"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Random (Clean) Thoughts

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Random (Clean) Thoughts

MTH wrote: Say, Free, I wonder if we could have a running topic heading called something like "Random Thoughts," on which we could post our . . . random thoughts. For instance, in the middle of a very busy weekend, I had a thought about the phrase, "Cleanliness is next to Godliness." Now, I don't in any way condone sloth, but I did have the suspicion that this phrase was invented by some compulsive neatnik as a put-down for her less obsessive sisters. Or perhaps some poor husband with a slovenly wife could get nowhere so consulted the local imam and got permission to invoke God on his behalf.
As a corollary, why don't we have a phrase that says, for instance, "Charity is next to Godliness?" A more fitting expression, I would say.

cvow replied: Sorry MTH, but that phrase cleanliness is next to Godliness was more likely coined by a neatnik wife who was trying to shame her poor husband into dusting and vacuuming and cleaning his office and shop. I do those things but stop short of the bathrooms and kitchen, where my cleaning talents would be woeully inadequate. Oh man am I gonna get it . . .

MTH, as a casual housekeeper, I've always rebelled at that phrase and was amused to discover that originally, it was directed at personal hygiene. Personal hygiene is nice. While I relax my standards on camping trips, I kind of like the American obsession with frequent bathing. Perfumes not so much (it really should be illegal to ruin someone's enjoyment of a movie or opera by soaking oneself in Eau de Moufette beforehand). But soap and water are very good things.

"Cleanness of body was ever deemed to proceed from a due reverence to God." Francis Bacon, "Advancement of Learning," 1605

"Let it be observed that slovenliness is no part of religion; that neither this nor any text of Scripture condemns neatness of apparel. Certainly, this is a duty, not a sin. Cleanliness is indeed next to Godliness." John Wesley, "Sermon 93: On Dress," 1791

While their words sound nutty today, they may have been motivated by public health concerns, not just delicacy. Hygiene back then being what it was . . . scant. Imagine Wesley preaching to a rank congregation, fresh from the morning chores, in go-to-meeting woolens that never saw soap. Unshaven, pipe-smoking, tobacco chewing farmers taking communion from a common cup. With a farmer's disdain for fancy ways ("neatness of apparel" bah!).

But "Godliness"? Puhleez.


  1. Hi! I'm lucky to find a new topic! I'm always "catching up on the latest" on this blog! It's one of my favorites! Thanks for updating it so often. I read that taking a bath was once considered vanity. Some people would boast that they hadn't bathed in years. They would wear their clothes til they rotted off. They believed it was godly. Ironic, huh?
    young exoalcer

  2. Here's a typical oalcer attitude. I was discussing my concerns about following the preachers with an older man I trusted while I was still in the church. He asked me who I was hearing this from or what books I've been reading.(like I said I'm young so I should not think for myself) I told him the bible. He said, "That's good BUT...do you read Laestadius?" I said,"No." He then replied, "Well, you should."
    Sorry, I know it's off the subject but since I'm first to post I thought my comments might get read!
    I've been posting as anonymous for a little while and usually don't get noticed much. (hee!hee!) Is this cheap or what?
    young exoalcer

  3. Many Trails Home10/18/2006 10:34:00 AM

    Good for you, "young exoalcer." And as this is "random thoughts" column, you can say virtually anything (clean) that you want.
    I have a Q for you, since you identify yourself as "young." How long have you been "ex" and how well are you adjusting? I would say it took about 20 years for me to "adjust." In other words, to stop feeling like a "stranger in a strange land" (which is how I felt in the OALC anyway). To finally feel like I have a secure footing is a very good thing. Blessings to you. MTH

  4. MTH
    I am 23 and just left this last spring. It's hard to say how well I'm adjusting. Sometimes it's very hard but for the most part it's awesome! My 3 kids are little so I'm thankful they will not have to grow up in that. I actually came to Christ before I left so that made it much easier. It's hard losing all your friends and the support of your family to be sure! I've met some amazing people from "the world." You guys included! I thank God everyday for freeing me from that bondage.

  5. Like the site!! Someone in earlier post was talking about splits. I found this to be interesting between FALC and a new church the Grace Apostles Church. Basically they split because the FALC was against having a bible study class. The author has some interesting points which can describe all sects from LLL.


  6. http://www.geocities.com/m2has/Cokato_FALC_and_Grace_Apostles.pdf

    try again

  7. Did we crash the geocities website? I can't link on or even find this reference by search.

  8. File under Random:

    FMB -- the Society of Fred Mertz, Boddhisattva -- was founded by the Finnish-American poet, Antero Alli, and holds that all wisdom is contained in the seemingly inane remarks of Fred Mertz, a minor character of the "I Love Lucy" TV show. By watching "Lucy" reruns continually and meditating on the apparently banal things Fred says -- e.g., "I don't know what's going on around here" or "I don't understand women at all" -- this sect claims you will find the same Enlightenment as in contemplating Zen Buddhist koans such as "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" And just as in Zen, where students are often required to meditate on monosyllables such as "Mu" (no), the SFMB sect would have you meditate on such Mertziana as "Huh?" or "Awww!" until you sense what Joyce would call the epiphany in even the most trivial.

  9. That document about the Cokato FALC and Grace Apostles has been updated and can be found on the Yahoo groups site. Go to files, or whatever, and you should see it. You'll need to sign up if you haven't already done so.

    In my Laestadian experience, weekly saunas were almost part of the religion. You knew that if you went to certain people's houses, it would be considered rude to refuse a sauna. For myself, I don't feel I've started the day right when I don't shower, unless I'm camping or doing something out of the day-to-day routine. If I analyzed it enough, I could see some parallels between how not washing and missing services made me feel.

  10. Did you know that the Amish only bathe like once a week? I'm not sure if it because of their religion, or what the reason is? My advice to everyone on here that has left the OALC, FALC, or LLC is not to turn your back on God. There is much confusion when you leave and most people don't navigate toward God right away. The world is a scary place because you have been so snug and secure within their flock. God loves you!! Their way is not the "only" way. He will guide you. Keep your faith, love and trust in him. I did not do that and went through years of emotional turmoil and confusion because I did not know where to turn. They tell you every other church out there is wrong, so it's imtimidating, where do you start?? Start by keeping God in your heart, go to other churches, search for the truth. If you truly search, he will show you the way. I wish I had done that when I left, but I didn't know, I was a young confused kid. His love is great, his love is not exclusive, he comes to all who ask. So ASK!!

  11. I have been discussing the presence of this site with friends and family. Some have said that they would like to see postings for the families of the sons, daughters, brothers and sisters, who have married members of the OALC. A grandparent said he would like to share a play with his grandchild and can't. Some said they don't know the "rules" and are ever fearful of offending the OALC member. It was also noted that they are not asked to come over for dinners or to attend a babtism, birthday party, or included in a holiday dinner. Little cousins are told that they are going to hell because they "cut" their hair. They are told this by the small children. Others have a hard time inviting the OALC family because the families are just too large and their small houses can't do it. One person said she has invited the large OALC family and they say, "We'll see if we can come," and then don't come over." Food then gets wasted and feelings are hurt.

    Anyway, my little informal survey, led me to believe that this is an interesting twist to this site.

    Does anyone have thoughts on this, advise for the the not ex-oalc members but who are now thrust into learning the OALC member ways.

    I think most of the people I talked with would like to know ways to share their faith and to show their love, as they still love their children, siblings, etc. They don't know how to adjust.
    God's Peace to All

  12. sorry




  13. Thats a good article. I can relate the problems with the FALC with some of the other Apostolic splits as well.

  14. I am an ex oalcer, and I found this site to be pretty informative and accurate as to the beliefs of the oalc. See if any of your questions are answered and possibly how many more are raised.


    God Bless

  15. http://gaylaestadian.blogspot.com/

    This shortcut can be found under Free's links on the right hand side..


  16. "If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a
    who you hate,"

    Nikka - age 6
    -a quote fom an e-mail I received