"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Your Karma Ran Over My Dogma

Friday, February 11, 2005

Your Karma Ran Over My Dogma

I feel like I'm in college again, with four books going at the same time. Recently I dropped everything, however, to finish "Seattle and the Demons of Ambition" by Fred Moody, a local writer who chronicles the dot com boom in my beloved city. The same boom that made some of my friends millionaires -- at least on paper -- overnight.

On page 140 I found this gem:

"When the flaming, boiling sphere (in science, religion, social life, art) cools, the fiery magma becomes covered with dogma -- a hard, ossified, immovable crust" (from Evgeny Zamyatin's essay "On Revolution, Entropy, Dogma and Heresy")

I quote it here because I think one can make a good case for Laestadius as a reformer who attempted to rescue the (Swedish) church from ossification after the revolutionary reforms of Luther. Unfortunately, he did not have the vision to see what his extremism would engender, or if he did, he thought it was worth the price. In his letters, one can see him worrying about his severe "law sermons" and admitting that he must add some "grace" in them (disguised in parables) to give hope to the awakened.

What would Laestadius think of his current followers? His "fiery magma" is now dogma, perpetuated for tradition's sake, not for any reformist goal. Or so it seems to me.

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