"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: 2009 Apostolic Lutheran Church Convention

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

2009 Apostolic Lutheran Church Convention

Based on some of the comments, I thought it would be useful to start this separate thread for discussion of all things related to the 2009 ALC Convention, currently underway in St. Cloud, MN.

Sounds like Norah and ex-falc will be attending the convention. I'd like to hear your impressions.

I'm also re-posting some information from A.L.:

ALC has an annual convention which is held in a different location each year. This year it will be in St. Cloud, MN, hosted by the Kingston, MN congregation.

Last year it was held in the Twin Cities (Plymouth Apostolic Lutheran and North Apostolic Lutheran Churches co-hosting). 2008 marked the 100th ALC annual convention. And I believe Minneapolis wanted to host because the first ALC convention was held in Minneapolis. (I may be wrong about this, but I think it is so.) The 2008 convention was held on the campus of Bethel University, St. Paul, MN. Numerous photos and other artifacts documented the history of the ALC, particulary the convention history.

Laestadian movement history was also represented. I seem to recall that they displayed the panels documenting the history of the Laestadian movement which were created by the LLC for the 200th anniversary of the birth of L. L. Laestadius in 2000. I believe this display traveled about the country during 2000 and perhaps after. It may be permanently housed at the Finnish American Heritage Center and Archives, Hancock, Michigan. I'm not absolutely certain about this.


  1. Hi Tomte, are you sure you want me to post? lol.. I feel like I monopolize these threads, but if people are interested I would be glad to post.. I think I talk too much though :-)

  2. Sure! I'd be especially interested in hearing your take on how conventions have changed or not changed over the years, what you get out of them, how they could be improved or if they should stay the same...that kind of thing!

  3. Norah--I don't think you talk too much...I'm also interesting in hearing what you think!!

  4. LLLreader agrees: Norah, your posts bring an even hand to this post. Type on Dear Lady!

  5. I don't want to offend anyone with my comment but I was asked if I was going to conventions. I replyed by saying that I am not AP anymore. I am a Christ follower, not a follower of Luther or any other man. I was met with a look of horror-but the walls need to come down and we need to realize being AP is not the only way and the act of attending the church will not save you. We are all the body of Christ. (I might be the big mouth part!)

  6. ex-falc says

    I am not a member of the ALC church either but am planning on going to the convention because I enjoy reconnecting with my heritage. And here is why...

    My husband is from Mexico and he thinks mexican food and customs he grew up with are better than the scandanavian food & customs I grew up with. He thinks swedish food has no flavor and their are not many swedish foods that I can think of that are hot and spicy, or even remotely similar to Swedish cousine. I miss some of the traditions I grew up around because my husband's culture overpowers mine.

    But, I don't attend an LLL on a regular basis. I can handle LLL doctrine every so often, but not every sunday!

    People from the LLL upbringing have a very unique culture that I havn't found anywhere else. I've met non-LLL scandanavians, but they're much different than the ones I grew up around.

    Also, sad news to report from Mexico.


    My response is...
    Every day, I thank god we live in a country that protects it's people and has a justice system that works. It is almost unreal to me that this has happened to people I know, although I feared this could happen for a long time.

    I am now a long ways away from the ignorant state of mind I grew up in, thinking that because I was a member of the FALC, the rest of the world doesn't not exist, and the suffering they face in their life is to be ignored because they aren't of the one living faith. All I can say right now is that the suffering these people is real and unimaginable.

    Please keep us all in your prayers

  7. Okay, some impressions of Day One, which was mostly meetings with a short service tonight at the Kingston church. Thank you everyone for the encouraging words. We attended the National Sunday School meeting and also the Eastern Mission meeting today. Most of it is just taking care of business, financial reports, etc. But the Eastern Mission meeting was interesting in that some of the pastors, especially from the UP, are actively talking to all the congregations to see how they can be of help. They have interviewed most of congregations and got some interesting input, and after completing all of the interviews they will develop an action plan. Most of the congregations are kind of isolated from each other. They would also like input as to how to do outreach in the community, and other concerns along that line.

    My husband has always been a quiet man, but he spoke up strongly about some issues and problems he sees. Afterward we had a very nice and encouraging conversation with a pastor, over a dinner of pasty and cole slaw :-).

    The evening service at the Kingston church was full to overflowing. They have a new church being built, but it was not ready at this time. The main sermon was given by the pastor of the congregation (which followed a short welcome by someone else), and translated into Swedish by a member of the Swedish delegation which is attending the convention. That was a first for me, I'd never heard Swedish spoken before. The pastor's focus was how encouraged he was by the unity among the pastors at the minister's meeting which was held yesterday and concluded this morning. I do sense a spirit of unity, love, and lifting each other up rather than bringing them down. Something else that strikes me is that 20 years ago most of the pastors were older than me. Now they are mostly younger than me! And I would say most of them are seminary graduates or have received training and mentoring. They seem just 'normal' and approachable, and not extreme in any way. They are the kind of people you'd love to have as next door neighbors, just nice guys in Dockers. lol

    This is a big change from 20 years ago, when I first attended a minister's meeting and it was a totally discouraging experience. People at that time were actually kind of venomous! So personally, whenever I thought of these meetings I thought of arguing and bad feelings. That does not seem to be the case now. I don't know what that means, though. Does it mean that those who disagree don't attend the meetings any more? Or does it mean that the ministers have truly come to put the love of Christ above their often petty differences. I don't know the answer to that, but I really enjoyed the unity I felt there. My husband has lots of problems with anxiety, and I could feel him physically relax and just exhale during the evening service. It was really a special time.

  8. ex falc, I will try and remember to wear a small yellow ribbon pin, otherwise, look for a late 50's kinda overweight blonde woman accompanied by a 60ish guy with longish hair lol..

    we will leave on Sunday a.m., but look forward to Saturday afternoon - 2:00 - foreign mission will have a presentation which should be soooo interesting.

    Our son and granddaughters are planning to arrive on Friday a.m., and I don't know what the plans are for Friday... but Saturday we'll be there for sure.

    Hope to meet some of you! Please feel free to come up and introduce yourselves!

    On top of all that, my husband bid on, and won, a 1999 VW on ebay today. Oy Vey! It's in South Carolina! lol

  9. I,m new to this blog, but have read and peeked in here for a few years. I grew up in the alc.I have many relatives in this church,plus 4 ministers among family members.

    I enjoy reading the threads and comments here. Never have I found a site that rings so close to home and personal experience.

    This thread interests me as my youngest sister left today for the convention. Many aunts,uncles, and cousins have left already.We live on the west coast. My uncle will be preaching there, plus my cousin's husband. They are both quite well known in the alc.

    Yes, the church and conventions have changed quite abit since I was a teenager.I see more love, aceptance, tolerance. Less downright out rebuking.

  10. I have heard quite bit about lately in the alc, a controversy about the (now growing) younger set not asking the older preachers to preach since they the tend talk about the blood,not warm fuzzy feelings. It used to be couple decades ago, arguments between law and grace. Has any heard of or noticed this?

    Keep up your posts about the convention. I really enjoy hearing your perspective.

  11. Thank, KJ. I don't know about the request you mentioned, about the younger not wanting the older ones to speak...but yes, ever since I was a child I can remember the discussions about law and grace. Even in the home gatherings that my grandparents were a part of, it was very prominent. My feeling about it is that we all must work these things out in our own minds and hearts... doesn't Scripture say "work out your salvation with fear and trembling"? (Phil 2:12,13). That each of us individually, once we have met the living God, must work these things out.. what does it all mean..how does it apply to our daily lives. And I believe that God will show us as we grow in Him. I spent many years struggling with these issues, and wondering about them. I don't know if it's aging, or what.. but it seems these things are settled in my mind now...

  12. PS, I wanted to mention something else.. the Wednesday night service started with singing 4 praise and worship songs, led by five people at the front of the church. The words were beamed (or whatever you call it), on the wall at the front of the church. The first song was "Bind us together, Lord, bind us together..with cords that cannot be broken." There were also 3 songs from the blue hymnal. It was beautiful to hear the singing in a packed church. Especially for us, coming from our small congregation.

  13. Norah, I love it when a huge group of people sing!

    KJ, It is not so much about warm fuzzy things being spoken (but what is wrong with that? The bible is a road map/instruction book on life)It is more the deppressing bloody drops of golgotha with a element of fear, not grace.

  14. Tomte, you have big problems keeping up with your sister blog in Finland:


    Comparing to your sister blog, your blog is clearly a pro-laestadian blog. LOL

    They have a lot of well-written material and deep analysis, hundreds of lines per day. You have not a chance to keep up with that!

    If you want to post about another interesting Youtube movie, you could perhaps link to this movie about a laestadian feminist.

    Comparing to her sisters in the feminist movement, not a very radical feminist, but anyway a feminist. LOL


    Probably you would not understand a word, because it is all in Finnish, but shortly it is about a laestadian feminist interviewed at the big services in Oripää this year.

  15. Hi all, some impressions from Day Two. Tomte, I think one of the biggest changes over the years is the way technology is being used in many ways.. from overhead screens for the congregation to sing hymns (what are those things called, I have no idea).. to websites for the various mission groups, to Sunday School material available on websites rather than hard copy (more to be added to the site in the next few months), to keeping in touch with mission news and happenings, and by weekly emailed sermons to missions in India and other countries, which they can print out and distribute. Skype is another way that mission people are keeping in touch with people in foreign countries, and they are using this means for training pastors in the field. Lots of interesting stuff!

    Attended both the annual meeting and the foreign mission meeting today. Annual meeting covered several business issues, along with discussion of seating of delegates, the processes for doing so, whether by-laws should be changed, and a perennial question concerning the KJV, which resulted in the ALC again choosing the KJV as the official pulpit Bible. (Long story short, that was the result).

    A pleasant surprise - someone came up to me and asked if I was Norah! I had a neat visit with her, we compared notes as to people we knew or had met, exchanged email addresses, and it was so fun to meet her.

    Evening service would be similar to what you might expect from an ALC service.. but as I listened, this thought came to me: How do we deal with the 'dark night of the soul' that I think comes to each of us at some point in our lives...when we are not at peace, perhaps when we are hounded by our pasts, or when we are deep, deep, deep in the valleys of life? Do we all experience those times? How do we handle them? What brings us out of them? How do we find joy in the journey again, and wake up to face a new day with hope and determination to go on? Is Christ the answer? Is taking His yoke upon us and following Him the answer? Have we found this to be true? Do we know it, but not fully utilized all that Christ wants us to know, and to be?

    Some questions that I ended the day with.. followed by an hour in the hotel pool and meeting a new ALC friend who knew someone from my quite distant past, and we reminisced and shared some of our struggles and discoveries in our own personal lives. It was a good day.

  16. Oh! and I bought two things today: a CD called "A New Song" by Dennis Hilman accompanied by Marcus Wargh, and a book called "Naomi in Nigeria", about how the first mission work began in Africa, and the tragedies that beset the missionaries. This work, even with so many setbacks, has continued until today, reaching 140,000 people around the world. Amazing. Okay, you probably didn't want to know about my shopping, but there you have it. lol (Did you really think shopping wouldn't be involved??) :-)

  17. okay, there I've done it. Norah is really Sharon. Shouldn't post so late at night lolol

  18. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT? You have been using an alias? way to go Norah, I mean Sharon. How am I going to keep the straight? :)

  19. Norah, thanks for the updates. It's interesting for me because I haven't been to the conventions since I was a kid, and also because it sounds like the ALC has changed in its embrace of some forms of technology, while staying the same in other aspects (KJV Bible.)

    The Plymouth congregation lost its vote back in the 1970s because it didn't use the KJV from the pulpit. Do you know if that congregation ever got its vote back? Based on reading some congregational web sites, I strongly suspect that there are at least a couple of other congregations that use something other than KJV from the pulpit. Have those congregations been similiarly censured? Or is it a "don't ask don't tell" type of thing nowadays?

    Laestadianinfo, I'm not the owner of this blog. Although I've been posting a lot lately, Free2Bme is our host. :-)

  20. Well, hello Sharon! It's going to be hard to start thinking of you as "Sharon", and not "Norah".

    Sounds like you had a good time at the convention, and I'm happy you and ... got to meet! That would be so fun, I would really enjoy to meet you too!

  21. Right now I can hear Arvi Aho preach on the local laestadian radio station on the services in Esse, talking about the servies in USA.

  22. He talks a lot about sin. Wonder if he preach that much about it over there, or just wants to make a good impression on us. LOL

    I am better go to the services now. I will post a film about them on my channel on Sunday.

  23. I can't believe so many people in Finland want to hear Arvi Aho preach. I can never make heads or tails out of anything he preaches. He has to be in the top ten hard to understand AP preachers.

  24. "I can't believe so many people in Finland want to hear Arvi Aho preach."

    Well, it's an traditon that we have a preacher from ALC at our big summer services. Every year a different one.

    In all honestity I have say the LLC preacher going on here, Peter Lever, spoke better than Arvi.

    You can listen at his speach by clicking on my Nick (LLC is a littler before us in technology). :-)

    I have not listened to the whole speach, but what I heard was really good.

    The weather was good at our services, and there were a LOT of people here, even thought it's only Friday.

  25. Hi Tomte, about KJV.. The way I understand it is that the congregations which do not use the KJV as pulpit Bible are still affiliated in every way, and can discuss issues at the annual meeting, but cannot vote. To be honest, I have not noticed who voted and who didn't. They pass out paper ballots, and there isn't a lot of fuss about who is voting or who isn't. But there is always the danger that some congregations will feel disenfranchised by changes to by-laws which seek to clarify and streamline voting procedures. Actually, it's quite amazing that the Federation holds together, when each congregation is basically an independant unit, if you know what I mean. There are no 'orders from above', no real centralized office which issues edicts, as many other mainstream denominations have in place. That is what I understand from what I've seen, and I'm no expert by any means.

    Technology - it seems the sky's the limit in using whatever means available in all the various functions of the church. A lot of this is especially geared toward younger, computer savvy people such as yourself. If you ever decide to return to the ALC, I'll bet they'd have good use for your skills :-), and if you are ever curious about what might be needed, John Ruotsala, the foreign mission administrator would be the guy to get in touch with. He is a great guy, a humble and hardworking person with great outreach skills.

    I don't want my posts to be a sales pitch for the ALC, but just 'fly on the wall' observations, and information. No proselytizing from me!

    Today was a 'day off'.. had a family gathering and we have our 3 granddaughters here with us tonight, they will be with us at church tomorrow morning..and another daughter coming to spend tomorrow with us.

    Please call me Norah lol, I rather like that name!

    Yes, I did enjoy meeting 'anonymous', but she requested further anonymity so I will not say much more.. she can post her impressions if she would like to, she attended some of the same functions. And yes, I would like to meet whoever..! :-)

    And just a very short thought about how seeing the younger pastors and preachers involved with the ALC. I'm at the point in life where it often seems the best years are behind me, the older generation is aging quickly and leaving us, kids are grown, etc.. And it is just SO wonderful to see younger people picking up the torch and carrying it on with energy and enthusiasm and by the power of the Holy Spirit. It ain't over til it's over, folks. And it's not over til Jesus comes again. Carry on! :-)

    (and I would say this, please be gentle when naming any person..they are not here to defend themselves, and they have families.. I met some family members yesterday of pastors mentioned here, and I think of them). Just a thought.

  26. Norah, it astounds and outrages me that the ALC is still relegating some congregations to second-class non-voting status based on their use of other Bible translations than the KJV.

    I appreciate the invitation back into the fold, but I could never go back, and KJV is just the tip of the iceberg. Even if I set aside all the idiosyncratic cultural issues (which really don't bother me so much any more), or the style of worship (which I can appreciate from time to time) I am still left with the fundamentalist theology and sexism.

    When you've been part of a church where one can study the Bible from many perspectives and not just one, and when women can be a part of the parish and denomination at every level without opposition or even comment, the thought of going back seems like, well, a huge step backwards.

    I'm glad you find something in the ALC --I don't doubt that some people find it to be a place that helps their faith. But I couldn't do it.

  27. My video from laestadian services in Esse is ready now.


  28. I totally understand your position, Tomte.. It seems there would be many insurmountable issues that would prevent that. It was just a thought, regarding the technology that is being used in mission work and it reminded me of you..

    It was a very interesting day, I met ex-falc in a very surprising and emotional way..she and her family were invited on the podium, accompanied by several pastors, who prayed for them due to the tragic events in their family in Mexico.. Afterward I found her during lunch and introduced myself and met her family, and she met mine. I think we could have talked for hours! She will probably update this blog on the situation when she has a chance.

    Overall, it has been a really positive experience for us.

    I was thinking that there is no perfect 'anything'..no perfect churches, no perfect volunteer groups, no perfect governmental units, no perfect boards.. whatever we do, we have to deal with people as they are. For us, and I'm not telling anyone else they have to feel this way..but for us, we came to appreciate the basic values and the fellowship of the ALC. This was my husband's first convention, and it met his needs at a time in his life when he really, really needs spiritual support. And because he found this, it strengthens our marriage and the confidence I have in people. Maybe I'll be less cynical in the future.

    This might not be the most 'spiritual' way of looking at it, but rather a personal and even psychological way of seeing what fellowship and relationships and shared values are about.. but if any person can find a place where you feel valued and supported, then it's worth taking the time. So many people are alienated, and I'll be the first to say I am also alienated in many ways.. tonight I am much less so.

    Tomorrow we go home after the morning services.. so ends my report :-).

  29. Norah, we may not agree on religion but I'm truly happy for you and your husband. If you one can feel happy and supported as well as generous toward the rest of humanity, that is a good place.

  30. ex falc says...

    Norah it was so nice to meet you! If anyone wants to see what I look like, you can see me on the news.


    Our family is still grieving from such a horrible tragedy. Many pastors in the ALC comforted my family today and prayed for us. This last week I barely ate anything and was just in a state of shock and sadness. It was just incredible to see the love and compassion they had for us and it was much more than I would have ever seen in the FALC. This much love to someone not even raised in the ALC. I went to see more of my family in Cokato after the convention. I saw some my grandpa, and some of my aunts and uncles. It's been helping me to be around my family and to talk about our situation but my life will never be the same. I'm just so traumatized by this.

    I've been having nightmares about how evil these murders were. I finally had to go to the doctor to get some anti-anxiety medication so I can take care of my kids. I don't know if its all over yet. They already threatened more violence to our family. I can't stop thinking about the effect on the wives and children of the community. How traumatic to have to have something like this happen to their community.

  31. You are beautiful. My heart goes out to you and your family. You are clearly making the right decision about protecting your kids. Peace be with you.

  32. The video about the services in Esse is updated with new material and video clips.

    Just click on my Nick, and it will take you to the film.

  33. ex falc says

    Thanks free. I am still just blown away by the amount of love shown to our family.

    In our sadness we find hope that this will spur changes in Mexico.

  34. Norah- I am so glad you were blessed this weekend. I have to agree with Tomte on a few points. It seems outrageous that which version of the bible you use determines your place in the church. I use many versions so I guess I would be in trouble with that one. First and foremost though-I cannot agree with the doctrine. Fundamentaly they preach the gospel but then go on to add their own twist.

    It is a bit like a members only club. How many non-finns attend the church? How many new last names have been added to the church over the years? "outsiders" never are never quite as saved as the regulars. They are looked at and talked about. Mabey they should do a outreach/mission work in their own back yard. I wonder why they don't. Never encourage people to invite their neighbors and friends,co-workers.

    Ex-Falc- You are in our prayers. I am so glad that you were surrounded by love and concern. I know as a group they are loving. Just misguided in so many ways.

  35. Ex falc- I agree with Free2bme,you are beautiful. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

  36. Thank you, Free.. in the best of times, we can see outside our own circles and be generous toward all of humanity. That is a good place to be, regardless of what our beliefs are!

    It was nice to meet you too, ex-falc, and also your family.. and this story will be in my thoughts and prayers for a long time to come. I hope that things change in Mexico, it is awful to think of these things going on there, and how out of control they are..

    PS, thank you... Regarding Bible versions, there is a lot more to this than meets the eye, in my opinion. When I get a chance I'd like to talk to more people about it. For one thing, many people use many different versions, I am quite sure of that. Another interesting thing is that it's the individual congregations represented by delegates who do the voting, and it seems to me as though reforms in regard to voting would actually make it easier for this to change..however, those using the NIV are most opposed to any reform. So I'm not sure how that all adds up, and what the reasoning is behind it. The voting procedures are new to me. Also, those congregations who do not have the vote are still very interested in being affiliated with the ALC, and it seems are some of the most active and engaging groups and personalities within it. So I think that as with everything, things are not black and white, there are a lot of grey areas.

    enough rambling...

    Peace :-)

  37. Hi Laestadianinfo, I checked out the video, but not having much luck figuring out the Finnish/Swedish/Norwegian..

    ..and is that the ALC equivalent? I am so confused lol. Because it seems to me that someone I know is going to Finland next week and will be at the convention for a couple of days as well..

  38. ex falc says

    Norah, I wish we had more time to talk. How did the Sunday services go? It would have been too much driving to head up there with my kids again today. Its about a 1 1/2 hour drive for me. Have a safe trip home.

  39. "..and is that the ALC equivalent? I am so confused lol. Because it seems to me that someone I know is going to Finland next week and will be at the convention for a couple of days as well.."

    Yes, it is ALC equivalent. ALC has a lot of conventions. This was the largest and most conservative one. Next weekend is a smaller convention in Ylivieska, that is somewhat more liberal.

  40. Hi ex falc, We went to the Sunday morning service and came home after lunch.. yes, it would be nice to talk more, both with you and the other person I met on Thursday.. seems like the days flew by!

    L Info.. okay, I understand. I think. :-)

  41. For just friday and saturday though

  42. Hey i was just a the convention.

  43. Hey there, Grant! any thoughts you'd like to share?

  44. ex-falc: Any connection with the LeBaron polygamist group in Mexico? My first boyfriend was a LeBaron, and his dad was one of the LeBaron brothers that started the group.

  45. To Laestadianinfo:

    Do you have the name of LLC priest that is to preach at Rauhan Sana summer services in Ylivieska?

  46. ex falc says,

    To anonymous - Yes, my husband is from that group and he grew up in that town. But I am now curious about who you are referring to! My husband is one of Alma's grandsons. Did you date one of Alma's kids? Or Verlans or Joels?
    I find it kinda crazy that both of us came from unhealthy religious groups and married. Having to deal with the FALC members growing up has given me patience to deal with the polygamists.

  47. ex-falc: Can't remember who his dad was, but Verlan rings a bell. His mom left the group with her kids when they were small. I think they all live in Idaho now -- at least they did in the mid-90s. You and your husband are probably well suited for each other because of your backgrounds. My husband grew up JW and it's equally as judgmental and legalistic.

  48. ex falc says,

    Yes, I think you are talking about Susan Ray Schmidt's children. Susan was Verlan's 6th wife and she had 4 or 5 kids with him. I know of them, but they're not as connected to the colony down in Mexico because they didn't grow up in the colony, like my husband did. It's a small world isn't it! One of the people who was killed last week was one of Joel's grandsons.

    It is funny because people who don't know about my background wonder why I would marry someone with such an odd background. If they only knew!

  49. Laestadianinfo7/16/2009 01:54:00 PM

    "Do you have the name of LLC priest that is to preach at Rauhan Sana summer services in Ylivieska?"

    His name is VM Linnanmäki. I am actually going tomorrow to listen to him (and other preachers).

    Linnanmäki is a well known SRK priest and has preached at the big summer services 2006. He is also a regular priest at SRK youth camps.

    I think it is a step in the right direction that LLC members start to accept other laestadians and cooperate with them.

  50. I am curious if will speak to the the people at Rauhan Sana summer services as fellow beleivers or that they are non-beleivers who need to repent to the SRK way. Last time I checked, the LLC is very much into the we are the only ones thinking. Since the SRK is supposedly the same, I would think they have the same thinking. I could be wrong though. The people in the US may be worse in that kind of thinking. I don't know.

  51. Whoops! I meant I am curious if
    VM Linnanmäki will speak to the the people at Rauhan Sana summer services as fellow beleivers...

  52. Anon 12:11-

    aren't we all FELLOW believers?
    just curious.

  53. "VM Linnanmäki will speak to the the people at Rauhan Sana summer services as fellow beleivers..."

    Yes, and he assured we are in the right faith. Actually a very good speach. You can listen to a 10-minute Youtube clip by clicking on my Nick.

  54. If VM Linnanmaki is indeed from the SRK, and he did indeed preach in front of a non-SRK group and say that they are believers; then I must eat my right arm. Pass the tabasco sause, please!

    I know the LLC and SRK very well. The people in those groups who truly believe that they do not have it all figured out and that there may be "other ways" to be heaven acceptable; keep those humble beliefs in the closet. Self righteousness and certainty prevail.

    Either Mr. Linnanmaki is not from the SRK, did not preach to another group as fellow believers but rather as a believer to unbelievers, or is a total renegade who will either "repent" of such sinful thinking or be thrown out.

  55. "If VM Linnanmaki is indeed from the SRK, and he did indeed preach in front of a non-SRK group and say that they are believers; then I must eat my right arm. Pass the tabasco sause, please!"

    What surprises me most about this, is that it is so hard for a LLC member to believe Linnanmäki was going to preach at the services and actually preached.

    On another forum I had use every thinkable mean to prove Linnanmäki is a SRK priest, by referring to his participating in the 2006 big summer services, and his current position as youth pastor. I even had to use the Finnish state database over people, to prove there is not any one else with the same name. Still there was one who remained in disbelief.

    Now there is a Youtube video proving he actually preached.

    He clearly spoke to the people as believers in living faith, and preached about Laestadius and his conversion.

    According to a person I use to debate with, only a minority of LLC:s in Finland think SRK is the whole Gods kingdom.

    Yesterday I was on a wedding where there were both ALC and LLC members.

    It was touching to see both LLC:s and ALC:s standing in the same choir singing the same songs.

  56. I agree with Thud. If this SRK minster actually spoke, and I believe it did, it is a shocker. The people in the LLC and the SRK are told that they are the ONLY ones with living faith. Nobody else has it, not even other Laestadian groups. To them it is not even possible for other Laestadian groups to have living faith, since they broke off from the group with true living faith (LLC) so do not have the Holy Spirit. As Thud said, if anyone in the LLC/SRK believes that anyone beside a fellow LLC/SRKer could be going to heaven, they certainly keep those thoughts to themselves, as those types of thoughts are not very tolerated, at least in the LLC. The reason it is so shocking is not necessarily that an SRK preacher preached to a differnt group. What is shocking is if the SRK preacher spoke to those in the different group as fellow christians in the living faith who have the Holy Spirit. With the teaching the LLC/SRK has regarding exclusivity, people from the LLC/SRK would expect the preacher to preach to another group as though he (the preacher) is the beleiver, and that they (the audience) are unbelievers that need to repent. That he did not do that is a complete surprise. It flies in the face of what they have always been taught, that everyone but them is in darkness.

  57. Group A thinks that group B is going to roast in Hell for all eternity even though they believe their sins forgiven in Jesus name and blood. Thats whats amazing.

  58. I wonder if people in the various groups even know what the differences are. I don't really even think that the oldest people who are now living (in their 80's and 90's) even know. It was just something that they heard from their own parents. A prejudice that was inherited from their ancestors, like other biases that people have.

  59. I wonder if the various groups even know what the differences really are. I doubt that many in the oldest generation living now (80's and 90's) even know. It was just something they inherited from their parents - a prejudice or bias - just like the 'exclusivity' teachings. My 2 cents :-)

    (this might get posted twice, my first post seemed to disappear)

  60. Speaking to the KJV issue, it must be remembered that the requirement to use the KJV only applies to use in the pulpit during the worship service. Any other translation or version may be used at any other time, for personal study, Bible study, etc. There are too many people in the ALC that seem to think this requirement means that all other versions are unacceptable for any purpose; this just isn't the case.

    I think that many of the congregations who voted to preserve the KJV did so out of fear that removing it would take away any standard for what is the true Wor of God. At the same time, I think many would be receptive to adding an additional version ("...King James Version or English Standard Version..." for example).

    A few years ago, a committee was formed and directed by the congregations to study Bible translations and come up with a list of recommended alternatives. In my opinion, that committee effectively threw up their hands and said it was an impossible task and that nothing could match the KJV for accuracy.

    I don't know of anyone who thinks that the KJC is inaccurate, but many believe that there are other translations that are nearly so and more readable, besides. We must understand that over time our language changes, and the more it changes the more unreadable old books become. The Word of God will be preserved and is presented in other translations. The truth can be found in other than the KJV.

    As for voting: one of the curiosities of the by-laws is that a by-law change has to be a 2/3 majority of all congregations. Other issues are a majority of congregations represented at the meeting. This means that for a by-law change, any congregation not represented counts as a "no" vote. In accepted parliamentary procedure, that is very unusual: normally, only represented votes count. I understand that next year there will be a measure to change the by-laws, to clean this up so that a by-law change will require a 2/3 majority of those congregations represented at the meeting.

    As for being represented at the meeting, a delegate is named by proxy. This means that prior to the meeting, each congregation names a delegate, and that delegate is appointed to represent them at the annual meeting. In some cases, a single person may represent two or three congregations, and therefore will cast multiple votes as the congregation has instructed them. Sometimes, that person will cast two conflicting votes!

  61. This is one of the posts that popped up in my email. Il Coro, I think I know who you are :-). You stated the situation with voting very well.. I thought the way it was set up was strange too. And it shouldn't be harmful to anyone, but rather much more helpful in the voting process.

  62. Il Coro, thanks for that clarification regarding the by-laws. I still don't like how they've denied the vote to certain congregations, but this helps clarify that even if there was the political will to rectify the situation (something I don't see at all), it will be more difficult than usual to correct it given the 2/3 of all congregations requirement.

  63. As I was saying earlier about being at the convention is that the ALC all in all is a solid bibically based church with a good mix of new and traditional especiall with the youth