Friday, July 6, 2007

Honoring John Hus

Today in the year 1415, John Hus was burnt at the stake for standing for truth. It is a national holiday here in the Czech Republic.

Hus was a revolutionary because he preached in the vernacular (the language of the people) as opposed to everyone else who preached in Latin. His preaching focused much on social and moral reform. The Scriptures are abundant in his sermons, and his expositions were clear and his messages were direct and simple.

Today you can see the Bethlehem Chapel in Prague where Hus preached. The original chapel was largely destroyed, but it has been rebuilt to its original form. As you may know, Bethlehem means “House of Bread,” and they named the chapel this “because the common people and the faithful of Christ might there be refreshed through preaching.”

Hus preached against many evils of the Catholic Church, in which he was a priest, and he was greatly hated for it. Many thought, "How dare he speak against the priests, cardinals, and pope! How dare he say they were of antichrist, the great wolf!"

Hus was a courageous man, and we can learn many things from him. But in the Czech Republic I think Hus is known mostly for his stand for truth. Former Czech President Vaclav Havel stated in a speech to the Vatican on Dec. 17, 1999, that “for hundreds of years, the name of master Jan Hus has been inscribed in the mind of the nation especially for his deep love of truth.” Oh may that be said of us today!

The Czech national moto is a quote from Hus, "truth prevails" or "truth conquers." But I thought I would end with my favorite Hus quote, “Faithful Christian, seek the truth, hear the truth, learn the truth, love the truth, speak the truth, adhere to the truth, defend the truth to death; for truth will make you free from sin, the devil, the death of the soul, and finally from eternal death.”

Not seeking to toot my own horn, I have delivered a message on Hus that can be downloaded here if you would have interest in hearing more about Hus' life and ministry.