Friday, March 27, 2009

God's Spirit is at Work in Denmark

While in my view the overall spiritual condition of Denmark is rather grim and the need for genuine revival very great, such an assessment isn’t the whole picture. We must not forget that the Spirit of God often works in ways that are not always immediately discernible. He is working quietly but decisively in various ways in Denmark, of that I am certain. It is my firm conviction that revival in Denmark would have to have a major influence on Denmark’s Lutherans. Though the Folkekirke is culturally embedded in Danish society, it seems to have little impact on the spiritual lives of the increasingly secularized nation.

And yet, God never leaves Himself without a witness. It would be tragically irresponsible to ignore the fact that there are Danish Lutherans who love the Lord and who long for and pray constantly for revival. I have met some of them and have been impressed by their earnestness and genuine faith. A trusted Danish friend of this webpage recently wrote that “there IS something encouraging going on in Denmark––a network of God-fearing Lutherans who have good theology but want more of the movement of the Spirit and who recognize people’s need to be born again.” These God-fearing Lutherans are connected in a network of new local churches and fellowships through Dansk Oase Netværk (
www.danskoase.dk). Dansk Oase is a Lutheran charismatic renewal movement. The new congregations are variously called “Valmenigheder” [or fælleskab or frimenighed]. All are in some way different or “edgy” in contrast to the more formalistic Folkekirke congregations and are more open to contemporary forms of praise and worship. They are growing and demonstrate that there are Danes who do indeed hunger and thirst after righteousness and a seek a vital, personal faith in Christ.

There is a large, healthy Valmenighed church in Århus (
www.valmenighed.dk), and one that just opened in Copenhagen last November and understand it already has over 100 members. It is most encouraging to see what God is doing through these groups. It all started at Karlslunde Strandkirke (www.strandkirken.dk) that had a God-fearing, level-headed charismatic pastor back in the seventies by the name of Helge Pahus. He was responsible for the Alpha course coming to Denmark. Pastor Pahus is now retired, though still active in ministry. During his years of ministry, Pastor Pahus has built a lot of bridges to revival and renewal movements around the world and his influence is felt strongly in Danish charismatic Lutheran circles.

The Valmenighed congregations in various places in Denmark constitute a new and genuine church planting experience of which we have been too little aware. All are connected in some way with the Oase revival movement. To mention a few, there are now congregations and fellowships in Odder, Kolding, Silkeborg, Vejle, Aalborg, and elsewhere, and the list is growing. The terms Valmenighed and Frimenighed are not exclusive to the Oase Network as there are other Lutheran revival groups that also use them. The more I look into it I am finding there are many dimensions to Danish Lutheranism and writing about Oase I am not unmindful of the testimony through the decades of other Lutheran revival organizations, including Indre Mission, Nyt Liv, Luthersk Missionsforening, and Evangelisk Lutherske Missionsforening, some of which also have planted free Lutheran congregations.

If God was able to raise the Lord Jesus from the dead, He can also bring revival to spiritually dead Denmark. If I didn’t believe that I would shut down the Pray for Denmark website. No major revival in history has ever occurred without a barrage of prayer behind it. In some small way it is my hope that we are a part of that barrage of prayer and why we should be praying for the outreach of Oase throughout Denmark. That’s why Brad and I pray doggedly for the land of my ancestors and urge you to join us as well.

PRAISE God for the encouraging evidences of the Holy Spirit’s work in Denmark through the Oase revival movement.

PRAY for the Oase movement to continue to exert its influence for revival and renewal throughout Denmark without itself becoming overly institutionalized.

PRAY
for the planting of new Oase-related Lutheran congregations throughout Denmark that will provide a resurgence of evangelism calling Danes to repentance and personal faith in Jesus Christ.

1 comment:

Randy Williams said...

Thank you for this site. I stumbled on it and am happy to read about my brothers and sisters in Denmark. God Bless you in your work. Pray for us in the USA as we pray for you!