"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Tomorrow's Memories

Friday, August 08, 2014

Tomorrow's Memories

With the headlines on infinite bloody repeat, it has been a summer of shocking sectarian violence (Gaza, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Burma, China), on top of no-longer-shocking violence in US homes and streets. Add to it the doomsday reports of arctic methane, ebola, wildfires, etcetera, and it seems the only sane thing to do is unplug. After a futile debate on Facebook, I wonder what use am I to the suffering? Why am I even talking about this?

Yes, I need to unplug.

I need to close the digital firehose and open the garden hose, and tend to my tomatoes, where drones are honey bees and there are actual fruit to my labors. Or go jump in a lake, or pet the dog for a really long time, or rock a baby to sleep. I do wish I had a baby to rock! Please young families, move to Seattle and let me babysit. Seriously.

I need to fill the well.

Some former Laestadians are at Finnfest and Siidastallan in Minneapolis this weekend (I hope you get the chance to gather around a campfire). I'll be camping with my family and treasuring the few years we have before college and adulthood spins our kids off into other orbits. There's a full "super" moon on Sunday and a Perseid shower peaking on Tuesday. Better than Christmas gifts.

Several readers here are struggling with the church's grip on their lives. I talked recently to a 14 year old and a 70 year old, both of whom need encouragement. Thanks to longtime contributor Old Ap for posting the following advice, which I think both of them will find useful. If you have additional insights, please share them below.
"My 'cure' for Laestadian-induced bitterness is as follows:
  1. Honestly admit how the person/parents/events/church affected you focusing on the bad but also realizing that there was some good, too. Maybe not much but some. Admit to the damage!
  2. Admit to yourself how you were compelled to act out and/or adopt beliefs/indoctrination that you intuitively knew were wrong.
  3. Realize how your personal aspirations were trampled on by the group's norms.
  4. Acknowledge how the 'fear of God' was used as a weapon against you for control purposes and that it may have included emotional, sexual, verbal and physical abuse.
  5. Acknowledge how so-called 'religious people' acted in wicked ways behind a facade of goodness to suppress a person's individuality.
  6. Understand that the past did in fact shape you but that it was in ways that you are not now happy with. 
"Once a person has gotten to the roots, one should also realize that one NOW HAS A CHOICE about one's future life's pathway. Laestadianism seems to rob people of their internal gyroscope. We all have a chance to remake ourselves and claim or re-claim our internal sense of being. Start making positive life plans for oneself and start taking concrete steps to map out a life that is meaningful to you. The only person MAKING you stay is you." (Old Ap)
Shalom, friends.


  1. Its harsh. The way they perceive everybody, in particular Jewish people or Arabs or blacks, or anyone who is not them, as "believing wrong". They are right, everyone else is wrong. The chasm that creates, spoken or unspoken, is real.

    I knew someone who had an addiction and was very spiritually sick who smoked crack and his family was and is in the church. It's sad because it feels like they are so f****** ignorant that they could never allow someone to admit they need help and stay in a recovery program, because that would mean respecting others beliefs and seeing how God loves everyone and especially those who are sick and know it. The disgusting Pharisee bigot lay pastors are too busy talking about how you must put your sin away by spilling your guts to another child of God. That fricking kills me. Why does telling someone your version of events to save your own ass something special? What about finding out from the person you harmed and making it right? I swear they think they are so righteous when it's positively repulsive. You can feel it when they walk in the room. Try being around a dozen of them. They f****** condemn everyone else and think God accepts them and no one else because the spilled their guts to their brother? I think honesty is an essential part of any relationship, but are they really honest? NEWSFLASH TO THE HOLY ONES: you are not special because you confess your sin. First of all look at your motives. You are doing it to save your own ass. Never once have I heard any of you express love for God. Never! Where is the emotion? Have you told God you love Him?Is this real to you? I don't see any love or care for humanity or people outside your group . If you don't have love shut your pie-hole. Again - just telling someone you watched tv or masturbated or doubted or wtf does not mean anything or make you special. You are so freaking unattractive with your self righteous condemnation of the rest of us. God loves all of us- not just you. You are not the only true believers . It may be quite the opposite. You don't sparkle with joy. You don't care about anyone except your other buddies because you are only interested in saving your own asses while the rest of us burn. Also quit making yourselves believe you are persecuted for God. Wake up , put down the cool aid and take off the glasses....


  2. Just wondering, Dude are you a former member of the Laestadian system?

  3. Let me ask you, why do you ask? What difference does it make? I think the answer is obvious myself, but I am really interested in why you would ask. I guess maybe my comments are a little different than most. That may give you your first clue. I appreciate the question, it actually feels kind of good to know that someone out there noticed anything.


  4. I asked because you sounded disgruntled and were suffering because you were sold a false. Bill of goods by the Laestadian movement just like I was and many many others. The fact is you cannot really get saved if your mind is at all set on believing on a. so called ' right church'....that sort of puts our church people out of luck, until they read the Bible for themselves. Then they will call out there preacher.....

  5. Your anger is palpable, Dude. I'm not here to defend the teachings of these churches. However, I know many folks, "Regulars", who are kind and loving. As in any group, I would say there is a wide range of beliefs and behaviors even though the congregation may all profess to "be of one mind. SISU

    1. "Wide range" means in fact a very tiny mind in religious context IMHO. 100% of cases the boss (and his loyalties) of religional community says eventually how every_thing goes.

      J***: thank you very much about this and your older blog! Do not ever give up. Hugs and warm greetings from Finland! I suppose some victims of religional abusing read your blog also here far away and think same way about everything what you unfortunaly have faced. We are not alone.

  6. Dude, your comments are visceral and bitter and although your verbage is harsh I too observed the same things that you spoke of many years ago. Yes it is true that the inside clique thinks that they are on some higher spiritual plane as long as they are 'spilling their guts' and confessing or 'putting away' their sins. By doing so they seem to believe that they will be going to heaven while the masses head to Sheol. And no, you will not hear about a transformation through faith in Christ and a focus on living a life of joy through the Spirit from your local lay ministry. So your seemingly recent experiences or observations were noted by a number of others 40, 50 and even 60 years ago. I was in a state of anger for quite some time after I left as I realized I had been duped.........I had failed you might say, but I was NOT a failure. In retrospect my anger had served no purpose and it too was a waste of my time. Oh, I had those passing thoughts about joining again and all that it would entail but I realized that it would be like going back to the punch bowl for a second glass of poison. I then realized that the 'cure' was to get in touch with my bitterness and turn it into positive energy by acknowledging to myself the huge loss of years & emotional energy which I had incurred & then to begin taking specific steps to form a new life style for myself and family. That is not an easy task for any of us who grew up in a semi-enclosed ethnic and religious world like Laestadianism. But it is certainly doable if one channels their negative experience into positive energy. You are not alone. Old AP

  7. I am so upset. I just spent an hour writing a big long post explaining a lot and pouring my heart out, and I lost it when I tried to publish. Maybe that is God's way of saying for me to chill.

    I was not a member of this church. My experience is only as an outsider through business relationships.

    1. I could not be a member, I was not born into it.
    2. Nobody invited me to become a member or tried to convert me. This is what it most difficult of all because they don't care about anyone but themselves.

    I learned the truth through my own research, and then I realized and put a context to all the years and experiences. All the rejection and eerie, judgmental silence. They compare themselves favorably to others. The problem with that is they don't tell the truth from the pulpit about people outside their kingdom. Believe me, I know, I have lived with them and have done the research. I am glad that God is not holding a tazer and record book like they teach. He is a good God. You can't lose your salvation like a coin. Once He has you, He will never let you go. That is what I believe, and He has become real in my life.


  8. Good for you Dude , that sounds better, talk about real salvation. Not about Apostolic Lutheranism.