Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Happy Birthday Belgic Confession

Today, November 1, is the 450th Birthday of the Belgic Confession. This is the day recognized as the day Guido De Bres threw copies of the Belgic Confession over the walls of Doornik in the night while he was fleeing for his life. This is important to remember as you read the Belgic Confession. It is De Bres's defense about why he is Reformed. It is his letter to the rulers who were pushing the Spanish Inquisition as to what they were persecuting.

But the Confession is also a call to all who were still in the Roman Catholic Church. Especially Article 29 about the True and False Church. It is a call that persecution is no reason to remain in a church that denies the gospel. Yes, life would have been easier for De Bres if he had just sat in a pew and not believed the bread was turned into the Body of Christ, but it would have been a sin. Read his call to people in the Roman Church:

As for the false Church, it ascribes more power and authority to itself and its ordinances than to the Word of God, and will not submit itself to the yoke of Christ. Neither does it administer the sacraments as appointed by Christ in His Word, but adds to and takes from them, as it thinks proper; it relies more upon men than upon Christ; and persecutes those who live holily according to the Word of God and rebuke it for its errors, covetousness, and idolatry.

These two Churches are easily known and distinguished from each other.

The two churches are easily known. There was no excuse. All godly men knew the Inquisition was wrong. De Bres just made it plain for all the world to see in the Belgic.

Of course in 1567, Guido De Bres was caught and died for his faith. The Belgic Confession is his testament.