Calvinist beliefs

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  • Calvinist beliefs
    • Predestination: God determined before birth which souls would go to heaven and hell. God's decision is already made and there is nothing that you can do to alter it.
    • Divine transcendence: God was so far above and beyond this world and so incomparably greater than any mortal.
      • This creates an "unprecedented inner loneliness."
      • When combined with predestination, this causes Calvinists "salvation panic" (Knowing that there is nothing that they can do in order to be saved makes them panic and worry that they will go to hell.)
        • However their wealth and success performed a psychological function to help them cope with their "salvation panic." As they grew wealthier, they took this as a sign of God's favour and salvation.
    • Asceticism: Refers to abstinence, self denial and self discipline.
      • Driven by their work ethic, they accumulated wealth in the most rational means possible and reinvested it into their businesses rather than spending it on  luxuries.
        • This is the "spirit of modern Capitalism."
    • The idea of a vocation or a calling
      • In Calvinism, you can serve God by working to gain this worldly benefits rather than having to give up every day life in order to serve God.
      • In the Bible, it is taught that we were put on earth to glorify God's name by our work.
      • Calvinists introduced for the first time the idea of "this worldly," asceticism.
      • Idleness was considered a sin so they shunned all luxury and employed rigorous self-discipline.
      • Benjamin Franklin: Lose no time, be always employed in something useful.

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