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

Wednesday, August 17, 2005



They drew a circle that shut me out -

Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.

But love and I had the wit to win -

We drew a circle that took them in.

(Edwin Markham)


  1. whoops, i have a typo. It should read-

    -I am not saying that your way of revieving the forgiveness is not legit, I am saying the ways mentioned in the Bible are legit also.

  2. All I can say is AMEN!!!

    I grew up in and still attend the ALC, and was raised with the same teaching you were. Well... almost, the difference being that WE(the ALC) were the only Christians. I don't believe that(the exclusiveness), and neither do most of the rest of the ALC congregants, but a few still do. My parents being one of them. It's not easy is it? Especially when it's close family. Of course I still attend the "right" church, but I have siblings that don't, which doesnt' bother me, but it certainly bothers the parents.
    That teaching about the forgiveness of sins is the problem many have with the ALC also. Not everyone believes it, but there is always the vocal minority. The biggest problem is that we still have men in the pulpit who preach that way. It's like 2 churches in one.
    This thought just occurred to me also, if man has the powere to forgive sin, then there is a human element involved, which can only lead to problems. Somewhere along the way, someone is going to decide that forgiveness should be with held until an individual shows more remorse/leads a better life etc.
    God's way is just so much simpler.
    Also if the ALC and branches are exclusive I'm sure God would have mentioned them in the Bible, don't you think?
    God Bless You

  3. Many Trails Home8/19/2005 04:58:00 PM

    Hello, all you deep thinkers. I think the subject of forgiveness of sins deserves a heading of its own, it being the "KEY" on which the entire exclusivity of the OALC (and apparently other Laestadian churches) is based. I had an epiphany on this subject some time ago, namely: We were taught that "Christians" held the keys, and "whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted, and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained." So therefore, in order to be forgiven and have a shot at "eternal life," we had to have our sins forgiven by another "Christian." Period. But this forgiveness is hollow, if the forgiver does not also have the right to refuse to forgive. By this reasoning, mere humans have the right and power to consign other humans to everlasting hell and damnation. Poppycock, I say. That cannot possibly be the correct interpretation. God forgives. We ONLY need God to forgive us. And we can ask him directly, as you say. Of course, if we wrong someone, we should ask their forgiveness AND ATTEMPT TO RIGHT THE WRONG (not part of the OALC teaching, and an error, in my opinion). But this wailing and carrying on on the necks of other "Christians" about "being such a poor example, hardness of heart" and whatever are the "generic sins du jour" is, well, mostly a contrived attempt to guarantee entrance into heaven. In my opinion, there is very little true remorse, even less real sin, perhaps some self-indulgent purging, plenty of mis-placed guilt, an escape from consequences, and a diversion of our attention away from LOVING EACH OTHER. It may sound extreme, but I think OALC has elevated the forgiveness of sins into a false god. Repentance uber alles. What about loving our neighbor, visiting the sick, alms to the poor, inviting your local prostitute to lunch? Do we REALLY do what Jesus enjoined us to do? Not by a long shot, but we think wailing and carrying on gets us off the hook. (As a classic Laestadianism, my sister-in-law said that God knew we could not actually carry out the injunction to LOVE EACH OTHER and so he gave us forgiveness of sins as an alternative way to get into heaven).
    I could go on and on. I would be curious to know your thoughts on this most central subject.
    May we be blessed with great wisdom and forgiving hearts. MTH