"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Questions About the OALC

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Questions About the OALC

A reader in Finland has some (unedited) questions about the OALC. Could someone help answer these? I'm afraid I've forgotten more than I ever knew.
1) On sunday they gather to listen word of God, what is term they use about this event? In Finland word is “seurat”, best translation is “revival meeting”.
2) OALC don't have liturgy in their services, but what is its structure?
In Finland it is following:
Psalm - prayer - psalm - reading of Rev. Lars Levi Laestadius' sermon - psalm - sermon by preacher - psalm - prayer - final psalm. Then is announcements and coffee.
But OALC have Holy Communion, so they have to have some elements of Divine Service (for example Creed). What is different? What is whole structure?
How often they have Holy Communion?
3) Is Creed, which Johan Takkinen altered still in use?
4) Here in Finland Firstborns uses Luther's Small Catechism and Olaus Svebilius' explanation of Small Catechism. What catechism OALC uses? Own Catechism or ABC book? And what other own books they have?
5) OALC has preachers, but what is their self-understanding, are preachers pastors? Or ministers or priests? What other terms they use about preachers?
6) Who administers sacraments (baptism and Lords Holy Supper) inOALC? And who officiate at the weddings or officiate at the funerals? If preachers, is it so that always only preachers?
7) Have OALC preachers ordination to the ministry by the laying on of hands and prayers?
In Finland preachers are just named as preachers. Not even blessed to their work.
8) Have OALC official documents about their faith?
a) Are they explaining what their relation to three ecumenical symbols is? (Nicene Creed, Apostles' Creed and the Athanasian Creed).
b) Or official document about relation to symbolical books of Lutheran Church, gathered in Book of Concord? Or if they don’t accept whole Book of Concord, even parts of it? For example Luther’s Catechisms? Or Augsburg Confession?
Or is it so that they just draw from their tradition, but they don't have write things on paper?
9) What kind of polity OALC have? Synod or church assembly for example.
In Finland Firstborns are organized as association, it has board but it makes decisions about secular things: property and Rauhan Side -periodical. Firstborns deals spiritual things in preachers’ assemblies (two levels of preachers’ assemblies) and emphasizes that Spiritual Board is in Swedish Lapland.


  1. So many words so many aspects of the laestadian related church, so many man related questions, and not one word of faith in Jesus. Sorry, it is so obvious the whole thing is phony. I,m glad I got out....

  2. Pop,s

    I forgot. To add, all factions are the same, just man made religions,according to what the Bible teaches.But who cares a bout that, hai

  3. Well, it's a long time behind me, but I assume the questions were asked because someone wants to know, so I'll give it a shot: (Note that things may have changed a lot since I was there last.)
    1. They go to "church". The only time I heard anything else was to go to "meetings" such as St John's Meetings.

    2.The structure for a Sunday was: hymn, prayer, hymn, Laestadius reading, hymn, sermon, hymn. That can take up to three hours or more, mostly because they spoke so slowly and mournfully. If it was an evening service, then it was :hymn, sermon, hymn, closing prayer, hymn. I remember one of the elders who spoke for 3 and a half hours one night. The wooden benches were mighty hard that night.

    Communion was added on to the morning service, once a month. There were some associated prayers with that, the Mogen David was poured into a glass and offered with the host, proclaimed as the "true body and blood" -- and then the left over Mogen David was poured back into the wine bottle for next month. I don't know if the wine magically became just wine again once the genie was back in the bottle or not.

    3. The only creed I ever heard was the Apostle's Creed and the Nicene Creed, which all children had to memorize and recite in "Sunday School" -- never to be remembered or recited again in their lives.

    4. The only books I recall other than the King James bible and the Laestadius Postilla were a small catechism book for younger children and a "Bible History" for teenagers -- and of course the "virsi kirja" of songs and the common prayers and readings for services, weddings, funerals, and the like.

    5. Preachers are just called preachers. I guess some of us had other names for a few of them, but they're not printable. Arrogant and self righteous are some of the nicer ones.

    6. Preachers always did baptisms and funerals. Some preachers got a license from the state to conduct weddings, while others didn't. Communion was distributed by the preachers and if there weren't two preachers, then a member of the congregation would help -- males only, of course.

    7. Ordination? You gotta be kidding. I'm convinced many of them have never even read the bible, other than select bits. Usually it was just a "Would so and so speak to us today?", followed by much "I'm not worthy" type comments before finally the person would get up and speak. I think officially the Elders were supposed to select the preachers, but they were a long distance away so expedited methods were sometimes used.

    8. No other books. Nicene Creed and Apostle's creed are all I recall. Nothing is written down, probably because then it would be more difficult to put a personal spin on how the faith should be conducted.

    9. No synod or organization like that. There is a "national board" that meets at St. John's meetings where congregations send delegates. How they defer to the "mother church" in Sweden, I don't recall, but there's some sort of a relationship.

    Please accept some of the above as tongue-in-cheek. You figure out which.

  4. cvow, good summery! I've been thinking about these questions, and you did a marvelous job putting it together.
    How are you and family doing? Thinking about you lately......SISU

  5. Typo! Summary....sorry! SISU

  6. If these things listed are accurate, that's not Christianity. It should be called just exactly what it is. Finnish tradition. If that's all you got, on the last day your in trouble.

  7. Well, if you look at it in that light, nothing questioned here is anything but tradition, whether Finnish or other named Christian tradition. The creeds were written by Roman Catholic leaders at various councils over the centuries. We might want to consider Luther's Small Catechism, Augsburg Confession, Book of Concord, and the Laestadius Postilla of collected sermons as guides, but that's all they are. Many Christians would consider the Bible as the one inspired work. Whether that's where you stop or start yourself, is your own belief and you have a right to it.

    Now the communion thing is a real hanging point for many Christians, including me. The RC church and faith believes in transubstantiation -- the transforming of bread and wine into the true body and blood of Christ, through the consecration prayers of an anointed priest. Once transformed, it is never "untransformed". The remainders of the host are carefully locked away in reverence to be used at other services or a subsequent Mass. The transformed wine is completely drunk, or poured into a "dry well", to be absorbed in the earth. Many protestant traditions hold the bread and wine to be a "representative" of the body and blood, and there is no consecration, so no worries about final deposition of the remainders.

    Should "preachers" be educated in what they profess, and anointed through "laying on of hands" and other means? I personally believe so, but that is my belief, and certainly doesn't have to be yours.

    The question of who can perform baptisms, weddings, funerals, and the like is simply a legal matter. I do not recall any guidance in the Bible regarding who could or should do these things -- or at least restrictions of who should not.

  8. All of the people mentioned in the list above and all of the man written documents listed, regardless if it is by Luther or Laestadian or whoever are a hinderance to becoming saved, God turns his back at man's stuff, and all of it listed above is man's stuff including the creeds. In the old testament the Jews were required by God to have their male children circumcised on the eight day. But when the age of grace came, God told the Jews, now under Grace if you circumcise your children you have fallen from grace and Christ profit you nothing. That's how much tolerance there is in this age of Grace , God is telling everyone including the Finns, follow Bible instruction only. Do not add anything of tradition but believe only in the finished work of Christ + nothing. it's almost impossible for someone with a lot of sisu and pride to do. It took me almost 50 years to get that in my head. the following is the Gospel according to the Bible, God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, then having made peace by the Blood of his cross God stopped computing our sins against us, so that now whosoever believes on Jesus shall not perish but has everlasting life, that's it. if you start adding stuff to what the Bible instructs you will have a church that has split after split after split because the Holy Spirit is nowhere near. Of course we don't know of any churches like that.................I don't write to antagonize, but because, once I was lost, but now I am saved.

  9. I read something this weekend that was troubling. Most of us would know what New testament Salvation doctrine would sound like. God sending Jesus to the cross, shedding of Jesus Blood for the forgiveness of our sin', repentance and our need to believe our sin's forgiven by faith, those kind of things, and God is a Good God that gives grace, mercy and peace to whosoever will believe. That sort of spells out what Church Language sounds like......for the first time in 25 years I decided to read the Church Creeds, they are supposed to spell out church teachings. I was more then surprised, neither the Apostles Creed nor the Nicene creed had any church language. What's up with that? The Creed does mention the Forgiveness of sin's but it delegates it under Baptism........I'm thinking or at least hoping The Church gave Constentine the emperor a proper sounding New Testament Church Creed like we would recognise but it was rejected, and rewritten to make it easy for everyone to become a Christian , get baptized and you are now a Christian in good standing. Constantine made it a state law, every one had to become a Christian. how easy is that? no blood, no grace, no faith. I don't know the real answer but I do know there is no church language in the creeds...Matt

  10. Matt, the various "Creeds" are a direction given by the church for you to profess, and give or take a few word changes, are pretty much common to all Christian churches. To recite the creed, it is YOU who is affirming what you believe to be true:

    "I" believe in one God, the Father Almighty...
    "I" believe in Jesus Christ...
    "I" believe in the Holy Spirit...
    "I" believe in one holy, catholic, and apostolic church... (No that doesn't mean Roman Catholic for those who gasped in horror - it means universal.)
    "I" confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins...
    "I" look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.

    The direction for faith comes from the Bible. The creeds are just an affirmation that you believe what the Bible is telling you.

  11. You are well spoken. I wish I was. BUT. You say the creeds are just an affirmation that you believe what the Bible is telling you. That is the way it should be. The problem is it's more like we should drink the "koolaid" that the Church is offering us. Why would any church have a creed that could not direct someone to salvation? And to put the forgiveness of sins under just getting baptized is a sin in itself. There are 4 absolutes that are listed in the Bible that are like building blocks toward salvation, and the creeds do not touch on any of them. First, we must know "the wages of sin is death", second, "all have sinned and have come short of God's law. That makes every one of us going to hell. But there is hope. thirdly , without shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. fourth, without faith it is impossible to please God... all four of these absolutes lead us toward salvation. Then when we learn that Jesus shed his blood for the forgiveness of our sins and we place our Faith in him we will be saved....The creeds do not touch on even one of the four absolutes. They don't tell us that the wages of sin is death, they don't tell us we are all sinners, not a word, they don't mention any thing about the blood, not a word. and the word faith is not mentioned even one time. and surely not a word about the character of God that reflect his Grace and Mercy. I would challenge you to find a resemblance of the Gospel in the creeds. So I ask again, Why would any church have a creed that clearly could not help bring someone to Salvation? I really believe it was written for the purpose of bringing in every Roman citizen under Constantine into Christian, that was the law, join the church or else .And the Nicene Creed offered a very generic belief system without direction. I'm surprised churches would still use it. today. One more thought, this happened in the third century, it sounds like they never heard of Apostle Paul and his epistles. They must have had thrown him under the bus long before or they would have had a broader new testament understanding.........Matt.

  12. It's been a long time since I was Laestadian, but the creed seem to me to have been broken in 3 parts. The first has to do with belief in God the Father..a belief that God is the creator. The second article has to do with believing in Jesus Christ, son of God, God become man, who died to save us. The second article is about Salvation. The third article is about the Holy Spirit, which draws us toward God, which acts as a guide or "comforter" per scriptures.
    Not sure what else you are looking for.
    The Creed is a credo, a profession of faith. The Apostles Creed, The Nicene Creed, whichever version you use, is simply and magnificently that, a profession of Faith in God as trinity...creator, savior, and sanctifier. I don't understand how that doesn't reflect his grace and mercy.
    As far as not bringing someone to salvation...Jesus said that belief in Him is the key to salvation.
    I remain, to all Laestadians

  13. Maybe there is 3 parts, but if I was a unbeliever and in need of now kind of help, I. Would'nt want someone to come and say, here let me help you, and then they would go ahead and recite the creed.

    1. I guess that seems like a pretty artificial conversation to me. I have never known anyone respond to questions about faith by simply reciting the creed.

  14. That was sort of artificial. Artificial or false is there a difference? Maybe if the Laestadian movement had less false doctrine there would be fewer unbelievers. I really believe that is true, and there would not be as many leaving the church. But let's not pick any more on the Apostolic Lutheran Laestadian movement....Let's look at Luther, he is a perfect example of a product of false doctrine. He was awash in false Catholic doctrine more then we are. One thing Luther had going for him that I don't see today, Luther was searching and teachable. But he was lost as so many in the Churchs are today. What did God do to help Luther? Save him while Luther had false doctrine on his mind? No. Luther read the Bible, what do we do? we read Luther or Laestadian. That's wrong, wrong, wrong. The power is in the word of God ,the Bible. The Holy Spirit revealed one verse in the Bible to Luther and he was born " again. " the just shall live by faith". and you know the rest of Luthers story. What would happen today, if we would put aside man's teaching and read and believe the Bible?....Matt

  15. I'm sorry, but you remind me a lot of the Laestadianism I left...this is false doctrine, that is false doctrine, anyone who doesn't agree with me is false doctrine. So and so is an unbeliever, the Catholics are evil, , So and so created false doctrine. Must be nice to have a direct link to God. So the bible is absolute literal truth?

  16. I respect your lack of sarcasm, I wish I could control mine more often. The Bible indeed is the word of God, no other book is. It's not all literal. One simple reality proves the Bible is true. 3500 hundred years ago the Bible forecast that Isreal would be kicked out of Jurusalem and dispersed throughout the world. that happened. then it say's Isreal will be brought back in the last days and will become a nation again. With a vengeance they are back, that's enough to make even the Arab nations believe in the God of the Bible. There is a rather simple answer why we have so many churches claiming to be exclusive. I don't know how it started but God never intended that the church which is the Body of Christ should have an earthly brick and mortar headquarters. We are the body and Christ is the head, where is Christ now? seated at the right hand of God. Our citizenship is in heaven. Yes the kingdom of heaven is on earth, but where? The Bible says the kingdom of God is within each believer. When we believe on Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross alone. That's the stand alone requirement of God unto salvation. At that moment God places his spirit within us and we are Born again from above. Then we have like you said a direct link to God thru his spirit. And it's real. I remember the day I reduced ,yes reduced , that which I believed and placed my trust on Christ alone. I was Born again,not knowing anything had happened I woke up in the middle of the night and I was praising God in Finnish, I never used Finnish,I can't write it or hardly read it, I was using words I had heard as a child. "Herra Jeessus olle gheettetuu". I wondered what that was all about But the next day I knew something was different I knew things I never knew and had questions about what I had been taught, and I became a thorn in the side of many preachers and still am.The holy spirit teaches and rejects all falsehood especially from the pulpit, because it is so fatal to the congregation...The Jewish nation is God's earthly people and soon I think , Jesus will rule from Jurusalem , but the Church is God's spiritual institution and it will be Raptured up any minute now. The prophecy part we don't really know the details, and it doesn't affect our salvation. But the spirit keeps pushing me just to explain that nobody get's saved if they bring anything of man in their belief system. I believed the same things that Apostolic Lutherans and Laestadians believe today, but the spirit removed them from me overnight.................Matt

  17. I've been out of laestadianism for over 10 years now. It's interesting to see the different route that those who have left the church take. There are definitely some that go from one self-righteous church into another. Early of after I left, I felt a strong urge to join a church like that but now that I am standing solid with my own identity, that feeling is completely gone. There are some that lose belief of Christianity entirely. As for myself, I am not sure what to believe anymore, besides the fact that there had to be a creator. I have drifted form judging others for their beliefs and instead of trying to show compassion and love for all people. I have found there are some parts of growing up in laestadianism that are hard to let go of, but I feel I am making progress. Thinking back to where I was at when I was in the church, I've come a long way. I'll be honest that I do find it hard sometimes to show compassion and love for those that spend their lives condemning and judging. -EXFALC

  18. I wonder why? so many Apostolic Lutherans and Laestadians have left the church and not really pursued God any further by reading the Bible for themselves. That's a honest question. Did the church present God and Christianity in such a bad light that people just felt hopeless and left? I had a similar experience. I was raised in the Falc but when the axe fell in the early 70s I ended up for a short spell in the LLC, then for other reasons I ended up in the Alc for many years. they all had a unsatisfing " right church doctrine". The time came when I thought , there is something wrong with all of these factions, they all claim to be the only one's going to heaven. earlier I asked,? why don't the unsatisfied just go ahead and read the Bible for themselves and see what God really say's' I ask myself the same question. What did I do? I thought too myself , where should I find the truth? I'm supposed to be a Lutheran, I suppose I should start reading Luther, well that was the wrong thing to do, I found out quickly he had the same problem as I did , Luther was trying to shake off bad Catholic teachings, besides that Luther is a very hard read. Anyway the Holy Spirit intervened and showed me something I never heard before. He used something that all Apostolic Lutherans and Laestadians are very familiar with and that is the statement " believe your sin's forgiven in Jesus Name and shed blood.' This happened over a period of several days. I was drawn to Isaiah 9:6, I can't remember the whole verse but it goes some thing like this. His name (singular) shall be called, wonderful, counselor, Holy God, prince of peace, plus several other titles. The point is, as it was revealed to me that Jesus has at least 100 different titles and they all make up his one name. the Bible never shows that Jesus has many names (plural) but Jesus has only ,One name, and everything that Jesus accomplished, and every thing that makes up his credentials make up his ONE NAME. It felt like my nose was being rubbed into understanding that concept of what the "name of Jesus was." Then of course I started thinking about confession and absolution. When the preacher declares to us, to Believe your sin's forgiven in Jesus name, I thought, is that all I'm suppose to do? Thinking of my new understanding of the Name of Jesus, Just believe on what Jesus had accomplished on the cross. I didn't think any more about it until that very same night I woke up praising God in Finnish...I had dismissed every thing else and trusted in Jesus.........