December 1, 2011


Great pair of quotes here at Richard Beck's site:

We muzzle dogs; shall we leave men free to open their mouths and say what they please?...God makes it plain that the false prophet is to be stoned without mercy. We are to crush beneath our heels all natural affections when his honour is at stake. The father should not spare his child, nor the husband his wife, nor the friend that friend who is dearer to him than life.
--John Calvin, Protestant Reformer and Father of Calvinism (1509-1564)
Calvin says that he is certain, and [other sects] say that they are; Calvin says that they are wrong and wishes to judge them, and so do they. Who shall be judge? What made Calvin the arbiter of all the sects, that he alone should kill? He has the Word of God and so have they. If the matter is certain, to who is it so? To Calvin? But then why does he write so many books about manifest truth?...In view of the uncertainty we must define the heretic simply as one with whom we disagree. And if then we are going to kill heretics, the logical outcome will be a war of extermination, since each is sure of himself.
--Sebastian Castellio, French theologian (1515-1563)

Obviously, the Bible doesn't encourage relativism. Coffee with Jesus cuts to the chase:
However, we do need to figure out what is really worth dying for ... or killing for. I don't want to hear Jesus tell me someday that I, like Saul, was really persecuting him. That those I thought were so wrong and treated so badly were actually closest to getting it right. So, humility in our disagreements is crucial. And a weighing of the consequences of being wrong before I say or do something "discerning," as they say. And the development of genuine respect for those with whom I disagree. Not a "respect" that pretends to agree with everyone, but one which says that everyone is valuable, and loved by God, and worthy of grace and kindness. No matter how badly we disagree. Something that won't have burned the bridges if one of us changes our mind later. Tough to do, but much better that than making enemies of those who may prove to be our own family.