John Rogers stands in a long parade of God-centered men; men who preached the truth, confronted sin, lived uncompromising lives, and finished strong. Like Rogers, some were martyred. Others died of old age or were tormented with disease. Those who participate in this Christ-exalting parade still have something to say. Their courage emboldens us. Their lives inspire us. Their theology instructs us. Their devotion moves us to action.
The smell of burning flesh hung in the air. The villagers turned their heads and gasped. Stray dogs fled. The man’s wife wept bitterly. His children watched in horror and the smell burned their nostrils. The stench was a vivid reminder of who sat on the throne. Mary Tudor ruled with ironclad authority. Her subjects were obligated to obey. Any dissenters would pay the ultimate price. The world would remember her as “Bloody Mary.”
The day was February 4, 1555. The man roped to the pyre was known well in the British village – a man of humble origins.