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So whar about this quote...

To kill a man is not to defend a doctrine, but to kill a man.
Michael Servetus


We read about this guy in History today. He was burned at the stake by John Calvin for being a heretic. These were his last words.

 
Petie

Asked by Petie at 8:46 PM on Sep. 9, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (14)
  • Killing people is specifically cited as being a sin by all major religions. So killing someone in order to protect your beliefs regarding religion is just ironic and foolish to me. So in terms of killing a man to defend a doctrine, that can't be true. In order to defend one's religious beliefs, one would have to protect his fellow man, not kill him. So, in reality, John Calvin didn't protect his doctrine, he just murdered a man.

    Hope that wasn't too confusing. :)
    amy5272

    Answer by amy5272 at 8:59 PM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • A read a little about it before. I can't understand how people can be a follower of John Calvin's teachings. Not just because I don't agree with John Calvin's doctrine of predestination, but John Calvin had a lot of people put to death. He sure doesn't seem like a workman approved by God. Wasn't Servetus tied to a stake and burned slowly?
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:59 PM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • Not at all amy. I actually see how this applies to EVERY religion, and belief system as a whole.

    Anon :59, just because he didn't practice what he preached doesn't mean what he preached was bad. Just that the man was a hypocrite. I'm not a Christian so I don't believe in what he preached anyway, but I can't blame those who do.
    Petie

    Answer by Petie at 9:02 PM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • Anon :59, just because he didn't practice what he preached doesn't mean what he preached was bad. Just that the man was a hypocrite. I'm not a Christian so I don't believe in what he preached anyway, but I can't blame those who do.



    I understand what your saying, Petie. I am a Christian who doesn't think he was a good example and, it would be hard for me to follow the teachings of a man like that. I don't agree with his teachings on predestination. Predestination isn't a belief all Christians share.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:50 PM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • Petie, your response to anon was correct. Many people will say that "John Calvin was a Presbyterian" or "John Calvin was a Calvinist" which is incorrect. Calvin did not start his own faith or denomination and had no denominational affiliation himself (except when he was a practicing Catholic. After that, he was simply a "Reformer"). Presbyterians formed together based on their agreement for styles of worship and church government and in agreement with much of Calvin's theology on eschatological and philosophical issues regarding Christianity. No Calvinist "follows Calvin," just certain ideas he had. No Calvinist I know advocates violence or is particularly proud of any violence by any reformer. But as you said, this doesn't make certain points they make any less true. Any Christian denom that branched out from Catholicism or Protestantism has had a history of violence, it's not exclusive to Calvin.
    NovemberLove

    Answer by NovemberLove at 10:01 PM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • (cont) I'm Presbyterian. I agree with many of Calvin's ideas on doctrine. I also disagree with several others. I also think he was a creep. Being a creep doesn't mean all of his ideas were wrong though, as you said :-)

    Different sources will say different things but I believe that Michael Servetus was also condemned to death by the Catholic church AND many different Reformers for his radical ideas? There were many hands in the plot of this man's death as far as I remember.

    But as for the quote, it's absolutely true. As far as I see in history, martyrdom for a cause doesn't silence a message but furthers it. When you kill someone, you're killing them. Period. You can't kill their ideas just because you've ended their life.
    NovemberLove

    Answer by NovemberLove at 10:06 PM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • NovemberLove, Petie's reply to me was not correct for me, and possibly not correct for many others. As a Christian, I find it difficult to follow a person's teachings when taught by someone who had people put to death. John Calvin's beliefs on predestination are his, and that is why it is called "Calvinism". John Calivin's beliefs were similar to Augustine's, but Calvin's teachings were also, in many ways, unique to only him.
    What Servetus said was so profound. But, I wonder how true it is what he said, because I don't really know too much about his beliefs. Know what I mean? John Calvin had Servetus killed to stop what Servetus was teaching. I know what Calvin taught, but not Servetus'.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:27 PM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • Anon :27 from what we talked about today, Servetus was a Unitarian. He didn't believe in the trinity. Other than that, I'm really not sure. But now you've got me curious.
    Petie

    Answer by Petie at 11:22 PM on Sep. 9, 2009

  • Petie
    Anon :27 from what we talked about today, Servetus was a Unitarian. He didn't believe in the trinity. Other than that, I'm really not sure. But now you've got me curious.






    LoL...I'm studying about Servetus right now. It's very interesting.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:00 AM on Sep. 10, 2009

  • Now that was very interesting! At his trial, Servetus was condemned on two counts, for spreading and preaching Nontrinitarianism and anti-paedobaptism (anti-infant baptism).
    The Nontrinitarianism beliefs he had were not as offensive as I had thought they would be. Read this quote from Servetus, it sure sounds quite beautiful. "There is nothing greater, reader, than to recognize that God has been manifested as substance, and that His divine nature has been truly communicated. We shall clearly apprehend the manifestation of God through the Word and his communication through the Spirit, both of them substantially in Christ alone."

    I don't believe in infant baptism. Read these strong words from Servetus.Of paedobaptism Servetus had said, "It is an invention of the devil, an infernal falsity for the destruction of all Christianity."
    Cont.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:17 AM on Sep. 10, 2009

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