"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: More Sins, In No Particular Order

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

More Sins, In No Particular Order

From an ex-OALC correspondent, some additions to the Short List of Sins:
Boy Scouts
a career in Real Estate (have to work Sundays)
boys and girls traveling together to meetings
trimmed beards
working on Thanksgiving day
using scissors on Sundays
comic books
funny papers
playing pin ball machines, video games
musical children's books
melodious religious songs
traditional Christmas carols
Trick or Treating
praying out loud
referring to gatherings as parties
going to the races
becoming a policeman or fireman
playing catch on Sunday
recording a sermon


  1. I am writing to let you know how great it is to finally hear from someone else with similar experiences. I am also enjoying some of the same "sinful" indulgences as you, for the first time in my life! I grew up between Washington state and South Dakota. I am now living an enormously fulfilling life in South Dakota. I am also raising my children with the knowledge that "Chrisianity" is a reality not the OALC organization. I am so thankful that I was also blessed with a loving, supportive husband and many wonderful friends.

  2. Just to let you know that there are many of us out here! I was not raised in the OALC, but actually chose to become a part of that church when I was about 20! I was in it for 20 years. It almost destroyed my relationship with my family who never understood my choice, or my constant grief or condemnation of their "sin" and their lack of "understanding". It was not until 1980 when I moved away from an area of "christians" that I turned on my car radio to a Christian station and found out that there were many other people with deep convictions and more understanding of the Bible than I had ever gotten in "the christianty". That started my search and I thank God that I have learned quite alot since then.
    How good it feels to be free of those RULES and sins!

  3. Hey, wonderful insight that Christianity is a reality. It is reality not a religion or an organization or a building that you go to. Too bad so many people (OALC and others) miss this. I left the Laestadians about 5-6 years ago in my middle forties and I got into God's Word (His letter to us). I thank HIM so much for my freedom from man's rules and sins that God does not even say are sin. More sins in the Spearfish, SD church are:
    Going to Spearfish Park
    Going to the lake on Sunday (prob. now it is anyday)
    Wearing your dresses too short
    Wearing your dresses too long
    Going to Walmart on Sunday (everyone still does)
    A woman with curled or short hair does not have the
    power to forgive sins

  4. Hey this is awsome, I just sent the site to a friend that I meet on line that is an ex-member and she is a support for others that wish to leave the cult...I live in a small town and we have a bunch of families that are moving here more and more....it is hard to watch.

  5. I wish we could meet and talk. I have family members who won't speak and haven't spoken to me for years because I left the church and got divorced. I rejoice in the fact and feel less lonely to know there are more of you out there. All the best and thanks for your thoughtful words. I was born and raised in this insidious cult. How freeing it is to have left. How difficult and sad it has been to know I was once "loved" only because I was one of "true believers". I bought the program, hook, line and sinker, and was on every kind of antidepressant known for years before I had an "awakening". Thanks again for your courage.

  6. Would it be prying if I asked how many of you are from the SD/WY area? I live in this area and I don't know many others who have left the church.

  7. I was raised in an apostolic lutheran church and I never heard of so many rules! The girls (and boys) in my church can wear whatever we please. Short hair, earrings, make-up, etc. Boys can have long hair, some wear earrings as well. A few old people raise their eyebrows but say they are glad they are here.

    We've always had TV, radio, and gone to movies. People take vacations to Mexico, and probably wear a bikini on the beach. A few of our ministers and others have advanced degrees--we've doctors and Ph.D.s among our ranks. Girls tend to go to college as often as the boys do, maybe even more often these days. Some women have master's degrees. Most people have 2-4 children per family, but a few have more. Practicing birth control is considered an individual choice. Only males preach and can teach Sunday school. Men can wear neckties and often do.

    What is not accepted:

    1. Drinking in any form. Smoking is somewhat acceptable, but increasingly not.
    2. Dancing. Aerobic excercise is okay.
    3. Sex outside of marriage. (Though I found out in my older years there was more sex that was going on then I thought).
    4. Going to another church.

  8. It's me again, the long poster. I've been thinking more about what I previously posted. I went on the Net (which is NOT forbidden in my church, BTW) and was looking up information on a site that had my great-grandfather who was a minister that disappeared, and read this site. My son has a classmate in the OALC, so I found this interesting and read on. When I first saw their last name and found out they were fellow Finns, I talked to the boy's mom, who wore a bun and long skirts. I wondered if they were Menonnite. They have 14 children in their family. Then another parent told me that the boy is not allowed to watch anything on TV at the school and cannot participate in the annual Halloween parade and cannot have his birthday celebrated at the school. I am pretty sure now he is part of the OALC. I suppose that is why my son's birthday party invitation last year was not acknowledged in any way.

    I think what bothers me the most about my church is how I was raised was so in conflict with my father's adulterous behavior. Here my father is married, with several children, and has this string of affairs with worldly women. I remember a few times finding bottles of alcohol in the house that my mom explained away saying that my father had "stomach problems" and he took some wine to settle it, and that our great-grandfather, who was a minister, took wine for that very reason. She made all kinds of allowances for him. I feel like how one poster described how children should be raised totally in to the church or totally out of it, and "taking allowances" is so confusing to the children. Here I am as an adult and I am still confused, I must confess.

    I wish my parents had been like some of my aunts and uncles, who took the rules of the church seriously and applied them to their own selves. They made sure they lived in an area close to the church and lived the life of a christian believer. Though I never lived with any of them, and they surely were not perfect, their children seem less confused than me and some of my siblings are.

    When I divorced, I felt like my immediate family turned against me in a way. Though my husband left me for someone else, I felt their blame. If I had been a better wife, not yelled as much, or was more patient, or if my husband had just been a little older, he would not have strayed. It was like they blamed me for it. My sister stayed friendly with him for a while, which really hurt me. I had to go completely out of my family for support, but I found new non-related friends at the church, and then my immediate family became suspicious if I were telling lies on them. They kept asking me, "How do you know THEM?"

    Oddly enough, in my own family, it was my father who supported me the most. I'm still not on the best terms with some of my immediate family, but I am muddling through.

    Has anyone read "Popular Music of Vittula" which recounts a tale of two boys, one of which is Laestadian, one who is not, during their adolescent years? It is set in Swedish Lapland, where the dominant culture is Finnish. The Laestadian boy's father has left the church and is basically a drunken, mean SOB, and the writer of the story says that the worst kind of Laestadian is one without God.

  9. Dear Anonymous,
    Thank you for your candid posts. Soon I will provide a link from them to the current day's topic, so folks can find you more easily. In future, you might want to post under the current day's topic.

    It sounds like you have weathered many difficulties without succumbing to despair. Good for you.

  10. Don't despair! Are you into the Word? That will get rid of any confusion. Sounds like you are a caring person who could help others in religions like that once you would find your own answers. Only God leads us to the truth and that sets one free. You be proud of yourself girl!

  11. current ALCmember(not Old)4/13/2005 11:28:00 AM

    Hi ~ I just wanted to comment on anonymous who belongs to an ALC church, but who doesn't have so many rules. The branch I am in has churches across the U.S. and Canada and they range from "liberal" to very strict (almost like the OALC). And in some congregations, particularly the very large ones you will find members ranging from one end of the spectrum to the other.I was raised with rules... No tv, no entertainment like fairs or amusement parks or skiing, Long natural hair was best, but I had bangs which I curled and that was mostly acceptible as long as I didn't get a permanent. Some things weren't okay when I was younger, but were later, like shorts in public, though we were allowed to go swimming (even on Sunday!) :-). Jewelry was okay in moderation except earrings. We had radio and as teens we listened to music, but it was frowned on by the parents. They only listened to news,and political or economic talk shows. Sports were out as far as joining a team or listening to or attending a game.
    I had cousins who had more restrictions than me and some with less. But I can honestly say I had very little idea of what Christianity is about (beyond rules). As you can see the rules had little consistancy.
    The biggest confusion area was (and still is for some) the misuse of the words repentance, confession and forgiveness of sins. Many grew up being taught that your sins are forgiven when one confesses a sin and recieves the declaration of forgiveness in Jesus name and . Repentance meant that someone has done the above.
    It is so wonderful to know that my sins and every one elses were forgiven when Jesus died for them. And I am a Christian because I BELIEVE that he died for ME and HE washed ALL my sins away. The oral declaration is only for reassurance if one has something on their conscience that they wish to confess and receive that reassurance.

    I hope that made some sense. The ALC church I now attend used to have a reputation close to that of the Oalc, but thankfully there have been some major changes in the last few years. Not everything changes overnight, but the important things have. (Truth is spoken!)

    One thing that seems to be different between the ALC and the OALC is that we seem to have more freedom as far as individual members,and idividual churches.

    Just wanted to add my 2 cents. God Bless you all and give you strength.