CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Quoting From the Bible Will Get You Into Trouble

Sep 16, 2019

Now rainbow Big Brother is going after those who quote the Bible.

Some of us have warned for years now that the radical homosexual and trans militants are dedicated to silencing Christians and closing down the churches. We have not only presented case after case of this already happening, but we have warned that things will continue to get worse – unless we start to stand up and resist the alphabet tyrants.

Two weeks ago many of you would have seen some very worrying reports concerning a Finnish politician who has gotten into trouble with the law for daring to quote from the Bible. For simply highlighting what the word of God teaches concerning homosexuality, the police have been investigating her.

She is the Finnish Israel Folau, Päivi Räsänen. The story from several weeks ago goes like this:

A Christian member of Finland’s parliament is under investigation after she cited the New Testament on social media to voice her objection to the Lutheran church’s participation in an LGBT pride event. The Helsinki Times reports that the Helsinki Police Department has opened pre-trial investigations into remarks made by parliament members Päivi Räsänen and Hussein al-Taee, a Shia Muslim. 

The police department said in a news release that the two members of parliament have been accused of “agitating against an ethnic group.” In June, Räsänen, a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and former chair of the Christian Democrats, took to Facebook to criticize her denomination’s participation as an official partner of the Helsinki Pride parade. 

“How does the church’s doctrine, the Bible, fit together with the cause where shame and sin are raised as a topic of pride?” Räsänen, the former minister of the interior, asked in a June 17 post. Räsänen, 59, cited Romans 1:24-27 and posted a picture of the passage from the Bible. The passage reads:

“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

ELCF is the largest Christian denomination in Finland with over 5 million members. On Friday, the police department told the daily online newspaper that Räsänen’s post suggested that LGBT pride events were sinful and shameful. Al-Taee, a 36-year-old Shia Muslim who was elected to parliament this year as a member of the Finnish Social Democratic Party, is being investigated over Facebook posts published in 2011 and 2012 that are said to be disparaging toward sexual minorities and people of other religions. www.christianpost.com/news/finnish-politician-under-investigation-citing-romans-bible-oppose-lgbt-pride.html

It is of course the Christian politician that I am interested in discussing here, all the more so because an interview with her has recently been released. It is quite important, and well worth sharing parts of here. The introductory portion contains these words:

The medical doctor, mother of five, and former Minister of the Interior (2011-15) is a committed Christian. She thinks the case against her will be dropped. “I have a completely calm mind about this. I am going to use my freedom to believe and to speak accordingly, whatever the outcome of this process may be”.

But her worries have to do with the role of Bible-believing Christians in the public debates. “Many, especially the young people, are afraid that if you are labelled as a Bible-believing Christian, it will hinder your career and social acceptance”, she says.

Räsanen is married to a Lutheran pastor, and admits that the thought of resigning her membership of the Finnish Lutheran Church went through her mind at some point in the last weeks. But “as I prayed”, she explains, “I was convinced that now is the time to try to wake up the sleeping ones, not to jump out of a sinking boat”.

“I see it as a wonderful privilege that so many are praying for me and my family”, the leader of the Finnish Christian Democrats party says. “It is amazing that so many on the other side of the world are praying for Finland, my home country”.

And here is a large part of the actual interview:

Question. Some weeks ago, you said you were concerned that Christians who believe in the Bible would be tempted to “censor” their faith. Why? Answer. Freedom of religion is in principle strongly guaranteed and protected both in our Constitution and in the International Human Right Treaties. In practice, a major threat for the freedom of religion is that we don’t use this right. Many, especially the young people, are afraid that if you are labelled as a Bible-believing Christian, it will hinder your career and social acceptance.

Q. From the outside, it is difficult to understand that in a historically Protestant country like Finland (with a Lutheran Church to which belong more than 60% of the citizens) a majority would react so strongly against politicians who quote the Bible and hold to a Christian worldview. What is the key we’re missing to understand where the Finnish society stands at this point? A. We are living at a time when the effect of Christian culture on society is narrowing. Although many Finns still belong to Christian churches and denominations, the basic teachings of the Christian faith are no longer views of the majority. The breaking of the Christian worldview is visible both in the societal discussions and in the decision making, whether we are thinking of pro-life issues and the protection of life both in the beginning and in the end of life, or views related to marriage. Having a traditional view of marriage has become a politically incorrect view in public discussions. However, many Finns do still understand and support the Christian worldview.

Q. You said you’re not afraid of the hate crime investigation. Have there been news lately? Do you think your case will be dismissed? A. The police have started an investigation about my tweet and told me that they are looking for a prosecutor for my case. Nothing new has happened after this. I do not think that my case would proceed to the prosecutor. Although I must admit that it came as a surprise for me that a police investigation even started. I have a completely calm mind about this. I am going to use my freedom to believe and to speak accordingly, whatever the outcome of this process may be….

Q. On a personal level, what have you learnt in these last weeks? Are there any conclusions on this issue that you and your husband – a Lutheran pastor – have come to? A. God can do good things through adversities. I have had an amazing level of support from Christians both from Finland and from abroad. I see it as a wonderful privilege that so many are praying for me and my family. It is amazing that so many on the other side of the world are praying for Finland, my home country. I think this whole chain of events is part of my calling as a Christian influencer.

Q. Have you felt supported by other Finnish Christians since the case erupted? What has been the reaction of fellow members of your own party? A. Yes, I have got much support. Of course, there is criticism and when it comes from those near to me, it hurts the most.

Q. Being a Christian, is the issue of LGBT identity and sexuality the most difficult topic to talk about in the public arena right now? A. The Christian view of man is currently attacked in many ways. Contradictions between worldviews and values are visible in the discussions about marriage, gender or values of life, for example. In these questions we are at the core of unalienable truths. God created man in His own image – this is why human life is sacred from the beginning to the end. God created us man and woman and instituted marriage between the two genders. The inner self of every human being, the natural moral understanding, understands this. The laws of nature do not change, nor does the Word of God. I have written books on abortion and euthanasia that provoked discussion. By the way – they will be translated into English. Together with my husband, I have written a book on marriage, that is already translated in English: “What about Marriage”.

Q. What would you recommend to young Christians who have a passion for faith and society and are keen to enter the public conversation in the media, politics, etc.? A. I encourage young people to speak about and proclaim the whole truth of the Word of God, both the Law and the Gospel. Trusting that the Bible is God’s Word and is a solid foundation for the Gospel to bring forth new life and win hearts to Jesus. Ultimately, questionable themes such as homosexual relations have to do with guilt. Guilt cannot be solved by denying it, but only by confessing it and receiving mercy and the message of forgiveness in Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins at the cross.

Q. Finally, why should European societies protect freedom of speech in this time of polarized ideological debates? A. The more we keep silent about difficult and controversial topical themes, the narrower the space for freedom of speech and religion gets. evangelicalfocus.com/europe/4738/paivi_rasanen_interview_finland_Christians_keep_silent_on_controversial_themes_freedom_of_speech

In my books Päivi Räsänen is a real champion. We certainly need more bold and sold-out Christian politicians like her. She puts to shame all the limp-wristed and cowardly Christians who refuse to take a stand and speak out, be it in parliament or in any other public forums.

Please pray for brave Päivi. She is a wonderful witness for Christ. God bless you Päivi.

[1667 words]

10 Responses to Quoting From the Bible Will Get You Into Trouble

  • It all has its roots in evo thought – trashing the Bible.

  • Pälvi is a courageous woman to speak out championing the Bible like that. Even our strong Christian politicians (I won’t name names) are trying to walk a politically correct line to not offend anyone. She simply states what the Bible says and that indeed is enough for me!

  • Thanks for this one Bill. I will certainly pray for her and the Muslim woman and for Mary Wagner from a few posts back. Paul, what is evo thought?

  • At least people are starting to read and look at the Bible. Keep it up. God’s plan will never br thwarted. Surrender to it now and let your life turn into joy unspeakable. I once was against Christianity. The Bible is all about the sin and failures of people. It is relevant today. Don’t leave it too long as we are living in end times. Science supports that theory. Transition to a life with purpose and genuine happiness and contentment.

  • John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

  • Bill, very informative article, thank you, and commenter Paul Smith, great 2-word summary ‘nailing’ the foundational nature of the problem: “evo thought” (Brenden T Walters, if Paul Smith doesn’t get back to you I’m pretty sure it is Christian short-hand for “evolutionary thought”).

    I see evo thought everywhere, even in church circles. One factor: the enemy has control of our young people’s education. They’re taught to trust their textbooks, on biology, geology, anthropology, dinosaurs. But if the textbooks are correct, the Bible can’t be. (Or must be ‘re-interpreted'(!), weakening its moral teaching, in many young people’s eyes.) Simple as that.

    But there’s plenty of material around to help our young people resist the ‘textbook tyranny’. See, e.g., creation.com/coe (shortcut for creation.com/created-or-evolved).

  • Brendon asks what is ‘evo thought’.

    When I first accepted Christ, I kept quiet because I then believed in millions of years of evolution and it’s hard to counter atheists who say Adam & Eve & original sin never existed – so who needs a saviour. That’s ‘evo thought’: it produces a church ashamed of the Gospel. That’s one reason the church in the West, and hence the West, has been in moral decline since Darwin.

    But now, I believe the Bible truth of creation in 6 days a few thousand years ago – and that science supports the Bible better than evolution. In street evangelism, people (including ex-Christians) often claim they reject Christianity because of ‘science’: that’s ‘evo thought’. This happens so often that I wrote a pamphlet “Evolution&Christianity”: you can find it in https://tinyurl.com/BibleOrEvolution.

  • The biblical vision of marriage is one that everyone wants to hold onto -a union that is for life, until death parts us,, loving and cherishing each other ,
    It is one everyone dreams is for them!
    What pity people think you can legislate a road for this to happen!

    Another thing -the rainbow symbol is one which has grabbed the minds of many who are trying to value what is eternal ,as an antidote for all their sins and failings!
    The bible had it first!
    Noah spent time preaching about people’s sins while the ark was being built, and trusted God to take him through the flood!
    Once again adopting the symbol ,without the truth ,is not helpful to anyone!

  • Acts 5:29. Be bold girl and the Holy Spirit will always back you up and promote you. So proud to see a light in the darkness. Praying for you, Jer.33:3!

  • All hands needed to defend religious freedom in Australia. Send a submission here (read the whole thing first):
    https://www.ag.gov.au/Consultations/Pages/religious-freedom-bills.aspx

Leave a Reply