Happy Michael Servetus Day?

Discussion in 'Calvinism & The Doctrines of Grace' started by DMcFadden, Oct 27, 2009.

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  1. Prufrock

    Prufrock Arbitrary Moderation

    Perg, the use of the term "general equity" in the confession (19.4) refers to that upon which "judicial laws" rest, given "to them also as a body politic." It is not talking about ecclesiastical discipline, but civil law. They are two separate things, for he (20.3) has not "the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven."

    But, I don't want to go too far down this road, lest the thread get too far off its initial topic of Servetus.
     
  2. Romans 8 Verse 28

    Romans 8 Verse 28 Puritan Board Freshman

    I think it's worth noting that John Calvin's enemies were the ones in power at the time of the Servetus affair. For more information on this history, I'd suggest Appendix Two: Calvin and Servetus to the Calvin at 500 edition of the Trinitarian Bible Society's Quarterly Record. It can be read for free online at: http://trinitarianbiblesociety.org/site/qr/qr588.pdf
     
  3. ewenlin

    ewenlin Puritan Board Junior

    Elder Cassidy,

    I seemed to have hit a sensitive issue there. It was never my intention to assert a modern day theocracy. I was merely drawing a hypothetical situation whereby one sees the vast difference between how heretics were handled then and now. Also, my comment was not directed at anyone or group of people in particular. Nevertheless I do realize I may have overstepped certain lines, evident by your response. I sincerely apologize if my comments offended you.

    I too, know what it's like in countries where people are killed for what they think. I have friends who are pastors in certain countries in Asia who have experienced first hand physical persecution, as I myself hail from Asia. Though thankfully none of them have died... so far. Even so, I was never suggesting we kill people for what they thought. That would never happen, nor did it happen then in Servetus' time. It's about those who are vehemently opposing the orthodox truth and preaching contrary heresies. One would notice about the people I mentioned that they are all supposedly "teachers of the faith."

    I should have kept in mind many on the PB are now in other parts of the world. Certain things that are close to the heart to some may easily be taken for granted by others. It is definitely an oversight on my part. Perhaps it's a cultural issue, perhaps I'm simply dense as I often am, perhaps I'm just young as I definitely am.

    I'd ask that you grant a fellow brother in Christ a measure of grace, that we may strive to edify one another here on the Puritan Board. Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child. Where I stand among the PB, I am definitely one and may have so demonstrated.

    Respectfully,
    Ewen
     
  4. captivewill

    captivewill Puritan Board Freshman

    Point well taken. Thank you for your clarification. I suspect that even with regard to appropriate cases in which the state should wield the sword I would exclude matters of speech and belief no matter how detestable. When states such as muslim states have such power the realities of the consequences to believers is most horrible. Paul and John and other apostles refuted and condemned heresy and apostasy in no uncertain terms but never did they recommend or condone killing them.
     
  5. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    Why the comparison with Muslim States? What about here in the US a hundred years ago and the laws against blasphemy and filthy language? What harm did that cause? Surely you don't mean all speech should be free? Can you scream fire in a crowded theater?
     
  6. captivewill

    captivewill Puritan Board Freshman

    Of course one should not cry fire unless there is indeed a fire. But do we kill people who do ?
    But opinions about free speech are quite seperate from the teachings of scripture. The scriptures do not teach or commission the church to kill heretics or even apostates.
     
  7. Prufrock

    Prufrock Arbitrary Moderation

    I will beat this horse just once more in this thread: the church did not kill Michael Servetus. He was punished by the state, in accordance with the laws of the state. End of story.
     
  8. ChristianTrader

    ChristianTrader Puritan Board Graduate

    Let someone get trampled by someone yelling fire in a crowded theater and see what happens.

    CT
     
  9. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

  10. tcalbrecht

    tcalbrecht Puritan Board Junior

    Sadly, this is the view of much of reformeddom. Enforcement of the Ten Commandments is reduced to only excommunication, or some unwarranted bifurcation of the Ten Commandments.
     
  11. Christusregnat

    Christusregnat Puritan Board Professor

    This is the weakness and arbitrariness of non-reformed views of civil government: they make the magistrate a master rather than a deacon and liturgos of God. The magistrate is to do God's bidding with the sword, not his own.

    Cheers,

    Adam
     
  12. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    :ditto:
     
  13. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    This is a little off target. It would be more correct to say "the proper punishment of this crime for Paul is excommunication" in the Church. Paul actually faced State trial and was charged for religious offences. For those offences he refused not to die, if he was guilty as charged.
     
  14. VilnaGaon

    VilnaGaon Puritan Board Sophomore

    Does anyone on this board remember that when that blasphemous movie""The last temptation of Christ"" was released it was banned in most Muslim nations on account of its blasphemy. The Muslims got it right in that instance!
     
  15. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    But if God would justly mark our iniquity, we should all be immediately dispatched.
     
  16. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    So

    a: No sin should ever be punished
    b: All sin should be punished with death
    c: We look to the Bible to determine when and how to punish sin
    d: We look to the State to determine when and how to punish sin
    e: We demand sins be punished or not depending how we feel
    f: We come up with some really complicated theory about punishing sin

    Does that pretty much cover the options? ;-)
     
  17. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't know.

    But I am questioning the notion the death penalty for blasphemy is mandated for New Covenant states.

    This should be in the theonomy section.

    Death is always the just penalty for sin, as we learn from the Mosaic ceremonials and penology, as elsewhere in Scripture.

    Whether modern states should inflict death for blasphemy as was prescribed under Moses, is another question.
     
  18. Prufrock

    Prufrock Arbitrary Moderation

    [Moderator]
    Let's try to keep the conversation as closely related to the Servetus incident as possible. Historical explanations of doctrinal positions to help people understand the circumstances of Geneva are certainly fine and helpful; but let's try to avoid turning this thread into a debate over penology.
    [/Moderator]
     
  19. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    I am wondering if the concept of the "new covenant" is the problem. It would give the law a gracious aspect in terms of its third use which it does not ordinarily possess as a keeper of public order. So far as social justice is concerned, Romans 1:32 specifically teaches that capital punishment for a range of crimes other than murder is just or "worthy of death." Hebrews 2:2 says much the same with respect to the OT judicials by referring to the penology as "a just recompense of reward." We should be careful to avoid making the civil magistrate a redemptive institution with a gracious aspect, even under the recognition of the establishment principle.
     
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