Friday, June 01, 2007

Calvin and the Mystics that influenced him…

Calvin and the Mystics that influenced him…

It seems rather sad that some are so bent at calling Christian Mysticism wrong… even satanic. They miss that many of the reformers were highly influenced by the Mystic Saints. Case in point is John Calvin who was greatly influenced by Augustine who is considered a Christian Mystic and also St. Bernard. (This is well noted in “Institutes: written by John Calvin as he refers often to both of these Christian mystics and build his thought from their thoughts.)

Noting first that both of these men were of the Catholic persuasion, then that they were “mystics” make me truly wonder at many who call themselves Calvinist today. I think they really have a short term understanding of history and even more how their own “system” of Theology came to be.

To cast Christian mysticism as satanic as many have, seems then that without realizing it, they have condemned Calvin to the pit of Hell for being influenced by two Christian Mystics.

Can one separated the influencer from the one influenced? I do see that one can, yet often without thinking we act as if Calvin or Luther just fell out of the sky one day and came up with something new, or as some say, reclaimed the old.

Yet, influences are that, they guide one to think on terms that they might not have considered, and it seems that Calvin himself was at least more open to things than many who claim his name…

(A bit of a side note here: I cannot ever be a Calvinist as it goes against the teachings of Paul in 1 Cor 1 where Paul is stating that we are to follow and be baptized into the Name of Jesus… so I see that by this I cannot take Calvin’s name as Calvin did not die for my sins, nor did he raise from the grave the third day… as far as I know he is still in his own grave waiting for the day of Resurrection. I am baptized into the Name of Jesus and am content in that as my identity.)

I see that anyone who blindly calls all Christian mysticism as Satanic have missed and possibly are missing a very important element in their faith… and that is intimacy with Jesus Christ. Calvin called this "unio mystica" or the "mystical union".