"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Psalm 67

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Psalm 67

Elizabethan English as you will never hear it in an American Laestadian church, courtesy of the Westminster Abbey Choir:

Psalm 67
1 God be merciful unto us, and bless us *
and shew us the light of his countenance, and be merciful unto us;
2 That thy way may be known upon earth *
thy saving health among all nations.
3 Let the people praise thee, O God *
yea, let all the people praise thee.
4 O let the nations rejoice and be glad *
for thou shalt judge the folk righteously, and govern the nations upon earth.
5 Let the people praise thee, O God *
let all the people praise thee.
6 Then shall the earth bring forth her increase *
and God, even our own God, shall give us his blessing.
7 God shall bless us *
and all the ends of the world shall fear him.


  1. "Elizabethan English as you will never hear it in an American Laestadian church."

    What's the point of that comment? Maybe I misunderstood, but it seems like a spiteful dig.

  2. I think it is ok to be critcal and post spiteful digs-unless you disagree with prevailing opinions, I have recently had comments blocked for less.

  3. The post was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek observation and critique.

    Tongue-in-cheek observation because the Psalm chanted here is from the Coverdell Psalter and not the KJV, so of course you would never hear this kind of Elizabethan English in the Laestadian church.

    Critique because there's nothing I'm aware of in Laestadian theology that would prohibit chanting the psalms or having beautiful choral singing, yet I found/find this so lacking in American Laestadian churches. Singing is often slow and poorly executed. Is it pride/sin to try to do something well?

    I wonder what other things one will never see in a Laestadian church?

  4. No offense P.S., but you are the queen of digs! :)

    Maybe not spiteful digs, but I think you unfairly characterize others feelings. If you feel your feelings about something are patriotic or Christian, it does not mean all those who see things differently have feelings that are one bit less patriotic or Christian. Particularly those who identify themselves as patriots or Christians.

    I do enjoy your fiery posts!

  5. LLLreader here: "Digs" are something I can do without, even though I am use them sometimes myself. One of the best ones I had directed at me was from an OALC member who asked me to forgive him for being offended when he saw me wearing lipstick(said with a smirk). Another good one was a member mentioning they had seen me going into a movie (said in front of several people). Those gotcha' moments give one such a warm and loved feeling don't they?

  6. Ive never attended an OALC church that would even consider trying to harmonize or do anything other than open your mouth and let it come out... and Im not faulting thier that in the least, on the contrary I truly love it and miss it and contribute my love for choirs and old hymns to growing up listening to it. (and its nice for those of us who cant really carry a tune but love to sing praise :)

    BUT if anyone were to enjoy thier singing enough to try to be better at it, or practice singing together for the sake of getting in tune or being on key, sounding great or heaven forbid! PERFORMING??? that would be considered a great, dreadful sin on the devil's path to self rightiousness! I didnt consider the comment to be spiteful, but truthful and in sync with my experiences in the church... in a humorous yet sad way.

  7. The music is beautiful!

    But Tomte, sometimes I'm amazed at your ability to make connections and comparisions that simply don't..connect..or compare. For example, what on earth would Elizabethan English have to do with American Laestadianism.

    Would Westminster Abbey consider performing a joik?

    Regardless, the music on the video is simply amazing and uplifting. Thanks!

  8. Every time the Bible is read in English in Laestadian churches, you're hearing Elizabethan English.

  9. ahhh, good point! You've got me there lol

  10. Can anyone tell how to reach out to Christians in US? My video about creationism is watched mostly in Canada and Europe, while people who need to watch it in US does not visit it.

    How can I reach out to Christians in US and persuade them to watch the video?

    BTW. You can watch the video by clicking on my Nick.

  11. BTW, there is also a new OALC video at Youtube. The link may change, because I got new pictures from an OALC member, but at the moment it can be watched by clicking on my Nick.

  12. It's beautiful hearing the performance. Some ALC churches have singing sessions that could be considered performances in a sense. Many ALC weddings have singers. And one LLL church used to and may still do harmonization, which the members learned from ex-Mennonites who fellowshipped with the church.

    As far as digs go, I would just as soon not see extoots get filled up with them. It's just not the point of this site - this site is supposed to be supportive. We had enough digs from our old churches.

    LI, if you find the talk.origins discussion group, you could post it there. http://groups.google.com/group/talk.origins/topics?pli=1

  13. It's interesting that so many commenters have used the word "peformance." I'm not sure if the choir would agree --the choir in my parish is quite good, and I've still heard them say that they regard it as worship, and not performance. The priest even asked us not to clap when they did an extended piece by Handel during one of the services --instead she wanted a moment of silence and reflection on the words of scripture we heard sung and what they meant.

    Part of it is the ubiquity of television, and its cousin Youtube. When something is played back in a box, it feels like a performance. But I'm not so sure it is...especially when done in church in the context of worship.

    Every Anglican/Episcopalian Sunday morning service usually contains an Old Testament reading, a Psalm either read or --as in this case--
    chanted, and a Gospel reading.

  14. "LI, if you find the talk.origins discussion group, you could post it there."

    I don’t think that would help much. People reading talk.origins already know about the things I present on the video.

    I have to reach out to Christians now knowing, and not wanting to know.

    I can see from the rating that 99% of watchers like my video and gives it 5 stars. This means most people agree with me, which is also I sign I do not have the right audience.

  15. ...so...it would seem you are hoping that those who don't believe in evolution would be..shall we say..converted..LI?


  16. Would Laestadians be able to relate to this?


  17. L.Info-

    to repeat what has been said to me: "don't try to stuff it down peoples throat."

    Having said that, I would be careful what you promote if it is not in agreement with scripture. Just wondering, Do you believe the bible is infallible? The living, breathing word of God? If so, I don't see how christians could embarace the evolution THEORY (not 100% scientifically proven, therefore cannot be considered factual)

    I was waiting for a appointment last week and picked up a booklet. It wasn't karma (don't believe in that either :) it is called "15 Reasons to take Genisis as History" I have a few extra copies if anyone would like them.

    Hey Thud; Don't think we have "met" yet. But thanks, I will take the queen of digs as a compliment if it means- "one who has a strong and differing opinion." :)

  18. Can we please talk about something other than creationism here? I don't come to this site to hear about creationism, and I'm getting tired of it. There are other forums more suitable for discussing that topic.

  19. PS said, to repeat what has been said to me: "don't try to stuff it down peoples throat."

    Last US president election there were actually two persons believing the world is 6000 year old. One vice president candidate (Palin) and one candidate (Huckabee). Many find this quite alarming. It is indeed and important topic that need to be addressed.

    Ignorance is no excuse.

    Regarding the authority of Bible, Laestadians are not fundamentalists, but interpret the Bible according to the Lutheran tradition.

    Of course the evolution theory is a theory, but it is the only scientific theory and explanation for origins of life. We have to accept is at such.

    Creationism is not science!

    As I many times have pointed out, Christians in Europe generally don’t find any problem with the evolution theory, and it’s taught as Science, while creation is taught as Religion in schools.

    The creation account was never intended to make science of. The creation account tells us what we wouldn’t know only by observing the nature and has a spiritual messaged, not a scientific.

    Why do you read only material critical to the evolution theory? Why don’t you watch videos on Youtube explaining the evolution theory? There has actually been a long debate about creationism on Youtube, and the arguments for creationism has been a complete disaster. Just look and evaluate the result by yourself by watching at the material. The last nail in the coffin was when creationists resorted to criminality in order to defend their arguments.

    I agree this is not the right forum to discuss creationism. I just asked for advice how to reach out with my video to US Christians. Any further advice?

    BTW, the OALC video is now updated with pictures I got from an OALC member. The new video can be watched by clicking on my Nick.

  20. Evolution only conflicts with a literalist understanding of scripture. I believe that the Bible is inspired, "contains all things necessary for salvation," yet doesn't say anything one way or the other on scientific matters.

    I take the Bible very seriously, but not literally.

    It's a false choice to have to choose between the two.

  21. *Yes, and one reason to why it is a false choice are because science cannot take in account God and miracles. God is by definition unexplainable, so science cannot say God did this and that. If so, it would be theology.

    Science tries always to find natural explanations without God. Sometimes the explanations are correct, sometimes not. We cannot know how correct the evolution theory is, but the following post is how a Christian scientist looks at the creation account.

  22. The citate was probably to long for one posting, so I divide it in separate:

    By Kevin L. O'Brien

    As a fundamentalist, evangelical Christian, I naturally believe the literal truth of the Scriptural statement, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." In that sense I proudly proclaim myself to be a creationist. As an experimental scientist with a Masters degree in biochemistry and over ten years experience as a protein chemist, enzymologist and immunologist, I naturally acccept the evidence that establishes the fact of evolution as a natural phenomenon and which establishes natural selection as the main force behind microevolution and an important force behind so-called "macroevolution". In that sense I proudly proclaim myself to be an evolutionist.

    These proclamations are not mutually exclusive for two simple reasons. The first is that the Bible was meant to be a book of faith, not one of science. I am not a literalist; that is, I do not believe that every word of the Bible was written by God Himself. Rather I believe it was written by men who were inspired by God to present a spiritual message and who embellished that message with historical and poetic detail. They wrote what they believed was true, but since they were men of faith writing what essentially was a bare-bones spiritual message, they used mythology, folklore and current events to fill out the message, to strengthen it and to help interpret it. As such, like Galileo I am not surprised that the Bible is scientifically inaccurate, because I look to the Bible for spiritual truths that only God can reveal, not for scientific truths that are best determined by the direct observation of nature.

  23. Continuing:

    This in turn leads me to my second reason why I am both a creationist and an evolutionist. The purpose of science is to determine the mechanisms by which the universe operates, of which evolution is one, whereas the purpose of religion is to determine the meaning the universe, its purpose for existence. As such, it is perfectly legitimate to believe that a supernatural entity created by supernatural means the foundation of space-time and the natural laws and forces that operate and control space-time, then used those very laws and forces to create the universe from the Big Bang and to control its development. Or not, since by themselves these laws and forces could create and develop our modern universe without divine intervention. The point is that I distinguish between the ultimate origin of space-time and the way space-time subsequently operated. Science probably may never be able to tell us for certain where space-time came from, but it will be able to explain - from the moment of the Big Bang onward - where the universe came from and how it developed. Religion on the other hand can tell us that space-time was created by God, and offer possible reasons why He chose to do so.

    Religion, however, cannot explain how the universe functions. Any such explanations would involve the use of miracles, but for miracles to be legitimate explanations for natural phenomena they would have to allow us to understand how and why the phenomena happen, not simply describe what happens. Theology was created to debate religious explanations, but theology was not designed to test these explanations against physical reality. Only the scientific method can do this, but science was designed to deal only with what is predictable and reproducible. By definition miracles are neither, so science cannot be used in place of theology to test miracles. And if science cannot study miracles, then it certainly cannot use them as explanations for natural phenomena. Science can only use explanations that are themselves reproducible and predictable; in other words, science can only use natural, mechanistic, materialistic explanations.

  24. L.INFO:

    You say that all in your country accept evolution- I would encourage you to ask any US preacher from the OALC their opinion.(call the Battle Ground, Brush Prairie WA. elders) You loved the OALC meetings you just went to.

    And ask any US preacher from the ALC. Here are some suggestions:

    Ron Holmgren- ALC HOckinson(WA.)
    Raymond Hilman- ALC-Greer (S.C.)
    Nathan Jutenan- ALC-Vancouver (WA.)
    Phil Wilson-ALC- Hockinson (WA.)
    Ansten Trenton-ALC- Lake Worth,(FL)
    Wilford Sikkila-ALC- N.Ipswich (NH)
    Thomas Nybloom-Greer (SC)

    And I assume you know Paul Somero (he was with Marcus in SC) ask him. He lives in NH.

    I think it is dangerous and wrong what you are presenting as truth. I have studied both sides. HAVE YOU?

  25. "You say that all in your country accept evolution"

    Yes, they accept it as the scientific theory, as true or not. I have never heard a Laestadian present scientific creationism.

    I don’t know what OALC and ALC teach in US, but I hope they watch my video.

    I have studied both sides. I started to use Internet in 1996, and I think I have seen the most of religious debates, also concerning evolution vs. creationism.

  26. LLLreader to info: OALC members would not be watching any video, and certainly not one put out by a "dead faith" church member.

  27. I just watched Ben Stein's movie "Expelled". I think everyone should watch it.. it brings up many important points other than just creation/evolution, such as intellectual freedom, how your worldview affects not just science and religion but also society, and how society justifies decisions based on its value of human life. Evolution devalues human life, and these are hot topics right now in the health care debate. Will health care be rationed and how will life/death decisions be made under new health policies, both now and in the years to come?

    And the really sad/comical thing is that at the end of the day, nobody knows how that very first *spark* of life began. They think perhaps it had something to do with crystals, or an advanced civilization from another planet or galaxy 'seeded' the first living molecule on earth. A higher intelligence, perhaps, but not a god.

    I also watched the short video on the 'expelled exposed' website, which is 'created and maintained by the National Center for Science Education'. The video is not convincing, basically just implying that intelligent design is a cover for creationism, as if a huge cover-up had been exposed. I wasn't impressed with it.

    Bottom line - there are theological, political and societal underpinnings to this debate, nobody really knows the answers to how life began, and all of it should be open for discussion and debate in a free society!

    my 2 cents.

  28. It seems the thread has been hijacked. As I recall, it was originally about a video posted by the blog host, so I'm going to steer it back.

    First, I appreciate Tomte's differentiation of worship and performance. We seem to have this idea in our head that if someone works to do something well, then they are performing. Let us not lose sight of the fact that we can worship well.

    There are many in the Laestadian churches who lament the slow, off-key, out-of-time singing. Well, it's our tradition and it's become habit. I believe it stems from the old days when the members of the Laestadian movement were poor farmers and miners. They came together to worship in very small, simple homes and could little afford the nice things in life like curtains on the windows or radios in their houses. As time progressed and they became a little more prosperous, they were able to build churches but still couldn't afford pianos and organs.

    In singing hymns during the worship service, with few songbooks and no musical instruments, it fell to those who had some musical ability, a loud voice, and a memory for the old songs to be songleaders ("lukkari"). It must be noted that the songbooks only listed the words and not the music, in order to save printing costs -- not because of some stigma of including the music.

    This, unfortunately, implanted in our collective memory a misremembrance of the music, leaving us with poor timing and off-key registers.

    Couple this with the long cycle of poverty the early Laestadians lived under. You will find that the songs from the 1800s (even from outside of Laestadianism) have a downtrodden spirit, a minor key, and a slow tempo. I believe this despair made it difficult for people to sing joyfully, making even the most victorious songs sound like a funeral dirge.

    I mentioned tradition. I define tradition as something your grandfathers did because they had to, and something you do because your grandfathers did it. Why do we sing slow? Because our grandfathers did it. Why did our grandfathers sing slow? Because the times they lived drove their spirits down.

    Some have suggested to me that the early stigma of curtains, radios, musical instruments, etc. as being labeled "sinful" comes not from any Biblical edict, but from poverty. The early Laestadian church, being poor, could only afford the necessities. As prosperity began to take root (and let us remember that this prosperity is only a blessing from God in response to our devotion to Him), housewives desired to pretty things up. Husbands, being the breadwinners fearing a return of poverty used their positions as spiritual leaders of their houses to twist the word of God into suggesting that such unnecessities were indeed sinful. That's why it took SO long to get organs into the church!

    I see, though, a sea change in the ALC. The singing is getting better. And we're starting to allow more musical instruments -- like guitars -- in our churches. For that I praise none but God! Oh, there are some holdouts that still mistake tradition for righteousness, and skillful worship for performance and self-promotion.

    Let us not forget that many of those in the Bible who were devoted to God were blessed far beyond their needs and lived luxurious lives. When they followed God, the blessings multiplied. When they turned away, their wealth waned. It is not a sin to be rich or even to desire riches; it is a sin to seek satisfaction and happiness in riches because in that it becomes your god.

  29. LaestadianInfo8/09/2009 10:21:00 PM

    "nobody really knows the answers to how life began, and all of it should be open for discussion and debate in a free society!"

    The problem is when oridinal people start to discussion the evolution theory, knowing nothing about biology and how it works, and reject it.

    Regarding scientists there are more rejecting holocaust, than there are rejecting evolution theory.

  30. Norah:

    The thing that struck me about Expelled is the "scientists" and "professors" refuse to give a real answer to the question. They avoid it and won't even consider intelligent design.

    Another VERY profound thing to consider is they don't/can't pin point when the transition began from ape to human.

    The answers to how life began can be found in the bible. In particular, Genisis. But it is woven through out.

    Pete and re-peat. There are equal or more sites that dis-prove Darwin. The question is in whom do you put your faith?

  31. L Info, do you reject the Holocaust?

    Good points, Il Coro. I think that singing in the minor key occurs in all oppressed societies and groups..that's why I posted this video earlier in this thread: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfGytXRpfho.

    PS, if there is a good argument showing that intellectual freedom exists in this country on this subject, I'd like to see it!

  32. ...and if there's any peer reviewed scientific research supporting Intelligent Design, I'd like to see it.

    Expelled is a highly flawed diatribe, relying in the end on some kind of conspiracy theory to support its central claim. Since conspiracy theories argue from silence they are impossible to disprove, but that doesn't mean there is anything to them.

    I'd put this right up there with Kennedy assasination cover-ups, 9/11 conspiracies, Holocaust deniers, and "birthers."

  33. The questions I have are these:

    -are there cases where educators, scientists, and reporters have been silenced in some way simply by acknowledging that there are other theories besides evolution.

    -if so, how does this impact not just science, but also politics, ethics, philosophy, theology, and education.

    -is there a connection between evolution, atheism, and human rights.

    -if 'inalienable rights endowed by our Creator' are not accepted as true or valid, how does that affect public policy.

    -what have historically been the steps that led to suppression of human rights.

    -what can we learn from history.

  34. "L Info, do you reject the Holocaust?"

    Of course not, but there are more “historians” rejecting holocaust than there are scientists rejecting the evolution theory.

    “is there a connection between evolution, atheism, and human rights.”

    This is a good question, but Europe where virtually all accept the evolution theory, is politically more to the left than US. This can of course depend on many other factors.

    Evolution theory is not a very important thing to know. It cannot say anything about the meaning of life, neither can it teach moral.

    The evolution theory is good to know only because it’s the scientific explanation for origins of life.

  35. I'll take a stab at these questions: :-)

    are there cases where educators, scientists, and reporters have been silenced in some way simply by acknowledging that there are other theories besides evolution

    There are no scientific theories that have been raised as alternatives to evolution. If such a new theory was raised and met methodolical and and peer review standards, it would represent the biggest paradigm shift since Einstein, and fame, fortune, and the Nobel Prize would be in it for the discoverer of such a theory. Eventually, the new theory would become the standard and make it into high school science textbooks. However such textbooks necessarily lag, as textbooks don't represent cutting edge new research, but the scientific consensus.

    if so, how does this impact not just science, but also politics, ethics, philosophy, theology, and education.

    Paradigm shifts have far-reaching political and social consequences, which are often not predictable in advance.

    is there a connection between evolution, atheism, and human rights.

    No, there is no inherent connection, although people can and will make connections, some of which will be quite compelling. It is up to people of faith to draw responsible, credible connections that further compassion and good morals.

    if 'inalienable rights endowed by our Creator' are not accepted as true or valid, how does that affect public policy.

    See my previous response. Evolution need not erode our respect for God and God-given rights, and it's the responsbility of the faith community to make sure it does not.

    what have historically been the steps that led to suppression of human rights.

    History doesn't give us a single answer to this question. Totalitarian regimes existed before Darwin, and will exist long after Darwin.

    what can we learn from history.

    We can learn many things from history, especially the difficulty in applying something from one period of history to another. Respect for the peoples and cultures of the past includes acknowledging how different they are from us, as well as our shared humanity.

  36. Thanks for taking a stab at those questions, Tomte :-). I am open to all of those thoughts. One thing that comes to mind though, is this: suppose we are now in the midst of a paradigm shift, or actually somewhat beyond that..from a Christian to a post-Christian society, much like Europe has been for some time. As you said "Paradigm shifts have far-reaching political and social consequences, which are often not predictable in advance". And my thought is that we don't know what this shift holds for us in the future. Or do we.

  37. "post-Christian society, much like Europe has been for some time."

    Around 80% percent of Finns are members in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Here live 5 million people. Of these at least 1 million is practicing Christians to some degree. Almost all are baptized.

    The evolution theory has been taught as the scientific explanation for life since it got to the textbooks. I don’t think the Finnish society is a post Christian society.

    Sweden may be, but not Finland.

  38. I stand corrected, L Info. From what I understand, membership is not the same as regular attendance. For example, in Germany, membership in a church might be 2,000 people..but attendance can be just 10-12 people. At least that's how it was a few years ago. Would you say regular attendance is high in Finland, along with membership? (I should probably be posting this on the new thread).

  39. LLLreader to il Coro: I appreciate your remarks about tradition. I too believe that some of the rules are caused by tradition--"that's the way Grandpa did it, and that's the way it has to be".

  40. To il Coro: Your remarks were very interesting to me. Thank you.