Lectures on Calvinism 4

jpegIn his Lectures on Calvinism, Abraham Kuyper says Roman Catholicism, too, was defective because its religion was “partial,” knowing “religion only as it existed in her own Church, and consider[ing] the influence of religion to be confined to that portion of life which she had consecrated.”

Kuyper then says the Roman Catholicism had its own version of sacred and secular distinction: “Rome drew a boundary line between the consecrated and the profane sides of life.”  And, consequently, it had its own version of the Christian hierarchy of occupations: “She also subdivided her own sacred precincts according to different degrees of religious intensity — the clergy and the cloister constituting the Holy of Holies, the pious laity forming the Holy Place, thus leaving the Outer Court to those who, although baptized, continued to prefer to church-devotion the often sinful pleasures of the world, a system of limitation and division, which for those in the Outer Court, ended in setting nine tenths of practical life outside of all religion.”

The result is a “partial” religion, “carrying it from ordinary days to days of festival, from days of property to times of danger and sickness, and from the fulness of life to the time of approaching death,” a “dualistic system.”

By contrast, Calvinism argues, “if everything that is exists for the sake of God, then it follows that the whole creation must give glory to God.”  “Although sin has deadened a large part of creation to the glory of God, the demand, the ideal, remains unchangeable, that every creature must be immersed in the stream of religion, and end by lying as a religious offering on the altar of Almighty.”  Therefore, “the Calvinist demands that all life be consecrated to His service, in strict obedience.”  “A religion confined to the closet, the cell, or the church, therefore, Calvin abhors.”  Kuyper continues:

Wherever man may stand, whatever he may do, to whatever he may apply his hand, in agriculture, in commerce, and in industry, or his mind, in the world of art, and science, he is, in whatsoever it may be, constantly standing before the face of his God, he is employed in the service of his God, he has strictly to obey his God, and above all, he has to aim at the glory of his God.

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