Question #52096

1 Answer
Jan 20, 2017


Calvin encouraged local governance of the church and individual responsibility for salvation.


The Roman Catholic Church was ruled by the priests , bishops and religious government by the Pope in Rome. In response to this centralized top down government of the church, Calvin encouraged local government. that started from the base and common people.

In Calvinist churches the local people in the local church were able to elect their own elders who governed the local church. The elders themselves had to vote on issues concerning the local church. This form of local government in churches influenced political structures of government especially in America. The experience of "democracy" in the local church created a desire for democracy in the government of political structures in the nation.

Under the theology of the Roman Catholic Church people were dependent on the Church for their salvation. In Calvinist theology people were directly responsible to God for their salvation. This sense of personal responsibility and freedom in religious matters translated into personal responsibility and freedom in political matters.