Thousands quit Lutheran church in Finland after its Archbishop came out in favour of same-sex marriage


#1

** Thousands quit Lutheran church in Finland after its Archbishop came out in favour of same-sex marriage **

independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/thousands-quit-lutheran-church-in-finland-after-its-archbishop-came-out-in-favour-of-samesex-marriage-9896339.html

Thousands of people have resigned from the Lutheran church in Finland after its Archbishop said he rejoiced “with my whole heart” following the government vote to legalise same-sex marriage.

According to Finland’s YLE, between the time that the vote went through on Friday and midnight on Saturday almost 7,800 people had resigned from the church using an online system that aims to ease people’s resignation.

Each person who resigns their membership also resigns their commitment to pay taxes to the church, which is the Lutheran church’s main source of income in Finland, YLE reports.

More news that seems topical and of importance.

** 13,000 quit church over gay marriage row **

vanguardngr.com/2014/12/13000-quit-church-gay-marriage-row/

** Gay Marriage Acceptance by Finnish Lutheran Archbishop Prompts Mass Resignations From Church; Nearly 8,000 Resign Over Weekend**

christianpost.com/news/gay-marriage-acceptance-by-finnish-lutheran-archbishop-prompts-mass-resignations-from-church-nearly-8000-resign-over-weekend-130485/


#2

Each person who resigns their membership also resigns their commitment to pay taxes to the church, which is the Lutheran church’s main source of income in Finland

Maybe the idea of paying a Church tax originated with the Lutherans but I don’t know. A bit off topic.


#3

Question is, how many will become Catholics? :wink:


#4

To put this in perspective, according to the CIA World Fact Book, there are about 4,100,000 Lutherans in Finland. 13,000 is approx .3% of all Luterans in Finland. They’ll probably just start their own chuch unless they can find one that agrees with them on each and every issue.


#5

Church taxes are imposed by the Governments in Europe. It doesn’t matter what faith you are. All faiths are typically supportive, and it keeps the church from meddling too hard in government (don’t want to bite the hand that feeds you). I read awhile back that the Catholic Bishops of Germany receive $15,000 per month!

In any case, this likely explains the response from this Bishop in Finland as well as some of the unorthodox doctrine that came out of the Synod on the Family. The hierarchy is fighting for Mammon versus fighting for the truth.

In other words, follow the money.


#6

He was just making the point that those who resign are hurting the financial end of the Church. Maybe the archbishop cut off his nose to spite his face. God Bless, memaw


#7

I’m not sure how many countries do this in Europe, but it applies to all faiths in Germany. Recently, there was an article about the fact that people are not registering with their church (to avoid taxes) and then showing up to receive Sacraments - Baptism, Marriage, etc. In Germany, there are cases where the priest is denying them those Sacraments, because they aren’t registered.


#8

The reason they can’t receive the sacraments is that to unregister you need to make an act of apostasy which is an automatic excommunication. Basically to get out of the tax you need to say you are not Catholic.


#9

Kind of like the Old Catholics. :wink:

Typically, they need clergy to do that. If there are no Lutheran synods that are true to the historic Church teaching on this matter, they may seek out attachment to another synod near by. For example, there is an ILC Lutheran synod in Denmark.
And there is the SELK in Germany.

Jon


#10

That’s what I was hoping.

:slight_smile:


#11

I wouldn’t expect to see a mass (:whistle:) conversion, but depending on what I mentioned above, some certainly could. If the LCMS starting ordaining women, I would probably become Catholic.:shrug:

Jon


#12

Here’s hoping the Finnish Catholic Church is in a little better shape than the German Catholic Church…! :wink:


#13

$15,000/month is a lot if that’s true.

However, anyone who has been to Europe will attest that there are astonishingly ornate and beautiful churches there, many with artistic, cultural and historic significance. To have them fall into ruin would be a national calamity. I would not be surprised if some of the state support is motivated by a desire to keep them in repair; something that would be enormously expensive. Long ago, the churches had independent resources that kept them in good condition. Now they don’t.

In the U.S. there are some truly magnificent churches, but nothing like the way it is in Europe. Churches in the U.S. have always been supported by donations alone, and most show it. :blush:


#14

:slight_smile: :thumbsup:


#15

You’re correct.

In most European countries, older churches are protected by cultural preservation laws (sadly only the facades :frowning: ), meaning that if the owner (in most cases, the Catholic Church, Anglican, Lutheran and the other “old” Protestant denominations) went bankrupt, then the state would have to pay for maintenance and renovation. The state does not have the same access to faithful members who volunteer, perhaps offer services at reduced rates and so on, meaning such a “solution” would cost the state a lot more than the current church taxes.

In countries with a state church (or, in most cases, still-bound-loosely-to-the-state church), it’s also a matter of keeping up “services”, since even nominally religious people still tend to want religious funerals, weddings, and so on. Additionally, pastors and priests relieve the public health system to a not insignificant degree, through counseling and so on. There’s still a surprising amount of people who seek a pastor or a priest for counsel, even if they “never” go to church. I live in one of the formerly-state church countries, and I was surprised when a Lutheran priest (they call them priests here) told me how many counselling appointments he had in a week - from the number of churchgoers on Sundays, I would have guessed they were close to nil.

To conclude, the church taxes are based on a pragmatic consideration - the state ends up saving money by supporting religious organizations economically. Due to freedom of religion, this support is universal, all registered religions and generally also other organizations based on world view (humanists being the most common) receive church taxes. It works well, and retains separation of state and church in that it is universal - the teachings of a church will not decide whether they receive tax support. I’m sure some politicians would like such a “screening”, but they know very well that such an attempt would be condemned harsly by the European court of human rights.


#16

Although I don’t begin to understand the different denominations, I find it very heartening that Lutherans are standing strong in their faith! What is considered the sensus fidelium among Catholics evidently has a universal element in that the followers of Christ will know and witness to the truth regardless of falsehood.

And please, Jon, come check us out! :slight_smile:


#17

I agree they might start their own church, but I hope your comment doesn’t mean to imply in a subtle manner this “issue” is of little importance. Apparently, same sex “marriage” is a huge controversy among Christians of all faiths. I have a Baptist friend in NM who is opposing his pastor over this same thing.


#18

Well you could also become WELS (I am WELS) they are not going to be ordaining women anytime soon. However I’ve been looking at RC or EO myself. Long story.
We have no LCMS(my home church)within an hour of my house so I’ve been member of a WELS for the last 22 years.

My Mom and brother in a different town switched to LCMS from years of ELCA membership over this issue.


#19

whoops I meant the above for this post^^


#20

Yes, that is a small percentage but apparently, those who resigned their membership did it online within the first 24 hours of the decision.

From the original article:

According to Finland’s YLE, between the time that the vote went through on Friday and midnight on Saturday almost 7,800 people had resigned from the church using an online system that aims to ease people’s resignation.

independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/thousands-quit-lutheran-church-in-finland-after-its-archbishop-came-out-in-favour-of-samesex-marriage-9896339.html


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