My buddy Ben Zornes wrote this short post on a group of people who seem to be lost in history, but will no doubt convict your soul and cause you to examine your resolve and commitment to King and Kingdom.
Have you heard of the Waldensians? I hadn’t really heard of them until very recently, and as I’ve studied them I am astounded and blessed. They were a group of faithful believers that formed in the 1100s…or so. During the time that the Western world was mainly ruled by Roman Catholicism and Papal dominance, this faithful band of believers held to the Word of God alone, even translating it into their own language. They lived in the mountains of Italy, and spread to France.
However, because of their radical stand for the living by the Word of God alone, they received blow after blow of persecution; many times being brought to the brink of extermination! Finally, as the Reformation began sweeping through Europe, this faithful band that had remained true to the Word of God, were so gladdened by news of God raising up others who stood for the truth of the Gospel. They rapidly embraced the doctrines of Grace by Faith alone. They had been teaching these things for five centuries (the pastors would travel from village to village disguised as artisans and traders in order to teach and preach).
However, as the Reformation gained momentum, the Catholic Church’s persecution of this faithful group of believers became revoltingly violent. Children were mutilated as their parents were forced to watch. Some of the soldiers committed savage acts of cannibalism and barbarianism. As I read some of the articles on the Waldensians I was stopped in my tracks by these stories of persecution and martyrdom. I had to ask myself, “Have I died to myself today, so that if such grueling acts of tragedy were done to me or my family I could still sing the praises of Jesus in the midst of it?” Remember, the road to martyrdom is paved with a thousand daily deaths. You cannot live radically for Jesus in the future if you aren’t living radically given to Him today. The Waldensians endured 5 centuries of persecution because of their faithfulness to the Word of God and the true doctrines of grace and faith. Thus, when persecution came, they were already dead to self.
I encourage you to join in the ranks of the faithful of past centuries and take a long hard look at where you need to die to yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him, to whatever glorious end! Let’s not distance ourselves from the calling to die to ourselves. Let’s embrace it, afresh and anew! To live is Christ and to die is gain!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ben Zornes is one of a kind. A passionate and selfless man of God, Ben has one focus – the glory and renown of God. As a writer, musician, preacher, and trumpeter of truth, Ben is boundless with fiery zeal in his love for Jesus. With the heart of King David, the missionary mind of Jim Elliot, the writing depth of Tozer, the poured-out life of Hudson Taylor, I count it amongst one of my greatest joys and honors to call Ben Zornes “friend.” You can find out more about Ben at his website at: BenZornes.com
WALDENSIANS: More Info
If you would like to find out more information about the Waldensians, you can download a basic history and a list of resourced by clicking here.