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

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Worldlies, Dancing

96 comments:

  1. Whoa. That is incredible. I love your links!!!! MTH

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  2. Watching this video, I start to feel giddy. What a neat video!

    Any idea why the LLL faiths are against dancing? It is such a natural thing for us even babies do it when they hear a rhythm. My thought is that you feel just that, giddy, and that is what they are against.

    My experience has been, that if something brings you too much pleasure, then (they say) it must be of the flesh. When I asked when I was young, the answer was..."because Christians don't do that." I guess that was supposed to be a sufficient enough answer. I just knew that I was expected not to press the issue, so I didn't. That seems to be how much is in the church...just don't ask, just go along with the program and everything will be fine. It is almost as if what you do has more importance than what you believe. As long as everyone APPEARS to believe the same, and you just don't talk about what it is you really believe, then they are satisfied. If you begin to question, and you ask someone a few questions, you are given generic. For example, "christians don't do that", "it has always been this way, why do you want to start justifying now?", and so on. If you don't change you're opinions shortly, at least verbally, and ask for forgiveness, then you are seen as someone with faith problems.

    While I can't speak for each individual in the LLL churches, I can speak of what I have witnessed has lead me to speculate. I have speculated that these churches worship the act of recieving forgiveness, over and above christ himself. I have been told that all a person needs is the forgiveness and a person doesn't need to know anything else, not even if something (that they believe) is in the bible. I have heard things like, "I am not going to worry about that (whether something is biblical) as long as I have my sins forgiven, then I am okay." Many seem to not question any of the teaching because they don't want to rock the boat, AND they feel that as long as they have their sins forgiven, then they themselves are okay.

    Lastly, with the requirement of asking another Laestadian for forgiveness (as long as the are a CORRECT Laestadian) how are they ever sure that the forgiveness is valid? They believe that someone must have the holy spirit to pass on forgiveness, but how are they sure that the person they are asking actually had the holy spirit (in their opinion) and is not just going through the motions? Wouldn't it be so much more simple and effective to go straight to Jesus?

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  3. "Wouldn't it be so much more simple and effective to go straight to Jesus?" Or straight to God . . . or straight to the Holy Spirit. Sure would, sweetie, sure would. That to me is Truth, and the truth does set us free. Many Trails Home

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  4. RWB here...

    I'm not sure if this video was intended to portray something that was spiritual or not....maybe for some in the video it was. I wonder if it was for Matt (the guy in the video)...if it was I wonder why he would name his website www.wherethe (insert HE double hockey sticks here)ismatt.com....or at least that was what it said at the end of video if any of you got that far.

    I can only say what I understand the case to be in the OALC. We base our beliefs upon the Bible. I don't think the New Testament either supports NOR denies music playing or listening relative to worship....if it does I don't know of it. Outside of worship we believe that worldly music listening and playing should be refrained from for what I think are obvious reasons...it is easy to see from the lyrics of these songs what is wrong with them.

    In the OT the prophet Amos rebuked the people of Israel in Amos 6:1-5 Woe to them...that chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David;

    Amos seems to rebuke them for "inventing to themselves" "like David" musical instruments....unto themselves not unto God.

    Luther, in his time, said many good things about music. He was also very careful to divide music that was fleshly, worldly, and secular from that which was unto God. A quote from Luther "when man's natural musical ability is whetted and polished to the extent that it becomes an art, then do we note with great surprise the great and perfect wisdom of God in music, which is, after all, His product and His gift; we marvel when we hear music in which one voice sings a simple melody, while three, four, or five other voices play and trip lustily around the voice that sings its simple melody and adorn this simple melody wonderfully with artistic musical effects, thus reminding us of a heavenly dance, where all meet in a spirit of friendliness, caress and embrace"....We have this music in the OALC in the form of hymns sung by voices of many unto God. It is a beautiful thing in my ears. I need nor desire no more than that.

    I have defended and explained against many a post just like the ones above with answers with basis in Scripture....but when the Bible is brought out everything gets pretty quiet around here. It is difficult to defend and explain via the Bible because each of you seems to have come to YOUR OWN understanding and interpretation and found a religion or personal belief system that suits that. It seems kind of ironic that you regulars here all agree that the OALC and other Lutheran/Laestadian based churches (although many of those are in name only) are wrong (you have judged), but yet you have all gone into many different directions religion-wise. If you each explored your new religions instead of ripping your old one you would find much to disagree and comment on....but it is much easier to condemn what you all collectively have experienced as a shallow and meaningless time in you lives. Hopefully you can move forward from this. So it goes.

    RWB

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  5. RWB,

    Many of us here on this site said the OALC was wrong for US, not condemming those who stayed in. You constantly, with every post, judge us harshly, and yet you say we are doing the same by making comments about why we left the OALC. Do you see the contradiction here?

    You say the OALC is based solely on the Bible. You seem to have missed the postings, ad nauseum, about how the OALC, like most
    churches (not religions, as you say) cherry-picks its selections to support its beliefs.

    You don't seem to get it, either.
    Sorry if I sound harsh, but I just get a little miffed at some of the things you say. And that's my ego talking.

    SISU

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  6. You go, Sisu. I was going to give ol' RedWhiteBlue a blast myself. I can barely skim thru his stuff anymore. "Right, wrong, ripping, shallow, meaningless . . ." and "so it goes."
    RWB, whether we "move forward from this" or not is, frankly, none of your business. It's our business and God's business. And the extent to which we have "explored" our new beliefs/religions/faiths is not for you to judge either. Sheesh. Let me get one thing straight: OUR EXPERIENCE IS VALID and we have the right to discuss it if we so choose. Lighten up. And it's okay to say "hell" if you want to. I really don't think God will strike you dead. Joy, joy, joy, that's what I get from this "worldly" video, and saw precious little of that commodity in evidence in the OALC. Sheesh, as I said. And may God help me to live a full and joyful life. Amen. Many Trails Home

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  7. rwb

    Read Psalm 150 where it INSTRUCTS us to praise Him with music! Not to surprised you didnt use that part of scripture. This one is probably the most clear, and yes, you seem to be cherry-picking passages to me. Admit it, all music is a sin to you, not just the songs with dirty lyrics. (which are wrong for me, also and I dont even go to your group)

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  8. RWB,

    You judge yourself when you assert that other LLL-derived churches are "in name" only and are not believers. There are many in the branch I go to that would say the same of you. As for me, I will leave the judging to the Lord.

    As far as my church's position on dancing, it is not the dancing itself that is sinful, but the environment it places you in. Bars and nightclubs are not good places for a believer. High school dances are a path that can take you to there later. I know many kids who have gone to dances at some time or another. In my own family, my sister was the prom queen and my dad ended up being homecoming king. At those ages, 16-17, my parents and grandparents left the decision up to the older adolescent to make if those activities would be permissable. At a certain age, one must decide for themself what to do. Not being a popular teen myself, I can't say what I would have done. However, I can say that my sis and father must have not felt comfortable in that environment, because they didn't repeat that experience. Nor did they become bar drinkers at a later date. I think my parents and grandparents were wise; in a situation like that, dancing becomes the "forbidden fruit," so desired because of its forbidden quality. Instead, they were led more gently to the desired path. My parents let us listen to more secular music, as long as the lyrics were not offensive, and didn't say too much if we bee-bopped to music with a little beat around the house, just acting a little silly, but not particularly sinful. I knew parents who were much more strict and censured their childrens' every move, and many of them ended up with wildly rebellious children who drank, used drugs, ran with with wild "wordlies" and who pretty much tore up the town in rebellion. We didn't feel the need to do that, we were given a choice, and we chose our church friends and life. Often our school friends ASKED us to take them to our church, partly because of the social life there and partly because they wanted to avoid the high school party scene themselves.

    I am reflecting of my own experiences...and not trying to set an agenda here. The Bible, has RWB has pointed out, says different things about dancing. It is up to the Holy Spirit in all of us to read these scripts to our own edification, and apply it the best we can to our own life. We all have decisions to make about our life and behavior, and there may be an activity that one person could do with no harm to their immortal soul that another couldn't. If it seems wrong to you, it probably is, and should be handled carefully. For example, my great-grandfather was a preacher. He had some health difficulties, and his doctor recommended him to drink a glass of red wine every night. He drank that one glass, and that was all he drank. He had no propensity toward alcoholism, but his son interpretted that to mean that drinking alcohol was really okay, citing his father's glass of wine, and ended up drinking far more and died an alcoholic. His father was not to blame for this bad example, it was the son's choice to apply his father's actions more liberally for himself.

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  9. RWB,
    Thank you for continuing to post here.Your judgemental, self righteous postings make you the poster boy for the OALC and showcase the reasons why I left that place!

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  10. I find it beautiful and refreshing to see a happy heart and a simple dance causing people around the world to join in! What a universal lanuguage of love that can be shared! And to be so caught up in the joy that happiness is spilling out of you, expressed in a body that is free and comfortable with itself, void of self consciousness -how wonderful!

    As mentioned above Psalm 150 (I'll even quote the KJV for you ;) "1 Praise ye the Lord, Praise God in is sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. 2 Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. 2 Praise him withthe osund of the trumjpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. 4 Praise him withthe timbrel and dance: praise him with the stringed instruments and organs. 5 Praise him upon the loud cymbols: praise him upon the high sounding cymbols. 6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord."

    We also have Psalm 149: 3-4 " Let them priase his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him withthe timbrel and harp. 4 For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beatify the meek with salvation."

    Then we have (a part of) the story of David in Samual 6:5 "and David and all the house of Israel (which numbered "thrity thousand" 6:1)played before the Lord on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels,and on cornets, and on cymbals." What I wouldnt give to have heard THAT!

    Samual 6:14 "and David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen of ephod." Now you can continue to read on your own about a woman who saw David dancing and dispised him in her heart and David defended himself as "it was before the Lord" (6:21) and (6:23) "Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no children unto the day of her death."

    And one last one for today: Ecclesiastes 3:1 assures us "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:" 3:4 "A time to weep, and a time to laught; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;"

    The above scriputures are all making reference "unto the Lord" which would be very different than any drunken, lustful dancing in a bar.

    Its sad that so many men feel the need to, and claim to, speak for The Holy Spirit, which Christ promised would dwell in us as believers and followers of him. (but those are quotes for another time and another long topic of discrepancies between the bible and oalc doctrine)

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  11. RWB here...

    I only write what I know to be the truth. If you take it a certain way or add words, ideas, or thoughts to what I have written and twist it into something it's not I can't help that. Clearly this site is focused on tearing down, condemning, and blackening Laestadian churches in general, and particularly the OALC. If you new readers (old ones should go back for a refresher) don't believe it....go back and read all the nasty comments, lies, and innuendo that personifies this site. It's all there....attack, attack, attack. You cannot deny it. Well, I guess you can do whatever you want...but I am bound by the truth and I will continue to defend my faith and beliefs according to that truth. You can say I am judging you, but in my heart I know that I am not.

    RWB

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  12. wow rwb. You talked about the conversation shutting down when bible verses are quoted.... You lowered yourself to general ideas ("tearing down, condemning and blackening") and name calling ("nasty comments, lies and innuendo") Those types of posts I generally just ignore because there is no substance and nothing to discuss, but I will comment to you because I really thought more highly of you than that... You have been so biblical and well thought out up until that recently. What happened?

    I will adamently deny all of what you just said... I am also bound by the truth of MY EXPERIENCES and the bible I read. Of which your general comments and/or name calling cannot argue against (logically) nor take out of truthful existance. Its not lies. Its our experiences, our thoughts, our beliefs. We cannot state that often enough apparantly. And we CAN agree to disagree you know ;) without lowering our standards of communicating.

    So what have you to say about the bible verses that have been quoted and how might you interpret those verses into your belief system? Do you pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you? Do you trust that if you want Him with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind, He will be with you?

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  13. I read Amos 6:1-5 as referenced by rbw to support that music is wrong... but the entire chapter in context seems to refer to being "complacent" and "lounging on couches" and dining on choice foods and "strumming away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not greive over the ruin of Joseph, therefore you will be among the first to go into exile; your feasting and lounging will end."

    And if you read other chapters in Amos he seems to be referring to the many ways the tribe of Joseph have angered the Lord by worshiping other Gods and other things.

    Thats quite a bit more happening than musical instruments being a sin. It seems to me that MOTIVE of the heart seems to be a pretty significant factor here... If one is doing something "unto the Lord" or "unto themselves" that makes all the difference, you even quoted that one.

    Why do you quote Luther so much? It seems so much more than even the bible?

    You also said "Luther, in his time, said many good things about music. He was also very careful to divide music that was fleshly, worldly, and secular from that which was unto God." Is Luther the only one who is able to say good things about music and seperate "fleshly" from "unto God?" How is that allowing the Holy Spirit stay alive and to work in us even today?

    I also very much enjoy the hymns that were sung in church, and I still love any type of music where many voices are blended together. It is truly one of the many wonderful and beautiful sounds.

    I dont believe any of here has ever said our time in our particular LLL brance was "shallow and meaningless" We consistantly discuss how that time shaped us and defined us... for better and for worse... once again you dissapoint me with your reduction to general slanderings... And we are not claiming our particular beliefs now are perfect... we are here to discuss LLL, hence the name of the site!

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  14. From thier website the lyrics loosely translate:

    "I will not easily forget
    The life that stirs in my soul
    Hidden amidst Death
    That infinite Life

    I hear you in the thunder
    A simple tune
    A tune to which I will arise (3x)

    And in that storm of happiness
    As your music plays in your mind
    The whole wide world
    Dances to your rhythm"

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  15. hp3, you speak for me as well (except that I am not a Bible-quoter, and I am glad that you provide that balance for rwb). I for one am trying to remember that rwb speaks for the "truth" AS HE SEES IT, FOR HIMSELF (not recognizing, of course, that it is for himself only). I think this is a path we have all walked at some time in our lives, is that not true?
    So I am sending rwb compassion, love, and gratitude for participating on this site. We are all seekers of truth, or we would not be here. Wishing a peaceful heart to all readers and posters . . . Many Trails Home

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  16. Oh my gosh. I had heard from another Christian that this site existed and I found it. How the devil works in so many ways to harm one’s Christianity. I can see why now the preachers warn us about the internet; it does sometimes need to be used in the workplace but surely not needed in the home. It saddens my heart to read that most of you have given up your precious faith and now decide to live in a world of sin. I only wish that someday that you may have that burning desire to once again hear those words of forgiveness and believe and be free. RWB I am glad that you are here on this site to uphold our Christianity but you might be fighting a losing battle… narrow path

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  17. Hello, Narrow Path, welcome to our online family. I understand that you heard from another "OALC Christian" . . . but do not reserve the term "Christian" exclusively for yourselves. That is arrogance. I would not "sadden my heart" too much if I were you. It is only your judgmentalism that assumes we are unforgiven and unbelievers and unfree.
    Many blessings to you. We are all on a "narrow path" to God. My path is not - and never could be - your path. It is God who laid out my path before me and, as hard as it has been at times, I am grateful Many Trails Home

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  18. Narrow, your comment gave me a good chuckle. Of course, you know that the church I come from would condemn you for using the Lord's name in vain. You can't win if your goal is to see who can layer on the most caviling restrictions.

    Re: the video, it was cute to see how the little kids embraced the moment.

    Peace!

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  19. Narrow Path - This is yet again one of those post I usually tend to ignore as you are limited to judging the rest of us by your standards and beliefs... Im not sure why Im bothering right now... I do know I am recalling Free's feeling of "butt tiring" yet I also feel pity for your pity of us.

    Believe it or not (and Im sure you dont) you and your church are NOT the only Christians on the planet. Christ came to save "THE WORLD" and golly gee wiz, everyone in it!

    What ever gave you the idea any of us have "given up on our precious faith"? We have placed our precious faith in the bible and God, rather than man... as the bible instructs us to do! It is indeed precious and that is not giving up.

    Is it because you feel your church is exclusive, as in the only church who are Christians, and the only ones saved? And by choosing something other than your church, we have "given up" your church which translates into giving up our salvation? Again, that only works if you believe you are exclusive. In which case stand in line and join the rest of the churches (in addition to yours) who also feel they are exclusive.

    And dont we all live in a world of sin? Yet strive to be as Christ called us to be, rather than as the world? (believe it or not we still do :) What makes you think we are chosing to live a sinful life?

    Oh thats right, you wont acknowledge that there are different ideas about what is considered to be sin... even among member of your church and even among the different localities belonging to your church. Some of us here use the bible and the Holy Spirit to define what is sin, instead of mortal men.

    You also do not have to "...wish that someday that we may have that burning desire to once again hear those words of forgiveness and believe and be free." We do indeed have that burning desire... we just know that we can find answers in the bible and not just in your church.

    Im glad people like you post here, so that anyone who may be considering your church can see that you will not engage in a biblical based discussion of faith, but instead resort to general put downs, pity and judgement. You verify the reasons many of us chose to leave your particular kind of church and search "with a burning desire" for biblical truth

    I think I need to really embrace Free's Quotable "You cant reason someone out of something he was never reasoned into to begin with."

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  20. RWB here...

    hp3:..and others..

    In many posts I have used Scripture from many different places to support what I have said. Go back and read. I have attempted to engage many times in biblical discussion of faith. I have not "cherry picked" any more than any of you have. What does that even really mean anyway? Nothing....it just seems that it is an easy way to put down the use of the Bible. If I quote the Bible it is either ignored or it is called cherry picking. If I quote Laestadius or Luther that is somehow twisted into quenching the Holy Spirit in us and relying on former preacher and laborers. So you have a answer or put down for everything to justify your words here.

    hp3 says...."Some of us here use the bible and the Holy Spirit to define what is sin, instead of mortal men." So this means that there is no place for preachers and teachers? Is sin different for you than it is for everyone else? Why not just use MTH's approach and say "who needs the Bible" and just go straight to God?

    I don't think the ex-OALCer's here are any where near on the same page as each other as far as what you believe....the only thing you have in common is that you have left and have come together via this website to try to convince yourselves that you chose the right path in leaving. I know, I know, you are convinced. No, there is obviously much doubt, in spite of what you say to the contrary, about your decision. This is not a discussion of Laestadius or anything theological (most of time). The format is to pick a certain topic and see how it can be turned into bashing the OALC and Laestadian churches in general. Any new readers here? Go back and read.

    You have what I believe is a misguided perception of what we teach and believe. It is almost always based on the actions of church members and not on what we teach and believe. We are faulty sinners and often need foregiveness for sins. This is Christianity in its simplest form.

    RWB

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  21. Thanks to anon for the song lyrics. Cool! And to all of you who keep this blog going. I'm having a terrific summer and wishing the same for all of you.

    In that spirit, RWB, it sounds like you need a tall cool Corona. Really, should you be encouraging newcomers to search the archives? There's a lot of sappy stuff in there, bits about my kids and puppy and and opera and pulla and flowers, and whatnot whosit.

    Boring stuff, too. I'm afraid you'll never persuade newbies that this is a HATE site via the archives.

    Besides, they might get exposed to novel ideas about truth and faith and how to live one's life with integrity.

    And they might witness the irony of someone like you who uses this welcoming forum to condemn it, a privilege LLLism nor you would reciprocate.

    No? I'm wrong? Please start your own site. I'd love to comment on it!

    Oddly enough, I applaud you in your attempts to keep the kids down on the farm, however ineffectual. Of course you think that is what is best for them. Intentions count. To a point.

    But freedom, like dancing (even if only in one's imagination), is contagious. And not to be feared.

    Wanna dance?

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  22. Actually RWB, people have written bible verses that you have chosen to ignore and not comment on either. Such as the ones about musical instruments, dancing and all who call on the Lord will be saved, believe in the Lord and you will not perish, etc. Those verses are ignored for some reason. I suppose because they don't jive with what YOU believe.

    Its just too bad people have to have such pride thinking their particular church is the only saved church. There are MANY out there besides the Laestadians. So had you grown up in a different exclusive church you would think you had the truth there. Don't you get it? If you grew up Amish, you would think your were Gods only chosen people, same with the many other churches who believe they are Gods only chosen people. WAKE UP!! Sometimes I just want to shake people and wake them up, but you can't. Its frustrating. There is one true church and that is Christs church. All people who believe in him belong to this church. It doesn't have boundaries and walls. Sometimes I wonder how I got past that exclusivist thinking, its such a mind trap. But I know its the grace of God. THANK YOU GOD!! I am free from that and have met some wonderful Christians who love the Lord and other people.

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  23. RWB- Like my former LLL church you are so used to thinking that your church is Bible based and others are not that you could not see your error if you were hit with an anvil.

    You routinely ignore Bible verses presented by others and routinely ignore the context of some of the verses that you post yourself. You do this because you are so convinced that you are Bible based (and no one else is) that you forget about the Bible itself.

    RWB, go back and read the HUNDREDS of bible verses that have been posted on this site and explain why your beliefs contradict them.

    What's Christianity without the Bible???!!!! Do you think other churches have the National Geographic in the pulpit?

    As far as Luther and Laestadius are concerned, they preached many things that contradict the core of your doctrine. You just choose to ignore it.

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  24. Interesting bit about dancing in the New York Times:
    "While Mr. Harding probably isn’t the most graceful dancer you’ve ever seen, his video is a happy reminder that the benefits of dancing aren’t limited to physical exercise. A telling 2003 New England Journal of Medicine report showed a lower risk for dementia among people over 75 who regularly danced during leisure time. But what was so surprising about the report is that other types of physical exercise didn’t affect dementia risk — dancing was the only physical activity that made a difference.

    "Other studies have shown music plays an important role in depression. Dance therapy has been used to relieve anxiety about taking tests, and researchers are studying the tango to help patients with Parkinson’s. Dance therapy has been shown to improve the quality of life for breast cancer patients as well."

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  25. While I respect RWB for coming here to defend and present his beliefs, I do not think that his attempts at guilt and manipulation (and ignoring Biblical proof texts) are Biblical. This is not Christ's approach. I think that many of you have seen through these tactics long ago. I have been very slow at seeing them for what they are. Especially for women- we want to please, to fix, to bring people together. Sometimes it's not possible and we need to walk away. There's nothing wrong with that. We have not left our faith, we have left a particular belief system that is in error, and perhaps even pathological. I'm still in an LLL church, but I have alternatives and support both within and outside of the church, and I'm glad.

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  26. (ps: I don't think RWB realizes where he is at, but I hope that some day he does realize it, and it will be for the better.)

    James 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well.

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  27. RWB said:You have what I believe is a misguided perception of what we teach and believe. It is almost always based on the actions of church members and not on what we teach and believe. We are faulty sinners and often need foregiveness for sins. This is Christianity in its simplest form.

    NOPE! No misguided perception here. We lived it, we grew up in it. We know the doctrines taught. Our aim isn't to bash you, its to bring the truth out into the open and be a support to one another who have gone through the same thing.

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  28. Troll here.

    To RWB and narrow path:

    What did Christ mean when he said:

    "In my Father's house are many
    mansions:"

    St John 14-2

    To all others:
    What do you think?

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  29. RWB here...

    I see I'm making progress here...even got free to throw in some odd commentary...odd to me because it's so far above me.

    I've thought of this before...maybe even commented on it. In my experience outside of this website and within this website I have noticed that those who leave are primarily women. Why does gender play such a large role in this I wonder? Just an interesting thought to ponder for me....I already know what the responses, if any, will be.

    As for Norah's comments: I know where I'm at and hope and pray that I can continue to stay on that road. I am very firm in my faith and beliefs. I won't become better on my way in a natural sense...but through faith good works will flow. Not to pick on you...but you seem to be on fence about where you stand church-wise?...I'm not saying I know where you stand faith-wise. I really don't know what is taught in the Laestadian Lutheran churches....like the OALC I know what the perception of non-members is. Are you not finding your way there?

    Lastly...the most common misguided perception is this:

    That the OALC teaches and preaches that only members of the OALC go to heaven....THIS just simply is NOT TRUE. I haven't heard it preached or taught that way ever. Some members may say that....but that is their own misguided perception. We believe we have the truth of the doctrine in the two-edged word of God...something I don't know that you will find preached and taught with the light and power with which it is in this church....not saying it doesn't or can't happen anywhere else. So, yes in this I think there is a misguided perception. There are many others, but this is a major one.

    RWB

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  30. RWB, I belong not to the LLC but to the ALC. On the fence church-wise - I'm not sure what you mean by that but I will say that there is a wide variety in the ALC, and there are some who believe as you do, that there is only one right church. I don't agree.

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  31. I need to clarify - you have said that you do not believe that only OALC go to heaven. But if that is true, then why is there an issue at all. It shouldn't matter what those who left say, or where they worship.

    About those who post here being women.. women are often more spiritually sensitive to false teaching, to finding truth. God has gifted us that way :-).

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  32. RWB said: We believe we have the truth of the doctrine in the two-edged word of God...something I don't know that you will find preached and taught with the light and power with which it is in this church....not saying it doesn't or can't happen anywhere else.

    You should explain this belief more thoroughly. You state it almost exactly same the way LLCers would state it. When pressed you'd go on further to explain that whatever church out there that you do not know about, that has the Holy Spirit, would have some ancient connection to the OALC and would basically be a carbon copy of the OALC; no TV, teetotaling, etc. This church, like the OALC, would have lasted through millennia after Christ's time by preaching the gospel of forgiveness of sins from one believer to the next through the generations.

    So in short your saying some ancient offshoot of OALC, severed by distance and time from the believers you know today, may preach the gospel of the two edge sword and possess the Holy Spirit.

    Which means that you believe that only the OALC believers are true believers with the exception of the %0.000001 chance that these other "believers" may exist.

    This side stepping ruse that LLLers use to say there may be others that are saved is ridiculous and shows how unbiblical they really are. I think they say it because they are subconsciously aware, or embarrassed of, the extreme self righteousness of their beliefs and this is a face saving explanation. When asked to explain in more detail, they get very vague or change the subject.

    If this is not how the OALC would explain the existence of others who are saved, I'll stand corrected.

    I'm not getting my hopes up.

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  33. Norah, Amen, Sister!!

    RWB, I'm wondering what planet you're on, and I'm beginning to suspect you are not true OALC. We were MOST DEFINITELY taught that the OALC was the only way to heaven. It was, and as far as I know still is, considered the One True Church by its members. We may have been uncomfortable with some of the teachings, we may have railed against what we were told to do/not do, but we went along with it because that was the way to Be Saved. The Only Way, period.

    I can't imagine where you come off saying the OALC doesn't teach this. Talk about speaking The Truth! Whew! And here I was getting all warm and fuzzy about you after my last snit. I know you believe what you must because where would you be without all those certainties? It's scary out there!

    SISU

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  34. LLLreader sez: I am going to call Bud and ask him if I am saved even though I don't believe that I need to go to the OALC for salvation. I will tell him I read the Bible, pray, and attend a Methodist church. I will ask him if he thinks my journey with the Lord is sufficient for salvation.

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  35. Hey-

    Did anybody read the editorial in the Reflector about the teenage OALCers? It was very critical of them about littering cigarette butts and hanging out in parking lots, being rude, etc... Very funny editorial. I think the writer speaks for a large number of us worldlies in Clark County. No doubt after this editorial, it will be a sin to hang out at Fred Meyers. Gotta check it out.

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  36. RWB, I've been in a benevolent mood lately and have just been idly reading and letting everyone else say what needed to be said, as unusual as that seems. I have even defended you in the past and stated that I was glad you participated and presented your views in a reasoned and calm manner, but lately things just seem to be turning shrill and the reason seems to be on sabbatical.

    What prompted this post was your repeated statement "That the OALC teaches and preaches that only members of the OALC go to heaven....THIS just simply is NOT TRUE. I haven't heard it preached or taught that way ever."

    Sorry, Charlie. I've said it before and the story does not change. I was in the OALC until I was 40 years old. With my own ears -- no third parties here -- I heard lots of non-OALCer's -- Roman Catholics in particular -- condemned to hell straight from the preacher's mouth while on the altar. That same "preacher" also condemned my Mother's entire family (good, staunch IALCers from just down the road) to hell from the same altar. Now you can pick nits if you wish and say that he did not exactly say that nobody else could be saved, but he certainly made it clear he knew who wouldn't be saved. He pretty much worked over the Baptists, UCCers, and anyone else he could think of as well on occasion, probably to prove he was an equal opportunity offender.

    Now before you get on a high horse and say he was a poor uninformed sinner or some such garbage, remember this: The rest of that congregation sat there and nodded their heads -- even when it was their own spouse that was being condemned! I could name at least five families in that situation. When the entire congregation sits silent, they are giving tacit approval. Of course, they were well trained that you never question a preacher because he only speaks "that which God gives". I refuse to believe that God gave him those words. I do believe they were a part and parcel of his own prejudices and fears.

    By the way, I would like to make it clear that I am also a bonafide, card carrying male, and I know a lot of other men who have also left.

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  37. Well, the LLC definitely believes that anyone who leaves the church ("gives up their faith") is going to hell. Period.

    If you're "lucky" enough to attend an LLC funeral and you aren't part of the church, you will quickly find out what they think.

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  38. You dont need to call me because I will tell you right now that if you dont go to my church you cant cross the bridgeless river with those wings of faith. I will proclaim right now that youth are never to go to Starbucks and Fred Meyers again to hang out. We will unlock the gates to our church so they can mingle there. Can you forgive me for being on the internet?

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  39. LLLreader sez: Well, thanks Bud for clearing up the salvation question. I will forgive you for being on the internet (although it's not for me to forgive). I will have a hard time forgiving you for thinking you are above other men. I imagine it is difficult for a person in your position to remember that you are no more important in the eyes of the Lord then other men, or women. You are no more powerful, and no more valuable in God's eyes then I am. My salvation is not for you to judge. I will pray for you, and I will pray that you get your ego under control. I thank God that I know better then to be afraid of a man like you

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  40. Free,
    I've enjoyed the videos very much. I listened to the stroke-victim twice and watched the dancing several times. They are both excellent and thank you for sharing them with us. There is something child-like and egoless about the dancers. Matt's message comes through, loud and clear.
    SISU

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  41. I can definitely think of more men who've left than women although my view may not represent the big picture. I've always minded my own business so I wouldn't know much beyond my local area, the little I know about that.

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  42. RWB, that's great news that the OALC is no longer preaching that 99.9999999999999999% of creation aka worldlies are goin' ter hail. Maybe the next step is to stop using "Christian" for OALCers and "worldly" for everyone else? Just a thought.

    I couldn't find the Reflector article, but I googled "parking lot and old apostolic" and got this interesting bit from Matt Perkins' Northwest Anglican blog:
    They are usually called just “Apostolics” but two other, probably more popular names, are used. These are “bunhead” or “bunner.” The reason for this name is that most of the Old Apostolic women wear their hair in buns. I find the name “bunhead” to be too derogatory sounding but I am good friends with an ex-Apostolic who doesn’t see any problem with the term, at least when used by those who are or have been in an Apostolic Lutheran church. Other attributes of Apostolics are that they tend to have very large families, often of at least ten children and when they greet each other they say, “God’s peace.” Some of the funnier cultural characteristics of Apostolic Lutherans are that they tend to drink a lot of mountain dew, which in Battle Ground is also known as “bunner-beer” and many of the Apostolic young people have been known to wear almost exclusively quiksilver brand clothing. In Battle Ground the Apostolic young people are also known for hanging out in large numbers in the Fred Meyer's parking lot.

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  43. Does anyone have the copy or a link to the Reflecter piece? I would love to read it for chuckles.

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  44. rwb: It must be difficult to respond to all of us at once, we must seem like so many coming at you all at once from all sides... I appreciate that you keep trying; but can we stick to biblical discussions rather than pouting, name calling and trying to invalidate others' experiences?

    To me, Cherry Picking means taking one line of scripture to support a particular position; BUT that one line of scripture, when read in the entire context of the verse or chapter, gives a meaning different than the one it was used to support. (AKA your use of Amos 6 above.) I posted the entire verse so that we could discuss it, yet you wont respond... except with pouting about having your words "twisted"

    You said "hp3 says...."Some of us here use the bible and the Holy Spirit to define what is sin, instead of mortal men." So this means that there is no place for preachers and teachers? Is sin different for you than it is for everyone else? Why not just use MTH's approach and say "who needs the Bible" and just go straight to God?"

    I did not say there is no place for preachers and teachers; I said I do not use them to DEFINE what is sin. A teacher should teach you what they know or believe and trust that you will allow the Holy Spirit to work in your heart what needs to be there. So where I find Luther or Leastadius (and many others) interesting, I have no desire to quote them or base my life on thier words. The word of God does not change, but the words of God are also a lot more vague than previous teachers observations about the people and needs of thier times, or someones culteral list of "do" and "dont".

    And yes sin can be different for you than for others because we all struggle with different issues. When the bible says "be not angry"... well what makes me angry is different than what makes you angry.

    And yes the bible does say we can go strait to God :) MTH you will have to help me with the references on that one, please.

    The bible was meant to record history and be a guideline, not a set of strict A-B-C rules to live or go to hell by. There is room for each of us to listen to the Holy Spirit and grow. (read John 14:15 where Jesus promises the Holy Spirit will come dwell in us) Although some find it mind-numbingly easier to simply follow a bunch of rules -its so cut and dry, do and dont... But also read Gallations as Paul preaches that Jesus came to set us FREE, and he condemns the people for falling into the trap of listing rules to define christianity...

    Oh rwb, you caught me with my obvious and great many doubts... you just greatly misunderstand WHAT I am doubting. You see, I finally understand that doubting a man's version of truth is not actually doubting the truth itself, after all. I pray you will one day know that peace, and not be so afraid of doubts.

    Please read the bible verses I have quoted or mentioned, and come back to discuss them. I would greatly appreciate and respect a conversation about these.

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  45. Troll:

    I find the John 14:2 very interesting. Usually there is more in a text to help explain, but that seems to be just one sentence by itself. Are there other scriptures that address this subject in any way?

    In our culture, a house is smaller than a mansion, so it would seem proportionately correct to say it the other way around... some versions say "in my fathers house there are many rooms" Anyone know Hebrew ;p

    Either way, Jesus seems to be implying there will be plenty of room for whomever wants to join him. A big house with lots of room, lots of mansions, whatever. No need to limit His love or his room for those he will come back for, those that know the (his) way.

    He also says we know the way to the place he is going, but he will come back for us. Cant we go there ourselves? Without him? Nope! We need Jesus to bring us there... Knowing isnt enough, we still have to follow Jesus too...

    What do you think?

    (The beauty of Gods word, and the Holy Spirit. How else could His words have so many possible meanings, depending on the readers personal experiences, geographical location etc... God knew he wanted to reach everyone, everywhere, every time of history and future. Not be defined by one culture or one interpretation)

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  46. It could also mean that when we think we know the boundries of a "house" or what we think is Gods love, we can go inside the house, or into Gods love and find "many mansions" More rooms in the house than should possibly fit, or more love than we can imagine fitting.

    The more we learn about Gods love, walking into a house and through its rooms, or mansions, we will find it just keeps getting bigger, unfolding into another mansion of love for us. More depth and room than we can imagine.

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  47. Hey what did the christians do for the 400 or so years after Christ died, but there was no bible in print? Heck, what did the followers of Christ do after he saved them and went on to the next town? What about the people who couldnt read? Or the periods of history when the leaders wouldnt distribute bibles? Were there no real christians? Whatever did they do? Were none of them saved? Was a heart, mind and soul thirsting after Christ and a dedication to give all to Him, not enough?

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  48. RWB here...

    CVOW, I can't say you didn't hear what you said you heard...been through this already...I can say I believe that is what YOU heard or read into what was said...we could go back and forth on that all day..you KNOW what YOU heard...I KNOW what I have NEVER heard...at that, my friend, is no garbage...

    Question: Where in the Catechism (OALC) does it say that the OALC is the exclusive Church?

    Now the Catholic Catechism comes right out and says: "The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it. . . . This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in (subsistit in) the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him."

    The only other church the RC gives any real cred to is the Orthodox church based on Apostolic Succession, which the above references. As if there is any salvation in that alone. The rest of the churches are not even admitted as "churches" because of this supposed lack of succession.

    The RC catechism also says: "For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ..."

    Prior the Vatican II the RC church came right out and said straight up non-Catholics would go to Hell...Vatican II softened things a little...then Pope Benedict straightened everybody out last year and hardened Vatican II up a little to basically say what was said prior to Vatican II.

    The whole basis of the RC church is wrong in saying that Peter was the first Pope and that there is some primacy in that position or that he is the Vicar of Christ is blasphemy by it very definition. The Vicar of Christ is the Holy Spirit...not man in the form of a pope, preacher, or minister. Now I'm not passing judgement on the RC church here... there are many Christian teachings there....the great Reformer Martin Luther, and others before him (Hus burned, Wycliffe-bones dug up and burned etc.) who the RC church suppressed or killed who tried to do the same, said as much. He only tried to reform the Church that had strayed so far from the truth that he felt something should be said. He even thought the Pope would agree with him. There was the chance for the RC church to reform...it didn't happen and still has not to this day.

    The reason I bring this up is simple: You, CVOW, have left the OALC, who you claim preaches exclusivism in a church-sense, to follow one that has been exactly that in the past (pre-Vatican II) and is once again by the words of the supposed Vicar of Christ (Pope Benedict). I don't understand that.

    Someone wrote in as if they were Bud (one of the preacher in the OALC). Probably LLLreader as he seems to have a propensity for extreme sarcasm (I do to, but try to keep it to minimum) and it fit right in with his posting. Anyway it saved a useless call to Bud...you wouldn't hear what he would say...you would hear what you want to hear. Regardless of who dun it...it really shows that the nature of this site is not anywhere near a factual discussion about our church or Laestadius in general, like has been stated.

    FREE; questions for you or any of you others on your slippery slope: In your mind: Who are Christians? Who are worldlies? Who are non-Christians? Is there salvation in non-Christian faiths?

    RWB

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  49. In this other church(s) that may be saved would:

    The men wear ties?
    The women cut their hair short?
    People have a glass of wine with dinner?
    People have televisions?
    People play instruments?

    Enough of the two edge sword, what traits would a non OALC believer possessed by the Holy Spirit have?

    After all, you say they could be out there. What would they be like?

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  50. It seems to be a commom response by OALC'ers...that when questioned about their OALC doctrine, they turn the tables and start ripping on the RC church???

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  51. RWB: "OUR slippery slope?" Judge, judge, judge: can't help it, can you? No surprise to us ex'es.
    I think (know) we are ALL children of God . . . and I frankly don't make so much of this "salvation" business. If we focus on loving, we forget about having to be "saved," which can be a much more self-centered proposition. . . to say nothing of fear-driven. Even tho we have come from the same culture, we "speak different languages," my friend.
    A huge chasm exists between thee and me, and I can't imagine how that could possibly be bridged . . . and wonder if there is any reason it should. Many blessings to you. Many Trails Home

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  52. I dont think anyone should be impersonating anyone else... preacher or not. We have our anonimity, and it can be used to freely express our innermost selves, but not pretend to be something or someone we're not.

    rwb
    How can you say we will only hear what we want to hear? How many ways to you know to condemn someone? Is "slippery slope" one of those ways of saying it without directly saying it? How can you be so presumptious when you also claim to not feel your faith has the exclusive right to salvation? Why dont you answer your own questions about who is a Christian and who is not? You cant claim to not be the judge and call us slippery slopes out of the same mouth.

    We are trying to have a factual, positive discussion here, but that would require accepting others experiences as valid, not trying to discredit, invalidate or put them down. Christ says the fruits of being in him are love. We should be able to focus on where we want to be and go, what we have in common, not tear each other apart for the perceived differences and arrogances.

    Why wont you discuss the bible and the verses presented here, on this thread about dancing? Why wont you discuss the topic on hand and answer questions when the discussion progresses past stating our initial views?

    Why do you instead quote rc literature and put down cvows choices?

    Are we trying to understand each other or convince each other?

    You are getting quite tiring...

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  53. the rc response doesnt seem to even fit the flow of the conversation...
    "so what do you think about dancing and what the bible says?"
    Well I think the rc chruch is bad because xxxxxx and you went from the frying pan into the fire.
    "What??"
    Its taking a question and turning the answer into an unrelated, personal attack. its avoiding the issue and still not answering or discussing...

    have you personally experienced all those things you qutoed? If not, its taking a book and defining someone by it. big mistake. we are not defining oalc by a book by luther or leasdadius but by our experiences. how cracker box are you? you claim not to be and are angry we are describing our experiences, yet you feel free to do the same but worse because its not even personal with you.

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  54. Here is the Reflector letter to the editor.

    Titled: Maybe teens should hang out in church parking lot


    In the letter to the editor, Ms. Jennifer Bohn of Battle Ground is right, we do not owe teens a place to "hang out," and be disruptive.
    These teens are like a lot of kids. Their behavior is not unusual. They want to be together and socialize. That`s a good thing. The problem is that not all, but some of them throw their Starbucks cups, soda bottles, Quizno`s and Jack-in-the-Box fast food wrappers, their countless cigarette butts, and blobs of slimy chew on the ground between the Fred Meyer store and the Starbucks. Until the people are told this is wrong and not acceptable, they will continue doing what they`re doing.
    Many of them are discourteous to shoppers wishing to drive through the parking lot to go shopping. Now that more and more of your readers are fed up and speaking up, perhaps the management at the Fred Meyer and surrounding stores will understand the shopping public has a choice of where they spend or don`t spend their money.
    The problem will either be corrected quickly, or many of us that don`t want the hassle or disruption, will simply turn the other cheek and take our dollars to shop elsewhere. Have you noticed how nice the Safeway is since the remodel? There`s even a Starbucks inside.
    I do have a suggestion of where the teens can "hang out." How about the Apostolic Lutheran Church south of town by the Cedars golf course? Their sign reads, "Everyone Welcome." Wonderful and neighborly. Now, all the church needs to do is take the padlock off the gate and let the teens hang out there, and throw cigarette butts, fast food wrappers, soda bottles, and Starbucks cups on the ground.
    Many of the teens already know where that church is. I know where it is because I`ve driven there, and taken the time to speak with some of the church`s elders about this issue. By the way, with no resolution or commitment from them. I suspect the gate to their parking lot is locked to keep teens out. That is odd. I`ve never seen another church that has a gated and locked parking lot. I`m puzzled.
    Or maybe those of us bothered by the discourteous teens can stop, smile, shake hands, park next to them and "hang out." We could play our car stereos loud, and socialize with them. We could talk about local, nation, international politics, or just smile and be with them. That would drive any normal teenager to find another place to gather.
    Maybe Mr. Monty Center of Amboy could do as Ms. Bohn suggested, and invite the teens over to his place. It`s a win-win for everyone.
    And they lived happily ever after. God bless us, everyone.

    Michael Mitchell
    Battle Ground, WA

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  55. Here is a piece of irony. It is my understanding that nobody is allowed to smoke cigarettes on church property! I guess they want worldlies to clean up their mess huh? You cant even make up stuff this bizarre.

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  56. RWB, even if we could know, why would we WANT to know who is "truly Christian"? Are we not asked to treat everybody with compassion? What did Jesus model but love for all, regardless of how they were labelled?

    As for the parking lot problem in BG, I feel bad for all the innocent, considerate OALC teens who will no doubt be teased about this.

    For the others, it seems like community service would be an appropriate penalty. Littering or loitering should result in workhours on a cleanup crew, or reading books to the elderly, or peeling potatoes in a soup kitchen.

    Like other churches do for mission work.

    This also presents an opportunity for OALC leadership to provide something for these kids to do. How about some basketball hoops in the church parking lot? Or a construction project? Idle hands are the devil's workshop, I've heard.

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  57. My answers to RWB's questions to all of us on the "slippery slope":

    "Who are Christians?"

    I consider anyone who say they believe in God as their Creator and in Christ as the incarnate God and their Savior to be Christians. It is probable that all of those people are not really Christians in the narrow sense of the word, being united with Christ and participants in the salvation, but it's best not to make any guesses about that because in the end only God knows.

    Christ founded a Church on earth to be the vessel of salvation, and I believe that Church can be found at least in the Orthodox church. It's always been there since the time of the apostles, going through a gradual evolution and maturing in the light of the Holy Spirit. But I also believe it is possible to be united with this Church through an invisible bind, without a visible unity, and thus to be a Christian also in the narrower sense of the word even without visibly being a member of the Orthodox church. And I also believe God is omnipotent and merciful, and can save anyone he wants. I also think some churches, most of all the Catholic church and the Oriental Orthodox churches, but possibly also the Episcopalian/Anglican and the Lutheran church, or parts of them, have some rights to claim a similar perpetual existence since the time of the apostles, but I don't know what that really would mean in practice.

    "Who are worldlies?"

    I've tried to eliminate that word from my vocabulary because of its judgmental nature. I don't think there's much need to divide people into two categories, the ones who will be saved and the ones who won't, because we are all part of the same humankind and should consider each other brothers and sisters and not aliens irrespectice of the final destiny of each individual. There are of course people who openly say they don't have any faith, and if they say that we have to believe that, but it shouldn't change the way we treat them. There are also people who say they are Christians and live a life that is destructive and detrimental to their call to live in unity with Christ and to grow in the likeness and image of God. Everyone should mind their own business and concentrate on their own sins and faults, but in the meantime they should also try to keep up the truth and try to enlighten people who have a destructive life style. But when the question is about people who say they are Christians, even a perceived destructive "non-Christian" life style is not a sufficient reason to consider them "worldlies". Some sins may be serious enough to totally cut one off from Christ and his Church, but in the end only God himself knows who's been cut off and who's not.

    "Who are non-Christians?"

    Non-Christians are those who don't believe in Christ as their incarnate God and Savior.

    "Is there salvation in non-Christian faiths?"

    All religions and faiths have something good and carry some traces of the divine truth, but we don't have any proof or promise that it is possible to be saved through them. God is omnipotent and merciful, and anyone possessing a true love hopes that in the end God will save everyone, Christians and non-Christians, believers and non-believers alike. We don't have any proof or promise that he will do that, actually quite the contrary, but we can still pray and hope, and most of all, we should always remember we will never know for sure whose names will be found in the book of life until it's opened.

    Hibernatus

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  58. RWB here...

    First off...I would like to thank Hibernatus (see my slippery slope comments at the end of this post) for giving a clear concise answer and being a calm voice of reason....sometimes I am not always able to do this when bombarded from every side with all sorts of questions, comments, and complaints. I suppress many angry thoughts and retorts and have had to hit the backspace key many times in my postings here...there are probably others in which I should have and did not. I don't intend any harm...this is a hard place to come to for me...many of you may not believe that or understand why. At the same time I feel compelled to be a voice of balance for what I see (I know many of you don't) as the truth.

    hp3 doesn't seem to have been satisfied with my first answer to the question/topic about dancing/music and claims I went off topic....check back...I answered the question as best I could right off the bat...the second post in was what got this subject off track....I also responded to that...Almost every subject here gets off track when there are more posts and posters...it is just the nature of these things I guess.

    I think the real issue here is the fact that the OALC actually comes out and says some things are wrong without any obvious Bible support...is that it? Are we not "allowed" to say something is wrong or a place to be careful because the Bible doesn't come right out and say it? The dancing, music, ties or no ties, wine with dinner, televisions, internet, organized sports, or whatever it might be...needs to be put to the question...is this really needful and necessary for my salvation?...do I really need to do these things? If the most important thing in my/your life is maintaining and preserving peace of conscience and faith, do I/you really need to do these things? Many things of this world are very drawing to me...I just feel like so many of them are not necessary and in some cases harmful to that work of God in me. As each year goes by more swiftly than the last I realize more and more that our time here is nothing compared to the eternity of Heaven or Hell and so many of these earthly or worldly pleasures are not necessary; and may even prevent me from reaching that Heavenly goal.

    As far as my RC church comments go: I knew they were off the current topic, and I stated EXACTLY why I made them. However, they are not off the topic of the larger questions posed by this website in a beat-around-the-bush sorta way. "Why (insert name here) left the OALC?"..and.."What faults of the OALC or it members can we point to as justification for leaving?"

    I said..."FREE; questions for you or any of you others on your slippery slope: In your mind: Who are Christians? Who are worldlies? Who are non-Christians? Is there salvation in non-Christian faiths?"

    The slippery slope is not a condemnation of anybody, but it is this: When you begin to question what is right and wrong or what is christian or un-christian it would seem this would lead you on a never ending journey. Who determines what is right and wrong? Is right and wrong the same for everybody? Who is christian or non-christian? Not everything is spelled right out in the Bible. Where do the questions end? When you find your peace? Sooner or later (I believe) you will arrive at a place or question that you don't know or really want to know the answer to. Nor is the place or question and the answer to it going to be of benefit to you and your salvation. This is what I mean by a slippery slope. Questions anyone?

    RWB

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  59. To RWB--I wasn't going to respond to you anymore, but just need to say I didn't write the "BUD" post. I did write a response to the post thinking that just maybe it could be him. I wonder if it could be possible that he would feel the need to check out what is being said here? It's so interesting to me to hear how differently we interpret what is being said. I don't think my posts over the years have tended to be sarcastic--often I have tended to be conciliatory if anything. I have often said that if the OALC brings one closer to God and satisfies a person's spiritual need, then I certainly have no arguement with that. As Hibernatus said (he writes so beautifully) all churches have something good. For me, the OALC hindered my walk with God. I found peace with the Lord after I left.

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  60. Above post from LLLreader

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  61. rwb:
    No, I dont feel you address the issue of the bible verses quoted after they were quoted. But I cannot prevent you from side stepping the issue nor force you to discuss the bible. If you have nothing further to say, then you dont.

    You stated your ideas about right/wrong and the "list" quite clearly, as they seem to apply to you. The problem is that the preachers have applied that list to an entire church of individuals. This cannot be done successfully, as what hinders someone from being closer to God is different for different people. As I stated before, what makes me angry will be different than what makes you angry. I cant make my sin your sin, anymore than you can make your sin mine.

    Having a "list" to follow does not make us examine ourselves to find out our strengths and weaknesses; we 'know' we are weak because we are drawn to the things the preachers tell us not to do, but to have to really think about what is taking us away from God, without a list, -now that is soul searching! And then we are getting to know ourselves as the wonderful, unique yet in his image, person he created us to be.

    I dont believe questioning is a slippery slope at all. Where in the bible does it say anything along those lines?

    That sounds like a tactic to keep you in line... God is not so fragile that he will fall apart under scrutiny. When Paul is preaching he says "examine the word of God so that you will know every word I speak is true" He encourages the people to check what he says with the word of God and if they find anything different they are to question him about it. (exactly opposite my experiences in the oalc) That doesnt sound like a slippery slope to me, but a solid rock I can place my faith in.

    As far as the "accept faith like a little child" -how many children do you know that are not so full questions that they drive you crazy? They want to know how everything works and why is the sky blue and who made it so? Sure they have to eventually believe you, and they are not questioning YOU and YOUR answers, but they need to know how everythign is put together and what makes it tick just so. And if they're not satisfied with what you know, as you cant know everything, well then its off to the library, doctor, science museum or the park for some hands on learning and we can all learn more together. Its natural and normal! and good!

    As far as everything not being in the bible, your right. But the bible says we are not to add or take away from it, so if something is not in the bible, dont go making up rules about it! Leave it to God and trust Him to take care of it! Or pray and do what the Holy Spirit tells you is right for you... if you feel having a glass of wine with dinner, wearing a tie, or growing a goutee prevents you from being close to God, then by all means, dont do it! but dont make it a church rule and apply it to 3000+ people. That is clearly a sinful adding to God's words. And dont condemn someone to hell who does have a glass, wear a tie, or have some facial hair; dont call them an alcoholic, or speak to them in private about their 'poor example, worldly ways' and thier 'road to hell one step at a time'

    So even though every single issue (ties, types of music, dress codes etc) are not addressed in the bible, the issues that really matter are -making sure your walking close with God, and a church should be founded on the principals that really matter as stated in the bible, and nothing else.

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  62. ANd just for clarification, because Ive had this discussion numerous times before, and I know what your preachers tell you (and what they told me)...

    I do not have a problem with having things I should and should not do. I am NOT looking for freedom or justification to do whatever I want. I do have a problem with the 'things to do and not do list' being in addition to what is in the bible, and being told my salvation depends on how successfull I am at 'being' this list... most of which I probably would not have even thought about, because I was too busy learning how to be closer to God and walk as he wants me to walk. Then my focus was yanked back to my flesh and trying to control it in a way some man thought I should control it. I want my focus to be on Christ, not on me.

    So if something feels like it is hindering my 'walk with God' well then I pray about it and dont do it. But someone who doesnt even know me, my heart, my desires, or my weaknesses, etc, has no right to detail my life and walk. That is where teachers and preachers who DO know me can come into play; they can ADVISE me (not dictate and control me) When you have a church with a list of rules you take away from the Holy Spirit and you take the focus off Christ. Again, read Gallations.

    Havent you heard the good news? Jesus fullfilled the perfect law and set us free :)

    So you have considered 'the list' and found most of the items to be a hinderence to your faith should you partake of them. Good for you. Continue to focus on Christ and do only the things that bring you closer to him. I will do the same. And we would do well to encourage each other on our walk and towards our goal, rather than condemn each other for not doing it 'our way' LIke I said before, focus on the bible and the thigns we have in common, rather than our unbiblical differences, and I think you will find we are indeed brothers and sisters in Christ.

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  63. Great summary hp3...

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  64. LLLreader sez: Good on you hp3!! You say it so well. It seems so difficult to get that message across--we aren't condeming anyone for the way they choose to worship--and we just want the same understanding and respect. Trying to understand each other is the goal. Almost impossible to get someone like rwb to acknowledge that the Holy Spirit speaks to each of us differently. There is a line in one of LLL's writings, that I have mentioned before, about how the sorrowless ones crowd right up to the Lord "as if he were their friend", while the sorrowful ones hang back. To me, I hear the Lord saying "Come to me". To hang back appears to me to demonstrate a lack of trust in God's love for me. I can't "hang back" and wait for someone to intercede for me. I don't believe I need another man to speak for me or to forgive me. I can't believe that is right. As the song says "Just as I am I come". I come alone to God and he is there for me--to bring me peace and certainty in my salvation through Jesus.

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  65. why did somebody take down the letter to the Reflector editor? Just curious.

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  66. It's still up there and you can also find it here at the Reflector site.

    It is difficult, though, to wade through all the comments here. Let's move to a new thread.

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  67. LLLreader: you're right... there is a different opinion about the role of the Holy Spirit; I hadnt thought of it so simply! So perhaps we should now bring out bible verses that explain the role of the Holy Spirit and we can discuss those. That would keep RWB from thinking we had all just defined our own theology ;)How about it, anyone up for that challange?

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  68. So are you saying that the Holy Spirit speaks to each of us individually on every matter? If so, what would be the need for churches, etc?

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  69. My personal view is that you don't need to belong to a church to have the holy spirit speak to you. Church membership is more for fellowship and outreach to the community.

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  70. I believe God doesn't want us to be alone in our faith. One pencil standing alone is easily broken, a bunch of pencils together are hard to break. I personally couldn't do it on my own, I need the fellowship of other believers for support and encouragement, and to learn to grow more spiritually on my walk.

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  71. Luther said something to the effect..."to find Christ you must first find his church or congregation". Of course Luther was "just a man" and he said a lot of things...in my mind he was right on with this one.

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  72. Has anyone heard of the Alpha Course being taught in many churches in the US and around the country. Any insight on it? I have read good and bad reports about it.

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  73. RWB here...

    Luther said: “Therefore he who would find Christ must first find the Church. How should we know where Christ and His faith were, if we did not know where His believers are? And He who would know anything of Christ must not trust himself nor build a bridge to heaven by his own reason; but he must go to the Church, attend and ask her. Now the Church is not wood and stone, but the company of believing people; one must hold to them, and see how they believe, live and teach; they surely have Christ in their midst. For outside of the Christian church there is no truth, no Christ, no salvation.”

    RWB

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  74. Luther also said:
    “In brief, dear princes and lords, those of you who have Jews under your rule– if my counsel does not please your, find better advice, so that you and we all can be rid of the unbearable, devilish burden of the Jews, lest we become guilty sharers before God in the lies, blasphemy, the defamation, and the curses which the mad Jews indulge in so freely and wantonly against the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, this dear mother, all Christians, all authority, and ourselves. Do not grant them protection, safe-conduct, or communion with us.”

    “First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss sulfur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hellfire…Second, that all their books, their prayer books, their Talmudic writings, also the entire Bible, be taken from them, not leaving them one leaf, and that these be preserved for those who may be converted…Third, that they be forbidden on pain of death to praise God, to give thanks, to pray, and to teach publicly among us and in our country…Fourth, that they be forbidden to utter the name of God within our hearing. For we cannot with a good conscience listen to this or tolerate it…”

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  75. The Alpha course was started in Great Britain by the Church of England (Anglicans) perhaps a dozen years ago. The C of E had noticed their attendance numbers were dropping alarmingly -- a not uncommon phenomenon in the UK where many people profess membership in a church but rarely if ever attend.

    Anyway...the program was designed to reach out to the completely "unchurched" individual, someone who knew nothing or very little of God, Christ, or anything else regarding what let's call "religion".

    An invitation is put out to people in this situation who want to learn more, to come to a series of meetings to explore and learn some of the basic beliefs of Christianity. Note that this program is not intended to be denominational, and very specifically does not present any particular church's dogma, other than it is a Christian program. It teaches about the concept of God, and the basic Christian beliefs. Each meeting is centered around a simple meal, with the idea that it is through the breaking of bread that we find fellowship. A team is assembled who prepare the food, welcome the attendees, and teach and discuss the material. At the end of the series -- which I seem to recall is ten meetings -- the person is invited to further explore a faith of their choosing, and are given guidance in where they can go to do that.

    While I was living in the UK, a group of three churches in our small village -- Church of England, Roman Catholic, and Methodist -- were exploring the possibility of conducting a joint Alpha program, and at the end of it, offer that anyone wishing to know more about one of these three faiths to attend the instructional program of their choice, or be told where they could go to learn about other faiths. I went through the training for conducting the program, but sadly we left England before the program could be implemented, and I don't know if it was successful in that village or not.

    The overall program was phenomenally successful in the UK, and church numbers not only slowed their decline in the C Of E in particular, but turned around and began to climb. Seeing that, the program was brought to the US initially by I believe the Episcopalians (I could be wrong about that but it was someone who had fairly close ties to the Anglicans.) From there it has spread to other sponsoring churches. I occasionally see a sign for a course but haven't explored getting involved in it.

    I haven't heard anything negative about it, and think it is a great way to evangelize and introduce people to Christianity.

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  76. After posting my comment, I happened to think there has to be a wealth of information online about the Alpha course -- and of course there was. There is a good discussion of it on Wiki, at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpha_course.

    I met Nicky Gumbel when I was in England, and he was one of those people I am happy to have met because his ministry was clearly defined and lived.

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  77. With regard to the other topic here -- that of church membership -- I find that membership and attendance in a church is of great comfort to me. I think often of the passage about when two or three are gathered in Jesus' name, he is there in their midst.

    Do I pray when I'm by myself? Sure I do, and I am convinced God listens. I believe that sometimes when just sitting quietly and not consciously praying or thinking about anything, that is when God finds me -- perhaps the only time he's gotten my attention that day! "In the stillness of my heart" seems a cliche, but that's what it feels like to me, and where it often feels I am closest to God.

    That said, I find comfort in many of the old traditions of the church which serve to make me think and remember what those traditions represent. I find joy in the fellowship of fellow believers, and like to worship together with them. I find solace in the reminders of Christ's sacrifice. I find it easier for me -- as an easily distracted person -- to focus on my faith, if even for a little while.

    I find that if I do not attend church on a given Sunday, I realize afterward that many times I gave God no thought during the absence, especially if there is no particular troubling thing going on in my life at the moment.

    Church to me is definitely not a building. What it means to me is that I am a member of the "body of Christ", a tiny insignificant element of a great and wonderful thing. I believe that together we all share in that, whether we spit and fuss over details, whether we observe some old tradition or choose not to, and whether we sometimes stumble and fall. Perhaps others can walk the path alone -- and certainly we each do need to walk the way God has chosen for us -- but I am comforted to be in the company of my friends.

    Peace be with you all.

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  78. RWB here...

    I knew that somebody would bring up Luther thoughts on "The Jews and their Lies".

    Hmmmmm, a little cherry picking here maybe....

    First, Luther was just that..."a man"...a very brave one at that. He was not an infallible God. Second, according to the various accounts of this that I have read, Luther wrote this in 1543 toward the end of his life. In this period he had many illnesses and was in and out of poor health...the stress and strain on the man had taken a heavy toll. He complained of many different maladies....some of which he knew affected his mind. He also wrote some very disparaging things about the Peasants.

    Surely this doesn't take away anything from the many, many volumes he wrote and the sermons he spoke with a living and loving voice. When reading what he wrote one has to marvel at God's great power to work in man.

    For all the adversity and opposition he faced he stood up and said what had to be said because it came from God. He put his name to that work of God in him and was willing to lose his life for it....he did not lose his life...God protected him...he gave his life.

    RWB

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  79. Thanks cvow for your information on Alpha. The negative I read about Alpha was in www.deceptioninthechurch.com/alpha.html

    I googled Alpha and found it there. Obviously there will be criticism about anything, just wondering about this one?

    I'm trying to figure out what exactly they are implying, that Alpha is not Christian? And who wrote it? Maybe it was a Mormon, who knows?

    I was thinking about attending an Alpha course and wanted to know more about it.

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  80. Hmmmmm... I was kind of hoping for a conversation using the things we have in common, like the bible and Christ, rather than once again the futile disagreements over Luther's credibility or interpretations of his works... that just leads us back to the age old debate over "which group is the one true group where Chrsist can be found" I will sit that one out, thank you.

    I will have to research the Alpha group, but it sounds to me that any group that can focus on teaching the bible and Christ and those basics are well ahead of the majority.

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  81. rwb: a lot of people gave thier lives for Christ, and only Christ -not Luther or Lestadeous.

    Does that mean we should build a religion around them? And read thier sermans at church? And spend more time discussing them than the bible and Christ' words?

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  82. I think I will err on the side of following the Word of God and not the word of Luther or Laestadius.

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  83. RWB here...

    Ok this does not have to be a discussion about Luther or any other specific person.

    So does this mean no matter what any preacher, teacher, minister, or pastor says is wrong or not-applicable to me if it goes against what I interpret as the correct meaning of any given Biblical passage or teaching of Christ?

    Would it out of place for a minister to speak about moral or social issues?

    If this is not defining ones own theology what is?

    hp3....I am asking a very relevant and tough question here....and relevant to both the Bible and the topic at hand in a general sense. So please don't choose to sit this one out.

    RWB

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  84. What a preacher has to say about a given biblical passage is to be taken into consideration, absolutely. I trust they will have taken the time to research and learn the history of the context of a given passage, the meanings of the original words as written in the original texts (not KJV) THen I will also trust that we have both prayed, individually and together, about the topic on hand. Then we can discuss the text, the real life application and any discrepencies we may have together. THere is no heiarchy of authority of one man over another.

    That is not defining one's own theology. That is accessing and combining our individual strengths, and unitedly seeking God's guidence through His written word and the Holy Spirit that He has promised to send to us, to be in us.

    We all have a responsibility in Christ to speak of moral and social issues..

    What did Christ say about the role of the Church? About the role of preachers and teachers? About a church membership? Those are the primary answers I am interested in knowing and discussing. I havent had time yet today to find these answers in the bible, but I will look and post what I find relevent. It would be nice if others can do that too.

    I dont understand that your questions are very relevent and tough... Im just not sure how to participate in a discussion about what Luther has to say... Once again, I am interested in what Christ had to say and discussing interpretations of his words, and how his words and life in him has effected our lives, how we have applied his words to our lives. That kind of stuff....

    What about the very relevent and tough questions I just asked above? Also, about what the bible has to say about questioning? and being a slippery slope or not? About the role of the Holy Spirit?

    Cvow and others, thank you for also participating in the discussion. I am at the point in my life that the only thing I can claim with certainty is that I will choose to follow Christ. I just dont really know exactly what that means as I am still praying and reading my bible to learn more. I do know that I am so sick of churches and people claiming they are the one right way to heaven, that all other roads lead to hell, yet they are all so different. I think in the end I want to start my "theology views" by saying "christ said..." instead of the ways I used to know of "the preachers say..." or "I believe..." unlesss also backed up with "...because Christ says..." and that, rwb, is where I believe my questining can finally end :)

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  85. I forgot to add in the beginning, that actually, I would like this discussion to be about one particular person: Christ. We all claim to be Christians above being a Luthern, Methodist, Quaker, Catholic etc, etc, etc. Those roles just seem to help define how we interpret what being a Christian means. But regardless of what role we have chosen, we should not forget that each of our roles is chosen with a joint purpose; to fulfill a higher calling of following Christ. It doesnt become us, nor glorify Christ, to argue about lesser things.

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  86. Have any of you read "The Shack"?

    I found an interesting concept: THat life in Christ means that Christ is IN you, which is different than 'setting aside time' for Christ. He is with us, and we are with him, all the time, which means Everythign we do should and will reflect Christ. THen we are enjoying a life of being with him, him being in us, and refelecting that. Sounds better than trying to "be" something all the time. Christ will define what that "being" is like, because he is in us... we dont have to try to accomplish it, just "be" in whatever life/culture/class/country we are born in, not try to conform to life as someone says it should look like. Sounds like letting my soul rest by still waters.... ahhhhhhh :)

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  87. Anon 4:12 - I agree with your assessment, not trying to "be" but what we "are" because of Christ in us. Effortlessly, trusting, day by day, no matter what comes our way. This is not always easy, but the answers often don't come from my own efforts, but by 'waiting on Him'.. it's a good place to be.

    Hp3, you do a good job of articulating the issues and questions, and I haven't read anything I can disagree with! :-). I'm not in a writing or thinking mood right now (seems God has other plans for me?) but will be reading with interest.

    Blessings and peace to all.

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  88. I like this devotion by Rick Warren about why we should be in the presence of other believers.

    Molded into Godly Character
    by Rick Warren

    Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:24 (NIV)

    As I mentioned yesterday, your character is essentially the sum of your habits; it is how you habitually act. The Bible says, “Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24 NIV).

    God uses his Word, people, and circumstances to mold us. All three are indispensable for character development. God’s Word provides the truth we need to grow, God’s people provide the support we need to grow, and circumstances provide the environment to practice Christlikeness.

    If you study and apply God’s Word, connect regularly with other believers, and learn to trust God in difficult circumstances, I guarantee you will become more like Jesus.

    Many people assume all that is needed for spiritual growth is Bible study and prayer. But some issues in life will never be changed by Bible study or prayer alone. God uses people. He usually prefers to work through people rather than perform miracles, so that we will depend on each other for fellowship. He wants us to grow together.

    In many religions, the people considered to be the most spiritually mature and holy are those who isolate themselves from others in mountaintop monasteries, uninfected by contact with other people.

    But this is a gross misunderstanding. Spiritual maturity is not a solitary, individual pursuit!

    You cannot grow to Christlikeness in isolation. You must be around other people and interact with them. You need to be a part of a church and community.

    Why? Because true spiritual maturity is all about learning to love like Jesus, and you can’t practice being like Jesus without being in relationship with other people.

    Remember, it’s all about love – loving God and loving others

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  89. I too feel the need to attend church. I too am comforted by my church friends. I need to be reminded regularly of Christ's sacrifices and our duties as Christians to love one another and to do God's work. I have often wondered how someone can remain steadfast in Christ and remain alone, separated from other believers. I don't mean to say one cannot do it, but for me I need the fellowship of my church friends as I struggle to be my best.
    I believe it was cvow who said he was easily distracted. I myself find it hard to focus on spiritual things when I have missed church and have not been in the company of friends and family who share my beliefs. Staying away from church does not work for me.

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  90. I also feel the need to be around others and attend church, for many reasons. I think I was trying to stick to biblical context, especially for RWB, so we could find common ground instead of focusing so much on our differences...

    I was reading Galalatians and found some reference to the law and faith, also the Holy Spirit and sin... not directly to the church topic (Im having a harder time tracking down that one) I also wont quote the entire passage but only because I dont want to quote the entire bible ;) Please feel free to read it in its entire context and discuss further...

    Galatians 3:2-5 "I would like to learn just one think from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing - if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?"

    Gal 3:19-25 and 4:1-7
    "What then is the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. THe law was put into effect trhough angels as a mediator. A mediator, however, does not represent just one party, but God is one.
    "Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, than righteousness would certainly have become the law. But the scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
    "Before faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law."

    Gal 5:4-6 "You who are trying to to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from Grace. But by faith we eagerly await through the spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."

    Romans 14:1-4 "Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgement on disputable matters. One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. THe man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everyting must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are ou to judge some else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand,f or the Lord is able to make him stand." It continues to state that what one does, he does for the Lord and for this reason Christ died. 10 "You then, why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's Judgement seat" 13 "There fore let us stop passing judgement on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obsticle in your brothers way." It continue on to say that if one considers something to be a sin, then it is for that one, but do not distress that sin over your brother or you are no longer acting in love... and what you do or not do should be done in love and faith...

    THere is more, but I dont want to be overwhelming, and Im afraid I already have... Do you have any thoughts on this before we continue on to the Holy Spirit?

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  91. Those are great verses. I haven't read the Romans 14 1-4 yet. I am reading the bible in a year (its taken longer than that so far) and I am actually just starting Romans!
    From what I have been taught in my church now is that the law is written in your heart. We follow GODS laws because we love him. We are not under mans laws. We are not under the law in the sense that we must do this or that to be saved, all we must do is believe and have faith. We are saved by grace. Where it gets sticky in the LLL churches is that the things they preach (ie: dancing, makeup, tv, sports, etc) are Gods laws and not mans laws. Those are definetely mans laws IMO. But they will preach that the Holy Spirit told them that those are sins. Well, what if the Holy Spirit is not telling ME that those are sins. So therefore I must be wrong according to them.
    I believe we have freedom to disagree on minor issues (not important) and still be in unity. Husbands and wives disagree all the time on issues, so does that mean they are not in unity, that they should get divorced.

    Also what is taught in my church is the the Holy Spirit speaks to each one of us. They preach that a specific bible verse does not have one specific meaning. One person could interpret it a different way than someone else and it doesn't mean one person has to be correct. Both can be correct. Who would we be to say that MY interpretation is the correct one, YOURS is wrong. Sounds like pride to me!

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  92. Yes pretzel, that seems to be a common "mainstream" idea, and I believe the same thing based on what Ive read in the bible.

    For example:
    Romans 10:2-3 "For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish thier own, they did not submit to God's righteousness."

    This reminds me also of the oalc congregation I grew up in, as I was taught that 'knowledge will not save you' There was great pride that the preachers were not 'educated' as were the 'worldly' preachers and this was used as a stepping stone for the idea that it wasnt all that important to read the bible. In fact, there was a group of people who tried to have a mid-week bible study and discuss the previous Sunday's serman by studying the verses read. There was inconsistancy found between the bible and the message given on Sunday; yet when questions were asked it became preached that it was a sin to 'tear apart the sermans' and study them on one's own.

    It also serves as a message to me today, in that I can be as zealous as my heart feels, but without proper knowledge of what to do with that 'emotion' I can be seriously misguided and do more harm than good. "Lord, please save me from your followers" is still a favorite quote of mine... too many atrocities have been commited in the name of Christ.

    5-13 "Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: 'The man who does these things will live by them.' But the righteousness that is by faith says: 'Do not say in in your heart 'Who will ascend into heaven?' or 'Who will decend into the deep?' But what does it say? 'The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming. That if you confess with your mouth "Jesus is Lord" and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justifed, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the scripture says "Anyone who trusts in hm will never be put to shame' For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile -the same is Lord for all and richly blesses all who call on him, for "everone who calls on the name of Lord will be saved"

    John 14:16-17 Jesus sais: "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever - the spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you"

    26 Jesus speaking to his deciples "But the counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

    Acts 2:1 "When the day of Pentacost came, they were all together in one place" and 2:4 "all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit" 2:15 "No, these men are not drunk as you suppose, No this is what was spoken by the porphet Joel: In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all the people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkenss and the mood to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

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  93. The common answer to my questions were, "Don't think with your carnal mind". For example when I would question the "rules" and why were were Gods only chosen people. I was in the LLC. I agree not to think with your carnal mind on certain things, but not the things I was questioning. God gave me a brain for a reason! An example of don't think with your carnal mind for me would be, "How in the world does God hear all of us people and know each and every one of us?" It just blows my mind! But then again he created man and nature, etc, so he's a genius. Wherever did he come from? Maybe I'll know when I get to heaven.
    I wonder what the response is to the bible verses you are quoting would be from RWB and other Laestadians. Can they not see that these verses contradict the teachings in the church? I guess I don't understand why they blow them off and quote different verses to support their agenda.

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  94. Im wondering the same thing, and I hope we hear from them... but there are so many churches that build thier entire religion on just a few select verses. Its sad they are missing so much!

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  95. An interesting quote from http://reallivepreacher.com/node/306

    "One word for those outside of the religious traditions of Christianity. You have things a little easier in that you have no scriptures to study. You simply think about what you might believe and choose what seems best to you. I don't resent the fact that I have to struggle with the Bible. It's a pleasure for me to do so. But struggle with it I must. It is the anchor that keeps us grounded. Each age must struggle with how to make the New Testament teachings work within its culture. So Christianity will vary from place to place and from one age to another, but Christians in 2008 struggle with the exact same scriptures that Christians in 1008 struggled with.

    "I would imagine that our struggle seems rather silly to you." - "I guess I'm asking you to be a little patient with us as we work with our traditional scriptures, using our traditional way of study. We call it exegesis - taking meaning out of the text - though in all honesty, no one can avoid reading our cultural beliefs into the text. Perhaps the most dangerous form of this is when we read the cultural norms and desires of the current Church into the text. The dance between our desire for exegesis and the unavoidable prejudices of our culture is itself a mysterious process. The process should teach us great humility, though it often leads to anger. That is heartbreaking to me."

    He has a current thread studying hell in the New Testament, and how Christians can be so certain to know who is or isnt going there etc. Its much more in depth than my one sentence, but seemed to flow nicely with the topic here on interpreting the bible and being so sure one way is the right way, so I thought I would share the link.

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