Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May 09, 2012

Raise the Five Solas High

I remember once reading a Jewish person’s thoughts on the Jewish culture as a whole and how, when a Jew did something extraordinary, all Jewish people who heard of his accomplishment took a certain pride in it as if they themselves had won the glory. It was a tribal thing. An inherited thing. A close-knit phenomenon. I believe that Protestants of the “Reformation faiths” ought to feel the same way. We must never forget the martyr-blood in our veins. It is sanctified by God Himself through the men and women who had the ability to hold high His truth and confess His Word even at the cost of everything they held dear.

Why the glow of satisfaction? When I read of the struggles my early Protestant ancestors, whether Lutheran, Huguenot, or Anabaptist, underwent, and I hear of their faith, strength, and courage, I feel a glow of pride that I might be part of their spiritual legacy.  These were “my” people. I claimed them with great joy. That is why I have always been fascinated by the French Protestants in Florida, though their colony was so ill-fated. Those were my people. Five Solas people. (When I recently visited St. Augustine, Florida, I had an uncontrollable urge to shout Vive la France! But I refrained. Maybe next time . . .!)

There is an old church in Paris known as the Oratoire du Louvre. It became a Protestant church in 1811 and in 1889 became home to an impressive statue of Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, who funded Jean Ribault and René de Laudonnière’s doomed New World settlements and later perished during the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre. Again hearing of the sacrifices my spiritual forebears made filled me with that same “tribal” pride and warmth. 

I often read stories of martyrdom, unshakable, steadfast faith, and courage. My Protestant heart and soul feel wrapped up in these stories that are just as much my own as they could possibly be. These people were amazing. I can think of few greater honors than to be a part of a religious movement that refused to be silenced, and a spiritual descendant of those who pressed on even when the simplest rights were revoked.

The Reformed Church of France has withstood every kind of prejudice and intolerance that came her way. Founded in 1559, she has fought the fight and kept the faith and survived until the present day. The motto of the Reformed Church sums up the survival of the early “Reformation faiths” quite well: “burning, but not consumed.” When I see such statues, read such stories, and ponder that my ancestors and spiritual forebears went through fire and blood and still kept the faith, nothing could make me more excited to believe as I do. What better legacy than to hold their doctrines high like a banner in my heart?

(c) 2012 Joyously Saved

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