Bolsec, Jerome

Jerome Bolsec was a French refugee who opposed John Calvin. He began his Christian life as a Roman Catholic and a former Carmelite monk at Paris and later became Protestant.

John Calvin was under the delusion that he was sent by God and his writings were inspired. Those who follow his teachings are under the same delusion and for the most part will pass on the same errors as Calvin espoused. Jerome Bolsec was a prototype of the vain and foolish arguments that have plagued the church concerning pre-destination and free will. No self respecting Calvinist of today would accept Calvin's teaching on pre-destination or Luther's similar teaching of determinism, but Calvin's whole theology is permeated with this error and the rest of his teaching falls with it. The tyrannical nature of John Calvin is rooted in Old Testament theocracy; his theology only alludes to the democratic grace and truth of Jesus Christ. He has done more to mold the Pharisee mind and puritan ignorance than any other false teacher in history; millions still submit to Calvin's legalism and praise his life and work. His followers believe that they are the elect saints and condemn others to eternal damnation. Calvin believed he was doing right, but under the guise of reform much of the church was set back fifteen hundred years. It has been said that where Calvin appears, civilization ends.

Jerome Bolsec was interested in theology and around 1571 attended the weekly meetings of the pastors of Geneva. Calvin would preach that since the fall of Adam, every aspect of human nature is corrupted depravity and a seed of sin, including reason and will and we are not capable of knowing and choosing God for ourselves. Sinners were pre-destined to hell by the encumbrance of their "original sin" inherited from Adam and we are powerless in the salvation act. According to Calvin's ruthless system, non-elect infants who die would spend eternity in hell. God was made the author of both good and evil and man is deprived of any choice in the matter. Jerome Bolsec was not under the Calvinist spell and it sounded to him that Calvin was suggesting that God is the cause of sin, to him this concept was absurd and deceitful. Jerome envisioned a more personal God that interacts with us with love and mercy.

Bolsec publicly challenged Calvin's teaching on pre-destination. Argueing against the assumption that Christ died only for the elect and faith was a gift settled from eternity, Bolsec said that these doctrines made God a tyrant. The moderation of Bolsec could only be seen as reactionary to a despot like Calvin and Bolsec was accused as being an accomplice of satan, thrown into prison and tried by the little Council of Geneva. Bolsec was not alone in his estimation of the dictator, many others found his teaching deviate and morally offensive. Bolsec was later banished from the city, not for the sake of truth, but for peace. Jerome Bolsec finally returned into the graces of the Roman Catholic Church.

Bolsec got in the final word by publishing "The Life of Calvin" in 1577. This work of revenge charged Calvin with greed, financial misconduct and sexual aberration. This book is only a footnote on the immeasurable division that Calvin has wrought in the Body of Christ. Jerome Bolsec died in 1584.

We can do nothing apart from God, but it is He that makes our free-will possible. Whoever believes in Jesus will be saved, this is not a false promise. If we choose Christ, he predestines us to be like Him. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Jesus died for the whole world, not just the elect.

When all is said, the word predestination does appear in the Bible. The Greek word that Paul uses is "proorizo" and means predetermine or foreordained, but when Paul speaks of this it is in the context of foreknowledge, not unconditional election. If God is truly the omniscient person that we know Him to be, it shouldn't surprise us that He would know who we are at all times. Paul writes that we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, "even the hidden wisdom, which God Ordained before the world unto our glory." God is not limited to time, he is outside and inside of our time and in the realm of eternity, He knows the beginning and the end. Those saints that have passed on are not waiting for the Kingdom resurrection, they are in the eternal realm now because in fact they always have been, even before the foundation of the world. Of course God knew this and now you know. Think on this, it is one of the many mysteries that through study we are able to comprehend.
[59, 69, Romans, Ephesians, I Corinthians]

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