Standing for Truth

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Original photo from Wikimedia

Daily Reformation, Luke 9:23-27

About the Reformer

A cantionale, dating from 1572, and preserved in the Prag library, contains a hymn to Huss’ memory and three medallions which well set forth the relation in which Wyclif and Huss stand to the Reformation. The first represents Wyclif striking sparks from a stone. Below it is Huss, kindling a fire from the sparks. In the third medallion, Luther is holding aloft the flaming torch. His is the historic succession, although it is true Luther began his career as a Reformer before he was influenced by Huss, and continued his work, knowing little of Wyclif.

To the cause of religious toleration, and without intending it, John Huss made a more effectual contribution by his death than could have been made by many philosophical treatises, even as the deaths of Blandina and other martyrs of the early Church, who were slaves, did more towards the reduction of the evils of slavery than all the sentences of Pagan philosophers. Quite like his English teacher, he affirmed the sovereign rights of the truth. It was his habit, so he stated, to conform his views to the truth, whatever the truth might be. If any one, he said, “can instruct me by the sacred Scriptures or by good reasoning, I am willing to follow him. From the outset of my studies, I have made it a rule to joyfully and humbly recede from a former opinion when in any matter I perceive a more rational opinion.

—Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church

Pulling It Together

A ring of 50 or so fifth and sixth graders closed around the boy, calling him names and not letting him out of their circle of taunts. This hazing had been happening for several minutes, ignored by the playground teachers, when two more fifth grade boys broke through the circle so they could stand on either side of the tormented student. There, they stood the risk of enduring the same ridicule as they quietly assumed positions with the lad, facing the crowd. Several more jeers were heard but the heckled boy’s spirits were soon uplifted by his comrades. The crowd’s fun had run its course so they disbanded and went to various swings and seesaws. One of the students said to the two boys, “I admire you for standing with Chris.” One of those boys responded, “Then you should have been standing with us.”

Standing on the side of truth is difficult. The philosophical question of Pilate echoes down through the ages: “What is truth?” So a decision as to what truth is must be made. Once one decides in faith that the Jesus of the Bible is the truth, the one to be listened to, standing for him can still be difficult but at least you know where you stand—or at least where you should stand.

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers

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