R.C. Sproul is one well known Calvinist who is popular for making statements like the following;
"In my classes in the seminary, I raise questions like, 'Is God in control of every single molecule in the universe?' When I raise that question, I say, The answer to that question will not determine whether you are a Christian or a Moslem, a Calvinist or an Arminian, but it will determine whether you are a theist or an atheist.' Sometimes the students can't see the correlation. And I say to them, 'Don't you realize that if there is one molecule in this universe running around loose outside the scope or the sphere of God's divine control and authority and power, then that single maverick molecule may be the grain of sand that changes the entire course of human history, that blocks God from keeping the promises he has made to his people?' It may be that one maverick molecule that will prevent Christ from the consummation of his kingdom. For if there is one maverick molecule, it would mean that God is not sovereign. If God is not sovereign, then God is not God. If there is any element of the universe that is outside of his authority, then he no longer is God over all. In other words, sovereignty belongs to deity. Sovereignty is a natural attribute of the Creator. God owns what he makes, and he rules what he owns."
As lofty and eloquent as this may sound to the average student, my reply is: it's a good thing God didn't have to ask Mr. Sproul if He could be God! Imagine how it must look from God's point of view when He hears men say the equivalent of "You can't be God unless You do such-and-such". This is mere philosophy that sounds wonderful and humble on the surface, but the assumed logic behind it is full of holes and has no substantive Scriptural support as I will demonstrate in a moment. The fact is, there is much Scriptural support for a very different picture.
Mr. Sproul's logic really shouldn't even be addressed. The point is moot in light of the fact that man has no right to define God in the first place, no matter how logical and lofty his reasoning appeared. But Mr. Sproul isn't even logical! Are we really to believe that one maverick molecule out of God's control means God could loose total control? Come on. It takes an even bigger God than Sproul's god to relinquish a limited amount of control to man and the physics of nature, knowing He has the power to override and take control at any time if necessary... like say, splitting the Red Sea!
God does in fact act within given parameters that are comprehendible to man, but these are boundaries He has established for Himself that He will not cross. One could say that God has placed Himself in a box. It is a box consisting of parameters that He has described, and they are definable and understandable to His creation... man. Man's philosophical ideas of what attributes should define God certainly cannot be considered any less the constraints of a box. The problem is that man's philosophies are a man-made box. Those of us who have dared to challenge the man-made box, and have had the courage to claim to understand God better, are forever being hypocritically accused of having "God in a box". The truth is that we don't have our understanding of God in a self-serving man-made version. Since the man-made concept of God is conveniently self-serving for those of more irresponsible character, the truth becomes a threat to those who cling to that picture.
God has communicated to us through His word what He wants us to know about Him. This is the principle that needs to be adopted when it comes to understanding what constitutes the attributes of Deity. Let God speak for Himself.
Labeling the positions
The two opposing views I also like to refer to as a hands-on, or hands-off position. The hands-on position is a Calvinistic picture of God who has foreordained everything, and has predestined every individual to either heaven or hell. In this picture, it is believed that God has complete and total control of creation as well as having total foreknowledge of all events that transpire in it. This is Sproul's world. The hands-off position is the picture that God, to a large degree, refrains from intervening in His creation, especially in the area of man's will, and has therefore chosen to limit His knowledge of what man will do. God has the power to relinquish some control and give man free reign to do as he pleases within certain boundaries. It is the picture that God is sovereign in that He answers to no higher being simply because there is no higher being. His greatness goes beyond that of the Calvinist's picture in that He has created man a very high being with significant autonomy.
In fancy theological terms, the two philosophical positions are also commonly referred to as determinism, and indeterminism. Determinism is the hands-on Calvinist type picture, and indeterminism is the hands-off picture. And if the subject isn't already confusing enough, the debate has recently taken on another new label. It is called, "Openness theology" . This is the same as my hands-off position. Please note, I tend to refer to any hands-on all-controlling picture of God as "Calvinism", and those who subscribe to this picture as "Calvinists" for the sake of convenience and keeping the debate less confusing. Some of those who I call "Calvinists" might not want to wear the label themselves.
There are many aspects of the argument that need to be scrutinized. All pertinent passages from the Bible need to be considered. There are passages that indicate God does not always know what man will do, and there are those that suggest He does know. In this, and the following chapters, we will look at all the major passages, as well as some of the more obscure ones.
The first thing that will be addressed in this chapter is the picture of an ultra-sovereign God. A little time will be spent on Calvinism and its scriptural and logical shortcomings. Paul is the only author in the Bible who comes right out and portrays God as one who has predetermined everything that will transpire including man's choices and the eternal fate of their souls. This picture is found in the infamous passage of Romans chapter 9. It is the heart and soul of ultra-sovereign/Calvinistic doctrine. I will postpone dealing with Paul and this passage for chapter 5. For the remainder of part one I will focus on many of the other passages in the Bible which indicate that God has indeed relinquished some control and thereby intentionally limited His knowledge. In part two, Chapter 4 we will scrutinize the mere handful of popular passages that seem to suggest that God is in absolute control of every event on earth. After covering these aspects, we will then move on to Paul and Romans 9 in chapter 5.
Calvinists and Intellectual Suicide
When the opposing views collide, Bible passages begin to fly back and forth. When Calvinists are confronted with passages that clearly indicate God did not have full knowledge of something, and they are cornered with the simple logic that God cannot both know, and not-know something, they will nearly always opt for the ignorance-is-bliss defense. Isaiah 55:8 is then unsheathed and wielded as the last word on the subject; "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways". Sometimes one can even land the "You've got God in a box" accusation as a bonus.
Along the lines of intellectual suicide, or ignorance-is-bliss defenses, here is a quote from John Calvin himself. This is what he has to say when reasoned into a corner.
"Proud men clamor, because Paul, admitting that men are rejected or chosen by the secret counsel of God, alleges no cause; as though the Spirit of God were silent for want of reason, and not rather, that by his silence he reminds us, that a mystery which our minds cannot comprehend ought to be reverently adored, and that he thus checks the wantonness of human curiosity. Let us then know, that God does for no other reason refrain from speaking, but that he sees that we cannot contain his immense wisdom in our small measure; and thus regarding our weakness, he leads us to moderation and sobriety." "And far be it from any one of the faithful to be ashamed to confess his ignorance of that which the Lord God has enveloped in the blaze of his own inaccessible light."
Comm. ad Rom. 9:20; E.T. by John Owen.
De Aeterna Dei Praedestinatione, col. 316; E.T., p. 128.
One has to ask, what kind of illogical and erroneous doctrine can't you hide behind this kind of snow-job? In Calvin's fuzzy world, ignorance-is-wisdom! The kind of lofty rhetoric he uses sounds incredibly wonderful and full of humility on the surface, but it is condescending and designed to intimidate those who would disagree. It is implied that those who disagree are "Proud" and full of "wanton human curiosity". Who wants to be accused of that? Conversely, is it not the hypocritical height of arrogance and pride to lay claim to all humility? The thing that needs to be noticed is the cop-out abdication of the intellect. What Calvin is saying is that an opponent can reason all he wants to the contrary, and he doesn't have to deal with it. He is saying it doesn't make any difference if his or Paul's picture of God makes any sense or not... that's just too bad and the way it is! It's like saying, "it doesn't make any difference if it doesn't look like 2+2 equals 5. The Bible says it, I believe it , and that settles it. Sola scriptura (scripture alone)". In Calvin's world, and most of Christianity, to question anything in the Bible is to presumptuously question God Himself.
As an early reformer who began to question the doctrines and authority of the Catholic Church, if the Church had defended itself with the argument, "Of course it doesn't make any sense... it's all a glorious mystery hid only in the magnificent authority of God and the Church. Just believe...", Calvin no doubt would have seen it for the convenient Church-serving intellectual suicide that it called for, and he would have called the Church on it. Yet he wants us to buy the same stupid defense from him! All Calvin was really doing was shifting the absolute authority to establish non-sense through blind-faith, from the Catholic Church... to the Bible. Yet the inherent flaw in this flow of logic should be apparent. Calvin apparently forgot who canonized the books of the Bible in the first place. His position stood on the presupposition that the Church had the God-given authority to establish the books of cannon! So in teaching "sola scriptura", all these reformers like Calvin and Luther really accomplished was to jump from the frying pan into the fire.
I have exposed this type of blind-faith intellectual-suicide for the cowardly yet arrogant approach to the problem that it is in the hopes of discouraging its use as a legitimate defense. I would encourage the reader to follow me through to the end of this matter to see for yourself if the picture that emerges is not much more intellectually, and overall-Scripturaly satisfying... as well as righteousness on God's part.
Here are the five main points of Calvinist doctrine commonly known by the memory-crutch T-U-L-I-P.
1. Total depravity. This means that each individual is conceived guilty of Adam's sin and lost... even before birth.
2. Unconditional election. Is the belief that God has predetermined who and how many will be saved regardless of man's efforts.
3. Limited atonement. Yeshua's sacrifice didn't atone for all men, but only for those who are chosen by God's unconditional election.
4. Irresistible grace. Those who are chosen cannot resist the operation of the Holy Spirit on their hearts to save them.
5. Perseverance of the Saints. In short... eternal security... once saved, always saved. No chance of backsliding.
It is should be apparent to a logical thinking person that each of these doctrines rest on the assumption that the other four are true. They depend on one another and flow from one another in such a way... that if any one of them were to fall, the rest would fall as well. Let's take a short look at what the Bible has to say about each one of these doctrines to see if even one of them can stand.
Hereditary Total Depravity.
Wrong. Children are conceived and born sinless and are not charged with sin until they are able to know the difference. Man may be born with a propensity for evil, but he is not born guilty. Just a few of the passages that make this evident are the following;
"They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons, and shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and daughters..." Psalm 106:37,38
"For before the child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good... Isaiah 7:16
Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them, But Yeshua said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 19:13,14
And Yeshua called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one little child like this in my name receives me. But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea." Matthew 18:2-6
Calvin said, "All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and accordingly, as each has been created for one or the other of these ends, we say we have been predestinated to life or to death". Apparently, no one has a say in the matter of their salvation as far as the Calvinists ultra-sovereign picture of God goes. But the Bible is full of passages that put the responsibility squarely in man's lap.
And the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day. Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us. Deuteronomy 6:24,25
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16
"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." 2Peter 3:9
It should be apparent from this small sampling of applicable passages that salvation is conditional, and open to all.
It should be evident that limited atonement springs from unconditional election. Calvinism teaches limited atonement because it teaches unconditional election. The reasoning goes that if each and every sin committed by those who are destined to be saved was listed and paid for by Yeshua, why should he have suffered any more than he had to? This completely misrepresents Yeshua's sacrifice. His was a single heavy price that he willingly paid, for the purpose of purchasing for himself salvage rites to all of mankind. (More on this later) The accumulative amount of sin committed by those who are saved is irrelevant, and had absolutely nothing to do with the severity of his sacrifice. This is also evident in the passage quoted above.
"...not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." 2Peter 3:9
"Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." John 1:29
The circular reasoning is near complete with this one. The flow of logic should again be evident. If man is conceived evil and happens to be one of the lucky few destined for salvation, but at the same time there is nothing he can do on his own behalf to gain salvation, God has to get it to him somehow!! Enter; irresistible grace! The Bible is replete with examples of men rejecting God's good-will and grace toward them. Absolutely nowhere can there be found scripture that suggests man can't resist God's grace! Calvinism doesn't even try to establish this doctrine with Scripture. It is merely a logical outflow from the three previous doctrines.
Perseverance of the Saints
Again, it is obvious that this is a natural outflow of logic from the previous doctrines. It is the necessary conclusion to the doctrines of Calvinism. Here we have much scripture to refute the idea that once someone is saved they are always saved. From the following passages is established the fact that a person certainly can lose their salvation after having acquired it.
"Yet now, if You will forgive their sin--but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written." And the Lord said to Moses "Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book." Exodus 32:32,33 (see also Revelation 3:5)
"Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered;..." Ezekiel 3:20
There are many Christians who would not want to be characterized as TULIP Calvinists. They will claim that human responsibility is still fully intact in their scheme of things. It is believed by many that both man's responsibility and God's sovereignty in knowing what man will choose to do may be reconciled and understood in the context of the supposed timelessness of God. Many believe that God is outside of time, believing that time is something God created. This is another picture that has its origins in ancient Greek philosophy. It is far from scriptural and it causes more problems than it fixes. If it is true that God knows everything that will transpire, man is at a total loss to explain why God is even bothering with this creation. Timelessness is meaningless and undoes any concept of 'purpose'. Someone will inevitably say that Einstein proved time could be altered. Sorry, no he did not. Even he was forced to admit that his theory was un-provable. It is only theory, and there are many accredited theoretical physicists who haven't the time of day for Einstein's theory of general relativity. Lest I get too far off on this tangent I will refer the interested reader to my arguments in, Was Einstein Right? Time is linear, and there is no substance to it. Therefore it was not created. It is merely demonstrated in the passing of events. The only time that exists at any given moment is the present. The future can be planned for, and the present can be recorded and played back as the past, but these in no way demonstrate the altering of time. God is going through time right with us.
Scriptures that indicate God has limited His knowledge.
There are many passages in the Bible that indicate God does not necessarily know what man will do. The following are just a few of them. This picture of a creator who chooses to not know what his creature will do shows up right at the beginning of the Bible in the creation account itself .
"Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them." Genesis 2:19
If God is all-knowing of what man will do, why was He so inquisitive of what Adam would do?
Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth,... for I regret that I have made them." Genesis 6:5-7
How can a wise God do something that He knows He will regret in the future? This passage clearly implies that, had God known when He created man that he would become as evil as he did, He would not have created him! Thus, He did not know. God knew it was a possibility that man could turn toward ultimate evil. That is part of the risk He took in relinquishing control and giving man a free will. But that is not the same as knowing man would become as evil as he did. God had higher hopes for His creation.
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, "Indeed, the people are one and they all have one language..." Genesis 11:5,6
Gathering information again! And obviously, it
was information He didn't completely possess before.
And the Lord said, "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous, I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know." Genesis 18:20,21
It sounds like He didn't know for sure and
was going on a fact-finding mission again!
But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." Genesis 22:11,12
Again, "now I know", as though He
wasn't completely sure before.
Now the word of the Lord came to Samuel, saying, "I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments." 1Samuel 15:11
How can an intelligent God do something He knew He
would wish He hadn't done?
"And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin." Jeremiah 32:35 (see also Jeremiah 7:31 and 19:5)
God said Himself that it never came into His mind!!
These are just a few of the highlights. There seems to be no end to the scriptural references that suggest man did something that was unexpected by God. Just the fact that it says God became angry with men on numerous occasions, suggests that something different was expected from them. If this were not the case, then God's display of anger was merely theatrics on His part... a lie. How can God be justifiably angry with someone for doing what He expected them not to do, while at the same time He expected them to do it because He knew they would? The picture of an all-knowing God just doesn't stand to any plausible line of logic. God has taken a great risk in creating a being with a free will. The question is why? C. S. Lewis rightly put the answer this way;
"Why then did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having, A world of automata--of creatures that worked like machines--would hardly be worth creating."
(C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity p.49.)
The longing of God's heart for those who would love Him, and would demonstrate that love by obeying Him, is the very purpose God made man in the first place. Listen to His heart yearning in this passage.
"Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever! Deut. 5:29
As mentioned in the previous chapter, the purpose behind
His creation is to bring
into existence a worthy bride for His Son. The Son has paid for her and is soon coming to collect. God's endeavor to bring into existence a worthy bride was fraught with risk from the start,
yet it was a
risk He originally deemed worth taking. It is deeply saddening to know
that there have been times in human history where God actually regretted having started it at all.
Summary and conclusion
The difficult thing about those who teach Calvinist doctrine is that they typically refuse to address the many passages that clearly indicate God has limited His knowledge. They know these passages exist, but they are quick to start quoting passages that seem to indicate God does know everything. When you confront them with the simple fact that God cannot both know and not-know something, you are told you can't understand, it's all a mystery hidden in God, and treated like an arrogant fool for even trying to understand and make sense of things. They then demand that their man-made criterion for determining what constitute deity be met. I would rather let God speak for Himself. I will also gladly address each and every passage that Calvinists site in support of their view. This will be the content of the next two chapters.
If one is going to be perfectly honest he must admit that the concept of an ultra-sovereign God is a wolf in sheep's clothing. On the surface it appears so full of humility... to lift God to a position where He is in total control of all things. But the truth is, man stands to benefit the most from this picture. Those who hold to this ultra-sovereign picture of God can deny it till they're blue in the face but the fact remains... when nothing, not even man's will, is left to chance, then God becomes the creator and maintainer of even the evil in the world. When God's hands are on... man's hands are off, and he is off-the-hook as far as any real responsibility for his actions are concerned. This is what appeals most to sinful men. It is a fatalistic approach to life that also allows its adherents to refrain from getting their hearts out on a limb for anyone. There is no risk involved and it is regularly as cold and patronizing as it can be. The "peace" that Calvinists say comes with knowing that God is in complete control should more accurately be termed a relief. Relief from the pain of guilt does have a peaceful sedating effect on the human conscience. This lie may be the most psychologically addicting sedative known to man... hence it's great marketability. To expose the truth of this not only implies that each must face and deal with the pain of their own guilt, but what is even less tolerable is that those who promote the truth become a threat to the livelihoods and images of those who have made a living at marketing the lie! There are many who have established greatness for themselves in the eyes of countless addicts who look to them for their next fix. Calvinism doesn't cure the problem that causes the pain of guilt, anymore than heroin cures cancer. It only masks the problem... and it is worse than drug addiction, because a drug addict usually only destroys himself. Calvinism, under the false pretense that it humbly ascribes greatness to God, is actually blaming God for everything.
This Calvinistic way of looking at
life also leads to a fatalistic, care-free, do little-to-nothing approach to
life. Life isn't taken very responsibly by serious Calvinists. Every single
little event that transpires in a Calvinist's life is seen as part of God's mysterious
plan for their life. I have even heard it go so far as clergy, having been
caught in adultery and sexual abuse of children, wondering out loud at the
mystery of God's purpose in putting them through their ordeal! It gets just
that crazy and fatalistic... if not downright blasphemous for blaming God for their
sin. Calvinism is self-serving, irresponsible, and cold. Calvinists aren't required
to feel much of anything. They have been numbed to the pain of guilt,
consequently, they are numb to feeling anything... even good feelings. Love
becomes more of a mental ascent, and a Calvinist feels no compunction to truly
get his or her heart way out on a limb at the risk of devastating pain for
anyone. There is no sense of need to make any real sacrifices on God's behalf,
how much less is there felt a need to make any kind of meaningful sacrifice on
behalf of another human? Other people's problems are seen as part of God's plan
for their life! To the true Calvinist, life is little more than a dull,
mindless mystery and blur... that one must coast through and will be
understood only after this life has ended. Is it any wonder that John
Calvin himself was a cold-blooded murderer? This fact of history is conveniently
swept under the carpet by modern day Calvinists who know about it. He prosecuted
and condemned to death a former friend by the name of Michael Servetus for disagreeing
with him on doctrinal matters like the concept of the trinity and infant
baptism. Servetus was slowly burned at the stake with green
wood, and Calvin continued to justify Michael's murder after the fact. This fact
of history can be easily verified in many Encyclopedias as well as on the
internet. For more information you can also see articles in the appendix of this
book at Servetus .
"I can never join Calvin in addressing his God. He was indeed an atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was daemonism. If ever a man worshiped a false God, he did. The being described in his five points, is not the God whom you and I acknowledge and adore, the creator and benevolent governor of the world, but a daemon of malignant spirit. It would be more pardonable to believe in no God at all, than to blaspheme him by the atrocious attributes of Calvin."
Thomas Jefferson ---To J. Adams, 1823 *
"The Presbyterian clergy are loudest; the most intolerant of all sects, the most tyrannical and ambitious; ready at the word of the lawgiver, if such a word could be now obtained, to put the torch to the pile, and to rekindle in this virgin hemisphere, the flames in which their oracle Calvin consumed the poor Servetus, because he could not find in his Euclid the proposition which has demonstrated that three are one and one is three, nor subscribe to that of Calvin, that magistrates have a right to exterminate all heretics to Calvinistic Creed."
Thomas Jefferson ---To W. Short, 1820 *
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