"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: One Reader's Journey

Monday, November 22, 2004

One Reader's Journey

A kind reader has allowed me to excerpt some of her writing here, with the hope of helping others. This is the story of her journey.

"My questions actually started . . . in my teens. At that time I guess I just didn’t have the maturity to understand my questions. I thought I was just being rebellious or not having faith. I don’t know that I ever really believed (in my adulthood) that the Apostolic Church was the only true body of Christ. The more I read the Bible the more it had been revealed to me that my path as a Christian was not (in that church)."

"I think the reason I stayed so long was mainly, not wanting to cause sorrow or worry. It was also very hard to leave the culture that I loved. I knew if I left the church I would also lose my cultural connection. There is also the pain of knowing that many people who I love would no longer consider me a Christian. That is a painful and lonely path to follow. But a far more painful path for me was to ignore the Holy Spirit speaking to me and revealing truths to me."

"I felt like I was starving for God’s word and wasn’t getting it . . . I needed truth from the Bible preached to me. I have always clung to a passage . . . in John or Romans . . . that we need to hold what we hear up to the test of the Bible. What I was hearing was only partially passing the test."

"The forgiveness of sins is available to all who believe and call His name. Nothing of our own works will save us “lest we should boast”. So my asking (others) for forgiveness will not save me, because that would require something on my part (or theirs). Only my faith in Christ and going to Him can save me. The forgiveness of sins is the confirmation of what He has already done. Otherwise, if it was required that I go to some other and ask my sins to be forgiven, that is saying that we can do better or add to what He already did on the cross. Since Jesus is the ONLY way to our Father and salvation then this cannot be so. Now though the declaring of the forgiveness of sins is a very wonderful and blessed gift, it is not what saves. Christ dying and my accepting (and believing) are all that will save me. My confessions I can make to God in my prayers or if I choose I can confess to another."

"So how can one be only saved in this one church? How can all others who teach that Christ died for all man’s sin, and all must believe and turn to Him be wrong? I agree that there are many false doctrines out there. There are many dead and lost churches that are trying to be so inclusive as not to offend anyone. I’ve visited many of these churches and put them to the test of the Bible."

"I never got a “yes” from God at any of the local churches I tried until I visited C___ Lutheran Church in S___. This was the first service I had been to for many years that I felt the Holy Spirit move me. I decided to stay and visit for a while. I’ve now been going there for over a year and have become a member."

"I’ve found peace, Biblical truth, and a living congregation. It is so hard to try to explain to you or others what the difference is. I’m more than willing to discuss it but now only with those that let me know they wish to have this discussion with me. I have no desire to insinuate my beliefs on those that think I can no longer possibly attain salvation since I no longer declare myself an Apostolic Lutheran. I don’t wish to negate anyone’s beliefs but I do know that I have been led to my new church and awareness. And no, I don’t believe that it is the only “right” church. It is the church where my Heavenly Father has told me He wants me."

"I guess I only feel that I need to be open and honest . . . I feel no shame, doubt or regret, only sorrow caused by the judgment of others.

"I’m just so thankful that I have been led to a place where I can worship. Some things are very strange to me. After going to a church for all of one's life, the way a service is run can be strange and foreign in another church. I had to learn that cultural rituals don’t matter. Only that what is spoken is Biblically true and pure. That the beliefs of man are not spoken as Word. That everything taught to us can be proven true by the Word He has left us."

1 comment:

  1. Hallalujah (Praise the LORD - yah..jah is part of God's sacred name in hebrew for anyone just learning)and AMEN!! We only need believe in God's SON!
    HAPPY THANKSGIVING ... everyone!