Felix Manz, is one of the founders and first martyr of the Swiss Brethren congregation in Zurich, Switzerland. his father was a canon of grossmunster church in Zurich. Felix was a scholor in Hebrew, Greek and Latin. When Ulrich Zwingli, a swiss Christian reformer, came to Zurich in 1519, Felix joined him enthusistically and became a regular attendant at Zwingli’s Bible classes.
Conrad Grebel was his close friend from the Bible study group. they together studied the scriptures and condemned the non-scriptural practices of the Catholic Church.
Felix refused the practice of infant baptism and denied the authority of the state on the church. He believed that obedience to baptism should neither be due to prudence nor fear.
Felix Manz ministry in Switzerland
Felix argued that the name ‘Christian’ could be applied only to those who truly follow Jesus and not indiscriminately to all who are baptized. His new found doctrinal revelation spread like a fire that changed the hearts of many people in Zurich. However, the city council found the reformative ideas of Felix to be a threat to the unity of the church.
The authorities ordered him to recant his beliefs and prohibited him to preach. Not only did Felix and his friends refused to do so, but they also heald a communion service and baptised each other to mark their obedience to God. The movement spread like a fire, and many willfully took baptisms.
Felix enthusisatically preached and also translated the texts into other languages. Due to this, he was arrested several times and put in prison. In 1526, the city council passed a law that made adult rebaptism punishable by drowning. Felix became the first causality of this law.
When Felix was about to be executed, he stated that he would die for the truth. While he loudly sang ‘into thy hands I commit thy spirit‘, he was bound with a rope and was drowned in River Limmat.
Beloved, are you a Christian just by religion, or do you truly follow Jesus?Take away from the article
Lord, deliver me from nominal Christianity and help me to follow you honestly. Amen!Word of Prayer
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