"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Dispensations? Visitations?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Dispensations? Visitations?

A readers asks "who were the Christians from the 30's (AD) to 1850?" -- you know, from an OALC point of view. In other words, between Jesus' time and Laestadius, who qualifies?

This is one of the questions I asked the preachers as a teenager. I think I was told something about dispensations but whatever it was, it didn't stick. Help me out, readers.


  1. I have always heard that they were considered the dark ages. Where there wasn't anyone saved in those times.

  2. The European OALC branch teaches that there is a line of believers going all the way down to the apostles. There are some Christian movements in the past that are generally recognized as having been "living faith" by the European OALC branch: the Waldensians in early middle ages (about 1000 AD I think), the Hussites in later middle ages (14th or 15th century) and the Herrnhutians in the 17th and 18th century. The "reader movement" in Northern Sweden, which the Lapp girl Mary was a member of, is believed to be an offspring of the Herrnhutian movement. And also the Haugians in Norway around the time of Laestadius are considered to have been "living faith".

  3. It is interesting that all of the mentioned groups, except for the Swedish readers, have survived to this day although the Laestadians often do not consider them "living faith" any more. There are Waldensians in Italy (they just recently merged with the Italian Methodist church), Herrnhutians in Germany and the Baltic countries. Besides, I think the Moravian church in America has Herrnhutian roots, or maybe they are Hussites? I'm not sure about that. And there are still Haugians in Norway and America. I think they are called something like "Lutheran brethren" in America.

  4. Ignorance is bliss! Ignorance (not used slanderously, but in its truest sense 'without knowledge') coupled with fear (of doubting, questioning, studying for one's self) are fertile fields for radical fundamentalists (of any religion) which breeds hate, distrust, isolationism, arrogance, etc. I am floored that many take a wide brush soaked in the ideology of the OALC preachers and go on to paint an idea that says that most all were unsaved from the time of the writing of the scriptures until mid 1800's. THINK about it. I'm reminded that "The wisdom of man is but foolishness to God". Ironically, the 'man' spoken here I am talking of is not the worldly generic man, but the LLL/ preachers man. I hang my head and breathe a heavy sigh in exasperation and shake it in unbelief regarding the ignorance of such doctrines (that will be viewed as gospel to many).

  5. There is a line of believers going all the way down to the apostles. Yes, this is the mainstream-OALC way of thinking this question.

  6. I have a vague memory as a child of seeing a book that had a chart outlining the various branches of Christianity down through the ages. In the main branch, drawing a straight line, were the apostles, some of the groups mentioned in the above posts, right down to the Laestadians.

    Shunted off to the side were the Orthodox, Catholics, Anglicans, and all the other groups that one would normally associate with Christianity.

    I wish I remembered more about this book. It wasn't the catechism, because I have a catechism and the chart isn't there.

    I not only wish I had a copy of this book, but I'd love to have that chart framed on my wall, because in a single image it so clearly illustrated one of the main thrusts of Laestadianism.

  7. Re:Dispensation & Visitation

    Where does Luther fit into all of
    this? Was he a Christian,part of the line of believers?After all he
    is in the Churh Name.

  8. "Where does Luther fit into all of

    Luther's sermons are sometimes read instead of Lestadius sermon in OALC-meetings in Finland.

    HappyWeekend! FinnJemmy

  9. Luther's line goes right back into the Catholic Church.

  10. "Luther's line goes right back into the Catholic Church"
    If he is part of the line of believers how do they get out of
    the above?

  11. I seem to remember that Fox's Book of Martyrs was approved reading in the OALC. Lot of people in that book of different denominations . . . . hmmmmm. . . .

  12. Look if a preacher gets up and says its a SIN if you any doubts
    about what he preaches (in other
    words a voice from God)that in my
    book is dispensation.Why even any
    need to establish a line of believers?

  13. Previous post on comments not
    added here.

  14. If infallibility in sermons and
    otherwise is claimed through
    dispensation,it would seem to be the ultimate in grandiosity!
    Imagine if God picked you out of
    the many sinners for personal
    communication.I thought this was
    the very thing they preached against.Of course they prefer to
    call it

  15. cut off?
    a noble calling which it could be
    without the infallibilty claim but
    continuosly bewail their sinful
    state and unworthiness for such
    a calling which is in effect a sort of reverse search for more
    admiration of their excessive
    humbleness. Talk about milking
    both ends of the spectrum!

    Itis sad to be so negative in
    this fight what other way is there
    to dampen influence with sometimes
    disastrous results where the
    development and blossoming of family members is being crippled
    by the above in addition to the
    personal damage to your own life
    in the struggle to overcome.

  16. "Luther's line goes right back into the Catholic Church"

    Is that a broblem?

    Luther with some more born-Catholics can for sure be saved by our God.

    3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.


  17. "Luther with some born-Catholics etc"
    . THat doesn't answer the problem.
    Luther is not some ordinary born-Catholic who happened to switch. He is the Founder of the
    Lutheran Churh and the starter of the Protestant Revolution.You use his sermons in Church and theology. Surely he must have a
    more central role than that of a
    mere switcher! Was he in the line
    of believers and if not why not?

  18. I think their are two views in the Firstborn Laestadian (OALC) movement about Luther's role in the "line". As far as I know all consider Luther to be part of the line of believers, but some are of the opinion that the "living faith" did not come to the Swedish Lapland through Luther but through rather through the Herrnhutians and the earlier representatives of than line, the Hussites, while others are of the opinion that the "living faith" that came to the Swedish Lapland through through Luther and his followers. Buts most of them might not have any specific opinion about which way the "living faith" came.

    (Please note that I'm not expressing my own beliefs or opinions, I'm just trying to give a picture of the Firstborn Laestadian/OALC view on the matters)

  19. "Previos Post"

    Do you mean some believed the
    "living faith" started with
    Luther which would make all the
    previous years the "dark ages"
    as the first post heard?

  20. I guess my post was a bit unclear. Let's try again... No, I've never heard any European representatives of the OALC claim that the "living faith" started from Luther. Such a belief might exist in the American OALC, but I'm quite sure most Europeans would reject such an opinion as heresy. In the European OALC equivalent, the unbroken line of believers is considered to be an absolute necessity for salvation.

    In my post above I tried to say that some consider Luther to sit on a different branch of the tree than Laestadians, i.e. they think he had "living faith", but at the same time they think that their own "living faith" line did not go through Luther but rather through the Herrnhutians and the Hussites. I've met this view especially in Norway, while Finns tend to draw their line through Luther. I don't know if this tendency to pass Luther could have something to do with the firmness of the Norwegian rejection of for example Luther's doctrine of baptism and the general indifferent attitude towards Luther? Finns usually have a lot warmer attitude towards him, and even his view on baptism is accepted by many Finnish "oalcers". Just my speculations...

  21. I'll have to take back part of my claims stated above concerning the line of believers being necessary for salvation. That applies to the traditional European OALC view, but I think it should be mentioned that especially in Finland, and to some extent also in Norway, there is a strong reform movement, and the necessity of the line of believers is one of the things many reform-seeking European oalcers object to. So, the traditional view (and the only one you here in sermons) is that it is necessary, but you will find individuals who have a different opinion.

  22. Theoforos.thanks for the information.I learned more from you than any preacher I ever talked to.
    My conclusion after the above is
    that if Luther is in the 'line' It has to stop with him to avoid
    backing into the Catholic Church
    although many of his beliefs (being a former priest) were extracted from same Churh and incorporated into the Lutheran religion.
    Putting him on a separate branch
    appears to be an avoidance maneuver to solve the above problem.

  23. Re:Line stops (starts at Luther)
    Wow,the nuclear option if true!
    Of course the easiet way out of
    all of these problems is to claim
    dispensation making (lines)
    unneccesary for sslvation.Does
    anyone know if any all of the 8
    or more branches of Laestadianism
    have done so? Also do they believe only there branch is saved?

  24. Dispensation-Dictionary-A religous system considered to be
    divinely appointed.

    In my former branch 1AP we were
    told that all other churches were
    worldly we were the only true church.I guess you call that a
    belief in dispensation (divinely

    All splits including the SRK no longer got the "Gods Peace"
    greeting.You can draw your own conclusions.

    This has to be belief in the
    ultimate dispensation! Of the 6
    billion on the earth today plus
    past and future people,only less
    than 0.001% will be saved and more than 99.99% will end up in

  25. 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
    7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

    "0.001% will be saved and more than 99.99% will end up..."

    Who knows the percentages, I dont.
    - FinnJemmy

  26. Re;Dispensated Group

    How can you possibly know what
    each individual believes even
    within the subject group?

    I believe we are all different.

    i How much of your belief is to
    go along with friends and family
    especially among women where
    social bonds are so important.
    How many of them are doing the

    How much do you compromise to
    ssve your marriage? Maybe your
    mate is doing the same.

    How many preachers are towing
    the party line? Heaven forbid
    that they have a thought of
    thier own!

    Do you really believe what you
    say you do?

    I wonder.

  27. LLLreader sez--previous poster makes a good point--the appearance of an OALC family can give the impression that they are hard core "sorrowful" ones. If they are correctly dressed--long hair and scarves for women, no neckties for men--have several kids--attend church and gatherings--ask forgivness from othes--etc. But who knows what's inside? We did all the correct stuff--but it wasn't from a spiritual need or from wanting to please the Lord. Our behavior was to simply keep relatives and other church members from criticizing us. In later years someone asked me what my family actually believed. What did we believe????? I didn't have a clue.

  28. Re:"strait is the gate"

    Of course the hurdle most of us
    have is which gate among the
    competing beliefs is right?
    If I choose wrong I might be on
    the road to hell as many
    preachers keep telling me!

    The biggest problem for all
    Christianity has been that they
    can't get their act together
    including the Laestadians.

  29. It is an immature faith that concerns itself with competing beliefs of men. Go directly to God.

  30. Re: "Go directly to GoD"

    That in its self is a competing

  31. s
    Re:"0.01% to be saved"

    In my conversations with Jehovah's Witnesses (Yes I invited
    them in) they made reference to the belief that only 144,000 will
    end in heaven on the right hand of
    God,the rest of the saved wilh end
    up on a changed earth through a
    series of events.Revelation 7 says
    something about this but is confusing to say the least as is all of that book.

    There is also competition from
    the Waco Texas leader (already
    departed)who also used this claim
    to seduce his followers.

    Looks like many others are making these ssme dispensation


  32. A few thoughts in response to the posts here (great blog btw)

    re: definition of living faith.. someone here said: "We did all the correct stuff--but it wasn't from a spiritual need or from wanting to please the Lord" To me, that is part of the definition of living faith.. Not just an outward 'show' or the 'correct' church membership, but a real and living, day by day trusting, and a joyful faith that we are acceptable to God because Jesus has paid the price for all of our sins! So, it's something that is real and the Holy Spirit resides within us, teaching and leading us, comforting and enlightening us. When we look at it that way, it doesn't matter one bit what anyone else thinks of us.. we follow only One. So I hope that all of us can be encouraged wherever our paths lead us!

    "Go directly to God".. just a thought about that.. Yes, we don't need a church as an intermediary, but we do have Jesus, sitting on the right hand of God.. We ourselves would not be acceptable to approach God because we have fallen short of His laws, but Jesus has fulfilled the law in our place.. He is our Friend, our Brother and our Saviour.. So we have no need to fear because Jesus is there.

    re: others making dispensation claims.. OH! that is certainly true.. the JW's, 7th Day Adventist, and so many others. But the main thing in my mind is that we are not under any kind of 'to do' list as so many religions advocate.. Jesus has paid it all. "For by grace are ye saved through faith, and not of yourselves, it is a gift of God" Ephesians 2:8.. This was Luther's vision and gift to us, and what we can and must cling to, no matter what anyone says! Praise God!

    God bless!