Tuesday, September 01, 2009

So much for kindness

From Todd Friel at Wretched Radio

William Tyndale was firmly tied to the stake. The kindling was piled high. The match was about to be struck. Suddenly, as an act of kindness, the executioner approached Tyndale from the rear and graciously strangled him to death with a chain. Or so I thought.

William Tyndale was an English Roman Catholic priest whose passion was to see the Bible translated into the language of the people. The Catholic Church and King Henry VIII disagreed. They believed that only the priests should have access to Scripture. When a Catholic priest warned Tyndale to stop his endeavor to translate the Bible, Tyndale fired, "I will make it possible for a boy behind the plow to know more Scripture than you do."

Threatened with death, he fled England and lived incognito in Europe until a friend betrayed him and Tyndale found himself in a dank prison in Vilvorde prison in Brussels, Belgium.

I stood in the place where Tyndale was lit on fire for his "heretical" views. I was told it was an act of kindness that he was strangled before the flames melted him. I was told wrong.

It was not uncommon that when a great reformer was to be set ablaze, they would preach, pray and sing so fervently, that many souls were saved before the flames silenced their message. That is why Tyndale was strangled to death. Not to keep him from pain, but to keep people from hearing the Gospel. Tyndale's last words were, "Lord, open the King of England's eyes." God granted that prayer. Henry VIII had a change of heart and ordered that the Bible be translated into the language of the people.

Whose translation did they use?

You guessed it: Tyndale's.

William Tyndale became a human torch so you and I could have the words of life. Are you and I willing to die like Tyndale so others can hear it?


Tracy Wagman said...


Steve said...

I hope I never have to find out!

I honestly don't know if I would go to the fire. I'd like to think that I would.

Joe A. said...

Tyndale was an incredible individual. It's fascinating to hear and read about him.

Shucks, I'm drawing a blank. Pops, do you remember the name of the fellow who mentioned quite a bit on Tyndale at the last Deeper Conference, and even had many of the Tyndale bibles with him?

Wayne Dawg said...

I hope I never havet o find out either Steve....but I think if we are ever faced with anything like that, God will give us the strength and courage to go through it for His glory.

Joe - Marshall Foster

Question of Identity said...

Another great man who faced the flames was Polycarp. He was offered the chance to go free if he denied Jesus:

"But when the magistrate pressed him hard and said, 'Swear the oath, and I will release thee; revile the Christ,' Polycarp said, 'Fourscore and six years have I been His servant, and He hath done me no wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King who saved me?'"

The significant thing about Polycarp was that he was nurtured in his Christian faith by John (writer of the Gospel). Polycarp knew from the horses mouth that Jesus had died and risen from the dead and was prepared to meet his King based on John's teachings.

No one would choose death for a lie! But Polycarp chose death because he knew the truth.