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In Case With Global Implications, Finland Puts Christians On Trial For Their Faith


Reported By Joy Pullmann | NOVEMBER 23, 2021

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/11/23/in-case-with-global-implications-finland-puts-christians-on-trial-for-their-faith/

In Case With Global Implications, Finland Puts Christians On Trial For Their Faith
Photo Image courtesy International Lutheran Council

Meet the man who appears to be the first in the post-Soviet Union West to be brought up on criminal charges for publishing long-held Christian beliefs. Juhana Pohjola wouldn’t be cast to play his own part if Hollywood made a movie about a bishop put on trial for his faith. The Finnish pastor has inherited a place in the church of Martin Luther, but it appears none of Luther’s pugnacity or vitriol. In person, Pohjola, 49, is forthright but unassuming, and gentle. Stereotypically, the Finn is thin and tall. He often pauses while speaking to carefully consider his next words. He listens attentively to others with far less impressive resumes.

In more than two decades as a pastor, Pohjola has ministered to congregations as small as 30. He has spent his life building a network of faithful churches across Finland, many of which started with a few people gathered for prayer, Bible study, hymn-singing—and communion, if they can get a pastor. In an in-person interview with The Federalist, Pohjola urged fellow Christian leaders to be willing to seek out “one lost sheep” instead of crowds and acclaim.

This is the man who appears to be the first in the post-Soviet Union West to be brought up on criminal charges for preaching the Christian message as it has been established for thousands of years. Also charged in the case that goes to trial on January 24 is Pohjola’s fellow Lutheran and a Finnish member of Parliament, Paivi Rasanen. Rasanen’s alleged crimes in a country that claims to guarantee freedom of speech and religion include tweeting a picture of a Bible verse. Potential penalties if they are convicted include fines and up to two years in prison.

Finnish Authorities: The Bible Is Hate Speech

Rasanen and Pohjola are being charged with “hate speech” for respectively writing and publishing a 24-page 2004 booklet that explains basic Christian theology about sex and marriage, which reserves sex exclusively for within marriage, which can only consist of one man and one woman, for life. The Finnish prosecutor claims centuries-old Christian teachings about sex “incite hatred” and violate legal preferences for government-privileged identity groups.

Writer Rod Dreher pointed out the witch hunt nature of this prosecution: “Räsänen wrote that pamphlet seven years before LGBT was added to the national hate-speech law as a protected class. She was investigated once before for the pamphlet, and cleared — but now she’s going to undergo another interrogation.”

Rasanen and Pohjola both have adamantly affirmed “the divinely given dignity, value, and human rights of all, including all who identify with the LGBTQ community.” Christian theology teaches that all human beings are precious, as all are made in God’s image and offered eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In advance of the trial, Rasanen and Pohjola have been interrogated by police for hours about their theology. Pohjola told me in the interrogation police treated Christian beliefs as thought crimes. In a statement, Rasanen noted that the police publicly admitted their interpretation of Finland’s law would make publishing the Bible a hate crime.

“It is impossible for me to think that the classical Christian views and the doctrine of the majority of denominations would become illegal. The question here is about the core of Christian faith; how a person gets saved into unity with God and into everlasting life though the redemptive sacrifice of Jesus. Therefore, it is crucial to also talk about the nature of sin,” Rasanen told Dreher. “As we are living in a democratic country, we must be able to disagree and express our disagreement. We have to be able to cope with speech that we feel insults our feelings. Many questions are so debatable and contradictory that we have to have the possibility of discussing. Otherwise, the development is towards a totalitarian system, with only one correct view.”

Major International Implications

Humans rights lawyer Paul Coleman, who spoke to The Federalist from his Alliance Defending Freedom International office in Vienna, Austria, says Pohjola and Rasanen’s cases are a “canary in the coalmine” for freedom of speech across the West. ADF International is providing legal support for Pohjola and Rasanen’s cases.

“Although all European countries have these hate speech laws, and these hate speech laws are increasingly being used against citizens for things that they say, this is the first time we’ve really seen Christians face criminal prosecution for explaining their biblical views,” Coleman said. “…It’s unprecedented. We’ve not seen attacks on free speech on this level in Europe, and that’s why they are extremely important cases, not just for the people of Finland and Paivi Rasanen and the bishop themselves, but for all of Europe. If this is upheld in one jurisdiction, we will no doubt see it in other jurisdictions as well.”

Such “hate speech” laws exist in every European country and Western countries such as Canada and Australia, and descend from Soviet influence. Coleman called them “sleeper laws,” saying that in other countries “they could be used any time just like they are in Finland. People need to mobilize against these laws and overturn them.”

Legally privileging certain sexual behavior has thus broken western countries’ promises of equality before the law for all citizens, as well as enabling government discrimination against citizens who exercise their free speech and religious liberty, as in the Baronnelle Stutzman and Jack Phillips cases in the United States.

“Establishing standards of identity” also lets government meddle in theological controversies that are none of its business, said the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Shaw, who directs church relations for the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) and has known Pohjola for decades. Pohjola’s church is an international partner of the LCMS.

From a natural law and historic Western perspective, “the government isn’t supposed to get into people’s brains and tell them what’s right and wrong to believe and say,” Shaw noted in a phone interview. “That’s not their realm. Their realm is in externals, things like protect people in their bodies, go to war when necessary, and punish criminals… This is really what’s at stake [in the Pohjola case]. Government has lost its moorings and doesn’t know its purpose.”

From Part-Time Pastor to Bishop

After theological study in Finland and the United States, Pohjola’s first congregation in Helsinki started with about 30 members, he says. It was only able to support him part-time at first. He remembered his wife accompanying the congregation’s hymn-singing on a piano while their firstborn daughter, a baby at the time, laid on a blanket on the floor nearby.

Finland’s state church began openly disobeying Christian theology concerning sex differences amid the global sexual revolution of the 1960s. So, Christians alienated by the state church’s embrace of anti-Christian cultural demands sought faithful pastors like Pohjola, who are known as “confessional” for adhering to historic Christian confessions. The resulting growth of his tiny congregation gradually led to establishing a seminary, then dozens of mission churches, which grew as the theologically unfaithful state church shrank. In 2013, 25 of these new confessional congregations formed the Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of Finland. Today, that diocese oversees 45 congregations and missions and is training 64 pastors.

That growth has been accompanied by suffering, including persecution first from Pohjola’s own church.

First Persecuted By His Own Church

In 2009, Pohjola was awarded the theological journal Gottesdienst’s Sabre of Boldness Award, which is granted “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity on behalf of the Holy Church of Christ, while engaged in the confession of His Pure Gospel in the face of hostile forces, and at the greatest personal risk.” The award honored Pohjola, with other faithful Finnish pastors, for standing firm as Finland’s state church sought civil charges against them for refusing to disobey the Bible’s commands that only men be sent to lead spiritual warfare as pastors.

Like Luther before him, Pohjola was expelled by his own church body in 2014 for adhering to God’s word on this matter. The notice of his discharge declared Pohjola was “obviously unfit to be a pastor.” At the time, he responded with grief but also by saying that he must obey God rather than men, lamenting: “Instead of the Church being purged with God’s Word, she is being purged from God’s Word.”

In the interview last week, Pohjola said being defrocked from “his baptismal church” grieves him to this day. On his mother’s side, Pohjola said, his family includes Lutheran pastors in that church going back to the 17th century Reformation. But he could not disobey God’s commands to retain his social status or employment.

Division or Unity? Yes

Pohjola’s separation from Finland’s state church also had the consequence of uniting him and his flock with other confessional Christians across the globe. The International Lutheran Council is a global network of theologically unified churches, and like the confessional churches in Finland, that network is growing.

Mathew Block, the ILC’s communications manager, noted that the heightened contradictions between increasingly unnatural pagan practices and historic Christian teachings are causing a global “confessional realignment.” It’s forcing people to make a real decision about where they stand rather than allowing them to inhabit the increasingly nonexistent, indecisive middle. This is affecting churches all over the world. While it means divisions in some areas, it also is leading to unity in others. For example, despite other important theological differences, all the world’s largest Christian bodies agree with the doctrines for which the Finnish government is persecuting Pohjola. That allows them to speak in chorus to government leaders.

Already many dozens of top religious leaders across the world have formally raised their concerns with Rasanen and Pohjola’s prosecution to the Finnish government and the United Nations. Several U.S. members of Congress have also asked U.S. agencies to take action against Finland for these human rights abuses.

“I encourage Roman Catholic ecclesiastical leaders and all those who care for souls to speak up and join hands and lock arms with us as we talk about the absolute necessity of our historic Christian values of one man, one woman, marriage, and the freedom to be able to believe it, to say it, to publish books about it, and find practical ways through hospitality, education, and other social engagement to make society strong that way,” Shaw said. “All churches—one could even say all religions but in particular the Roman Catholic faith—this reflects their historic commitments as well.”

The Shepherd Faces Wolf Attacks for the Sheep

In August 2021, the international Lutheran church recognized Pohjola’s steadfast leadership amid persecution by supporting his election to bishop of Finland’s confessional diocese. The ILC hosted Pohjola’s November 2021 speaking tour in the United States, and is raising funds across the world to raise awareness of his case.

“Our mission has been that, if the shepherd sees that one sheep is missing, he knows,” Pohjola said of the churches he oversees. He noted that many people coming to faithful Finnish churches are seeking love and connection from a church family as the secular world becomes increasingly isolated and family-less, in no small part because of pagan sexual behavior and beliefs.

“People don’t go to church for social capital now. This is a serious life and they want to be serious with God. So, churches have to build communities that stand on solid Lutheran, biblical doctrine,” Pohjola says.

While he may not share Luther’s temperament, Pohjola’s response to his own persecution by church and civil authorities does mirror Luther’s simplicity four centuries ago: “Here I stand. I can do no other.” He adds a pastoral message to Christians watching governments turn on them today.

“We have to learn from the past, Christians who have suffered under persecution, and be prepared,” Pohjola said. “But it’s not something to be worried about, because Christ remains faithful to His church and wherever he is leading us, He will come with us. He will provide everything that is needed for the future of His Christians and His church.”

You can hear Pohjola talk about his case and its implications during his November visit to the United States here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=413205860293995

And watch a Federalist Radio Hour interview with Pohjola here:

Democrats Like Me Are Furious With Our Party For Pushing Gender Insanity


Reported By Kara Dansky | NOVEMBER 16, 2021

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/11/16/democrats-like-me-are-furious-with-our-party-for-pushing-gender-insanity/

It is not an exaggeration to say that the United States is in crisis about the meanings of the words sex and gender. We are all victims of this crisis, but the primary victims are women and girls. Throughout U.S. law, the word sex is being completely redefined to mean “gender identity” or “transgender.” Congress is doing it. The Biden administration is doing it. The federal courts are doing it.

Most Americans have no comprehension of the implications of this, due to no fault of their own. Very few media outlets will permit us to talk about it. Yet feminists have been talking about it for a long time. The Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) has been talking about it since its founding in 2013 (I served on the board of WoLF from 2016-2020).

Jennifer Bilek talked about it in this publication in her 2018 essay, “Who Are the Rich, White Men Institutionalizing Transgender Ideology?” She continues to talk about it in her outstanding 11th Hour Blog. The Women’s Human Rights Campaign (WHRC) has been talking about it globally since 2019 and in the United States since 2020 by advancing the aims of the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights, which has been signed by more than 20,000 people and hundreds of organizations (I currently serve as the president of the U.S. chapter).

The mainstream media steadfastly ignores all of this and is engaged in a concerted effort to hide it from Americans. But Americans are waking up, due in large part to the steadfast work of radical feminists or, as some people might say, “TERFs.” The acronym “TERF,” said to mean “Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist,” was created by misogynists to demean those of us who fight for the rights, privacy, and safety of women and girls. Many feminists have chosen to reclaim the acronym, arguing that it stands for “Tired of Explaining Reality to Fools” or “Totally Excellent Radical Feminist.”

In October of this year, comedian Dave Chappelle made headlines when he proclaimed that he is “Team TERF” during his Netflix show “The Closer.” The hashtag #TeamTERF immediately started trending on Twitter. Chappelle did this in the context of defending British author J.K. Rowling, who has faced relentless abuse for her defense of women and girls and abuse survivors. If fighting for the rights, privacy, and safety of women and girls makes me a TERF, then so be it.

Many people will be angry with me for publishing in The Federalist because The Federalist is a conservative-leaning publication. I am not a conservative and never have been. I registered to vote as a Democrat in 1990. Since then, the only time I was not a registered Democrat was during a brief period in 2007 when I was registered Green (I re-registered as a Democrat so I could vote in the 2008 Democratic primary and have remained so ever since).

Still, I am grateful to The Federalist for publishing this because no one else will. That’s because U.S. media has been completely corrupted by an industry that is hell-bent on persuading ordinary Americans that there is such a thing as “gender identity” and that some people “are transgender.”

The truth is that “gender identity” does not exist in any real, material sense, and “transgender” is simply a made-up concept that is used to justify all kinds of atrocities, such as convicted male rapists and murderers being housed in women’s prisons with vulnerable women, men being permitted to parade around with erect penises in women’s sections of spas, and men participating in women’s sports. They are being permitted to do all of this on the basis that they have a so-called “female gender identity.”

All of “gender identity” and “transgender” politics is a men’s rights movement intended to objectify women’s bodies and erase us as a class. The entire edifice is a lie. It is left-wing misogyny on steroids.

Democratic Party leadership will not permit discussion about this, anywhere. But I assure readers that there are countless rank and file Democrats who are furious about it. I hear from them every day. Democrats are disgusted that party leadership is promoting the teaching of “gender identity” in schools down to the kindergarten level, celebrating the mutilation of healthy children’s bodies, and cheering on performances of “drag queen story hour” in public libraries.

The Democratic Party of today looks nothing like the Democratic Party that I was proud to be a part of just about all my life. Many Democrats share my despair. If the Republican Party manages to nominate just about anyone who is a decent human being for the presidency in 2024 (hint: “Grab ‘em by the p-ssy” guy is not included in this category), many Democrats will vote Republican.

Gender ideology is one of the reasons Democrats lost House seats in 2020 and one of the reasons Glenn Youngkin won the governor’s race in Virginia this month. I was proud to stand with parents in Loudoun County, and grateful to The Federalist for covering it (that coverage eventually got picked up in the U.K. via The Daily Mail). Gender will be one of the reasons that Democrats will lose more congressional seats in 2022 as well as the presidency in 2024.

I know people who have left the Democratic Party because of gender and become Independents. I know one woman who left the Democratic Party because of gender and registered Republican. I choose to remain a Democrat because I continue to hope the party will reverse course, as unlikely as that appears to be at this time, and have done my best to warn party leadership about what is coming here and here and here.

I am a second-wave feminist and a Democrat. I stand for the rights, privacy, and safety of women and girls. These cannot be protected if sex is redefined incomprehensibly to include so-called “gender identity.”

Feminists have a saying: we cannot protect women and girls on the basis of sex if we cannot say what sex is. My hope is that lawmakers across the political aisle will get a grip and right the wrongs that have been perpetrated in the name of “gender identity.”

Every single human being is either female or male. No one “is transgender.” It’s long past time that lawmakers across the political aisle and members of corporate media said so.

Kara Dansky is a feminist, lawyer, and advocate, and the author of the new book, “The Abolition of Sex: How the ‘Transgender’ Agenda Harms Women and Girls.” She currently serves as the president of the U.S. Chapter of the Women’s Human Rights Campaign. You can find her at www.karadansky.com and @kdansky on Twitter and Facebook.

Matthew Cochran Op-ed: Amid The Parent Surge, Republicans Can Either Lead, Follow, Or Get Out Of The Way


Commentary By Matthew Cochran | NOVEMBER 9, 2021

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/11/09/amid-the-parent-surge-republicans-can-either-lead-follow-or-get-out-of-the-way/

Americans have two political parties, both of which we loathe. We take turns punishing one by rewarding the other. Our political elites depend on this vicious cycle, and it’s why the only thing both parties ever seem to agree on is screwing ordinary Americans like a two-headed weasel in heat.

It’s easy to think it’s merely that vicious cycle at work in Virginia’s recent election upset: Democrats came out hard in favor of enabling bathroom rape, teaching kids that white skin is evil, and alerting the FBI about parents who expressed concern over such things.

So they got punished for it, and now Republicans have a new opportunity to squander. After that, Americans would normally punish the GOP for failing their mandate by reelecting Democrats who finally rediscovered how to shut up about their true intentions for five minutes.

But the opportunity presented to Virginia Republicans goes beyond another chance for the GOP to suckle on a fresh serving of voters’ goodwill. The massive rightward shift in Virginia wasn’t just business as usual. It was driven by a growing number of parents choosing to reclaim their authority over their households.

Parents Awaken to Their Responsibilities

Providence has given parents the awesome responsibility to raise and provide for the well-being of their children. Like any true responsibility, it comes with the authority to carry it out. When parents are unable to fulfill those responsibilities alone, they delegate.

For example, if parents cannot reliably protect their household from murderers, rapists, and robbers, they collaborate with institutions that can. If they cannot adequately educate their children alone, they enlist the help of teachers. This delegation is ultimately why any and every government institution exists: to assist families in some way or another.

It is precisely this authority Democrat Terry McAuliffe openly tried to usurp. As a result, the election became a referendum on whether children belong to the state. Enough parents were willing to say “no” that a blue state turned red overnight.

Parents can be tricked into delegating their authority to the unfit if they can plausibly tell themselves their children will be fine. The public school system is proof enough of that.

But the past couple of years have rapidly eroded that plausibility. We’ve seen schools forcibly cover children’s faces and isolate them from friends over an illness that poses virtually no threat to them. Remote learning also exposed their curriculum to an extent most parents had never witnessed before. The promotion of sexual degeneracy by schools is likewise coming home to roost more and more often.

Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied

It’s also not just Virginia and not just the schools. Our state and federal governments have spent two years devastating our economy, stripping our stores bare, and inflating our currency, making it harder than ever to care for our children. Our media has spent even longer lying to us about all this and more, and it is only doubling down on censorship for the sake of our elites. Worst of all, the Biden-Harris administration has tried to threaten our families with destitution unless we submit to vaccines whose risks often far outstrip any potential benefit.

These are not things parents will forget—especially when committed by those to whom we delegated our authority for the sake of our children. There are also limits to how long any parent is willing to simply wait and hope for improvement before taking action for our children’s sake.

This reclamation of authority by parents is still a work in progress, certainly—McAuliffe only lost by two points, after all. But it is in progress, and it’s not easily reversible.

Once a parent realizes someone has threatened his child, he will never trust that person again. If parents cannot disassociate the people threatening them from the institutions these people run, then they will not trust the institutions either.

Nobody who’s gotten a good look at the true face of progressivism is going to forget it anytime soon. This new dynamic is not stopping. It is accelerating.

If Republicans Don’t Use Their Power, They’re Toast

That brings us to the opportunity for Republicans. I’ve seen a lot of people are calling this a seismic shift in government. But the only reason parents voted for Republicans is that they still hold out hope that the GOP might willingly serve on their behalf.

Should that hope prove false, parents won’t stop trying to reclaim their authority; they will just start doing so in even more earth-shaking ways. One way or another, America’s vicious two-party cycle is not going to persist for much longer. This is the bare minimum Republican office-holders need to do to keep that hope alive.

First, education needs to be addressed, and a few token policy changes aren’t going to cut it. Those faculty and administrators who betrayed parents’ trust need to be removed.

The person who was distributing pornography to your children in school, for example, won’t suddenly become trustworthy because someone makes a rule. The same is true of teachers and administrators who hate your child because of her skin tone. Those people need to go—some fired, some even prosecuted.

Public universities that train teachers to act this way likewise need to be addressed. No program peddling degeneracy and critical race theory to aspiring educators should receive any state funding.

To the timid who complain, “But that’s cancel culture!” I simply respond, “Yes.” If someone starts shooting at your children, you aren’t “sinking to their level” by returning fire. It is parents’ moral obligation to fight back. Leftist institutions chose to escalate to this level of aggression, and they can choke on the consequences.

Yes, this will certainly be a long and difficult battle, which is why parents should immediately be given school choice until it’s resolved. Let parents take their tax dollars away from these errant institutions so they can enlist the help of real schools instead.

Faith In Election Integrity Must Be Restored

Republicans’ second job should be to decisively end voter fraud in their municipalities so parents are guaranteed a voice in their government. There is no point in winning votes if we lose on counting votes.

Do a full forensic investigation of elections you won whether you think there was fraud or not. Prosecute every violation you find whether it made a difference in the outcome or not. And after the investigation, enact common-sense fraud control to address everything you found.

Americans deserve to have confidence in their elections, and parents need to know they still have a say. Republicans need to teach by example that any state or municipality that refuses to transparently ensure the fairness of its elections is doing so because they have something to hide.

Third, Republicans need to use their state and local offices to protect people against the corporations and the federal government that are actively attacking families. Ban corporate mask and vaccine mandates. Provide compensation and other assistance for people being fired for their consciences. Enact laws explicitly holding corporations responsible for the side-effects of any medical treatment they mandate. And, of course, prevent schools from forcing vaccines and other procedures on students—or encouraging such things behind their backs.

Sanctuary States for Right Voters

Now that federal officials are trying to classify outspoken parents as domestic terrorists, states and municipalities will also need to protect their people from those agencies. Republicans should be as diligent about creating sanctuary cities for their own people as the Democrats are about creating sanctuaries for illegal aliens.

Republicans and other conservatives have been great at making careers out of complaining about the left, but that isn’t going to cut it anymore. Parents are finally acting like parents again and taking back their God-given authority. They are offering Republicans a chance to assist them. They aren’t going to stop taking action just because Republicans fail yet again.

Neither are they going to stop because leftists call them racist for the thousandth time. Not only is everyone growing numb to such histrionics, they cease to matter when our children are under threat.

The left can complain about white women voting for white kids all they want, but mothers and fathers are almost always going to vote for their children—not because they’re white, but because they’re their children. No adequate parent really cares about someone’s motive for viciously attacking his family; parents are still going to defend their kids no matter what it takes.

Matthew’s writing may be found at The 96th Thesis. You can also follow him on Twitter @matt_e_cochran or subscribe to his YouTube Channel, Lutheran in a Strange Land. He holds an MA from Concordia Theological Seminary.

Father Outraged After School Gives 7-year-old Son Flyer Promoting Free Condoms & Birth Control


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The public school system is once again overstepping their boundaries to try and indoctrinate children whose parents send them to public school. An elementary school in Tennessee recently passed out a flyer to the children at the school to promote a clinic that was promoting “free birth control, pregnancy services, IUDs, pills, and condoms!”

When Richard Penkoski’s 7-year-old son brought one of the flyers home he was outraged. He even went before the school board to give them an earful.

Penkoski told the school board, “What is more, exactly? And why was this given to my 7-year-old? Since when is it the school’s job to give information to my child about birth control? When did the public schools decide they can teach my child issues regarding morality and sex?”

“I know liberals on this council, specifically, will say something like, ‘Well, schools teach reproduction.’ You are right. They do teach biological facts in regard to reproduction. This flyer is not talking about reproduction. It teaches birth control. I also can’t help but notice that abstinence is not on this list.”

“The public schools think they have the right to usurp my authority as their father. This school does not have that right.”

According to Christian Post,

Richard Penkoski, a Christian activist who runs the online ministry Warriors for Christ and regularly protests against Drag Queen Story Hour events at public libraries nationwide, spoke out Thursday during a school board meeting in Sullivan County about a flyer that his 7-year-old son brought home last week from his second grade class at the Mary Hughes School in Piney Flats.

The flyer in question promoted an event at the Appalachian Fairgrounds in Gray hosted by the Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps. The event was slated to be held from Nov. 1 to Nov. 3.

While one side of the flyer offered free dental, medical and vision services, the other side of the flyer advertised in big, bold letters “free birth control and pre-pregnancy services.”

Among other things, the flyer promoted free “implants, [intrauterine devices], pills, condoms and more.”

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Identifying Hirsch’s False Teachings in “Redeeming Sex” Key to Discernment


waving flagJune 4, 2015 by

Copyright Ardogal (Contemporary Pop, Street Art & Graffiti Artist and French Painter Jean Sébastien Godfrin)

Many books about homosexuality are hitting the shelves to coincide with upcoming U.S. Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage. Among them I reviewed Scott McKnight’s A Fellowship of Differents and now Debra Hirsch’s Redeeming Sex.

Hirsch, a former lesbian-turned-heterosexual-married-self-describing-Christian, exemplifies the need and ability to discern false teaching presented as biblical. Many of her arguments are based on false premises, which lead to false conclusions.

Most disturbing is her approach that distorts and negates the person and work of Jesus Christ.

By suggesting Jesus as a “sex symbol” she writes he “would have been deeply attractive to both men and women” and it was likely that “genital sexual advances were made towards him.” Did Hirsch not read Isaiah 53? Isaiah prophesied that peoples’ redemption would come from one man who “had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.” Jesus was ordinary looking. And the pain and death he suffered, separation from his father, was more than enough to heal every person’s brokenness, including sexual sin.OKAY TO EXPOSE TEENS TO SEXUAL CONTENT BUT NOT THE BIBLE

Her reasoning regarding Jesus and celibacy is equally problematic. Regarding celibacy and comparing Jesus Christ to Roman Catholic priests Hirsch exposes her ignorance about common misperceptions related to institutionalized celibacy. More important, however, is that Jesus, as both fully God and fully man who was without sin, would not have thought romantically about women. His human nature was perfect and incomparable to the rest of a sinful human nature. Hirsch mentions nothing about obedience to God as a reason for celibacy—for all unmarried believers—one of only two sexual relationships Paul consistently and clearly admonishes that honor God.

Jesus was not celibate because he did not want to spare a wife or child from “the pain of the cross,” as Hirsch suggests. Jesus’s sole purpose was soteriological: to die a death he did not deserve for those who did deserve death—including everyone struggling with sexual sin—in order to redeem them from that sin, not to willfully continue it.

This is why through Christ’s love, grace and mercy, combined with a humble, contrite, repentant heart, and healing through the Holy Spirit, no practicing homosexual can claim to know and love Jesus Christ. To love Jesus is to follow him, to trust and obey him—no matter the cost. (McKnight brilliantly communicates this by citing testimonies from people struggling with sexual sin who claim nothing they have given up compares to the joy of knowing Jesus Christ.)

Furthermore, by defining sexuality and gender by man-made (not biblical) terms, Hirsch wrongly surmises the prostitute falling at Jesus’s feet (Luke 7:36-50) evidences what she defines as “social sexuality” and “genital sexuality.” Nothing could be further from biblical truth.

Yahshua_Miriam_fpageShe interprets this text as “Jesus blurs the lines, suggesting it is possible to love intensely outside of a marriage relationship.” This exemplifies both an arrogant western concept and an absurdly false claim.

The prostitute worshipped Jesus. She did not love him in a romantic, socially sexual, or genitally sexual way. The prostitute fell at Jesus’s feet because she loved him as her Lord and Savior.

Worshiping Jesus has absolutely nothing to do with a person’s emotional, asexual, or sexual feelings. Authentically worshiping Jesus for who he is as Lord does not even remotely imply that non-married women and men (the prostitute and Jesus) can love each other deeply. If anything, Jesus loved her as a father loves a child.

Hirsch’s doublespeak astounds. She asserts Jesus is “calling us to be in the ‘right’ loving relationship with God and with people…. to love God is to walk in his ways.” Yet she also maintains “there is no room for self-righteousness and exclusion based on disputed interpretations on nonessential issues of the Bible.” If sex, gender, and same-sex marriage is a nonessential issue of the Bible, then why write a book about it?

Further still, she justifies “God is ok with gay,” monogamous same-sex relationships provide “no incompatibility with following Jesus,” and “no ministry or church has the right to impose any change on an individual, let alone one so intrinsic as a sexual orientation.”WOE

Perhaps this explains why only verses that appear to support her assertions, taken out of context, are used as pull quotes instead of every verse if explained in their context would clearly refute them?

For anyone to argue the Bible “does not understand a modern day understanding of homosexuality” either reflects intellectually dishonesty, deception, or ignorance about sexual norms and practices during the Apostle Paul’s day. In fact, McKnight’s book paints an astonishing picture of that time, to which today’s standards pale in comparison. Again, if the Bible’s view of sex and gender is nonessential, why write a book about it?

One endorser claims Hirsch expresses a “Jesus-centered vision of how sexuality can glorify God and lead us to flourish.” Another, she offers “biblical, Jesus-lens insight.” Neither is truth.Liberalism a mental disorder 2

By using the Kinsey Scale as a plumb line Hirsch presupposes that human feelings, rationale, or psychology provide the basis for “trying to understand or define homosexuality,” which she claims, “is no easy task.” Homosexuality is easily understood when one first understands who God is. The gospel, not the Kinsey Scale, is what is needed to completely surrender to Jesus’s love, a love that surpasses all selfish and self-seeking choices to love and be loved by human standards.

Biblical love exposes sin and articulates that only through God’s grace, with or without the help of Christians, God restores broken people to himself. Hirsch and others who condone the behavior and mindset of “practicing homosexual Christians” are not loving, but harming them. Worse still they make Jesus’s death worthless. pray2Hirsch’s misrepresentation of scripture is irresponsibly misleading. Sadly, she is not alone.

Hirsch like Rob Bell who “came out for same-sex marriage,” Rick Warren who held hands with and joked about kissing Elton John, the Progressive Christian Alliance, the Gay Christian Network, and many at RNS who unashamedly cite human knowledge and feelings above biblical wisdom.

Paul, who Jesus exclusively tutored for seven years, wrote more about sex and marriage and male and female relationships than anyone else. Wouldn’t reading what he wrote in its entirety be the logical starting point? Yet few Christians read the Bible.

Those who “walk in the spirit,” those who love God with their whole heart, soul, and mind, those who seek to renew their minds and “pick up their crosses,” would not choose to “walk in the lusts of the flesh.” They would not want to disobey Jesus because their love for him is so great.

Sinning, for believers, leads to repentance, not repetition of sin. Those who know and choose to follow and obey Jesus grasp the reality that their lives are not their own; their purpose extends beyond themselves. Human sexuality (and intellect, ingenuity, athleticism, or physical or psychological traits) is only rightly understood once God’s will, communicated in scripture, is understood.

The real issue is whether or not Jesus is who he says he is, and if so, is he worthy of following at any cost.freedom combo 2

Teacher allegedly let students have sex in his storage closet….


“He told my son you can have it from 7:30 to 8:30. Did you tell the girl what’ s going to happen, that she cannot tell anybody? Basically don’t tell anyone I’m allowing you to use my room,” she said, paraphrasing the messages.

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. (WSB) — A teacher in Georgia is out of a job and facing charges for allegedly allowing students to have sex in his classroom’s closet, officials said. A parent told PIX11 News sister station WSB she has proof the sexual escapades took place with the teacher’s knowledge.

“I was in a state of disbelief when I read all these messages,” the mom, who asked to remain anonymous, said.

She said she looked at her 14-year-old son’s phone and discovered a shocking exchange of text messages last week between him and Quinton Wright, a math teacher and coach at Champion Theme Middle School in Stone Mountain, Ga.

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Quinton Wright

“Basically he’s allowing the students to have sex in a storage room in his classroom,” the boy’s mom said. She went on to read some of the texts between her son and allegedly the teacher. “He told my son you can have it from 7:30 to 8:30. Did you tell the girl what’ s going to happen, that she cannot tell anybody? Basically don’t tell anyone I’m allowing you to use my room,” she said, paraphrasing the messages. The mother said the teacher also sent her son a calendar showing teachers’ schedules and a txt saying he did not have condoms.

“It’s very sickening and disheartening, because we trust administrators and educators when we drop our kids off at school,” the mom said.

She pulled her eighth grader from school, contacted the principal and went to the police to file a report. The Dekalb school system removed the 25-year-old teacher from the classroom. A judge issued an arrest warrant for Wright on Monday. There’s no word yet on what specific charges he’s facing.OARLogo Picture6

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