The politics in modern times are a result of the political theories in the past made by numerous philosophers like Hobbes, Hookers, Moore, etc. The job of the political theorist is to bring some precision to fundamental political concepts like justice and freedom.
Political theories were defended with theological arguments and politicalalliances were made in the name of religious truth everywhere. A classification of political theories will never correspond with a classification of religious dominations. The failure of the church to reform itself by general council meant that no successful reform was possible unless it could enlist the support of secular rulers, in England and Germany Protestantism was on the side of the princes.More radical movements of religious and social reform composed the “lunatic fringe” of Protestantism and came to light when the stable order began to be agitated. A policy of toleration order emerged and it was discovered that a common policy loyalty was possible to people of different religions.
Martin Luther was of the first reformers, with Calvin they held the view that resistance to rulers isin all circumstances wicked. Luther’s charges against the roman church were the luxury and evil living of the roman court, the corruption of the papal judiciary and the sale of indulgences. Martin Luther helped to create the “National Church” something he would certainly have regarded as a religious monstrosity, he had an own independence judgment and genuine love of religious liberty. He oncesaid that
“rulers were generally the biggest fools and worst knaves on earth” – (Martin Luther)
But he had a great respect for office as such and He had no confidence whatever in the masses of mankind. The result of Lutheranism was on the whole quite different from what Luther intended. The submissiveness of the Lutheranism churches contras with the Calvinist churches.
The Calvinist were inHolland, Scotland and America. Calvin believed empathically in the duty of passive obedience as Luther, and He was far more legalist and authoritarian, he was in opposition to governments and He had strong statements about the wickedness of resistance. He objected a principle to a combination of state and church. The church must be free to set his own standards of doctrine and moral and must have thefull support of secular power in enforcing its discipline.
His theory of the church was more in the spirit of extreme medieval ecclesiasticism than that held by nationalist Catholics. The belief that men are saved not by their own merit but by the free act of god’s grace had a opposite effect. The Calvinist theory of predestination had nothing in common with the modern conception of universalcausality. Calvinism aimed primary at censorship in morals and discipline in doctrine.
The Calvimist form of church government included representative of the congregation by lay elders. The general assembly of the Scottish church, together with its presbyteries and provincial synods, was for more representative of the nation generally than the Scottish parliament.
The sixteenth century believedthat the Calvinism was not a form of church government; the reason was that it stood on the “hildebradine” principle that spiritual authority is superior to secular, and tended to make the clergy independent of the temporal head of a state church. It is true that Calvin advocates of the divine right of kings expressed strong views on the duty of rulers to their subjects, and the evil ruler is guiltyof sedition against God. He is the vicar of God and resistance to Him is resistance to God. In Calvin himself there was no theory of popular rights, the ruler’s obligation to govern lawfully is owed to God and not to the people; his power is limited by the law of God not by the rights of the people.
The reversal of position was first made by John Knox, because of the situation in which the...