Kalvin – som aldrig verkar ha ångrat sitt mord på Servetus

John Kalvins mord på Mikael Servetus

I Geneve, den 27 oktober 1553 så bands Mikael Servetus vid en påle och brändes sakta till döds. Han brändes med färskt ved så att dödsförloppet skulle ta längre tid, och hela plågan tog ungefär 3 timmar enligt vittnesmål. Här följer en del citat på engelska om Kalvins agerande gentemot Servetus. En del försöker försvara Kalvins agerande med att säga “Ingen är perfekt” eller “Så gjorde man på den tiden” men på vad sätt lindrar det synden som Kalvin gjorde sig skyldig till? Bibeln är klar över att mord är fel, och grupptryck är aldrig en legitim ursäkt för en synd. Servetus “brott” krävde inte dödsstraff i Geneve, vilket Kalvin måste ha vetat eftersom han var en av dem som bestämde lagarna i landet, men ändå såg han till att straffet skulle bli just ett dödsstraff. Servetus brott skulle ha varit att han inte trodde att Jesus är Gud (om det nu är sant eftersom vi bara kan bedöma de källor vi har och vilka kan härröra sig från hans fiender), vilket inte är teologiskt korrekt, men vem säger att det är rätt att mörda människor med felaktiga teologiska uppfattningar?

“If he [Servetus] comes [to Geneva], I shall never let him go out alive if my authority has weight.” Schaff-erzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Written by John Calvin in a letter to Farel Feb. 13, 1546

 “I hope that the verdict will call for the death penalty.” During Servetus’ trial Walter Nigg, The Heretics

“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” Calvin writes Farel in a letter dated Aug 20th 1553 where he has Servetus arrested.

År 1562 sa Kalvin:

“Servetus suffered the penalty due to his heresies, but was it by my will? Certainly his arrogance destroyed him not less than his impiety. And what crime was it of mine if our Council, at my exhortation, indeed, but in conformity with the opinion of several churches, took vengeance on his execrable blashpemies? Let Baudouin abuse me as long as he will, provided that by the judgment of Melanchthon, POSTERITY OWES ME A DEBT OF GRATITUDE for having purged the church of so perincious a monster.(Schaff History of the christian church).


 “But when I perceived that the fury of certain bad men had risen to such a height in your realm, that there was no place in it for sound doctrine, I thought it might be of service if I were in the same work both to give instruction to my countrymen, and also lay before your Majesty a Confession, from which you may learn what the doctrine is that so inflames the rage of those madmen who are this day, with fire and sword, troubling your kingdom. For I fear not to declare, that what I have here given may be regarded as a summary of the very doctrine which, they vociferate, ought to be punished with confiscation, exile, imprisonment, and flames, as well as exterminated by land and sea. This, I allow, is a fearful punishment which God sends on the earth; but if the wickedness of men so deserves, why do we strive to oppose the just vengeance of God?” Prefatory Address in his Institutes to Francis, King of the French, 1536.

 “[They] well deserve to be repressed by the sword which is committed to you, seeing that they attack not the King only, but God who has seated him upon the throne, and has entrusted to you the protection as well of His person as of His majesty. Letter to the Lord Protector of Somerset, adviser to King Edward VI, October 22, 1548.

 “Whoever shall now contend that it is unjust to put heretics and blasphemers to death will knowingly and willingly incur their very guilt. This is not laid down on human authority; it is God who speaks and prescribes a perpetual rule for his Church. It is not in vain that he banishes all those human affections which soften our hearts; that he commands paternal love and all the benevolent feelings between brothers, relations, and friends to cease; in a word, that he almost deprives men of their nature in order that nothing may hinder their holy zeal. Why is so implacable a severity exacted but that we may know that God is defrauded of his honour, unless the piety that is due to him be preferred to all human duties, and that when his glory is to be asserted, humanity must be almost obliterated from our memories? Many people have accused me of such ferocious cruelty that I would like to kill again the man I have destroyed. Not only am I indifferent to their comments, but I rejoice in the fact that they spit in my face.” Defense of Orthodox Faith against the Prodigious Errors of the Spaniard Michael Servetus, published in early 1554.

 “To these irreligious characters. and despisers of the heavenly doctrineŠ. I think that there is scarcely any of the weapons which are forged in the workshop of Satan, which has not been employed by them in order to obtain their object. And at length matters had come to such a state, that an end could be put to their machinations in no other way than cutting them off by an ignominious death; which was indeed a painful and pitiable spectacle to me. They no doubt deserved the severest punishment, but I always rather desired that they might live in prosperity, and continue safe and untouched; which would have been the case had they not been altogether incorrigible, and obstinately refused to listen to wholesome admonition. Preface to Commentaries, July 22, 1557.

 “Moreover, God Himself has explicitly instructed us to kill heretics, to smite with the sword any city that abandons the worship of the true faith revealed by Him.” Comments on Ex. 22:20, Lev. 24:16, Deut. 13:5-15, 17:2-5.

 “Honour, glory, and riches shall be the reward of your pains; but above all, do not fail to rid the country of those scoundrels [Anabaptists and others], who stir up the people to revolt against us. Such monsters should be exterminated, as I have exterminated Michael Servetus the Spaniard.” Letter to the Marquis Paet, chamberlain to the King of Navarre, 1561.

Sebastian Castellio betalade ett stort pris när han stod emot Kalvin. Han jagades och ansattes av John Calvin ända till sin död. Under fem år, 1542-46, så hade Geneve med sina 16.000 invånare 57 dödsstraff och 76 landsförvisning. Samtliga av dessa straff var sanktionerade av Kalvin. Offren hade åldrarna 16 till 80. Den vanligaste orsaken till straff var pga opposition till barndop.  På Kalvins tid så var straffet vanligtvis dränkning, en långdragen död genom att brännas vid en påle, eller att bli halshuggen. Dessa straff utfördes till allmän beskådan inför stadens invånare. Straffen spreds ut tidsmässigt så att de ständigt skulle påminna befolkningen att frukta och lyda det önskade systemet.  Andra dödades för att de gett stöd för lokala kyrkors självbestämmande, vilket var en opposition mot kopplingen mellan kyrka och stat, och andra för att de predikade att Kristus dog för ALLA syndare (unlimited atonement) som inte kalvinister tror på. Mediacensur fanns i Geneve ända till 1700-talet.

 “Now, let all my readers compare Calvin’s original declaration with his writings and his deeds today and it will become plain that his present and his past are as unlike one another as light and darkness. Because he has had Servetus put to death, he now wishes to execute in like manner all who differ from himself. He, the lawmaker, repudiates his own law, and demands the death penalty for dissentients….Can we be surprised that Calvin wants to bring others down to death when he is afraid that they will disclose his instability and his mutations, thrusting these into the lime light? Those who act wrongly dread the clear light of day.” (The Right to Heresy: Castellio Against Calvin, Stefan Zweig, p. 179)

Kalvin skrev alltså sin berömda bok (Institutes), som påverkat så många människor, i form av en oomvänd mördare, och vi vet att ingen mördare kan komma in i Guds rike. Vi kan bara hoppas på att Kalvin omvände sig åtminstone på sin dödsbädd, men det får blir ett hopp eftersom det inte finns något stöd för att han någonsin omvände sig.

 1 Joh 3:15. Var och en som hatar sin broder är en mördare, och ni vet att ingen mördare har evigt liv bestående i sig.

Det är klart att dra citat ur sitt sammanhang alltid är riskfyllt, och det skulle dessutom vara ohederligt att välja ut citat i ett försök att få personen i fråga att säga det motsatta mot hans egna åsikter, MEN jag tycker nedan citat är tillräckligt tydliga för att visa att Kalvin hade de åsikter som citaten visar. Alla har förstås möjligheten att läsa citaten även i ett större sammanhang för att se om åsikterna då skulle gå isär. När det gäller Kalvin och Luther som influerat världens kristna med sina läror och som ofta prisas i kyrkor tillsammans med Augustinus, så känns det legitimt att belysa även åsikter och kommentarer som kanske inte är så kända. Självfallet så är inte allt som dessa personer sagt fel, men eftersom en del av deras läror kan riskera en persons själ, så är det viktigt att även komma med lite kritik genom att citera dem själva från deras egna skrifter. Bibeln lär dessutom att vi ska avslöja falska läror och inte bara tiga, för om vi inte reagerar så kanske dessa läror sprids oemotsagda och lurar ännu fler människor. Sanningen orsakar ibland splittring, men Bibeln lär oss att det är de som kommer med falska läror som orsakar splittringen – inte de som avslöjar dem.  Det är också intressant att en del kristna försvarar Kalvin och/eller Luther med att säga att “ingen är perfekt”, “vi gör alla fel” (men inte mördar vi väl?) etc, medan de inte är lika villiga att försvara Pelagius, som Augustinus lyckades etikettera som en irrlärare i ett möte där Pelagius inte ens var närvarande för att försvara sig mot Augustins halvsanningar. Faktum är att Kalvin inte ens 9 år efter att han skrivit sin Institutes ångrade mordet på Servetus, och det betyder att han skrev sin bok i form av en mördare. Bibeln lär att “ingen mördare har evigt liv i sig”. Luther predikade hat och förföljelser mot judar till och med några få dagar innan han dog.


“God NOT ONLY foresaw the FALL of the first man, and in him the RUIN of his posterity; but also at his own pleasure ARRANGED it” .(John Calvin (Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, XXIII)

“But those who, while they profess to be the disciples of Christ, still seek for free-will in man, notwithstanding of his being lost and drowned in spiritual destruction, labor under manifold delusion, making a heterogeneous mixture of inspired doctrine and philosophical opinions, and so erring as to both.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 15, Paragraph 8)

“Creatures are so governed by the secret counsel of God, that nothing happens but what he has knowingly and willingly decreed” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 16, Paragraph 3)

“We hold that God is the disposer and ruler of all things, –that from the remotest eternity, according to his own wisdom, He decreed what he was to do, and now by his power executes what he decreed. Hence we maintain, that by His providence, not heaven and earth and inanimate creatures only, but also the counsels and wills of men are so governed as to move exactly in the course which he has destined.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 16, Paragraph 8)

“thieves and murderers, and other evildoers, are instruments of divine providence, being employed by the Lord himself to execute judgments which he has resolved to inflict.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 17, Paragraph 5)

“The devil, and the whole train of the ungodly, are in all directions, held in by the hand of God as with a bridle, so that they can neither conceive any mischief, nor plan what they have conceived, nor how muchsoever they may have planned, move a single finger to perpetrate, unless in so far as he permits, nay unless in so far as he commands, that they are not only bound by his fetters but are even forced to do him service” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 17, Paragraph 11)

“He testifies that He creates light and darkness, forms good and evil (Isaiah 45:7); that no evil happens which He hath not done (Amos 3:6). Let them tell me whether God exercises His judgments willingly or unwillingly.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 18, Paragraph 3)

“How few are there who, when they hear free will attributed to man, do not immediately imagine that he is the master of his mind and will in such a sense, that he can of himself incline himself either to good or evil? It may be said that such dangers are removed by carefully expounding the meaning to the people. But such is the proneness of the human mind to go astray, that it will more quickly draw error from one little word, than truth from a lengthened discourse. Of this, the very term in question [free will] furnishes too strong a proof. I think the abolition of it would be of great advantage to the Church. I am unwilling to use it myself; and others, if they will take my advice, will do well to abstain from it.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 2, Chapter 2, Paragraphs 7-8)

“…salvation is freely offered to some while others are barred from access to it.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 21, Paragraph 5)

“We call predestination God’s eternal decree, by which he compacted with himself what he willed to become of each man. For all are not created in equal condition; rather, eternal life is fore-ordai…ned for some, eternal damnation for others.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 21, Paragraph 5)

“The very inequality of his grace proves that it is free.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 21, Paragraph 6)

“…We say that God once established by his eternal and unchangeable plan those whom he long before determined once for all to receive into salvation, and those whom, on the other hand, he would devote to destruction…he has barred the door of life to those whom he has given over to damnation.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 21, Paragraph 7)

“God could foresee nothing good in man except what he had already determined to bestow by the benefit of his election.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 22, Paragraph 5)

“God is moved to mercy for no other reason but that he wills to be merciful.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 22, Paragraph 8)

“… predestination to glory is the cause of predestination to grace, rather than the converse.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 22, Paragraph 9)

“…although the voice of the gospel addresses all in general, yet the gift of faith is rare.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 22, Paragraph 9)

“We cannot assign any reason for his bestowing mercy on his people, but just as it so pleases him, either can we have any reason for his reprobating others but his will.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 22, Paragraph 11)

“Therefore, those whom God passes over, he condemns; and this he does for no other reason than that he wills to exclude them from the inheritance which he predestines for his own children.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 1)

“…it is very wicked merely to investigate the causes of God’s will. For his will is, and rightly ought to be, the cause of all things that are.”…”For GOd?s will is so much the highest rule of righteousness that whatever he wills, by the very fact that he wills it, must be considered righteous. When, therefore, one asks why God has so done, we must reply: because he has willed it. But if you proceed further to ask why he so willed, you are seeking something greater and higher than God’s will, which cannot be found.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 1)

“Many professing a desire to defend the Deity from an individual charge admit the doctrine of election, but deny that any one is reprobated. This they do ignorantly and childishly, since there could be no election without its opposite, reprobation.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 1)

“…it is utterly inconsistent to transfer the preparation for destruction to anything but God’s secret plan…God’s secret plan is the cause of hardening.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 2, Chapter 23, Paragraph 1)

“…he will of God is not only free of all fault but is the highest rule of perfection, and even the law of all laws.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 2)

“I admit that in this miserable condition wherein men are now bound, all of Adam’s children have fallen by God’s will.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 4)

“With Augustine I say: The Lord has created those whom he unquestionably foreknew would go to destruction. This has happened because he has willed.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 5)

“.individuals are born, who are doomed from the womb to certain death, and are to glorify him by their destruction.” .it is vain to debate about prescience, which it is clear that all events take place by his sovereign appointment.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 6)

“But since he foresees future events only by reason of the fact that he decreed that they take place, they vainly raise a quarrel over foreknowledge, then it is clear that all things take place rather by his determination and bidding.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 6)

“Again I ask: whence does it happen that dam’s fall irremediably involved so many peoples, together with their infant offspring, in eternal death unless because it so pleased God? The decree is dreadful indeed, I confess. Yet no one can deny that God foreknew what end man was to have before he created him, and consequently foreknew because he so ordained by his decree. And it ought not to seem absurd for me to say that God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his descendants, but also meted it out in accordance with his own decision.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 7)

“For if predestination is nothing but the meting out of divine justice–secret, indeed, but blameless–because it is certain that they were not unworthy to be predestined to this condition, it is equally certain that the destruction they undergo by predestination is also most just. Besides, their perdition depends upon the predestination of God in such a way that the cause and occasion of it are found in themselves. For the first man fell because the Lord had judged it to be expedient; why he so judged is hidden from us.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 8)

“Man falls according as God’s providence ordains, but he falls by his own fault.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 8)

“The first man fell because the Lord deemed it meet that he should.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 8)

“Even though by God’s eternal providence man has been created to undergo that calamity to which he is subject, it still takes its occasion from man himself, not from God, since the only reason for his ruin is that he has degenerated from God’s pure creation into vicious and impure perversity.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 23, Paragraph 9)

“Moreover, the wicked bring upon themselves the just destruction to which they are destined.” (John Calvin, Institutes of Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 24, heading)

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