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Saturday, November 22, 2014


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Brethren In Christ

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PAGE 164

With only a little imagination anyone of us can catch the atmosphere of the times and places in which those lived whose words are presented in this book.

The ramparts, the rack and the armoury are there still in the castle of Kreuzenstein, for anyone who wants to visit. It is not hard there to picture the Brethren in Christ awaiting their trial. It is not difficult to share their thoughts.

PAGE 165

Except for modern modes of transport Pilgram Marpeck and Hans Schlaffer would not get lost in the streets of Rattenberg today. There might be one difference: if they held an open-air meeting as they did then, probably no one would stop to listen.

houseIt is not difficult to picture Ferenc David in the Turda cathedral, for he would easily recognize the very spot where he bravely pleaded for those who believed in One God. John Biddle" would recognize instantly the room where he searched the Scriptures and wrote the results, knowing full well what it would mean for him.

Looking today at a beautiful scripted letter in the Marciana Library in Venice, even with the dreaded Bridge of Sighs across the square to remind us of what the consequences were for its writer, it is not difficult vicariously to share a little of his passion and his love for the Truth.

For indeed, we must be aware that all of the selections reproduced in this volume from the pens of the Brethren in Christ could only be the fruits of deep conviction. There could be no half-hearted believers in those days. Their conscience had to have been marked by the Son of God in the Word and branded by its fire. There could be no other way.

No, what is difficult for us is to catch the same fire when things are easy, when most of us now enjoy the very tolerance they strove and died for, when the lurking dangers are not secret police, and informers and inquisitors, but apathy, materialism and the sins of Sodom -- "fulness of bread and abundance of idleness".

Will we be as gentle -- courteous yet unwaveringly committed to the Truth of God and the ecclesia of Christ -- when people merely ignore us as when they seek to destroy us?

This book is not in any sense a history of the Brethren in Christ, official or unofficial. Indeed, but a fraction has been told. But our fervent prayer and hope is simply that of the apostle John long ago when he wrote about the Lord himself:

"These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his Name." JOHN 20:31