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

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Hello friends. Markus over at Finding a Home for the Journey needs our support, having been recently diagnosed with cancer. Perhaps some of you have been through that valley before, and can help him find rest beside the cool waters.

While I am preoccupied with other things this month and won't be updating as frequently, I encourage you to comment on any subject you like and keep the community going. (I've added a quiz just for fun, and updated my profile photo.)

God be with us.


  1. You people on this site have absolutely no understanding of the LLC and true christianity. May God guide and lead you all to the truth. Wow this site has so much false information it is sad.

  2. Lets let god be the judge of that

  3. LLLreader sez: Many of us are OALC. Perhaps you aren't aware of the facts of OALC beliefs. Would you please point out what you see as false information, being as specific as possible? Much of what is written has to do with the posters experience while in the church, and the experience that follows when they leave. That can't be argued, since each persons experiences are valid and true (to them). I don't think you can dispute that. Some folks on this site have done a lot of research into the history of the church--maybe you see some errors in dates or some such? It would be helpful if you would point those out. As far as information that is shared here about what the church teaches--we were there. We heard the sermons, went to conformation school, asked forgivness from other members, we were THERE--we lived it, we know it, we understand it.

  4. LLL Reader, I couldn't agree more. I have read every post on this site and the information is spot-on with my many years in the OALC. I too would like to hear what things posted here are wrong.

  5. Obviously the Laestadian Church and the OALC have very very different beliefs. Please refrain from connecting the two together. I pray that God will guide you and lead you all to the truth.

  6. I think we all hope and pray that God will lead us all to the truth. That said, the original question posed by someone else on this topic still stands: what exactly are you taking issue with?

  7. Maybe the first poster on this thread has a problem with the poll that was just introduced to this site. Specifically, I think that the options of "actually a cult" and "amish-lite" could be controversial to people. "Actually a cult" could be controversial because cult is a confrontational term. "Amish-lite" could be controversial because it can be seen as poking fun at laestadians. Am I right, anon 1:53?

  8. I know this topic is about Markus, so I encourage you all to go to his site and give him words of encouragement. May God bless him through this difficult time in his life.

  9. Actually this has nothing to do with Markus, actually Markus who? Anyhow no all I am saying is the Laestadian faith is not even remotely simialar to the FALC or the OALC or Grace Apostles. Each faith is very different. I agree with everyone that in the end God is the judge of each person individually. But who are you people to say that the Laestadians, Oalc, FAlc or Grace APostles are wrong or in the dark. I think it is absolutely ironic that you people go thru so much turmoil after you leave the church? Maybe you need to ask yourselves why in that department. Pray that God will Guide and lead each person to the truth.

  10. Anonymous
    Do you study the Bible on your own?
    Do you know what it actually says? NOT what you hear in Bible class and church but what it says when you read alone?
    Do you take your faith completely on the works of Christ and not from man?
    Do you take your faith from only what the Holy Word tells you in the Bible? Not from anything written by the LLC, the FALC or the OALC? Or for that matter the SRK?
    This includes works written by LLL and Martin Luther?
    Are you completely confident that you when you stand before God on judgement day Jesus will be your "lawyer" and say that your sins are paid in full and you are one of His?
    Do you witness about Jesus Christ to anyone outside of the church? To your neighbors, co-workers etc?
    Does not the LLC teach that this body of believers is the only one who will have salvation? Do they not teach that Walter Torola was a heretic? Do they have the right to judge his salvation? Do I have the right to judge yours? My feeling is that there are Christians and non believers in all of the aforemention churches, just as there are the same throughout this world. What I do however have a problem with is the doctrine that they are the only ones. I have a problem with that they teach from the pulpit a doctrine of the forgiveness of sins yet completely live under the law. Why is it is sin to wear makeup? Why not a sin to curl or cut hair? Who made these laws. Why are earrings a sin but not necklaces and rings? Whose authority decided these sins? Why is it a sin to go to a G rated movie? Yet when movies come out on video they are quickly watched by many LLC and FALC. Why then is it ok to read a trashy romance novel? Why is it ok to read books with the "F" word and other profanities sprinkled in them? Why is it a sin to drink wine when my Lord himself regulary had wine? Please stay with us. Please actually elaborate on what your problems are with what is being said. And if you think we are all so wrong, please pray for our awakening, as I will pray for yours. You see, we pray to the same God. Are some of us bitter? Absolutely! Are some of us nasty at times? Absolutely! True Christianity to me is that Jesus died on the cross for ME! I was there when they hung him on the cross because my sins where there on Him. My hand was on the whip that nearly beat Him to death because my sins where there. I was with Peter when he denied Him and with Judas when he betrayed Him. So were you. But Jesus told me in the Bible that I only need to BELIEVE in HIM to be saved. I do not need to belong to any certain sect to be saved. I must be sorry for my sins. And I am. May the Lord bless you and keep you...and all of us.

  11. LLLreader sez: To anonymous 10:10--"who we are" is children of God. I firmly believe that there are members of the OALC who will see me in heaven. When we say we don't agree with the church, it's because they persist in calling all other churches "dead faith". They don't consider me a Christian. THAT'S what makes my rear end tired. I don't believe they are all going to hell in a handbasket because of their beliefs. I think the Lord will look with compassion on them because they are just living what they were taught. I DON'T think He is going to look with favor on their attitude of superiority. The persecution of those that leave--parents cutting off their own children--is tragic. Being "persecuted by the world" is one of the thymes of the church--when in reality it is the church members who persecute anyone who doesn't agree with their beliefs. I would like anonymous to say what the differences are in the Lestadian church and the OALC--other then that they both think they are the "right" church. Is that true? Do they both think they are the only "right" one?

  12. I don't think the LLC is any better than the OALC. This is MY opinion and I have some relatives in the LLC. They are not very friendly to us

  13. For one starter comment of the difference between the LLC and OALC, the LLC ladies do have short hair and that is not considered a sin. They do allow young girls to have short hair and I have to say that I agree with the anon comments about alot of these issues are contrary to the way the LLC believes. Calling the not wearing makeup, not having TV, not drinking, not having sex before marriage as "bans" is also contrary to the truth. Each person can make there own choice. We pray that God will guide our footsteps and lead us in the truth. I pray for each one of you both more importantly for myself that God will keep my heart close to him and that someday I can join all those who have gone before me on the shore of heaven.

  14. LLLreader sez: OK, let me get this straight--you can cut your hair, wear makeup, drink, and have sex before marraige and still be in good standing in the LLC? Are these the big differences between the LLC and OALC? What about forgivness of sin, do you need to go through the church members to have forgivness, or can you go straight to God? Does the LLC consider itself the correct church? Do you believe OALC members are true Christians? Do you think a Methodist can get to Heaven? Thank you for any information.

  15. Dear Anonymous
    If I came to your LLC congregation wearing my earrings and make-up, with dyed hair would I be welcomed with open arms even if I chose not to conform to the standard scrubbed face and no earrings look?
    If a young man came with earrings, (especially eyebrow, nose etc) and died hair and wanted to continue to express himself in this manner, would he be welcomed with open arms? I'm not even expecting an answer from you. Just reflect on it. I hope it was only a slip when you said "They do allow young girls to have short hair ". I hope you realize that if they are allowing it (as in you have the congregations permission)then this too is law. Do you understand what I am trying to say? I'm just trying to have a dialogue here because I was raised FALC and know that the cultures are so similar. One big test of a church...is it growing? If it is, is it growing by new members joining or by birth of children of existing members.
    Please stay with us.

  16. Another person here:.............. yes it is growing by leaps and bounds and yes if a man came with earings and dyed hair he would be looked at like wow that is odd. When as a man act as a man when as a women act as a women

  17. scrubbed face?????????? Whatever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Who is to judge what is odd and what is normal? Shouldn't we love all regardless?

  19. I think its interesting and yet sad that its so easy to look at people as "inside" the oalc or "outside" the oalc (or LLC or any of the many others) THere are many comments of "we know how you believe" instead of listening to, and accepting, what each one has experienced and feels. (and if you know its not you, thats good enough)

    LLLreader you are so right - it is each ones personal experience that makes it true. No one has a right to take away from anothers reality. I have mentioned before that my biggest sorrow is that arguements are used to defend the faith by means of denying my experiences. I pray regularly that I will not look at current members of oalc (or any other similar faith) as they look at me. My experiences are not thiers.

    No one church is perfect. No one christian is perfect. That would defeat the entire purpose of Christianity.

    Anon's superiority reeks through, and I hate to be the one to say I was offended, but I was. Stop the quick, shallow one liners. Open up your heart to us and elaborate with specifics if you have questions or concerns. We are all adults with interest in knowing each others hearts, and that can only be accomplished with love and trust.

    And above all: listen!!!!! We are here with the purpose of sharing our journey - if you have spent so much time reading you should have picked up on why our time after leaving was so rough and wouldnt ask such a rude question as "I think it is absolutely ironic that you people go thru so much turmoil after you leave the church? Maybe you need to ask yourselves why in that department." LISTEN!!!! And accept our experiences as just that: our experiences. You cannot cagegorize these as untruth.

    I also would like to know who Markus is and what is his website? I would love to share and read some encouraging words of other believers in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

  20. oops, pardon my ignorance and oversight. I just viewed the original post and found Markus' link.

  21. I don't condemn the Laestadians for believing what they do, that is their choice, and for the most part, its all they have been taught since birth. I just have a problem with them telling people HOW to believe. Its personal for each of us. I frankly don't care that they don't accept me as a christian, because all that matters is that God has accepted me as a christian. It's just hard for the people that leave and don't agree with the bans/exclusivity access to heaven. You have family, friends telling you your going to hell now because you don't want to be a part of that church. A church is just a place of worship, it is not our faith. My husband said it best, at least they believe in Jesus like we do, and I am very grateful for that!!

  22. It sounds like some have some very bitter hearts.So sad to see but when you dont have the peace of God it is hard to be happy.I see why you have to compare and find things wrong with the LLC and the way we beleave.If i was as cold as you i would be finding things wrong also but when i read this i know i have a peace with God and you dont if you did you would not be asking all th ?s .The ones who would come to church all made up would be welcomed .We would pray that when they come they would be blessed to recive the grace to beleave and put sin away and then they would not have to hide under all that is made up. They could be free children of God. We do not allow sex before marrage and movies and make-up . If a one would choose to do such They know in the heart that is not right and it is sin.We can never fined out if somone is doing sin like that but it is not for us to know God knows and he Will be the judge of that life style.You know the saying of in the world but not of the world thats what the LLC is a true beleaver is in the world not of the world .We dont do sports and TV and movies and sex and play that music of the world.I know it is hard for alot of you to know this for you are in the world and of the world and that is wrong.This is a fact of life we need Hair cuts and finger nails cut showers and such we dont need make-up and ear rings and dyed hair. That what we dont need is called made up and as Children of God we dont have to be made up we can be ourself and be free and not hide behind the make-up and such.Do you all understand were i am coming from how more clear can i make this. I pray you can find peace in your heart .

  23. The link in the original post does not work. Can anyone help in finding Markus?

  24. http://gaylaestadian.blogspot.com/

    (this can be found under Free's links on the right hand side of main page - I accidentally posted it under the wrong thread the first time)


  25. Anon 10:01.. I belong to the ALC and I strongly support the Laestadian churches.. however, I don't agree with what you've listed as sin here.. Those are preferences. Whether or not we do those outward things is no indication of heart condition. This life and journey of faith is so much more than that. Yes I do believe that you have peace where you are, but we all have different personalities, God has made us different in a multitude of ways. If anyone starts to feel like they have to look a certain way in order to be saved, that's the quickest way to hell.. the only thing God looks for is who is on the throne of one's heart. Is it His Son Jesus, by faith, or is it our own goodness.. this is a serious matter and needs to be prayerfully considered.

    God's Peace to you,

  26. hey anon 10:01
    you sound like from are from the FALC. if you are indeed from the LLC, you should talk to members from the FALC and see about joining together again. Because I do not see any difference between the FALC and LLC.

  27. How can someone understand if they don't have the holy spirit in them? Just a question to ponder.

  28. Anon 1:53 - yes, that's it exactly!

  29. Hi Hp3 - I guess we explain things as best we can, as we understand them.. there's no right or wrong in that.. Sometimes I don't have a lot of words to say so I have to make it short, and I think too often it sounds too abrupt..

    Let's see if I can do this.. to the Anons..okay.. we are sin through and through but through repentance and the forgiveness of sins we are washed clean by the blood of Jesus, once for all. For those in the LLL, read Hebrews 8-12.. it is finished. That does not mean we have license to do whatever we want because we actually don't even WANT to do things that are sinful. And we do sin every day, don't we. But the fruits of the Spirit make themselves known and we are not to quench that Spirit or cause our heavenly Father to grieve. But our every action and every good deed is not something we have chosen, it's by the Holy Spirit operating through us. What is required of us is faith, which comes from God. And then trust. Trust, trust, trust in God's leading and listening to that still small voice that speaks to us individually. It's not "we don't do that", or "the elders say".. no.. it's what God is showing you and me individually. And when God begins to show you this, to work within your heart and remove those scales, to bring you through the fire (and pray that He would do that for you, dear one!).. because He loves you so much He wants you to know the fullness of trusting in Him and true saving faith, then nothing anyone else is doing is going to matter. First He will draw YOU to Himself, and then you can witness to others what you have seen Him do in you. Pray that God will call you and reveal this to you. I'm not saying that you haven't experienced this, but I do hope that you have this personal relationship within your own heart!

  30. It is interesting to note that depending on what sect of the Laestadian church we grew up in determined which way we know to be the so called correct way. If we grew up in OALC we would have been taught that way was the only way, or the LLC, or the FALC. Or even other exclusivist churches that believe they are the only true christians, there are many out there. To the LLC born members, what if your parents or grandparents chose the FALC way, you would have grown up thinking that was the only correct way. Don't you see?? All these exclusivist churches think they are the only correct christians. What I don't get is why?? Why do they think only they have the gift? Where does it start? I believe probably a religious movement maybe? Comments?
    Another interesting note is that when we question or disagree with a Laestadian, we are often told we are bitter or unhappy. Actually I feel the exact opposite of that, peaceful, happy, glad God shown me the truth.

  31. To LLC and OALC defenders as well as all of us:

    It seems that the fullness of this gift of salvation is not apprehended, nor is the completeness of man's depravity understood!

    When God through His Son and Spirit reveal the condition of man's soul, and shows us that we are without merit before the throne of grace, and that our puny self-righteous activity of defending ourselves in an attempt to justify ourselves is total basphemy. By this defense of ourselves, many have become a self-made idol and will turn away from God and will not need his only begotten Son.

    "Keep yourselves from Idols" (A Church, A Minister, Edicts, Self-Righteousness, Self Defense and Self Proclaimed Goodness)

    But when the light of God through His Word pierces your heart, and the wind of His Holy Spirit blows gently on your heart, you will count all as vanity, and want to know only Jesus Christ and Him crucified. His Word will become as honey in your mouth and you will not be able to stop thanking our Lord and Savior for this gift of Eternal Life!

    Then you will know and fully apprehend that 'All but Faith is Sin!'


  32. Just a thought here. Exactly what brought anonymous from the LLC to this site. If you are so happy, content etc...then why did you even look at a site that is called
    LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Life as a Former Laestadian
    Sometimes when the Holy Spirit is awakening us, it causes us to look at things we are not ready to believe in or agree with. It can cause us to read things and be critical of them because it frightens us and brings our doubts to light. Then one must vigorously defend ones current position so we cannot be accused of having a lack of faith. I have walked that path.
    I remember being very critical of people that could show me Bible passages that didn't jive with the FALC doctrine. And when I had no answer I would just leave, feeling superior that I was in the true Christianity, leaning on the passage of wiping the dust off of my feet. In hindsite, I realize that, even then, Jesus was trying to show me but I refused to see.

  33. LLLreader sez: to faith-I think that often those splits came about because of ego and power. One man would say, "I KNOW THE TRUTH". Then his family and friends would follow him and create another faction.

  34. LLLreader: I had a wonderful day yesterday. Had some time for reflection and did some laughing at myself at how riled up I get when someone from one of the LLL churches talks about how "sad" it is that I have left the church. I continue to say that if the church provides for the spiritual needs of a person, then have at it. The church itself provided nothing for me. I have family and friends there that I love, but "true religion" is not a building, or a single congregation. God is with me, and guides me, on every step I take in my life's journey.

  35. Good postings, hp3

  36. to ijumped: I like the way you clearly spelled out your experiences as you were first beginning to question and look for answers. I havent been able to do that, but what you said matches perfectly to my experiences. Percieved self-preservation takes on a whole new dimension when the spiritual well being is at stake.

    to LLLreader: I have also had to take a step back and laugh at how riled I can get when offered pity for my soul condition. I find it patronizing that the oalc members have a ready answer that puts me down. I am still trying to put into words why this is so, for me. I really should take more time to process information and feelings instead of responding so quickly and emotionally. Im glad you turned it into a good day!

  37. I agree with the notion of the OALC, FALC, LLC believing each one is right. If you listen to the online sermons each one points at the other and says "We are right , you are the heresy".
    I think a good question to ask someone in these churches is when you stand at the gate to heaven and the Lord asks you why should you enter? What are they going to say? I followed LLL sermons, I followed what the elders and preachers told me to follow. My "Christianity" was always strong (no tv, makeup etc)
    I think there are in for a rude awakening! The Lord is going to say why did you trust in man and not follow what I say and Christ says in the Bible. You should follow the Bible.
    How are they(FALC etc) going to say they followed Christ's greatest commandment- love him with all your heart,mind and soul and above all love thy neighbor. Where is the love thy neighbor in these churches? If you are in fine but if you are outside you are doomed to hell.

  38. LLLreader sez to hp3--I'll tell you, when someone gives me the "sadness for my soul's condition" talk accompanied with the wringing of hands and a sorrowful look, it just gets on my last nerve. Why is it so demeaning? Probably for me it's because it shows no respect for my beliefs. The people in the church that I love don't do that to me, and I certainly show respect to them and don't start arguements. If it works for someone, I'm more then fine with it. I just want the same kind of respect-however, it just ain't gonna happen.

  39. I am interested in knowing the difference between the FALC and the LLC. Someone mentioned that they should join because they are the same. They wouldn't have split in 1973 if they agreed. I grew up in the LLC and these are their beliefs:

    *They are the only true christians on earth.
    *You must ask a member of the congregation for forgiveness of your sins. You cannot go directly to God.
    *Gods Peace is said only to LLC members.

    Sins in their church are: They may have changed some now, but these were prevalent when I was growing up.

    1. makeup
    2. earrings
    3. tv, but educational videos, video games are allowed, or news. Internet is allowed.
    4. Coloring of hair, perming is allowed
    5. Dancing in any form
    6. High school sports
    7. Trick or treating
    8. any type of music with a "beat" even christian spirit or rock music
    9. Cards associated with gambling
    10. going to movies
    11. going to ball games
    12. Fingernail polish
    13. alcohol
    14. marrying outside the church,unless that person repented into their church
    15. You must repent of your sins of unbelief before being accepted by God (if you are on the outside of their group)
    16. A "name" sin on your conscience upon death would cost you your salvation

    What was different in the FALC? Don't comment that I am trying to find faults with your church, I'm just curious in knowing the differences.

  40. 1. makeup (yes)
    2. earrings (yes)
    3. tv, but educational videos, video games are allowed, or news. Internet is allowed. (more tolerated by some)
    4. Coloring of hair, perming is allowed (yes)
    5. Dancing in any form (yes)
    6. High school sports (no hockey!? That is certainly not FALC Sports are good)
    7. Trick or treating (ok to do)
    8. any type of music with a "beat" even christian spirit or rock music
    depends. (it is an individual thing
    probably more tolerated)
    9. Cards associated with gambling
    (depends on family)
    10. going to movies
    (bad bad bad especially if someone else knows and catches you!)
    11. going to ball games (see 6)
    12. Fingernail polish (yes)
    13. alcohol (yes)
    14. marrying outside the church,unless that person repented into their church (yes)
    15. You must repent of your sins of unbelief before being accepted by God (if you are on the outside of their group)(you must ask a believer to forgive your sins)
    16. A "name" sin on your conscience upon death would cost you your salvation (vague answers to this one but there is the teaching about always being ready in case Jesus comes. As in, do you think he would go and look for you in a theatre?)

    Don't forget a biggie you didn't list. A woman must have babies till her guts fall out or menopause comes.

    The ones that agreed completely I followed by a yes.

  41. I understood the primary cause for the split to be personality conflicts over who was to acceed to the position held by Walter Torola. If any generalizations could be made, the LLC would accuse the FALC of being more lenient on sin, for example, the FALC having no problem with sports and greater toleration for TVs. But they were still basically the same, definitely more similar than any other two major Laestadian groups in the US.

  42. Yes, the FALC and the LLC are pretty much the same. However, the LLC is better in some regards because they actually do a small amount of mission work to other countries. The FALC helps nobody but themselves. However, I am not in support of the LLC either.

  43. so the above are some differences in practices, but i certainly hope those are not "core beliefs" or things that must be followed in order to be saved, that define the church. Or perhaps they do and hence lies some of the problems? How are the churches similar or different in regards to faith, holy spirit guidance, being elite and other such things?

  44. I remember the Elder William Erickson being asked during a mission year here about whether something or other was a sin. My recollection is that his response was essentially that he didn't know why Americans are so concerned about what is sin and what is not sin, and that they should worry about doctrine instead of details. I seem to recall lots of those kinds of questions. He was asked one time whether photographs weren't surely a sin, to which he replied that he hoped not since he had quite a few himself. I understand Gunnar Jonsson had an organ in his home. My feeling was that many of those questions came from small minded people who were just looking for some way to put someone else down as a sinner. Waddayallthink?

  45. sounds pretty accurate to me cvow. yet how is it that these questions and the answers someone came up with, became so much a core of the church??? and a deciding factor of ones salvation???

  46. I also have much sweeter memories of the church from when I was young, and the older preachers having much different serman content than those of today. I remember the concern used to be on ones motivation, which God surely knew regardless of how one portrayed oneself to everyone else.

    I attended a church that I really liked (an Assembly of God). The pastor said he refused to preach about 'details of sin.' His philosophy was that wherever your thoughts and focus were at, thats where you would end up too. (imagine that!) So instead of focusing on what NOT to do -and ending up there; he preached that you should focus on what TO DO. if you turn TOWARDS Christ you automatically turn AWAY from the world. Imagine you can only literally face one direction at a time and the opposite direction is at your back. So his focus was on turning towards Christ. That was his resonse to addiction, struggles with sin and how to live ones life. I loved it and have never felt so nourashed in my faith and had it be so easy to commit a little less sin. (im making no claims to perfection :)

  47. hp3, you're spot on, and many of us have commented about how we feel the church we grew up in is no longer the church that exists today.

  48. Many Trails Home10/30/2006 01:23:00 PM

    Whew, HP3, that was incredibly on target. Frankly, if I thought that was the AOG "doctrine," I might join up right now!
    Even tho I am of the same vintage as cvow, I have to tentatively disagree with him on the then-vs-now issue. Seems to me there was as much sin-specific preaching then, altho it may have been more dependent on location (mine being ultra conservative). MTH

  49. I'll second MTH's approval, hp3. Your preacher sounds like someone who has the healing touch.

    His focus reminds me of the saying: "You become like the God you worship."

  50. Many Trails Home10/30/2006 04:57:00 PM

    Free, I'd like to suggest that you move HP3's comment to "front line billing" so no one misses it. I think it's one of the best posts I've seen on this site. Yes, yes, yes!!!! Seems to me that's something that Jesus himself could have said, were he living now. I'm sure that pastor was God-inspired. MTH

  51. Ah MTH, -- "vintage" -- now I'm feeling like a fine wine, even though in reality I'm just "two buck chuck".

    In thinking about it more, I could be persuaded that the old time preaching was indeed pretty "anti-sin" (there were some that even thought any color of car other than black was vanity. No doubt that came from the Detroit congregation after listening to the old preacher Henry Ford.) I guess more accurately I should have said that the old time preaching, while it may have been focused on sin, was not the hateful, prejudicial stuff is spewed today -- and that I've ranted about before. I do seem to recall though that there was a good deal of preaching about doctrine in the old days, something that I doubt the new breed of preacher can spell -- much less define.

    I also agree that hp3's post deserves headlines.

  52. There was preaching about sin in the old days, but it seems there was also a tenderness that came through in many - not all by any means, but many.

    Cvow, when you said they spoke about doctrine, what exactly do you mean, as opposed to today's preachers.. And is it okay to speak about doctrine, in your opinion? Seems as though many people I know of are tired of hearing about doctrine.. care to elaborate?

  53. Many Trails Home10/31/2006 12:20:00 PM

    cvow, if you are a "two buck chuck" then I am a "two brew Sue" -actually, not even a one-brew, as I get loaded on a half-glass of wine! But then I can indulge in the good stuff, as it lasts forever (I've been known to sieve the fruit flies out of a glass of wine that has been sitting there too many days! Clearly I am not very particular, nor worried about "germs.")
    As for the old-time preachers, can't say I remember too much about doctrine, as I slept or day-dreamed thru most of that - who could stay awake thru a Laestadian sermon, I'd like to know. But some of them were good-hearted, you could just feel it (Bill Homola being one of them), and I can't say I've gotten that from any of the young ones, altho I have been avoiding church as much as possible in recent years. The last really sweet sermon I heard was from one of the Minneapolis preachers, shortly before my dad died, and it felt like a gift from God to our family.
    Many blessings to you, cvow. MTH

  54. Norah,
    I suppose we could get a completely new thread going about doctrine. Perhaps I use the word loosely, but I think of doctrine as the core beliefs held by the church. Webster's defines doctrine as law or belief or teaching that is centrally held by a body. That's definitely not the "it's a sin to do this, and it's a sin to do that" stuff. To me, the doctrine of the church is the set of fundamental beliefs.

    Included in this for the OALC would be things like belief that jesus Christ died for the sins of man, there is a true presence of Jesus Christ in the communion host and wine, or the belief that sins can be, should be, and I suppose can ONLY be, forgiven by going to another "Christian". The belief in the Laestadian tenets would be more of the church's central doctrine -- it's the foundation and core of the church. Does that make sense?

    The old preachers used to talk about things like that. They also threw in a lot of stuff I didn't really get about two edged swords and slaying devils and other stuff that sounded kind of cool but which had me baffled for the most part. The last sermons I heard in the OALC seemed entirely focused on the "sin" part of life, or the condemnation of others who do not ascribe to that preacher's narrowly held beliefs.

    Now to be fair, other than the usual funeral "Thank God he/she died in the firm knowledge of salvation, and woe to those of you who don't believe like us" stuff, I haven't subjected myself to an OALC sermon in more than 20 years. However, every time I hear one of those funeral dirges, I remain convinced that they're still deteriorating.

  55. Angela Simonson11/03/2006 10:54:00 AM


    Hi, I am Angie Simonson and this is the first time I have looked at this website. I heard about it at Services in Minn. this past summer. I am sad to hear of your cancer and am hoping that you fully recover and back in good health soon. I was saddened to see that so many people have such bad things to say about living christianity. I can only speak for myself - but, I find so much comfort believing. It is a good thing. My prayer for you is that you have a speedy recovery and also that someday you will find the grace of repentance. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

  56. comparing the two lists on 10/27 between faith and ijumped, it looks like the llc and falc are very close. I sure if a few members of each group could talk then they could join back together.

  57. exllc sounds like a bitter person.

  58. I think we can understand the nasty comments from current Laestadians toward former Laestadians if we understand that it's difficult for many current Laestadians to see us as individuals rather than as representatives of a monolithic threat to their precious faith. When we're seen as a faceles and undifferentiated threat, the responses will lack the civility normally seen in person-to-person communication. Hence the slurring, ad hominems, and anger.

  59. Many Trails Home11/06/2006 12:12:00 PM

    Exllc reminds me of something that I have wanted to suggest. It has to do with the word "cult." I would like to suggest that, as a "blog family," we cease referring to the oalc as a cult. Discussions, yes; name-calling, no.

    Here is my reasoning: Many years ago, I suddenly had the realization that the culture I grew up in, the oalc, was, shall we say, cultish. I was shocked and horrified to think that could be true, and to some extent it is. And the fact that any current oalcer will virtually argue to the death that this is not true only supports our contention, in my opinion. But I digress.

    The word "cult" is extremely inflammatory and the issue to which most current oalc members who wander onto this site most violently respond. It is very divisive, generating bad feelings and widening gaps unnecessarily.
    Furthermore, it is my opinion that a lot of religions have cultish elements, for instance, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Amish. Yet they are not referred to as cults. The primary cultish element I am referring to is the punishment of leavers but I suspect there may be others. And at risk of offending Catholics on this blog, the Catholic church itself has cultish elements, such as refusing communion and other punishments. (I have examples if you insist). Furthermore, the Catholic church, from which all Christians descend, has a history and tradition worse than cultish: they have been positively murderous, torturing and genocidal, hideously so. In fact, the Inquisition still exists: it is called the Office for the Extirpation of Idolatries and is extant in Peru. What exactly they do today I do not know, but the Quero Indians (descendants of the Inca) were as recently as the 1970s stoned if they showed up in the marketplaces in their native dress.
    Evil and evildoers and evil behavior exist. We should not suggest that the oalc is evil, whatever its faults and whatever our suffering at its hands.
    Many blessings to you all. MTH

  60. Good put, MTH. Those offended by the choice "actually a cult" in the Silly Poll will be pleased that it garnered fewer votes than "The Only True Christianity." Just which is the more offensive depends, of course, on the offendee. Of 83 votes (all the same person, perhaps?), here's the breakdown.

    Scandinavian Lutheran sect (32%)
    The Only True Christianity (28%)
    Actually a cult (14%)
    Conservative Christian church (8%)
    Amish-lite (4%)
    None of the above (10%)

  61. I think the original post has gotten lost in the shuffle, ie Markus's need for support. I wish you the best Markus, many prayers for you and your family.

    I will also add a couple of my thoughts and observations.

    I have attended weddings, funerals etc. at Catholic, Lutheran and Laestadian churches, I have been welcomed at some and have felt very much like an outsider at others. I think they all could use some work in that area, yes including my own. I also believe that its not intentional, it just that people in general have a harder time talking to a stranger than a friend.

    I think that some of the poster's on this site have really needed to be able to vent their anger, frustration and thoughts. This site provides a avenue for that. Its probably more productive to vent here than at family gatherings and other occasions you would be at with those you left. Yes some of you do sound bitter or angry towards whatever church you left and towards the people/family that are still attending those churches and believing differently than you do. Many of you may feel that its justified, others reading it may feel otherwise.

    Its been an interesting read.

  62. Many Trails Home11/14/2006 12:52:00 PM

    Dear exllc, for heaven's sake, I was not attacking you for calling these churches cults! When I said "it reminded me" that's all I meant. I agree with you that the OALC for one is cultish. But I also know that the word is so inflammatory, it causes much ill will, when any laestadians wander onto this site. I do not think this is our intention. But since we are just calling it as we see it, maybe it's OK. After all, we are not here to protect anyone's belief system.
    I hope you return. I enjoy your postings. MTH