Monday, May 19, 2014

A Man of a Calling

Bernard Cottret remarks this of John Calvin, "Calvin was a man of a calling and of uncompromising resistance." "In Geneva's insularity he found a refuge and an asylum; from there he drew his energy, his inspiration, his reasons for hope."(p. 157). Cottret goes to to say, "His correspondence shows us the hidden face of the ecclesiastical organizer - nervous, sensitive, troubled, and also ironical. He was also a stylist, who used writing to recover that peacefulness of soul that lucidity produces." (p. 158). I felt strongly encouraged by the last line that it has been writing through blogging that has brought a measure of tranquillity to my soul in these past months. Besides blogging, reading the life of Calvin (3rd biography in 12 months) has been my stay.
I look to Calvin to see myself, my calling and the great resistance that I am engaging in as Jesus says, "The kingdom of God suffers violence, and the strong fights its way into it." What does Cottret mean by Calvin being a man of "uncompromising resistance"? Resistance against the established Church of Calvin's day; against human traditions that plunged the Word of God into darkness; against tardy, self-seeking, incompetent ministers of the Gospel that preferred the praise of men to the glory of God; against ecclesiastical careerists that saw their station as their rice bowls and not a calling or a vocation to serve the needs of humanity in a lost world; against bishops, cardinals and popes who sold indulgences, relished in relics, worshipped dead saints and paraded corpses in glass coffins and exalted in pomp and ceremony with all the glamour and sparkle but full of darkness and iniquity inside. The Church today needs Calvins of yesteryears.

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