Some information below was found over on WMLTblog.org.
My predecessor, Rev Dr Anssi Simojoki, former director of LHF-Africa was defrocked by the capital chapter of the Lutheran Church of Finland yesterday. He was ordained in 1972 when things were very different than they are today. Dr Simojoki was very outspoken and published many critical op-eds in the Finnish papers against the direction higher criticism and liberalism took the church.
What was his offense and reason for defrocking? Not obeying church authorities and not submitting himself to the bishop. It didn’t matter that the theology and practice of the bishop was in error. The new standard is obedience to the bishop. This phenomenon is not limited to Finland but the demand for obedience over against justice and scripture is rampant in Europe, America, Australia, and Africa. It is time the people speak without fear. The head of the church is no man or pope. The head of the church is Jesus Christ and we hear his voice very clearly in His Word, the Scriptures!!!!
From Christopher C. Barnekov, PhD
1925 Saint Joe Center RD
Fort Wayne, IN 46825
[April 8, 2015]
The Swedish-Language Finnish paper, HBL, reports today that the Church of Finland has defrocked five CoF pastors who have been serving congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland. CoF bishops had threatened such action in 2013, and CoF did defrock three leaders of ELMDF, including Bishops Matti Väisänen and Risto Soramies and Dean Juhana Pohjola. This is the first time CoF has defrocked pastors simply for serving ELMDF congregations.
ELMDF was formed in March 2013 by Confessional Lutherans distressed by the CoF’s abandonment of Confessional Lutheran teachings and practice.
The five pastors targeted are Sakari Korpinen, Miika Nieminen (pastor of the congregation in Pori), Anssi Simojoki (pastor of the congregation in Laitila), Markku Sumiala and Martti Vaahtoranta (pastor of the congregation in Rauma). The action was taken by the Consistory of Turku (Åbo) Diocese.
Report in HBL.fi (in Swedish):
Previous report of CoF threats against Confessional pastors:
English-language webpage of ELMDF: lhpk.fi/en/
Here is a Google Translate version of the webpage mentioned above; it is not entirely accurate, but you get the gist of it.
The following is a computer translation of LHPK.fi (added by Norm)
The church lost five faithful servant of the Word
“We have not even met, but you is your assessment of my 43 years of civil paimenuuteni as inferior. I’m Your inquiry has found “manifestly inappropriate” pastor. ”
(Sakari Korpinen answer to the Bishop of Kalli sector last fall.)
Turku Archdiocese the cathedral has condemned the five faithful servant of the Word lose pappisoikeutensa the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church. TL Sakari Korpinen pastor, Pastor Micah Nieminen, TT Anssi Simojoki pastor, the Reverend Mr. Markku Sumiala and TT Pastor Martin Vaahtoranta considered to be manifestly unfit to work, chaplaincy ministry. I know these men personally, part of the already tens of years ago. As human beings, they are obviously in need of mercy and forgiveness, but exemplary priests who build churches in the word of God and their own opinions. They share the treasure, which they themselves live in the grace of God in Jesus Christ and lead Christians to prepare for the final judgment, in which the whole of humanity are investigated and judged.
Although the decision is for these five men, of course, tedious and dramatic, it is not a question, however, mainly the priests of himself. The church and the church officials are not priests, but priests are for the Church and kristikansaa. In that decision, the cathedral shows that it does not care about the part of the church of the people. When the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1986 made the word of God and Christian churches, the great majority of belief reckless decision to open the priesthood to women, it did thousands of parishioners homeless. It continued as expected, unfortunately, the public relinquishing the word of God v., 2011, when the bishops adopted a recommendation on behalf of gay couples, and with prayer for.
For those homeless people who feel unable to deal with “the Lord’s command” (1 Cor. 14:37) spirit of the time according to the requirements, but with respect, awe and gratitude, not the church leadership has provided no other solution than to submit to the Church of administrative decisions. Many observers have drifted outside of the Church, or left in small circles, excluded from the grace of instruments, pastors and church unity. It is these churches have been established for them, and for broadcasting rights to the diocese and now lost brothers have taken power and time use. One would have thought of the Church, which advertises itself as “rinnallakulkijana” and the small defender even tried to find a practical solution. The church facilities would be enough for those who believe, as well as all the generations before us in the church and the majority of Christendom on. The church boasts about tolerance, but does not tolerate among the staunchest belonging to members.
Kaarlo Kalliala cathedral release notes, “It is a pity that the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church of them as such invalid.” Kalliala statement is thoughtlessness describing: the moment the church shows the contrary, that these priests do not qualify for the Church and the herd, which they serve, the church is a matter of indifference. Both, the priest that our people would be very happy to remain in the church. They do not, but the church is gone their separate ways.
Turku cathedral decision did not come as a surprise – and perhaps that is why it is so poor: the management of the Church should not be constructive proposals, not a theological discussion, not willingness to cooperate, only administrative decisions. The clergy and church members a broad waiver doctrine of the Church and the commandments of God, such as marriage moral, does not seem to moving the church leadership, it is moved by the priests attitude of the administration.
God willing, Shipping diocese will continue to operate. The churches are places where the means of grace for them are accessible to whom the church is no longer a place. We do not have the exclusive right to the Lutheran fairs and the Lutheran confession. We look forward to all who will join us in the bond of the same faith everywhere, anywhere, as the word of God is not bound.
“Give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name, tell the people of his great deeds!” (Ps. 105: 1)