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Letters by a modern St. Ferdinand III about cults

Gab@StFerdinandIII - Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands.  Cults everywhere:  Islam, the State, the cult of Gay and Queer, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, 'Science', Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion....a nice variety for the human-hater, amoral, anti-rationalist to choose from.  It is so much fun mocking them isn't it ?

Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death 

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Henry Beveridge, `John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion`, 1845.

Calvin's cult. A poli-cracy.

by StFerdIII

 

Calvin was the 16th century successor to Luther`s protesting reformation against the institutional excesses of the Roman church. He was a very odd man indeed. Christianity at its core is a liberation liturgy. It frees your mind, your body, your spirit and imposes faith through reason and reason through faith. Not so with the more obtuse views of Luther and Calvin. While supporting almost all of the Lutheran program, Calvin extended Luther`s idea of `bonded will` to an extreme. Luther`s central idea was that only God`s will mattered and that will would manifest itself in human activity through piety, good works, and with individual introspective discipline. You could not buy an indulgence for instance, to expiate past sins, and you did not need a formalized popish church and bureaucratic hierarchy to interpolate your relationship with God. Follow the basic ideals of Christianity and subsume your will into the divine, and you could be saved. Such a concept in a rigid mind like Calvin`s was oil to fire.

By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man. All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestinated for life or to death....

So spake Calvin quoted from Beveridge`s excellent book. Calvinism is akin to Islam in many ways. In both systems only the divine entity or idol has free-will. Even worse, he or it will decide everything including your after-life fate. If he likes you and shows through you good religious works and deeds you might be saved. If you are not of the elect group which he favors you are damned and consigned as rubbish in hell. Both Islam and Calvinism express a profound contempt for the individual.

But as the Lord seals his elect by calling and justification, so by excluding the reprobate either from the knowledge of his name or the sanctification of his Spirit, he by these marks in a manner discloses the judgement which awaits them.

This is very similar to Islam. God will anoint his chosen and make it apparent that they are blessed in their looks and deeds. Similarly those who are in his or its disfavor will be marked out and it will be clear to all that they have been preordainly damned. It matters not therefore, what you do, who you are, or what your character and morals are. God decides all. Such a theory is not only irreligiously immoral, it is quite insane.

But if it is plainly owing to the mere pleasure of God that salvation is spontaneously offered to some, while others have no access to it, great and difficult questions immediately arise....God by his eternal and immutable counsel determines once and for all those whom it was his pleasure one day to admit to salvation, and those whom, on the other hand, it was his pleasure to doom to destruction.

Calvin never answers the `great questions` about why a God would murder humans using predestination. His doctrine has little to do with spirituality or freedom. It is a poli-cracy and one designed to demagogue and control people. It neatly divides the world into two – the elected followers of Calvin versus the rest. This offers up illimitable possibilities for political-economic control by Calvin and the ruling elite. It forces people to follow the program of Calvinism and piously plead with God to be part of the elected cult. It demonizes the rest of society and categorizes non-members as unworthy, unjust, and doomed by God to hellfire. This makes it easier to wipe out your political and religious foes.

One of the benefices of the Enlightenment was to wipe away the vestiges of pre-destination. Indeed by the mid-18th century this had largely happened. Neither did Calvinism have much of a positive cultural impact as is sometimes argued by historians. Calvinist ideals did well in places like Scotland and Holland, but these states had long cultural legacies associated with so-called Calvinist attributes of industry, thrift, trade, and common-sense which long predates the madness of Calvin. In both Holland and Scotland Calvinism was essentially a political program which help secure religious and secular support against foreign enemies. One could argue quite convincingly that not many of the citizens took pre-destination that seriously.

It is also fair to say that on balance the protesting reformation set into motion by Luther and Calvin during the 16th century was of inestimable benefit to European development. No argument can be made against that fact. But it is also true that the extremities of Luther`s concepts led to the enslavement of people to religious totalitarianism which found its expression in Calvin. Destroying free-will, individuality, conscientious choice, and reason is irreligious and immoral. The point of a religious program is to free, not enslave. Any movement which uses predestination as its ordering mechanism for society is thus a cult. Calvinism was the last gasp of pre-modern cultish theology in Europe.


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