"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Home for the Holidays?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Home for the Holidays?

With Christmas approaching and many people travelling or visiting family members they may not often interact with, I thought Anonymous' comment on the Unforgivable Sin topic was especially timely:

This is off topic, but I would love to hear what other people have to say about this. How do you deal with your family that is still within the church? Do you speak about why you left and every reason why the church has it all backwards, or do you keep quiet? There is a part of me that realizes that I will keep my relationship with my family intact if I just keep quiet about everything that I believe and know, but there is also a part of me that so badly wants to pour my heart out to them. I love all of them so much and sometimes I look at there lives and suffering and so badly want to open my mouth and let them hear it all. There thinking is so ignorant and unselfish that they end up suffering so much through this one short life they have been given. My fear about speaking arises from hearing about 'evil workers' while I was a member of the OALC, and knowing how devoted my family is to the church and there rules, I would hate to speak my mind and lose my family. I have toyed with this thought thinking that well, if they choose to abandon me over this, they are not people I want in my life anyways, but I know that I would be brokenhearted if I lost my family, they mean so much to me. Who knows, maybe over time they will slowly disappear anyways. We are like oil and water now.



  1. Many Trails Home12/20/2007 01:57:00 PM

    Anon, I think "Bunless'" response was spot on. I can't think of a thing to add, except that it took me decades to get anywhere close to that attitude. However, my sibs and I do go to church with Mom when we visit - not going would create a much bigger ruckus and we are into family harmony uber alles: that's a big order when part of the family is OALC and part ex.

    But I do understand your yearning to "save" and "enlighten" them. I was in that mind set for years. Forget it. I've tried that approach and it always leads to an explosion and hard feelings. Bunless is right. However, you may have to (like me) learn the hard way.
    Many blessings and Merry Christmas. MTH

  2. What works for me is to talk about everything except religion! My family and friends respond best when we can talk about mutual friends and relatives, you know" I heard Homer and Mabel moved back to Duluth!". That kind of thing. I guess when we talk like that, they are reminded that we are still related and still care about our friends. But then, there are those who don't want to talk, and continue to be cold and aloof. To them I ignore. You really can't change their minds, so just try to accept it and move on. Try not to take it personally. They are equal opportunity shunners!

    Blessings to all this holiday season. ex-doubter

  3. After trying to start conversations and being met with silence or subject changing, I've learned the boundaries. We can have a relationship as long as my church and my beliefs are not advertised and kept out of the light. Sad but the way it is. so I must still let the light of Christ shine through my eyes and close my mouth.

  4. It seems that I've taken the opposite approach. All four of my roommates are Laestadians. And me being the Jesus Freak that I am, I love to talk about Jesus to everyone, especially my roommates. But we really don't talk about religion that much. Ive never got a negative response from them before. One of my roommates/relative will sometimes share scripture with me that he has recently read and took to heart. And sometimes I will do the same for him. We both love God, we both delight in getting to know him, and we both realize that putting your faith in him is the most important thing a human can do. So we have a lot in common and we get along. I don't get shunned. And I am often treated like as a fellow believer, who just happens to not be a member of their denomination. I know this is impossible when compared to Laustadian theology, but the fact is that when I'm around my friends and family, I feel so loved.

    I will sometimes go visit the LLC on a random Sunday. Not very often though. I plan on going this Christmas. Mainly because my family is going, but I have to admit their sermons have a lot of truth in them. Going on Christmas is especially enjoyable because they celebrate and honer Jesus instead of talking about how everyone else has it wrong.

    I don't try to push my beliefs on everyone anymore, or try to make someone switch denominations. I just try to do as Jesus instructed us to do and Love on other people.

    Ill keep all the bloggers here in my prayers. Have a Merry Christmas everyone

    Love God, Love People
    This is the Greatest Commandment

  5. If someone questions me or wants to talk, I'm open to discussion, but that's probably only happened twice. I've been told that the church people assume that if you leave you want nothing more to do with them. That, of course, is absurb. I think most are uncomfortable doing so, or afraid, of what, I don't know. Once someone asked me what should they tell others when asked how I am doing; I said to tell them that I'm fine!

  6. Here's a re-post of my earlier comments. Set a good example for the Holidays.
    Lots of people reading this blogspot are in the same predicament. I still have a relationship with my OALC family. Me and my "worldly" children still interact with and participate in OALC family events. We have even been to gatherings with preachers present, sang church hymns, the whole 9 yards. Yes, we get stared at and treated like outsiders. I have accepted that. But it is worth still having the relationships with family. We do not discuss religion. They know my spouse and I attend a different church and we are raising our children as such. We are setting an example. We refuse to accept shunning or exclusivity. We allow our children to see different faiths, including OALC. We participate in OALC family members weddings, funerals and the like, when invited. We invite them to our own non-OALC functions. Sometimes they attend, sometimes they dont. I dont hold it against them. Do not open up and pour out your heart to them. We all deserve to live out our faith as we desire, OALC included. Do not stoop to the level of trying to show people how wrong they are. Accept them as they are and be yourself. Just beware that you should only attend OALC services for weddings, funerals and baptisms (if invited). You may think you can visit the occasional Sunday service or holiday meetings in order to reconnect with old friends and relatives. But you can't. This gives them the false hope that you are planning to return and will ultimately set them up for disappointment. Be clear where you stand with your faith and beleifs. Ignore when you are being treated as an outsider. Treat them as you want to be treated. Be the good example that Christ has demanded of us.

  7. Well, what works for me is just not seeing them. We're not on bad terms, we just have different lives. When we do talk, I get to hear who has how many kids, and who just had a baby, and who moved where...It's the same as it was befoer. Maybe our family is weird or something, but I don't feel like much has changed except now they know I don't believe the same way they do. We didn't get together or talk much before, and we don't get together or talk much now.

    There was a big blowup when I left and I had people like hounding me for a while. But now they just ignore me. I don't see my family even at the holidays, which is fine with me, because every time I'm around them, I'm very aware that I am a disapointment to them. I leave feeling worse than I do when I just don't see them. Why put myself through that.

  8. Accepting that you are a disappointment
    Anon 10:23. I know exactly the feeling. It took me decades to overcome it. But it can be done. I admit though, I haven't done it alone. My husband and children are always with me. Good luck to you.

  9. The Laestadians take it personally when you leave the church. They treat you as if you have disowned them. After being told all their lives that anyone who leaves is doomed to hell, they really don't know how to relate to anyone who could do such a thing! Therefore the questions, "How are you doing",etc. etc, with a sad, mournful look! When I tell them I'm doing fine, they don't seem to hear it, but instead say that you know you can always come back. When I told a church member recently that I am very happy in my new church, he stared at me as if in disbelief.
    And so it goes. Life as a former Laestadian!
    Merry Christmas and God's Blessings to all! ex-doubter

  10. That is it exactly. They just can't get it that we are happy, fulfilled, and at peace as we confidently walk with Christ. They are sure that somehow we must have doubts. Maybe because they do?

  11. For the most part I beleive the OALC members are sincere in their concern for members who have left. I dont necessarily think they doubt their faith. Although, It may be an opportunity to demonstrate their own self righteousness. Implicit in the "you can always come back" statements is an accusation that you have fallen or have gone wildy astray. It's a bit passive aggressive really. Regardless, if an OALC member feels truly happy with their lifestyle and faith, more power to them. Clearly if you have left the OALC you did not feel that way. Dealing with their "expressions of sorrow" is indeed a huge challenge. In the past I have over-emoted joy and overstated how happy I am. which was a mistake. It just sounded like I was justifying my "new lifestyle." Which of course they assumed I had gone off and become some kind of promiscuous lesbian drunkard just because I had left the OALC. OK so maybe I had to let them think that for a while...

  12. We have left over a year ago from the oalc. We are going to have the oalc family over for Christmas and now we have a Christmas tree which is a no no in the oalc church. It will be interesting to see if anything will be said of our tree....

  13. They will probably gasp and cover the eyes of their children at the horror. OK so I am known to exaggerate. But you can bet they will show visible signs of discomfort, perhaps shaking their heads. The Christmas tree is sinful because it reflects old pagan rituals. But the same can be said of wedding rings and even the fact that we celebrate Christmas on the 25th. I have often wondered how and why some things got rejected as "worldly" and others didn't. Booze, sex and gambling I can understand. But musical instruments, moustaches & goatees, neckties, and Christmas trees seem outwardly pretty harmless. But the devil works in mysterious ways I suppose. Good luck with the new tree. Merry Christmas.

  14. Off the Christmas subject, but I remember seeing genuine humnals when I was little. I was told they were the "old ones that we don't use anymore." They had musical NOTES in them and eveything! As an adult, I have often wondered why those songbooks were OK in the earlier 1900s but not for churches in the 1950s. Any ideas? Sisu

  15. the rules change over time as they the elders see fit. I remember the elders being here in the usa and the topic of certain songs were discussed and they were taken out of the hymnal book. Apparently the songs were sung by the worldy churches or something silly like that. Although the songs could be sung at home just not in the church. How stupid so for all those years theses songs were sung but now they are a sin to sing. Go figure.

  16. Regarding the Christmas tree, our new church has a Christmas tree on the alter!!! Can you imagine what the Laestadians would do if they walked into our church? They would probably rush to the nearest drug store and wash their eyes out with Murine! Or maybe since their eyes have offended them, they would pluck them out!!!


  17. That is one difference between the OALC and the LLC, then, because we always had a Christmas tree, and most everyone else in the LLC that I knew had one as well.

    So interesting.

  18. There was a time back around the year 9 B.H. (Before Heresy) that some in what was to become the LLC went with out Christmas trees. Much to the delight of the children,that tempest blew over and everyone decided the odds are that Christmas trees probably wouldn't damn them to hell.

    After that there was much fretting because they used "odds" to make their decision. A meeting was held and they all repented from the sin of gambling.

  19. LOL Anon 3:04. Straying from the topic again... the OALC always made comments about the "other" Laestadian Churches. Calling them dead faith churches who pick and choose what they want to beleive. We talked about how they let the women cut and perm their hair, and how they have those worldly christmas trees. We had a derogatory term for them - "Lips" - anyone have any idea where this came from?

    p.s sisu - I alo have vague recollection of the songbooks with musical notes in them. Crazy!

  20. Many Trails Home12/27/2007 05:34:00 PM

    Hey, I just read that Luther is alleged to have placed candles on the Christmas tree, thereby being the first person to supposedly decorate one. Prior to that they were bare.
    When I visited Helsinki at Juhannus, the OALC Christians had birch trees in buckets of water in their entryways - a celebration of midsummer, just as the evergreen indoors is a celebration of midwinter. I wonder why the birches were not considered a sin. Selective sin designations always bugged me. Having said that, and having grown up without Christmas trees, the whole idea of a Christmas tree indoors always struck me as rather absurd: I mean, how goofy is that, to cut down a tree, stick it in a pot of water in your living room, and hang a bunch of sh_t on it? And then you have to store all those fragile expensive decorations for the rest of the 11 1/2 months. And it's non-ecological and a fire hazard to boot. I do love the smell of fresh garlands and wreaths, but you don't need to whack down the whole tree for that! Happy holy-days. MTH

  21. ALC people call LLC people "urchins". LLC people call ALC people "tics". Neither group has a slang term for any other group besides "uns" which is a term for people in the "world".

    It sounds funny, "He's from the world." or "She's in the world."

    No kidding.

  22. Actually, many OALC people in Finland also have Christmas trees, not just birches for St. John's (Juhannus), but it's still a bit different because I've never heard of anyone who didn't approve of the Juhannus birches, but many people still consider the Christmas trees a big no-no. It's also a lot more common to have a Christmas outside of your house, I don't think there are many Finnish oalcers who'd have anything against putting lights on a tree in front of your house, but having a Christmas tree inside of your house is still considered a sign of a certain degree of liberalism, well, "worldliness". ;)

  23. This is an interesting thread. I usually don't have any problems with my relatives. Actually none of my immediate family, except for my mother, has ever brought up the fact that I belong to another church, although I think they all must be aware of that. So what I do is that I avoid controversial topics, and if they start talking "Christianity", I refrain from commenting whenever I think my standpoint would be radically different from what they are used to. I probably know far more about the Laestadian faith and traditions than most of my immediate family, which makes it easier to predict what would be too risky to say and as much as possible, I also try to express myself in their terminology. The most puzzling and irritating moments are when someone talks about the "Christianity" as the only true faith, expecting everyone present will agree. I usually don't say anything, but sometimes I do protest. I guess it depends on who's around.

  24. Bunless asked if anyone had any idea about the origins of the expression 'lips'. Well, I don't know if it's the correct explanation but I've heard they are called "lips" because they have taken the allowance of painting their lips. ;)

  25. Urchins, Tics, Bunheads, Lips... I am ROTFL. You know I am a Catholic christian now and I have never once heard derogatory terms for members of other faiths. The Church is very respectful and participates in many inter-faith charity works. The only thing I have encountered is some criticism of other faith theology, mostly about muslim religions. Occasionally about Mormon and protestant beleifs. But never in a disrespectful way. But I guess the pope did get in trouble for his comments criticizing muslims, which were taken out of context of course. But no pope in the modern era has even remotely come close to some of the racist, anti-gay, anti-jew, anti-women, anti-other christians, anti-anybody comments I have heard from OALC leaders and members. Completely non-Christian behavior if you ask me.

  26. I hope everyone had a blessed and peaceful Christmas!

    As far back as I can remember,we always had a tree in our home. It used to be quite funny because my dad always wanted a tree, but never wanted to put "too many" decorations on it. I think my mother always enjoyed the bit of decoration in an otherwise pretty austere home. The tree remained up until Loppiainen (Epiphany) on January 6th.

    Now, we've been married for almost 35 years, and have always had a tree. Each year, ornaments are carefully selected to commemorate some event in each family member's life that year -- and that tradition continues, with us selecting ang giving each child and now their spouses that kind of ornament. Believe me, sometimes the selection of ornaments takes longer than other gift buying! Since we've lived many places in the US and abroad, we've always bought ornaments commemorating our travels. We've received ornaments as gifts from friends and relatives, many of whom are now gone. Now, as we decorate the tree, we remember with the hanging of each ornament something that happened, a place we've been, or the person who gave them to us. My mother's little owls (strange I know, but she loved owls) remind us of her. Even the old string of bubble lights (12, bought in 1953, original box and price tag, and which still work) are reminders of "Christmases long, long ago". Sometimes it takes quite a while to find "just the right spot" for each ornament.

    What could possibly be sinful about the loving thoughts that this tradition evokes?

  27. I disagree that cutting a tree for Christmas is non-ecological. If you drive thru the foothills of North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia,Pennsylvania, and many states in the Northeast, you will see thousands of trees being farm raised for Christmas trees. In the 10 or 15 years that these trees take to grow to harvest size, they benefit the environment. For each tree cut, another is planted. These trees usually are planted in hilly, rocky soil not suited for conventional farming. Tree farming provides a good income for many people in rural areas where jobs are often scarce. Also, the trees are usually re-cycled into mulch, which also is beneficial to the environment. I don't know the percentage, but I believe most Christmas trees are farm raised and therefore are a renewable resource.
    Cvow, I love your story about your family's ornament tradition. My family also had bubble lights on the tree. What wonderful memories!
    Sin, indeed!!!
    Blessings to all. Ex-doubter

  28. In my years in the oalc, I never heard the term "lips" used by itself. Instead it was used to describe the heresy or worldly church members who were in dead faith and who claimed to be Christians with their mouth(lips) while not having the Christianity in their hearts. The term was always " Lip Christians ".
    Funny, the Laestadian Churches are so much alike, yet they don't even consider each other as Christians.
    They say they are saved by Faith, but yet judge each others chance of salvation by the church rules they follow, such as (hairdoos, make-up, Christmas Trees, jewelry, etc.).
    Strange, very strange! 4eyes

  29. Happy new year everyone. Hope everyone had a merry Christmas.

    I remember Christmas 2 years ago, they had a Christmas tree in the sanctuary in my LLC church. Right up front.

  30. This is very interesting, as I have been pondering the ramifications of leaving for quite some time now. My biggest concern is how to deal with my family. Do you talk about it our just leave it be? What works? How has leaving played out for other readers? Has the family given them the cold shoulder or have they been able to get back to a "more normal" over time? If so, how long did it take?
    I find it sad, actually that so many Laestadians find it acceptable to shun people just because they do not go to the same church. They separate themselves so much from anyone who does not beleive as them, that even when it is a family member or a close friend that leaves, they think they no longer have anything in common. Because of the separation from anyone else I think they really do not know what to do with someone who doesn't believe as them. They are used to relating with people who agree with them on most things.

  31. I left, slowly, over a period of about 5 years. For a the first few years I was more or less 'riding the fence' and not knowing what life I wanted to live, but once I decided what I wanted and needed to do, I just quit going to church all together. Because my family had seen me come and go for some time, they didn't give me a very hard time, they just let me leave. I do occasionally get excluded from events that include my family and other OALC members, but other than that, our relationship is as good as I can hope for it to be at this point. Leaving the church can be a long, hard road, that rarely includes your family or anyone in the church's blessings, but having gone down that path and being who I am today, I am so thankful that I chose this path and I am where I am. Good luck to you.

  32. Precious Name

    I have heard of these sites that attack the Christians (OALC) for their faith and what they believe in. Oh how the devil works in many ways. Making up nick names and making fun of us is how all of you cope with giving up that one true faith that you decided to throw away. The last person who posted here mentioned how they had gone down that path; yes a path to destruction when you leave that saving grace. It is taught in our church that you should try to associate with the other Christians and from what I have seen on this site; I can agree. Instead of making fun of us by calling us names, which is downright immature, why don’t all of you on this site back up your new faith from places in the bible?
    In James chp4 vs 4-7. it warns us to be careful when you associate with the world.
    4Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 5Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 6But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

  33. Many Trails Home1/03/2008 05:05:00 PM

    Anonymous "Precious Name": You are very courageous for coming onto this site. Not many do. I think you are lacking in a sense of humor, however, if you think our nicknames make fun of you. Don't you think "Bunless," for instance, is funny? I do. I don't see us calling YOU names, just nicknaming ourselves.
    Now to the heavier stuff: I know plenty of "adulteres and adulteresses" as well as child molesters in the OALC - "the world" has no monopoly on that.
    You can quote your few little OALC-preferred passages in the Bible all day long, but the one commandment Jesus gave was: love the Lord your God and your neighbor as yourself. And in the "world" are lots of neighbors.
    I for one submit to God (as best I can, being a fallible human) and God himself led me out of the OALC. The banners that he led me out with said: Ask and it shall be given. The truth shall make you free. And a few others like that, which interestingly enough, are not OALC favorites (unless they are re-interpreted as "truth as defined by the OALC" etc).
    Many blessings to you. Even you can be free, whole, loved, and unafraid. Many Trails Home

  34. Precious...
    I was not calling anyone a derogatory name. If you even read the posts it was a discussion of Laestadian nicknames for each other. I was questioning (and perhaps a bit mocking) the origin and use of such terms and pointing out that I have heard more racial-slurs and hurtful faith-based derogatory nicknames from OALC members than possibly any other community I have been involved with. Instead of criticizing our discussion perhaps you should open your ears and hear how your OALC community talks.

  35. I can understand in some ways how precious feels...

    I remember the day I found out Santa Clause wasn't "real". I didn't want to believe what I was hearing...how I wished I could just have been naive as a little child, believing in all the "magic".

    In a different sense, this is similar to how I grew up in the FALC. When I looked through all the man made rules and the few repeated bible verses, their was really nothing there...the magic was gone. God wanted me to grow spiritually. The tree was already planted and I needed to start growing some good fruit on my branches. God was ready to use me as a tool to start contributing positively to this world.

    It was hard to stomach that I was lied to my whole life, and that I would have to move on and begin my spiritual journey, seeking god for myself, and not believing in a bunch of bible rhetoric. I guess when current OALC'ers and others read this site, they are wishing in their heads that we wouldn't take that "magic" away...The simpleness and deception in it all.

    Its like the war in Iraq. Imagine seeing your family murdered, or your child killed in combat. Many of us will never have to suffer through something like this, so we can't relate to it. I often just want to imagine that none of that suffering is happening, block it out of my mind, forget about the people in need. This is the simple faith they talk about - don't think about the suffering everyone else has to deal with - think only about the people in your church and your own family.

    I realized why I needed to see the truth. I needed to have empathy for a world full of suffering, instead of judgement. Exposing yourself to new ideas that you didn't know existed is difficult, especially when it goes against the views you have held for most of your life. Finding god in a world of twisted religious rhetoric is even harder.

  36. I cant believe I never knew about the other Laestadian churches when I was in the LLC! I only knew about the ALC. I would have been shocked to find out the other Laestadian churches thought we were of Dead Faith and so worldly!! Maybe would have opened my eyes sooner, because I followed the teachings so carefully- I was a "good" christian, not wild at all. And I would have been considered worldly. Wow.
    Being on this blog has shown me almost everything taught is the same at the respective churches, except as some have said, the differences based on outward items-haircuts, etc. And we in the LLC thought we were the ONLY ones! A small flock of God's children tormented by the world. And the message continues today...

    Its so hard to imagine being back in that restricted environment. And so wonderful NOT to have doubts! I didnt remember about that- when I was in the LLC I had doubts all the time, and had to get them forgiven or I felt too guilty and sinful- and now, in the "world", I have none. I guess I did when first leaving along with all the guilt, fear, anxiety, and grief, but now, none.

    I just wish I could open my familys eyes like other posters have said. My sibling is so unhappy, but I know I can do nothing except "be a light", using a frequent reference in the LLC backwards!

  37. You know, I am a new poster here. I also did not know there were so many versions of Laestadianism out there. I knew only OALC and there was mention of some other "dead faith" versions.. which I thought were referred as "New" apostolic lutherans so I assumed there was an NALC somewhere. But I am now seeing that there is LLC, ALC, FALC (whats the F for?). Perhaps the moderator of this site could start a new thread discussing the different varieties of LC's that exist and the origins of such. I would love to know. As anon 9:20 said, it is indeed quirky to think that my old OALC was referred to as a "dead faith" church by other branches. Gosh we thought we were the only center of the Christian universe.

  38. Many Trails Home1/06/2008 06:56:00 AM

    I love reading the postings of you "newbies" to this site. I went thru this discovery a couple of years ago and it was like a beacon out there in the world - thank God and computer geeks for the internet (and Free2BeMe, of course) for providing this forum for us, who would otherwise feel so much more alone.
    To Bunless, the "F" refers to "First". Wild, isn't it, that the OALC is so self-righteous in believing that they hold to the true version of Laestadianism, when they were actually expelled (or maybe voluntarily left) the original Laestadian church in Calumet, Mich and built a smaller one down the street. So those who stayed in the original church use the term "First." Having attended the smaller church down the street in my youth, we had to drive past the "First" church and so were more acutely aware that we were not the only ones. However, we had absolutely no interaction with them and really didn't understand at all what they believed - but we could see that they were "Bunless" so therefore clearly "worldly" and of no account. They were as hell-bent as Catholics, Jews, and Muslims and would not have remotely been considered "siblings in Christ."
    Coming from that mind set, we ex-toots should have no problem understanding Sunni and Shiite Muslims killing each other . . . I think that is part of the purpose of having grown up there and becoming an ex, to cultivate some open-mindedness, wisdom, compassion, and a PASSION FOR THE TRUTH. The truth does set us free. Many blessings to you newcomers. You will find spirited conversation here, and a feeling of community, even tho few of us know each other. Free2BeMe does a great job in maintaining civility, which can be difficult (if you've looked at any other open forum sites). Hats off to Free!
    Happy New Year to you all. MTH

  39. Crazy I was raised OALC and never was told that origin. It was implied that to question the origin of the faith was a challenge to it's validity and thereby would be sin of utmost severity. I see there is also IALC. What is the I? So my curiousity is how similar are all the branches? Do they all share the same quirky forgiveness ritual, somber mournful preachers who never smile, racist ideology, severe exclusionism, loads of meaningless rules, shaming and shunning, obsession with appearance, girls going to college is a sin, no birth control, scarves in church. Geez what else. Would be a 5-page essay to capture the essence of the OALC. I cant even get my husband to grasp what being raised OALC can possibly mean (he has never attended a service, but has met the relatives).

  40. Hello, Bunless,

    Welcome to our site, where so many of us have finally found a community who understands us.

    I, too, was raised OALC. I attended college, have a Master's Degree, but distinctly remember the feeling that my parents were both proud and ashamed of me. It must have been hard for them!

    I know several OALC Staunchies who are/were on birth control, so I think there may be extenuating circumstances that allow it. Isn't that the way with so many things relating to The Christianity.

    It nice to hear another's story. I am glad you are here.


  41. Scriptures say, Seek you will find, ask it will be given, knock the door will be open. How can anyone in their right mind believe that Jesus would turn his back on 99.99 percent of the rest of the people in the world that truly do seek him with all their heart and give their lives to him? How can anyone believe that?? Thats what I don't get. Its pretty sad that they think that about our Lord and Saviour. Apparently they don't know him very well. Gods kingdom is not bound by the walls of one church! Its within you. I guess its like believing in Santa Claus and then just keep believing in him and never stop?

  42. MTH

    You have your interpretation of the quote from the bible about “neighbors”, but to us it means the other Christians not everyone else in the world.

    Your history is also wrong about the split. The FALC wanted to have more allowances (sin) so they split from us. The OALC stays true to those elders in Swedish Lapland. We are reminded by the bible to hold fast to those dear preachers.


    BUNLESS- You need to read this section in the bible. I think it is pretty clear what it says about covering the head and a woman’s long hair.

    1 Corinthians 11 5-15.
    5But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 7For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. 11Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 12For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. 13Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? 14Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 15But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

    Precious name

  43. Precious.

    I never criticized the women covering their heads. I have no negative opinion about that. Again, if you actually READ my posts I was ASKING if all the Laestadian branches share the same traditions. Because I simply don't know. I wasnt criticizing any of them (except for the girls-attending-college-is-a-sin which I admit to being derogatory there).

    I could tell you how the Catholic church interprets that passage about women's head covering, but you wouldn't care to hear it. In fact we do have several women that come to church with their heads covered in the traditional Catholic lace scarf. I also dont beleive in artificial birth control. I feel it destroys the sanctity of marriage and human life. And despite my nickname, would you beleive in real life I have long hair, which I wear in a bun, as it is feminine and practical for keeping hair off the face and the babies from pulling on it.

    Why are you so CRITICAL of everything I post and taking such OFFENSE? Its like you are not even reading anything I have said.

  44. OK - I just cant keep my mouth shut on this one. Precious makes a good point:

    "You have your interpretation of the quote from the bible about “neighbors”, but to us it means the other Christians not everyone else in the world."

    So my question here is, are not all children, even in the "world", by definition, innocent? Until the "age of reason" - whatever you define that to be, all children are innocent children of God. This was taught in the OALC. At a minimum, are these not your "neighbors"? What has the OALC done to help starving, dying children in Africa, or anywhere for that matter (Oops - Africa is a bad example because the OALC beleves dark skinned people have the "mark of Cain" and are going to hell no matter what). So what about white American hungry children, excluded by the OALC, not considered "neighbors" because of their "worldy" parents? Please Precious, tell me how the OALC feeds the hungry, gives drink to the thirsty, visits the sick and imprisoned. As Jesus demanded of us. Tell me about OALC charity - please. Because I don't remember it EVER going beyond their own community. When other churches were spending the holidays delivering food and turkeys to the poor, including hungry children, how did the OALC participate? Educate me please.

  45. I don't think God gives a hoot whether you wear a scarf or not. Is that really important? He cares about your heart, period!

  46. Bunless

    I am critical of the things that are said on this site because there are lies and mockery of the OALC faith on here. The devil works in many ways….

    Ah yes the Catholic Church, which believes that charity can buy yourself a seat into heaven. I agree that the OALC could do more outreach but for myself I give to the Red Cross through my paychecks at work. See we are supposed to give to the sick and needy but where the Catholic Church is wrong is when they brag about what they do. The Bible tells us to be discreet when giving to the poor.

    Bunless explain to me where purgatory is in the Bible? Who gives the power to man based upon how much money you give to the Catholic church whether someone will be moved from hell to heaven after their death? Educate me please on this one.

    Why is it during communion only the priests take part in receiving the blood (wine) and not the whole congregation? Wasn’t the last supper the body and blood of Jesus Christ? Educate me please on this one.

    Why have so many priests in the Catholic Church been caught molesting boys and girls? Educate me on this one please.


  47. truthfearsnoquestions1/08/2008 12:45:00 PM

    You want to be educated on why so many priests within the Catholic Church molested innocent children? Why don't you educate yourself on the issues your own church has with this problem. I can gurantee you that there is A LOT more molesting going on within the walls of the OALC then you could ever imagine. So, educate yourself, maybe you will realize that the comments you so casually through out there, in the heat of an arguement, are a lot closer to home than you realize.

  48. mia from the llc1/08/2008 01:41:00 PM

    truthfearsnoquestions said, "I can gurantee you that there is A LOT more molesting going on within the walls of the OALC then you could ever imagine." Ditto for the LLC, and I'm sure the other branches as well. It is covered up there just as much as the Catholic priests tried to cover up their abuse.

    And anonymous, if we're supposed to be so discreet, why are you telling us that you donate to the Red Cross, yet it's not okay for the Catholic Church to "brag"?

    And why is it that you complain that people here are lying and mocking the OALC, and then you immediately follow that with criticism and sarcasm about the Catholic church? (And no, I'm not Catholic.)

    The Catholic church may be an easy target, but why let that distract you from looking in your own backyard? Matthew 7:3 ~ Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? I'm just as guilty of being hypocritical at times. We all can be. That's probably why that verse/lesson is in the Bible. :)

    We are all human, so none of us are perfect. You're not, we're not, no one is. That was the whole point of Christ's sacrifice.

    But I'm very glad that you're reading and posting here. It's a good sign that you are interested in the truth. Welcome!

  49. Precious, as a person raised in the OALC, and an occasional attendee when visiting family, I will tell you we do not lie on this site. We tell it like we see it, or have seen it in the past, our personal experiences. Don't denegrate them, please. We had enough of Not Having Our Feelings Given Credance in the OALC.

    And don't blame everything on The Devil. It just lets people off the hook in taking responsibility for their own actions. That excuse just gives us permission to be a Victim. I have a hard time believing God wants us to behave that way.

    OK, I got that off my chest. I am happy you are posting on this site. It means you are looking for something. That is a GOOD THING.

    The longer I am away from the OALC, the more I realize how Dead Faith it feels and how Pharasaic (is that a word?) in its actions.
    Your comment about Your Neighbor being OALC member only fits into the Good Samaritan. Only, I see OALC as being the priest who crossed the road and walked on the other side of the dying person (didn't want to get too close to all that Sin. It might rub off.) rather than the one who stopped to help. Boy, preachers sure got that one all wrong!

    You know, the part of that story that we were never told in the OALC was that the priest was required to cross the road. Them's the rules. As a priest, he was not allowed to get too close to a dying body. Unclean and all that. He followed the rules rather than listen to his heart and help a fellow human being. Sad. SISU

  50. I'm not Catholic, nor do I believe in the Catholic doctrine of purgatory, but I once attended a Catholic apologetics class taught by a friend of mine, and the following Bible verse was brought up when talking about the purgatory:

    1 Cor 3:14-15 "14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."


    In addition to telling lies about non-Laestadian churches, the different Laestadian groups tell lies also about each other. Actually, one of the eye openers for me was when I got to know people from certain other Laestadian groups, about which I had been told lies by Laestadian preachers etc., and found out that what I had heard about them wasn't true. So, if they are telling lies about other churches, how am I supposed to believe that the rest of what they are saying is true?

  51. CVOW - thanks for debunking those myths and untruths about the Catholic Church. Most protestant Churches including OALC have wildly incorrent notions about Catholicism. You did a good job.

    Regarding Catholic priests molesting children: "the devil" has been trying to take down the Church for the past 2000 years.