“Heavy Hatred for Christian Values” In Western Society

Following is from the July 2, 2022 Christian Post (United States).

Finnish lawmaker Päivi Räsänen, prosecuted for voicing her traditional Christian beliefs about marriage and sexuality, believes that a “heavy hatred for Christian values” in Western society will cause many Christians to censor themselves for social acceptance.

The former interior minister who has served in Finnish Parliament for nearly three decades was one of several global political figures to speak at the annual International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington, D.C., this week.

The event aims to increase “the public awareness and political strength for the international religious freedom movement. The summit is led by former Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, who led similar events at the State Department headquarters during the Trump administration.

In March, Räsänen was cleared of hate speech charges for repeatedly asserting her belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman. But her legal battle continues as the prosecution has appealed the ruling to a higher court.

She spoke with The Christian Post ahead of her participation in a panel discussion at the summit focused on religious freedom in the Western Hemisphere Thursday.  

As she faced a possibility of up to six years imprisonment, the 62-year-old politician attributed her prosecution to Finland becoming a “post-Christian world” where “Christian values are, in fact, a minority.”

“The change has been so fast that it is difficult to understand what is happening,” She said. 

As the wife of a Lutheran pastor and former chair of Finnish Christian Democrats, Räsänen believes Christian values are “targeted” in criminal court as part of the “breaking of the virtue and the challenging of Christian values” that is now “very visible in our societies.”

In Räsänen’s case, she faced hate speech charges over a book she wrote 18 years ago titled Male and Female He Created Them: Homosexual relationships challenge the Christian concept of humanity and a 2019 tweet taking issue with the Finnish Lutheran Church’s promotion of LGBT “pride month.” She faced a third charge for comments she made on a radio show about homosexuality.

Bishop Juhana Pohjola of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland was charged with hate speech for publishing Räsänen’s book. 

Räsänen insists that she has no ill will toward homosexuals and suggested that those accusing her of practicing hate speech are the ones dabbling in hatred.

“We all are sinners and we need Jesus. But now, I think there is a heavy hatred against Christian values in our society,” Räsänen said. “If you speak about gender issues — that there are two genders or that marriage belongs to one woman and one man — it arouses hatred against you in our society.”

Räsänen told CP that she “never thought” she would face prosecution for expressing support for “classical Christian doctrines about marriage and sexuality” as she openly discussed her “Christian values” and beliefs about “marriage and sanctity of human life” throughout her time in Parliament.

“Nothing has changed in my faith and in my conviction, but suddenly I was like a criminal because of this hate,” she said. 

“The world has changed,” she concluded. “I think that my conviction has not changed but the world has changed very [quickly] in Finland and I think that also in other Western countries, post-Christian countries.”

Describing the cultural shift as “very alarming,” Räsänen believes Christians must “wake up to see what is going on” because her experience proves that “it is more and more difficult” for Christians to express their faith publicly.

“I’m afraid that this leads to some kind of self-censorship. If you are labeled a conservative Christian, it would hinder your career or your social acceptance,” she stated. “So, these kinds of problems are very topical in Finnish society.”UnmuteAdvanced SettingsFullscreenPauseUp Next

Although she “hoped that the prosecutor would have been satisfied with the acquittal,” she sees her case moving to a higher court as an opportunity “to get a precedent and to get a more heavy guideline for possible further similar cases in Finland and also in Europe.”

She praised her acquittal of hate crime charges by a Helsinki District Court as “a victory for me.” Still, She said a “possible victory from Appeal Court and especially from Supreme Court” is an “even bigger victory for freedom of speech … and freedom of religion” because it would create “legal guidance for other cases.”

“I think that this is all in God’s hands, and I believe in His guidance that there is some meaning that this process continues,” she added.

Räsänen said the ordeal and her platform with the Finnish media provided an opportunity to “hold up the biblical values in public and also testify about Jesus” and give people “the answer to the problem of sin that Jesus has died for all people and that this is the way to salvation.”

Although Finland has a Constitution that “guarantees the freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” Räsänen is concerned that “the influence of LGBT ideology is very strong in Finnish society and some kind of woke culture is creating cancel culture in our society and it is narrowing those freedoms.”

Räsänen lamented, “we have now some kind of totalitarian, ideological totalitarianism.” She cited efforts to convince social media companies to censor “hate speech” in the Finnish Parliament and the European Union as examples of this ideology’s emergence.

Räsänen hopes that her remarks at the IRF Summit will “encourage people to use their rights and speak openly,”

“At first, when the trial in January started, [the] prosecutor said that this will not be about [the] Bible,” Räsänen recalled. “She started to ask questions about [the] Bible, about theological issues, she even cited some verses from the Old Testament, and she wanted to show that there is a lot of hate speech in [the] Bible.”

Räsänen maintained that the prosecutor classified the Christian doctrine of “love the sinner, hate the sin” as “insulting and defaming” because “according to her, you cannot make a distinction between the person’s identity and his actions, so if you condemn the act, you also condemn the human being and regard him inferior.”

She pushed back on this analysis, classifying the idea of “loving the sinner” and “hating the sin” as “the core of Christianity and the message of the Bible.”

“If this is denied, if this kind of speech and teaching is denied, then also the core of Christianity is dead,” she contended.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

Progressive Christianity: Trading Sola Scriptura for Prima Scriptura

TBC: “Prima Christianity” “has other sources of divine revelation” such as “the ‘Holy Spirit,’ created order, traditions, charismatic gifts, mystical insight, angelic visitations, conscience, common sense, the views of experts, the spirit of the times or something else.” For the full article, please click the link below.]

During the sixteenth century battle between the reformers and the Roman Catholic church, the reformers developed the Five Solas which demonstrated their core beliefs in contrast to the Catholic Church from whom they were separating. The first of the five was Sola Scriptura – Scripture alone. Over the preceding centuries, Rome had developed a tradition that placed the teaching magisterium (College of Cardinals) in union with the Pope, as the final authority for faith and practice. As we point out in “Thus Saith Rome,” the view of the Roman Catholic Church was and continues to be that Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit, which we also believe. However, in addition, the Roman Catholic Church held that their church tradition is likewise inspired by the Holy Spirit, and both sources are on an equal par with one another. Additionally, the Roman Catholic Church held that the College of Cardinals in conjunction with the Pope is the only authentic, infallible interpreter of Scripture and tradition. This allowed Rome to have continually evolving doctrines, far removed from what the scriptures actually teach. We have a short sampling of the effects of Prima Scriptura – the Roman Catholic position – showing some of the changing doctrines of Rome since the 4th Century
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Interestingly, this position of evolving doctrine also tends to be the view of today’s Progressives. One of the major areas this impacts for Progressives is morality and human sexuality. We touched on this a bit in “Is Progressive Christianity Christian?” Progressives want to be viewed as Christian and see the need to include the Bible and a modified Jesus in their faith in some way for credibility and validation. Prima Scriptura provides the vehicle through which “mystical insight,” “the views of experts, the spirit of the times or something else” is given a heavy hand in assessing “truth,” apart from –and overriding – the clear teachings of scripture on a given subject.

For the last 8-10 years, The Reformation Project, founded by Matthew Vines, author of God and the Gay Christian, has been making a concerted effort to replace the clear teaching of the word of God with an experience, “the views of experts, the spirit of the times or something else” as inspired truth equal or even superior to Scripture. Jennifer Hatmaker, who shocked much of the evangelical church in 2016 when she called for full inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community in the church, is a speaker at the 2021 Reconcile and Reform National Conference put on by The Reformation Project. The title of both the conference and the organization is clear. However, unlike The Reformation of the 16th century, this reformation is not to bring the church back to the Word of God as the final authority for faith and practice, but to “reform” the church in the opposite direction, embracing Prima Scriptura in order to reconcile and embrace LGBTQ+ as acceptable and pleasing to God. They do claim to be a “Bible-based, Christian organization,” but the Bible is definitely not the final authority for faith and practice, for them or Jen Hatmaker.

The Progressive leaders at The Reformation Project assert, “The Christian tradition doesn’t address sexual orientation.” Notice they do not claim or even hint that sexual activity isn’t discussed in Scripture or the writings of the early church. Instead, they sanction LGBTQ+ based upon “the views of experts, the spirit of the times or something else.” They implicitly admit additional revelation “for what a believer should believe and how they should live” when they write: “Affirming Christians are not overturning the Christian tradition on LGBTQ people. Until recent decades, there has been no Christian tradition on LGBTQ people.”

This is misleading at best. Indeed, we don’t find LGBTQ, with or without the +, in either scripture or church dogma. The term had not yet been invented. So, although the words in current usage are not found, the teaching on these behaviors most definitely is. The Scriptures and church tradition are very clear – sex outside of the marriage of a male and female is sin. That includes adultery, fornication, homosexuality, incest, bestiality, and more.

The LGBTQ+ issue is rather a prominent flashpoint in our time. But there are many ways that people of our age are attempting to justify their behavior, to turn right and wrong upside down. Self-justification is a deadly pursuit in the end, and so useless. It’s not a matter of good people vs bad people, because everyone has transgressed God’s standards. There are no “good people” in their own right. (Romans 3:10) Jesus Christ is the only One who never transgressed God’s perfect standard. Christians are people who believe (about themselves) what God says is true and gladly accept His gift of a pardon. Without God’s loving provision on our behalf, no one would be considered by God as “righteous.” God justifies those who believe that He has saved them, through absolutely no goodness of their own.

The scripture teaches there is a Day when God will judge mankind based upon His Holy standards. It’s rather appropriately called “Judgement Day.” Any person whose name is not written in the Lamb’s (Jesus’s) Book of Life shall stand before God in that Judgment. (Revelation 20:11-15)

A person’s only hope for eternity lies not in challenging God’s clear position of right and wrong, but in reconciling him or herself to God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. How will one come to God and accept His full pardon if he refuses to acknowledge his or her sin? We beg of you today to give up the fight of prideful self-justification and accept God’s gracious pardon.
https://midwestoutreach.org/2021/10/28/progressive-christianity-trading-sola-scriptura-for-prima-scriptura/

Source: The Berean Call
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