Confessing Church

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Confessing Church,

Ger. Bekennende Kirche, German Protestant movement. It was founded in 1933 by Martin NiemoellerNiemoeller or Niemöller, Martin
, 1892–1984, German Protestant churchman. He studied theology after distinguishing himself as a submarine commander in World War I.
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 as the Pastors' Emergency League and was systematically opposed to the Nazi-sponsored German Christian Church. The immediate occasion for the opposition was the attempt by the Nazis soon after their rise to power to purge the German Evangelical Church of converted Jews and to make the church subservient to the state. At the Synod of Barmen (May, 1934) the Confessing Church set up an administration and proclaimed itself the true Protestant Church in Germany. After the arrest of many of its ministers the church was forced underground. Eventually the more moderate Lutheran Council replaced it as the most effective opponent to the Nazi regime. After the war Niemoeller and his followers continued as a separate group within the German Evangelical Church. The group is governed by representatives from each territorial church (the Council of Brethren) and its doctrines are based on the Barmen declaration and the Reformation creeds.


See A. C. Cochrane, The Church's Confession under Hitler (1962).

References in periodicals archive ?
Gerstenberger understands the majority of the biblical texts (including the Deuteronomistic history and the prophetic texts) as liturgy for a confessional church.
11) As one who is in and of a creedal and confessional church, I recognize this, but what does the text say to churches that emphatically do not?
The Presbyterian Church in Canada is a confessional church committed to its subordinate standards--the Westminster Confession of Faith and Living Faith.
It can specifically be compared to the Augsburg Confession in that it does not set out to round a new, particular, confessional church, but to testify to the "common, universal Christian faith" based on Holy Scripture, against the errors of the times.
After neither the "Council of Brethren", then still in office, nor the confessional Lutheran wing with its proposal to constitute the new EKD as a uniformly Lutheran confessional church, were able to prevail, the EKD was constituted as a "federation of Lutheran, Reformed and United churches" that could not in itself claim to be a church.
Back then the issue was our narrow commitment to the Westminster Confession of Faith, making us only a confessional church, not a truly confessing church.
This chapel functions well as a place for ecumenical worship because it differs from confessional church architecture while at the same time placing recognizable elements from the tradition of the Christian church within a new international and ecumenical framework.
But if that were to happen, and if the new ecclesial structure were indeed able to act as a single unit, this would imply not that the WCC had superseded the confessional church, but that it had itself turned into a church on a grander scale -- a development unlikely to be brought about even by confrontation with a common enemy.
In order to understand this unique role of one particular confessional church for the regulation of freedom of religion in Denmark, it is necessary to look at some history.
Today, Presbyterians claim to be the only confessional church or theological church in Canada because we hold the Westminster Confession of Faith as our subordinate standard.
Yes indeed: we are not a confessional church just because we hold to the Westminster Confession as subordinate standard.