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More Comparative Religion: Calvinists

(Puritans, Huguenots, Presbyterians, etc.)

Refer to the Lutherans, then add...

Every one is predestined, according to God's plan, to be saved or damned. No action on any one's part can change this.

Those who already saved are called the Elect.

Good works are an aspect of the behaviour expected of the Elect, but are not required for salvation. They are not Saved because they are virtuous; they are virtuous because they are Saved.

The prayers of priests are no more perfect, and no more important to God than others.

Testifying, or preaching and interpreting Scripture, is encouraged and expected of both ministers and the congregation.

The prayers of noblemen are no more valuable to God, either. Every man is equal in the sight of God. This is dangerously revolutionary thinking.

The rituals of the English church are still too Roman to suit the Puritans. They would prefer that candles, bells, saints and vestments of any kind be removed.

Certain evangelical preachers are even more radical. They also maintain:

  • Scripture is not the only source of God's truth.

  • It is still possible for the Holy Spirit to speak through an individual. A man (or more rarely, a woman) can have personal revelations not only of the nature of God but about matters of daily life.

  • While revelation is an intensely personal experience, the person so visited has an obligation to communicate his vision with the rest of the Christian community.

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26 March 2008 mrp