Love Under Fire


Reformation in Denmark

The gospel made a peaceful entrance into the countries of the North. Students at Wittenberg returning home carried the reformed faith to Scandinavia. Luther's writings also spread the light. The hardy people of the North turned from Rome's corruption and superstitions to welcome the life-giving truths of the Bible. LF 102.5

Even as a child Tausen, “the Reformer of Denmark,” showed that he had a bright mind, and he entered a monastery. Examination revealed that he had talent that promised to be very helpful to the church. The young student was given permission to choose a university in Germany or the Netherlands for himself, with one condition: he must not go to Wittenberg with its dangerous heresy. This is what the friars decreed. LF 102.6

Tausen went to Cologne, one of the strongholds of Catholicism. He soon became disgusted with the mystical teachings there. About the same time he read Luther's writings with joy, and he longed to experience the personal instruction of the Reformer. But if he did so, he would risk losing his superior's support. He soon made his decision, and before long he was a student at Wittenberg. LF 102.7

When Tausen returned to Denmark, he did not reveal his secret, but tried to lead his friends to a purer faith. He opened the Bible and preached Christ to them as the sinner's only hope of salvation. His supervisor at the monastery, who had high hopes for him as a defender of Rome, became very angry. He removed Tausen immediately from his own monastery, put him in another, and confined him to his cell. Through the bars of his cell Tausen shared a knowledge of the truth with his companions. If those Danish fathers had been skilled in the church's plan for dealing with heresy, Tausen would never have been heard from again. But instead of confining him in some underground dungeon, they expelled him from the monastery. LF 102.8

A royal decree, just issued, offered protection to the teachers of the new doctrine. Tausen found the churches open to him, and the people crowded in to listen. The New Testament in Danish was widely circulated. Efforts to overthrow the work resulted in extending it, and before long Denmark declared that it had accepted the reformed faith. LF 103.1