"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Passion of the Reformed?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Passion of the Reformed?

Originally uploaded by Free2beme.
I'm reposting Virginia's latest message here so it won't be missed. My understanding is that LLL's father was an alcoholic. From his letters, it appears he himself took only the occasional drink, but decided to quit for fear it would cause others to stumble.
Virginia said...
Hi all, I would like to share with you a description of Laestadius from the Saami Spirit Calendar 1999 (tomten publications, Bloomington MN). This is from a Saami cultural organization, not a Laestadian group. I will quote it completely, as it is not very long (the caps are mine):
"By the 1600s missions were established throughout northern Scandinavia and the Saamis were heavily pressed to abandon their ancient customs and convert to Christianity. Young Saami men were educated by the state to become priests, and one of these was Lars Levi Laestadius (1800-1861), a man many credit with saving Saami culture. A powerful orator who wrote and preached in the Saami language, Laestadius founded a christian revival movement in the 1830s which spread quickly throughout Sammi. He attracted a large following by preaching a message more in tune with Saami temperament and tradition. Scorning modernity - especially the use of alcohol - and the authority of church and state, his followers held fast to social traditions and language at a time when the Saamis were being strongly pressured to assimilate into modern Swedish or Norwegian society. LAESTADIAN REVIVALS WERE FIERY AND CHARISMATIC, AND PARISHIONERS OFTEN FELL INTO WILD STATES OF ECSTASY AND SPOKE IN TONGUES. Laestadian churches were established in the United States by immigrants from the Scandinavian countries, where they become known as the Apostolic Lutheran Church."
I thought this was pretty wild. Can you imagine "states of ecstasy and speaking in tongues" now? When I originally read this, I had the suspicion that Laestadianism was initially quite lively but that element got squelched when the Finns got hold of it and turned it into a morose, self-flagellating enterprise. Incidentally, my sister says that Laestadius was an alcoholic, and that's why he has the passion of the reformed. I'm not sure where she got that info.


  1. Laestadian churches that fall under the Pollari group, the only one that does not have an equivalent association in Scandinavia, still have that style of worship. At least two of these church associations go under the name of "Independent Apostolic Lutheran." They do not speak in tongues, however.

  2. I would be cautious about interpreting what "speaking in tongues" means here. Highly moved by the holy spirit has caused, and still does at times, an uncontrollable emotion whether seen as conviction of sin, or joy. It is NOT self driven and occurs at least in the OALC. I have an idea they (in Laestadius time )weren't speaking in tongues as some churches do today, that is babble which is simply for edification, as in charismatic or pentecostal churches.

  3. I remember that the LLC (Laestadian Lutheran Congregations (assoc. with the SRK in Finland) occasionally had people "rejoicing." One woman used to skip up the aisle in church saying over and over "Thank you, Jesus" and clapping her hands together.

    And every communion it was (still is?) a tradition for the girls and young women going to cry publicly and ask their parents, etc. for forgiveness. I remember dreading going to confirmation since I never could cry on command.

    Do any of the other branches have this behavior, particularly at communion?

  4. The ALC does public confession before communion on occasion as well. I remember both men and women confessing. Mostly they kept it pretty general, but once or twice some folks confessed to real doozies!

  5. Curiosity killed the cat8/12/2005 02:30:00 PM

    Often I wonder what was said that was so inappropriate it had to be removed by free2bme, who actually seems like a pretty neutral blog administrator.

  6. Curiosity, thanks for asking. In this case, what I removed was spam encouraging readers to invest in timber stocks. It was posted by someone in Vancouver, Washington at the ISP address "Electric Lightwave" at 67.136.131.

  7. Tomte, do you have any connection with "Tomten" (above)? Just curious. If not, odd coincidence. I don't know what Tomten stands for either. V
    PS I might post under some more obscure pseudonym in future. I have mixed feelings about all this "secrecy." The pseudos are rather fun and tantalizing. On the other hand, I felt that I needed to stand up tall and boldly state my position, as a statement of my integrity and my conviction that I am "right with God and the world." After my first posting, I did have a fright, suddenly hit by the thought that I could become estranged from my family and maybe even in effect be "shunned" by some of them. (We have a great relationship now, in my opinion, and I would hate to jeopardize that. Also, I have enough trouble maintaining a non-contentious relationship with my mother as it is!). I did calm down, but I always have a nagging feeling that this could create real trouble. Have any of you experienced major problems? I wonder if the elders preached against these sites. I'll bet they are aware of them, and I'll also bet these are monitored by somebody. I may simply ask my brother outright. Many blessings to you all. V

  8. Though I do not know, my hunch is that the elders are not preaching against these sites. Doing so would undoubtedly arouse curiosity amongst the members, and I'm sure many would then read them. And who knows what then might come next? Better to keep people in the dark.

  9. I once posted under my own name and got attacked by OALC-er's and talked about behind my back when I had to attend a funeral of an aunt in the physical building of an OALC church. A close relative was incensed that I would come into their building. I was tagged an 'evil' worker. For what? For loving them and telling them to read God's Word and see what HE says and not what man says He says. I did not stop posting under my own name because of fear or what they said. I stopped posting under my own name because people then would read what was written and not be influenced by who had written it. It means nothing to me what people who don't know what God's Word says think of me. God will always be first with me and I will always serve Him and not man ever again. All I want in the end is for HIM to say to me, "Well done my good servant."

  10. There are certainly mixed feeling regarding "outing" yourself on this site. I think we need to do whatever we are comfortable with. For now I'm sticking with LLLreader. In my last post I quoted from a sermon by Gunnar Jonsson. I have a book, The Father's Voice, that contains writings from many of the OALC's heavy hitters. What I would like to do is urge anyone still in the OALC to read some of the sermons, while holding a Bible in the other hand, and check out the validity of what the preachers are saying. Sure, there are differences in the way people interpret scripture, but some of the sermons I am reading do a blatant twisting of God's Word to fit the beliefs of the OALC. It goes way beyond a simple difference of interpretation. I don't have time right now to give some examples, but will do so in my next post. Free2be--I would be glad to send this book to you, but I don't know who you are. Actually, I'm glad you are anonymous, somehow I think it's best for this site. Can you find out who I am and let me know how to get the book to you?

  11. To V above,
    I have and continue to experience problems, though not major ones. As for my family (parents and sibs) things are better if they're just not talked about. This is fine, but in a way it doesn't make for closeness. Some of the relationships are superficial.
    Some in my family keep their distance. It's understandable as it's too threatening for them. I've not done anything to deserve that, but they see "outsiders" as being a danger to their faith.
    All of this of course contributed to my exit.

  12. Virginia, I'm not affiliated with the Tomten publishing referenced above, although I was intrigued by the name.

    Tomte or Tomten is Norwegian for gnome. :-) A female gnome would be Tomtemor. In Finnish, Tonttu is gnome.

    I like gnomes. Plus, Tomte is my user-name on ISCABBS, a very cool on-line community.

  13. Thanks, everybody. And to "Anonymous" above (AKA "my good servant"): the aunt whose funeral you attended was my aunt as well. May you be blessed for your integrity. Adios as V

  14. Back to V above who inquired if others have experienced major problems:

    Growing up in the OALC unfortunately doesn't teach a person how to respectfully disagree with others. The outcome is that, although the OALCers are convinced that the church is a loving refuge, there is really little true love for others. This has always been confusing for me as it seems contrary to Christ's walk.

    In my family it isn't acceptable to bring problems with the church out. If you do so, as I have done, you run the risk of being avoided. That is a problem. I don't see any other alternative.

    Throughout history, courageous people who have fought for change, have most often done so in spite of the fear and negative consequences. Study Martin Luther's struggle. Do the OALCers (Lutherans) have a clue as to what he went through having brought out what he thought were wrongdoings in the Catholic church?

  15. I guess we need to remember what Apostle Paul says in 2 Tim 3:12. "And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." He does not say 'may be' persecuted. He says 'will be' persecuted. Living godly does not mean living perfectly. It means following what God says and not what man says to do.

  16. Back to an earlier question, the FALC has a lot of crying at communion & people hugging each other. I always tried to avoid it after I was confirmed because i felt they were all putting on a show. I believe all people deal with emotions differently and should not feel that they have to act a certain way in front of certain people.

  17. See this earlier post for a discussion of "Holy Rolling Laestadians" http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=8088717&postID=110082825223494701

    Anonymous, thanks for the offer but I do have a copy of The Father's Voice. I began reading it last night, and Oy vay is it bad writing. Dull plus loopy.

  18. In responce to the discusssion on church elders monitering this web-site, I would like to say that i know firsthand that the elders of the LLC are watching it.

    People in the LLC are not accepting me as a christian because of 1 of my posts on this website. Even though i was anonymous, there was enough hints for someone who was detemined to find out who i was. Aparently there was some people who where determined. A group of speakers confronted me and asked if i was the author. I spilled the beans, told them what i thought, and now, depending on who you ask, they will tell u that i am not a christian. If you wish to keep you postings anonymous, watch what you say on this board.

  19. Who cares what people who don't even read God's Word have to say about you? You are a child of God. It is time for us to stand up for HIM no matter what! We are supposed to love Him ahead of ANYONE. This blog allows for the freedom of speech. Don't let them affect that!

  20. Dear ExLLC, it is normal to care what people think about you. The rejection from the LLC folks must really hurt, no matter how baseless or unChristian it is. I think it is important to remember that when we love and are loved "in Christ," it is not just an abstract thing of words and ideas and opinions, but very much the daily reality of our relationships to others. I encourage you to find a good church home where you can build relationships of trust.

  21. Dear anonymous,

    You certainly are using a broad paint brush and speaking about a group that you know very little about. Upon what do you base your statement that the LLC doesn't even read God's Word? I doubt that you have had contact with many other than the exLLC and exmplsllc who post to this site. Please do your research!

  22. Based on my experience, ministers in the LLC use the same few (very few) bible verses out of the King James version only. No other version is ok.

    Officially, the ministers certainly don't preach AGAINST reading God's word, but in reality, most members that I know about, do not actually read the bible, except maybe for reading about the birth of Christ at Christmas.

    I have to tell you - after I left the church and starting reading the Bible (king james version) for myself, I was amazed at what was in there that I had never, ever heard in church!

    Life lesson - read the Bible for yourself and trust in God to guide you, not man alone.

  23. I certainly can't discount your experience. But, if the congregants choose not to read the bible whose fault is that? Why didn't you read the bible before leaving the church, if it is not preached against?

    I really see no reason why a church can't decide which version of the bible to use and then to believe how they want. That's one of the freedoms we enjoy in this country.

    It seems odd to me that so many posts to this site focus on negatives in the Laestadian groups. If a person is satisfied with their choice to leave the Laestadian faith, move forward.

    As to the life lesson - here are some parts of the bible that beg consideration.

    Matt. 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
    Matt. 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    Matt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    Rom. 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
    Rom. 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
    Rom. 10:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
    Rom. 10:11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
    Rom. 10:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
    Rom. 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
    Rom. 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
    Rom. 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
    Rom. 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
    Rom. 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    Acts 8:29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
    Acts 8:30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
    Acts 8:31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
    Acts 8:32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
    Acts 8:33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
    Acts 8:34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
    Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

  24. Ok, this is what has been explained to me. When I question the OALC on why they don't read the Bible, they say it is NOT a sin to read it, BUT, there is always a but, if you do, you are reading it with your own intellect and ONLY the preachers know how to interpret it so it is advised NOT to read it.