"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Crapula Mundi

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Crapula Mundi

Seems many of you readers are shy about posting comments. That's okay. Kind of. For a while. Now get over it and join the conversation!!! Ask questions, share an idea or rant, whatever, but please help keep this boat afloat.

That said, kiitos to the reader who asked me to share my impressions of "Fragments." (I haven't read very far because -- whine alert -- my new poetry blog, ikebana lessons, volunteering, job, housework, hubby and two spunky kids. Not necessarily in that order.)

The book is fascinating. I'm getting a sense of Laestadius as a rebel who used language to shock and manipulate.

At the age of 43 he wrote his pastoral thesis "Crapula Mundi" (I'm told it means "world's hangover"), in which he railed against the Swedish theological rationalism of Enlightenment. The first ten theses were written in Latin, the 11th in Finnish (the sale of liquor in Sami territory was done mainly by Finnish-speaking traders and new settlers) and the 12th in Lappish. Seven of the 12 are included in the Introduction to "Fragments." Here are the last two:

11. The friends of temperance go astray when they speak more about temperance than about the Christianity.
12. A Lapp is a man of better quality than a new settler or a non-Lapp.

The last one is quite revealing. Seems ethnocentrism was at the very genesis of Laestadianism, whether due to actual belief or by design.


  1. This is way off subject but something that has been on my mind. My husband has been very ill for about 1 1/2 years. He has endured numerous hospitilizations, procedures and surgeries. I have added him to prayer chains all over the world and many work friends have requested anyone they knew to pray for him. Now my point...the Finnish or First Apostolic Lutherans from which I hail have never had prayer groups, chains or circles as so many other churches do. Why is this? I'm sure many of our relatives that are still in the church have individually prayed for us even though we have left and they no longer see us as Christians. Why though has the church never established formal prayer groups? Is this consistant with the other Laestadian branches? Other than the Lord's Prayer and the Benediction I feel I was never taught to pray. In fact, public prayer was very uncomfortable and foreign to me when I first "came out". It took me awhile to feel the hand of God when we would have potlucks and such at work and all held hands and someone said grace before our meal. At first it seemed phony to me. Thats the closest word I can think of to express my feeling. As a Finn Ap I would have doubted(or was programmed to doubt) the sincerety of their prayer. You know, how can God hear unbeliever's prayers! Man was I brainwashed! As I allowed my mind to be opened and tried to learn to quit judging I now feel great thankfulness and joy to be able to hold hands and say grace with my fellow workers. But also as a former Finn Ap, I don't think I could every feel comfortable to say grace for others. Silly isn't it?

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  3. But to describe who is a Lapp is rather meaningless these days. A friend of mine lives up in Swedish Lapland, and this is what he observed among today's "Saami" people when he went to their winter reindeer capture. All of the reindeer are herded by snowmobile and helicopter down into a big valley separated by fences. Each family group has their own fenced off area, and branded reindeer are herded into the family fence. Family members come from far and wide to help with the reindeer herding and kids old enough to help are out of school during the days this goes on.

    Among today's modern Saami, he heard Swedish, Finnish, and the Saami language being used.

    Who is, and isn't a Saami, is rather fluid. It may not be defined by the language one speaks.

    During Laestadius' Day, it was not so fluid. At one time there were only Saami. Finnish settlers and Swedish-speaking came later, but from my understanding Finnish speaking settlers came first.

    During LLL's day, the Saami felt oppressed by the new settlers and it was the beginning of the disruption of their traditional way of life. However, through intermarriage, many Saami became Finn, and vice-versa. Us American Finns may be more "Saami" than we realize.

  4. Referring to the first post above, I too have inquired throughout my life about prayer in the OALC. It was confusing to me. On the one hand we were told to pray that God's will be done, and we knew that was the right thing to do, however that was it. Never a bedtime ritual, never done around the dinner table, usually only at church in silence. Not so long ago I heard that if you pray, then feel good about it, that's self-righteousness. That left me wondering exactly what I should feel after praying --- nothingness? Hopelessness? The OALC has no prayer chains, although prayers are asked for those who are ill or dying, those who are experiencing heavy trials, etc. My mother is known to say things like, "Look at those people, praying at that table over there, that is so nice to see, and they're worldly!"

    I am just now in my middle age learning what it means to pray, giving the power of prayer deep thought, and
    feeling its overwhelming sense of calm.

  5. Isn't it nice that God is the self-sufficient One; that He doesn't rely on popular opinions of what is true about Him on what He is and isn't able to do?

    About the prayer thing, there is not only a lack of prayer, but a mockery of people who do. Interesting how they could believe this spirit to be from God. I didn't even know how to pray until a few years ago. There is so much power in prayer, it is no wonder why Satan wants to keep us far from it.

  6. I didn't realize how hard it was for exaps to pray in front of others. Thought it was just me. Now I just speak from the heart and know that whoever is with me hears it as a expression of love and thanks to our Lord. How can anyone think that is wrong?