ADDENDUM - Compiled by Jack Moorman

" Calvin and Persecution "

Why the Silence!

{Compiled by Jack Moorman}

"...that an end could be put to their machinations in no other way than cutting them off by an ignominious death" (John Calvin).

The great declaration of the Reformation was "Sola Scriptura," Scripture Alone. To this we give a hearty amen. But for John Calvin it clearly was not Scripture alone. It was Scripture plus some key leftovers of the Roman Catholic Church: notably: infant baptism, a state church, and persecution of those who did not fall into line. As H.R Pike writes, "It was Scripture plus the sword of the state, hangings, burning at the stake, prison, tortures..." (The Other Side of John Calvin, p. 54).

Below is evidence that this is not overstatement!

Most who call themselves Calvinist say very little about the famous Reformer having a persecuting side. This reflects a selective silence that began quite early. We are greatly indebted to John Foxe and his Book of Martyrs for detailing the terrible atrocities meted out by Papal Rome. But Foxe, a contemporary and friend of Calvin (he outlived Calvin by 23 years), gives not one paragraph to the many persecutions that took place at Calvin's Geneva and elsewhere across Europe. Only those who suffered at the hand of Rome are mentioned (Pike, n.122).

That Rome's crimes were much greater in magnitude does not excuse this silence concerning the considerable persecution Protestants meted out. Nor can we accept the excuse that "Calvin's actions must be seen in light of the standards of that age". Regardless of the age, the New Testament is the standard against which actions are judged! *



The Minutes Book of the Geneva City Council, 1541-59 (translated by Stefan Zweig, Erasmus: The Right to Heresy):

alive for witchcraft.

From Other Sources:

"Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?" James 3:11.