ADVERTISING
 
Thursday, November 23   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
'... Christian'
I would define myself as...





SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Northern Europe
 

Intense debate about same-sex marriage among Finnish Lutherans

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is the only Nordic national church which doesn’t celebrate same-sex marriages. The Church Synod of the church discussed intensively about it in May.

AUTHOR Matti Korhonen, Uusi Tie HELSINKI 29 MAY 2017 13:12 h GMT+1
synod, finland, marriage The Synod of the Finnish Lutheran Church was the scenario for an intense debate about same-sex marriage. / Photo: Mari Turunen

While Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and most evangelical churches highlight the marriage between a man and a woman, many mainline Protestant churches have undergone a huge change in their teaching of sexuality.



This concerns also the Lutheran national Churches in Nordic countries. Lutheran Churches in Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, and lately also Norway, have changed their doctrine on marriage, celebrating same-sex marriages.



Finland is the last Nordic country to legalise same-sex marriage. Since 1 March 2017 same-sex couples have been able to get married – but not in the church, although it has been advocated actively.



The Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland gathered 2nd–5th May and had an active discussion about an initiative, which seeks to open marriage for same-sex couples. The initiative provoked altogether 63 speeches.



 



INTENSE DEBATE



A strange episode happened on the last day of the four-day long meeting. Synod’s member, Bible teacher and Editor-in-chief of magazine Uusi Tie Leif Nummela was speaking against the initiative. He appealed to the effect on children. According to Nummela, the Church shouldn’t be following society’s development where children are artificially taken away from their biological parents.



This seemed to be too much for the Archbishop of the Finnish Church, Kari Mäkinen. He interrupted Nummela twice and asked him not to talk about the effect on children anymore, “lest it hurt anybody who’s present.” Mäkinen has openly announced his support for gay marriage.



This episode provoked vivid comments on social media. Member of parliament Päivi Räsänen wrote on Facebook: “Nothing like this has ever happened by the Speaker of the Parliament”.



Erkki Koskenniemi, a Synod member, wrote in his blog that the action of archbishop was “unprecedented”: “I’ve been a Synod member for six years and nobody has been treated like Leif Nummela now.”



The initiative was sent to a Synod’s committee, which will prepare a report of it. The Synod will discuss about same-sex marriages again in its next meeting on November.



 



HARDENED ATTITUDE



The Archbishop’s reaction has been interpreted as an example of the hardened attitude in society towards those who represent the traditional view of marriage. “The Liberal trend has determinedly aimed at a situation, where the views it represents are not allowed to be criticised”, writes Timo Eskola, Researcher at Theological Institute of Finland.



This has already been the development in other Nordic Lutheran Churches. In 2015 The Church of Iceland scrapped its freedom of conscience clause, ending the right of clergy to refuse to solemnize same-sex marriages. The resolution overturned a 2007 statement by the annual Church Council, that held that the “freedom of clergy in these matters must be respected”.



In Sweden, pastors have in principle freedom not to minister in a wedding ceremony for gay couples. However, it is difficult to have an office in Church, if you give the answer in a job interview, that you won’t minister to same-sex couples, says Timo Laato, Lecturer at Lutheran School of Theology, Gothenburg, Sweden.



The Church of Norway has officially two views on marriage, and gender is seen as irrelevant to a marriage. A pastor should not question the two views. According to a bishop, there is no room for those in the Church, who call the Church’s new doctrine as schismatic, says Rolf Kjøde, Director of Continuing Education and External Courses at NLA University College in Norway.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Intense debate about same-sex marriage among Finnish Lutherans
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation

Pastor Gary Wilkerson talks about what all evangelical Christians can learn from the Protestant Reformation and underlines the need for more churches with both a sound doctrine and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 
Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch

Author and international speaker Dr Pablo Martínez discusses the main challenges in Europe nowadays and hopes Evangelical Focus will be a useful tool to help build bridges between churches and society.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest

About 70 people from European countries met at the Younger Leaders Gen gathering in Hungary (19-22 October) to discuss the challenges of the church in the continent and build partnerships. Photos: Evi Rodemann and Jari Sippola.

 
I am not on sale I am not on sale

Young Christians gathered at Madrid’s central square Sol to denounce human trafficking. A flashmob highlighted the work of three evangelical NGOs which support women who escape sexual slavery in Spain.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country ‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country

Bilbao hosted the Spanish Evangelical Alliance's annual meeting (assembly). Politicians, professors and evangelical representatives shared views on social reconciliation. The theme was also analysed from a theological perspective and in workshops. 

 
The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi spoke about how the biblical worldview shaped the West. 300 professionals attended annual GBG meeting on faith and work in Cullera (Spain). Photos: J.P. Serrano, S. Vera.

 
Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016 Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016

Around 1,000 young Christian leaders from 150 countries are participating in the 2016 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering, to reflect on global mission.

 
VIDEO Video
 
How did the Reformation shape educational and political institutions? How did the Reformation shape educational and political institutions?

Lindsay Brown, Director of FEUER, talks about how the Reformation had a defining and far-reaching impact on Western educaton  institutions, which profoundly influenced modern society.

 
Creation Care and the Gospel, in France Creation Care and the Gospel, in France

The conference drew about 90 delegates from across Europe. Scientists, theologians, activists reflected together on the theme “God’s Word and God’s World”.

 
“It is inconsistent to say we love the Creator while we destroy His creation” “It is inconsistent to say we love the Creator while we destroy His creation”

In creation care, “we need more people who lead by example”, says well-known Brazilian politician and activist Marina Silva. 

 
Human traffickers recruit girls and boys online Human traffickers recruit girls and boys online

The new video of the European Freedom Network addresses the dangers of social media. 

 
“Remember you are dust” “Remember you are dust”

Vaughan Roberts speaks from 25 years of ministry experience to share four lessons on staying the course as a Christian, despite ongoing battles with the world, the flesh, and the devil.

 
Walk Walk

A two-minute video on the meaning of Jude 24.

 
Playmobil animation on Luther’s life Playmobil animation on Luther’s life

British video platform GoChatter uses 4,000 individual photos to create stop motion video on Martin Luther's life.

 
Individualism: from the Protestant Reformation to 21st century capitalism Individualism: from the Protestant Reformation to 21st century capitalism

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi on how the Protestant Reformation underlined individualism as a means to please God, and how secular Europe corrupted it.

 
Students in Europe: “We are present” Students in Europe: “We are present”

A summary video of the IFES Europe conference which brought together 1,700 students from many countries in Aschaffenburg (Germany) to reflect on God's mission in society.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.