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A guest post by Adam Kristofik

Jan_Hus_2

The Apostle Paul made a harsh reality known in the third chapter with the twelfth verse in his second letter to Timothy. The truth that was revealed was persecution for those who have desired to live godly in Christ Jesus[1]. God’s people were given a guarantee to suffer according to association with the Son of God. Jan Hus was well aware of this divine pledge.

Jan Michalov of Husinec is the most accurate name given to who is historically remembered as Jan Hus[2]; the Bohemian who was burned at the stake for heresy in 1412[3]. Hus was a scholar, pastor, exile, and heretic[4].

His scholarship, pastoral position, and exile would be trivial to debate compared to the enormity of his heresy for which led to his fiery tomb. What needs to be addressed are his heretical views. What would cause the church to burn a man of the cloth? The perceived question to ask is, “What belief(s) would deem this man a heretic?”

However, the “what” answer to this question pales in comparison to the “why” answer to a different question. The focus needs to not be on, “What did he believe to be considered a heretic” but “Why was he burned at the stake?” “What” brought him to the stake were accusations of heresy. “Why” he was burnt alive was for a greater purpose. No, the greatest purpose a human exists; the glory of God.

God’s divine right to be exalted in Hus’ execution needs to be magnified. If Hus were to have been convicted truthfully of a heresy, then God would have been glorified for an elimination of a bearer of false witness. Moreover, if Hus were to have been falsely accused and still burnt at the stake (which he was), then God would have been praised in this martyrdom. Either way it would be Soli Deo Gloria.

Having read through Herbert Workman’s translation of Hus’ letters, a divine comfort that fell upon Hus as his temporal flame was to ensconce him was apparent. It was almost as if Hus knew that this was to be his fate; this was shown in his eagerness to bear the burden of the flame. The tone of Hus’ letters towards his friends as that fateful day drew nigh seemed as if he was zealously awaiting his resurrected body via a burning passage to glory.

Those who are truly in Christ must acknowledge the full counsel of God. Knowing persecution is at the doorstep should always revert the believer’s soul towards one comfort that is God Himself. Trials are as inevitable as God’s rest for His people. Have complete solace in the One Who has orchestrated life since before creation the believer’s trials as well as the believer’s triumphs based solely on the Son’s ultimate sacrifice on the cross of Calvary.

 


[1] 2 Timothy 3:12

[2] Flajshans, M. Jan Hus: Dle svych prednasek ve “Svazu osvetovem”; Prague: Simacek, 1915, p. 23

[3] Fudge, T The Trial of Jan Hus: Medieval Heresy and Criminal Procedure; Oxford University Press, 2013, p. 1

[4] Fudge, T Jan Hus: Religious Reform and Social Revolution in Bohemia; I.B. Tauris, 2010, p. 9

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