In the reactionary world there has come about a huge misunderstanding on the part of many as to what Calvinism is, largely in part to Mencius Moldbug, who is Jewish and not even remotely an expert on Christian theology. Moldbug, who is a great writer and an important part of the reactionary community, should not have his points taken for granted. I would even go so far as to say that as intelligent as Moldbug is, he has no idea what he is talking about at all concerning Protestant theology. Nearly everything he says on the subject is obviously incorrect to anyone with the faintest acquaintance to Calvinism or any aspect of Protestant theology in general. His arguments are nearly incoherent, and boil down to “Calvin’s government in Geneva was fundamentalist and Protestant, the Unitarians and progressives are fundamentalist and pursue their goals with the same zeal Calvinists did and are also not Catholics just like Calvin was not a Catholic, therefore Calvinism is responsible for progressivism.” He tends to label progressivism or Unitarian universalism as “ultracalvinism” which is absurd because progressivism and Unitarian Universalism are fundamentally opposed to what Calvinism is!
Calvinism, to define it very briefly, is monergism. Many Roman Catholics were monergists, including Saint Augustine, whom Calvin studied. So Calvinism is nothing new. The Calvinists of course did more than espouse a belief in monergism that was in opposition to the doctrine of a thoroughly corrupted, murderous Catholic church at the time. They attempted to follow the Holy Bible as closely as possible. Surely, any Christian cannot blame them for this, they were merely acting as Christians ought to whereas the Catholic church at the time, with its paid indulgences and other absurdities, was not. John Calvin and the Reformers forced the Roman Catholic Church to abandon many unholy practices, indulgencies included, because they were faithfully adhering to the Bible and spreading the word in Europe, with Scriptural proof, that the Papacy and the Roman Catholic Church had strayed from the Bible.
If anything, Roman Catholicism was becoming a dogmatic, “liberal” sect because it certainly was not orthodox. Calvin was merely trying to reform the Roman Catholic Church and restore it to Biblical orthodoxy. Just because cults like Unitarianism were not Catholic does not mean they’re Calvinist, much less ultracalvinist. In fact, Unitarians are not monergistic by any stretch of the imagination, they can basically be considered anti-calvinist. Calvinist/monergist or Reformed churches today are the home of many of the staunchest conservative Protestant leaders. They are the home to “Berean-minded” peoples who want to get their theology right and have a passion for the truth, which is why todays Calvinists are realists and if not reactionary, then borderline reactionary.
Pastor John MacArthur, who has the honor of being on “Rightwing Watch’s” list of no-good bad-doers, is a Calvinist. He condemns the overthrow of the English monarchy in the 1660’s by Oliver Cromwell in his book Why Government Can’t Save You. In that book he also says “over the past several centuries, people have mistakenly linked democracy and political freedom to Christianity. That’s why many contemporary evangelicals believe the American Revolution was completely justified both politically and scripturally. They follow the argumentation of the Declaration of Independence, which declares that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are divinely endowed rights. Therefore those believers say such rights are part of a Christian worldview, worth attaining and defending at all costs, including military insurrection at times. But such a position is contrary to the clear teachings and commands of Romans 13:1-7. So the United States was actually born out of a violation of New Testament principles, and any blessings that God bestowed on America have come in spite of that disobedience by the Founding Fathers” (Why Government Can’t Save You, p. 6-7). Sounds very reactionary, does it not? Indeed the folks Moldbug, who desperately need to study Christian theology, are calling heretics and anti-Calvinists “ultracalvinists!” They blame John Calvin for what some heretics did down the road, when Calvin laid the basis for perhaps the most successful modern government over the past 450 years, the Swiss government, whose sons were not thrown into the enlightenment philosophy meat grinders that were World Wars I and II, not to mention many of the other bloody struggles born out of the “enlightenment” such as those for communism and socialism which claimed many lives. Switzerland’s Civil War, which was started by revolutionary Roman Catholics, only claimed a few hundred lives and lasted a couple days before the Swiss came up with a solution.
Calvin’s Geneva dispensed with the kinds of heretics that lead to Univeralism. Moldbug, and those who support him such as Nick Land and Karl Boetel, need to stop smearing something that they do not fully understand. As a Calvinist, I forgive their ignorance, but they need to know that they are attacking their own and putting a good man, John Calvin, in league with a philosophy that he did not support. The Reformation was not the enlightenment, it was purely aimed at restoring the Roman Catholic Church to orthodoxy. The Roman Catholic Church was the one who strayed from the Word, just as the liberals strayed from reason, and the Reformation was an effort to return the Church to the Truth, as the reactionary movement is an effort to return to truth.