John Calvin and the Poor

If God gives a man wealth, it is to put his charity to the test. We are to give an account of what God has placed in our hands. But if our neighbors endure hardship because of our detail-of-john-calvin-by-oliver-crisp-cover-of-his-deviant-calvinismlack of mercy, it is certain that it will not go unpunished. . . . We see how our Lord banishes from his kingdom all those who don’t share their goods liberally when seeing their neighbors need and offer no aid or assistance. If we do not show our gratitude for his benefits when faced with those who are destitute of this world’s goods, our action is not against a mortal being, but against the Son of God. . . . We have a general rule laid down for us by Paul, who not only shows us what the apostles did but also what all Christians must do if they want Jesus Christ to rule and have order in the church. The poor must be cared for.

-John Calvin (Sermon on Acts 6:1-3)


Published by cwoznicki

Chris Woznicki is an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He works as the regional training associate for the Los Angeles region of Young Life.

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