The Briefing, Albert Mohler

Monday, April 4, 2022

It’s Monday, April 4, 2022.

I’m Albert Mohler, and this is The Briefing, a daily analysis of news and events from a Christian worldview.

Part I

A Picture of What’s to Come: Finland Becomes Ground Zero for the Collision of New Modern Age and Biblical Christianity over Issue of Gender and Sexuality

We’ve been tracking the intersection of modernity and so many of the big moral transformations of our age. We’re also looking at what can only be described as an inevitable collision between the new morality of this modern age and historic biblical Christianity. The fronts on this battle are many, and yet one of the most important of them right now has been taking place in the nation of Finland.

Finland is not so often in the active imagination of Americans as a precedent making nation when you’re thinking about many of these cultural issues. But right now, Finland is ground zero. In order to understand what’s going on there, we need to see that there are two people who have recently been acquitted by a court there, perhaps only for a brief amount of time, basically for holding to biblical Christianity.

One of them very importantly is a Lutheran bishop. A bishop of a smaller Lutheran Church there within the nation of Finland. The other is a legislator, a member of parliament, who is also a medical doctor who had previously served as the interior minister for the Finnish government. Both of them found themselves facing criminal charges there in Finland for, on the one hand, the parliamentarian, having written a document that was entitled, “Male and Female He Created Them,” upholding a biblical understanding of gender and sexual relations.

Then the bishop of a church for having held to the same convictions, having supported the member of parliament, you can pretty much see the picture. Now, the good news is that last week, a federal court there in Finland, acquitted the two of the charges. The bad news is state prosecutors have indicated they’re going to try to appeal the acquittal of these two defendants, but what we see more than anything else here is just a picture of things to come.

It’s easy right now to say, “Well, that, after all, is in Scandinavia. That’s a long way away.” You’re looking at a hyper modern civilization. We’re talking after all about Finland, but we’re going to have to talk a bit about Finland in order to understand this context. People are saying, no doubt there are many in America saying, “Well, we have the constitution. We have the Bill of Rights. We have the First Amendment. Surely this couldn’t happen here.” But you’re looking at similar kinds of protections in place in nations like Finland.

Let’s ask ourselves, why Finland? These days we think of Finland as a rather liberal Scandinavian country. It has a very important history, a history that includes the fact that, through much of the passe millennium, Finland was a part of Sweden. More recently was a part of the Russian empire. As you look at its history, Finland shares a great deal of its historical legacy with other Scandinavian countries, but also with Russia, since it was a part of the Russian empire until the breakup of that empire during the Bolshevik Revolution in 1918. The Soviet Union would later invade Finland intending to take the territory.

The Finns bravely held off the Soviet invasion, but not without enormous cost, and without a settlement that basically made Finland an adjunct to the Soviet Union, so much so that a verb, Finlandization, became a part of the European and American conversation. But let’s just think about religious history. Christianity came to Finland at some point, just into the second millennium of the Christian history. So, you’re looking at something like the year 1050 into say the 11th and 12th centuries. It was a period in which some form of Christianity, and that would’ve meant catholic Christianity, came into Finland.

Finland was also fairly early influenced by the reformation. But later, when it was a part of the Russian empire, going back to the fact that it’s right there up against the Northern border there in Russia, the fact is that Russian Orthodoxy has also had a foothold, so much so that Finland right now has two state churches. One of them the much smaller is Orthodox. The other, the much larger is Lutheran, a formal church known as the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland.

It is, not only a state church, it is a very liberal church. It is important to recognize that in contrast to several of the other Scandinavian countries, such as Denmark, and Sweden, and Norway, church identification is higher in Finland, and there are more Finns who take their babies to be baptized in observances, and also use the churches, or identify with the churches for certain passages of life, such as weddings and funerals.

But in reality, there is no strong theological sense of the presence of Christianity in the country. And Finland, along with other Scandinavian countries, along with the pattern, basically of Northern European countries, is actually very liberal on most social issues. When it comes to the LGBTQ revolution, it is already far advanced there in Finland, so much so that hate crimes legislation and hate speech legislation, basically, as we now see, would outlaw the exercise of, and the preaching of biblical Christianity.

Now, what we saw in this court decision last week in Finland was that there are limits right now to how much a secular culture is going to say Christianity simply can’t be articulated in public. But we need to note, the government has indicated that it intends to file an appeal so that the prosecution can continue. We also need to recognize that when you’re looking at this member of parliament and you’re looking at this bishop, you’re looking at two individuals who are considered by the larger culture to be not only out of step, but potentially subversive to the new moral regime.

The legislator’s name is Paivi Rasanen, and she had faced a potential sentence of daily fines amounting to 120 days. But let’s just not, the big issue here was criminalizing Christian speech in such a way as to have a chilling effect, not only on this one member of parliament, but also upon all Christians in the nation of Finland. The other person, in a separate case that was related, was Bishop Juhana Pohjola. And he had faced a potential daily fines of 60 days. He was found. According to the court, not culpable for the publication of the legislator’s 23 page booklet, “Male and Female He Created Them.”

Ken Chitwood reporting for Christianity Today said that the Finnish court “also stated in its decision that it is not its job to interpret biblical concepts.” Under Finnish law, according to this report, the judges said they are not able to determine whether a particular interpretation of a scriptural passage is correct. The CT report also made reference to Finnish media that had reported that both of the parties had cited biblical texts in the court proceedings so frequently “that the court’s chairman had to remind them that the judges would decide the case on the basis of Finnish law and not Christian Scripture.”

Well, the big story here is that intersection, that is a collision between historic biblical Christianity and the modern moral revolution, and sexuality, and gender. You can have one, you cannot have both peacefully coexist within one culture. Here’s where we see that it’s the sexual revolutionaries who believe they definitely have the upper hand in the culture. Now, you see the coercion that is following. In this case, the coercion was, and since the announcement of the appeal, is directed against a Finnish member of parliament and a Finnish Lutheran bishop, but it won’t stop there.

These are two in what will no doubt be a very long list. We have seen similar cases in Canada and in Great Britain already. So far, most of these have been settled on behalf of the freedom of the church to speak historic Christianity. They’ve been settled that way, but in ways that are extremely restrictive. In other words, you couldn’t say this kind of thing if you weren’t pastor or bishop of a church, or if you were not writing in what’s presented to the public as something like scriptural exegesis or biblical interpretation. You couldn’t, in other words, make statements like this that are intended to have any effect upon public policy.

The European publication known as Christian Today, that’s different than Christianity Today, reported that during the trial, the prosecution had argued that using the word sin could be considered derogatory. And the use of the word “sin” could be considered harmful and “claimed that it was not challenging religious views, but the expression of these views.” Notice that very carefully. In other words, they’re saying, this is not something that’s covered by religious liberty. This isn’t about religion. It’s about the expression of that religion.

But that’s the point, isn’t it? Because now you are going to have a society that says, here is your legitimate expression of your religion, and here’s an illegitimate expression of your religion, but it’s going to be secular authorities, and perhaps secular authorities under the direct influence of LGBTQ activists and that ideology who are going to be seeking to make that distinction. And make no mistake, this is not a distinction that will stay far on the other side of the Atlantic.

The cross currents in terms of the sexual revolution are simply too strong to mean that these arguments will not show up very soon somewhere close to you, perhaps if not in a court, then on a college campus, or in the national media.

Part II

Biden Administration Seeks Further Advance of LGBTQ Revolution as It Moves to Allow Choice of Gender ‘X’ on U.S. Passports

But now let’s come back to the United States. Just at the end of last week, the Biden administration announced that American passports will soon allow persons to indicate gender with X rather than just being restricted to male and female.

The report in The New York Times said this, “The Biden administration, on Thursday, announced several measures intended to make federal forms of identification, applications for federal programs, and travel documents more inclusive for Americans who identify as transgender or non-binary, or who otherwise do not conform to traditional gender roles.” But let’s think for a minute. As we’re thinking about the permutations, the multiplication of options, indeed, the now infinite array of options that are claimed by the new gender idealogues, then how do you come up with a form at all?

If you can’t have male and female, well, what do you add? Well, in this case, it’s just an X, but here’s something else to note, this can’t last for long. Because if you give people, according to your moral ideology, the ability to name themselves, to identify themselves in an infinite permutation or an infinite set of options when it comes to gender and sexuality, well, let’s just state the obvious, X won’t remain the only allowable or acceptable option for long. A lead statement for the Biden administration came from the state department, Douglass Benning, identified as a principal deputy assistant secretary for the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, said the day before the decision was formalized, that the process had included collecting public feedback.

Well, many different steps, including, according to The Times, working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health “to collect research on how to define an X gender marker.” Now, wait just a minute. How are you going to define it if the whole idea here is that you’re going to allow 300 plus million Americans to define it themselves. This particular spokesman for the state department said, “We are firmly committed to promoting and protecting the freedom, dignity, and equality of all persons, including transgender, non-binary, non-binary and non-gender conforming persons around the world.”

It won’t stop there, of course. The same report tells us, and I quote, “The Biden administration said the option of the X category would soon be expanded to applications for federal student aid, discrimination complaints with the Equal Opportunity Commission and the White House’s security system for workers and visitors. One particular spokesman for the National Center for Transgender Equality, Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen said, “This is absolutely phenomenal for transgender Americans. Many people,” he said–I think it’s “he said”–“still live in states where that process for updating your driver’s license or state ID is onerous and might be expensive.” He said, “Very expensive.”

We’re then told more than 20 states provide a gender neutral option of X on a driver’s license, but The Times tells us, “Dozens do not, or have requirements like certification from a doctor to change gender.” Just to indicate once again, that this will not end at this point. Jessica Stern, identified as the US special envoy to advance the human rights of LGBTQI+ people “said the government would highlight the inclusion of gender options on passports in its promotion of LGBTQ rights globally. And she said this, “With this development, the United States joins with other countries that recognize their gender options on passports without additional verification beyond the person’s own affirmation.”

Now, here’s another thing, a closer look at the actual policy indicates that, as you might expect, it’s a little more complicated than you might think. You can’t just change your passport here and there, back and forth. But nonetheless, this is another sign that what we have in the White House and what we now have in the state department, and elsewhere in the executive branch of government is an administration that is doing everything it can to try to further the LGBTQ+ agenda. Period. That includes having persons with an American passport, not to mention all these different applications and forms for federal programs, who are now identified as X.

Remember, this is being celebrated as a great gain for human liberty. A statement from the White House included these words, “Every American deserves the freedom to be themselves, but far too many transgender Americans still face systemic barriers, discrimination and acts of violence.” Well, just to note again, the all expansiveness of those first words, every American deserves the freedom to be themselves. Now, that butchers the English language in any historic form. And nonetheless, that’s what’s happened to pronouns because of the gender revolution.

But you’ll notice that there are no limitations on this statement, which again, just points to the fact that the revolutionaries, if pressed to honesty, don’t mean what they say. They can’t actually mean that every American deserves the freedom to be themselves, not in any extent of just expanding all identity political markers to just anything anyone might declare him or herself to be. Yes, I will continue to use those pronouns. But instead, just stating every American deserves the freedom to be themselves. Again, the White House said that. The White House can’t actually mean that. It is political posturing, but it’s political posturing with a political effect.

And we understand right now what that effect is. It is a further statement of the commitment of this administration to put the United States government solidly in line behind the furtherance of the sexual and gender revolutionaries. A report in USA Today included one other very odd, but I guess very necessary statement. Here’s the concluding paragraph. “The Department of Homeland Security, on Thursday, also announced a number of advancements for transgender Americans while traveling, including more advanced screening technology, less invasive screening procedures, and an update to the TSA pre-check program to include the X gender marker.”

I am not going to speak too specifically here, but you’ll notice the use of the words, less invasive screening procedures. When you consider the kind of imaging, that is simply undertaken by the TSA for necessary security reasons, and you consider that there have been male and female distinctions made, we’re now in a world in which, I guess, you need less invasive screening procedures when there is a reason someone might have an X, whereas the screening would actually suggest something else. I’ll leave it there.

Part III

How To Reject Creation in the Classroom: Cornell University Releases LGBTQ+ Research Guide for Faculty and Staff

I’ve often remarked about the fact that if you want to join this revolution, when it comes to sexuality and gender, let’s just say you are no holds barred, absolutely committed. You want to further this revolution as fast as you can. You want to be as encouraging as you can possibly be to the revolution and to the revolutionaries, you want to be as with it as possible. Well, I just ask you to consider the difficulty of that challenge. For instance, let’s take it an example, Cornell University. One of the Ivy League institutions, this New York-based university is one of the most prestigious in the United States.

Recently, it released a report, and with the report came a public relations release, a press release entitled, “Classroom Tips Resources Provided in New LGBTQ Guide.” Well, we’re told that the guide was released by the provost of the university and the provost office of faculty development and diversity, and the Cornell LGBT Resource Center, the LGBTQ+ Resource Guide for faculty and staff. We’re told that it now “offers best practices and tips such as using gender inclusive greetings in meetings and classrooms, integrating LGBTQ issues into curricula and hiring, or including statements in course syllabi and other gatherings that stimulate discussion and ensure civil discourse.”

The press release also tells us that the list of employee benefits now includes gender affirming healthcare opportunities. Again, let’s just understand what that means, as well as we are told a glossary of terms related to the LGBTQ community. I’ll just tell you, that glossary of terms is a doozy. The end of the press release includes a statement from Yael Levitte, identified as Associate Vice President for Faculty Development and Diversity at Cornell.

And this administrator said, “We recognize that language evolves over time. This guide will be updated to better depict situations and experiences.” Here’s where Christians just need to step back a moment and say, this isn’t just about language. This is about to denial of creation reality. This is about far more than language. Reducing this to language makes it appear that the language is all there is to it. That when it comes to pronouns and all the varied and inventive vocabulary, you find in this kind of guide, it’s just about changes in language.

We all know that language changes. We should expect language to over time. But we’re not talking about a gain of some kind of specificity in language here. We are talking about an effort to undo millennia of human experience, human knowledge. And of course, what we just have to keep reminding ourselves is an unchanging reality. I was sent the report, and it includes statements meant for faculty, such as this, “Gender is a social construct based on norms. Gender identity is one’s internal sense of their own gender, while gender expression is how one presents their gender externally.”

Now, again, I just have to pause because I care about the English language. And here you have an Ivy League university using a form of language with there, supposedly standing in as a singular pronoun, and it just points to the fact that there is no end to the destruction of this revolution. And it doesn’t start and end just with language. We’re then told this, “Gender in Eurocentric cultures is often categorized as binary, that is two distinct and opposite categories of men and women, but it’s not so simple.” Now, again, you see here, the attempt to try to use colonialism or imperialism as the blame for how you end up with a gender binary of male and female.

We’re told that’s Eurocentric. Well, let’s just point out again, if you want a baby, it’s not just Eurocentric, it is the reality that it’s necessary in Asia, Africa, Antarctica, I realize that’s a strained example, but let’s just face it. Wherever human beings have babies, it is not merely a Eurocentric construct. But Cornell is all into suggesting that it’s just a construct. That paragraph ends, “The terms male and female fail to capture are the complex biological, anatomical, and chromosomal variations in the human body.”

The guide then goes on to specify common experiences of LGBTQ+ college students, sexual and romantic orientation, what it means to use the language of sex assigned at birth. It goes on and on, but I promise you, the most interesting part of this entire guide is the vocabulary list. Now, last week, I discussed the fact that Disney had revealed it is, for some time now, no longer use terms like men and women, boys and girls, and welcome to the magic kingdom or to other Disney properties.

But Cornell’s right in the same revolution. The exhortation is, “Avoid gendered greetings.” “Recognizing that not all people fall within the gender binary of men and women, you can use gender inclusive language in your classroom, such as hi everyone, welcome students. How are y’all doing today?” As a Southerner, I just have to find some satisfaction that there, in upstate New York, Cornell University is saying that y’all is now a preferred terminology.

Also, thanks for being here today, folks. So, everyone, students, y’all, folks, you can use that kind of language, but don’t dare say anything about male and female. Then what follows in the guide is a list of so-called microaggressions experienced by LGBTQ+ students. As you look at this, you can recognize it’s going to be virtually impossible, not somehow to be accused, if you’re a member of the faculty at Cornell University, of some form of microaggression, such as “using heteronormative metaphors or examples in class.”

What’s the problem there? Well, just trying to find non-gender binary examples in say the history of English literature, how are you going to go back to Shakespeare? You’re not going to have Romeo and James. It is still Romeo and Juliet. But as you’re looking at the curriculum, you’re going to be charged with heteronormativity if you don’t find some example of non-gender binary characters or narratives in your course study. As for the administration, it is encouraging LGBTQ studies.

We’re told, “The field of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies is devoted to the investigation of the complexities of sexuality and its importance to the organization of social relations, more generally, primary among its concerns is a study of lives, policies, and creative work of sexual and gender minorities.” How about bathrooms at Cornell? “In keeping with the principles of non-discrimination and inclusion, student, staff, faculty, and visitors are invited to use restrooms and facilities corresponding to their gender identity.

We’re then told that there’s a map indicating where restrooms would be available on such a basis. I mentioned the vocabulary list. Yes, get ready for a vocabulary test. But here are just some of the words as defined. I’m, in general, just going to mention the words, not the definition. Agender, aromantic, asexual, biphobia, bisexual, cisgender, coming out, deadnaming, gay, gender, gender binary, gender expression, gender identity, gender nonconforming. All of these are terms that come with associated definitions.

Homophobia, intersects, LGBTQQIA. So, now there are two Qs, and now the paragraph tells us that means the two QS are for queer and questioning. Then lesbian, misgendering, non-binary. The list concludes with pansexual, passing, queer, and queer comes with no less than three different bullet points of paragraph definitions, and then questioning, sex assigned at birth, sexual orientation, transgender, and of course, back to the phobias, transphobia.

But I end with that word, transphobia, not just because it is the last term on the list, but it’s an appropriate way to end our consideration of what we are now as Christians facing in this culture today. The definition of transphobia is this, “The discrimination against or hatred of those who are gender variant and/or the inability to deal with gender ambiguity.” Notice those last words. They’re perhaps the most subversive. The inability to deal with gender ambiguity. That means, if you oppose the transgender revolution at any point, for any reason, you are simply guilty of transphobia because it’s now defined, in part, as just the inability to deal with gender ambiguity.

If you disagree, it is because you’ve demonstrated at least an inability to deal with the gender ambiguity. The problem of course, is you. If you will not join and completely surrender to the sexual and gender revolution. We’ll be tracking this in days ahead because the developments are coming now just that fast.

Thanks for listening to The Briefing.

For more information, go to my website at You could follow me on Twitter by going to For information on The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, go to For information on Boyce College, just go to

I’m speaking to you from Laguna Beach, California, and I’ll meet you again tomorrow for The Briefing.

R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

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