They despised his beliefs. They branded him a heretic. They opted for intolerance and unwillingness to co-exist. Their final solution for him was contrary to justice…and the godliness they professed to defend.
No, this didn’t happen recently. Yet Schlaffer’s testimony lives on, unsilenced by the executioner’s sword.
Hans lost his head for his faith in Jesus, but he gained an eternal reward which hasn’t faded a bit after all these years (years which I don’t suppose he has noticed). (I wonder if Ernie Miller has met him yet.) (Grammarians, am I allowed a parenthetical train like this?!)
Well, here’s an introduction to Hans Schlaffer’s story on this day 486 years ago:
The December evening was cold. As Hans Schlaffer left the Anabaptist meeting in Schwaz, he was headed up the Inn River toward his home in the mountains of Austria. There he planned to sit out the winter months until Spring, when he would renew his ministry. But the plans of this former Roman Catholic priest received a rude shock.
On this day, December 5, 1527, Hans Schlaffer was arrested by local Roman Catholic authorities. […]
When asked on what foundation the Anabaptists rested, he replied, “Our faith, actions, and baptism rest on nothing else than the commandment of Christ.”
I am fascinated by these excerpts from one of his last recorded prayers: Read it all