This Sunday in Baptist History
I mentioned George Blaurock a few weeks ago. Let me add a little more about the man. He was born in a small village in Switzerland in 1491 under a different name. His family intended for him to become a priest, but he chose rather to marry and further his education in the University of Leipzig, before becoming an Anabaptist. He became known as Blaurock, because he chose to wear a distinctive blue coat – a “blaurock.” He was bold, zealous and intellectually sharp, earning a reputation for besting the Protestant Zwingli in several debates.
On this day (February 7) in 1525 he was arrested along with twenty-four parents who refused to have their children “baptized.” A week later he was released only to be rearrested in November along with other well-known Anabaptists, including Felix Manz. On January 5, “Blaurock’s hands were bound, his body was stripped to the waist, and as he passed along the street from the Fishmarket to the Niederdorf Gate, was beaten with rods until the blood flowed from this wounds thus made. Blaurock endured his suffering not less heroically than Manz (who was martyred on that day). At the gate an oath that he would not return was demanded of him by the officer who conducted him thither; but he refused, saying that to take an oath is forbidden by God. On this account, he was taken back to the Wellenberg to await the further decision of the Council.” When he finally agreed to leave the city, apparently without giving his oath, “he shook the dust from his blue coat and his shoes as a testimony against his persecuting adversaries.”
Two years later, on September 6, 1529, while pastor of a small church in Tyrol, Brother Blaurock was taken and burned at the stake as an “heretic,” but in reality, as a witness to the truth of God.