Skip to comments.John Calvin’s Worst Heresy: That Christ Suffered in Hell
Posted on 09/21/2009 10:14:12 AM PDT by NYer
Years ago while listening to Hank Hanegraaff’s Bible Answer Man radio program, a caller called in about “Christ suffering in Hell.” Hank rightly explained that “Christ suffering in Hell” is not a biblical doctrine, but noted that the doctrine was held by John Calvin. Hank respectfully disagreed with Calvin.
We can argue back and forth over Calvin’s doctrine of baptism or predestination, but Calvin is a manifest heretic regarding Christ’s descent into hell. He breaks with Scripture and all the Fathers in this regard, and his error deserves more attention, because it shows the cracks in his systematic theology. During my three years at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, nobody wanted to touch this with a ten-foot pole.
So that you can get Calvin in context, I’ve provided the full section from Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion Book II, Chapter 16, 10 in full. The red inserts are mine.
But, apart from the Creed, we must seek for a surer exposition of Christ’s descent to hell: and the word of God furnishes us with one not only pious and holy, but replete with excellent consolation. Nothing had been done if Christ had only endured corporeal death. In order to interpose between us and God’s anger, and satisfy his righteous judgement, it was necessary that he should feel the weight of divine vengeance. Whence also it was necessary that he should engage, as it were, at close quarters with the powers of hell and the horrors of eternal death [What!!! Christ suffered eternal death and the pains the hell!].
We lately quoted from the Prophet, that the “chastisement of our peace was laid upon him” that he “was bruised for our iniquities” that he “bore our infirmities;” [ [the authors of Scripture and the Fathers apply these prophecies to the crucifixion--not to any penal condemnation in hell] expressions which intimate, that, like a sponsor and surety for the guilty, and, as it were, subjected to condemnation, he undertook and paid all the penalties which must have been exacted from them, the only exception being, that the pains of death could not hold him. Hence there is nothing strange in its being said that he descended to hell, seeing he endured the death which is inflicted on the wicked by an angry God. It is frivolous and ridiculous to object that in this way the order is perverted, it being absurd that an event which preceded burial should be placed after it. But after explaining what Christ endured in the sight of man, the Creed appropriately adds the invisible and incomprehensible judgement [ [so the cross as visible judgment was not enough. Christ suffered in hell...] which he endured before God, to teach us that not only was the body of Christ given up as the price of redemption, but that there was a greater and more excellent price – that he bore in his soul the tortures of condemned and ruined man. [ [So after suffering in the body on the cross, Christ's soul suffered tortures of the condemned in hell.]
What do we make of this? Essentially, Calvin’s doctrine of penal substitution is the problem (something Catholicism rejects, by the way). If we understand atonement as “substitution,” we run into the error that Calvin has committed. Since sinners deserve both physical death and spiritual torment in hell we should also expect that Christ as our redeemer must also experience both physical death and hell. This logic only makes sense–except that it contradicts everything said in the New Testament about Christ’s once-for-all sacrifice. The descent into hell was not punitive in anyway, but rather triumphant as described by the Apostles and illustrated in thousands of churches, both East and West (see picture below).
This descent into Hell as Christ’s victory corresponds to the teaching of our first Pope Saint Peter: Christ “proclaimed the Gospel even to the dead” (εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ καὶ νεκροῖς εὐηγγελίσθη, 1 Pet 4:6). Jesus wasn’t burning in the flames! He was dashing the gates of Hell, proclaiming His victory, and delivering the righteous of the Old Testament! That’s the holy Catholic and Apostolic Faith in all its beauty.
The “penal substitution” theory of the atonement is patently false. Christ died for us, but it wasn’t a simple swap. Christ uses the language of participation. We are to be “in Him” and we are to also carry the cross. Christ doesn’t take up the cross so that we don’t have to take up the cross. He repeatedly calls us to carry the cross. Our lives are to become “cruciform.” The New Testament constantly calls us to suffer in the likeness of Christ. Again, it’s not a clean exchange. It’s not: “Jesus suffers so that we don’t have to.” Rather we participate in His redemption. This is also the language of Saint Paul:
For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake (Phil 1:29).
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church (Col 1:24).
I would challenge all Reformed readers to slowly flip through the epistles of Paul and note the occurance of “in Him” and “in Christ”. Better yet, use BibleWorks or another Bible program and run a search. You will quickly see that “in Him” and “in Christ” is the universal soteriological category for Saint Paul–not justification or regeneration.
According to Catholic Christianity, Christian salvation involves the vindication of Christ’s unjust death on the cross. God does not “hate” His Son. This is impossible. God does not “turn away” from His Son. Luther introduced this false tension and it has led to Calvin’s grievous heresy. Saint Paul speaks of “overcoming death” as the true victory of Christ – not His being the whipping boy of the Father.
I should stop there and open up the comments:
“If youre Reformed, do you agree with Calvin? If so, how does his view not denigrate the cross?”
I am not “Reformed” however:
Scripture teaches that all humanity is tainted and corrupted by sin, both because of the sin of our forefather Adam (Rom. 5:12-21) and because we ourselves are all sinners (Eph. 2:l3). God, as the righteous Judge, cannot and will not simply overlook sin, since sin violates His nature and brings destruction to the perfect world He created. God would be unjust simply to say, Oh well, boys will be boys. Instead, sin must be punished, and since all of us have broken Gods law, we rightly deserve full punishment. Yet, amazingly, Jesus came to take our punishment upon Himself.
The NT speaks of Jesus death providing forgiveness in at least three ways:
First, Jesus death was a sacrifice for our sins. Christ fulfills the OT sacrificial system in being both high priest and sacrifice (Heb 5 10). On the Day of Atonement, animals were killed before the altar and the blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat in the most holy place. Under that seat were tablets of stone upon which had been written the Ten Commandments. Looking down from heaven God could see the law, but when the sacrificial blood was sprinkled, the law as reminder of the peoples sin was covered. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin (Heb 9:22).
Second, the NT speaks of Christs death as a propitiation for our sin (Rom. 3:21-26). This word, hilasmos, carries the meaning of an offering satisfying Gods wrath toward sin, yet remarkably God Himself provides this offering. When Jesus died on the cross, He cried out, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? (Mt 27:46). The Father was pouring out His wrath because He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2Cor. 5:21).
Third, and related to both points already made, the Bible speaks of Christs death as a substitution. Jesus did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many (Mk 10:45). Jesus gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from this present evil age (Gal. 1:4). Isaiahs predictions of a coming Suffering Servant are fulfilled in the death of Jesus, who was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities and the Lord has punished Him for the iniquity of us all (Is 53:5-6). He died in our place.
By faith, and faith alone, we receive the forgiveness Christ provides through His humiliating and painful death. The result? Eternal life (Eph. 2:3-10).
The phrases In Christ and fellowship of His sufferings refer to a believers union in Christ, not to the believers suffering for his sin. That was taken care of in the death of Christ.
The informed reader of the New Testament realizes at once that Jesus, through concrete acts and explicit teachings, aimed at the most intimate union of His followers with Himself and God the Father. It is Jesus Who calls, commissions, and sanctifies His disciples. Under various metaphors and pictures, Christ illustrates the depth and scope of His relationship to His own. In Luke 12 and 14, as in Matthew 10 and numerous other passages, Jesus describe the strong bond between His disciples and Himself in terms of the cost of discipleship. For His sake, men are to forsake allfather, mother, brother, sister, house, and home! For His sake, they must be willing to endure the crucifixion of self to the point of martyrdom. And the Apostles and early disciples forsook all and followed the divine Master. In fact, Jesus so completely identified Himself with His disciples that He could say, Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will the Father give unto you. When Christs followers herald the gospel of grace and judgment, they do so with the assurance that he that heareth you heareth me, and he that despiseth you, despiseth me and him that sent me. Luke 10:3-16.
Whether Jesus speaks of following in His steps, of enduring in affliction, of speaking in His name, of suffering for His sake, of sharing in His glory, or of always abiding in Him, this intimate, personal, indestructible union of the believer with Christ is in evidence. Jesus is the light of the world: His disciples, in turn, are to be the light shining in darkness. Jesus is the vine; and we are the branches. He is the shepherd; we are His sheep. He is the Master; we are His servants. As our elder brother, He is not ashamed to call us His brethren. As Christ is in the Father, so are we in Him. His glorification, through cross and death, involves our own glorification and ultimate salvation. What could be more holy than Jesus through his bloody passion purchasing our redemption and through His glorious resurrection making us eternally His own? In the explicit teachings of our Lord, there is the joy of salvation, the gift of eternal life, fortitude in trial, and the promise of ultimate, culminating fellowship with God through the grace and power of His Son and our Savior Jesus Christ.
With regard to mystical union of the believer with Christ, Paul is explicit. The extreme importance of the Pauline formula in Christ Jesus. is demonstrated by the formula, which occurs over 64 times in his writings, where Paul sought to express the intimate, mystical union between Christ and himself and every true believer.
In Christ, thus Paul teaches, we were chosen, (Rom. 16:13), called, (Rom. 3:24), foreordained, (Eph. 1:11), created unto good works, (Eph. 2:10), have obtained an inheritance, (Eph. 1:11), being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will, that we should be to the praise of his glory.
In Christ, each believer is justified, (Gal. 2:17), sanctified, (1Cor. 1:2), but also crucified, as attested through the symbolism of our baptism into Christs death, and enriched in all utterance and knowledge.(1Cor. 1:5). We are declared to be one in our relationship with men of all races and tongues. (Gal. 3:28, 29).
The Apostle is deeply convinced that in Christ and in Him alone we have redemption, eternal life, Rom. (6:23), righteousness, wisdom for our folly, (1 Cor. 4:10), liberty from the law; (1 Cor. 7:22), and in Christ, God, the Father, has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. (Eph. 1:3). Paul is sure that God causes us to triumph in Christ, and that always, without failure. (2 Co. 2:14).
I am a Calvinist, a member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
I think you err when you assume that someone who uses the shorthand of “Calvinist” must believe everything Calvin said or did was right.
I think he did a lot of things right. I think he called out a lot of serious errors in the Roman Catholic Church of the time. But you know, he was just a man.
Some call themselves Wesleyan in theology. I don’t think that means they believe everything the Wesleys did was perfect. It’s shorthand, to describe a particular application of what they see as biblical teaching.
A Calvinist essentially agrees with the 5 points (TULIP):
1. The total depravity of man
2. Unconditional election (we don’t get picked because we are specially good in some way)
3. Limited atonement (Jesus died for His people, not the lost)
4. Irresistable grace (You can’t stop God from saving you if He has decided to)
5. Perseverance of the Saints (if you are truly saved, God will not let you go).
There are varieties on the themes above, but when someone says they are a Calvinist, it is just shorthand, usually, for saying they basically agree with the above points.
As for suffering in hell, the Apostle’s Creed reads:
1. I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
3. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
4. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
5. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again.
6. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
7. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
8. I believe in the Holy Spirit,
9. the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,
10. the forgiveness of sins,
11. the resurrection of the body,
12. and the life everlasting.
So I am not sure why you say traditional Christianity does not believe that Jesus, in some way, “went to hell.”
I beg to differ. Cardinal Antonio Bacci, in his devotional material, specifically equates "veneration" with "worship". Although "worship" is further parsed into dulia and latria (veneration vs adoration), Cardinal Bacci clearly uses the word worship to define the veneration acts of bowing and praying to saints:
....The literature of the Saints is a practical complement to the Gospel, because it shows us how the Gospel should be lived.
The worship of the Saints is an act of veneration (dulia), not of adoration (latria), which can be given only to God. It is wrong to imagine, as many Protestants do, that by praying to and venerating the Saints we subtract something from the homage we owe to God. The veneration of the Saints and the adoration of God are entirely distinct activities. Moreover, the Saints are the faithful servants of God and intercede with Him on our behalf. By venerating and invoking them, we honour the Giver of all holiness. If anyone, on the other hand, were to disregard the worship of God in favour of devotion to the Saints, he would be making a serious mistake. A person who goes into a church and rushes over to a statue of the Blessed Virgin or of one of the Saints, without giving a thought to the living and real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Eucharist, is developing a false and sentimental piety.
Jesus did both, “He took our sins, and gave us righteousness.”
“For He (God) hath made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
I have just recently did a study on Calvinism and Arminism.
One of the best is titled: “Born By The Railroad Tracts” as; A “Confession of a zero-point Calvinist.”
I loved it, and have it availible to send anyone a copy by e-mail, if they would like.
He assumes in Hell. We say it is on the Cross
Are those two different places? Jesus cried out that God had forsaken Him; for the Son of God that would be pure torture, Hell on Earth, so to speak. Protestantism generally holds that Hell is a spiritual place; why not on the Cross?
I think the core confusion here is people confuse Hell and Hades (Sheol in OT).
Nobody is in Hell at the moment. Nobody. When people die they go to Hades, not Hell. At the last judgement those in Hades will be cast into Hell. 1 Peter 4:6 speaks of “preaching the gospel to the dead”. Where are the dead? Not Hell, but Hades.
As far as Hell being seperation from God, I think you can make a good Biblical case (but not prove 100%) that the ultimate punishment in Hell is total seperation from God. So you can make the case (but again, not prove it 100%) that when Jesus said “Father, why have you forsaken me” he was seperated from God, and thus suffering the punishment those condemned to Hell will one day suffer.
You can prove that Jesus’ suffering on the cross and death was sufficient to cover all sin. The Bible does make that clear.
It is well worth you time to do a Bible study on Hades/Sheol and Hell. A lot of misconceptions float around because people confuse the two (unfortuanly, the KJV translates everything as Hell, but with the help of a Strong’s concordance you can diffentiate the two even using a KJV.)
Yes, the Apostles Creed says, “He descended into hell.”
I’ve never really understood what that meant, or where such a position is substantiated in Scripture. That said, it is a fairly standard creed that has withstood centuries; I’m inclined to trust it more than my questions.
Does Psalm 22:24 refer specifically to Jesus’ unique affliction, or just to those who are commonly afflicted?
Here is a simple clarification. Hell and Hades are not the same place. Jesus descended into Hades, but not Hell.
Who the hell cares what this Cardinal says......we DON’T WORSHIP MARY...PERIOD....END of ARGUMENT.
You beat me to it. See my post 60...
Regarding your comments on Hell, there was a very interesting thread on this a few months ago:
HELL: Eternal Torment or Complete Annihilation?
A VERY compelling argument for annihilation is made there.
I was on a discussion here with some guys who claimed to be Catholic that said they believed that the bible teaches that Mary, in essence, died a virgin. My wife, who was Catholic for decades, never heard such a thing. Her take is that Mary was a Virgin until the birth of Christ.
Yes an yes.
Surely you know the old canard..."the Catholic Church is not a 'denomination'." What you may not know is that if one accepts the claim that there are 33,000 Protestant denominations, one must also accept that there are "242 Catholic denominations", as both claims are made within and by the same source.
It bears calling out that, according to the only source they can cite, the "33,000" number makes no mention of "Protestants" or even "denominations", but rather is the number of all "Christian" organizations, including Catholic organizations. So if Catholics are going to claim there are 33,000 "Protestant denominations", make sure you hold them accountable for their own 242 separate Catholic denominations. That is, if you decide to trust the source at all, which I wouldn't recommend.
Yes and yes.
Wow...thanks for hooking me up with that.
“Jesus descended into Hades, but not Hell.
And what is the difference?
Act 2:27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Act 2:31He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
This sentence ought to convince you, Alex, that the English word "worship" carves out a wider semantic space than that that is properly differentiated between dulia and latria. In previous ages, bishops were called "Your Worship", and I don't think they were deified.
I've made this point many times, but I think Protestant-minded folks have a hard time accepting the latria/dulia distinction because of the theological de-emphasizing of Christian "sacrifice" as ONLY a sacrifice of prayer and devotion. Thus they see no practical difference between what Mary gets and what God gets.
HOWEVER, to the Catholic there is a huge--nay, infinite--gulf between what we offer Mary and what we offer God. The highest form of our sacrifice is not mere devotion but the Mass, and it is ALWAYS offered to God. Never to a saint, never to an angel, never to Mary. Read the text of any liturgy you like--even the ones specifically in honor of our Lady. You'll see that's invariably the case.
I concur with the latter statement, but not the former. Now, was he forsaken? He cried out that he was...do we believe His words on the cross? I think we do.
Where in either verse does it say God hasn't attempted to draw every man? It says no man can come to the Jesus unless the Father draws him, but it says nothing about the number of people the Father is drawing. It could be 1%, 5%, or 100%. The verse is MUTE about the actual number. Trying to say these verses argue a percentage (less than 100% or 100%) is reading something into the verses they don't say. The verses are mute about the actual percentage of men God is drawing. Mute.
Oh, and you ignored Jesus's words to the Pharisees and my question. How did the Pharisees sins jump back onto him if Christ paid for every-ones sins on the cross?
I'm not arguing universal salvation. I'm saying Christ's sacrifice was big enough to cover everyone's sin (not that it automaticly did.) Christ's sacrifice was big enough to cover 1,000 times every sin in history and then some.
Say I went to traffic court and gave the judge one million dollars and said "This is to cover the fines of everyone in here, but only if they ask for it, if they don't ask for it, don't use it to pay their fine." Will all their fines be paid? No, only the fines of those that ask for it. If someone comes up and says "I don't want your money, I'll pay my own fine" then that is exactly what will happen. They will pay their own fine (even though there is more than enough money available to pay their fine, IF they would accept it.)
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me. - John 12:32
All is pretty inclusive. It means every single one. Notice though, it doesn't say "save all", it says "draw all". Jesus here is clearly saying all men will be "drawn" to him. It does not say they will respond positivly to being drawn.
From there verses you posted, we know it is the Father that draws men to Jesus. Those verses don't say how many men the Father will draw to Jesus (10%, 50%, 100%, the verses are mute about the number.) Jesus himself tells us how many: "all".
None of this supports universal salvation, and if you think it does you are reading something into it that isn't there. The words "draw" does not equal "save". They have different meanings.
Ouch...awesome reply. Thanks!
Why is it that anytime one of Protestantism’s heresies is exposed the anti-Catholics immediately shift the focus to the Blessed Virgin Mary?
Now hang on there my friend. If he wasn't infallible, then what assurance do you have he didn't insert his own bodacious monstrosities of error in place of whatever alleged ones came from Rome?
Or is he only fallible when you DISAGREE with him?
NOBODY believed otherwise until well into the Reformation. I will acknowledge that there was some debate about her Immaculate Conception even before the Reformation, but there was no debate about her perpetual virginity.
Luther, Calvin, Swingli, and others ALL believed that the Blessed Mother was ever virgin.
There is NOTHING in the Bible to suggest that she had other children and our Lord's words to the Apostle John on the Cross clearly suggest that she had no other children.
Christ did not consider himself forsaken nor was he pleading or begging for his life. He was reciting scripture on the cross. He was educating. He was holding court. He was providing his last sermon.
There is no phrase in the Apostles' Creed that has caused so much difficulty as this: 'He descended into hell.' Also, there is disagreement as to what the ancient church meant when it included these words in this earliest Christian confession. Yet in spite of the difficulty, the church has never been willing to remove these words.
How then shall we understand them? We cannot possibly take these words to mean that Christ, after he died, went to the place where lost men go to suffer forever. We know he did not go there because he told the believing thief who died at his side that he would be with him that very day in paradise (Luke 23:43).
The biblical meaning must be that what Christ suffered on the cross was itself a descent into hell. Now at first sight it might seem ridiculous to say that Jesus, in a few hours of suffering, could have experienced hell to the fullest. But remember, he was divine as well as human. Remember, too, that his human nature was sinless. Just imagine how great the suffering must have been for him when he was forsaken by God. Yes, because of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, it was possible for him to suffer the full measure of the infinite wrath and curse of Godwhat damnation is for the wicked. And because he did, you and I can be sure that God's justice is fully satisfied, so that we shall escape that damnation. Here is the Christian's solid basis for hope.
Interesting. You believe God has picked who He has saved, and that not everyone can be saved?
Where is our choice in the matter?
So a better way of saying it is that hades and hell are the same thing, but the lake of fire is different.
My take, after reading the bible and the sources various posters included, is that hell and hade’s is the place where the dead go before the great white throne judgement. Which dead? I would say ALL dead before the death and descent of Christ to hades and all those who died without Christ after Christ’s resurrection.
It is interesting that while accusing a Church Father of heresy is often par for the course, accusing a Reformer of it elicits some pretty visceral gut reactions.
It’s a simple question, really.
Was Jean Calvin a heretic on this issue? I think the author makes a good case....his rabid insistence on the penal aspect of Redemption cause him to adopt a rather morbid and frankly vile theological premise.
They can protest, and say it isn't so ...
But I'm from Missouri.
but I strongly disagree.
I will add that there is nothing in the Bible to suggest she ever had a bowel movement either, but, well, being human, I’ll bet she did.
“Interesting. You believe God has picked who He has saved, and that not everyone can be saved?”
Yes, although everyone is responsible before God to repent, I believe we can only repent if He enables us. I believe this because the Bible frequently, throughout the Old and New Testaments, refers to fallen men as “dead.”
A dead person cannot help himself, at all, not even reach out for help. So, a Calvinist believes that God mercifully enables us to put our trust in Christ.
Many think that means that we don’t think you should spread the gospel or urge sinners to repent. That is not true. Read the theology of any prominent Calvinist, or just look at the history of any Calvinist church or denomination. We are fantastic missionaries and will continue to be.
Some verses to ponder on the idea of predestination, that is, God’s having sovereignly ordained who it is who will trust in Him:
Ephesians 2:1 “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins.”
Romans 8:28-30: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined, to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
The valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37 is illustrative. The bones don’t reassemble themselves and come alive. God must make them so.
Philipians 2:13 “For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
And the one that frustrates us so, Pharoah in Exodus, where it is said repeatedly God hardened Pharoah’s heart; and yet it also says Pharoah hardened his heart.
It is not natural to us, but it is what God presents in Scripture, so I accept it as truth.
Oh yes, G.I. Williamson. I have had the pleasure of meeting him and he is a delightful man. A very gifted pastor.
Well, upon that logic, Catholics should believe the pope would be suspect for most of what he says, because he speaks infallible ex-cathedra only about once every 5 years. Correct?
And, the measuring stick against which everyone is held is the Scripture. And, if I, or any believer reading the Scriptures, understands him to make a mis-statement of what the Scriptures report, then we are free to disagree with him. Too bad that the Catholic Church has its own imaginery movable lock on “interpretation” which you may only disagree with if you are a Kennedy, a Pelosi, a Biden...
“how many otherlinks you want?”
Only one, the one that matters.
Find it in the Dogma of the Church, not what someone thinks or anyone would like or wish, but in the dogma. Anyone, including a pope can voice opinion, but until it is ex cathedra, it isn’t dogma.
It ain’t there, bud.
So Calvin simply divorces the Divine from the human and creates this myth that Jesus suffered the pains of hell?
That must have given Lucifer a good yuk.
Yuk to Calvin and his heresy.
Not correct. He speaks infallibly only when he is expressly teaching in the name of the entire Church on issues of doctrine or morals. Usually there is an anathema attached to it.
And falling back on the Scriptures is a nice theoretical but it never works that way in real life. Because for some reason I can't quite fathom, my Scripture interpretation as a Catholic seems to always be the wrong interpretation for the people who toe that line, despite it having the most Patristic and exegetical support IMHO. I'm not sure why the Holy Ghost fails me as a believer coming to the Bible, yet somehow Calvin and Sproul are always on target!
So back to the question of the thread. Is Calvin's position here heretical or not?
The righteous went to Paradise (those who trusted in the coming Messiah, the Lamb of God who will take away the sins of the world). The wicked went to Sheol. Before the final sacrifice of Christ, sin was only covered (expiated) and God would never even look upon sin nor allow it to defile Heaven. When Christ died on the cross, the “veil of the Temple was torn” remember? Scripture says Jesus descended into Hades and “led captivity captive.”
Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.
Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
He brought those souls in Paradise to Heaven with him. They will receive their glorified bodies when the Rapture happens. “We will not all die, but we will all be changed” I Thess 4.
Jesus’ resurrection proves that sin has been paid for (propitiation) not just covered.
Those who were in Sheol are still there and will be until Hell is created for Satan, his demons, the anti-christ, the false prophet, at the end of the Millennial reign of Christ. At the “Second Judgment” the “Great White Throne Judgment) those in Sheol will be judged - their names will not be found in the Lamb's book of life and they will be cast into Hell for eternity. I have lots more Scripture passages to show this if you'd like.
“Why is it that anytime one of Protestantisms heresies is exposed the anti-Catholics immediately shift the focus to the Blessed Virgin Mary?”
Time to count the Strawmen raised:
2 so far.
This should be good.
I’ll bet 25 before this is over.
Because it's often a very effective diversion. First, because we have a responsibility to those who are "lurking" that misinformation does not go unchallenged. Second, because we take our Church very seriously and believe that is it worthy of defending. Because of this we are vulnerable to manipulation.
Was he forsaken?
>>That must have given Lucifer a good yuk.<<
Like seeing Him crucified gave Lucifer a good yuk? It says he descended, not that he suffered pains. And this is not the lake of fire we’re talking about.
>>The righteous went to Paradise (those who trusted in the coming Messiah, the Lamb of God who will take away the sins of the world).<<
That one confuses me. The blood of Christ is a concept understood only by post Resurrection Christians, to the best of my knowledge. And the OT is very clear that nobody was/is righteous. I also see Lazarus and the rich man as a parable.
Here is an interesting diatribe on the subject:
“...Whence also it was necessary that he should engage, as it were, at close quarters with the powers of hell and the horrors of eternal death...”
Calvin states Christ engaged in the horrors of eternal death.
Of course, Christ descended to the dead, not hell. But according to Calvin he went to hell and suffered the full horrors.
My flippant remark about Lucifer was meant to be just that, flippant regarding Calvin.
The second paragraph is unintelligible. Catholics around here have noted that you cannot have an opinion of the Scripture that is other than the headquarter’s approved version. Otherwise you are a despicable YPIOS (like me) or somthing like that (Your private interpretation of Scriptures?). So, your you really cannot have a view of your own or it would would be abhorrent to the Catholic Church. Calvin or Sproul notwithstanding.
But, if your view was handled well hermeneutically and was consistent with the argument of the biblical writer, I might even prefer yours over theirs.
For those of us not beholden to the Vatican monster, we have the freedom, no the obligation, to search the Scriptures and see if these things be so.
As to the heretical nature of Calvin’s view of Jesus suffering in hell...think of it like this:
A heresy is something which radically affects the Gospel so much so that the reader would misunderstand salvation or a significant characteristic about God. The Catholic Church routinely teaches heresy because it leads people to believe that the seven sacraments and absolution of sin by priests will produce salvation. This is why the Catholic on the street is so concerned about final unction, confessional booths, and other such extra-biblical behaviors far more than justification by faith as taught by Paul. Rome therefore is guilty of heresy.
If, OTOH, the Catholic Church taught that Peter had a 45 foot steel fishing boat, that would be incorrect, but NOT heretical. Catch the difference?
If Calvin thought Jesus suffered in hell, the fact of the matter is that no one knows exactly what went on in the life of Jesus between the cross and Sunday morning. We do know that His propitiation brought redemption to the elect.
Calvin’s speculation is not critical to salvation, nor does it represent a potential misunderstanding about God. We know from Scripture that He was not abandoned to hell, but beyond that it is not determinable. Thus, this is not heresy.