"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: A New Blog for the OALC

Friday, February 29, 2008

A New Blog for the OALC

Our OALC reader and commenter RWB is understandably upset by criticism found in these pages. I suggested that he create a pro-Laestadian blog but he prefers to "keep things simple" and declined.

In fact, RWB, blogs are super simple to create and maintain (as easy as commenting on one) so I've launched an OALC Discussion Blog, for you and any others who wish to celebrate the OALC.

I can't guarantee there will be no criticism or snide remarks, free speech being what it is.

However, I'm happy to hand over management, and comments can then be accepted or rejected as the owner sees fit.

(Update: the blog became a spam target, and was removed.)


  1. Stylux here...

    Once again celebrating Free for a good idea.

    Free... we butt heads so often it must not go unnoticed when we agree on something.

    Nice job.

  2. Free, how creative!

  3. Wow. A blog for positive comments about the OALC!

    I don't think we'll see many posts there!

    Sorry for sounding negative, but I'm not feeling especially positive right now.

    News has arrived about the tragic deaths of Russell and Linda (Blomquist) Blakeman. They were killed in a head on collision Tuesday evening in Montana. The funeral will be held at the old Brush Prairie OALC Church on Saturday March 8th at 11:00 AM.

    I hope the funeral will be a positive experience for the family and friends gathered there. I knew this couple personally and know that they had strong Christian beliefs and I don't mean to imply there won't be a testimony for them, because there will be. However,I have experienced many OALC funerals and have observed how they spend about one minute talking about the deceased and twenty minutes warning the family and others, especially those "non OALCers", about hell and damnation that surely awaits a non-OALC lifestyle. The result of these comments at such a sensitive time leaves the family with lasting negative memories.

    I believe Linda and Russell are in heaven and I pray that the family will find peace! Please pray for them.

  4. That is sad news even though I don't know who they are.. Thoughts and prayers to the family. Did they have children?

  5. Thanks, Norah,

    Yes, Linda and Russell have five grown children and five grandchildren, all of which live in Washington state.
    Losing both parents at once is a terrible tragedy and the children need all our thoughts and prayers.

  6. LLLreader: Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with that family. What a loss--so sorry.

  7. Oh my, I didn't want to post on the OALC discussion blog, but has anyone heard about the "spiritual adultery" question that is posted there? That's a new one on me. I'd like to know if there is some truth to it.

  8. Just a comment about what is going on at the other blog. Thought I would post it here, since it is not celebrating what is "good and true" about the OALC.
    Don'tcha think there is far too much emphasis on divorce rate, and not enough on successful marriage? As an ex-oalcer, I have never once seen a model of a healthy marriage either growing up or even scarcely outside the oalc. I attend a Christian church, and when they talk about the "Christian divorce rate" being the same as that of the general population, it makes me want to scream.
    Sometimes divorce isn't a failure, but the most courageous step one can take. And on the flip side, staying in a dead-end, abusive, traumatic, explosive and soul-sucking marriage is the cop out for being the person you were created to be.
    I'll get off my soapbox now.

  9. I've heard the term "spiritual adultery" used about people who visit other churches than the OALC or accept influence from other sources than OALC preachers, but I've never heard it used as a valid reason for divorce. Must be a relatively recent innovation in the American OALC. In my experience, the American OALC is the most approving of divorces when comparing the different geographical areas within the OALC. As I've understood it, there's a set of reasons when the preachers can "okay" a divorce, and if it's "okayed" by the preachers, then the divorced person can get married again (but not in the church building though). For some reason, the Finnish OALC seems to have the strictest attitude to divorce, although the most liberal one in most other regards. I've never heard of a divorce in the Finnish OALC that has been "okayed" by the preachers. Divorces and remarriages of divorced people take place, but they are generally considered a big no no, and many even relatively liberal Finnish oalcers consider it impossible for a divorced person to remarry. In Sweden they seem to be a bit more liberal in this regard. I've heard the Swedish "elders" even have encouraged some divorced people to remarry in certain situations (which some conservative Finnish oalcers expressed a great dismay about when they learnt about it but they of course had to accept it because it was the "elders" who said it and the "elders" always have right). The Norwegian OALC would be about the same as the Swedish OALC, less approving than the Americans but more approving than the Finns.


  10. So much for their "one mindedness"

    I have also heard from the oalc the above explanation for spiritual adultry; it sounds so terrible and extreme and by applying it to their teachings it immediately stops anyone from asking questions of them or exploring any faith outside thier church! It instills a cold fear of questioning or listening to anyone else. I dont miss that feeling.

    BTW Since we seem to be referring back to the bible as our common ground source, is this term or idea mentioned anywhere in the bible? I am not familiar with it outside of the oalc context.

  11. LLLreader sez: Let's remember this is a positive space. No negative comments.

  12. I'm confused. I thought the other blog was the positive space. I thought this one has free speech...

  13. tomte...

    I have been looking for you. Since your post I have taken an interest in your guy.. Obama. I noticed that over the weekend that he was stumping in Ohio and defended his opposition to gay marriage (he is for civil unions) by referencing scripture. He thinks highly of the Sermon on the Mount" and not so much of Romans. Are we getting into a new age where we defend public policy positions by referring the body politic to the Bible?? Is this OK with everybody?? The voters were treated to Biblical Exegesis Obama Style.


  14. Hey there, Stylux, ;-)

    As always, I'll need some sort of transcript of the whole speech before I'm willing to opine about it.

  15. What I heard was that in order for an OALCer in the US to get divorced, they had to get approval from the elders in Gallivare. This allowance was one area where members of the congregation I grew up in thought the OALC was making allowance for sin. Other than the divorce and exclusivism issues, my congregation was indistinguishable from the OALC.

    For whatever strange reason, I dreamed I was at a service of that congregation last night. To my surprise, it wasn't painful, but instead just a curiosity:)

  16. LLLreader sez: to exoalc--oops, I am SO wrong and you are SO right--this is the free speech arena. I was having a senior moment I guess!

  17. What I want to know is: are OALCers even allowed to use the internet?

  18. Stylux, please look at this for Obama's approach to religion in the public sphere.

    "Because when we ignore the debate about what it means to be a good Christian or Muslim or Jew; when we discuss religion only in the negative sense of where or how it should not be practiced, rather than in the positive sense of what it tells us about our obligations towards one another; when we shy away from religious venues and religious broadcasts because we assume that we will be unwelcome - others will fill the vacuum, those with the most insular views of faith, or those who cynically use religion to justify partisan ends."

  19. RWB here...

    The Internet is a place for everyone to use with caution. The devil can deceive anyone including you Tomte. I don't think anyone can say they are free from the effects of the devil and sin and this Internet is a place that is full of it. Just as we need to be forewarned of a dangerous curve in the road ahead we need to be warned of the dangers of the Internet. No, overall the Internet is not a place for a Christian to be. There are many dangerous places here. I know most of you don't like to be "preached at" and that's not my intention. But Tomte throws the statement/question out there like this is just another one of those so-called controlling "rules" that we must follow and that it would not apply to anyone outside the OALC. I believe if this were looked at objectively even a simple man could see this. Don't you all think so?

    I think we were warned 50 plus years ago about the television. Think of how harmless and innocent it probably was at that time compared to what it is now. Many who never had the benefit of that warning are now coming to the conclusion that this television is not a good thing to have in the home even aside from any spiritual/religious aspect to it. I think the same will prove true for the Internet. It's a little harder spot to address because so much of our natural business is becoming more and more exclusive to the Internet. I don't have the Internet in my home although I can access it through a work related system. Sorry to say that sometimes I wonder if being that it's a work related system is more of deterrent for me than the deterrent of harm to the mind and soul that could be caused here. The flesh is weak and we all have it so I know that it is not any different for you. Some maybe more desensitized to it than others according to what they have already seen, heard, and experienced. Be careful. I mean that sincerely.


  20. Anything can be used by Satan. So can cars, telephones, radios, weapons, whatever. So does that mean you have to avoid it completely just because IT MAY cause you to sin. Come on! When you have faith in Christ, pornography or whatever else evil on the internet is not that much of an interest to go looking at. Allow your conscience to work.

  21. Anything can be used by Satan. So can cars, telephones, radios, weapons, whatever. So does that mean you have to avoid it completely just because IT MAY cause you to sin. Come on! When you have faith in Christ, pornography or whatever else evil on the internet is not that much of an interest to go looking at. Allow your conscience to work.

  22. RWB, just wondering, why blame sinful behaviors on the devil? Doesn't that absolve people from taking responsibility for their actions?

  23. Romans 7:15-25 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

    If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

    Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

    For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

    For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

    Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

    I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

    For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

    But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

    O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

    I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

  24. I confess that I am a technogeek, so I constantly use the internet, have a television, listen the radio, go to movies, and you name it. My personal belief -- and I agree with some of the posters here who suggest that it's not the medium that is the sin -- is that it is how we exercise our free will to use them appropriately (and in our hearts, we know what that means and don't need it spelled out as to what exactly is or is not appropriate).

    However, I also understand the caution being expressed by RWB, that if you place yourself in close proximity to something that is dangerous, the inherent risk certainly rises. For example, let's say that you think gambling is a sin. You can walk into any casino in Las Vegas and buy a meal, but if you do that rather than go to a restaurant, doesn't the risk go up that you will be tempted to throw a few quarters in the slot machine? Gordon Liddy (for you old timers who actually remember him) fought those temptations and fears by challenging himself to resolve them through his own strong will. For example, he had a fear of airplanes as a child, so the story is that he went deliberately to the end of an airfield and lay down where the airplanes would roar directly overhead until he was no longer afraid of them. Most people probably would not have that kind of resolve. Hence perhaps it's better to keep some distance between you, especially if you realize you may have a weakness for something.

  25. Free...

    Stylux here..

    This is amazing... I am now getting quotes justifying the bringing of religion into the public marketplace of ideas, which is a position I have held for all my life. My political opponents have worked hard to stop this. What I think is going on here is that the Dems see that Obama is being successful in doing it... so it must be OK. Well, I think it is OK... to answer my own question.

    Now on to Obama's campaign comment on gay marriage..

    "I don't think it should be called marriage, but I think that it is a legal right that they should have that is recognized by the state. If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans."

    Said in Ohio last week.

    Here we have Obama justifying his position on an issue of public policy by referring to scripture. This practice is also OK with me, although I recognize that it "leaves a whole lot of people out". (A common refrain when a Republican or someone on the right tries the same thing.) What has happened to separation of church and state as so narrowly defined by the left.

    Let's be honest here... The fact of the matter is that the same comment from a Republican would be huge national news and it barely gets a wave from our paper of record or any of the other major newspapers or media outlets. Why?? A leftist Dem used it.

  26. Stylux, please post a link so we can read your quotes in context. I gave you a quote and a link, so you could read the whole shebang.

    Oddly enough, Obama would agree that liberals generally have been too edgy about religion (read the whole speech I linked to!).

    (I personally am not willing to cop to that, because I tolerate an inordinate amount of religious preening and flag-waving -- on this site and in my personal life -- and I am unapologetically liberal).

    HOWEVER, Obama is careful to bracket his personal views about faith with the acknowledgment that ours is a nation of many faiths including no faith.

    That context is critical.

    It is hardly equal to (for example) George Bush saying atheists should not considered U.S. citizens

  27. Just trust me that he said that. Because I'm not gonna give you a link so you can judge the source and the context for yourself. Heh.

  28. Free...

    Stylux back again...

    Free, of course, I expect you to trust me that he said that. I have heard the speech on radio, read excerpts of it on the net and have no particular interest in misrepresenting him. I take him at his word as I took the quote of him offered up by you at his word. And yes context does mean something... not usually everything. I did find a link to a site that has an article about his speech but I am not familiar with the source and this source links to an audio which I could not play due to not having the right media player.

    I know that you are quite tolerant of religious diversity however your political allies on the far left are not. And I know it is uncomfortable at times defending them. One of the interesting things about Obama is his refreshing willingness to address these "in the leftist's closet" issues. And lastly Free... I know already that it isn't nearly as bad as anything that the evil Mr. Bush has said... that goes without saying.

  29. RWB, on the topic of criticizing the OALC, are you aware of and what are your thoughts on Martin Luther criticizing the Catholic church, of which he was a member at the time? Were it not for him and a few others, there would not have been a reformation which then led to many protestant churches. Are you aware of and what are your thoughts on Laestadius criticizing the state church during his time? Were it not for him, there would be no Laestadianism.

    Why criticize criticism? It's a huge part of our history.

  30. RWB.... Remember, God is with us always! He gave us the Holy Spirit as our guide. We don't need to be afraid. Yes, Satan is there, but even if I lived the most bare bones life possible... no technology, no reading material except for the Bible, etc, Satan WILL still be there. Rather than thinking our actions (or lack of them) will keep us safe from his attacks, Our focus should be on Christ. Keep your eyes turned to Him.
    a sister in Christ.

  31. Well, Free, I went over to check out this "POSITIVE COMMENTS ABOUT THE OALC" blog that you created and there is nary a single comment posted. Hmmm. Somehow that tells me something. Maybe our "wierdo" could be directed there. Let's see how POSITIVE he could be. Hmm, that sounded sarcastic.
    Methinks I should start taking lessons in compassion from Sisu - maybe next week . . . .
    Many Trails Home

  32. hey is for horses8/03/2009 02:53:00 AM

    This place is really scary!!!!

  33. I'm curious: what do you find scary?

  34. ex falc says

    Its scary for some because they have to think. Some people really want to believe the LLL mindset is the only correct mindset and its scary for them to think otherwise.

  35. Yes, they have been taught their whole lives that they are the only ones and everyone must think the same to be correct. Often much of the thinking and beliefs/traditions are without foundation. Ex: school sport, professional sports, music, TV, makeup, dying hair; what is the biblical foundation for such beliefs, yet participants in the LLL churches are expected to believe or at least look the part in order to be "heaven acceptable" regardless of whether the bible speaks to these and similar "rules." People in these organizations intentionally avoid everything and everyone that may present a different viewpoint even if the different viewpoint has much more biblical foundation than their own. To even acknowledge that there could possibly be a different way than their own would crumble the house of cards that the current LLL way of thinking is based on. If they, in the LLL churches, accepted that different viewpoints of things religious were okay, they would no longer be part of the exclusive club that they currently belong to, at least not in the same way as before.


  36. OK NAH guess ... not so scary f'terrrrallll like DUH! Heh heh! How yous doin? Just look at bottom says 114,889 visitors. Where you find all those people? ONE MORE THING (vot ta ee yee shordras for the ruuskiis in this place) So you left. What do you do with the social vacuum in your personalities. I mean like to hear what you do to fill the void. Drive everyone else crazy for example! I do know one thing I don't feel a sense of warmth anywhere else like I feel amongst the people who attend the Old Apostolic Lutheran Church. They feel so freeeeeeee! (Arbeit macht frei!)

  37. Hey is for horses!8/15/2009 07:45:00 AM

    Look I hear said right in the OALC church that 1 sin doesn't separate you from god .. something about continued disobedience is that corruption that can kill off the child of the woman .. but by (maybe through) faith in the living lord Jesus you are saved (receipted as paid on Good Friday on the Hill of Golgotha) so if you can do all those things like watch TV wear makeup and stuff and fall under all 8 beatitudes doesn't truly harm your faith by all means. Those things are advised because of the where they lead, conforming to the world etc. (forgive my grammar for all you college grads out there) ANYWAY! y'all been "salivating" for a pro-OALC perspective so here it is. That being said not to burst anyones bubble but yes the molesting thing is true unfortunately. Yes I feel the trusted ones handled it as God's Will so to speak however my wife and I often share your concern about this sensitive matter and the neglect present with the parenting in some of the big families. The preachers have addresssed that too. My wife and her mother have personally been affected and that is unfortunate. Let us bow our heads and pray when we lay down at night. Forgive me for my disobedience by visiting your sight and yes it tickles the flesh a little.

  38. Thank you for joining in, Hey is for Horses. I for one am glad you're here, because it is through discussions -- and yes, even arguments -- that we all learn. I look forward to hearing more from you.

  39. Hey is for horses!8/29/2009 09:01:00 AM

    There was quite a crown gathered the final weekend of the 2009 North American Elders meetings (Ulf Bolsoy, Gunnar Persater, Hans Olaf Wetainnen) at the University of Delaware Bob Carpenter Center. Must have been over 5000. Hired bus companies ferried people constantly back and forth to the church just outside of Glasgow (where food was served but no parking permitted). At the home gatherings of Tim Granger (Fri) and
    Bill Denny (Sat) tents were set up to seat over 500 and they were cram packed as it was thunder and lightening the whole weekend with Hurricane Bill nearby in the Atlantic waters. Discussions included how we Quench not the Spirit and Sanctification. The night gathering Sat night at Newark church featured the elder Gunnar adressing the American youth to not hesitate to congregate and discuss christianity regardless if a preacher is present, just need a older one. Also the elders thought that if we formally release information on the martyrs of old that we may encourage the transfer of misinformation and that we need to be preoccupied more with what we need to sustain our spiritual bodies (that being the work of the holy ghost of course as Luther also mentions). Gunnar said Fri night about killing the fatted calf (well I can't remember) but he said that the when he came to himself that is a reminder that the salvation starts at the awakening and we are not saved simply because we were able to ask forgiveness for all our sins before we die but it is the faith we received when we came to ourself that our father has bread to spare. Oh and that the famine is a blessing that he received but that the others in the far country received and that is the danger when we spend all that we may remain stisfied by the intellect and not find ourself in the famine. What a mean firebrand preacher but definately a speaker of truth as given from god. Take care all ....

  40. Hi there, Hay is for horses..

    So, what are your own thoughts on the prodigal son.. do you have any personal insights, along with what the elder had to say?

    Parable of the prodigal son - Luke 15:11-32.

  41. Hey is for horses!8/29/2009 12:28:00 PM

    Good question Norah! Do I have a "private" interpretation? hmm maybe ... No actually that is a good question and if I say it then it is not private and that is good because the understanding comes from among us from the living lord Jesus. I can't say for sure if I personally have ever came through the bloody door of lord Jesus because I don't see myself in the prodical son story so I am like a thief and a robber maybe but that could be the devil whispering in my ear. You see I just lied (shame on me) actually because I recall seing myself more like that older son the old man that needs to be put off so the new man can rise.
    No I just don't feel so bloody righteous very much. I like jamming to hard core rock loud and crazy head banging. I secretly fantasize about dirty girls of my days gone by. I just don't feel close to god anymore. The only reason I don't cut loose is because every where I turn in the world someone knows me and also need conduct myself in a way that will keep me from becomming homeless.

  42. Hay, I think you're okay. You're not a thief or a robber.

    I love this parable, the picture of the father, seeing his son off in the distance.. He didn't even wait for the son to come home and find out what the son was going to say - he knew that by coming home it meant that he was really "coming home", and the father started making preparations right away. What grace, mercy and love is pictured there. It's a picture of our heavenly Father, don't you think?

    But knowing me, I'd probably say "THERE YOU ARE, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN! WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY FOR YOURSELF?! It's humbling to see this picture of unconditional forgiveness.. may I be that way in my own natural life!

  43. Obama is a really awesome president. Thank God for our fine leaders.

  44. Comrade S I'm really confused by what you mean about Obama being "awesome". You do realize that he is our president. You're talking about him like he is your buddy or something. Show some respect for our commander-in-chief. Ain't that right Tomte?

  45. Our God is an awesome God / he reigns from heaven above / with wisdom power and love / our God is an awesome God

  46. Hey is for horses!9/06/2009 06:22:00 AM

    Tomte you seem to be a glass half full kind of person. Don'tcha kind a miss the ole apostolic luth church. I set there a thinkin other night naturally speaking God doin this great land a public service by keeping all these fine folks in OALC LLC and LDS. Just think what kind of mischief there would abound if those nice folks had nothing to believe in. There wouldn't be enough Prozac to go around and wouldn't be strong enough. I just love y'all.

  47. Old Guys Rule!9/14/2009 01:41:00 PM

    Hey what do you guys think about the trade war with China?

  48. LLLreader to Old Guys Rule: Oh, I don't know--maybe you should find a blog that addresses those kinds of questions. Or, maybe I don't understand your reason for asking? How does it fit in here? I liked your comment on Obama. Comrade was being a tad bit sarcastic doncha' think?

  49. Old Guys Rule!9/14/2009 03:15:00 PM

    My dear anonymous YOU SPEAK THE truth. I remember a Lestadius sermon concerning the sermon on the mount and lip christians and how they spoke mainly of that which they loved like winds weather and of farming but of the word of god not much was said. Praise the lord! Praise the lord!

  50. Since this topic is about new blogs -- anybody know what happened to ledastray's blog that was just recently started?

    It appears it's been hijacked because it just leads out with "Looking for Something?". I'm suspecting some jerk is exercising their anonymous hacking abilities.

  51. I noticed that too, cvow, but also the thread where she announced her new blog was also missing.

    Scooby Doo, where are you?


  52. Hey everybody! Stop whining! (eee my widdo blogs been hijacked .. who cares ... rock on!) this place is popular so what

  53. Hey is for horses!10/04/2009 11:11:00 PM

    Hey Tomte! This Sunday my preacher man spoke about Sodom and Gomorrah a little. He said that there was not even 5 small children for Abraham and Lot to find (I think). Well they were wondering what is the significance of the pillar of salt thing with Lot's wife. I guess my thought was wow the timing was perfect because I find myself looking back at my loose living days and wondering about my sinning companions. However I see myself doing that so is it different with me? Your thoughts about Sodom and Gomorrah (PS I am an Obama supporter all the way so I get a little runny about things)?

  54. Hey there Hey. I must admit I haven't thought much about Sodom and Gomorrah lately. I'll have to re-read and see what I think, although it sounds like you were able to make an edifying connection between the story and your life today. :)

  55. edifying huh? .. would that be one of those religious terminology things ... but it's fine ! God given! Quite edifying! Today I learned what a "snarkie" was on NPR. We learn something new every day. I wonder if Steve Inskeep is a christian. He sounds so pleasant so at peace. But maybe it is a dead faith dead peace. Wait I'm NOT the judge. GOD IS

  56. Hey where did everyone go aweful quiet around here!

  57. Listen up, ladies!

    I don't get along with O.A.L.C. any better that you do, but "extoots" is going too far in tbe wrong direction.

    "Toot" is supposed to be a humorous short form of "kristityt" (Finnish for Christians.) It's not funny. You renounced the entirety of your Finnish heritage along with all Christian faith, and you circumcise your children under the letter of the law of Sodom, Egypt, and Babylon.

    The same faith which your preachers rejected in secret you reject openly, and those who come to you seeking spiritual comfort you betray to those swineherds, because they still own you and you work for them. That business doesn't get you to heaven, and it doesn't keep you out of prison on earth, either.