In a book of sermons, published in 1592, the Lutheran bishop of Stavanger, Jørgen Erickssøn, pointed out the unambiguous connection between superstition and witchcraft. He blamed the papists for trying to teach the peasantry that they could subdue storms through the burning of consecrated herbs and suppress the forces released by the devil with incense. This was nothing but ‘sheer idolatry and witchcraft’ which Man had been forbidden to use.
The view of Jørgen Erickssøn coincided with that of the fathers of the Reformation, Luther and Calvin. For both reformers, the fight against superstition and its instigators on one hand, and the persecution of witches on the other, represented identical concerns: the need to expose the false play of the devil. Superstition was contrasted with the true religion. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries when this concept was used in Denmark against remnants of Catholic ideas and more generally about every deviation from official doctrine, it was directly inspired by Luther's view of the mass, purgatory, the sacraments, fasts, worship of saints, baptism of bells and wax candles, worship of relics, indulgences and pilgrimages. Luther considered such rites to be superstitious, because believers did not put their faith in God alone.
Theologically the early Danish reformers were rooted in Christian humanism rather than Lutheranism. This can be seen from several of their writings from the early 1530s.