As some might have noticed both in their present experience and
considering the character of its very founders, those of a Reformed
Theology, while zealously dogmatic, are rather deficient when it comes
to the attributes of empathy and compassion. I would argue that a man's
character is a function of their theology. For people behave in
accordance with their perception of God. But before getting into issues
of theology, consider two of the pillars of Reformed Theology - Martin
Luther and John Calvin - with regards to their character.
Consider his lack of compassion in the following passage in his book, "The Jews and their Lies"
utilized by Nazis and Christians to turn a blind eye to victims of unjustified suffering. "I shall give you my sincere
to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and
dirt whatever will not burn ... Second, I advise that their
be razed and destroyed ... Third, I advise that all their
and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing
blasphemy are taught, be taken from them ... Fourth, I
their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of
life and limb
... Fifth, I advise that safeconduct on the highways be
completely for the Jews"
And he goes on and on with
unbelievably anti-semetic statements. But what can be expected given his theology?
Now let's consider another one of their heroes, that pillar of Reformed
Theology John Calvin. Surely they're not ashamed of John Calvin - that
tyrant, that murderer. Concerning his reign over Geneva it is written
that all spheres of life in Geneva were affected by Calvin's policies as
seen in the following quote; "There
is hardly a day, in the records of the settings of the Town Council, in
which we do not find the remark: 'Better consult Master Calvin about
" (from  What Love is This? Dave Hunt, The Berean Call, Bend, OR; 2006, Pg 73; Citing, Zweig, Erasmus, 217.)
Many were executed for challenging or disagreeing with his "Institutes"
which was tantamount to breaking the law. He ruled with complete authority,
putting citizens to death for supposedly spreading the plague, suspicion of
witchcraft or crossing him. Bitter opposition developed from Geneva's citizens
toward Calvin’s despotic rule. In 1545 alone, twenty-three people were burned to
death in Geneva under charges of practicing witchcraft and attempting to spread
the plague. And Calvin virtually made every sin a
crime, and so did not hesitate to make use of the civil power for the
execution of church discipline.
As a particular example of the character of this man, consider his
murder of Servetus of which I'll summarize, but of which I have more
extensive factual details at http://bcbsr.com/topics/servetus.html
. To quote John Calvin:
7 years before the incident
"If he [Servetus] comes [to Geneva], I shall never let him go out
alive if my authority has weight."
Written by John Calvin in a letter to Farel Feb. 13, 1546
During the incident
Again Calvin writes Farel in a letter dated Aug 20th 1553 where he has
"We have now new business in hand with Servetus. He intended
perhaps passing through this city; for it is not yet known with what
design he came. But after he had been recognized, I thought that he
should be detained. My friend Nicolas summoned him on a capital charge.
... I hope that sentence of death will at least be passed upon him"
After the incident:
"Many people have accused me of such ferocious cruelty that (they
allege) I would like to kill again the man I have destroyed. Not only
I indifferent to their comments, but I rejoice in the fact that they
in my face."
Servetus was accused of heresy. John Calvin wrote, ""Whoever shall now contend that it is unjust to put
and blasphemers to death will knowingly and willingly incur their very
(Ironically Martin Luther advocated that heretics not be put
to death, so technically John Calvin was advocating the murder of
John Calvin admitted his hand in exterminating Servetus, and I quote, "above all, do not
fail to rid the country of those scoundrels, who stir up the people to
revolt against us. Such monsters should be exterminated, as I have
exterminated Michael Servetus the Spaniard."
Some Official Reasons for being burned alive:
- Accused of teaching against infant baptism
- Accused of defaming John Calvin
- Accused of refraining from marriage for a "long time"
- Accused of denying the Trinity
Realize that Servetus did believe that Jesus was the Son of God. His last words while being burned alive: "Jesu, thou Son of the eternal God, have compassion upon me!" Yet a heartless modern day Calvinist (typical of the character of Calvinists) comments on this saying "This
epitomizes the essence of his Trinitarian error" for he said "Son
of the eternal God" rather than "eternal Son of God" Apparently calling Jesus the Son of God is heresy to Calvinists!!! And again
to quote a Calvinist concerning this event, they blame Servetus. If ever a poor fanatic thrust himself
into the fire,” says J. T. Coleridge, “it was Michael Servetus.”
While they strive to hold John Calvin as the victim of circumstance.
Typical! John Calvin and his cronies committed murder. And as it is written that, "no murderer has eternal life in him." (1Jn 3:15b), well, there you go.
John Calvin's character is a product of his own theology, and so also with Calvinists.
Their Lack of Comprehension
Due to their lack of empathy, those of a Reformed Theology
characteristically have difficulty dealing honestly and objectively with
ideas which are contrary to their theology and consequently frequently
end up misrepresenting and slandering their opposition. For example in
my discussions on the Theology List - a yahoogroup devoted to debating
issues of Reformed Theology - I was classified as, and I quote,
"completely insane" and a full Pelagian. (If anyone has read my site and
knows what a Pelagian is, they know that's a mischaracterization of
me). And furthermore as Reformed Theology is devoted to the
interpretations of their denominational leaders - the pillars of
Reformed Theology, they are not Berean. For they do not subject the
interpretations of Reformed Theology to scrutiny. They don't tend to
reason, but much like Catholics, simply parrot the interpretation
they've been indoctrinated with. And since they don't tend to reason,
they don't even both to consider the implications of their theology,
though it affects their character.
The Theology of Uncompassion
The Injustice of Reformed Theology
The major hermeneutical error they've made is to not interpret the Bible
in light of God's character. While the Bible indicates that God is
just, they end up misreading the Bible to mean that God reckons guilt to
the innocent, and that God subsequently subjects them to wrath. Take,
for example, their view of original sin. They view that people are born
guilty, and not of their own sin, but of Adam's sin - the sin of a man
who lived thousands of years before they were born. Another example of
this injustice is their view of the atonement. For they say that God
reckoned Christ as a sinnner, even though Christ didn't actually sin.
They falsely claim that God poured out his wrath on him on the cross.
(For my view of the atonement see http://bcbsr.com/topics/atonement.html
which takes into account a compassionate principle of justice of which
those of a Reformed Theology turn a blind eye, namely that justice
demands victims of unjustified suffering be compensated.)
As reckoning guilt to the innocent and subjecting them to wrath is the
very definition of injustice, so the "god" of Reformed Theology is not
the God of the Bible. For the God of the Bible is just.
Another idea they get wrong
that affects their character in the realm of compassion and empathy
regards their denial of Jesus Christ coming the flesh.
It is written:
"For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way,
in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in
service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the
people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to
help those who are being tempted." Heb 2:17,18
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are— yet was without sin." Heb 4:15
The reason given, and the necessary condition, for Jesus having sympathy
for us is that he was made like us in every way, experiencing
temptation the same way we do. How do we experience temptation? We
experience temptation through the flesh (Gal 5:16,17
) - the
sinful nature inherent in being human. In fact having a sinful nature is
so tied up in being human that the word in the NIV translated "sinful
nature" is the same Greek word "sarx" as is the word "flesh". To be
human is to have a sinful nature. Now there were Gnostics who had such
"honor" for Christ that they couldn't imagine such a sinless being
coming the flesh. And so they denied that he came as a human. Likewise
for those of a Reformed Theology who deny that Jesus Christ came in the
flesh. Their "Jesus" has not been made like his brothers in every way.
Their "Jesus" has not been tempted in every way as we are. And
consequently because their "Jesus" lacks the capacity to sympathize (as
their Jesus does not fulfill the requirement of Heb 4:15), that lends
itself to explain the lack of compassion, empathy and sympathy among
those of a Reformed Theology. For a man's character is a reflection of
John writes, "every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God."
Well, there you go.