According to the Evangelical Mission Diocese of Finland (lhpk.fi): “The Rev. Dr. Juhana Pohjola (ThD), Dean of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland, has been summoned to the Helsinki Police Department for a preliminary investigation on 11 Feb. 2020. Pohjola is suspected of being guilty of incitement to hatred against a group.” This is part of the investigation into Finnish Christian MP Päivi Räsänen, and the booklet authored in 2004. See champion article in this issue for selections from that booklet. –ed.
Link to Marriage Booklet: Male and Female He Created Them:
Homosexual Relationships Challenge The Christian Concept Of Humanity
This is a sobering confession of God’s truth, that is being persecuted in Finland. This is the booklet on marriage and sexuality that is putting its author in hot-water, and potentially jail. We should not only be thankful for the freedoms Americans have to speak the truth, but also not wait to confess Christ’s Word clearly until it is illegal. The introduction and a few poignant highlights are excerpted below. Read the full booklet online—see link on the CN blog. –ed.
“My God is not a God of judgment.” “My Christian values mean love and tolerance, not judgment of people living in homosexual relationships.” “My God did not say that love had any conditions set on it.” “My Bible does not judge homosexuals.” The recent discussion on the Registered Partnership Act sparked confessions of faith such as these in Parliament as well as on the pages of the newspapers.
People today are thoroughly individualistic. They retain for themselves the right to set the boundary between right and wrong. They also wish to define for themselves what God is like. The Word of God must yield when people’s inner light speaks. If the Bible in some parts does not fit within the frames of their thinking, it is time such portions were cut out.
[Professor of Biblical Languages, University of Helsinki, first female University vice-Rector in Finland] Raija Sollamo became the key figure in the Yhteysliike [now: Ecumenical Solidarity Movement], an intra-Church advocacy group for homosexual relationships. In a seminar organised in Parliament by Seta [LGBTI Rights in Finland, Gender Diversity & Intersex Centre of Expertise], she admitted that the Bible does not contain any portions where the homosexual lifestyle might be approved of. In fact, Biblical ethics is irresistibly clear on this particular issue. Homosexual relationships are clearly considered against the sexuality that was created by God, not only in the Old Testament but even more powerfully in the New Testament. In the Solidarity Movement, these Biblical guidelines are regarded as void in this day and age.
Is, then, the essence of the Christian faith not love without any conditions? It certainly is. Yet God’s infinite love is not in conflict with the order of life created by Him. Quite the opposite! We do need mercy for the very reason that we have broken, transgressed, against the will of God.
Over the years, I, too, might have torn out many portions from my Bible if I had been authorised to build my own image or picture of God that suited my own sense of justice. I have noticed that this only reveals how limited and warped my understanding is. People who submit themselves to God’s guidance in the Bible are repeatedly amazed at how the very Bible teachings hardest to understand contain God’s deep wisdoms.
Self-made “gods” are nice things to have around until people actually start to need God. Then self-made gods are no help in the hour of need. The Bible became a precious treasure to me the day I became frightened of my own sinfulness and realised I was spiraling down to damnation on the basis of my own belief. I understood that if God existed He would reveal Himself and His will in the manner He had chosen. If I could not rely on the Bible as the Word of the Living God, I could not be certain of the atonement of my sins and my salvation. How could I believe the most wonderful Biblical message of Jesus’ atoning death and His historic resurrection if I thought the Bible is full of messages totally inappropriate to our day and age? And in general, where would I need a crucified and resurrected Lord if God is not a God of judgment, Who in His holiness does not accept sin?
“My god” has become the idol of today. How different is God, Whom Jesus taught us to pray to. “Our Father in heaven!” It is not a coincidence that we pray to Him in the we-format. God is for the entire congregation—our God. He is not the god of my imagination, the god of my superior sense of justice and of my wishes, but He is the living, Holy, Almighty God, Who is in heaven.
… In practice, it is true that family crises have already weakened the marital institution as the foundation of our society. However, the well-being of families is not improved by further weakening the status of marriage.
… Changing the concept of the family to include same-sex couples also means breaking away from the Christian roots of the concept of the family in the marriage, a foundation that is read aloud in the wedding ceremony: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” On this basis, it is impossible to reconcile the relationship between two men or two women.
… It is an especially dangerous combination when the present-day valueless, superficial sex education, which encourages sexual experimentation, is connected with an overall acceptance of homosexual relationships. If this shallow sexual value basis is coupled with the message that society finds it equally desirable to have people in due time marry either the opposite sex or the same sex, this clearly encourages early homosexual experimentation as well. This in turn opens up the venue for sexual abuse in which adult men find it easier to have sexual contacts with underage boys.
… If inclinations can change from heterosexuality to homosexuality, why could it not change in the opposite direction as well? The reintegration of the sexual identity toward a normative heterosexual emotional life is possible when people themselves are motivated and willing to be treated.
… In a homosexual relationship or in a marriage, the issue at stake is not just about the love for our neighbour but also about a sexual relationship. In a healthy human life, sex is not a part of just any human relationship. Love is not to be equated to falling in love.
… According to the Christian concept of humanity, everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, is equal and of equal value. However, equality between people does not mean equality in sexual behaviour. Different ways of carrying out sexuality are by no means morally equivalent.
… In none of His speeches did Jesus nullify the Old Testament Law, not in regard to the practice of homosexuality either. In questions regarding sexuality, for example in the encounter between Jesus and the woman who was caught committing adultery (John 8), He did not nullify the Law concerning adultery (“Go now and leave your life of sin”). Jesus did not nullify the punishment—because He Himself suffered the punishment of the woman on the cross (“Neither do I condemn you…”). Thus, Jesus offers salvation to each of us because we have all transgressed against the will of God (“Let any one of you who is without sin…”). Jesus did not abolish the Law, but He fulfilled the Law (Matthew 5:17,18). He was sinless, and He died for our sins.
… The entire Bible is ultimately the Words of Christ. His teachings are not only the Gospels, but also, for example, the Letter of the Apostle Paul to the Church of Rome. The Apostle Paul considers homosexuality to be contrary to God’s order of creation (Romans 1:24-32).
… The Apostle Paul regards the occurrence of homosexuality and its overall acceptance as a consequence of people having abandoned reverence for God.
… Are we going to see news of Swedish pastors being led from pulpits handcuffed to police interrogations? Shall we hear messages from congregations who are praying for their shepherds in prison? In fact, the worst thing will be if nothing changes in Sweden after the Act comes into force. What if the legislature is pleased to find that the Act has proved to be an unnecessary defense measure taken in emergency? After all, pastors have nothing to fear if even up to this point they have not taught that homosexual relationships are against the will of God.