"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Kalevala: Dream of the Salmon Maiden

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Kalevala: Dream of the Salmon Maiden

Today while baking cookies with my daughter and her friend (small, noisy princesses in tulle and taffeta), I popped in a new CD, borrowed from the library. The girls dropped their icing spoons, ran into the dining room and began to dance. It was a sight. They begged me to play the first track over and over again. It is called "Salmon Dance" bt Ruth MacKenzie. Follow the link above to learn more about her and to hear some music clips.


  1. LLLreader: A quote from the book-History of the Living Christianity-written in 1974 by the OALC describes it best, "Those who were growing up in the Christianity were left with such a picture...that the Christians gathered only to quarrel". So it seems!!!!!
    LLL's awakening was in 1844. In 1848 he met Juhani Raattamaa, a school teacher from Jukkasjarvi. LLL was in charge of the mission school system in Lapland and Raattamaa was a teacher there. They became close friends and after LLL's death, in 1861, Raattamma became the central force behind the Lastadian movement. He left many letters, I read there were 300, 90 came to America, so there is a good record of what he taught. He was the one who first used the "keys to the kingdom of heaven" proclaiming forgiveness in the name and blood of Christ. LLL had been reluctant to start proclaiming forgiveness, but after talking to Raattamma about it, he approved, and it came in common use. On another topic, in 1878 Raatamma writes, "I have come from Kittila where we gathered with all the teachers in the Kitilla parsonage, where the expression that the Holy Spirit does not work by means of the written word outside the congregation, as some have said, has been eliminated from our teaching. They were satisfied when I told them that the sphere of God's wisdom cannot be measured by us. Indeed he led the wise men from the East to Bethleham. God works through the written and preached word and by his spirit himself. For God's word is unsearchable". On the subject of confession he says, "The confession of sins cannot be set as the foundation, the preaching of faith is of higher value". In 1891 he defined the church as the "Congregation of the First Borns of Our Time". Raattamaa held the movement together and continued to write and preach against splits up until his death in 1899. I'm writing all this because in order to understand how the church became so splintered, we have to know about Raattamma. more later....

  2. Thank you so much for writing this! I have long had the belief that our origins and the original intent of the LLL movement was not what we see today..!!

  3. LLLreader: In Calumet Michigan in about 1873 the first Apostolic church was incorporated in America. It was first called The Solomon Korteniemi Lutheran Apostolic Society. The name was changed in 1879 to The Finnish Apostolic Lutheran Congregation. Andrew Witikkahuhta (Brenner) had arrived before Korteniemi and they were fighting from the beginning. Other people arrived from Finland and before long they sent for help from Lapland. Henry Parkajoki and Aapo Tapani arrived. It is known that Tapani had preached with Raattamaa since there is an article in The Father's Voice, written by both of them, regarding batizing babies as a way to bring them into the church. Tapani joined up with Kortenieme and became the pastor in 1876. (In 1960 William Eriksson OALC called it "going to the side of the falsifiers"). They continued to fight and in 1878 Raatamma sent John Takkinen to settle things down. From all accounts Takkinen ruled with an iron hand. In 1880 he was involved in publishing an Aapinen, and apparently some other kind of book about rules. Laestadius's daughter wrote a harsh letter rebuking Takkinen's rules. Takkinen was replaced by Johan Roanpaa in a church election in 1888. Takkinen's supporters were so upset, they actually went to court over the matter! In 1890 Raattamma and a large number of preachers demanded a reconciliation. In 1891 Takkinen built his own church. Members of both of the churches wanted to merge and at one point letters were sent to Raattamma from BOTH churches asking that Takkinen be replaced, although later Takkinen's group repented over having written the letter. In 1892 Takkinen went to Finland to explain why he didn't want the churches to reunite. He died in Finland while on that trip.
    Takkinen had made one trip to the Northwest. He had preached in Astoria and Brush Prairie. In 1882 John Lumijarvi, from Norway, was sent to Calumet to work with Takkinen. In two years he went to Astoria. He was well liked and after preaching in Brush Prairie letters were sent from both Astoria and Brush Prairie saying they prefered Lumijarvi over Takkinen. The History of the Old Apostolic Church, written by a committee of members, claims that the Astoria congregation quit corresponding with the Elders and just went their own way.
    In New York Mills the first congregation was organized in 1879, John Mursu was the first preacher, and after he died in 1911, Pekka Raatamma (son of Juhani)Israel Hagel, and Aatu Kela became the preachers. A split soon came! The 3 preachers stayed with the church building and a small group started meeting in homes.
    Back in Finland Raattamma cedes his authority in Joonas Purnu in 1897 by a public laying on of hands in the presence of the congregation in Lannavaara. Raattamma died in 1899, still insisting that the movement stay together. Well, guess what! At the turn of the century the movement was devided into three groups. The largest group was the Old Laestadians,(Conservatives), then the First Born, and the New Awakenists.
    The breaks, and splits, and fights have gone on until today. more later.....

  4. LLLreader: I'm not going to go any further with this. Once I started reading about the movement from 1900 until now, it just seemed overwhelming. I had no idea there were so many factions---it's just depressing. Thank you Dear Posters for your forbearance. God bless us all!!!!!

  5. What's the most depressing, is that they couldn't just split, but remain amicable. (you wish it worship that way, ok. but we wish to do it this way) See you in heaven. After all we're all different. In a bible study I'm doing, there was this statement by the author.... "Though we should seek UNITY in our relationships, we should not demand UNIFORMITY."

  6. I was fortunate to be able to attend Dream of the Salmon Maiden each time it was performed in Minneapolis (3 runs). Ruth MacKenzie is an exceptional performer. "Kylä vuotti uutta kuuta" has become her signature piece from this production. Compare her rendition to that of Värttinä on their cd 6/12 - Live in Helsinki (not absolutely certain that's the name of the album, but it's close). I prefer the Värttinä rendition, but I think MacKenzie is super and I was blown away each time I saw Dream of the Salmon Maiden. I don't know if it will ever be produced again, but if it is, either in part or whole, make sure you get there.

  7. There was once a play in Rome. Some christians were eaten by a lion at Colosseum.

    I don't know if it will ever be produced again, but if it is, either in part or whole, I am not sure I want to get there. They thaught the lion was super and a cristian was blown away each time it opened its mouth.

    I am happy there are only polar-bears in Finland.

    Huckleberry Finn

  8. Fortunately there was no Christian-eating lion in the play mentioned above, just a maiden who chose to become a salmon. Sad enough, but at least it was her choice, noone fed her to the salmons like they did with the Christians in Rome.

    By the way, it seems like the decendants of Finnish immigrants are more fond of Kalevala and related things than the Finns living in Finland. Most people in Finland find Kalevala rather boring.

    By the way #2, did you know that Kalevala also narrates the birth of Christ? According to Kalevala, Virgin Mary became pregnant by eating a lingonberry. The same lingonberry story is found also in another Finnish folkloristic collection, Kanteletar.

  9. LLLreader: Sounds like our fearless leader needs a little time out. That's OK--we are all still out here, and will carry on until she comes back. I wish I could read theoforos's post--good exercise for my mind to sound each word out. While I was reading about the history of the Lestadian movement I was struck at how boisterous the congregations would get. One account said that in one congregation all of one preacher's supporters would sit at the front when he preached and his fellow preacher's supporters would sit in the back and make a commotion. Then they would switch. Another account was about how the yelling would sometimes drown out the preaching. I think of my people (Finns) as being rather reserved. So, that behavior seems strange to me.

  10. Free2bme- Your site has really helped me out a lot. When i still attended the LLC, i went to your site multiple times every day. Your site helped me realize what was going on in my church, and my life. And i found out that i was not alone. It inspired me to read and study my bible and to learn the truth for myself. I would post stuff on your site that i wouldnt discuss with anyone else, for it seemed like nobody else would understand. But the people on this sight understood perfectly, and actualy cared. There was a time when I didn't have any spiritual support group, nobody i could talk to, except for the bloggers here. If this site wasn't here, things would have turned out different for me. Thanks for your help.

    I haven't been out of my Laustadien Church for long, but as more time goes by, the less i am interested in studying Laustadienism. There are other things going on in my life, and more important things to study, like Christianity. And i suppose that after years of not going to a LLL church, it would be a real pain to maintain a website like this one. It should be done though. Even if Laustadienism seems like the most insignificant part of your life, this site should be maintained and the discussions should continue for the people who are struggling with it.

    If your burned out, i suggest giving administrative privileges of this site to one or more persons that you trust. They could start new threads, moderate them, and encourage the discussion to continue.

  11. Here is my attempt at encouraging discussion. Joke---

    A middle aged woman was late for work. As she was slowing down for a red light, a sports car cut her off and sped in front of her. The Woman was very mad. She rolled down her window and shouted profanities at the driver of the sports car and used unfriendly hand gestures. Just then there was a knock on the passenger side window. She looked over and saw a police officer. The Cop told her to get out of the car and he arrested the middle aged woman.

    She spent the night in jail, and was released the next day. When she was released, the Cop apologized for arresting her. He explained that he saw her cussing and flipping off the other driver, and he saw all the christian bumper stickers on the car, so he figured that the car must have been stolen.

    The Woman was giving Christianity a bad reputation. People would look at her and think that Christianity must be about hipocracy.

    If someone is a Christian, but is still having trouble cleaning up their lifestyle, would it be inappropriate for them to let everyone around them know about their faith, for fear that they would give Christianity a bad name? Or would it be more wise to wait until all of your old habits are broken and you are living a more Godly lifestyle to advertise that you are a Christian?

    Go ahead and comment.

  12. "I've lost (temporarily? permanently? hard to say) my interest in Laestadianism."

    Laestadians are also God's children, so don't loose all the interest... (in brothers and sisters)

    I dont like many writings in this blog, but I wish You God's richest blessing!

    Huckleberry Finn

  13. to exLLC from LLLreader--I was touched by your comment about the important role this site played in your life when you were struggling. It is a real affirmation to hear from other people who have gone through the same "awakening" and realized that the teachings of the these churches are not true to God's word. God Bless you. I hope you are surrounded by loving people who want only God's blessings for you.

  14. "Or would it be more wise to wait until all of your old habits are broken and you are living a more Godly lifestyle to advertise that you are a Christian?"

    Dont worry! You will get free of all Your old bad habits in the very day You die.

    But not before, thats sure!


  15. But I can change for the better. I want to lead a more Godly life, and i can break old habbits. All things are possible through christ.

    well iv'e got another joke

    Joe was a Christian when he died. He met Peter at the pearly gates and was welcomed and let him into heaven. Peter then gave Joe the grand tour. He showed him the green hills and the great gardens. He saw the roads paved with gold, the sea of glass, and the holiest temple of the Lord. At the end of the tour, Joe told Peter,

    “I really am impressed, but you haven’t shown me that mysterious castle over there, what is it? It doesn’t seem to have any windows!

    “O, that’s where all the exclusives live, they won’t think it is really heaven unless they are the only ones there”

  16. I enjoyed your joke. Humor is one thing I have been able to put into my life since leaving the apostolic church I was raised in.

  17. LLLreader continues: Juhani Raattamaa died in 1899, after being the leader of the movement for 38 years following LLL's death. In the mid-1890's preachers like Frans Silen of Kittila were saying that people had fallen asleep and a new awakening was needed--fruits of faith needed to be demonstrated. Preacher Hanhivaara noted that New Testaments wern't even in Christians homes. Preacher Saarenpaa writes an important letter to Raattamma saying, "Making people understand the necessity of absolution of sin, and the fact that men have the power to forgive sin has been preached, but change of heart and mind has not been preached as much". That was the basis for the New Awakenists movement. They did not accept the leadership of Joonas Purnu. In 1899 the group published their own magazine, which marks the seperation from the other Laestadians. They are the smallest of the three groups that formed after Raattanaa's death. There was a reconciliation meeting in Oulu in 1911 between the 3 groups, called by the Reawakenist. Preacher Hanhivaara of the Reawakenist spoke for the need of true sanctification instead of surface change. That meeting failed, then again the Reawakenists called for another meeting in 1922--which also failed. I don't know who the New Awakenists became, as far as congregations in the US. Maybe someone else knows.

  18. free2bme, I'd like to tell you that you have positively influenced many lives through this blog and the yahoo forum. These lives include many I know who have not posted their full stories, but continue to read the sites. If you knew how your efforts have affected my life, you would probably be surprised but also gratified. One day, I hope to share the story with you.

  19. LLLReader,

    From what I've been able to figure out, the story continues like this. Elements of the Reawakenist movement reached the US from Scandinavia. At that time, there were three groups of Laestadians in the US: the Old Firstborn (Esikoinen or OALC), Little Firstborn (later to become the Federation), and Heidemans. The Little Firstborn and Old Firstborn had split earlier, with many from the Little Firstborn associating with the Heideman group.

    At this time, there was conflict over what is called the Third Use of the Law. The supporters of this use of the law say that the Law of the Old Testament can be broken into ceremonial and moral law. They class the moral law, which includes the Ten Commandments, as rules Christians should follow to lead holy lives.

    There was conflict over this teaching, and when the Federationists began to split from the Heidemans, the teachers of the Third Use of the Law (Reawakenists or New Awakenists, same thing) stayed with the Federationists. This situation has continued to the present day, with elements of the Reawakenists still operating within the Federation. Some churches have been dominated by Reawakenists while others have not. Often, there will be a Reawakenist church plus one or more other churches associated with the Federation, all in one town.

    This is my understanding from what I've learned growing up and from reading Mr. Hepokoski's history at http://www.me.mtu.edu/~mahepoko/disputes/disputes.pdf

    If anyone knows more about this topic, please feel free to correct or add to what I wrote.

  20. From, what I understand, Mr. Hepokoski was raised in the "Pollari" church but has left the church dating from when the split happened with the Pollari church in the early 1960's. The two churches both go by "Independent Apostolic Lutheran" and the "riitinmattilaiset" is quite a bit bigger than the "auneslaiset" group. I believe Mr. Hepokoski never found satisfaction in either one of these branches, and both churches warn against his writings about that split as containing inaccuracies regarding this split. He seems to have devoted much of his life in studying the laestadian movement as did his father, Hugo, who also has some published work on the laestadian movement. I do not believe he is affliliated with any Laestadian church that I know of, but he may be affiliated with the ALC? It is difficult to really understand the causes of these splits 40 or more years after the fact. The people who were there at the time are now dying out, and those in the younger-than 50 generation really have no clue, only that some of their cousins go to the "other side." I never myself have had a satisfactory answer why these splits have happened.

  21. LLLreader again: At the end of the 1890's, after Raattamma's death, 1ST Borns, centered in Swedish Lapland, claimed that Joonas Purnu had been choosen by Raattamma as the leader. Another group, the Conservatives, said the spiritual government should remain in Lannavaara with August Lundberg, the Elder in charge. These two groups really let each other have it!! There was a meeting called in 1901 in Gallivare. Viktor Appelqvist (1871-1938) 1ST Born, ran the meeting. Neru-Pietari, 1ST Born, said, "For 40 years I traveled and preached with Raattamma, but these Finnish fellows Nikkari-Tuomass, Sirkanmaa, and Paakkola (Conservatives) I never saw. But now they have come from Finland and Hell, to beseige the camp of the saints".

    Purnu had agreed to speak at a Conservative meeting in 1902, but he sent Appelqvist. After Appelqvist trip the 1ST Born's history called it a trip where "voices of hundred and thousands spoke joy and thanksgiving". Actually, that trip drove the final wedge between the two groups. Purnu died that same year, only being in power for 5 years.

    Back in 1893 he had made a trip to Pendelton, Klickitat, Hockinson, and Astoria. He talked about Takkinen saying, "Takkinen had made 4 trips to Swedish Lapland, even as St. Paul went to the Elders in Jerusalem. Where Takkinen has not been received, there is a void in the doctrine". So it seems, he didn't have the same approach that Raattamma had of "stay together". Purno also charged, at the end of the 1890's, that Nikkari Tuomass of Kittila had given way to sin, carnal liberty, and greed. Not to be outdone, the Conservatives charged that Purnu had "whores in the villages". In a 1907 letter, a large number of Conservative preachers wrote a letter charging the 1ST Born with boasting of having status and infallibality like a Pope would do. The 1ST Born
    "used their so-called status like a weapon".

    A few differences between the two groups: Conservatives say Raatamma's wife fulsified his letters when he became blind--1ST Born say she didn't. Conservatives said rules that specific preachers could only travel in certain areas were evil. 1ST Born --it's the wisdom of God.
    Conservatives say setting an outward example is self righteousness--1ST Born say it's part of sanctification.
    The Conservatives though of LLL as a gifted preacher, but some of his words were inappropriate--the 1st Born said, "none of LLL's words, even obscene ones, should be changed, or omitted, because he is the 7th Angel of Revelation 10:7 and every word he preached after 1844 is by the Holy Spirit".

    After Pernu's death it seems Appleqvist was the head guy. However,Appelqvist was "expelled" as a preacher in 1915 being called "unsuitable to lead". I don't know what that means. He continued to sign letters for 10 years.

    The Conservatives became the largest group. In 1888 they had formed the Association of Peace in Helsink, Turku, and Tornio. In 1906 they founded the Mission Office in Oulu to organize the movement. In 1914 SRK was founded as a central organization for literature, newspapers and such.

    It would be facinating to know what made men like LLL, Raattamma, Purno, Takkinen, Nikkari-Tuomass, Appelqvist and Saarenpaa act, and react, in the way they did. God Bless us all.

  22. It's been interesting to read LLLreader's posts.

    I've also read mr. Hepokoski's site and consider it one of the best and most objective online sources of information concerning the splits in the Laestadian movement. I found some new information there I hadn't read anywhere else.

    Regarding the splits around the year 1900, I'd like to point that the movement in fact split into four factions, one of them being the Lyngen Laestadians in Norway led by Erik Johnsen. The Lyngen Laestadians have split again since then and now number about 4000-5000 in Norway, counting all the sub-divisions (I think there are four different sub-groups of the Lyngen Laestadians now). It is the most Lutheran one of all the Laestadian groups (the only one that strictly adheres to the Lutheran doctrine on baptism, which the majority of other Laestadians reject), and Luther's writings are frequently read at the meetings (they also read a sermon from the postilla at their Sunday meetings, but it is typically taken from one of Luther's postillas not Laestadius as in the OALC). I once even witnessed a sermon in which a chapter from Luther's catechism was used as a sermon text. The Lyngen Laestadians share the third use of the law with the Newawakenists and certain conservative features in everyday life, e.g. clothes, with the Firstborns (OALC), and a less exclusive view on the church with the Little Firstborns (ALC).

  23. As for Appelqvist, I read somewhere that he was "defrocked" by the other preachers due to "immoral behavior". In fact, I've heard other rumors, too, but I think they are better left unsaid.

  24. exllc!

    "But I can change for the better. I want to lead a more Godly life, and i can break old habbits."

    You are getting better every day?Today better than yesterday, tomorrow almost perfect?

    Mr Paulus did not think in that way, His image of himself was more like: "For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do." Many other christians do also feel like that.

    Is salvation needed if you become perfect by yourself?


  25. I'm dying of laughter reading this site! :D It almost reminds me of being back in kindergarten.
    Wah, wah, Teacher! Johnny trapped me and I keep calling him names and telling him how everything he does is wrong and stupid. Now he calls me mean and rude. It's Johnny's fault, isn't it Teacher?
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!
    Nothing makes my day more than a bunch of insecure people trying to help out other insecure people. I love it when people don't grow up!
    Thanks for the daily laugh!!

  26. Yeah, when you look back at most of the Apostolic churches today and in the past, they have and are still fighting like Kindergarteners. I'm from the FALC and am glad I'm out of there. However, your comment

    "Nothing makes my day more than a bunch of insecure people trying to help out other insecure people. I love it when people don't grow up!"

    bothers me. We are not the ones fighting. We are looking at the disagreements of our ancestors and realizing why things have turned out the way they are. We enjoy finding out the truth, instead of staying ignorant. If you are not interested in the the history of the Laestadian movement, nobody is forcing you to read the site. If people have learned from mistakes of the past, why are splits in the church still occuring?

  27. I guess I don't recall me saying anyone is fighting. Nor do I recall saying I'm not interested in the history.
    I am interested in the history of the Laestadian movement, but not from people who have strong feelings about it one way or another. Then it becomes an opinion. I get my 'facts' from unbiased resources.
    As for the comment that bothers you, stop and think maybe your comment bothers me. Do you care? Probably not. But if you don't want to read it, nobody's forcing you to. :)

  28. What are the unbiased sources?

  29. To 9:45 AM - you don't say very much about what YOU believe. Care to tell us?


  30. To theoforos from LLLreader--I hadn't heard of the Lyngen group, and their splits. Lynn-- What is so interesting to me is how these things happened. It almost seems random power struggles determined the natures of the different groups. A handful of men took the words of LLL and bent them to fit their own outlook. Raattama would be turning in his grave if he knew what happened. I read that direct desendants of Raattamma live in New York Mills and direct desendants of LLL are in Cokato. As far as the "laughing fool" anonymous--I don't think anything I wrote was biased. There is always the chance that letters were misread from one language to another, but I tried to just write information as I found it. Now if you want biased--ask one of the current preachers at the most exclusive Apostolic churches about church history. There is no way any one of them would say---"hmmm, maybe we should look more closely at what XYZ church believes"--and that position comes from fear and insecurity---or maybe it comes from ego and the need for power.

  31. AnonyMouse,
    I wouldn't mind at all telling you how I believe. Fire away! :)

  32. LLLreader, you are not the only one who hasn't heard about the Lyngen Laestadians. Also the reason is quite obvious: the Lyngen Laestadians outside of Norway can be counted by fingers. On the other hand, Norwegians are typically unaware of the existence of the LLC group (SRK in Finland) because that group has had only a few representatives in Norway until now (recently quite a few Finnish SRK Laestadians have emigrated to the oil-rich Norway and have started having meetings in some localities).

  33. 5:13 AM.. It seems that you think of the writers here as insecure. Would that be insecure in their faith and their decision to leave the church? If so, are you secure wherever you're at in life? If you are, would you be able to write about it so we can hear your thoughts and perspective? We can all learn from each other! As I've said, I'm still in the church (ALC in my case) and feel secure about that, although I haven't always felt that way.. So we have that in common, perhaps? AnonyMouse

  34. AnonyMouse,
    Everybody, including me, is insecure. The fact that some need to take it out on someone else's faith is what cracks me up. I take full responsibility for my insecurities and don't feel the need to diapprove of another's faith to make me feel good. Yes, I understand that you've all been through the 'hardships' and 'trials' of an Apostolic church, but it's not their problem that you feel insecure there.
    I'm sorry if I sound rude, but I've been through a trial or two in my life. I've been beaten, raped, and kidnapped. I've been a drug dealer and an inmate. It's not fun, and it's not easy to get over. But it was no one's fault but my own. And I needed to change myself. The counsel I received was not finding fault with others, but to understand where I went wrong and why people treated me (such as the rape, etc.) the way they did. Today I can proudly say that I got over it myself with the help of my counselors, and the way they looked at things. I don't think the comments here are directed at helping others through a difficult time. They seem to be directed at how many times certain beliefs screw up, and thrive on that. I think the best way to overcome a difficult situation is to realize that the one thing you can change is yourself, and the way you treat others.
    It strikes me as funny because it reminds me of the early stages of my recovery, when we weren't allowed to rip on people, or even insinuate that we have a much better understanding or life than them.
    Everyone should take a moment today to think about how you REALLY think and treat other people. If the love spoken on this site is true, you'll find yourself finding more things wrong with yourself than with others.
    I can honestly say that I am very secure in my life. I am a hard and honest worker, I treat others with respect, found a wonderful spouse. But most of all, I believe fully in myself.

  35. Its amazing that you wrote that because it in some ways describes the point I am at in my life. After leaving the church, I was angry about "being brainwashed" while I was growing up, and had a hard time accepting that what I grew up in was incorrect. I could have chosen to keep going to that church. However, I realized that the more people showing up at church each Sunday would make the minister feel that he was preaching correctly. I couldn't make myself add fuel to the fire. It was so tough to leave that church, in some ways, leaving all those memories of childhood behind (they weren't all bad). And, the worst, knowing that my friends from there would treat me differently and not consider me a christian. However, time heals hearts and gives us the ability for forgive. I now have the strength to not hold anything against those people...because they do not know what they are doing. They think that they are acting as christians...and many of them lack any knowledge of the bible. All I can do is offer my input if they ask (current church members) and be a good christian role model. I have always believed the most important part of being a christian is to be loving to everyone. Yes, this means even the people who have wronged you in the past. Isn't that what forgiveness is? I know its hard, especially right after you have left, because you ask yourself all those questions...and wonder why it happened to YOU! I used to wonder how my life would have been different if I was raised in a so called "normal" church. But, what is normal? I know my parents loved me then and still do now. They always wanted the best for me. They raised me the best they could. It is not healthy to hold things against your parents or the others still in the church. Lets set a christian example for those people and pray that have the same faith as us. Also, we dont know their hearts. We only know our own.

  36. Many Trails Home10/26/2005 01:10:00 PM

    Dear Anonymous "dying of laughter": Your "Ha ha ha" struck me as one of the meaneast, most ill-tempered postings I have seen on this site. I have tried to make some sense of it. First, it suggests a macabre sense of humor (if it can even be called "humor": laughing with the mouth only, not the eyes or the heart). Second: you clearly did not grow up in the OALC so, with all respect, you cannot know what you are talking about and judging. Third: in spite of your many grim life experiences, you are still young: young in compassion and understanding.

    Individually, yes, we must take responsibility for ourselves. Fundamental; no escape from that. No point in judgment, criticism, and blame, but that goes for you, too. Most folks, embarking consciously on a path to spiritually "grow up," go through a blaming phase. I did; you probably did. It's just a phase. To condemn those going thru it (with spiteful "ha ha"s) is extremely small of you. But maybe this is just your phase, and compassion comes next!

    From a very long perspective, I can say that this site IS extremely helpful and, frankly, I don't let you bash it without stepping forward in its defense.
    Many blessings to you, as well as those who felt bad when they read your posting (including me). Many Trails Home

  37. Am I that young? I need to agree with all you say in order to become passionate? In your eyes, obviously, but for the people that matter most? I think not, Many Trails Home. You're entitled to think what you wish about me and my compassion, just as much as I'm entitled to think that you need to find your own problems first (which, by the way, never end) before jumping into someone else's.
    I'm glad this site helps you comfort your choices, and it helps me to see how I don't want to be when I become 'passionate and understanding'. :D These are the types of things that make me laugh. YOU think you know ME, yet I have no idea anything about you! (according to you)
    BTW, I did grow up in the OALC.

  38. To Anonymous from LLLreader: You have had a hard journey and you paid for some of the decisions you made. You didn't mention your Higher Power, and that surprised me. That drug world doesn't let go easily and God's Grace had to be there to bring you through. I know you must have turned it over at some point, or you might be dead by now. Lots of people on this site have had hard roads, so don't dismiss this group as people with trivial worries. I don't see this site as a place where people are just randomly attacking other people's beliefs, but rather, it's a place where folks examine what was done to them as children in the name of religion. The church we grew up in had the message "it's our way or the highway" and some families have literally thrown out children who wouldn't follow their beliefs. As a recovering person, you had many opportunities to talk it over with others who shared your experience. This site, for some, is the only place for taking a look at what it was like. You certainly do NOT treat people with respect. You don't seem to understand that for an adult to move on from childhood abuses, it takes time and examination--it takes talking about it! I would ask you to look into your heart and recognize that laughing at people who are expressing their feelings is just plain mean. Why don't you post and contribute instead of attacking? Maybe your point of "just pull up your socks and move forward" is a message some need to hear. But, PLEASE change your approach. Thank you.

  39. Many Trails Home10/26/2005 02:39:00 PM

    Thanks, free2bme; your approach is the only feasible one. Too bad. But actually, it is remarkable that this is such a rare event. That says a lot for the "graciousness" of the usual posters. MTH

  40. free2bme-
    You have no idea who that person is! Sure you may have those stats, but you have no clue who's hooked up to which computer system/company.
    You'd be very surprised to find out exactly who that person is. :)
    Maybe you could call their mother and tell her that she failed as a mother and her child is a disgrace. (Like what happened to my friend) :D
    Or maybe you could call MY mother! (I can give you the cemetary's number if you wish to)

  41. I thought the OALC was against having computers in their homes?

    OALC'ers who are posting these messages, you are not giving any sympathy for your cause with your inarticulate, infantile postings to free-to-be-me.


    A laestadian who has not left her church

  42. It's nothing more than to see what the next subject will be. It's amazing the different approaches you take and how they are answered. (free, you know what I'm talking about. It's your choice to let it be known, or you could watch it too) As for your recommendation, pasty happens to be my homepage, and your site isn't the only one I access from there. I don't use the address bar unless it's google. It's not for anything other than nosy people who wonder which sites I go on throughout the day. But thanks for the recommendation.
    Scoffer, laughing fool, mocker, dying of laughter.

  43. Scoff--from LLLreader. I had no idea you were OAL--which explains to me why you didn't mention turning your will and your life over to God,in order to start your recovery. In a recovery program there are definite steps you were to take. I imagine that must be hard to do while still living the OAL life. Would you share that experience?

  44. Anon 11:01 -
    No, I won't share my experience. One, because I'm not wanted here, and two, because if I don't think exactly like the rest of you, I'm an idiot. But thanks for asking, I would've loved to tell you about it.

  45. many trails home10/28/2005 09:13:00 AM

    Dear Scoffer / Baiter: You are funny, after all, and it is worthwhile taking you on, if only as a battle of wits!
    Now YOU are sounding like "Wah, wah Teacher. No, I won't play with them because they called me an idiot." Actually, I don't think anyone called you an idiot, different maybe, but clever. And I personally am only interested in hearing your story if your intention is to share, as one Child of God to another. But you can throw it out as a barb, of course, if you prefer. Nothing stopping you. And I will continue sending Many Blessings your way, whether you like it or ask for it or not! MTH

  46. To Scoff from LLLreader. You know the saying "what goes around comes around". Not being wanted here is the consequence of coming on as a person making fun of us. As far as exactly thinking like us, you will find people in all different attitudes here. I don't agree with everyone here on all issues--not at all! Please don't leave without talking a little bit about your experience. Many Finns get caught up with alcohol. I have read that they have a easier time becoming addicted, somewhat like the Native Americans. Some people argue about that, but that's what I read. If you have that disease and went to treatment, did you also get support from the OALC? In treatment and AA and NA there is a whole different way of looking at God, then what you were brought up with, and I think it would be hard to put the two together. Lots of families, in and out of the OALC, have members who get sick. I have a relative who recently died from liver failure at a very young age--from alcoholism. Do you go to AA? This is a hard journey, and if you are trying to do it on your own, without people who understand what you are going through--it will just get harder. How are you doing?

  47. Since I'm not wanted here because I make fun of you, maybe the OALC doesn't want you there because you make fun of them. You guys are starting to slip...
    MTH - :D FYI, I don't want to share with you not because you think I'm an idiot, or different, but because you don't make any sense. You guys go around and around in circles, but I don't see you getting anywhere! It's very comical! I would love to take you up on your offer for a battle of wits, but unfortunately I don't have time yet. Maybe closer towards Christmas I will.
    LLLreader - you sound as though you took a turn for the better in your life. I'm not sure what AA and NA are, but no I wasn't addicted, nor did I have a problem putting the two together.
    It is a hard journey, and I didn't go at it alone, my family and the entire OALC congregation here helped me. I'm doing great now, thanks!

  48. Does not make any sense. So why do you come on here at all? Just to laugh? And the reason why we seem to "run around in circles" and "seem to get nowhere" actually is because we're a collective group of people who have a varied set of beliefs and think on our own. We don't prescribe to a set "dogma" like the OALC. Kapeesh? I'm glad the OALC works for you. It obviously does not work for everyone. If you read previous posts, many of the contributors appreciate various aspects of our Finnish/laestadian upbringing and heritage. That draws some of here, even those of us who still remain (like me) in our various laestadian-derived faiths. People left the OALC and other groups for various reasons, and the discourse you witness on this site is reflective of this diversity.

    I think if what we discuss troubles you so much, you perhaps should stay away from it. I would hate to see it trouble your spirit so much you have a relapse.

    I hope God keeps you in his care.

  49. OALC person: why would you laugh at these people? Coming from the OALC standpoint, wouldn't you want to help these people understand your faith instead of bashing them for their beliefs? Is that the way to bring people into your faith (if you are so sure it is the right one)? The OALC claims that their church is open to everyone. Making fun of the people on this site is the OALC "I'm better than the world" standpoint. Some people call this self righteous. What does that accomplish? Is this your way of showing anger towards these people because you know what they are writing is true but dont want to believe it? Because, trust me, when I left the church, I went through that denial too. If I ran into someone like you at work and you were making fun of others beliefs, I would have no idea that you were even Christian! The Christians that I know do not laugh at people who are going through difficulty in their lives and asking questions. What so many people have realized is that the love in the OALC and other apostolic churches is only for their own. Too bad you can't see out the doors of your own church. I'm praying for you...

  50. I've decided to let you in on a little secret of mine. The last few posts that have been labeled by people as the Scoffer's, are not actually the Scoffer's, they are mine. I am not a scoffer, or THE Scoffer, although you seem to be thinking we are the same person. So, what I'm wondering, is are you talking to me, or to the Scoffer?
    (FYI, it's Capiche)

  51. Many Trails Home10/31/2005 01:12:00 PM

    Dear Secretive Baiter / Scoffer / Mocker: I will let you in on one little secret: we are NOT making fun of the OALC. That you would interpret it as "making fun" is an indication of your cockeyed thinking. For all of us ex-OALCers, it was much too serious a trauma to make fun of. And if you are not one and the same person, who cares? You might as well be. Furthermore, what planet have you been living on, that you don't know what AA is? Out to lunch, man, out to lunch. Kapeesh?? MTH

  52. Dear Scoffer (or 2),
    I have noticed that you have raised the dander on several of the regulars on this site. I reacted differently to your message. My heart goes out to you. As an educator, I know that the more negative and bullying a person appears, the more insecure and small they feel inside. You reminded me immediately of a relative of mine who was the bane of my existence as a teenager. I wasn't able to forgive this person until (I'm ashamed to admit) I heard that this individual had been molested way back when. Peole who are hurting so much inside quite often take it out on others. Transferring some of the hurt, if you will. You said you had been a drinker, but from what I understand here, not an alcoholic. So you were drinking to drown something, and not because you had a chemical need. That in itself says a lot. I hope the OALC members were able to help you address the underlying causes, but from you venomous spiel, I reckon not. So, as I said, my heart goes out to you. I hope that someday you find some measure of peace.
    God Bless You.

  53. In fact, it is spelled 'capisce', pronounced 'kapeesheh'. :) The positive answer is "Lo capisco" and the negative "Non lo capisco".

  54. Well then theoforos, LLLreader wants to know if the correct answer to Scoff1 and Scoff2 would be "Non lo capisco"?

  55. Many Trails Home11/01/2005 04:25:00 PM

    Theoforos, I have to ask you something. If you live in Finland, are you native born? How is it that your English is so impeccable? You seem to be a linguist, having many languages under your belt.
    BYW, my Carmelite friend's monastery is in Espoo, if I interpret the return address correctly. Is that where you attended vespers? She said the Finns love vespers. MTH

  56. LLLReader, could you please specify your question? Did you want me to answer, or Scoff1/Scoff2, and what exactly is the question?

    MTH, yes, I'm a native of Finland. I've got a whole bunch of relatives on the other side of the pond, but I've never lived there myself. And yes, it seems like we are talking about the very same monastery because the one I visited was in Espoo. So, I might have seen also your friend there, at least during the vespers. The world is small... :)

  57. LLLreader replies to theoforos: I was just making a little joke, and it wasn't very clear. If Scoff1/Scoff2 wrote a post and I couldn't understand what they were saying, and if they ended their post with "capisce?", would I then reply, "non lo capisco".

  58. Molto grazie per lo aver specificato, LLLReader. I got it now. I occasionally do understand jokes even without separate explanations... ;)

    Yes, in that case your answer would be "Non lo capisco".

  59. All righty then theoforos--LLLReader has another one for you.
    Aino and Jussi decided to start a hay hauling business. They were buying hay for $1.00 a bale and hauling it to a storage barn, where they were paid 50 cents for each bale. After a time Aino started adding up their costs and found to his horror that they were losing money. "Voi, voi,Jussi, what will we do?" cried Aino--. Jussi just looked at him, smiled and gently said, "The answer is clear Aino, we just need more trucks". God Bless us all.

  60. I got that one, LLLreader! :)

  61. Good for you theoforos!!! :) Don't let it go to your head! LLLreader