The following information reported on Fox News on a trial for upholding Biblical teaching is a current court case in Finland as of Feb. 2022.

     Finnish member of Parliament Päivi Räsänen and Lutheran Bishop Juhana Pohjola are on trial for their faith in court proceedings, concluding an almost three-year-long campaign of legal harassment from the Finnish government.

  • Päivi Räsänen, a 62-year-old medical doctor and grandmother of seven, faces three charges of so-called “ethnic agitation” for expressing her belief in the teachings of the Bible by having published a pamphlet on marriage in 2004, for taking part in a discussion on a radio show in 2019, and for a tweet with a picture of a Bible passage. For this, she faces up to two years in prison if convicted.
  • Meanwhile, Bishop Pohjola faces a single charge of “ethnic agitation” for merely hosting Räsänen’s booklet on his church’s website — that’s it. If convicted, Bishop Pohjola faces the prospect of two years in prison as well.

(The prosecution included its final arguments that “the use of the word “sin” can be “harmful.”)

Just what is the Bible teaching that is being challenged?

From Old Testament: (Bold and underline is mine)

  • (Genesis 2:24) (NIV) 24For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
  • (Gen 13:13) (NIV) “Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the LORD.”
  • (Leviticus 18:22-30) (NIV) 22Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. 23“‘Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion. 24‘Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. 25Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the aliens living among you must not do any of these detestable things, 27for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. 28And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you. 29‘Everyone who does any of these detestable things—such persons must be cut off from their people. 30Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defileyourselves with them. I am the LORD your God.’
  • (Leviticus 20:13) (NIV) “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

From New Testament: (Bold and underline is mine)

  • (Rom 1:26-28) ( NIV) “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural 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 indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.  Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind; to do what ought not to be done.”
  • (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) (NKJV) “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.  And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

So: How does this Affect us?

            This issue is not just a problem for the people in Finland, but also for those of us in the USA.  Recent Legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives would effectively outlaw disagreement on matters of sex and gender. This poses a clear and dangerous threat to any American who adheres to and dares publicly profess widely held orthodox religious beliefs on marriage, sexuality, or what used to be commonly accepted beliefs about the biology of men and women.

     Are we prepared to stand on the Word of God on these matters?


    James Rowe is currently a member of the Hikes Point Christian Church in Louisville and serves on the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Christian Education Corp.