In Finland, officially a Christian nation, a member of parliament, Päivi Räsänen, is being charged and prosecuted for objecting to homosexuality on social media and radio. The prosecutor goes to lengths to make a clear distinction between Ms. Räsänen’s freedom to believe what she wants but not to express it however she wants.
In framing the case the state prosecutor said, “Understanding deeds as sin is derogatory”. Really? This view makes offending someone a greater evil than disobeying God. The prosecutor went on to say that sexual identity is the ‘core of humanity’. No, being the image of God and a reflection of his glory is not the core of who we are, but rather our sexual identity is.
Oddly enough the prosecutor stumbles onto, quite accidentally I’m sure, to some truth when they say, “When one judges deeds, the whole person is judged. Actions cannot be separated from identity because actions are part of identity.” This is indeed true and ironically contradicts the prosecutor’s own case. Our actions are a part of our identity. They display what is going on in our heart, our soul. A sinful heart will produce wicked fruit.
The incredible irony is that in order to prosecute this case the state has judged Ms. Räsänen’s actions when she expressed her beliefs as wrong, thereby contradicting its position that to judge someone’s actions is wrong.
This censorship of the expression of one’s beliefs is a challenge for Christians. The Bible clearly teaches us to speak the truth, to proclaim what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil. God has made the distinction between good and evil, righteousness and unrighteousness clear, evident and frankly, easy to understand. He then commands us to share this news. Some will say, but we are to speak in love. Well of course we are. In love for the captive, the sinner, we are motivated to warn them of their rebellion and impending doom. In love for Christ and His body, we are to guard and protect the holiness of His church.
It is not love to ignore the condition and destiny of the disobedient captive. If I see someone standing in the middle of the road and a dump truck is speeding toward them I have to really hate that person or be sinfully indifferent if I do not warn them, either because I am afraid of offending them or just don’t care.
Finally let us consider the persecution of the believer seen in this story. Sure, you may say, well this happened in Finland, not here. Remember, Finland is officially a Christian nation. How far are we really, from seeing much the same right where we are? Maybe it doesn’t come in the form of a state prosecuting us. Maybe it comes as an employer firing us or a bank or a store not doing business with us. Are we really that far away? Are we prepared for it? Are we ready and willing?