To be fair, Calvin and the Geneva Council were not the only ones of that period who believed that killing heretics was just. Many in the period thought that heresy was a poison to the people that must be dealt with severely. However, we must not simply let those who acted in such a manner off the hook too easily.
Because of the contemporary emphasis on Calvinism I thought that perhaps we should take a closer look at a man who, although he has been dead for over 400 years, still speaks to many in our day. Who was John Calvin? Where did he live? What did he teach? And would you want to live in a place where he exerted a dominating influence?
The pendulum has swung the other way today with a secular government mandating support of abortion and other practices in health care and society contrary to scripture. Churches and Christians ought to be free to oppose violations of religious liberty. To this end Backus was a great leader in the early days of this country’s history.
I believe that many times we fail to understand just how much a thing’s value is determined by a thought. For example, what is the difference between a cut that comes from the surgeon’s scalpel, and one that comes from an assailant’s blade? It’s a thought. It is the difference between one whose purpose is to help, and another’s intention to hurt.
Obviously the most important benefit of following Christ is spiritual; salvation through faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:16). However, even those who do not accept Christ can benefit socially from the presence of authentic Christianity. This article seeks to highlight one area in which this is true.