Switzerland, once a land of moderate Catholic kingdom, became one of the first empires to enforce protestant ideas in their government. John Calvin instituted this new type of reformed government hoping to control the people by strict and heavily enforced laws. To Calvin, government is the only answer when it comes to solving instability, chaos, and confusion amongst the people. The disorder men suffer from is a side effect from the immoral acts and injustice acts of other governments that do not enforce God’s law. Calvin proposes to live as if the Kingdom of God is physically present which a civil government represents.
How to tell if one government was considered civil to Calvin is by the promotion of practice, orthodoxy, and service to God. If the government were to enforce the laws and morals of God, then the empire would be considered civil. This not only brings stability in the state but also in the church. Therefore, the civil government serves for both God and state as if the secular leaders are also religious leaders. This concludes that the “civil” government Calvin proposes is a theocracy. The only difference is that Calvin believes that the law is above everything and if violated that punishment should be taken on serious notes. Calvin supported serious punishment because he wanted the people to obey the law in fear of damnation. Furthermore, Calvin believed that people were predestined whether hell or heaven would await them in the afterlife. How to know if one was destined to be saved was if the person committed constant good works. Therefore, if one disobeyed the laws of the government, then one would know that he or she committed a sin against God also.
Calvin encouraged that without a civil government, “barbarity” continues to rule the people’s minds. Part of Calvin’s theology is that all humans only can do is evil. There are some good works, but as an individual, a person...