Friday, March 11, 2005

John Huss is us?

In 1415, John Huss was burned at the stake. The story told briefly, started when John Huss and his followers began preaching against Pope John XXIII. Pope John was gathering an army, so he could war against one of the other Popes (at the time there were three Popes). He promised full forgiveness of all sins to everyone who fought on his side. Three of Huss's friends were beheaded when they preached against the Pope's conferring of these indulgences. So Huss knew the Pope's agents were willing to kill in order to quiet opposition, but he continued to say things like, "Not the Pope, but Christ only, is the head; and not the Cardinals, but all Christ's faithful people, be the body of the Catholic Church."

John Huss was eventually captured and burned at the stake as a heretic. As the fire grew he sang, "Jesus Christ! the son of the living God! have mercy on me." Only half of his body was consumed in that fire. They started another fire to burn the upper part of Huss's body, first crushing the head so it would be sure to be burned up. They also cut out his heart, beat it with clubs, and burned it in a separate fire. Foxe's Book of Martyrs concludes John Huss's story with,
"Then, with great diligence gathering the ashes together, they cast them into the river Rhine, that the least remnant of that man should not be left upon the earth, whose memory, notwithstanding, cannot be abolished out of the minds of the godly, neither by fire, neither by water, neither by any kind of torment."

Do we want to stand for Christ against the tide of the world? How is this world going to be better (more Godly) for our passing through it? How about our children? What would we think if our children grew up to be a John Huss? Or are we glad John Huss was someone else's child?


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