"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Laestadians on Facebook

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Laestadians on Facebook

Someone recently brought these links of Laestadian groups on Facebook to my attention. I thought they were worth sharing:

Apostolic Lutherans (ALC) Description: Finally...a group on facebook for all us APs. The site contains pictures of various "youth," the biggest bonfire I've seen, and the 2009 Convention.

Laestadian Lutheran (LLC) Description: Welcome to all who believe! Note: this is not the official Laestadian Lutheran site. Please visit laestadianlutheran.org for the Laestadian Lutheran Church website. Not much activity here, but there was a conversation on movies and temptation that reminded me of my own youth.

Lars Levi Laestadius Description: This is a group for all people influenced by the christian revival movement of Lars Levi Laestadius. His abbreviated name is LLL. Laestadius was a botanist and a preacher that created a christian revival in northern Sweden and Finland in the mid to late 1800's. Today, those that follow his doctrine are known as Apostolics and/or Laestadians. You do not have to be a member of a Laestadian or Apostolic group to join this site. This site is open to everyone, as I do not believe in exclusion. Disclaimer: This site has not been endorsed by any specific church group and is not attempting to promote any specific church group. The "Extoots" of Facebook. A couple of years ago the Admin of this group posted the link here, but it may have been lost in all the noise of a conversation on conversion.

Interestingly, I did a search for "Laestadius" on Facebook and came up with all kinds of people who shared that last name. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Laestadius had familial as well as spiritual descendants. I wonder how common a name Laestadius is back in Finland/Sweden?


  1. Oh my. I checked out the facebook site. Somehow just looking through it makes me feel...glad to be gone. It doesn't welcome FORMER AP members...or all "christians"

    My mom was telling me the other day thay the feds(-eration) are considering not having conventions anymore because attendance is so low and the costs are so high. No one wanted to have it next year so I guess Hockinson decided to take it.

  2. I think this is all very interesting, because those who set up the Facebook pages are all so young! It makes me wonder what the future holds for all the LLL based churches. I know probably a dozen people on the ALC site, and my own children would know even fewer. But I do think there is a bond that will endure between Laestadians, we have a common heritage.

    My son took a Facebook quiz this morning - the "Inner Nationality Quiz: What Are You Really?", and his result was Swedish. He said "close enough" lol. Characteristics are: "You are friendly, gentle, and modest, with a good heart and a lusty nature. You laugh easily, have a well-developed sense of irony, and tend to understand people intuitively. You are interested in new people, but will always maintain notions of insider vs. outsider, and this will lead you to commit to a group of friends and lovers who will be with you your entire life. If you have a weakness it's your timidity -- you feel pressure to remain 'lagom' -- on an even par with others. But this is also your strength."

    I thought that was interesting!

    PS, regarding the convention.. the expense of providing meals etc is so high, maybe it's time they change from having it catered, for one thing.. It's probably time for the traditional way of doing things to change and it'll most likely be this up and coming generation that makes the changes.

    okay now, I'm wondering - are you going to start a Facebook group? I think you should, I'll join! lol

  3. ex falc says,

    I am the one that owns the LLL site on facebook, just havn't been on there to update it for awhile. I've been so busy with work, my kids, and events taking place in other countries...

    My main intent for putting it on there was to make LLL'ers on facebook aware of the extoots blog. Their are many young LLL followers on facebook. I know their are a few people out there who might stumble across it and it will get them thinking...

    Yes, LLL does have descendents, but I am not sure how many. One of the kids who joined the group awhile back said he was a descendent of LLL, but it seemed apparent from his pictures on his profile that he does not belong to any of the LLL groups today. Plenty of pictures with alcohol, etc. Not that I would judge him in any way for it, but because the religion is so rigid, those clues help me to determine who likely a major follower of the religion and who isn't. I wouldn't doubt that many of LLL's biological descendents don't follow this faith anymore.

  4. I wonder if Laestadius himself thought that a person must believe as he does to gain salvation. Somehow, if his relatives are no longer practicing, it seems to me that he himself didn't drive it into them that they have to be "laestadian" to get to heaven. That probably came later.

  5. anon 12:36

    like Darwin maybe...he didn't believe his own theory in the end and still has millions of followers.

    this will sound like psycho-bable but I think "looking back" is a trigger for me. You are right, the young kids are slowly making changes and they are the future of the church.

  6. PS, tell me about triggers lol. I hear ya. And if it triggers you, then I wouldn't look back either.

  7. Former laestadians have their own Facebook site too (ex-lestadiolaiset), but it's only in Finnish. Welcome anyway!

  8. ex-falc says...

    I was doing some searching online for things related to the FALC and come accross this blog. Their are many things I can relate to in my decision to leave the FALC.


  9. Laestadius is not a common name but there are people with that name in Sweden, I don't think any of them are Laestadians. There might be descendants of Laestadius among the Laestadians in Sweden but I don't think there are any Laestadians who share his last name. There are quite a few Raattamaas among the East Laestadians (ALC) in Sweden, though. (John Raattamaa was the closest coworker of Laestadius and the leader of the movement after the death of Laestadius).

    There are no indications in any of Laestadius' writings that he believed you had to follow him to be saved. The exclusiveness developed gradually after the death of Laestadius, during the "reign" of John Raattamaa, one of the catalysts being the disintegration of the movement which started in America and spread to Europe. When John Raattamaa died around 1900, a major part of the Laestadians already believed they were the only children of God on earth.

  10. LLLreader adds: Yes, and Raattamaa encouraged the members to not split off into groups. It sure would be something to know what LLL would think about the various groups and their attitudes towards each other. I think he would think it's sin, and a far ways from what he intended.

  11. I would think that when Jesus said he came to divide and turn brother against brother and father against son, he meant believers in Him against unbelievers in Him, not divisive groups by interpretation of the law; he severely condemned the pharasies for that. I would believe that is the case and the different groups feeling superior to the other groups to be sinful.

  12. LaestadianInfo8/02/2009 02:34:00 PM

    I Am myself on a summer vacation trip with my family. As I sometimes wrote, I has not been able to participate in OALC services before, because they are geographically on so diferent locations than I live (north Sweden and southern Finland).

    However today we drove thru Tampere, and we could participate in the OALC services here.

    It was a 100% positive surprise. The prayer house here is really big, and a lot of people participated in the services, even though it was a sunny summer day.

    The faith here was also more "living" considering what it is in most ALC prayer houses. At ALC services witnessing sins forgiven is not that common. Here it took a long time at the end of services (about 20 min). A little like communion is at the conservative ALC services.

    The people here were really friendly, and there were no of those problems one can have when discussing with LLC people.

    When we left, everyone we speak with heartily saluted God peace, without even trying to determine if we were in the right faith.

    A truly positive experience.

    There is nothing wrong with OALC. Please close and remove this blog!

    1. I feel the same way as you about OALC. Peace of God to you in Jesus name.

  13. LLLreader responds: You certainly have every right to your positive opinion of the OALC. You certainly do not have the right to determine what anyone else's opinion should be. If you should decide to join the OALC, then I give you my blessing--but it is not a religion that I can believe in.

  14. L Info, you are quite the interesting person. :-). I'm glad you had a good experience. However, I have a little story for you, see what you think of it:

    As you know, I belong to the ALC. But my mother and her cousin used to love to visit other LLL churches back in the 1960's when I was a teenager. I remember attending an OALC service with them, and one of my cousins reminded me of this not too long ago. They had the same impression as you did at their first visit, and they were very pleased with the living faith they seemed to witness. But the next time they visited, they saw basically the same people doing the same thing, week after week. They began to realize that it might just be a ritual or tradition, and not necessarily a sign of living faith after all.

    I know this is none of my business, because there are plenty of OALC people here, both former and I'm sure there are current members here too. But it seems naive of you to see things as so black and white, that people and groups are 100% right or else they are 100% wrong. When you do this, you are really missing the work of the Holy Spirit.

    If that was your first time at a church different from your own, I'd suggest giving it some time before writing off any other churches and what may or may not be 'living' - even if it's a Catholic, Orthodox, or Methodist church. While I agree that it's important to worship God in spirit and in truth, and we should seek fellowship with those who walk in truth, I believe you might be a bit too hasty in your assumption.

    my 2 cents, for what it's worth :-)

  15. Sorry, LaestadianInfo, but it is presumptuous and naive of you to go to one OALC meeting, and then proclaim that this site, which has chronicled and recorded so much pain and so many negative experiences as being wrong.

    As Anonymous 3:43 said, you certainly have your right to believe as you wish. If the OALC is the right answer for you, so be it -- but please do not tell those of us with different experiences and belief that we are wrong. I suppose if you think you have the right to do so, you do fit the judgmental model that so many of us found distasteful and wrong.

    We all walk our own path, striving to believe in the way that the Holy Spirit reveals for us. In many ways, the way is the same -- if we can escape the manmade obstacles and remain focused on the fundamental truths. Unfortunately, too many "faiths" impose their interpretations of sin and their judgmental actions on everyone, somehow thinking that "their way is the only right way". Now that is just flat wrong.

  16. In my experience, the OALC can be exactly as you described --- but only as long as I was one of them or was seeking to possibly be one of them. When I voiced questions and reservations about some of thier beliefs, the attitudes towards me all too quickly cooled and even became hostile.

    I dont deny the good when I speak of the bad. Please dont deny the bad, my negative experiences and pain, when you speak of the good. I greatly miss the good, but it didnt outweigh the bad for me.

  17. Laestadianinfo8/03/2009 02:07:00 AM

    My request to take down the blog was a joke, but if someone concidered it a real, well i wouldn't mind...

    There is much that could be written about the OALC service i attended, but I just can conclude it was a 100% positive experience and the people there was really friendly.

  18. Laestadianinfo, I know you were joking about taking the site down, but why does it bother you to have a site that is critical of OALC and other branches.

    I'm an Episcopalian, and there are hundreds if not thousands of sites on the web that criticize the Episcopal church. I doesn't really bother me, though. People are entitled to their opinion.

    Any religious tradition, in my opinion, ought to be able to handle criticism from within and without.

  19. Amen Tomte!

    Why is it that some churches/faiths/beliefs/people become so unbearably defensive when they are questioned? Not even critized, but just questioned? I grant you there is respectful and disrepectful criticism, but even so...

    If asked explain yourself, (if not, let it go) allow for differences and have the ability to agree to disagree and move on.

    Its our Christian duty to share what we know and believe out of love and concern for the world and its people (who we believe are all God's people), not beat them over the head with it until they admit we are right. God still gives each and every one of us the right to make our own decision (thankfully!)and in the end He is the only one we have to answer to anyhow.

  20. LLLreader sez:---and a heartfelt AMEN to you too hp3!!!

  21. Your OALC visit was 100% positive!! LOL I am sure it was as a first time but it is also a sheep in wolf's clothing. Go ahead and ask a lot of questions and better yet disagree with them and see the response you will get! See the love you will receive then...

  22. Of course there are plenty of descendants of Lars Levi Laestadius alive today. He had about 15 children. There are plenty of people with the surname Laestadius in Northern Sweden, and a journalist on Sweden's largest daily paper, for example. Not all of the descendants still follow Laestadianism.

  23. "not all of the descendants still follow Laestadianism" - I've never met or heard of any descendant of Laestadius who is a Laestadian. I wonder if there are any?

  24. God's peace ,
    I am a young Togolese laestadienne lutérienne the church congregation living in Togo Lome capital of Togo. I aimearais by this little message have friends wherever our church is in the world to discuss faith. My name is Patrick and this is my facebook address: Djissenou Patrick, you can send me requests in the name of friendship and we can freely discuss both. All your friends requests seroons goods came.

  25. God's peace ,
    I am a young Togolese laestadienne lutérienne the church congregation living in Togo Lome capital of Togo. I would by this little message have friends wherever our church is in the world to discuss faith. My name is Patrick and this is my facebook address: Djissenou Patrick, you can send me requests in the name of friendship and we can freely discuss both. All your friends requests seroons goods came.

    1. Best wishes to you, Patrick, in your new faith! While I don’t share it anymore, I know that it is giving a sense of hope and peace to quite a few people there in Togo and Ghana.

    2. I share your faith Patrick. If you encounter on occasion a strange vision it is normal. If you don't thats normal too. I am away physically but in the spirit. . . Peace of God you too (oalc .. just a name wonderful group)