Oh, pity the ministers, and there are not a few of them, who are friends with ‘the enemies of the truth.’ Those who keep in with those whom they know to be in the wrong – colleagues, elders, church members, church leaders, other faiths, etc – have compromised themselves thereby. They keep in with those who can make life difficult for them, possibly even have them removed from the ministry, or from life. These ‘turkeys’ keep in with the ‘enemies of the truth’ because their motivation and mission is self-preservation at all costs.
Calvin could not be more different. He counsels the five young ministerial students of Lyons who were facing death for the faith in terms not unlike these:
‘But you, my young brother ministers, you are not pursuing your own ideas however lofty they might be. You are pursuing the truths of eternity, the truths of salvation, the truths of God’s glory in the world. Your calling is not a ‘trivial pursuit.’ You are on the most exalted mission and highest calling that any man can receive. You are ministers of the Gospel, no more and no less. That’s who and what you are! And these ‘enemies of the truth’ are doing this to men Whom God has personally chosen, called, saved and set apart for the Gospel.’
And because Calvin is raising the position of the five very high, he is also saying that he would not be in the shoes of the ‘enemies of the truth’ for all the tea in China. They are trifling with things and people they know not of, and with the God Who is Almighty, just, holy and altogether righteous. They know not what they do, or its consequences.