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32 – February 01 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


State Church or Gods Word
The Anabaptists of Zurich agreed to debate Ulrich Zwingli on the subject of infant baptism in January of 1525, provided that the only authority to which the debaters could appeal was the Bible. Reneging on his promise, Zwingli defeated his Anabaptist opponents by shouting them down.  The Zurich City Council declared him the victor and decreed that the Anabaptists should have all their children baptized within a week or suffer banishment.
The Anabaptists refused to come, so on February 1, 1525, the Council ordered them arrested and that each of their children should be baptized as soon as they were born.  After they were fined 1,000 gulden plus costs, all were released except Felix Mantz and George Blaurock.  In the next few years, the Council imposed confiscation of property, imprisonment, torture, and death upon the Anabaptists of Zurich. The severity of punishments meted out to people who were no threat to public order shows the weakness of the arguments used against them.  The Reformation in Zurich had turned into a Protestant inquisition.
Zwingli chose the authority of the state church rather than the authority of God’s word. Our heritage of freedom does not come to us from the Reformers, but from the Word of God and men of biblical conviction like Mantz and Blaurock, who, at the cost of their lives, was obedient to God rather than man.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from:  This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins)

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