Belgic Confession, Article 28: The Obligations of Church Members

Article 28: The Obligations of Church Members

We believe that
since this holy assembly and congregation
is the gathering of those who are saved
and there is no salvation apart from it,
people ought not to withdraw from it,
content to be by themselves,
regardless of their status or condition.

But all people are obliged
to join and unite with it,
keeping the unity of the church
by submitting to its instruction and discipline,
by bending their necks under the yoke of Jesus Christ,
and by serving to build up one another,
according to the gifts God has given them
as members of each other
in the same body.

And to preserve this unity more effectively,
it is the duty of all believers,
according to God's Word,
to separate themselves
from those who do not belong to the church,
in order to join this assembly
wherever God has established it,
even if civil authorities and royal decrees forbid
and death and physical punishment result.

And so,
all who withdraw from the church
or do not join it
act contrary to God's ordinance.