"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: At Last, a Place in Cyberspace

Thursday, August 26, 2004

At Last, a Place in Cyberspace

When I left the Old Apostolic Lutheran Church at the age of 18, I gave up not only my religion but my family, my friends and my support network. There was no way of knowing who else had left the church or how to contact them if I had known. I was on my own without a 12-step program, support group, or therapist trained in the particular psychological issues of leaving this fundamentalist sect, which teaches its adherents that salvation is possible only within its walls, and the price of leaving is to be shunned by members and indeed, by God.

It took me years of therapy and the love of many, many good people to deal with my past and create a healthy, happy family of my own. Over the years I have searched the internet for information on the OALC. I learned more online about its founder, Lars Levi Laestadius, than I ever did from the church, and I still remember my surprise at discovering that this revered "prophet" was a botanist turned revivalist who lived in the 1800's -- not the time of Christ.

But I've yet to find information on "my" OALC online (although there is information about related churches and about Laestadius). Recently a google search led me to a heated dialogue on pasty.com (you can find it in their archives).

This blog is a beginning.

Let me say here that my experiences in the church are just that, mine. No doubt there are former OALC members with very different experiences. Even happy ones.


  1. Hi! The church I attended was on the East coast, but that is as far as I will go! Too many reprocussions, you know!? Anyways, Thanks for putting up the site! It's great!

  2. Thanks for allowing the use of anonymous! It will encourage so many others to write in! There is so much condemnation to deal with if one learns who you are.
    Thank you!

  3. As a former 1AP and after a review
    of the L history,the hair-splitting,dissension,and down-right nonsense over the years over
    doctrine would be laughable if it
    were not so destructive to peoples

    Do these preachers,elders,etc.have
    any idea of the mental havoc of
    depression,nervous breakdowns feel
    -ings of worthlessness,by thier
    continued negative preaching?My wife (deceased)was a victum.Also
    setting rules of conduct for fellow adults has to be the ultimate in arrogance.

    The final nail in my coffin of 1AP
    belief was when the preacher would
    say if anyone had doubts about what he(preacher)` believes that SIN is forgiven.Another example of arrogance!In other words you have
    the mind of a child in comparison
    to him and you can't depend on it.

    Keep up the good work!Rationsl people seem to be in short supply.

  4. RE:SITE
    I posted yesterday under Mental
    Havoc.I hope I didn't leave you
    with the wrong impression yesterday about the death of my
    wife She had a nervous breakdown
    aroud the age of 40 due to the problem discussed.She contacted
    breast cancer at age 62.

    Site possibilites:
    Well first of all your site
    has done a geat service to others
    like us who realized they are not
    alone in their doubts about their
    Secondly the reasons for these doubts are remarkedly similar.
    Thirdly where to now?
    Your subtle change to the positive
    side of the problem thru choir songs and etc.would seem to be one

  5. Re;Site CONTINUED
    Got cut off and sent?
    Any Discussion of Bible would be
    Possibly research into the origin
    of the Bible would be of interest.
    (By the way who were the Christians From 0 to 1850?)

    Why not open up for trial period
    for any comments as long as they
    are civil from the 100's that are lurking

    Thanks once again for your efforts.

  6. You're welcome and thanks for the suggestions.

  7. Re:Site(Previos Post)

    It should of read:

    By the way who were the Christians
    from the 30's to 1850?

  8. Re: Treatment of Women.

    It is noticable to me (male)that most of the comments made on
    your site seem to be from women
    which is signifant.

    I am a former 1AP and was raised in the 1AP CHURCH. and remember when the treatment of
    women was on the verge of being

    Husbands and wives did'nt even
    sit together in church with the
    husbands of course going to communion first.(This has now changed from the dark ages)

    In Bible study I rarely heard a
    women join the discussion.

    In my own family the father made
    all the decisions with very little
    say of my mother.

    But you know what? After my dad
    passed away my mother blossomed.
    She took charge of the household
    and did something I never heard her do before,playing the piano
    beautifully at my daughers house!
    She must of learned it before she
    got married.

    What a waste of enjoyment and
    talent talent through all her ye

  9. Re:Treatment of Women Cont.
    Cut off and sent?
    What a waste of enjoyment and
    talent through all her years of

    As they say: You Go Girl!

  10. I tried to post on your site
    but the screen feezes up.

    Re:Gender Talk

    The marriageable women in the
    OLAC and other churchs have far
    greater power than they are
    using. It occurs in the court-
    ship phase.

    In my former Leastadian church
    are two prime examples:
    (1)A guy (an outsider) was a
    heavy beer drinker. He was court-
    ing a young woman from the church
    The woman would not marry him
    until he quit drinking and
    converted. He did both and they
    (2)A member of the church was
    courting a rather prim and
    assertive female member.He was
    definitely one of the "guys"
    and was having a tough time of
    it.However they eventually got
    married much to suprise of all!
    Once married it was obveous to
    everyone who was in control.

    You can be sure in those
    marriages the wife has plenty
    to say about her role!

    You have the power,use it!

    But don't abuse it,unless you
    want to end up with a Knapsu
    which apparently some women do,

    To each his own.