The Bible leads men to Baptist principles
In the entry on July 1, the power of the state church (Lutheran) was considered in Norway and the antecedents of the Baptists in that country. Many soldiers had embraced Baptist (Bible) principles also, and on July 28, 1743 some were ordered by the colonel to participate in a Lutheran church parade, and the soldiers refused. They were brought before a court-martial in Jan. of 1744. The verdict was that Hans and Christopher Pedersen should “work in iron” for six months, and that the rest should be sent to prison in Oslo so that they might “work constantly and receive instruction, so they might change their mind.” King Christian VI changed the sentence, ordering all to be sent to the penitentiary in Oslo. The officials had underestimated these Baptist prototypes, for they were a greater problem behind walls than they were outside. Jorgen Njcolaysen was ordered to attend services in the prison chapel, and when he refused, he was dragged by force from the building. The King had him whipped and then be given religious instruction. They continued to witness, and soon other prisoners surrendered their lives to the Lord. The bishop wrote to the King on July 11, 1744 stating that the six military persons had misused both the King’s and God’s grace and longsuffering. Also that six different priests had tried to get them to repent, but there work had been in vain. Their work had been in vain, because these separatists were not only stubborn in regard to their own heresy, but, “I ask that they be removed from the prison because they are a danger to the other prisoners.” They were finally sent to separate forts. These men believed in justification by faith, believer’s baptism, autonomy of the church and separation of church and state and the sole authority of scripture.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 309-10.
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