Rewriting History

Recently, my husband read a quote about Lady Jane Grey. It prompted me to watch a documentary on her. It was well done, quite informative, but, sadly, it painted her in a misleading way. Twice, she refered to her as a “teenage idealog.” The definition of an idealog is: an often blindly partisan advocate or adherent of a particular ideology 2: an impractical idealistTHEORIST.

Lady Jane Grey, a seventeen-year-old born-again believer, lived in a tragic time of English history. John Wycliffe lit the flames of reformation in the late 1300s and Hus and Luther fanned them brighter in Germany a century later. In a nutshell, King Henry VIII separated England from Roman Catholicism for marital reasons, and his son, Edward II, named Lady Jane Grey as his predecessor for religious reasons–he did not want his older sister, Mary, to be queen because of her Catholic beliefs.

British history is not the point of this post–accurate, unbias historical accounts are. As a historical fiction author, I labor to get my facts straight, but also to come to the right conclusions based on those facts. While the facts were accurate in the above-mentioned documentary, the conclusion was centered on political foul play and gender unfairness. Yes, the commentator credits Lady Jane with bravery, but she misses the whole point of this young, 16th-century woman’s life. The conclusion was that she was not a martyr for her Christian biblical faith. True, Lady Jane herself said that she was being beheaded because of her treason. But the larger picture is this: the Duke of Northampton, King Edward II, Lady Jane’s father and Lady Jane herself “plotted” to keep the true Gospel message alive in Great Britian. The true believers who held to biblical salvation through Christ alone were labeled as heretics. They were shedding hundreds of years of apostacy, and she was willing to die for that. She died for her faith! She would not denounce the truth of the Gospel, and for that, she was beheaded by Queen Mary–also known as Bloody Mary. When I looked for information about her, I found this interesting quote from the History channel:

This unfortunate nickname was thanks to her persecution of Protestant heretics, whom she burned at the stake in the hundreds. But is this a fair portrayal? Was she the bloodthirsty religious fanatic that posterity has bequeathed to us? While hundreds died under Mary’s reign, her dark legacy may have as much to do with the fact teat she was a Catholic monarch succeeded by a Protestant Queen in a country that remained Protestant. History, as they say, is written by the victors.

Una Mcilvenna

Unfortunate? She had over 300 dissenters (we would call them born-again beleivers) burned at the stake! I suppose I can be accused of writing with a “Christian slant,” but is it possible that Lady Jane Grey deserves to be recognized and honored for her youthful faith? In the documentary, she is accused of speaking to her elders as though she was their teacher. I couldn’t help thinking of 1Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. The following is one of Lady Jane’s famous quotes:

Live to die, that by death you may enter into eternal life, and then enjoy the life that Christ has gained for you by His death. Don’t think that just because you are now young your life will be long, because young and old as God wills.

Lady Jane Grey

Great quote. Teach history as it happened. The move to “dechristianize” every aspect of history is truly disturbing. It is Satan’s ploy to win this world over to his cause–promoting himself and everyone else above God.

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.

Isaiah 14:12-15

I write this to honor a young woman who paid the ultimate price for her faith. Her short life is still a testimony and tribute to the grace of God nearly 600 years later. God promises that same grace to his followers. She is an inspiration to this writer and I hope to you as well. I also write this to share my grief about what is happening in our society today. The enemy is working tirelessly to smear the truth about true Christianity. Listen carefully to what is being said. Parents, ask your children what they are being taught. Know what they are being told! If you would like to read a wonderful article about Lady Jane Grey, I suggest reading the article put out by The Gospel Coalition .


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