Thursday, September 17, 2009

Defending Christ's Church Appertains to Christian Magistrates

The 1556 Confession of Faith of the English congregation at Geneva was written probably by John Knox and/or William Whittingham. It appears in the Geneva Bible and Geneva Form of Prayers or Book of Church Order. It is an expansion of the Apostles Creed, but this confession, like most Reformed creeds, has something to say very specifically about Christian magistracy too.

And besides this ecclesiastical censure, I acknowledge to belong to this church a political magistrate,[d] who ministers to every man to every man justice, defending the good and punishing the evil; to whom we must render honour and obedience in all things, which are not contrary to the word of God.[e] And as Moses, Hezekiah, Josiah, and godly rulers purged the church of God from superstition and idolatry,[f] so the defence of Christ's church appertains to the Christian magistrates, against all idolaters and heretics, as Papists, Anabaptists, with suchlike limbs of Antichrist, to root out all doctrine of devils and men,[g]...

d. Rom. 13:1-7; Wisdom 6:4; Titus 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13-14

e. Acts 5:29

f. Ex. 32:26-28; 2 Kings 18:4; 23:1ff.; 2 Chron. 29; 35:1ff.

g. 2 Tim. 4:2-4; Col. 2:8, 16-23; Matt. 15:1-9; Isa. 29:13; Heb. 9:12,14,; 25-26,28; 10:10, 12, 14; Acts 10:15; 1 John 2:22; Rom. 7:6; Gal. 5:1; Col. 2:8; Rom. 14:1ff.; 1 Tim. 4:1-8; Matt. 19:10-12; 1 Cor. 7:2, 9; 1 Cor. 8[?]; 1 Cor. 10:25; 2 Cor. 6:16; Luke 17:23; Rom. 3:19-20; 1 Cor. 3:11; Gal. 4:9-10

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