In February of 2014, my wife Sarah and I traveled to Prague, Czech Republic in Eastern Europe to record the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra for my first Christmas album, Unto Us, arranged and produced by the incomparable David Hamilton. We had a few days to sight see, everything within walking distance as we stayed downtown Prague, one of the few cities that was not bombed by Nazi Germany in World War II. Buildings along the narrow, winding, cobblestone streets seemed to range from 500 to 1,000 years old and not a day younger. In the center of town is a massive statue of Jan Hus (John Huss) an highly educated Priest, Professor and an early Reformer of the church (pre-dating Luther and Calvin) who lived and taught in Prague. His statue has stood proudly since July 6th, 1915: 500 years since his death; he was burned to the stake as a heretic 600 years ago today!
The details of his theology, and whether or not they were heretical, tend to seem less important when I consider the way in which he faced his impending death, were he not to recant. You may have heard Martin Luther’s famous quote when facing the same choice, “I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.” But Hus’s statement is refreshingly devoid of any trace of dogma. He declared himself willing to recant if his errors should be proven to him from the Bible! He was willing to submit if he could be convinced of his errors! Even at the moment of his being sentenced to death, he dropped to his knees and said that he did not wish anything, but to be convinced from Scripture. He was willing to go back on anything he preached to be true, he only wanted to embrace the truth, and he believed what he believed so much that he was willing to die for it! He died in flames, asking God to forgive his enemies.
I want to be willing to be wrong. Like Jan Hus, I want only the truth of the Gospel, as revealed in the Old and New Testament of the Bible, declaring Jesus Christ as my Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, Glorious Lord and Coming King! And I want the conviction to be willing to die for the truth I hold.