Heretics! Off with their heads! Or: Was subscripton subscribed?

PerfectHold's picture

For sure, the brothers way back when worked well producing the Belgic Confession, Cannons of Dort, et al.
But did they want their work used as lines in the sand defining admission to church membership?
Did they want what they wrote to be a pastor's guide for who's a Christian?
How did they address the tendency to use their work in this way?

What was their position on subscription to their confessions as criteria for acknowledgment as a Christian?

How did they identify those who quibbled with their words, let alone disagreed with big points? "Heretic!! -- Off with their heads!"?

Didn't some of these brothers say of their attempted summaries of the Word just that -- this was an attempt. "We've done our best. This is what we believe. Use it to inform and challenge yourselves. Use it to teach and admonish. We're sure it doesn't match up in quality to the Word. In fact, we're sure we've made errors. But we've done our best. We trust God to correct. So for God's sake, don't use it as the measuring rod for somebody's faith."

Who amongst our dead white fathers spoke to this issue?