Finnish Lutheran Bishop Charged with Crime for teaching Biblical Sexual Ethics.

Lutheranian

Member
– Rev. Dr. Juhana Pohjola, Diocesan Dean and Bishop Elect of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland (ELMDF) has been charged by Finland’s Prosecutor General with incitement against a group of people. The charges stem from a 2004 booklet published by Luther Foundation Finland (the legal entity behind the ELMDF) which articulates historic Christian teaching on human sexuality.

“As a Christian, I do not want to and cannot discriminate against or despise anyone created by God,” Dean Pohjola said in reaction to being charged. “Every human being, created by God and redeemed by Christ, is equally precious.”

At the same time, he continued, “this does not remove the fact that, according to the Bible and the Christian conception of man, homosexual relations are against the will of God, and marriage is intended only between a man and a woman. This is what the Christian church has always taught and will always teach.”

Finland’s Prosecutor General began an investigation of the ELMDF in 2019 for its booklet “Male and Female He Created Them: Homosexual Relationships Challenge the Christian Concept of Humanity,” despite an earlier investigation by Helsinki Police which concluded no laws had been broken. The booklet was published in 2004; Finland legalized same-sex marriage in 2017.

The booklet argues that homosexual activity must be identified as sin by the church on the basis of the teachings of Scripture. The author, Dr. Päivi Räsänen—a Finnish Member of Parliament—further argues that a failure to recognize sin as sin undermines the very need for a Saviour.

Dr. Räsänen has now been charged with incitement by the Prosecutor General, both for the booklet and for other comments on human sexuality. As Dean Pohjola is editor-in-chief of Luther Foundation Finland’s publications—including the booklet “Male and Female He Created Them”—he also was charged.

“This decision of the Prosecutor General says a lot about our time,” Dean Pohjola commented. “While I am concerned about the state of religious freedom in our country, I trust that the judiciary will make the right decision.”

The International Lutheran Council has earlier expressed concern about the investigation of Lutherans in Finland for upholding historic Christian teaching. That concern is deepening. “Recent actions in Finland have created an international scandal which continues to grow,” said Rev. Dr. Timothy Quill, General Secretary of the International Lutheran Council. “The implications of the decision to charge Juhana Pohjola and Päivi Räsänen are clear: if the authorities are willing to do this to a respected pastor, reverend doctor, and Bishop Elect, as well as a Member of Parliament and former Minister of the Interior, then that sends a message of fear and intimidation to everyone in Finland who follows the Scripture’s teaching on human sexuality.”

“Faithful Christians need to demonstrate solidarity with their suffering Finnish Lutheran brothers and sisters,” General Secretary Quill continued. “We must not be silent but express righteous indignation at the actions of the Finnish authorities and demand an end to the persecution of those who adhere to historic Christian teaching on sexuality. I encourage Christians around the world to pray for Juhana and Päivi, and to follow the example and command of Jesus: ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’ (Matthew 5:44).”

The ELMDF is a member church of the International Lutheran Council, a global association of confessional Lutheran church bodies representing millions of Lutherans worldwide.


 
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Reactions: Nic

Bonnie

Super Member
This is interesting...you know, people who hold to the idea that gay marriages are fine and so is gay behavior want us to be tolerant of their beliefs...but many of these same people are highly intolerant of OUR beliefs that homosexual behavior is a sin. Talk about double-standards!
 

BJ Bear

Well-known member
– Rev. Dr. Juhana Pohjola, Diocesan Dean and Bishop Elect of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland (ELMDF) has been charged by Finland’s Prosecutor General with incitement against a group of people. The charges stem from a 2004 booklet published by Luther Foundation Finland (the legal entity behind the ELMDF) which articulates historic Christian teaching on human sexuality.

“As a Christian, I do not want to and cannot discriminate against or despise anyone created by God,” Dean Pohjola said in reaction to being charged. “Every human being, created by God and redeemed by Christ, is equally precious.”

At the same time, he continued, “this does not remove the fact that, according to the Bible and the Christian conception of man, homosexual relations are against the will of God, and marriage is intended only between a man and a woman. This is what the Christian church has always taught and will always teach.”

Finland’s Prosecutor General began an investigation of the ELMDF in 2019 for its booklet “Male and Female He Created Them: Homosexual Relationships Challenge the Christian Concept of Humanity,” despite an earlier investigation by Helsinki Police which concluded no laws had been broken. The booklet was published in 2004; Finland legalized same-sex marriage in 2017.

The booklet argues that homosexual activity must be identified as sin by the church on the basis of the teachings of Scripture. The author, Dr. Päivi Räsänen—a Finnish Member of Parliament—further argues that a failure to recognize sin as sin undermines the very need for a Saviour.

Dr. Räsänen has now been charged with incitement by the Prosecutor General, both for the booklet and for other comments on human sexuality. As Dean Pohjola is editor-in-chief of Luther Foundation Finland’s publications—including the booklet “Male and Female He Created Them”—he also was charged.

“This decision of the Prosecutor General says a lot about our time,” Dean Pohjola commented. “While I am concerned about the state of religious freedom in our country, I trust that the judiciary will make the right decision.”

The International Lutheran Council has earlier expressed concern about the investigation of Lutherans in Finland for upholding historic Christian teaching. That concern is deepening. “Recent actions in Finland have created an international scandal which continues to grow,” said Rev. Dr. Timothy Quill, General Secretary of the International Lutheran Council. “The implications of the decision to charge Juhana Pohjola and Päivi Räsänen are clear: if the authorities are willing to do this to a respected pastor, reverend doctor, and Bishop Elect, as well as a Member of Parliament and former Minister of the Interior, then that sends a message of fear and intimidation to everyone in Finland who follows the Scripture’s teaching on human sexuality.”

“Faithful Christians need to demonstrate solidarity with their suffering Finnish Lutheran brothers and sisters,” General Secretary Quill continued. “We must not be silent but express righteous indignation at the actions of the Finnish authorities and demand an end to the persecution of those who adhere to historic Christian teaching on sexuality. I encourage Christians around the world to pray for Juhana and Päivi, and to follow the example and command of Jesus: ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’ (Matthew 5:44).”

The ELMDF is a member church of the International Lutheran Council, a global association of confessional Lutheran church bodies representing millions of Lutherans worldwide.


That's the kind of stuff that happens when people try to pretend there is no sin. If they convince themselves to say there is no sin then they have left no room in their minds for the Word of forgiveness, even though their hearts may crave it.
 

kiwimac

Member
It is unusual for a law to be applied retroactively. This case may be appealable especially as ex post facto laws are generally not allowed in Finnish criminal law.
 

Abounds

Active member
That's the kind of stuff that happens when people try to pretend there is no sin. If they convince themselves to say there is no sin then they have left no room in their minds for the Word of forgiveness, even though their hearts may crave it.
"Sin Can't feel good. Whys if feel good if it's bad?" "I like to feel good" "you don't want me to do what makes me happy"

And so on
 

Nic

Well-known member
Folks that try to justify this sin, give them a inch they will take a mile. They have taken their mile and more.
And yet, more than will still not ever be enough. At the end of progressive ideologies is often a grassroots return historical understandings and hopefully this will bear true where these churches are concerned.
 

Nic

Well-known member
That's the kind of stuff that happens when people try to pretend there is no sin. If they convince themselves to say there is no sin then they have left no room in their minds for the Word of forgiveness, even though their hearts may crave it.
Relativism blinds people to sin and creates their own god.
 

BMS

Well-known member
The believing church is a sleeping giant. Look at China. The power of God cant be manifested under sinful disobedience, no matter how long their tassles and philacteries. The first people to prosecute believing Christians will be the lgbt christians.
 

BMS

Well-known member
In many ways it is more like the NT times than it has been for years and years.. the early Christians were welcomed by many and beaten and thrown in prison and worse by others. Most of the NT judgement, indeed the Bible, is actually for believers and therefore God's people. Jesus didnt come to condemn us all as sinners but to provide the way for salvation.

The church in most of the west in general is mostly unaware of what is going on. This week Maya Forstater won her appeal against being sacked for stating the biological reality that sex is immutable. The judgement and the reports frame it as the right to express the opinion. I already had this and nobody can tell me what opinions I can and cant have not least when it is observable reality reality.
 

BMS

Well-known member
But this isnt just a matter for the Lutheran church in Finland, when one believer is persecuted the whole body of Christ is also.
 

Sherman

Active member
I have have plenty of experience dealing with lgbt's in the church. They do tend to be very hostile toward Christians and bring in ideas that are heterodox.
 

BMS

Well-known member
The extent of the hostility is evident. The first people in the UK to advocate that believing Christians be prosecuted over lgbt are lgbt activists in the church.
 

BMS

Well-known member
Worth watching the Gagnon/Rohrer debate againg to remind us that when Gagnon testified to the hostility he received, Rohrer said he/she didnt support that, and Gagnon revealed the insults Rohrer had already given him before the debate had started.
 

Sherman

Active member
Hostility and insults is par for the course. I had one transgender send me death threats. He even made a hate video about me on Youtube because I didn't support LGBT.
 

BMS

Well-known member
Hostility and insults is par for the course. I had one transgender send me death threats. He even made a hate video about me on Youtube because I didn't support LGBT.
Wow. Valuable witness for the church Sherman.
My point is that it is all deception and lies.
 

John t

Super Member
In 1712, Alexander Pope laid the foundation for the "legitimatizing" the agenda of the LGB (etc) movement in his satiric work The Rape of the Lock

Alexander Pope > Quotes

Alexander Pope

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien​

As to be hated needs but to be seen;​

Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,​

We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”​


They hate us because they dislike the fact that God has standards, and they want any reason to deny those standards in order to continue practicing their abominations.

We who are Christians need to walk the fine line of telling them about the sure wrath of God to come while simultaneously treating them as creations of God, made in His image, worthy of inherent respect.

Delivering the message from the King of Kings and Lord of lords is a far different thing than pretending to be judge, jury and executioner.
 
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