The Church's Confession under Hitler

The Church's Confession under Hitler

The Church's Confession under Hitler

The Church's Confession under Hitler

Excerpt

The Barmen Declaration was unanimously adopted by the First Confessional Synod of the German Evangelical Church, held in Barmen, May 29-31, 1934, in order to withstand the errors of the "German Christians" and the Reich Church government. It was the theological basis of the true evangelical Church, commonly called the "Confessing Church." It was the point of departure for the subsequent synods held in Dahlem (1934), Augsburg (1935), and Bad- Oeynhausen (1936). Its decisions were binding upon the Church's Council of Brethren and administrative boards in their conduct of the practical work of the Church in the fight against the Reich Church bishop and the Church committees appointed by the Government. It was adopted by the Second Free Reformed Synod, in Siegen, March 26-28, 1935, and is still numbered among the historic Confessions of the Reformed Church in Germany.

In the constitutions and Church orders that have been issued since 1945 by the Evangelical Church in Germany, the United Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany, the Evangelical United Church, and by thirteen of the provincial Churches (Landeskirchen), the Barmen Declaration has been incorporated with varying degrees of acceptance. The United Church and its member Churches in the Rhineland, Westphalia, Brandenburg, and Saxony have adopted Barmen along with the Confessions of the Reformation. Article I, Section 6, of the Church order of the Church in the Rhineland is typical: "It affirms the Theological Declaration of the Confessional Synod of Barmen as a Scriptural and binding testimony to the gospel for the Church's ministry." Likewise the Evangelical Church in Hesse and Nassau, of which Dr. Martin Niemöller is the present . . .

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