"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Rescued Essay from a Bygone Blog

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Rescued Essay from a Bygone Blog

Sadly, "godspeace.blogspot.com" has disappeared. Who can blame the blogger for moving on? Certainly there are happier mountains to mine for a writer. I've been tempted to pull the plug on this one, too, but something tells me that somewhere, someone is finding it helpful. Before the following essay (by blogger LarsLevi) dissolves into ether (I found it in Google's cache), I'll repost it here:

Are your sins forgiven? A study in paranoia

I recently ran across this short six page pamphlet on the Apostolic Lutheran site called, Are Your Sins Forgiven? As I read through it, I asked myself two questions. One, would anyone want to convert to Christianity based on what they read in this document? Two, what does this document say about the document writers?

For the answer to the second question, one has to look no further than the first couple of paragraphs in the pamphlet:

For there shall arise
false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great
signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible,
they shall deceive the very elect.
This prophecy is being fulfilled in our day. (p.2)

If you read between the lines, you can see that the biblical text from Matthew is used to implicitly support a very Apostolic Lutheran notion, namely, Be very afraid of the world, because it is filled with 'false Christs.' We, the Apostolic Lutherans have the full truth, so you'd better cast your lot in with us.

The same idea is reinforced further on page 4:

A person that has not had new birth cannot understand
the spiritual in the parables, such as in Luke
15:18, the case of the prodigal son. This is the decision
everyone must make!

If you have not had the 'new birth,' you cannot possibly understand anything 'spiritual,' according to the Apostolic Lutherans. Since Apostolic Lutherans consider themselves to have 'new birth,' this is a very convenient way of discounting anyone elses opinion. This is where paranoia of other groups reaches it's height.

To be fair, the document does try to answer my first question --although the answer is quite insidious. This document isn't really trying to win new converts to Christianity. Instead it is setting up a dichotomy between those Christians that have had the 'Father's kiss' versus those who realize that the 'father's kiss is not enough.' (p. 4) This is where paranoia about one's own spiritual state reaches it's height. Instead of resting in God and believing that one's sins are forgiven, the Apostolic Lutheran is actually constantly questioning whether his or her own sins are forgiven, leading to extreme asceticism, judgementalism, and weird behaviors that, in my opinion, are functions of the need for the Apostolic Lutheran to reassure himself or herself of their favored status.


  1. Please don't pull the plug on your Blog. You do a fantastic job and I enjoy it very much!

  2. Thanks, anonymous!
    It seems there is some technical problem that keeps some folks from commenting. I'll look into that.

  3. PLEASE keep going. I'm in my mid sixties and have been out of the church for 40 years. Many of the thoughts expressed here are ones I've carried in my head all these years. I just now am realizing the enormty of the churches influence on the mind. I have your writing about "words out of Lapland" on my wall. That ax still swings.