© 2015 by Clement Li. All Rights Reserved.
It’s sad that many Calvinists that I’ve encounter have absolutely no idea who John Calvin was. They know him by name and as the person who founded the idea of Calvinism but they don’t actually know what kind of person he was.
I often wonder how someone who identify themselves as a Christian can tell me many stories about Jesus and what kind of person he was, but when someone identify themselves as a Calvinist and I ask them to tell me a little about John Calvin, the only thing they can give me is that he was the person who founded Calvinism. I mean wouldn’t it be baffling if someone told you they were Christians but couldn’t tell you one single thing about Jesus? If Calvinist followers today would pick up a book and do a little research on their spiritual leader they would know that they’re following the beliefs of a serial killer, mass murderer and a terrorist.
Before I get into details about how John Calvin was a serial killer, mass murderer and a terrorist, lets look at the definition of each:
1.Serial Killer: A person who murders three or more people with the murders taking place over more than a month between them
2. Mass Murderer: A person who kills several or numerous victims in a single incident or A person, especially a political or military leader, who is responsible for the death of many individuals
3. Terrorist: A person who employs terror or terrorism, especially as a political weapon or a radical who employs terror as a political weapon; usually organizes with other terrorists in small cells
Now that we have these definitions lets take a look at the actions of John Calvin and how well he fits into these terms.
Laws and facts about Geneva Under Calvin’s Authority:
* Each household had to attend Sunday morning services. If there was preaching on weekdays, all had to attend also. (There were only a few exceptions, and Calvin preached three to four times a week.)
* If a person came to the service after the sermon had begun, he was warned. If he continued, he would have to pay a fine.
* Heresy was regarded as an insult to God and treason to the state and was punished by death.
* Witchcraft was a capital crime. In one year, 14 alleged witches were sent to the stake on the charge that they persuaded Satan to afflict Geneva with the plague.
* Clergy were to abstain from hunting, gambling, feasting, commerce, secular amusements, and had to accept annual visitations and moral scrutiny by church superiors.
* Gambling, card-playing, frequenting taverns, dancing, indecent or irreligious songs, immodesty in dress were all prohibited.
* The allowable color and quantity of clothing and the number of dishes permissible at a meal were specified by law.
* A woman was jailed for arranging her hair to an “immoral height.”
* Children were to be named after Old Testament characters. A rebellious father served four days in prison for insisting on naming his son Claude instead of Abraham.
* To speak disrespectfully of Calvin or the clergy was a crime. A first violation was punished by a reprimand. Further violations with fines. Persistent violations were met with imprisonment or banishment.
* Fornication was punished by exile or drowning.
* Adultery, blasphemy, and idolatry was punished with death.
* In the year 1558-1559, there were 414 prosecutions for moral offenses.
* As everywhere in the 16th century, torture was often used to obtain confessions or evidence.
* Between 1542-1564, there were 76 banishments. The total population of Geneva then was 20,000.
* Calvin’s own step-daughter and son-in-law were among those condemned for adultery and executed.
* In Geneva, there was little distinction between religion and morality. The existing records of the Council for this period reveal a high percentage of illegitimate children, abandoned infants, forced marriages, and sentences of death. 
* In one case, a child was beheaded for striking his parents.  (Following Old Testament Mosaic law, Calvin believed it was scriptural to execute rebellious children and those who commit adultery.) [2a]
* During a period of 17 years when Calvin was leading Geneva, there were 139 recorded executions in the city. 
*Burned a man (Michael Servetus) alive for disagreeing with his theology. 
I’m not a mathematician but I know 139 is a much bigger number than 3, and when it comes to the number of murders committed it’s enough to be labeled a serial killer and a mass murderer. The way these executions were carried out definitely made him a terrorist. In fact with these gruesome historical details I think it’s safe to say he was also a psychopath.
A few questions I leave with Calvinists believers:
- If Jesus was someone who ruled with a sword or an iron hand, would you still follow him?
- Do you think God approved of Calvin’s tactics on imposing his faith on others?
- What is your idea of a good spiritual leader and do you think John Calvin was one?
I would like to conclude and point out that nowhere in this article you’ll see me use the term “Calvinist Christians” instead I use words like “Calvinist” or “Calvinist followers”, this is because I don’t think Calvinists are Christians, it pains to say something like this because I know there are decent people who are Calvinist, people that I consider friends and even brothers and sisters, but to me a Christian is someone who follows the teaching of Jesus and no one else. not Arminius, not Luther, not Calvin but Jesus only.
 All of the above information about Geneva can be found in Will Durant, The Reformation, pp. 472-476. Durant cites his sources. See also Calvin’s Geneva: An Experiment in Christian Theocracy – published in The Radical Resurgence andCalvin’s Geneva: Applied Critical Thinking – published in The Radical Resurgence
 Fear of the Word by Eli Oboler, pp. 60-62.
[2a] See http://etb-history-theology.blogspot.com/2012/03/execution-of-child-and-adulterers-in.html
 The Church Polity of John Calvin by Harro Hopfl, p. 136.
 Civilization VI: 484 by Will Durant