For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,
who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
Romans 1:18 ESV
Times are approaching fast when the darkness' only acceptance of God's Light found in the Bible will be when they can light it on fire. It won't be enough for them to just modify it, suppress it, or ban it. They'll want to burn it out of existence from the eyes, minds, and hearts of humanity.
The world prefers this compared to any proclamation of truth which condemns sin and shows the one true way to a restored relationship with God through Jesus. The completeness of the Bible doesn't fit their ideas of what life should be or how it should be lived.
Christians, even in countries that have some protections for religious liberties, are fighting the precursors to these battles now. For instance, the government of Finland launched an investigation over a tweet pulled directly from the Bible, a verse about homosexuality.
“In my tweet, I directly cited Romans first chapter and verses 24 to 27 and posted the picture of the passages from the Bible,” according to the woman, a member of Finland’s parliament who is now under two investigations for allegedly defaming or insulting homosexuals.
While America has a Bill of Rights with the First Amendment for protecting religious freedoms, Finland has written in their Constitution that their national church can “…proclaim a Bible-based Christian faith.”
“So, why is Finland investigating a member of parliament for ‘proclaiming her Bible-based Christian faith’?” wrote Dale Hurd in the CBN article.
Romans 1:24-27 is clearly part of the Bible, until governments, like China’s communist government, begin to rewrite it:
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:24-27)
Finland is historically Christian and has a parliamentary republic with a constitution. Nearly 70 percent of citizens are members of the national Lutheran Church, the state-sponsored religion, even though less than a third believe in God.
Päivi Räsänen is the member of the Parliament and former minister of the interior who posted the tweet. She said she did it to make Finland’s Lutheran Church aware of why they should not be promoting the homosexual lifestyle. The first investigation started last year after she shared the Bible passage.
The second was opened by Finland’s Prosecutor General over a pamphlet that Räsänen wrote 15 years ago, “Man and woman, He created them – Homosexual Relationships Challenge the Christian Concept of Humanity.” It is about biblical Christian marriage related to society. The Lutheran pastor who published the pamphlet Räsänen wrote is also under investigation.
The second investigation, according to the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland, is because of “incitement, a crime punishable by a fine or up to two years of imprisonment. Dr. (MD) Räsänen is well known in the country for promoting Christian ethical stances on marriage and the beginning and the end of life, for instance.”
These issues of ethical stances on marriage and the beginning and end of life, of course, are hot political issues here in the United States too.
When the law makes the Bible’s messages a hate crime
“I’m worried that this case, the criminal investigation, might frighten some Christians to hide and keep silent,” said Räsänen. This all began after prayer where she felt led by the Lord to wake the national church in Finland on the issue of homosexuality.
Finland’s Prosecutor General, Raija Toiviainen, pushed passed the initial decision of avoiding prosecution made by the Helinski Police. She said that “…there is reason to believe that because of the defamation of homosexuals by the violation of their human dignity, Ms. Räsänen is guilty of incitement to hatred against a group.”
"It raises the threshold of saying anything in the public square,” said Pasi Turunen, a Finnish Christian broadcaster, author and theologian, “and in one way, I see that that's the purpose of this kind of attack: to put a high price tag on speaking your Christian mind out loud in the society."
Apparently that strategy is working – imagine being a normal citizen, John Q. Public, as you watch a current member of Parliament and former minister of the interior being attacked by the government where you live. If this powerful and connected person can be attacked, then you might reconsider the simple act of posting a Bible verse on Twitter, Facebook, or sharing the verse with someone in a polite conversation over the phone or face to face.
Turunen shared how he wishes “that evangelical leaders would be more outspoken and bolder. Otherwise, there will come a time when each of us will be in front of the firing squad."
Raising voices or silencing them?
Remember, it wasn’t too long ago our president decided to put religious freedom center stage at the United Nations and protect it around the world. Who knew the persecution would be the Christian religion whose nation's constitution decrees they should “proclaim a Bible-based Christian faith”?
Our Christian faith acknowledges a holy, just, and loving God who desires none to perish from sin. But darkness hates the Light of the world, Jesus, and despises His Word. The world doesn’t want the burning conviction on their hearts, so they will not dare name anything a sin. Unfortunately, what are the consequences of failure to repent from sin and turn to Jesus? The sinner who loves his sin more than God, the one who wants his ears tickled, and the one who wants to erase even the appearance of God's Word before his eyes will be condemned to hell. To find peace with God people need to know what sin is, repent from it, and enter the restored relationship through their new faith in Jesus Christ, God the Son. Those words of life come from the Word of life, the Bible.
Leif Nummela, the editor of a Christian newspaper and a Christian TV host in Finland, said “If we could easily have two hundred thousand Christians saying, 'this is horrendous, stop persecuting Päivi Räsänen,' and that would have a huge impact…but they are silent.” (Editor’s note: end of the quote is in the video, not the article.)
While God is fully capable of protecting His Word without our help, we as Christians have the opportunity to participate in His kingdom work here too.
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
If you also hear the cry for help from Christians in Finland, you can contact the Prosecutor General of Finland with the information below:
Contact the Finnish Prosecutor General to make your voice heard:
National Prosecution Authority, Office of the Prosecutor General
Lintulahdenkuja 4, FI-00530 Helsinki
Tel.: 029 562 0800
Fax: 029 562 0888