John Laski
Summary: John Laski was a kind and gentle church leader in Poland and Germany.
 
 

Among the men of the Reformation, few sacrificed so much wealth as John Laski, also known as Johannes Alasco. He was born into a rich family in Poland, and had two brothers. One was a Polish diplomat in France, and the other was a well-known author. Laski’s uncle guided him into priestly orders, and helped John establish himself in the Polish Church.

In 1523, John Laski and his brothers travelled to foreign universities. He met Zwingli in Zurich, who suggested that he study the Bible. Later the next year, He was invited to be the guest of Erasmus. Erasmus motivated Laski to study the Scriptures. He met with other reformers and studied Greek, Latin, and Old Testament Hebrew.

Upon returning to Poland, Laski’s status and experience made him popular in the courts. He called himself an ‘Erasmian’, and had plans to change the Polish Church. Laski even asked Erasmus to write a letter to the king asking him to remove the Roman rule from his country, which was unsuccessful. Laski’s friends and relatives ridiculed him and disapproved of his new beliefs. When faced with too much pressure while under examination in 1526, Laski gave in. He signed a statement saying he only believed what the Catholic Church taught. However, this was merely a way out of emergency and was not his true beliefs.

John Laski Public Domain https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Johannes_%C3%A0_Lasco.JPG

When Laski’s uncle died in 1531, he felt free of Catholic restrictions. He wanted to bring his new, reformed doctrines into Poland. His new beliefs were against the Catholic Church, but he remained an active part of the Catholic Church by becoming a bishop and archdeacon.

Laski left Poland for Germany to spread the Gospel in 1538. He visited Frankfurt, and then travelled to the Netherlands, and finally to Emden in Friesland. This area was called “the battleground of Anabaptists, Roman Catholics, Zwinglians, and Mennonites.” Laski settled here in 1540. He was poor and ill, and had married a peasant girl, giving up any hope of reclaiming the riches he left behind. He became a pastor in 1542, and soon became the leader of all the churches in the area. Laski wrote to Poland saying that he could return if needed. The King misunderstood this and offered him the position of Bishop, which offended Laski. He declared that he would no longer be affiliated with the “bishop’s tiara” or “monk’s cowl”.

He worked hard at his goal of uniting the sects into one evangelical group. He started the Reformed Church in Friesland, and Emden became known as the “Northern Geneva.” He continued to work, and soon saw Roman ways give way to Christian practices. He organized the Church, started a school for preachers, and prepared a creed for his members.

Laski disagreed with Luther, Calvin, and other reformers on views on predestination, incarnation, baptism and ministry. However, he wanted to reform gently and kindly. He said that “an error of the understanding does not render a man liable to punishment; but guilty intentions alone.” Laski became known in other lands. Soon, rulers and religious leaders consulted him. He discussed ideas with Bucer, Bullinger, Melanchthon, and others. The Duke of Prussia asked him to supervise churches in the area, but Laski refused. He didn’t want civil interference in Church matters including the oppression of the Lutherans. This made the Lutherans become enemies of Laski.

Persecution drove Laski to England in 1548. Here he interacted with other reformers and religious leaders. He gave sermons and gained great influence in court. The king asked him to help with the organization of protestant groups within England. When Mary became queen, she dissolved Laski’s congregation and forced all the members to leave the country. In September 1553, he and 175 of his members departed England for Denmark. They hoped to find refuge with Protestants, but were not welcome. They then travelled through many cities, but did not find refuge until they reached Emden. Laski stayed there for almost a year. He then went to Frankfurt.

In 1556, Laski received an invitation from his king to return to Poland to preach the gospel. He was welcomed warmly and placed in charge of the Reformed Churches. During his absence, the Reformation made great progress in Poland. The many religious groups in the area saw reformation as a way to rid the Catholic Church of its power. However, Poland, like Friesland, became the battleground between many of these groups. Laski was seen as a good mediator and coordinator between these groups. He had a gentle nature and moderate views. He struggled and worked hard at establishing a pure body of believers, and helped prepare a Polish version of the Bible. He succeeded in laying the groundwork for the Polish Reformation. He died January 13, 1560, at Pinczow, Poland.

This article is adapted from Gideon and Hilda Hagstoz' Heroes of the Reformation.
Science Deceptions
Media Deceptions
Reformation
Spiritual Deceptions
A Basis for Conflict
Is there evidence for Creation science? How does it compare to evolution? The following articles give insight in to these questions and more.
Conforming Under Pressure Evolution Is Not Science—It's Religion How Can We See Stars That Are Billions Of Light Years Away? Creation and Evolution: Is Compromise Possible? Understanding the Creation Week Geocentricity: It's Time to Face the Facts The Rise of Evolutionary Thinking Earth's History: Conflicting Paradigms Lamarck Proposes Natural Selection Where did the Universe Come From? Evidence for a Young Universe Age Of The Earth Is Carbon-Dating Accurate? Flood Chronology
Evidence in Stone
Can we understand the age of the earth by the rocks? What theory does the evidence support?
Soft Rock Evidence for Rapid Washout
The Fossil Record
What does the fossil record show us? Is it all random or a defined science that we can understand? Where does evolution fit? Uncover mysteries in the history of the Earth.
Evolution of the Horse Evolutionary Sequences Order in the Fossil Record Explosive Evolution Fossils prove a Flood Fossil Footprints Dinosaurs and the Flood Petrified Trees The Biblical Flood Reasons For Extinction Fossil Reefs The Post-Flood World Human Evolution
Genes of Genesis
As we study the genome, the molecule, and the atom, we see a vast network of intricate systems beyond our understanding. Were these systems really formed by chance?
Is the Gastraea Hypothesis Viable? Mechanisms For Variation Built-in Variation in the Gene Pool Why So Many Species - Glossary "Species" versus "Kind" Molecules That Began Life Creating Life in a Test Tube? Post-Flood Distribution Answering Questions Natural Selection Reproductive Exchange Natural Selection as a Creative Force Transposable Elements Recombination of Chromosomes The Evidence of Things Not Seen Ernst Haeckel's Theories Dinosaur Extinction and Global Catastrophe Variation and Classification Jesus Christ—All Things Become New Evolution: Miracle of Miracles Why So Many Species? Is The Grand Canyon Proof of Noah's Flood? Spiders and the Creative Genius of God Things That Negate Evolution: Snake Legs Wrong Assumptions in C-14 Dating Methods Rapid Cave Formation The Australian Problem Synesthesia: Mystery of God’s Creation
Creation to Restoration
How did this world change from the perfection depicted in Genesis to a world full of thorns, thistles, parasites, and death? If God made everything perfect, how could it have all been so changed?
A Good World Gone Bad An Imperfect Planet Evidence For Design Evidence For Transformation Rapid Transformation Clean and Unclean: The History of the Human Diet The Dawn Chorus and Life Forces
Archaeology and the Bible
Archaeology and prophecy have proven the Bible to be true. But what's so special about the Bible that makes it a point of so much controversy?
Tyre and the Bible Archaeology Confirms the Bible Petra and the Bible Egypt and the Bible Babylon and the Bible The Lost Books of the Bible
Crossing Musical Boundaries
Music is a powerful emotional motivator that crosses cultural and language barriers. Its message can be understood by every culture and people across the planet.
The Philosophers Talk Music Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Christianity The Beat The Pursuit of Pleasure Music and Worship The Rave Can You Feel the Music? Whose Music? The Bible and Rock Music: Are they Compatible? The Ear The Last Great Contest – Worship Classical Music Therapy Music and the Frontal Lobe From the Horse's Mouth: The Rock Industry Condemns Itself
Hollywood and the Movies
What is the system of worship found most often in our society? Does it glorify God?
Hollywood's History Gnostic Themes in the Movies Hollywood and Gnosticism
Brain Closed—Please Come Again
Research has shown that our sensitivity to stimuli reduces itself yearly by about 1%. Is your brain hibernating?
The Dangers of Television
Beware of the television's abilities to hypnotize, alter moods, and even cause depression.
Violence and Video Games
Like music and movies, video games are addictive and can cause behavioral problems.
The Origins of Halloween
What is the origin behind this popular festival celebrated every October 31?
Introduction to the Reformation
What started the Protestant Reformation? Was the Reformation a success? Does it still matter today?
The Pope Claims to be God on Earth
Read proof that throughout the Roman Church's history, the Papacy has often claimed that the Pope is divine.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - A Timeline
The oppression of Protestants is widespread and consistent throughout history.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - Quotes
It was once written in America's oldest Catholic newspaper, the Boston Pilot, that "No good government can exist without religion, and there can be no religion without an Inquisition, which is wisely designed for the promotion and protection of the true faith.”

Read several authors' thoughts on papal Rome's history.
Catholic Councils
What happened at the Council of Trent? The First Vatican Council The Second Vatican Council
The Jesuits
Learn what people throughout history have had to say on the reputation, history, and political nature of the Jesuit Order.
An Introduction to the Jesuits Jesuits and the Hippie Movement Ignatius of Loyola and Martin Luther "Caring" and a New Morality Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises Ignatius Loyola and Spiritual Formation Protestantism Destroyed The Jesuit Superior General
Cross and Crown
This book "Cross and Crown" is a powerful and thrilling recital of the most romantic and dramatic incidents in history to be found on record, told in the simplest, most graphic, and entertaining form.
The Aggressive Intentions of the Papacy
The historian Ranke says this about Protestant-Catholic relations: "In the year 1617, everything betokened a decisive conflict between them. The Catholic party appears to have felt itself the superior. At all events it was the first to take up arms."

This article highlights quotes from historical and Catholic sources proving the Papacy's aggressive nature.
Christianity and Violence
Would the world be a safer place without Christian fundamentalism?
Stories of the Reformation
Dive into history to uncover the remarkable stories of faith and passion in early Protestantism.
An Italian mystic. A minister to a British king. An Augustine monk. A Swiss farmer's boy. What do these men have in common? They were used by God in powerful ways to bring about the Protestant Reformation. Enter into the lives of these ordinary people with extraordinary stories.
Inspiration for these articles comes from Gideon and Hilda Hagstoz' Heroes of the Reformation
Philipp Melanchthon John Laski Jerome of Prague John Wycliffe Louis De Berquin Gaspard De Coligny
Religious Doublespeak
Language can be used to communicate both truth and lies. Learn about the religious doublespeak being used to pull the wool over the eyes of the world.
Hegelian Thinking and World Politics
Hegelian dialectic thinking is applied in many situations in world politics. Often the ordinary people are used as pawns in the game of Hegelian psychology played by those who pull the strings of world control.
The Great Controversy
Read this classic work by Ellen G. White.
The Destruction of Jerusalem Persecution in the First Centuries An Era of Spiritual Darkness The Waldenses John Wycliffe Huss and Jerome Luther's Separation From Rome Luther Before the Diet The Swiss Reformer Progress of Reform in Germany Protest of the Princes The French Reformation The Netherlands and Scandinavia Later English Reformers The Bible and the French Revolution The Pilgrim Fathers Heralds of the Morning An American Reformer Light Through Darkness A Great Religious Awakening A Warning Rejected Prophecies Fulfilled What is the Sanctuary? In the Holy of Holies God's Law Immutable A Work of Reform Modern Revivals Facing Life's Record The Origin of Evil Enmity Between Man and Satan Agency of Evil Spirits Snares of Satan The First Great Deception Can Our Dead Speak to Us? Liberty of Conscience Threatened The Impending Conflict The Scriptures a Safeguard The Final Warning The Time of Trouble God's People Delivered Desolation of the Earth The Controversy Ended
Who is Jesus?
Is Jesus really who He says He is?
Did Jesus Ever Exist? Was Jesus the Messiah? Is Jesus God? Jesus: The Mercy Seat Is What Christianity Teaches True? The Godhead and the One True God Movement Why Did Jesus Have To Die? Six Purposes for Christ's Life and Death on Earth What Day Did Jesus Die? The 70-Week Prophecy Jesus, the Recycled Redeemer Names of Christ in Revelation
Prophecy
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
The First Beast—Comparing Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 Revelation Identifies End-Time Babylon The Second Beast of Revelation 13 Identifying the Antichrist The Final Confederacy Walking Through Daniel The Seven Plagues Walking through Revelation
Religious Trends
What are the trends in the religious world today? Sun Worship, The UN and the One World Religion, Eastern Mysticism and Spiritism... Just what do all these things mean in light of Bible prophecy?
Sun Worship Babylonian Religion Politics and the Papacy Paganism and Mary Wealth Redistribution The Charismatic Movement Sustainability Unity at All Cost? Spiritism throughout Religions Catholic Pentecostalism Paganism and Christmas Pentecostalism The Charismatic Movement and Spiritual Gifts Manifesting the Charismatic Spirit The New Age Movement Paganism in our Culture Secret Societies The History of Tongues The United Nations' Global Government Signs and Wonders Revival and the "Power of God" What’s So Bad about Spiritual Formation? Zionism
Sabbath
Most people can understand the reasoning behind nine of the Ten Commandments—don't kill, don't lie, don't steal. But what about the Sabbath Commandment? Why would God give such a law? Why should we follow it?
What is the Seventh-Day Sabbath? Creation and the Sabbath The Weekly Cycle Why Sunday? Sabbath FAQ
The Second Coming of Christ
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
Signs of The Second Coming of Christ The Second Coming of Christ Viewpoints How Christ will Return What will Happen to God's People? What will Happen to the Rejecters of God? Will there be a Secret Rapture? The Millennium of Peace
The Bible
Can the Bible be trusted to provide answers to our questions? Does it contain truth? Learn about the evidence that proves the Bible's authenticity.
Choosing the Books of the Bible Archaeology Confirms the Bible Studying Scripture Scripture is Inspired by God Testing the Gospel of Thomas Testing the Gospel of Judas The Spirit in Scripture The Lost Books of the Bible The Gospel Story Spiritual Gifts
Christian Living: Sin and Salvation
Consider the crucial points of the Christian life.
Christian Living Good God, Bad World. Why? God's Plan to Eradicate Sin The Ceremonial Feasts Pointed to Christ
Death
Is there more to death than the fact that it is the opposite of life? What are the false doctrines involving the immortality of the soul?
Death: Understanding the Terminology A Biblical Understanding of Death The Resurrection of Lazarus Spiritism Hell and Purgatory An Immediate Afterlife? The Parable of Lazarus