William Tyndale was a 16th century Protestant reformer who is mainly credited with translating the Bible into English for the masses. He was charged with heresy for daring to put the Bible into the hands of the common person. In hindsight, this wasn’t an unfounded charge. Once people could read the Bible for themselves it was only a matter of time for divisions and factions and eventual disbelief to follow, because the Bible is about as clear as mud. Since this is the “very word of God”, it becomes of utmost importance to be true to your interpretation. Being true to your interpretation often means a break from those heretics that refused to obey the “clear” word of God. Preaching that word, or rather your interpretation of that word, becomes of prime importance. Tyndale believed that preaching meant to:
“Expound the law truly, and open the veil of Moses, to condemn all flesh, and prove all men sinners, and all deeds under the law, before mercy have taken away the condemnation thereof, to be sin, and damnable; and then as a faithful minister, set abroach the mercy of our Lord Jesus, and let the wounded consciences drink of the water of him. And then shall your preaching be with power, and not as the hypocrites. And the Spirit of God shall work with you; and all consciences shall bear record unto you, and feel that it is so. And all doctrine that casteth a mist on these two, to shadow and hide them, I mean the law of God, and mercy of Christ, that resist you with all your power.” (In a letter to John Frith)
In typical Puritan fashion, preaching meant to condemn men as evil sinners, worms to be crushed under the mighty hand and justice of God. Crush a man’s spirit. Destroy a man’s hope. Let him grovel in the dirt of his own worthlessness. Make him feel totally helpless and loss. Then tell him God loves Him and offers a rescue through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Wow, talk about depressing. God’s highest creation is just a worthless hunk of meat unless God, through powerful magic, saves him by a human/god sacrifice. A very strange state of affairs for a being that is acting exactly as this God has created him and has no ability to change, apart from God. And he can’t change unless God lets him but this “merciful” God will blame him for not changing (John 3:3, 6:44). A gruesome fairy tale if there ever was one. Talk about being stuck in the Twilight zone!