Räsänen and Trueman are in the same battle but only met each other this week


European Union

Evert van Vlastuin, CNE.news

Dr. Carl Trueman (left) and the Finnish MP Päivi Räsänen at the conference in Lunteren, the Netherlands, this week. Photo CNE.news, Evert van Vlastuin

Päivi Räsänen and Carl Trueman have often been mentioned in one breath. But they never met. Until this week.

“I have read Truman’s book, Strange New World”, Räsänen says. “That book explains many experiences that I had during my court case. When I heard we would meet, I knew you were an excellent lecturer.”

Dr Carl Trueman smiles. “I knew of Päivi”, he says. “I follow news about religious freedom, and I think I came across her case in ADF newsletters around 2021. But we never met, until last night.”

Räsänen and Trueman spoke this Wednesday at a conference about “self-worship” by the Dutch organisation Bijbels Beraad M/V. Trueman gave two lengthy lectures about the Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, as the title of his main study is about the Sexual Revolution and the (trans)gender movement. Strange New World is a summary of that. He is a professor at Grove City College in the USA.

Räsänen spoke about the criminal court case against her social media expressions against the Gay Pride in Finland in 2019. She is charged with hate speech because she referred to Romans 1 in connection with homosexuality. Two courts have acquitted her, but she must still appear for the Supreme Court in Finland. She is a Parliament Member in Helsinki and served as Home Affairs Minister. (All reports about the case against Räsänen can be found with this tag.)

Trueman and his wife were “very excited” to meet Räsänen. “We felt humbled because Päivi has lived all these things in a way that had personal costs.”

What did you expect when you were about to meet her?
“Well, in fact, I had expected you to be taller”, he says to Päivi. “In my mind, you were a big person. It is amazing to find somebody just a little taller than my wife, who –by the way– is such a powerhouse.”

Mrs. Räsänen, you have listened to two long lectures by Carl Trueman. What could you learn from that?
“I learned about the historical roots of today’s atmosphere and ideologies. After listening to him, I fear the situation is even more serious than I thought.

In the end, he stimulated families to go to church every Sunday. I think Christian fellowship is important. The community is important, and so is listening to sermons together.

Many Christian families, for example, in Finland, have huge problems in getting their children to church. For this reason, it is essential to stimulate each other. If the parents go, the children can follow. In this time, we need a voice like this.”

One of the things Dr. Trueman said was that the LGBT phenomenon has a relationship with a lack of friendships. Do you recognise that?

Päivi Räsänen. Photo CNE

“When I was 11 or 12, I had a close friendship with a girl. We really loved each other and always wanted to be together. If someone had said at that time that this was something lesbian and sexual, it would have affected me. It would have been very dangerous, just at that age, because girls can have very close friendships with other girls at that age especially.

Today, the LGBT communities are giving explanations to very young children that they are gay or lesbian, but that is not healthy for children. So, this attention for friendships is important.”

Dr. Trueman, you listened to Mrs. Räsänen’s speech. What do you take home from that?
“Her story was very powerful and moving. Particularly the closing part about the prostitute who had been converted to Christianity.

Paivi speaking in church.jpg
Päivi Räsänen speaking at the conference this week. Photo CNE.news, Evert van Vlastuin

If I consider Päivi’s court case, it looks like politically motivated persecution. However, I find it encouraging that the verdicts of the two lower courts were unanimous. While that does not guarantee a good result at the Supreme Court, it does give grounds for hope.

It is good to see that even in a very secular context, some people understand the importance of freedom of speech and religion. For Christians, it is essential to have these freedoms. And sometimes, we need some unusual allies.”

Mrs. Räsänen said that despite all the difficulties, it was a pleasure for her to defend the faith. Do you recognise that?
“I can only hope that I would have the same courage she has put in the same situation. We are called to stand courageously for the faith in whatever circumstance. Martin Luther has done that. For that reason, I appreciated that Päivi quoted him. Standing for the faith can be hard and even suffering, but I think it is a privilege.”

What advice would you give her when she goes back to Finland?

Trueman. Photo CNE

“It would be very presumptuous of me to advise her. But I would say this: keep doing what you have been doing.

In Päivi’s talk, it was very clear that she was conscious of the prayers of other Christians. My wife and I take that to ourselves and must remain faithful in prayer.

I am in a privileged position where I don’t experience much difficulty or anything remotely approaching persecution in my own life. There is some hatred against my books, but that is mainly online, and since I am not online that often, I don’t worry about it. But as privileged people, we can still pray and speak out for brothers and sisters.”

What advice would you give to Dr. Trueman?
“Oh, the only advice is a request, namely to come to Finland to give lectures and to present Finnish translations of his books. I first heard about your books in a Christian podcast. But it would be great if they would be available in a good translation, too.”



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