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

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Message

Vance writes:
I just want everyone to know my reason for going to speak at the OALC on Easter. The first is obedience to God. The second is my love for all the people in the OALC.
For the last few weeks God has laid it on my heart to go to the OALC and share my testimony. I kept praying about it and hoping that the feeling would go away. It didn't. I finally obeyed and decided to go to the event center on Easter Sunday. When I begin to share my story, they shut the microphone off. I begin yelling so people could hear me and they started singing to drown me out. Needless to say, I didn't get the chance to finish. So, here is my testimony
(if anybody was there, the wording of this may be different. I knew I would only have a chance to say a few things before I was stopped):

I born, raised, and married while in the OALC. I was pretty happy most of the time but I was never truly at peace. I knew Jesus died for my sins but since we are always sinning we could never really be free. That bugged me. Another thing that bugged me was that the preachers' would say that if anything they said was offensive or wrong that they wanted to know. But, yet, earlier in the same sermon, they would say you were supposed to trust the preachers and NOT question because it is GOD'S WORD. That is a lie because only the Bible is the word of God and we can NOT follow any man on earth. Not Laestadius, not the preachers, not me, not your parents, not the older christians. Jesus Christ is the only one we can follow. When people try to direct us to Christ, we need to compare what they're saying to the word of God. (the Bible) It was also preached on Easter Sunday at OALC, that we need to follow the ones who have the understanding through the Holy Spirit. That's not what Jesus said. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6 KJV We will all stand before God on Judgement Day and we can't have excuses of why we put our trust in men. (preachers, elders, Laestadius)
Jesus died to forgive the sins of the whole world, not just the Old Apostolic Lutheran Church. When we belive Jesus is our Redeemer, we go to the cross and repent of our sinful ways. We have to get up from the cross as Jesus did and turn from the sin that died with Christ. The resurrected Jesus represents the new life or rebirth in us through the Holy Spirit. Not just the preachers are enlightened to the Truth of the Bible but anyone who desires to know God and follow Him through His son.
For anyone reading this that has fear, doubt, and confusion... Jesus says, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." Matt. 7:6-8 KJV
God will never leave nor forsake you! I did not go to the service to condemn anybody but to offer hope. My hope and prayer is that I see all of you in heaven.


  1. Many Trails Home4/09/2007 12:44:00 PM

    Whew. You are brave. I can only imagine the reaction. But everything you say is "God's own truth." Of course, most of them don't want to know the truth - they are too fearful to even open that door. It seems like a pity to us. I for one will be eternally grateful for "the truth that sets us free." Many blessings to you for your courage.

  2. Vance, even if they didn't hear a word you said, they saw you stand up and speak against the powerful forces of conformity, like a flower blooming in the desert. Nothing -- not the loud singing or the rumor mill -- will remove that image from those who were seeking it and who are now drawing strength from it.

    Your story gave me shivers.

    Peace be with you.

  3. So true.
    The courage to stand up to a system is entirely foreign and scary, yet speaks volumes.
    We're proud of you.

  4. backtothefuturecc4/09/2007 02:03:00 PM

    I could never have done it- you have incredible strength- you are very brave.

  5. Vance, I admire your spunk. It took courage to do what you did. I don't think the OALC can be changed though.
    Even if the entire congregation was to get up and walk out in the middle of the sermon, the preachers would probably say to each other, "The Devil must have gotten hold of them"!

  6. christ can change anybody if they truly seek him

  7. Vance, I had a dream like that once. It felt like a nightmare. I woke up so sad for those who wouldnt listen, yet so safe and protected, and thankful I had listened to the Holy Spirit's whisper in my heart. I think I even posted about it on Left the OALC site.

    However, my dream is a far cry from my reality and I also greatly admire your courage to attempt to reach those you love within the OALC. May God continue to give you strength as you face the aftermath of that day, the barrage of condemnation you will surely face from those you love so much.

  8. Thank you, Thank you, God was with you!! Your friends in Christ- Sheri and family

  9. Wow! That took a lot of courage and strength. The Lord sure was with you that day. I have envisioned doing that in the LLC, but I don't think I'd ever be brave enough. Even though that OALC may never change, you never know how many people you inspired by being there and speaking up. I just wish they would have listened to you with an open heart and open mind, thats too bad.

  10. Saved By Grace4/10/2007 06:27:00 AM

    That sounds like one of the scariest things I've ever heard of. I have to admire your courage and flat-out gutsiness.

    One has to ask, what in the world are they so afraid of hearing? Very surreal experience. I can visualize it as you are describing it.

    Kudos to you for standing up for yourself, and for what you know to be true. Thank you.

  11. Thank you all for your kind words and support for Vance. As someone who is close to him I know what a tremendous task this was for him to do. What is so amazing to me is how God used him, I am surprised he even got the microphone in his hand! I agree with Free that no matter what was done to try to stop his words, it still was a visual example for all to see. This is what happened to Jesus when he tried to preach, those against Him did all that they could to stop Him- but it wasn't successful for those who sought Him. Vance DID NOT do this for his own glory, he did it out of obedience to his Father. I know that you all realize this, but for myself, I have to say that when I heard what he was planning to do, I wanted to say " NO, don't do it!" However, I also knew that Jesus' disciples did not want to see Him suffer, yet Jesus told them that it was necessary and to have faith. Vance, we love you for your courage to step into that raging river, but we love our Father in Heaven even more for pressing it upon your heart to speak the truth to all of those souls whom we pray for and love so dearly. God is so Good- and He will repay!! Vance, you are a true warrior- our prayers are with you.

  12. Vance was able to get to the microphone because he was being deceitful. It was amazing how God took over and guided everything. The mic was turned off, a hymm was started, and Lord's Holy Supper was served. It is amazing that the true word of God could not be broke and it was amazing how it was so apparant that the voice of a lost soul was speaking. Even the children could sense that there was a stranger in the Lord's house. May God lead you and guide you Vance and through prayer you may find yourself and be able to correct these matters prior to your judgement because you will be facing Lord Jesus and have to answer for your own soul.

  13. to anon 8:20 am

    can you be specific on how you think Vance was being deceitful?

  14. He led the preacher to believe that he was going in front of the congregation to repent. He first went to the song leaders and tried to get ahold of the mic and they directed him to the preachers. I have a hard time believing that God's word would come from someone being deceitful.

  15. i didnt decieve the preacher he decieved himself by his own assumption that i was going to make repentance, i told him that i had some things to confess and that id had something on my conscience, i confessed my faith in lord jesus christ and they never let me say what was on my conscience, the thing that was on my consience was that i hadnt confess jesus name in your presence earlier,but no worrys its off my conscience now,by the way wasnt jesus a wild spirit and a heretic for speaking truth in the synagogues.

  16. I applaud Vance on his courage. It appears most people in that church are close minded. After reading about the history and tradition of the church, it seems to me to be a cult. Do they really think they are the only true christians? If so, they are more twisted than I thought.

  17. to anon 8:49 am

    Thanks for clarifying that for me. I guess I can understand why you would think Vance was being deceitful, however, he does state that he intended to make his conscience matters clear but was not given the opportunity.What is repentance?

    I'm wondering if the scribes and pharisees felt mislead or deceived when Jesus spoke contrary to their doctrines/beliefs/traditions?

    All that I am saying is that maybe rather than Vance being intentionally deceitful, he was doing what he felt he needed to do for his conscience to be free and it wasn't in the normal "order or protocol" that things are usually done in church- hence the labels of "deceit, stranger, lost soul etc." Maybe he felt mislead himself in the church? I know that it is easy for me to scorn anything that doesn't align with my comfort zone.

    Was he really being deceitful or was the preacher only thinking/hearing what he wanted to hear?

    I really feel for that preacher, it must be very hard on him to think that he made a mistake and now he has to justify his actions to the congregation by saying that Vance deceived him.

    Just my thoughts....

  18. It sounds like OALCers' expectations were the deceivers here, not Vance. It speaks volumes about the OALC that the only possible reason for someone to approach a microphone is to confess sin (not faith) and that the reaction to Vance was to shut him up.

    What if he had been allowed to continue? What if the preacher had responded by saying "We hear you and we love you Vance; let's talk after the service," What kind of example would that be for the children? A loving one.

    Is the OALC a cult, with no dissent tolerated?

    Where I attend church, the microphone is available to anyone, to share a story, to ask for prayers, to tell people about a bakesale, whatever. If someone wants to unburden his heart, he is listened to and engaged, not shut down. If someone has an issue with church doctrine or practice, there are ample opportunities to express and discuss them (and even to change them).

    If those existed in the OALC, this blog would not be necessary.

    One wonders how OALC children process the absence of/treatment of dissenters in home and church, when at school they are learning to tolerate and even welcome diversity.

  19. i, too, am very close to Vance. what he did is something that i have a great fear of doing. but the fear isn't of God, but of man. if God so leads me to do something like that, in the days to come, i just hope and pray that i could be obedient to Him. what Vance did was not to find fault, condemn, ridicule or show off. as he stated in his first message, he did it out of LOVE!!! love for the souls of all those people! love is something that i had very skewed ideals about when i was under the influence of that church.

    since finding the truth of God for myself, love looks a whole lot different now! true love is unconditional!

    i think of I Corinthians Chapter 13.

    (1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.)

    This, i believe, was the driving force behind Vance's message! LOVE!

    Yesterday a phrase of a song (Bullet) by Matt Kearney kept running through my head. "I would take a bullet for you". that phrase kept going through my mind, over and over again. and i thought, "would i take a bullet for Jesus? would i be shot down for Jesus?" certainly i would hope that i would have the strength to! but would i?

    and then it hit me!! Vance was "shot down" when he stood up for his Lord! he took a bullet for Jesus! how many of us would do that?

    the most encouraging thing for me about Vance's experience, was that God was with Vance through every step of his journey. Yes! he was scared, doubtful, nervous and affected by all things of human nature! but he chose to be obedient and God did NOT fail him! if God ever asks me to do something like Vance did, i will have his example to gather strength from!

    Vance, i am so thankful for the truth of God that shines like a beacon through you! i want to be a warrior too! i, too, want the strength to take a bullet for Jesus!

  20. I find it a little curious that people are taking a holier-than-thou high horse about deceit meanwhile FLAT LIES are being spread about the whole scenario like match to gasoline.

  21. When one has been deceived, what more is there to say? I assume that Vance et al, is going to be going to all the local churches and playing his Jesus act. It is interesting how the devil can create so much bitterness in folks on this sight. There will be persecution at the end of time towards that 1 saving faith. God's word will prevail. God bless you and have mercy on your souls.

  22. Many Trails Home4/10/2007 12:40:00 PM

    Bitterness, schmitterness. Persecution, baloney. "One saving faith" (as defined by you), rubbish. You OALCers don't recognize love when you see it. You don't know what deceit is either. You exist in a religious fantasyland of your own making and are threatened with damnation if you dare so much as look outside it. WE pity YOU (at least speaking for myself). God WILL prevail and he WILL have mercy on our souls, because we at least are honest and live as much from our hearts as we humanly can.
    Deceit? I can't get over it. The whole OALC thought-system is one big deceit. Oh, if only we could WAKE YOU UP. But that will always be your choice. We wish you many blessings, regardless of your choices. May God enlighten you, in his time or - when you are ready. MTH

  23. backtothefuturecc4/10/2007 12:40:00 PM

    When I broke out from the church, I only had the guts to write my parents a letter--- which they read but would never discuss with me. I was a lost soul in their minds. All of their friends felt so bad for them.

  24. Anon 12:06
    "playing his Jesus act"
    So you're saying if we act as Jesus did that it is wrong and of the devil? That's pretty harsh.

  25. Actually, I don't care about any of you.

  26. I'm really not sure why that was necessary, 3:56. If I were to express a little sarcasm, I'd say perhaps you could not think of a more intelligent comment to add to the conversation here.

  27. In response to Vance, I say, Go, you! I think once you get to the point where you can see clearly what it is that God wants you to do, the vision carries you forward and you are able to act out of faith, even though you may have been anxious or afraid.

    I hear no bitterness in what you spoke/wrote here. The bitterness I hear is coming from the anonymous comments -- the people who are being so critical of what you had to say and your means for doing so. Anon 8:20, you said, "It was amazing how God took over and guided everything. The mic was turned off, a hymm was started, and Lord's Holy Supper was served. It is amazing that the true word of God could not be broke and it was amazing how it was so apparant that the voice of a lost soul was speaking. Even the children could sense that there was a stranger in the Lord's house."

    What is really amazing is that people could think it was perfectly normal to sing over the top of someone who obviously had something to say that he thought was important. And then to just start serving communion, like nothing out of the ordinary was happening! Wow.

    Of course it was obvious that something was going on...I think if I was a child and observed all of this, I would think it was strange, too. Normally, the mic is not shut off when someone is trying to speak. Normally if a person is speaking, or even shouting, people don't ignore them and try to sing over the top of them to drown them out. The poor kids were probably trying to figure it all out.

    As I read this, the other thing I find amazing is that people could not even give Vance enough respect to hear him out, although if he would have been quiet and listened to them, they would have had plenty to say to him, I'm sure. JMHO...

    It reminds me of when children put their fingers into their ears and sing loudly, refusing to hear what they do not want to hear.

  28. Many Trails Home4/10/2007 05:09:00 PM

    Whew, "Jesus Christ said . . . Actually, I don't care about any of you" is so NOT JESUS, so untrue, so sad, and so . . . incredibly self-righteous. So consistent with our most negative impressions of the OALC. You surely know how to show your most negative colors. Perhaps you should consider asking forgiveness for that brazen comment. That could not possibly have been inspired by God, and if not by God, then by what was it inspired? Perhaps you can answer that question. We wish you the peace of God, in any case. MTH

  29. In the midst of all this, i am glad i found a chuckle somewhere!!!

    daisyaday said:
    It reminds me of when children put their fingers into their ears and sing loudly, refusing to hear what they do not want to hear.

    Even though it made me chuckle out loud, the seriousness of that analogy is sobering. If a child is being told something by a parent (or anyone) that is to their benefit, but makes the child uncomfortable, this is the reaction they very well may have. Whether they physically plug their ears or not is neither here nor there.

    Is this the type of "child-like" christianity and faith that the oalc is trying to impress on their members? to plug their ears to anything said, that hasn't been "board approved"????

  30. backtothefuturecc4/10/2007 05:25:00 PM

    Man this conversation brings all the memories of feeling stifled, reminded to never question anything, although it is perfectly clear the deciples of Christ constantly questioned Christ as the parables were the answer to their doubts and questions.

  31. I was told today (by a former OALC member) that this kind of thing has happened before at elder's meetings, when a member asked the elders some questions they apparently could not or would not answer. A hymn was hastily begun. If it wasn't so sad, it would be funny. (I can't HEAR you, la la la la la.)

  32. Posters, please attempt to be respectful, pertinent, insightful or at least entertaining. This is a open forum that tolerates all kinds of ideas, but I have no patience with jerks, sneerers or trolls claiming to speak for Christ.

  33. Isn't it pertinent to say that Jesus doesn't care? I'm sorry if my manner of expression was 'blasphemous' but I just wished to convey my thoughts in a poignant manner. I grew up in the OALC and the experience has me (much to my astonishment) teetering on the edge of atheism. Simply put, religion is the road to mortal man's immortality. Gotta say, I would have paid good money for front row seats to Vance's show. Good day

  34. Well, bwahaha, I guess I can relate to that. For some time after I left the church, I truly didn't believe that such a thing as God existed. Growing up in that environment...mmmmm. Can't say enough about it.

    But even though I gave up on God, I am happy to say that God didn't give up on me. He is a gentleman, though, and will wait until He is invited. He will never force Himself on anyone. Peace to you, b. Been there.

  35. Just wanted to add a quick "thank you" to Free for adding my blog to your links! Pretty heady stuff for a newbie blogger. :)

  36. When I heard how Vance was shushed with "spiritual" singing. It reminded me of a story I once heard about the church during the holocaust. The churchs would play there church bells loud when the trains came through their towns. The trains were filled with loads of people on their way to the concentration camps. The bells would drowned out the cries of the people on the trains. The "spiritual" bells would keep the churchs and the people within from facing the truth of the holocaust.

  37. You're most welcome Daisy.

    Folks, check out the MySpace link, too, by a former OALCer.

    bwahaha, thanks for putting down the rocks and speaking your thoughts. Are you also our Einstein quoter? In any case, I have a lot of empathy for your teetering, and encourage you to post about it. I'll devote another topic soon to the origins of religion, so hang in there.

    Now, to anyone who attends the OALC, would you please take some cell phone video at the next service and send it to me? If that is allowed.

  38. free, I am not the Einstein quoter. A good recommendation: 'a history of thought and invention, from fire to freud'[sic] by Peter Watson. He explores the origins of religious thought from a more intellectual viewpoint and is an interesting read.

  39. More specifically, chapter 7 titled, 'The Ideas of Israel, the Idea of Jesus'. Take an hour at your local bookstore and enjoy.

  40. First of all, Vance, I am amazed you had the courage to do what you did. I was imagining how it would be if Jesus had been sitting in the pews of that church as you gave your speech. I think he would have been repulsed by the actions of the OALC members. I have a hard time trying to figure out how they claim they (the OALC) are "loving" people. Your experience really shows the "true colors" of the OALC and I'm glad you came forward with your experience so everyone can see whats really going on there.

  41. Dear Vance,
    You have more courage than the rest of us put together, I suspect. God was with you that day. I have had dreams (or rather nightmares) of being outed while sitting in an OALC church, and it is horrible feeling. Still, I understand their closed-thought system which functions like all other similar systems, be they religious, nationalistic/provincial, ethnic, whatever. I know you can't change the mind of a person who refuses to see anything through another's eyes, but you never know who is questioning their own belief system. That is why I so admire your actions. For decades, I have felt the OALC has a right to believe as they wish, and I have carried a small sliver of hope or desire that they may be, in part, on the Right Path. That sliver disappeared when I read your posting. My doubts vanished. True "People of God", humble in their striving, do not behave that way. So you see, Vance, you ARE influencing people, even those not seated in that OALC church that day.

    Note to MTH: You are being so feisty! Keep it up. It's fun to see you "laying it on the line".

  42. "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."

  43. A person who habitually complains or grumbles...who are you?

  44. Many Trails Home4/11/2007 01:27:00 PM

    bwahaha: guess I'm not the only one who completely misread you. So I put down my dukes. I actually find it fascinating when we completely mis-communicate; it's a reminder that we see through our own eyes only and we never really know what's going on with anyone else.
    So a question remains: Why would you say that JC does not care? I know he doesn't care about our trivial arguments and hair-splittings, but us? Nothing wrong with "teetering on the edge of atheism." That's an important step on the "evolutionary trail." It's useful to doubt it all, at some point. Then you can pick out what's real. Thanks for joining us.
    PS I also got a kick out of "kids plugging their ears." What a great analogy. MTH

  45. When properly interpreted, the universal message conveyed by Scripture is a simple moral one: "To know and love God, and to love one's neighbor as oneself"…

    different than your neighbor (ALC, OALC, FALC,…), we can’t see any difference...

    apart from what you claim…

    exhibiting an attitude of superior virtue?

  46. backtothefuturecc4/11/2007 03:58:00 PM

    I can totally relate to the thought of losing your faith or belief in "religion", but thankfully I was able to find God with out religion. I think the way we were raised and being insightful enough to get out always gave me the idea their must be a God. He led me to marry a french!!! catholic!!!, I don't know which was worse to my parents and we have been happily married almost 30 years- and I praise God for this and the freedom in my life I have obtained. Mostly to believe what I want and worship how and when I want.

  47. Hello all,
    My site is undergoing a serious and long-awaited revamping and a makeover. A couple things: I am planning on including a forum and live chat. If anyone would be available to help moderate, even very part time, that would be fantastic.
    Also, I am planning to include a "safe community". This is ONLY for people who are comfortable agreeing to certain terms (confidentiality above all) and being willing to share their first and last names, addresses and phone numbers. This will require login so if you would be interested in being included, shoot me an email.
    Also, if you have a story to share that you would feel okay about including on the site, please send it in. I think it would be great if we could all share our stories at some point, and how we got to our various points of view. This can be done confidentially or include names. Also, people from all Laestadian backgrounds as well as outsiders are welcome to contribute.
    helena(at symbol)oldapostoliclutheran dot com

  48. To every believer here: It's time to lose our fears, stand up for truth, and prepare for the return of our savior. If we can't drop religion, love one another, and follow Christ, fear will continue to rule our lives. We should not fear anything aside from a healthy fear of GOD. We are children of the ALMIGHTY GOD! WHAT do we have to fear? We're ambassadors for Christ, so let's prove it! Let's back up our talk with actions! Let's stand up for truth and spread it........
    in no other name but JESUS CHRIST'S!
    I love everyone here. Thank you for your support.

  49. hello everyone! i'm new to this site, i just found it a few days ago, and i've been reading through as much as i can. theres so much, but everything is soo true, and so real! I left the laestadian church 1 1/2 yrs ago. (sept 2005). i tried so hard to forget about anything to do with religion, which is probably the case with most people who leave a church like this. (or maybe not...not sure..) Just recently my fiance and I started mariage prep courses with a very good, non- judgemental preacher. Before this, I didnt know much about having a personal relationship with God..it was never taught in the laestadian church. I'd heard about it, but never thought much about it, and didn't really want anything to do with church, religion, or God. I agree with one of the comments above, being raised in the Laestadian church gave me no doubt that there is a God. I've always beleived in God, and that everything in the bible is true, I guess i just got tired of all the rules, and tried to get away from church as much as possible.
    I think having a chat room for ppl on here would be a great idea!!! i'm totally in on that!! I've met a few really nice people who replied to the first entry i put on a different webpage, (yahoo groups, XLLL) its been really helpful. Thank you soo much to whoever started this page! its been so helpful to me!! I have a long way to go, getting through all this pain and hurt, but I think I'm finally on the right track, and all the comments on here are a big help with that too! thank you so much again!!

  50. backtothefuturecc4/12/2007 10:16:00 AM

    It sounds like you are going through similar things I went through many years ago. I remember not having any idea what church to get married in, so I just picked the prettiest one I could find. It didn't mean anything to me, but it did mean I was set free. The pastor who married us didn't ask many questions but was supportive of where I was in my spiritual journey, basically starting over. As for my parents, they have never excepted my husband, and I have always tried to show them respect, but emotional distance. I can not get too close because they will remind me of my lost soul. It doesn't matter what you say or how you live your life- if its not their way- its no way.

  51. I stumbled upon this site at work and I have to say that I love this site! It has reinforced my love for Lord Jesus and his sacrifice for me and has reinforced why the teaching at the OALC are so needful for me. I do not believe in LLL or the preachers, I simply follow LLL and the preachers because they are speaking alongside of His word (not CHOOSING parts of the Bible to follow and leaving other parts out)! Does following the OALC save me? NO! Believing that Jesus died for my sins is what saves me. It is so apparant from this site that the people that write comments here are not completely comfortable and need to be reassured from others that think and feel the same way, hence the title "Learning to live free." Interesting that someone would need to learn how to live free. Freeness is a gift from God that I believe is given and not learned. My thought is that if you are trying to pursuade or comfort someone in their dead faith.......then you had better be right!!! Just my thoughts, I am truly not trying to debate my beliefs or learn to accept them. May God bless all of you.

  52. When you have no freedom growing up, i think you do need to learn to live free. It's something that is foreign to you, and it helps to have other support along the way (the comments on this site).

  53. Stumbled on this site at work? I'm glad you don't work for me! Might have to dock you an hour or 2 of pay. This is a pretty remote blog to stumble onto if your not looking for it. : )

  54. Bwaha, thanks for the Watson recommendation. I look forward to reading him (I understand he largely ignores the history of women, but I'll try not to prejudge.)

    MTH, I appreciate what you say about teetering on the edge. Reminded me of a great line by Theodore Roethke: "my shaking keeps me steady . . . I learn by going where to go."

    Helena, looking forward to your redo and esp. the live chat. What a great idea. I hope to chime in now and then.

    Tanya, welcome! Glad you found us. Please share what you are learning in your marriage prep class. We can all use reminders. :-)

    Anonymous "stumbler" in the OALC, save your santimony for someone who appreciates it.
    Funny how you say you "love this site" yet make digs about the commenters and the title itself. Not feeling the love, honey. If all you have to share is passive-aggressive priggery, go elsewhere; this is a place where nobody is required to be "completely comfortable" or complete, period. If you are open to learning something, and for some reason I suspect you are, hang around.

  55. Many Trails Home4/12/2007 05:08:00 PM

    What about "Anonymous Stumbler's" comment that we "persuade or comfort someone in their DEAD FAITH" (emphasis mine)? True OALC-style judgment. They can't help themselves. We are all by definition suffering from "dead faith." But how dead is theirs, that they have to sing over the voice of one "crying in the wilderness?" That any growth or change is rigidly prevented - does that not sound like the definition of "dead?" "Dead faith" is a put-down term, and I think it's ugly.
    (I have to end with an optimistic statement: May the Lord Jesus enlighten us, every one. MTH)

  56. ROTFL!!!!
    Stumbled?? Stumbled?!
    Do you have a bridge in Arizona I could buy?

  57. Stumbled, your comment about choosing parts of the Bible that fit the argument reminded me how often I heard that as a kid. What I did not realize until later was that this is a definition of the belief system of the OALC! They were forever carping about how "Dead Faith" churches selected only those parts of the Bible that skewed toward their beliefs. I now know they were speaking about themselves. And if you stepped away from church for a little bit, you would see that the "along side" preaching is a misnomer. It's "straight-up" preaching. It ignores most of Jesus' teachings. Isn't that interesting!
    May the Lord make His face to shine upon you...and give you peace.

  58. Quoted from anon stumbled:

    My thought is that if you are trying to pursuade or comfort someone in their dead faith.......then you had better be right!!!

    All I can say is: Likewise to you, my friend! God bless you too!

  59. anon stumbled:

    The only way you would know that parts of the Bible are not being left out in the OALC teaching if you had read the Bible yourself. It would be interesting to know if you have ever read it. I sincerely doubt that you have, or you would find that the preaching at the OALC is alongside a few limited passages.

    The Lord bless you!

  60. OALC "stumbler"

    If following the OALC does not save you like you say, and that believing that Jesus died for your sins is what saves you (which I agree with), am I saved, then? I dont attend OALC but I believe Jesus died for my sins. I know your beliefs and you cant fool me. You know very well that your church teaches that salvation is limited to persons within the OALC. Unless you are under like 8 years old (which is taught there to be the age of reason!).!
    SO, OALC, could there be a possibility that I am saved? I doubt that this will bring a response from oalc people, but certain things just have to be said. OALC PEOPLE- please be honest about your faith. If you cant be honest about it then there is something wrong with it-dontcha think? If you were honest about your faith it would sound something like this-
    "You must attend the OALC to have any chance of heaven, If you dont doubt your faith you must be self-righteous, If you feel called to ministry, then you have dead faith. Your salvation can be lost with the twinkling of an eye and you wouldnt even know it."
    This kind of crap drives me NUTS!

    OALC says that LLL is -quote- "THE GREAT PROPHET"
    Then they pretend to say he only speaks alongside the bible, when they really believe his sermons are the word of God! OALC reads LLL sermons every service, then they say it is the best sermon they will hear that day before Jesus`s sermon on the mount is read to preach along side of!!!

    Please be honest,OALCers because there are too many ex-members here to tell the truth about what is really there. I dont believe OALCers intentionally lie, they are just mislead from infancy. Pretty sad.

    OALCers are all over this site. Believe me. 99% of them are paranoid of others knowing they visit here, so we never get their participation. These sites are well talked about in their circle, and most of them are very courious.
    Every time they "stumble", boy do my eyes roll. Enough ranting for me.

  61. backtothefuturecc4/13/2007 06:00:00 AM

    I can remember as a teen thinking to myself, "these are the only people going heaven, I just don't think I want to go, if I'm not accepted here on earth with them I know they will be snootier in heaven".

  62. I am the stumbler. Interesting the HEATED comments from my posting. I am not having the same reaction towards your comments. Could it be that somewhere in your heart there is a shadow of doubt? Just curious......my goal is not to get people heated up. I certainly have not felt any love from your posting or your site Free. Are you truly free?

  63. I agree with what you've all been saying! it's sad that they can't see anything but what they know, and can't even try have a normal relationship with us anymore. most can't anyways. i've just been trying to accept that its the way they were raised, and they love me, but they can't get too close because of they way they're taught. It's sad that they think of me as someone who's going to try pull them away from their faith. That is not the truth, but they can't see it! I'm lucky to have a fairly accepting family (parents and siblings). my siblings are all younger than me, and that helps too. They're young enough to see that even tho i'm not in their church anymore, i'm still the same person and i love them just the same!!
    about marriage prep, we haven't had it for awhile because my fiace's work makes it hard. He's going to be gone soon.. for the week plus saturday, and home saturday night and sunday. But last time *dan*(not his real name) was here we studied the first few chapters in Genisis. Basically *dan emphasized how loving God is. What I like most about him is that he doesn't judge us! and i'm sure all of you on here know what it feels like to be judged!! My fiance and I are living together, and though he doesn't approve, he doesn't look at us any different! He told us the first time he came to our house for study, that he would like if we didn't live together, but that it wasn't going to make us any different in his eyes. I wish llc could be like this too. It doesn't take away from his beleifs, or make him a bad person for coming to our house. We know he beleives its wrong! It's not like he's accepting that we're living together, its that he acceps us for who we are!! The first time he came, he asked us how our relationship was with the Lord. I didn't have an answer, because even thought i'd heard of this, i didn't think about it, or really know how to go about it. they don't teach this in the llc and its sad!
    I was actually quite pleasantly surprised a few weeks ago. me, my fiance, and our parents were going to get together to do some wedding planning, and so that they could meet eachother. Without thinking they'd actually want to, i suggested to my mom that they could meet here at mine and my fiances house. She agreeed!! To me, that was such a big step in accepting both of us! She'd always told me before that they couldn't come here until we're married, because it would be "accepting that we're living together". i told her once, after she said that, that my fiance's parents still come here and they don't approve of us living together. I told her that we know they dont approve, and we know that by them coming here doesn't mean they like it any better. It just means that they love us and are going to do whatever it takes to come and see us!! I think my parents are slowly starting to accept my fiance, they seem to like him anyway. I just dread the day when he wears a tshirt and shorts, and his 2 tattoos are showing, because i dont think they'll be albe to look past his outside appearance and see inside anymore. what do you guys think about this?
    anyways, i think thats enough for now..my wrists are getting sore..i never type this much! lol.
    Thank you again to whoever started this site..its amazing!!

  64. stumber: these comments didnt sound very HEATED to me, but i understand why you'd think so. You were raised that after someone leaves the church, they are totally against God and they are going to hell..and that we "know that your church is the right church". which is not true. We are not hostile ppl and because we defend our beleifs does not mean we doubt them. they were just saying what they think. you're defending your beleifs..does that mean you have doubts? just wondering...

  65. stumbler,

    I think it's interesting that you only hear the "heated" comments here, and you don't hear the long-held frustration that so many of us have experienced from NOT BEING HEARD. This is a perfect example, as you select only the comments that reinforce what you believe to be true. I have found freedom after leaving the church. Freedom through and in Christ. God is the only judge of the quality of my faith. For you to assume that any of us are in a "dead" faith is a presumptuous judgement on your part that you truly do not have the wisdom or the omniscience to make.

    You said, "I do not believe in LLL or the preachers, I simply follow LLL and the preachers because they are speaking alongside of His word (not CHOOSING parts of the Bible to follow and leaving other parts out)! Your comment reminds me of a story (and I know I won't get it exactly right, but the analogy will stand).

    There are four blind men who discover an elephant. Since the men have never encountered an elephant, they grope about, seeking to understand and describe this new phenomenon. One grasps the trunk and concludes it is a snake. Another explores one of the elephant's legs and describes it as a tree. A third finds the elephant's tail and announces that it is a rope. And the fourth blind man, after discovering the elephant's side, concludes that it is, after all, a wall. Each in his blindness is describing the same thing: an elephant. Yet each describes the same thing in a radically different way.

    Your comment reminds me of this. You are in the church, and you see their practice of preaching your way. Others have also been there, and have seen it differently. That does not mean that your way of looking at it is automatically right and everyone else's is wrong. It is just a different perspective.

    The freedom that we have found cannot be understood until you have experienced it for yourself, so I can understand your confusion. However, the people who have left do experience these emotions, and have experienced shunning from some of the church members left behind. They have gotten hate mail. Their hurt and frustration are real. For you to discount them just because they are not true for you is short-sighted on your part.

    Hopefully you will stick around here and learn about other people's life experiences, specifically those relating to the church. They are real, and there is nothing you can say, preach, scorn, or quote that will change that. You cannot say they are not true any more than you can say that George Bush is not really the president just because you wish he wasn't.

  66. FYI: traffic is way up, peaking daily around 9 pm.

    I'm in a rush, but have to say this.

    Daisy: You rock.

    Stumbler: Yes, I am free, and I am also learning to live free.

    Tanya: Do those tatts say "I Love Amy"? If not, don't worry. If so, time for the laser.

    New topic anyone?

  67. 'stumbler'-
    Heated? when the word 'heated' is used in the context you used it, it means: angry, vehement (according to American Heritage College dictionary).

    i don't see any of that in the subsequent posts. what i do see is passion!!!

    Passion means: a powerful emotion.

    true, it can be an emotion of anger, but that is not what i see here. it is passion for God's TRUTH that is ever present within these posts.

    maybe you should have a dictionary next to your computer so that you can use the correct words when writing here. broaden your horizons, expand your vacabulary and join us in some true conversation!

    God bless!

  68. the tatoos he did himself, ones a tribal wolf and the other isn't finished yet. what i was trying to ask was do you think that my family will see him differently when they see his tattoos..what would you do if you were in this situation?
    its funny that you picked the name amy because thats my little sisters name (somewhere around 10 yrs old) and she has a bit of a crush on my fiance! LOL! its quite cute

  69. I'm not the best person to ask, living in a city where tattoos are the rule rather than the exception for people under 30, or so it seems.

    But that won't stop me from giving advice. If you think your parents may react negatively to your fiance's tats, ask him to keep them covered until they get to know him (and love him) beyond pettiness.

    And then deliver some perspective: in the history of the human race, there have been people who have gone without clothing, but none who did not adorn themselves in some way, and that includes Laestadians.

    A tattoo is not qualitatively different than a haircut. Neither is necessary and both send messages of class/education/income/politics/musical tastes/etc that may or may not be intended by the wearer.

    I think I just talked myself into one!

  70. backtothefuturecc4/13/2007 01:14:00 PM

    I know for years I covered my ears with my hair when around my parents, so they would not see my ears were pierced- then finally when my daughters had theirs pierced at age 10 I quit covering my ears- I guess I finally felt ok with my "sinfulness"-ha!ha! Doesn't that sound so silly.

  71. anon stumbler:

    I asked if you had read the Bible. Is that heated? I meant to be asking a reasonable question.

    Just a general comment to everyone: God has been gracious to me and has given me a peace when I am around my OALC relatives for family functions. I no longer see their reactions to me as a reflection on myself but a reflection of their thinking processes. I feel sad (for them) when I see the fear in their faces when they look at me, but I don't internalize it. God is SO good.

    I hope that makes sense and that it offers help/hope to those of you out there who are still working thru it all. I feel for you.

  72. Many Trails Home4/13/2007 05:02:00 PM

    old coot (I mean old toot - couldn't resist that one! I'm an old coot myself): enjoyed your straight-forwardness; could have written most of that myself. We've done a lot of eye-rolling on this site; sometimes I think I'm going to twist my eyes right out of their sockets.
    Your reference to OALCers "all over this site" stopped me up short. I think of this as a give-and-take exchange, not soap-boxing, and to think that a lot of folks might come on here just to read - and therefore, we function as performers - gives me the willies. Not that that's likely to stop me, I just have too much fun! This has also become an important "support community" for me, on which I depend. So, welcome to our community. MTH

  73. I see I missed your post earlier, old toot. I second MTH's welcome. Given that the internet is verboten, I'm surprised you think there are a lot of OALCers here. If so, welcome to all of you lurkers. :-) Funny, I don't feel like a perfomer, MTH. When I write, I imagine someone like my teenage self reading this, wondering "what was out there" and perhaps too shy to participate but eager to broaden her horizons and have "a closer walk with Thee." If such a forum had been available when I was younger, it would have served as both jet fuel and stabilizers for my journey.

  74. Free--you're pretty good! I might have to give that some more thought because a tattoo is sounding pretty good to me right now, too! I've often thought about getting one, but haven't been able to think of anything I'd want emblazoned on my body permanently. The one I lean most toward is a tribal-looking "FORGIVEN" on my arm or on my shoulder, maybe.

    LOL as I'm thinking about what my kids would say.

  75. I've been thinking about getting a tattoo too. My worry is..where do i get it where my family (in the church) can't see it!! i guess i shouldn't worry, and just hope tjt if i do get one , they'll still love me the same!!

  76. I've been having trouble posting, so this is a test...

  77. Amen, cvow. Well put. Time to wrap up and go home after that!

    I appreciate your comments!

  78. Wow, cvow. that was a "sermon", to be sure. Vance is not the only one showing courage! thank you for saying what so many of us would like to say, but don't, for whatever reason.
    God works EVERYWHERE! this site is proof of that!
    i thank and praise God for each and everyone of you on here. you have helped me in ways that you may never know. love to all of you!

  79. I've added a link top right to a YouTube version of "Here I Am." Enjoy!

  80. Beautiful, Free. I love the many different faces--it adds a deeper dimension to the song, as it was intended to, I'm sure.

    But I'm sitting there looking at them come and go on the screen, and I'm reminded that each one of them is precious to God. Christ died for everyone, not a select few. Thanks.

  81. To Stumbler…

    I can understand your concern on this site; just like I for the condition of all of these lost souls. I tried several months ago to awaken a few of these people on here with Bible verses and LLL sermons with no luck. I too was criticized and hit with stones from many of the people on here. They are sadly the devil with sheep’s clothing. Pay no attention to them as you and I know that they do not know what they are doing. As Jesus said on the cross to the soldiers; I forgive them.

    Isn’t it comforting dear brother to know that you and I will meet on that golden shore of eternity while many on this site will meet the fires of hell. They do not want to hear those condemning words b/c they cannot ever think that by leaving the OALC they might have made a bad decision. They must come on here and try to justify their worldy ways and find fault with us Christians to justify why they left. So sad it is today how the devil can work in many ways to tempt one so eagerly away from that precious Christianity. I can only say that you and I do need to pray that God may have mercy on their souls for they knew what they had but rather tossed it away like a piece of trash. Woe to those who have a sleeping conscience and do not feel the need anymore to confess your sins to another believer in this faith!
    Signed OALC ANON

  82. Okay, now my eyes are rolling! You obviously disagree with us. Are you criticizing us and hitting us with stones? No, I'm sure you wouldn't say that. You see things differently and you're expressing your opinion.

    The same in reverse is true. We're having a normal discussion. If you didn't have yourself on such a pedestal, you wouldn't be so easily offended.

  83. Wow, OALC Anon, I have to say that I cannot for the life of me understand how you can speak out of both sides of your mouth as smoothly as you do. You say we throw stones at you and yet here you are again, as soon as the discussion turns disagreeable to you, condemning every single one that disagrees with your narrow vision to the hottest fires of hell. I am sorry that you have obviously been so completely brainwashed that you cannot see the irony in what you do. (BTW, you never did answer my question of so long ago...just before you ran and hid the last time.)

    However, this time I thank you. What you are doing by your words here is demonstrating a perfect example of the judgement, persecution, and prosecution that so many of us have experienced at the hands of the OALC.

    To every OALCer who has doubt in their heart, ask yourself -- are OALC Anon's words the act of a Christian, someone following in the footsteps of Jesus and loving all of the brothers and sisters of Christ, or is it exactly the type of vengeful and spiteful thinking that caused so many of us to leave the OALC? How many of you have condemned your friends, your own fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, and even your own children to those same hottest fires of hell? Think! This is not Christianity. I don't know what it is. Run fast and far from it. There is truth and love and beauty in the presence of the Risen Lord -- and a deep and abiding peace -- and all you have to do is ask God to open your eyes and heart and he will.

  84. LINNEA says:
    Should we explain our faith by re-using metaphors used by LLL or should we define our faith in our own words from our own experiences we have had in our lives? I get tired of the same old phrases repeated by hard core OALC believers and others who are wrapped up in a religious system. Where is the individuality of personal experiences expressed in those messages? I would like an OALC member to explain their faith - without using those metaphors and without relying on LLL - in normal english like you are having a conversation with us. It would be nice if we could get to know these OALC members posting on here, instead of reading the same old OALC rhetoric posted by them - which often is not their own words, but words crafted by LLL. I am sure these OALC people are good people - who care a lot about their families and others. If an OALC member thinks he or she can bring someone back to the church, its not going to be accomplished by giving us LLL's words or words from your preacher. Often, personal experiences in life that come from your heart are much more powerful and inspirational, at least to me. People get turned off by people who like to "preach" to others. What people tune into is those that have love that radiates from within. I think all of us can think of people who have been role models and strong, positive influences in our lives.

    OALC'ers tend to avoid close contact or deep conversation with people from the world. I know first hand because I went to school with some of them and worked with some as well. Think about those lost opportunities for friendships with others and the lost chances for making a positive difference in someone's life.

    OALC anon - my message for you is that you should try to get to know us and understand our struggles. If you spend the time to understand where we are coming from, you will see that we are willing to have a friendly dialogue with you that encourages peace, compassion, understanding, and acceptance of everyone's unique and individual differences and struggles. Our struggles are real. Many of us have lost the love of many of our close family members when we left the churches we were raised in. We don't go to this site because we are insecure or doubting our faith. We come here because we have found friendship, someone that will take the time to listen to and respond to our thoughts and feelings. Churches such as the OALC fulfill those love and friendship needs for many, but has not filled them for all. We make us the minority of people that like to question religious ideas and concepts. That doesn't put us in "unbelief", it just means that god created us with different gifts, which you should love, just as Jesus did.

  85. Who is the idiot who coined the term "groupthink"???

    A better term for groups like the OALC would be "groupnonthink"!!!!

  86. Many Trails Home4/15/2007 09:28:00 PM

    cvow, did you get back from vacation early? Hope you had a good time.
    If you start a church, I'll come. Your "sermons" are very inspiring.
    The hymn "Safe in the arms of Jesus" has been running through my head. I LOVE those old hymns. And I love feeling "safe in the arms of Jesus."
    So I have this Q for the oalcers coming to this site: Because virtually all your hymns (with one or two exceptions) were written by "unbelievers," how can you believe that people who wrote hymns such as this one are destined for hell? And why do you sing hymns written by unbelievers? And what cockamamy explanation is given to you by the preachers for this inconsistency? Because I am equally sure that you are not allowed to THINK about things that make no sense because this would generate DOUBT, that most treacherous of sins. You are in a horrible position. May the peace of God be with you. It is much more peaceful, loving, enlighted, free - and still "saved" - out here. MTH

  87. MTH-
    Great question. I can predict with absolute certainty whet their answer to that is because I have heard it from their preachers when I was a Toot. Unless their position has changed, they believe that God can inspire even unbelievers to write those hymns. Dont even get me started on them deciding that classic hymns like Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art and many others can be sung at home but not at church! This is true! They simply put an astrix next to every hymn in the hymnal book that they deem inappropriate for church. Trying to figure this one should be enough for anyone to go bald from self pulling!

  88. MTH-
    Great question. I can predict with absolute certainty whet their answer to that is because I have heard it from their preachers when I was a Toot. Unless their position has changed, they believe that God can inspire even unbelievers to write those hymns. Dont even get me started on them deciding that classic hymns like Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art and many others can be sung at home but not at church! This is true! They simply put an astrix next to every hymn in the hymnal book that they deem inappropriate for church. Trying to figure this one should be enough for anyone to go bald from self pulling!

  89. I say now HI!

    I am a finn and I live in Finland too. I don´t remember how I found this site (perhaps there was a link somewhere).

    We are so similar, I have found it when I have read your comments. I understand you who have left Laestadianism although I have not left this congregation we have in Finland. Some years ago I found a Finnish radio programme "Bible from cover to cover" (it is in internet too www.sansa.fi). I have listened it nearly every day and it has been fantastic to be able to learn the Bible!

    Many people in our congregation cannot accept that kind of things because that man who has written that programme is a clergyman in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (although we all are members of that church..!)

    Now I say greetings to all of you! Thank you for this site and this possibility to practise my English...!

  90. Kiitos for delurking and for your interesting comments. Your English is already better than many native speakers, but I encourage you to practice here. Please tell us about your congregation. Would you say it is becoming more or less traditional?

  91. I say now HI!

    I am a finn and I live in Finland too. I don´t remember how I found this site (perhaps there was a link somewhere).

    We are so similar, I have found it when I have read your comments. I understand you who have left Laestadianism although I have not left this congregation we have in Finland. Some years ago I found a Finnish radio programme "Bible from cover to cover" (it is in internet too www.sansa.fi). I have listened it nearly every day and it has been fantastic to be able to learn the Bible!

    Many people in our congregation cannot accept that kind of things because that man who has written that programme is a clergyman in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (although we all are members of that church..!)

    Now I say greetings to all of you! Thank you for this site and this possibility to practise my English...!

    Sat Apr 14, 09:50:00 AM PDT
    free2bme said...

    Kiitos for delurking and for your interesting comments. Your English is already better than many native speakers, but I encourage you to practice here. Please tell us about your congregation. Would you say it is becoming more or less traditional?

    Sat Apr 14, 10:01:00 AM PDT
    Anonymous said...

    Oh, it is the same as OALC! But we have been here a part of our Evangelical Lutheran Church always and that is why I think it is not just the same thing...

    Already when I was young (I´m now 55) I used to go to that "official" church often. I liked organ music and liturgy too. I used to go to "seurat" too... I think our congregation here is not as closed as OALC is in USA. Laestadians here have no sacraments of their own, we are members of this Evangelical Lutheran Church.

    In future it is not sure because there are many people who don´t accept our "formal" or "official" church (women priests for instance).

    Some years ago I had a crisis of my own and then I had to think everything, what is the basis of my life really and so on...I found that I don´t believe anything...

    Then I found this radio programme I told before and I could study the Bible. I found all those old stories we studied at school when I was a little girl and those too I had never heard to be explained.

    I think many of those problems you are talking here are the same we have in Finland in spite of differences I mentioned. I am used to go to Laestadian meetings only some times a year; I think it is rather the same as to go home I had when I was a child...I can never forget those songs and that atmosphere, so why to try to leave it? It is part of my life, it is so deeply in my heart. My friends are too there.

    Don´t understand me wrong, I mean this is just my experience. My children have not experienced this by the same way as I have and they have always lived by their way and they have left.

    It is very interesting to read about different life stories and how people can find their ways out of difficult situations and what kind of experiences people have.

    Now excuse me this story, it is rather imperfect because my vocabulary is so small; I have no words to explain these things!

    Greetings to you!

  92. Cvow, your posts were wonderful and amazing - worthy to be printed out and read again.

    Oalc anon - I hear those words from you that are meant to instill fear. But when you think of how powerful and mighty our God is, and how small and inconsequential we are, doesn't it seems as though we think of ourselves much too highly, that we can control others with mere words? Think of God's words in chapters 38-41 of the book of Job. God powerfully questions Job, until in chapter 40 Job must say:

    1 Then Job replied to the LORD :
    2 "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. 3 You asked, 'Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?' Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. 4 "You said, 'Listen now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you shall answer me.' 5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. 6 Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes."

    OALC Anon, may I ask you a personal question? What is your Christian testimony, have you been born again? Is there a certain time or date that you knew you were saved, no longer under any doubt or fear? That it was revealed that you, personally, are a child of God, precious in His sight, redeemed and purchased and won not by works or your own might, but by the finished work of Christ on the cross, and by His glorious resurrection, knowing that He now intercedes for you before God, covering you once and for all with His righteousness? That this was His plan for you before the world began, and before you were born? That this love for His creation is universal, that every person is precious to Him, and He calls each one in His own way? That those who seem to be wandering are those whom He loves most dearly and will go out of His way to rescue and save? That this is the message of Jesus, that God gave His only Son so that all would be saved? Is that message from God, or is it from Satan. And how can it be from Satan if those are the words of God given to us in Scripture? Must we go back to our original repentance over and over again, or do we repent daily as in the Lord's Prayer, as in footwashing, putting away those things that hinder our walk, even if it's in that 'most precious prayer' that God has given us? Is daily or weekly public repentance a work? Does God credit us for our "much praying", or does He reward those who pray in their closets, and who are not making a public show of their outward goodness?

    Beloved brother or sister, I pray that your heart would not be hardened toward those to whom you speak here and elsewhere.

    Free, that's a beautiful song, brings tears to my eyes.

    God's Peace all!

  93. By unworthy OALC member on Friday, April 4, 2003 - 10:00 pm:
    Question for anon...

    Why did you leave the one and true saving faith, the Old Apostolic Lutheran Church? Was it because of the devil preaching to you that you can have allowances of sins and still believe you are a child of god (dead faith)? Or perhaps you have become convinced that the devil of self-righteousness has pumped you up so high that no other Christian is better than you. The devil has now made you blaspheme true Christianity, who are humble, lowly and sin-feeling people. How does it go for you now, when the devil takes any feeling of sinfulness away and quickly replaces it with personal pride, honor, and self-righteousness, even more sins?

    How will it go for you, anon, in those last days and especially on Judgment Day, when you are sitting before The Father Almighty, the son and precious savior Jesus Christ, and the book of life is opened, and in which your name was previously written, and IS NOT CALLED among the saved people? Those who have previously tasted of this pure and blessed Christianity, where SIN IS SPOKEN TO BE SIN, and have not eaten of the bread of life and drank of the precious reconciling blood as a confirmation of their faith will have much to answer for on that great day of Judgment, even more to answer for than the people of the world.

    Be aware of this precious time of grace, which is coming to an end.

    Be aware of other dead faith churches which may also have the name bearing "Apostolic Lutheran." Any other church besides the Old Apostolic Lutheran is an abomination before God, because they hold church services very similar to ours, but they have organs playing worldly music and their preachers read from prepared texts that do not reveal anything of the true word of God but only reveal what the intellect of man wants to think and believe is God's word.

    Also, in speaking of these matters, I am not a good example at all. A very poor one at that. The devil is so cunning and powerful and I am so faulty and lacking that I have fallen into sins of all kinds. But it is through that great grace, which has to be given in small crumbs that fall from the master's table, that one is able to believe...that all sins that one has committed (and everyone does commit sins whether you believe it or not) are washed away in his most precious reconciling blood, never to be remembered again, and those sins which have been forgiven in the truth are not visible even to God's eyes anymore. Believe and be free...

    ...free to ignite your spark of faith which you have kindled in this life, in that step from time into eternity, into a large flame to propel you to the other side of the river of Jordan, where the true longing of every Christian is, while the others who have blasphemed, ridiculed, and tormented the true and living Christianity will only sit on the river's edge and try to swim across only to drown in their own unfortunate condition.

    Take heed of this time of grace, dear friends...
    found this at pasty.com

  94. Yea-
    Thanks for bringing that up from pasty. I am convinced I know who that poster is. I have heard him preach many times and that sounds like his rhetoric. I am pretty shure he is in Brush Prairie. I will just put his initials here and everyone familiar with the Brush Prairie locality will know who I am refering to.
    D.S.- what does everyone else think? Is it him? I would like to know if others agree.

    OH- I just thought of something. There are 2 preachers with the initials D.S. The one I am refering to has been a preacher for a much longer time than the other.

  95. That message? I'm sure it's been preached in Minneapolis too, and in Detroit and in Calumet and... It's the same old, same old...

  96. Hmmm-I don't know who the preacher is, but I could give that same talk--just from what I remember hearing growing up. It just goes round and round. It could be who you think it is, but they all use the same phrases. This whole thing about not preparing a sermon, but just saying the words that God leads them to, isn't so spectacular when you realize they have been listening to the same speech their whole lives! My Heavens, they should be able to say it in their sleep. It's not rocket science--it's memorized rhetoric. Some of it isn't really correct English, they are phrases that are constructed in the Finnish way. I don't know how to explain that, but some of you do.

  97. Each preacher has his own style. Some are said to preach the law and some are said to preach the gospel. I still think it it D.S. Would it be ok to post his name? Probably not so I wont. I also know D.S. is VERY likely to be lurking here.
    HI D!

  98. It would have been far more constructive and instructive for those in charge to let Vance say what he had to say, then explain why they believe Vance is wrong using Scripture to prove their beliefs. Instead, it sounds to me like they had no answer, so their only choice was to engage in disorder and chaos.

    God is not a god of disorder and chaos, but is rather the Supreme Master of order and logic.

    Killing the microphone and drowning out a speaker is not the way of Christ. He didn't silence his opponents; instead, he debated them fairly, openly, and publicly with civility.

    ~il Coro

  99. backtothefuturecc4/17/2007 05:48:00 AM

    I went To FALC and the message is very, very similar to every thing I heard there-

  100. question to all old apostolics youre told you shouldnt read the bible and try to interpret it. THINK! the bible is the only truth and the preachers dont want you to read it, WHY! do the preachers think you will be corrupted by the truth, the bible sais seek and you will find,and you will if you trust god,do you think god created everyone but the apostolics for there own destruction,No he didnt he created us to have a relationship with him but man fell in to sin in the garden and they continued to sin, in order for god to be perfect and a keeper of promises, he had to fulfill his own law and sentance us to death for not being pure holy and sinless in his eyes, but it pained him so much that he sent his only son to be the ultimate sacrafice for all sins of all people on the earth, all he asks us to do is confess our sins to him and believe that jesus paid the full price for our sins(do you really think god cant hear your cries and everyone elses?)would god make it hard for everyone to get to heaven, no he doesnt, we make it hard, religeon makes it hard,the bible sais if you are faithfull to confess your sins to the father he is faithfull to forgive you of them, have you ever had doughts that what if im wrong in my beliefs ,how do you know whos telling the truth,you cant trust me,youve been brought up and taught everything know, what do the preachers follow, youve already said to me that you cant go directly to god for anything,you say that the preachers speak gods word can they go directly to god, if they can why cant you, maybe god comes to them, if so why cant god come to you if you truly desire him, if the preachers say they follow the whole bible why do they only read from the familier places,the whole story of abook is not tol in a few sentances is it,have you heard very much about the holy spirit that dwells in you,ive heard preachers say the bible has to be interpreted by someone enlightend by the holy spirit,and they are meaning the preachers, jesus sais the holy spirit dwells in every believer,that means you should be able to interpret the bible, and the preachers condembed everyone but themselves,that is if they follow the bible,by the way who ever said the king james version bible is the only true bible, ever gave any thought to how the it came about,they didnt speak english in jesus day did they, dont go off on that old fairy tale about abunch of bibles being in a fire and the kjv being the only bible that didnt burn, if you want we can test that tale in front of everyone at church,do you want truth or tales,it your own destiny your dealing with,jesus sais theres no way to the father but through him,by the way dousnt this mean we can access the father through his son,youll never know until you trust god and pick up the bible
    anyway jesus loves you all goodnight

  101. devil, devil, devil, devil. Such comments about how he has deceived people isn't going to make people run back to the OALC or even to any church. What brings people to Christ? Talk of Gods unfailing love, his grace and mercy. So much concentration on the devil just puts your mind in the gutter. Focus on God!

  102. Anon 4/18 @ 12:57--

    First of all, PLEASE use some formatting (complete sentences, paragraphs, capital letters, etc.) because your rambling is VERY hard to read; even I lacked the patience to parse the whole thing.

    But you made some good points.

    I think one of the problems with the elders of the OALC is that they truly believe the laiety (non-preachers) have not been given the inspiration to understand God's word, and therefore must turn to their elders for interpretation. This is DANGEROUS because there are no checks and balances. It is INSULTING because it implies ignorance. It is CONDESCENDING because it tells you that you aren't worthy of God's enlightenment.

    It is just like the Jehovah's Witnesses, who, when challenged or questioned about something in the bible, must go to their elders for interpretation. They are not permitted to think logically for themselves. The Battle Ground OALCers might as well go a mile north to the Kingdom Hall; the doctrine they preach is the same.

    ~il Coro

    (P.S. -- Did you ever notice there are NO WINDOWS in Kingdom Halls? Ever wonder why that is? Maybe they don't want to be influenced by the world? Sounds like OALC, doesn't it?)

  103. il coro:
    Sorry. Is this any better?

    Question to all old Apostolics: You're told you shouldn't read the bible and try to interpret it. THINK! The bible is the only truth and the preachers dont want you to read it. WHY do the preachers think you will be corrupted by the truth? The bible says seek and you will find, and you will if you trust God.

    Do you think God created everyone but the Apostolics for their own destruction? No, he didn't! He created us to have a relationship with him, but man fell into sin in the garden and continued to sin.

    In order for God to be perfect and a keeper of promises, He had to fulfill His own law and sentence us to death for not being pure holy and sinless in his eyes. It pained Him so much that He sent his only son to be the ultimate sacrafice for all sins of all people on the earth.

    All he asks us to do is confess our sins to him and believe that Jesus paid the full price for our sins.

    Do you really think God can't hear your cries and everyone elses?

    Would God make it hard for everyone to get to heaven? No, He doesn't! We make it hard. Religion makes it hard! The bible says if you are faithful to confess your sins to the Father, He is faithful to forgive you of them.

    Have you ever had doubts: "What if I'm wrong in my beliefs?" "How do you know who's telling the truth?"

    You've been taught everything you know. What do the preachers follow? You've already said to me that you can't go directly to God for anything. You say that the preachers speak God's word. Can they go directly to God? If they can, why can't you? Maybe God comes to them. If so, why can't God come to you if you truly desire him?

    If the preachers say they follow the whole bible, why do they only read from the familiar places? The whole story of a book is not told in a few sentences, is it? Have you heard very much about the holy spirit that dwells in you? I've heard preachers say the bible has to be interpreted by someone enlightend by the holy spirit, and they are meaning the preachers.

    Jesus says the holy spirit dwells in every believer. That means you should be able to interpret the bible. The preachers condemn everyone but themselves, that is, if they follow the bible.

    By the way who ever said the King James version bible is the only true bible, have you ever gave any thought to how the it came about? They didnt speak English in Jesus's day, did they? Don't go off on that old fairy tale about a bunch of bibles being in a fire and the KJV being the only bible that didnt burn. If you want, we can test that tale in front of everyone at church. Do you want truth or tales? It's your own destiny your dealing with. Jesus says there's no way to the father but through him. By the way, doesn't this mean we can access the Father through his son? You'll never know until you trust God and pick up the bible.

    Anyway, Jesus loves you all! Goodnight!

  104. When I read oalc anon's comment to stumbled I felt chills. This is chilling because HOW CAN ANYONE TAKE COMFORT IN THE THOUGHT (THEIR OWN SUPERIOR OPINION) THAT SOMEONE MAY "BURN IN HELL" ???????

    Think about this people!!! Didn't those against Lord Jesus "take comfort" in the fact that He was tortured and put to death?? Didn't those against Jesus take comfort in the belief that 'they' were God's chosen people and Jesus was an interloper????

    Father in heaven, please place your hand on the hearts of these ones who are so bound in fear, please impress it upon my heart that I too could have embraced such a mindset if it were not for your great grace, mercy and love in showing me Your truth, Father I pray this in Jesus name, Amen.


  105. Quote from the pasty.com blog:

    preachers read from prepared texts that do not reveal anything of the true word of God but only reveal what the intellect of man wants to think and believe is God's word.

    -----------------------------------Same as what is taught in the LLC. SO...God ONLY speaks to you when you are in the pulpit. He can't speak to you the night before as your preparing what the message will be on Sunday. Come on!!

  106. And if that is true, why do we have copies of LLL's sermons? Was he an exception to the rule, then? I never DID get a straight answer on that one when I was younger!

  107. MIA from the LLC4/19/2007 10:42:00 AM

    I don't remember the LLC ministers ever using Laestadius' sermons. 'Course I don't remember much from the sermons either because after the first five words I waslost. Once and a while they talked about things that I could relate to. I was always hopeful for that but most of the time they rambled on and on. It never made ANY sense to me. It was always the same. I always started paying attention when they started talking about how poor and weak they were becaues I knew they were almost done. pretty sad.

  108. Thats true sisu. LLL must have been an exception is all I can think.

    I don't remember the LLC ever reading LLL sermons either. I think if the pastor has time to prepare and search his heart and ask God what message he wants him to give, its better than just going up there without anything prepared. You can have lots of bible verses, references, etc. to help you. Plus lots more time to truly make sure the message is of God and not yourself. I talked to one pastor and he said he always got like 6 people to read things he wrote before he would publish it in the newsletter, to get feedback or correction on anything he may have overlooked. I thought that was good! We can get so caught up in thinking we are right and we aren't always right. Its good to get others input.

    Anyone can go sit in a pulpit and say every word I say is a word of God. We are human too.

  109. Yes. And think about it. Abuse of power (including emotional and sexual abuse) thrive in an environment where people are told to"just obey."

  110. Interesting that sexual abuse is only addressed on this site if it is directed towards OALC. I read almost every day about another male victim in the Catholic Church that a "celibate leader" got a hold of. Don't you think that the Devil is running rampant? It is EVERYWHERE!

  111. yeah it probably happens in lots of churches, and its wrong!! i know someone in the llc who was molested by her brother in law when she was younger, and it was kept quiet by the family. Nobody even told her sister married to the man who did it! its sick that they wouldn't!! doesn't she have the right to know, so she can protect her daughters from the same thing!?!?! and what about their daughters friends?!? this is sick, the man should be punished for this, and not covered by the church!!

  112. What happened in the Catholic Church -- and elsewhere -- was an abomination, a terrible thing. What compounded it was the church's reluctance for a long time to deal with the issue. Finally they have stepped up to try to rectify the harm and heal the wounds caused. Too late? Yes, but at least it is being addressed finally.

  113. Hi, it's Helena. I can't sign in under my name. Had to get back on my soapbox:
    I appreciate that, cvow.
    We speak of what we know.
    We are horrified every time we see some priest or rabbi being charged with molestation and we grieve with the victim, who was most certainly silenced, fearful and scarred beyond comprehension.
    Yet I don't talk about it often, except to be horrified and saddened when it comes up. Why?
    I haven't lived it.
    I have experienced the ramifications of sexual abuse in the OALC, and seen their sick, cruel, inhumane, vicious and despicable reactions.
    Several of us wrote letters to the elders a couple years ago, urging them to handle this; no response or reaction resulted.
    I will not be silent about it, and if you are offended by that, so be it. Children are being offered up on the altar of religion and false piety, and it is a disgusting atrocity.

  114. To the all those possessed by the spirit of religion....I have "stumbled" upon this website....

    I have read a little bit of what is on here and am absolutely amazed at the ignorance of what I have read about being saved.

    I am a NON DENOMINATIONAL Born again Christian. Like many of you, I was born and raised in a particular denomination church. For many years I was on the highway to hell, sitting in the pews of the church, far from God. I tried to hold onto the hope that the church that I attended would save me somehow.

    I said all the right things, greeted my so-called brothers and sisters in the right way. I also practiced the ritual of getting my sins forgiven on a regular basis. But I was still heading to hell. There is only one person that has ever walked or will ever walk the face of the earth that can save you.

    You can read and listen to all of Luther, or LLL's sermons and still go straight to hell.

    Christ came into my life and saved me and he alone did that. No preacher, no prophet, no elder, no mother, no father, nobody but Christ Jesus. Read Romans 10:9-13. That will get all of you confused people going in the right direction.

    Can you tell me if Jesus and his followers were Baptist, ALC, OLAC, or Catholic? No where in the Bible are any denominations referenced.

    If a wretch like I can be saved, you to can be saved.

    A redeemed, passionate lover of the Lord Jesus Christ....

  115. Well said, Alan.

    The 5 Solas: Sola Gratia (by grace alone), Sola fide (by faith alone), Sola Scriptura (by Scripture alone), Solus Christus (by Christ alone), Sola Deo Gloria (Glory to God alone).

  116. Alan, You have said what I believe each of us here has tried to say in our own words at one time or another, including one of the reasons why we left our particular denomination of childhood...

  117. Alan, AMEN!!!!

    hp3, ditto!

    truly those words are what I have tried to say countless times!
    maybe I should print them and carry them in my purse. then I would have words to put to my thoughts and feelings. think that would be vain repetition?.... hmmm.... ;)

  118. It is curious that a person can spend a lifetime in a church and not hear the gospel/salvation message. In the OALC there was alot of talk about sin and asking of forgiveness, but no mention of being saved. That terminology (being saved) is straight from the Bible.

  119. You guys are so boring...

  120. I know salvation through the loving Grace of Christ's forgivness, and through the power of His Love evidenced in other Christians (whatever church they may attend....or not attend). I also believe that Christ is the author and finisher of my salvation period! - I was not raised in the OALC, but found myself called to attend....something I would have never dreamed of years ago. It has been my experience that the message of grace and forgiveness is preached in the OLAC and can be found in many of the sermons in TFV books. -I have found that bringing my sins to my fellow Christian brothers and sisters and partaking in communion along side of them has helped strengthen my spiritual walk. Prehaps, I may not understand all that is involved with the OALC, and prehaps I may not agree with portions of the teachings, I do know that I do have brothers and sisters in Christ at the OALC I attend. -There are things that I never gave much consideration prior to attending the OLAC...like the degree poverty of my sinful condition, and the spiritual benifits of fellowshiping and with other Christians. I will continue to attend the OLAC, as well as occassionally attending other Christian functions outside the OLAC.

  121. the cowardly stranger8/09/2007 11:36:00 AM

    Hi Cowboy:

    Thanks for your post. I too, go to an LLL-church, but unlike you, I've gone my whole entire life. It also seems that neither one of us believe in exclusivity, i.e. that we are the "only ones" going to heaven. My question for you is this: Do the other OALC'ers know that you are not an exclusivist and that you occasionally attend religious meetings with others outside their group? I know there are those in my group who would fear for my very soul if they thought I was attending services elsewhere. There might be people who might even discontinue greeting me (but I am not sure about that). Are you sharing your thoughts and activities with these others, or are you like me, who keeps it to myself so in order not to rock the boat and be forced to have to explain my stance.