Rick Patrick has a provocative post this morning on sbctoday.com.
“… In 1553 John Calvin requested that Michael Servetus be decapitated as a traitor rather than burned as a heretic. In light of this merciful request, Calvin’s friend William Farel chided him for his undue lenience. However, it did no good and Servetus was burned at the stake.
“Who among us cannot sympathize with Farel’s concern? Frankly, Calvin’s softness in proposing merely to cut off the head of a man who so clearly deserved to be set on fire is puzzling. What kind of girlyman allows a heretic who denies both the Trinity and infant baptism to get away with the mere wrist slap of head removal?
“Clearly, Calvin hoped in this matter that cooler heads would prevail–except, of course, for that of Servetus. When rebuffed by the Geneva Council, Calvin undoubtedly felt he had been burned, ironically the very same sensation that the heretic felt last.”
Rick concludes: “Calvin’s actions speak louder than his words. How does a Calvinist today so easily absolve his conscience while taking his theological cues on the nature of God’s love from a heart and mind so blind to the immorality of governmental or ecclesiastical homicide? … If a theologian can get murder wrong, it is certainly fair to question his understanding of other truths as well.”
Read the entire post by clicking here.