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

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Faithful Remnant

Here are some thoughts about exclusivity from "A Generous Orthodoxy" by Brian McLaren:
One of the most fascinating and vigorous sectors of protesting Protestantism has been 'restorationism' -- a belief held by a succession of groups through church history that, by finally getting the last or lost detail right, they now represent a full-fledged restoration of "New Testament Christianity."

Having been raised in one such group, and having spent a lot of time with many wonderful people in other restorationist groups as well, I can tell you this: if you are part of a restorationist group, the group dynamics of your group will be nearly identical to those of every other restorationist group. Change the details -- mode or meaning of baptism, church structure, administrivia of worship or piety . . . , doctrinal fine print (a unique interpretation of at least one verse from Revelation, for example, that highlights your group as eschatologically significant) -- and you could be in any super-Protestant restorationist setting . . .

Restorationists . . . often refer to themselves . . . as a remnant. This remnant language is common in the Bible. For those who need consolation for small numbers, it's an attractive blanket to wrap up in: we're not small because we're ineffective, or lazy, or ingrown, or otherwise unattractive; we're small because we're a faithful remnant! Everyone else has compromised. They're taking the easy way. We're the few, the committed, the faithful . . .

What is a truly faithful remnant like? Its members do not turn inward in elite self-congratulation, smugly casting a critical eye of disdain on the rest. No, the faithful remnant "after God's heart" turns its heart others-wise, outward, toward the unfaithful, in loyalty and love. True faithfulness bonds the hearts of the faithful to their unfaithful neighbors. . . . The faithfulness of a faithful remnant is not crabbed and constricted; it is loyal, magnanimous, and generous.


  1. I am wondering why The OACL doesn't greet people who don't belong to the church. I was recently at my brothers house and some friends of their's came over and greeted everyone but my husband and I. I have seen this a lot and Im very offended. If they were truly greeting with God's Peace, wouldn't they greet everyone, especially those who in there minds are basically heathens? Tell me if Im over-reacting.

  2. Re:God's Peace

    Counter attack! Ask them why and
    how they know you are not worthy
    of such a greeting.

  3. Re;Greeting

    Catholics to their credit greet
    everyone within reach God's
    Peace or something similar as
    part of their service during
    weddings in which many are not.

  4. When I was a member of OALC and would be in a group where there were nonmembers, I would never greet them with "speace" because I felt that they would feel awkward and so would I. I imagine a guy would feel strange saying "speace" to a nonmember too, especially to another guy. I never thought of it as being rude, I just thought it was easier. There is that Finnish thing too of being a little quiet. On the other hand, if people know who you are, and don't greet you, then they are probably just being rude, or scared, or unsure of themselves, or mad, or who knows what. I have a lot more respect for the words "God's Peace" since I left the OALC. If I am greeting you and wishing you the peace that only God can give you, then I am saying it with my heart. I think it has lost some of it's meaning when it is said so often and so automatically. I never thought about what it even meant when I was growing up.

  5. My husband and I are members of the ALC, and we also use the greeting God's Peace. One day awhile back, he went into the local barbershop (the barber is OALC). He said there were several others there also, who were OALC. In comes another (OALC) gentleman from the East. He proceeds to greet everyone, including my husband. Then he started commenting to the barber that it's hard for him (not being familiar with everyone here) to know whom to greet. My husband spoke up and said "don't we greet others to let them know that we have God's Peace in us and that we wish they do too?" He said that everyone agreed, and he got his haircut and left. We never did find out if the man visiting from the east found out he had greeted a "worldly". ;-)
    Another story.... His co-workers are very familiar with the OALC church, and one day wanted to know what the "secret handshake" all about.

  6. I am sure after your husband left, the man was told that your husband was a 'worldly'.

  7. Thanks for asking about what to do when you are not greeted. My husband is an OALC and by now I know who will and who won't greet me in most cases. I walk with my head high and 'greet' THEM first. They don't have a choice except to greet me back or look foolish in front of others. I am tired of feeling like the foolish one and feeling like I don't exist. AND I really DO want to extend God's Peace to them and hope they feel it in their own heart. A few years ago the Elders were in the US and preached that everyone in a room or where ever should be greeted personally,not just a 'wave' to the room. One day some people were leaving the home where I was, and a little boy told me 'bye, God's Peace'. I said God's Peace to him, he said, 'NO! It's BYE, God's Peace!' It was kind of cute, but it also goes to show that it is a man made saying in the OALC.

  8. Greeting is to show that you have peace of God in your heart and hope another has it in their's. If you don't want to greet, say HI. It makes us feel like we shouldn't be in your company if you don't at least say something!