Calvinists Defense of John Calvin in the Michael Servetus Ordeal

Posted: November 1, 2013 in Calvinism
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By Elisha Weismann

servetusDespite the overwhelming evidence of John Calvin’s complicity in the murder of Michael Servetus, even by John Calvin’s hand written account BEFORE (“If he [Servetus] comes [to Geneva], I shall never let him go out alive if my authority has weight”, written by John Calvin in a letter to Farel Feb. 13, 1546), DURING (“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’s letter to Farel, Aug 20th 1553) and AFTER (“Honour, glory, and riches shall be the reward of your pains; but above all, do not fail to rid the country of those scoundrels, who stir up the people to revolt against us. Such monsters should be exterminated, as I have exterminated Michael Servetus the Spaniard.” John Calvin to Marquis Paet, high chamberlain to the King of Navarre, 1561), the Calvinist revisionist excuse John Calvin by claiming…..GASP!……John Calvin was not an integral part of the actual court proceedings.

But is this a valid objection?

In the Old Testament, 2 witnesses were required against the accused for a capital murder offense. Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6. This shows clearly that a witness is an integral part of the prosecution in putting a person to death under the law. History shows that Servetus’ execution was the result of 7 years of planning from John Calvin to have Servetus executed.

In the book of Daniel chapter 6, the popular story of the Lion’s Den, King Darius had Daniel’s accusers executed for conspiring to kill Daniel.

In the book of Judges, God judged Abimelech for “ordering the hit” of 70 of his brethren. Judges 9:56.

In the book of Esther, Haman was hanged for conspiring to have the Jews killed by proxy through manipulating the laws (similar to Daniel’s story).

Let’s not forgot one of the most popular Old Testament tragedies, the murder of Uriah the Hittite by King David. David didn’t actually kill Uriah, he had someone else do it. But Nathan still told David, “Thou art the man”. 2 Samuel 12.

There are several more examples that could be offered, the above will suffice. Yet despite the overwhelming evidence in the Bible that shows that a person is not excused merely because he or she did not actually either participate in the proceedings or merely conspired to cause the proceedings to take place, the Calvinists invest this fantastic defense of Calvin that defies all common sense and logic.

As an attorney, if I were ever required to represent and defend the godfather of a mafia family for ordering the deaths of informants, never in a million years would I have thought to use the defense, “Your honor, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the godfather is innocent because he was never actually present during the crime and did not pull the trigger.” If I were to use that kind of defense, not only would I be laughed out of court, but the godfather would probably have ME killed.

I marvel that Reformers expect this kind of defense of the Calvinist Godfather to be taken seriously.

And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.” Acts 8:1


See also, James White Historical Hooey, Part 1, and Part 2

  1. Calvin was evil and a heretic, no less than Servetus was also a heretic. In the 16th century, we have a lot of heretics murdering and killing each other off in a kind of Darwinian struggle for the survival of the fittest, most elect Augustinian orthodoxy. Such orthodoxy was false, and was rather Filioquist heresy, in many cases. The papists and the Protestant alike were legal minded and vindictive, seeking revenge, and inventing heresies and enemies, while they themselves were also heretics in some ways. Rather ironic.

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