I know how ideology is spelled. I chose this spelling on purpose. You’re welcome for the considerable restraint being shown.
This year saw 20-year-old Greta Thunberg, climate activitist/puppet/insolent waif, given an honorary doctorate. In theology. Because 2023.
Now, the good news is that the degree wasn’t conferred from Southwestern Seminary, DTS, or Moody. It is being given by the University of Helsinki, Finland’s Faculty of Theology. The bad news is that it is being given at all. The worse news is that post-Christian Europe isn’t currently a bastion of Biblical fire and fervor right now and so this makes some degree of sense– but it would be just as understandable from almost any one of America’s seminaries. And we all know it.
U of Hel. theology professor, Martti Nissinen, said the theme of this year’s honorary ceremony is “Freedom,” as it is the 100th anniversary of the Freedom of Religion Act in Finland. The FRA was signed into law in 1923 to allow citizens to choose their religion or choose to have no religion. The Evangelical Lutheran Church was the “denomination to which people naturally belonged.” Sounds like progress, right? You are no longer born into a religion, you get to choose for yourself and then freely express the religion you have chosen. Glory! Let’s check in and see how that freedom to worship is going for Finland!
Päivi Räsänen, a member of the Finnish parliament and former Minister of the Interior, has been criminally charged with hate speech for articulating and expressing a Biblical view of marriage as between one man and one woman. The Finnish prosecutor said this was not at all a case about the freedom of religion but was about the “agitation directed towards an ethnic or minority group.”
Uh oh. That seems not very freedomy, no? The charges against Räsänen included three separate points. The first, concerned a booklet entitled “Male and Female He Created Them,” written by Räsänen and distributed by The Luther Foundation Finland. The prosecutor highlighted that homosexuality was described as a sin and that Räsänen (a medical doctor by profession) questioned whether homosexuality is part of normal sexual development. In the words of Rabbi Thunberg, “How dare you! How dare you!” Not accept homosexuality as a normal part of development that ALL should be experiencing?? Gasp!
The second and third points, concerned her reaction to the national Finnish Lutheran Church’s decision to be… wait for it… an official partner to Helsinki Pride. In a statement on Twitter, Räsänen wrote that she was shocked by the decision, because the church’s confession demands that all doctrine be proven by God’s holy Word, and that Pride celebrated relations and acts, deemed by the Bible to be sin. What?! You can’t say that! Such an inflammatory statement! Though entirely true and previously accepted for the entire history of Scripture in the World. Thank goodness Finland had passed the Freedom of Religion Act to protect such expressions of religion. Yeah… super helpful. As it turns out the good doctor was recently acquitted. Hooray! And then the government decided to appeal the acquittal. Because freedom.
Enter HRH Greta Thunberg, theologian, freedom fighter… declarer of “The world will end in 5 years if we do not end fossil fuel.” Said in 2018. Here’s the problem, Church. We can no longer define or distinguish what religion or theology are enough to adequately defend, honor, or allow them. Equally problematic is when the actual Church routinely gives authority and influence to unworthy people.
Just stop. Quit installing pagans as thought leaders in and over the church. How about that for a good discipleship and evangelism strategy?
Nissinen blubbered a response when the faculty choice was questioned, “We want to be as bold and influential as Greta has been…” You said it, sister. The model to follow is not even for academic or educational credit, not experience or contribution to the faith. Bold and influential. Not holy, not faithful, not even Christian. This is the sad state of reason and religion in the Body. We are ruled by emotion, idolatry… and yes, children. Isaiah knew what he was talking about. ” Youth oppress my people and women rule over them. My people, your guides lead you astray and turn you from the right path.” How dare you, indeed.
Ecumenism and tolerance are sacraments of man, not Christ. How do you like them waifers, Harvard? (Checks notes…) My bad. Her honorary law doctorate is from a different ridiculous university.