(Actually, looking at the clock, it's now Tuesday, so maybe this should be Yesterday in Church History...)
April 12, 1557: A thousand or more spectators in London watched as Thomas Loseby, Henry Ramsey, Thomas Thirtel, Margaret Hide and Agnes Stanley were burned as heretics. The charge -- converting to Protestantism. All five were given the chance to recant, were all granted audiences with Bishop Bonner in London, England. All five refused to attend churches that they could not in good conscience attend any longer -- the parrish churches were still Catholic.
Pragmatism would say "Stick it out -- God knows your heart. Don't make waves". Thomas Thirtel said, "My lord, if you make me a heretic, you make Christ and all the twelve apostles heretics." Agnes Stanley said, "My lord, as for these that ye say be burnt for heresy, I believe they are true martyrs before God: therefore I will not go from my opinion and faith as long as I live." Pragmatism lost that day.
Should we all stop going to church because we don't like what the preacher said last Sunday? No. One of the things that marked the Reformation was the willingness of common people to study the Scriptures, to attempt to understand what was contained in those sacred books. These five people did exactly that -- they studied the Scripture in English, and realized that they had been misinformed. They had the courage to stand behind their convictions.
We shouldn't leave church because we don't like something that is said. We must
leave if we believe that we are being taught something that is incorrect. To do that, we must become students of the Word. This ties in with a previous rant, and connects to the second part of my report on the MRC item I spoke about a couple of days ago. We must study the things of God. We must know what we believe, and why. We need to be able to recognize when we are being told something that isn't true. And we must be willing to act on our convictions, no matter what.