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Latest Developments in State Church of Finland

November 23rd, 2007
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Latest developments from Finland:

Two separate developments were made public yesterday in Finland, creating a wonderful (sic!) irony that accurately describes the state of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland:

(1) Pastor Jari Rankinen, who has been under investigation by the cathedral chapter of the archdiocese of Turku for a good part of this year, on account of his refusal to share an altar with ordained women, has been suspended, both from his position within his congregation and from the pastoral office for three months for that crime, pending any appeal he may launch. He is the second pastor, following Vesa Pöyhtäri of Oulu diocese last month, to face suspension for non-co-operation with female pastors. Pastor Rankinen’s appeal to his Word-bound conscience was not considered a valid defence.

(2) Pastor Leena Huovinen has been named Pastor of the Year by the Pastors’ Union, the professional body for Lutheran pastors in Finland. Earlier this year, Ms. Huovinen came to nationwide prominence by openly admitting that she has blessed same-sex unions on her own initiative. For her, to act thus is a matter of conscience.

Please pray for pastors Rankinen and Pöyhtäri, their congreagations, and for the whole, sorry Church of Finland.

Tapani Simojoki

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Categories: Liberal Christianity
  1. Rev. Allen Yount
    November 23rd, 2007 at 17:45 | #1

    Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
    There but for the grace of God may go our beloved church body the LCMS. Watch and pray, my confessional brothers and sisters. Watch and pray.

  2. Joel
    November 26th, 2007 at 09:14 | #2

    Protestant churches always seem to be in a constant slide toward apostasy. Even the LCMS appears to be on slippery ground at times, as when the LWML ladies take to the lectern to lead the worship service. Baptist friends of ours, new believers who take the Bible seriously, were poised to join our LCMS church until LWML Sunday and a couple of insipid contemporary worship services put them off.
    Why is it that EO and RC churches, though in serious error from a Lutheran standpoint, tend to be much more steadfast in the faith, institutionally speaking?

  3. Mike Baker
    November 26th, 2007 at 10:43 | #3

    Joel’s observation has been my beef with the U.S. Military Chaplains: anyone can claim to be a Protestant. The only real requirement to be considered a Protestant is that you are not Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox. Really is that it? Today, it seems that the term “Protestant” is about as valuable and descriptive as “religious” or “spiritual”. I never call myself a Protestant because it does not say anything! We have groups who are not even Trinitarian who consider themselves Protestants. It is a worthless distinction. There is no bishop or Pope to tell us who is Protestant and who is not so virtually anyone can join and everyone can stay.
    But I would hardly call EO and RC churches steadfast and immune to apostasy. The recent (and long overdue) excommunication of the Army of Mary is but one of the more famous examples.
    Perhaps the only difference is that most Protestants are afraid to exclude people for continued error or unrepentant sin… that would be intolerant and mean.

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