Strength From the Martyrs: How Our Protestant Forebears Teach Us Faith
Faith was everything to our ancestors. They were willing to die for it, and in many cases they did. The solas of the Reformation, tenets like “faith alone,” “Christ alone,” and “Scripture alone,” were their battle cries. Those of us who come from the “Reformation faiths” have such a powerful heritage. The blood of the martyrs runs in our veins. I cannot imagine walking about without bubbling over in that very same faith, without feeling an intense admiration. How can we not be inspired by their courage? How can we not want to live up to them however we can, in many cases practicing the same faith in peace and freedom that they practiced under pain of death?
Ancestry is a powerful thing. Remembering who your ancestors are, where you come from, and what you represent shapes your identity in many ways. I derive great strength from the example of my Anabaptist and Huguenot ancestors and from various “heroes of the faith” that I admire. A few days past, while listening to some uplifting Christian tunes, I realized the truth: We survived. I am carrying on my ancestors’ proud legacy of Protestantism. I am continuing their reverence of Scripture and love of God, worshiping and rejoicing in the same faith their enemies tried to quell. What stronger legacy could there be? What better way to prove we are still going strong and that we could not be silenced, than to sing and shout and dance and praise?
One feels a thrill of awe just imagining how difficult it once was to be Protestant. That very word was often a death sentence. Our ancestors feared no mortal man and practiced their beliefs with eerie solemnity and strength. Those same traits sustain mainstream Protestants today. How did we ever survive those first rugged centuries? Yet here we still are, five hundred years later, unbroken, unbeaten. If that isn’t something to sing and dance about, I don’t know what is.
(c) 2012 Joyously Saved