"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Trouble in Finland

Monday, March 07, 2016

Trouble in Finland

A section of Jukkasjärvi church's altarpiece. Photo: Marie Enoksson.
I’ve heard from several readers in Finland that a split is possible among the esikoislestadiolaiset in Finlandthe Laestadians who call themselves Firstborn or Old Apostolic Lutheran here in North America. (For simplicity’s sake, I’ll refer to them as the Firstborn in this post).

The controversy stems from a recent directive from the Firstborn elders in Swedish Lapland to take the sacraments “into your own hands," in essence to separate from the state Lutheran church. It is my understanding that this would result in the loss of church facilities and other resources (as well as responsibilities, such as fees that fund charitable work) and the gain of full autonomy to perform the holy sacraments (communion, baptisms, confirmations, weddings) however and by whomever they choose. Naturally, this goes against church law and possibly against Lutheran doctrine (although the Lutheran church in Sweden and Norway don't seem to object). However, it is not the least surprising to this American, who grew up listening to Firstborn preachers rail against the "dead faith" of the state church in the Motherland. 

For those who read Finnish, there is a lot of information about the controversy, and many links to documents, over at this site.

This news report says a split would result in 10,000 leaving the Church, but there is a significant faction of Firstborn who disagree with their elders. At least one community has rejected the missionaries assigned to them at a January "preacher's meeting," opting for preachers of their own preference. Some communities have even (gasp!) "uninvited" the Swedish elders who will be visiting Finland this summer. That is some serious insubordinance.

“There are a lot of us that do not take the advice from elders in Gällivare as the word of God, even though we are taught to obey, and that disobedience is against God and the Holy Spirit," explains a member who has decided to stay in the Church.

In Mikkeli, Finland, some Firstborn have determined that the directive to remove the sacraments from the Church is illegal (warning: link is a pdf, in Finnish). Such decisions cannot be made in Sweden or Helsinki at a preachers' meeting, they must be made at the local level, argue: 

“It is essential to note that in Finland, the legal and social situation is significantly different than in North America, Norway and Sweden. Esikoislestadiolaiset associations’ local branches are autonomous.”

(Update: this was apparently a mistranslation or misunderstanding. Please refer to the linked document and comments below.)
Not long ago in America, Laestadian immigrants relied on ordained Lutheran clergy (although other denominations would do in a pinch) until their lay preachers were granted the right to perform the sacraments under the laws governing that locality. My grandparents were married by a Presbyterian minister and my parents by a Justice of the Peace. Nowadays, of course, Firstborn lay preachers, all male, none with divinity degrees, are large and in charge.

I suspect the ordination of women priests by the Finnish Church was very challenging to Finnish Laestadians (there are stories of Firstborn refusing to take the sacraments from women), but it was the legalization of same sex marriage in 2014, a move celebrated by the Archbishop, which galvanized some to leave. Finland was the last of the Nordic countries to legalize same sex marriage.

(Update: this theory is rejected in the comment section below.) 

I asked a Finn what he thought the future would hold:

"It's impossible to know what the outcome will be, but I think this might be the moment when something that has been boiling under the surface since the 1990's will finally result in a split. It hasn't been this serious before, so many missionary preachers removed, and congregations refusing to receive missionary preachers sent by the Finnish preachers' meeting and to receive the elders of Swedish Lapland. It will be interesting if the liberal party will be able to remain united or if they will split into several groups over some other issues as soon as they get outside of the control of the 'elders.' And it's also possible that many people will start looking for a place to go in non-Laestadian groups or other Laestadian groups. Some people already have done it."

Some are even changing postal codes.

"We will soon move to a new community," writes one grieving member. "We are leaving the esikoislestadiolaiset, but not the Church. We have wonderful, Christian priests and I have never believed that only the esikoiset are real Christians."

One wonders what Laestadius would think. After all, he remained a priest within the Lutheran Church his entire life, a burr in its hide, corresponding with bishops, arguing doctrine, objecting to rebukes, but never leaving the umbrella of the Holy "catholic" Church. Nor did he advise his followers to leave.

What do you think?

(Please use a nickname when commenting so we can track the thread. Kiitos.)


  1. I would guess that the legalization of gay marriage was the final breaking point in Finland....or at least it is the final catalyst bringing the mix to a boil as there was already ongoing internal dissension. It is somewhat the same in our country's extremely divisive Presidential campaign. What seems to be happening all over the western world is that the middle ground is rapidly eroding and people are quickly gravitating to one extreme or another. As a natural course of events, politicians and political parties arise to provide a 'voice' for the disaffected. I would like to be optimistic but my belief is that we are only seeing the beginning of increasingly divisive political, economic, religious and cultural issues that are going to touch every family in every country. I would guess that at some point that there will be yet another Laestadian fracture within the Firstborn group. There were probably a number of other issues besides church authority and gay marriage that have been brewing below the surface which will gel into specific points of contention when the split comes. Laestadian splits usually follow a pattern that is repeated over and over. We are truly living in changing times. Old AP

  2. Suomessa on pieni joukko "eriseuraa".
    Suurin joukko saarnaajista on lapin vanhimpien kannalla, sakramentti asiassa!
    Kesällä 2016 vanhimmat tulevat suomeen ja saamme varmasti kuulla elävän jumalan sanan heiltä!
    Jumalan rauhaa amerikan ystävät!

    1. En ymmärrä, miten olet laskenut. Täällähän on ollut paljon kirjoituksia päivälehdissäkin asiasta. Lähetysmiehiä hyllytettiin, koska he eivät halunneet olla kuuliaisia lapin miesten neuvoille ja toimittaa sakramentteja, koska se on kirkon ja sen tunnustuksen vastaista.

  3. When will they ever learn? In the parable of the sower, the sower is the church and it's people spreading the word, which amounts to preaching the gospel and teaching. There is no authority given to seek power and split. Preach the gospel and allow the Holy spirit do He's work. And quit acting like Finns. Matt

  4. I invite you OALC and ex-OALC sisters and brothers to discussion forum esikoisten.keskustelu.info
    Please register first.

    If any questions pls send email to pvaanane at yahoo dot com

    The discussions have been so far mainly in Finnish language but you may open new thread in English; we are many who can write something in your language as well.

    Most of us forum people have origins in Firstborn/Esikoislestadiolaiset family but currently are against the Firstborn main doctrine that Elders are demi-gods having supernatural connections with Holy Ghost, and OALC-Esikoiset is considered as the Church of Christ (and other people go to hell). We refuse to follow Elders orders because they are heretic and against Lutheran Confessions.

  5. There is no legalization of gay marriage in the Finnish church.

    There is no, absolute no need to separate oneself from the Lutherian church.
    The communion is totally acceptable in the Lutheran church, it can be served and blessed by male ministers as always.

    The true reason is the elder's wish to establish or form a new church.
    Part of the christians cannot accept their reasons, as there is not a word of Scriptures beyond them. Only fake reasons.

    We feel pity for you Americans and Canadians, who do not have clear idea, what the Lutheran faith really is.

    Let us change ideas and opinions.

  6. BaaBaaWhiteSheep

    I have to apologize the rough meaning in the previous and anonymous text of mine.
    I was going to say, the being a member in a Lutheran chuch, inside the church, has formed my way to explain the religious culture around me.
    As a Firstborn lestadian in Finland, over 60 years, I have never
    held the opinion that only we, only our congregation is exclusively the only one.
    That doctrine game into this christianity some day in late 80's.
    Even prevailing in the small remote villages of the Swedish Lappland, it did not influence much of the teachings of preachings in Finland. The fact is, that the religious atmosphere in Finland was quite variable.

    My interest arouse when I heard the preachings of the present elders, when they seemed to ruin the Lutheran doctrin of
    righteousness, how a sinner is seen righteous. They seem to rise
    common life, garments, music and others (which Luther calls Adiafora) in the center of the faith and as a method of being saved.

    It is a very difficult project to become free of false doctrins and a cngregation, which tries to control your life thruoughtly.

    The very beginnig is that you realize this: They are the promises of grace in Jesus Christ, which saves you, not the congregation.
    These promises you find in the Holy Scriptures.

    There in America, you can have Martin Luther´s writings translated and published by Missouri Synod in St. Louis.
    It´s very useful to read them, for example Church Postille and his commentar of the Letter to the Galatians.

    Please, write to me:

  7. Pekka said, "Most of us forum people have origins in Firstborn/Esikoislestadiolaiset family but currently are against the Firstborn main doctrine that Elders are demi-gods having supernatural connections with Holy Ghost, and OALC-Esikoiset is considered as the Church of Christ (and other people go to hell)." Did I hear this right....? You mean others have finally figured out the same things which I did and for which many of us were ostracized for? BaaBaa tries to state that the doctrine of exclusivism only came about in the 1980's. That is a bunch of baloney as that type of thinking was around in the 1950's and my parents stated it was prevalent in the 1920's. I would say that in general most speakers/ministers in most Laestadian groups are considered to be demi-gods by many in their congregations & obedience is expected. This seemingly blind kowtowing is actually a dysfunctional coping mechanism for people who are unable to think for themselves. When people have no real comprehension of their own doctrine and its logical conclusions they are unable to face up to any objective criticism. The fall back line is, "well that is what the ministers believe/teach" or "that is what the elders believed", blah, blah, blah. The current dissension within the Firstborn is actually a positive sign as it shows that there still exists people who can actually think objectively. Old AP

  8. BaaBaaWhiteSheep tries to explain more his thoughts.
    I apologize the vague meanings, being unable to express my ideas in English and read your text.
    I am not trying to explain, that I posses the greatest truth on earth. This is my opinion, only.

    Maybe the doctrine of the exclusive congregation dates back to
    the past decades, but here in Nordic countries it has not been so strongly emphasized, however.
    Laestadius did not have that idea. He accepted all, who have passed thru the steps of repentance, marks of Ordo Salutis.
    It can be seen in his correspondence with Peter Wiselegren in Gothenburg. You can see this opinion in his Sermon held in
    Sorsele, or how he praises the Methodist preacher George Scott, who went to America. He wants to show a tractate of this named man to his friends and other priests.
    Meaning "this christianity" was a sociological expression, not e thelogical one, for Johan Raattamaa.

    I have been told, that it was not Raattamaas idea, that the Laestdians of the Upper Penisula in Michigan separated themselves form the local Lutheran church.
    There is much controversy caused By the Laeastadians themselves, I suppose, Korteniemi and others.

    I my youth, I realized, that the Heidemanians are separated, more "worldy", but still christians.
    I cannot understand how they were called "heretic".

    When the famous preacher Gunnar Jönsson was asked, whether the
    East Laestadians in the Swedish Lappland (maybe Rauhan Sana in Finland) are Christians, he answered: Of course they are!

    I would say, that the segregation of the Laestadian movement did not mean here in Europe such a strong difference between christians and non-christians.
    Maybe the "Heidemanians" (Here in Finland SRK in Oulu) did have
    such a strong teachings, that "only we" are true christians. Maybe it was also case among the Firstborn in the Swedish Lapplands, but not among all. I have seen, there were more self-righteous and less self-righteous people. The main idea was, to follow "the Elders", who have the brightests light of the word.

    As for the First Born in Finland, we did hear that kind of opinions and teachtings to, of course. The difference was there, that our christianity did not have such a uniform culture. Some preachers and some localities had more "liberal" Laestadian culture than others.

    Moreover, being a memmber in the Lutheran church also had its
    influence in teachings of an individual preachers. I dont mean all, but some individuals. We had, for example one Lutheran priest as a preacher. I remember, when he teached some young people of Helsinki to translate the Gospel of St. John.

  9. BaaBaa, You seem to infer that 'exclusivism' was not as large an issue in Finland but I disagree as I have known a number of Finnish-American Laestadians who have traveled to Finland and they state it is just as prevalent as the US. It is true that Laestadius himself did not have those exlusivity ideas and that he recognized God's spirit at work in other movements. That is why I find myself in full agreement with Laestadius but not with the 'latter day Laestadian saints' who claim that they are his followers. Now some readers of this site might be surprised at my comments as they would point to Laestadius' preaching. Laestadius himself stated that he only preached the way he did because of the hardness of his listeners and their lifestyles. But the current crop of 'latter day Laestadian saints' seem to think that they can read a Postilla sermon and that they are then somehow imbued with Laestadius' spirit. I used to be amazed at the number of church members who walk around depressed, and not really believing they are Christians, fixated on sins, refusing to develop their God given talents, living in fear of gossip and all the while forcing themselves to listen to boring sermons from speakers whose best talents were putting people to sleep. BaaBaa stated that Gunnar Jonsson accepted the Rauhan Sana group as fellow Christians....if so then he was the only one who did. I have had more than a few Firstborn categorically state that the Rauhan Sana group were heretics and by default they were going to hell. So I am not accepting of BaaBaa's nor anyone else's revisionist history. I have repeatedly noted and pointed out on this blog Laestadian member's penchant to suddenly develop alternate views to their core beliefs when they are pressed for clarification. For example, ask any of them if there are other Christian groups and they will say yes. Then ask them to name one and they will most always say, "I don't know of any". Case closed. Old AP

  10. BaaBaaWhiteSheep here again with these statements:

    It seems we are starting now arguing.
    Do you know, who Gunnar Jönsson was? And his precessor, William Eriksson? They were the leading elders. First in the past 80's revealed us, that there was a strong (more legal) opposition in the Swedish Lappland, with David B. having the greatest authority among others, when Gunnar Jönsson had passed away.

    But Gunnar Jönsson and William Eriksson,they co-operated with the church, they participated the various
    organs in their parish and church province.
    Same was the situation in Finland. It was impossible to make such a categorial statement.(they go to hell)'
    It has always been understood, that the priests speak the very word of God, when they read Bible at the altar or give absolution.

    I would be interested to know, whether you are a ex-Firstborn really?
    I do not want to argue, but I would like to know, which kind of people from Finland you have met over there.

    I lived my boyhood in the South-Western Finland. When I moved over to Lahti area, my new friends tried to teach me to
    abandon those very strict opinions concerning the church and
    also other Lestadian seggregated groups.
    I think this condemnation came into the picture in 80's, even it was prevailing also in the 50's.
    I presume presence of the exclusive doctrin of congregation follows a wave like curve.

    But, I would like to leave behind me all the problems of Laestadianism and change ideas with you Americans, what to do now?
    My way to freedom started 25 years ago. I got much relief from the texts of Martin Luther.
    I do not know, how did you broke up your way into freedom.

    I would like to know, how are the feelings in Calumet or Duluth or Sault St. Marie.

  11. BaaBaa, I usually do not discuss the specifics of my Laestadian background as people would then try to categorize me. In addition, once I left the movement I realized that all of the Laestadian groups were essentially the same and since I was familiar with each group's beliefs I now just consider myself an ex-member. There are local Laestadians in my area but they do not know who I am as I do not have any contact with them. I am glad you were able to read the teachings of Luther and you should be able to see that his preaching and understandings are much different than those of modern day Laestadians. My real Christian spiritual growth has been in independent 'Bible Churches' which exist here in America. Most are unaffiliated groups or part of smaller denominations. Most 'Bible churches' have conservative Baptist-type leanings and they came about because the true Word in the Bible was not being taught by the major denominational churches. In my church we uphold Luther's basic teachings and concepts although we would of course differ on his beliefs about Baptism as they were based on Catholicism, and we would also on the Lutheran's focus on doctrine versus personal faith. Interestingly enough, there are some smaller and very conservative non-Laestadian Lutheran groups in America. Two of the largest conservative Lutheran groups in America are called the 'Wisconsin Lutheran Synod' and the other one is the 'Church of the Lutheran Confession' but neither of them would be accepted by any of the Laestadians even though they are very conservative and they also rigidly follow Luther's teachings. But I did find that the truth of the Bible exists, just that it is not to be found for the most part within the Laestadian churches any more. Like you I am glad that I found my freedom from their false teachings. Old AP

  12. The blog states: "In Mikkeli, Finland, some Firstborn have determined that the directive to remove the sacraments from the Church is illegal (warning: link is a pdf, in Finnish). Such decisions cannot be made in Sweden or Helsinki at a preachers' meeting, they must be made at the local level, they argue:
    “It is essential to note that in Finland, the legal and social situation is significantly different than in North America, Norway and Sweden. Esikoislestadiolaiset associations’ local branches are autonomous.”

    I think the writer has misunderstood the message here. The local branches are not autonomous. The comment is to criticize the local decisions to take sacraments in 'own hands' as no national decision has been made either in preachers meeting or annual meeting of the association. And the comment is not from Mikkeli, the commenters are senior lawyers from Lahti and Turku. Regards, ahhalme

    1. aahalme, thank you for the clarification. I will confess it is very confusing (even without the language barrier).

  13. All this talk about the workings of the Christian church , all the names of men mentioned, and not even a mention of the Gospel. I ask baa baa, to spell it out, write down what you think the Gospel is, and show then why is there trouble.....MAtt

  14. Matt, Your point is well taken. That is why I am very comfortable with the transition I made to a non-denominational Bible based church that is based on faith in Christ versus the continued Lutheran/Laestadian 'thing' to keep splitting hairs over doctrinal issues. Since this is an ex-member blog these discussions over doctrinal minutiae are to be expected. But BaaBaa's mentioning of specific minister's names reminds me of the old days when people would invoke various preachers name's and their positions over some minutiae type doctrinal issue. It is seemingly endless.....and also fruitless. Still, I wonder if going through a doctrinal rejection stage is necessary for a Laestadian to leave the group? Perhaps that is what BaaBaa is struggling with now. Anyways, when I was a member I never recall one discussion where Laestadians would ever discuss how Jesus had worked in their lives and changed it for the better. Old AP

  15. For Old AP the doctrine of congregation seems to be a "minutiate type doctrinal issue".

    I must disagree with this brave writer. It is a very important doctrinal issue, as it is a heretic one and against the Scriptures.
    No one has right to teach false doctrins.

    Moreover, it also has its impact on the teachings how a sinner is made righteous, who posses the keys of the kingdom of heaven, who can give absolution, and who posses the Holy Spirit.
    There is no idea to follow false teachings, to spoil one's life
    as a slave of the devil of the self righteousness.

  16. Matt made me a question. I am sure, we both know it, what Gospel is.
    It shows us Jesus Christ, only him as a Saviour.
    Its not my humble mind, my membership in this congregation which is said to be the only one on earth, not my simple and moderate life etc

  17. Anonymous wrote:

    "So I am not accepting of BaaBaa's nor anyone else's revisionist history. I have repeatedly noted and pointed out on this blog Laestadian member's penchant to suddenly develop alternate views to their core beliefs when they are pressed for clarification..."

    I have named two preachers, who were not only preachers, but the very leaders of the Firstborn Laestadians.
    We could speak of their administration, like you Americans speak about Obama administration and that of some other president.

    We know, that the Firstborn Laestadian culture in Europe differs from the American one. I just wanted to explain, that other Laestadian christians were not so easily anathematized, expecially during the rule of those two preachers or elders (ca. 1950-1980). Maybe the situation has always been so different there in America, but my intention was only to explain the situation here in Finland and Sweden, where Firstborn christians have lived as a member of the Lutheran church.

    Anyway, these "two ministers" had a very decisive role in the christian life. When I was in the U.S., they we asked, whom the
    christians should vote for, in the presediential elections, McGovern or Nixon? I was present, when this question was made.

    If this explanation is too revisionist one, I am sorry.

    Here in Finland we ex-Laestadians discuss lively on various
    doctrins and questions, which arouse from our past or our present christian life. It has been very useful for many.

    Thank you. BaaBaaWhiteSheep

  18. Thanks for contributing here, BaaBaa, your perspective is valuable, and I hope you are not put off. I remember Gunnar Jonsson and William Erickson's mission trip in the 70's. They visited our house and gave me their autographs for a keepsake, like rock stars. When Gunnar was asked if photographs were a sin, he laughed and said "I hope not, I have one right here" and opened his wallet. Someone said he owned an organ in his home. That made me kind of mad, actually, as it was proof I was being denied something arbitrarily.
    I'm curious, how did the elders respond to the request for advice on the presidential election?

  19. Thanks, Seattlehorn.

    When Gunnar was asked how to vote for, He said these words. "I cannot come and tell you Americans, how to vote in elections. But, If I were American, I would vote for Nixon...".
    For me that was a disappointment, as I thought that US needed
    more social security and other things, which are "must" here in Nordic countries. That was in 1972.
    I was also in Brush Prairie, so very apparently I have visited your home. (Maybe that was a too personal statement..)
    I remember the morning when I was thaught "Amazing grace.." in a beautiful cider wood house.

    Taking photos was sin for some Finns, some not.
    In Swedish Lappland it was not a sin, but only for those, who were strongly influenced by self righteousness.

    Yes, Gunnar was criticized for his organs also in Finland by couple very self righteous persons.
    This doctrinal line is now ruling in the Firstborns.

    Here in Finland people try to establish a new "congregation" inside the church and have babtism and communion there, as traditionally.
    But, there are other Lutheran alternatives without female ministers, so I do not know how do they succeed.

    So, we consider that Laestadianism has nothing to do with our
    salvation. God does not need Laestadionism in order to save
    It has many heretic doctrins, and it is not useful to sit there Sunday after Sunday and spoil the mind and soul.

    Here in Finland we have understood the the pure word of God is
    the "norma normans", rule over rules.
    It is important to understand that the Lutheran churches are
    not dead, not even the catholic church - even there are false doctrins. Where the word of God
    and the holy sacraments are, God can rise up faith, where ever he wants to do so.

    If you will contact me, write: jormaoj@saunalahti.fi

  20. Baa Baa, if you are concerned who posses the keys and who can give absolution and. Who has the holy spirit, you just don't understand how to get saved the New Covenant way, you are deep into man's religion. In all my years I have seen very few that have escaped that kind of bondage, mainly because people will read the Bible and think for themselves...Matt

  21. OOPS, I mean't, they will not read theBible and think for themselves....Matt

  22. Dear Matt.
    You seem to have some problems of understanding my text. Sorry.
    It is so painful to me.
    I am not concerned about who is the one possessing the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and the right to give absolution. BaaBaa

  23. Matt, did it ever occur to you that people who frequent this blog don't wish to be proselytized to?
    No offense, but I had my share of listening to bible thumping when I was a Laestadian
    Free, feel free to delete this if I have crossed a line

  24. BaaBaa said, "Moreover, it also has its impact on the teachings how a sinner is made righteous, who posses the keys of the kingdom of heaven, who can give absolution, and who posses the Holy Spirit." Well I disagree with the Laestadian understandings on each of these points. The Laestadians have a distorted understanding of the 'keys' for example. They believe that only their group(s) possesses the Spirit and also that they exclusively retain power to forgive sins. In contrast the Bible teaches that the true church possesses the gospel message of Jesus and that belief in his name transforms a person through the Spirit. These two approaches are not semantics, nor are they a simple difference based on a play in words. They are extremely different concepts. Unbeliever, I try not to Bible thump but some of us on this blog actually still believe in the Bible message, it is just that we feel that we were given a warped and non-Biblical Laestadian interpretation of the Bible while growing up. Kids just believe their parents (at least I did) and if they tell you the boogeyman exists you believe it. For a number of years after leaving I wanted nothing to do with churches as I felt I had been deceived and emotionally burned by what I had been brought up with. So I do not knock you for not wanting to listen to a Bible Thumper. Old AP

  25. Well, we have here in Europe adopted that kind of truth, that the
    Holy Spirit or the absolution of sins is not bound to "the true church", but the word of God and the sacraments.
    That means, that the area is enlarged to consist of the whole
    That idea comes from the understanding, that there is no church on earth, which is totally pure, but believers and non-believers are mixed among each other.
    That is, of course, a pure Lutheran doctrin, which some of this Blog will not accept.
    I do not write more, as it may harm some body who is a more frequent writer here. BaaBaa
    Anyway, it is quite far from the traditional Laestadian teachings.

  26. BaaBaa, Please feel free to continue writing as it is very informative to hear of those like you who in Finland have figured out the truth. We have a saying here in America when one figures out that they had believed in something false but then they discovered the truth. We say, "Wake up and smell the coffee." Old AP

  27. The assumption that because someone does not listen to fundamentalist bible thumping they then do not have faith or beliefs is overly simplistic. I have no problem with discussion, but at times I smell the same stench of self righteous "I am gifted with the knowledge of salvation and you need to believe waht I believe" that struck me as so wrong. It is like modern day pharisees.

  28. Unbeliever: A little snarky, but I don't take anything personal when dealing with religious only people, So I suppose you disrespect Apostle Paul's writings, He certainly expected people to hear him and believe what he taught, further he said, if anyone perverts the gospel of Christ that I teach ,let him be accursed. Paul was the Apostle for us gentiles, the Jews that were trying to add or pervert the the gospel were being taught by the twelve. The twelve were still half way under the law, just like some lutherans and catholics are today. That's the problem, it is impossible to get translated into the Kingdom of God believing some truth and some law and some whatever you want....so yes I have the knowledge of salvation by believing and limiting my belief to the Gospel that Paul preacher...The Laestadian movement preaches a perverted Gospel...Paul outlines the New Testament gospel that he preached in 1 Cor 15: 1 thru 4 , The Laestadians will read it and say, that's impossible, where is the rest of it....understand what it say's and believe it, and respond to God and not to your preacher...And BAM.......Matt

  29. Dear Unbeliever.
    Don't be afraid! I never more tell anybody here what I believe and how.

    I wish you good and happy days and God's blessings.

  30. Unbliever, I would be curious of the reception the Jehovah's Witnesses would receive if they ever showed up at your door? All that aside, I like discussing things with people who are up front and honest with what they believe as it seems Paul was quite comfortable talking with the pagans, the Romans, the Jews as well as the Greek intellectuals of his day. Paul had a very methodical and logical way of discussing things with people. His methodology always seemed to lead people from where they were at religiously to the next higher level by trying to point out to people that there was a higher truth culminating in the Son of God. Paul's method was so different than what I recall as a Laestadian child where people seemed to love 'sin bashing' others. My experience has been that the only effective evangelical approach is by one who has lived it. Old AP

  31. Matt, It sounds an awful lot like you are reducing the bible down to Paul's teachings. "I have the knowledge of salvation by believing and limiting my belief to the Gospel that Paul preacher" Kind of makes me wonder where Peter fit in to the equation, after all Jesus said, in reference to Peter "upon this Rock I will build my church".
    I'm sorry, but what I read here from Matt and some others is the same old "I'm going to tell you the true way to salvation" that the Laestadians (and other fundamentalist groups espouse) which ultimately is less about Faith in God, in the Salvation offered by Jesus, and in the presence of the Holy Spirit as a guide, and more about "Believing Correctly" or following the right rules.
    People in Laestadian culture assume that those of us who leave left because of "sin", but many leave because they are led away by the truth that the Laestadian belief system does not speak at all to their spirit.

  32. That last comment was mine

  33. Unbeliever: You said,it sounded like I was reducing the Bible to Paul's teaching,as far as instruction for us gentiles, that's exactly what I'm doing. The whole Bible is for our learning, but not for our focus. Paul was God's chosen Apostle for the us gentiles, for almost 20 years after the cross the 12 stayed around Jerusalem preaching to the Jews, because they thought Jesus was coming back at any time to set up His earthly Kingdom.You can check this out in acts 15. This happened in ad50, that's about 20 years after the cross. Paul had a council with the twelve and he explained the Gospel of the grace of God thru faith alone, and Peter and the other 12 agreed with Paul, it says they shook hands and Paul continued preaching to the gentiles with the gospel of grace,and it says the 12 stayed in Jerusalem with the Jews, there was a difference in their Gospel. But later they all came to believe in the gospel of grace,that Paul preached.....Also in Gal 12,Paul tells that he did not receive the gospel of the grace of God from man, but it was down loaded from Christ in heaven, Paul goes on to say that he did'nt confer with the twelve until many years later. So yes, until people recognise that Paul's epistles are written to the Gentile believers the Body of Christ, and the other epistles are addressed to the Jews....When you receive mail, don't you read the mail addressed to you first? Of course we do, Apostle Paul is our mailman.....consent rate on his epistles,starting at Romans and the next many books....read and believe, and let go of man's religion....Matt

  34. Unbeliever, all of the early Christian writers who were people who actually knew the Apostles or whom lived shortly thereafter, heavily quoted Paul's writings as well as the other Apostles. Paul himself wrote that he was the Apostle to the Gentiles. So yes, I think the Pauline letters carry much weight but as Peter said there were many who twisted his writings to mean something different than what he had wrote. Keep in mind that Paul makes distinctions in his writing between what he commands and what he thinks is best (his suggestions). You seem to fear that we are going to try to convert you or something. Far from it as the truth of the Gospel speaks for itself. Old AP

  35. Good word, Old Ap, in Eph 3 :2 Paul writes to us gentiles...If you have heard of the dispensation "dispensing" of the Grace of God given to me for you. In another place Paul said,this gospel has never before been revealed, and said I received it from the Lord in heaven, it has been a mystery. Paul instructs Timothy to have understanding to properly divide the word of truth, meaning get to know what applies foremost to the gentiles in this new dispensation. Of. God's grace.
    If the Laestadian movement would have a better understanding of this, they would not get all hung up and arguing about a verse like" who's sins you remit, they are remitted and who's sins you retain are retained" that's not for the dispensation of grace, it's the remission of sins not the retaining of them. I don't know exactly how retaining sin works, but I do know if you are trying to get saved, don't have a verse like that on your radar, that's not from Paul, although a person certainly can get saved from any verse in the Bible that has Christ and His finished work as the center, the Holy Spirit can work miracles if you show some interest....Matt

  36. I'm with Unbeliever on this one. Some former Laestadians jumped from the pan to the fire, and often the threads here are highjacked by some who don't care what the thread topic is, but rather their own personal topic which is, "I know the truth, let me dictate it to you."

    Its all so familiar.


  37. ""BaaBaa, Please feel free to continue writing as it is very informative to hear of those like you who in Finland have figured out the truth. We have a saying here in America when one figures out that they had believed in something false but then they discovered the truth. We say, "Wake up and smell the coffee." Old AP

    My response to your message is this.

    The most interesting question is, how I am saved?
    If I get loose from this congregation, whhat does it mean?
    Does it mean, that I leave myself outside salvation, if I go out of
    this congregation, where I am taught, that o n l y this..... etc.?

    The answer is, where did you get salvation? Or better say: HOW?

    In my Cathecism, there is a sentence: "....the Holy Spirit has invited me thru the word of Gospel...". Thru Gospel !!!!
    So, I did not get the my faith thru the "right" church, but the word
    of God, as the Holy Spirit worked in me. The word and the Spirit are bound together.

    The Gospel has taught me to rely upon or trust in Jesus Christ.
    In him, in Jesus Christ only is my salvation.

    As long us my feet are on the rock Jesus Christ, that means, the word of Gospel, which offers me his grace, I am saved,
    even all the waves and floods rise their Waters over me.

    Even I see, I am a sinner, I can trust in Jesu's fulfilled work:
    as apostel Paul says in Romans 8:1: There is no condemnation in those, who are in Jesus Christ.
    Am I in Jesus Christ, when I am like this?
    I am in Jesus Christ, you are in Jesus Christ, you so much want to follow him, you who need his love and forgivness. You are in Jesus Christ,
    because it is not flesh, but the Holy Spirit, who makes your heart
    so warm, when you hear a word of him, or feel your appetite on
    So, you can go on as a child of God.

    Here, on the other side of the Big Water, we have had the following

    1) Which is the true church?
    2) Where there is the Holy Spirit?
    3) Who can posses the Holy Spirit?
    4) Who can give absolution?
    5) What is the meaning and purpose of the sacraments, babtism and
    the Holy Supper?

    6) The history of Laestadian movement.
    7) Is there living cbristianity and the active Holy Spirit
    outside my Laestadian group?
    8) What means catholic?
    Does it mean, that everything we find in the catholic church
    is influenced by Devil?
    9) What means adiafora?
    What means that Gospel has been transformed to form a new law?
    10 Christian freedom
    11 Where can I find children of God?

    I do not write more, even give you any idea of mine, as there are
    people who cannot afford that kind of opinions here.

    Anyway, it is an experience of many, that God leads us thru crisis.
    We must learn to know, that this way, where I have lived from
    my childhood, cannot fullfill my needs.
    One experience is, that I am living like a rat or mouse in the cage,
    and running the wheel, day and night.
    What doe it mean?
    This sunday I made repentance in the church, and reeived the absolution thru the common Laestadian phrase: ".. Holy name and Blood", but today it is Monday, I realize, I am sinner again.
    I cannot make myslef better...even I throw out the window my television set, or my wedding ring, or shut my car audio....
    My flesh does not become holy, even I follow as strict rules as hell!
    Its another way. BaaBaa

  38. To whom it may concern, I add this chapter of Cathecism in
    (As I wrote invited, but it should be c a l l e d.)

    Of Sanctification.

    I believe in the Holy Ghost; one holy Christian Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

    What does this mean?--Answer.

    I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith; even as He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers, and at the last day will raise up me and all the dead, and will give to me and to all believers in Christ everlasting life. This is most certainly true.

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. I will tell to the readers of this forum, that anything in the Finnish church itself is the reason of sacrament crisis inside
    Firsborn Laestadian movement.
    All the reasons are excuses.
    It is said, for example, that the sacrament of the altar is "catholic". That is not true. More over, gays and lesbos are
    not blessed in the church. The gay marriage is a profan seremony held in the magistrate.
    Male ministers are always available, when needed.

  41. I have enjoyed myself with many good articles of this forum.
    There is one, which gives us information on Sami people, or Lapps. as we Finns have used to say in the past.
    The Swedish Lutheran Church has expressed her sorry for the Sami due to bad treatment in the past.
    For us Finns, it is very interesting to see, that the Swedes never made the same for the Finns, who has been a badly treated minority of this country for centuries.
    You may know, the the Swedish settlers of Delaware or New Sweden, were mostly ethnic Finns, very badly treated in the
    forests of Dalarna and Värmland, where they were invited By
    the king Gustavus Vasa.
    When the ThreeCentennial of this colony was held in 1938, we
    had the opportunity of taking part in the ceremony as a nation - thanks to Minnesota congressman Emil Hurja, who was a friend of
    president F: D: Roosevelt.
    Same happened again, when Ronald Reagan was president 1988.
    The Swedes did not like that, which came out in Wilmington after the seremonies in the presence of the Swedish King (whom we love here in Finland as well).
    It happened in the elevator, that one of the officials of the Swedish Embassy said: "thanks God, we managed to hide the Finns...". Unfortunately he forgot that we Finns understand Swedish, so one American-Finnish lady well understood the sentence...

    Anyway, Finns have had a very strong contribution in the civilization of the country, west from Appalacians. They introduced the log cabinn, the easy way ti build up a house in the frontied forest.

    Once I told in a Finnish newspaper, that William Cody, Buffalo Bill, was a Finn, originally Kotilainen, originating from Liminka, near Oulu. I got terrible much messages in my telephone
    recorder from various readers.
    I was asked the origin of this information, and I told, that the idea was given in the settlement history of the Colorado Finnds.
    Buffalo Bill used to take sauna baths together with Sitting Bull somewhere in the ridges of Wyoming.

  42. Once I told in a Finnish newspaper, that William Cody, Buffalo Bill, was a Finn, originally Kotilainen, originating from Liminka, near Oulu. I got terrible much messages in my telephone
    recorder from various readers.
    I was asked the origin of this information, and I told, that the idea was given in the settlement history of the Colorado Finnds.
    Buffalo Bill used to take sauna baths together with Sitting Bull somewhere in the ridges of Wyoming.
    William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody (February 26, 1846 – January 10, 1917) was an American scout, bison hunter, and showman. He was born in the Iowa Territory (now the U.S. state of Iowa) in Le Claire but he grew up for several years in his father's hometown in Canada before his family moved to the Kansas Territory.
    Too many bong hits in the sauna?

  43. I dont understand, sorry. What means too many bong hits?
    You can be born anywhere in the North America, and still have nice sauna experiences in Wyoming... ;)
    That information was told By a Finn, who said to be his decessor and living in nw Colorado.

  44. A very rudimentary internet search will reveal that Buffalo Bill was not a finn.

  45. Where is the negative evidence?
    If the fact is not known, how we can find any reliable evidence against it?

    How easy it is find that one of the fathers of independence, John Morton was a Finn?

  46. Easy...you google him and it says that his father was finnish
    can you cite any source that Buffalo bill was a finn?

    "For the truth about William Cody’s lineage, we must turn to Don
    Russell’s authoritative biography,
    The Lives and Legends of Buffalo Bill.
    Russell’s research was thorough and exemplary; the notes for his book in
    the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, are proof of that.ccording to Russell, “Buffalo Bill’s most remote definitely known
    ancestor was one Philip, whose surname appears in various surviving rec-
    ords as Legody, Lagody, McCody, Mocody, Micody . . . as well as Codie,
    Gody, Coady, and Cody.”
    Russell traces Philip to Philippe Le Caude of the Isle of Jersey, who
    married Marthe Le Brocq of Guernsey in the parish of St. Brelades, Isle of
    Jersey, on September 15, 1692. Although the family names are French,
    the Channel Islands have been British possessions since the Middle Ages.
    No Irish or Spanish in sight; just good English stock.
    His mother, Mary Ann was descended from Josiah Bunting, a friend of William
    Penn. The Buntings migrated from Derbyshire, England, in 1690 and set-
    tled in Derby, Pennsylvania.
    No Finnish blood that we can find. http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/samples/wiley031/00020368.pdf

  47. They say you can always tell a Finn, but you can't tell him much

  48. I my old dictionary there is a word baldly, but not baldy. Sorry.

    I would say to my anonymous writer, that in Finland we make more
    inventions (relatively) than in many other countries. That means, that we are quite innovative and creative. Our weakness is individualism to the utmost point of egoism.

    In America it seems, that there is only one truth, or many truths, and each of them try to beat each other and become the only one.
    We try to put these truths on the table and let every one take and select his own.

    1. historical fact, backed by documentation beats the wild claims of somebody with an anecdotal story. Historical evidence shows that William Cody did not have finnish ancestry.
      you can throw undocumented theories on the table but they don't beat fact.

    2. You are right.
      Mentioning that table, on which various thruths lie,
      I did not mean this case of Buffalo Bill, but in general the way.
      It was told me By my daughter, who was 2 times invited to study in Standford for few months.

      I am sad, I was wrong!

  49. When God was about to give Moses a friendly form of law to give to Is real, the sisu head People , even before they heard what God was going to offer said, yeah, what ever God say's we will do. That was a mistake, that was a cocky answer, God changed His tone and gave them a harsh law that their response deserved. For a thousand years they were under the bondage of the law.
    When God was ready to lift the law of the people, Jesus came along and put the law on steroids for its final time before it was to become the dispensation of God's grace. Jesus said things like the following just so more sisu head people would not be foolish enough to want to continue trying and trying to keep the law. ...If you lust after a woman in your heart, you have. Already committed adultery, and if you hate your brother, its the same as. Murder, and if your eye leads you into sin, pluck it out, and if your hand leads you to sin , cut it off.
    Jesus said those things so people would cry out, we can't possibly keep the law, instead of answer like the Jews did, they said, whatever God says to do, we will do it. Only a small percent of the Church seems to understand this Jesus kept the law for us,receive ye Him....

  50. It would be interesting to see here friendly discussion at good and bad, argumented By the Scriptures..

    In order to inform you about the situation here among the sisu people, I would like to emphasize that gay marriage and female
    priests is not an issue, which are leading to this sacrament crisis.

    In your church there are no gay marriages, because they are not
    blessed in the church.
    As for the some public announcements of the Archbishop, they do not any influence to the daily life of a single Laestadian attending the massa or the Holy Supper.
    Local parishes live their life of their own.

    In addition, in local parishes they have many conservative priests who belong to some "awakening movement".

    For example, Heidemanians have their priests all over the country.

    So, any Laestadian movement can have its own "church-Sunday" in any parish, and call the priests of its own, or priest they
    have trustee. That may happen 1 times a year, and in addition
    in the open and public mass.

    Heidemanians have about 200 priests in the country, also in
    big cities.
    They are not going to leave the church or take sacrament into
    "clean hands".

    Firstborn do not have priests, because they always have blamed them and accused them for "fornification". There are some 5-6
    active priests of Firstborn background.
    One layman preached educated himself, but Elders of Lappland
    made just 1 phone call and he was fired.

    Still, Firstborn are able of attending mass with Holy Supper
    served By male priests or any priest they want.
    That is not a problem.

  51. If you knew that Jesus is the only priest you wouldn't be talking about these men priests.

  52. About Buffalo Bill.
    There was documentation, one person, who gave that information,
    as I told you, In Colorado.
    But, having a authorized biography, I must.... stop.

  53. Jesus, the Lord, is our superior priest.

    For the obtaining of this faith, the ministry of teaching the Gospel and administering the Sacraments was instituted.

    For by the Word and Sacraments, as by instruments, the Holy Spirit is given: who worketh faith, where and when it pleaseth God, in those that hear the Gospel, to wit, that God, not for our merit's sake, but for Christ's sake, doth justify those who believe that they for Christ's sake are received into favour.

    This can be see in the Scriptures.
    Ephesians 4:11-12.

  54. there is no place in the Church for priests. 2nd timothy describes the church ,the body of Christ structure. Deacons, Bishops, and Pastors only. The verses you quoted say the same thing, no mention of Priests. If you check your concordance, you will find that the word Priest is not used even one time, when referring to the Body of Christ. Check it out, all the epistles that Paul wrote to the church, the Body of Christ, he never used the word priest, because that was only for old testament law.
    For if Jesus was on earth, He would not be a priest,SEEING THAT PRIESTS ON EARTH OFFER GIFS ACCORDING TO THE LAW. That's the problem, today's church does not know enough to divide the word of truth as Paul instructs Timothy,
    In Hebrews it talks about a high priest, but it is written by Paul to the Jews who were having a hard time leaving the workings of the law behind. Every reference in Hebrews is showing the Jews there is no more earthly priesthood, because Jesus alone has that title. " one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ."
    All the priests that are practicing in that office are phony, phony religion, that's what the Bible reveals, it,s not my Idea...It just shows we have to look at ,to whom was it written, otherwise we will have a religious mess ,that's evident in the Laestadian church and elsewhere.

  55. I consider that quite fruitless argumentation.
    It is no more possible to have, in this enlarged structure of
    the church, Bishop at every possible township.
    So, there are priests - name of the office is not important - to administrate teaching and sacraments.
    He is then vicar, as the name shows, under the Bishop.

    To be Bishop or presbyteer or shephed or vicar or pastor - does not mean anything of being middle man or mediator between man and God.
    Anyway is clear, that this office, how it is ever called, is NOT
    made for females.

    In my opinion, it is better to concentrate in the doctrin,
    the righteousness, for example, instead of arguing, how
    the shepherd of the concregation is today named.

    The most decisive topic is the word.


  56. If you knew that there is no man and no church position that can help you, then you could scrap all men's positions and deal with Jesus alone in order to be saved, other wise it is religion as usual..then after you get saved the church can administer the sacraments.

  57. I am sorry, I do not get the point of your comment. I am so simple person. Sorry!

    I dont seem it necessary to argue year after year, that there is no church or administer needed.
    If your opposing the OALC or any other Laestadian movement, that message does not meet me. I have nothing to do with it.

    To believe in Jesus Christ as a saviour we need the word and sacraments, because By them the Jesus is offered to us. We do not get him in the mixture of any healthy food, but only in
    the holy word and the sacrament.
    So, in my opinion, we any way need a congregation where this word
    is available.

    We can, of course, say that we can read about him in the Holy Scriptures. But, there is no word of God written in the Bible, if there had not been the church and apostels, bishops and elders, who protected, collected and translated and preserved that word.
    So, I think, that we have not received the word telling me about
    what Jesus did, I did not get that word from any forest, or hole
    under the stone, but the church of Jesus Christ.

    These are the precious pearls, baptism, the holy supper, word.
    Let us take care of them, study the word and let us continue to
    think, what is the true word and true message given to us.

    Therefore, there is no idea to say that administration is nothing. That is needed and that is given us By Jesus Christ himself, he elected the apostels, and apostels elected their

  58. Ok Baa Baa, I won't bother you anymore, I was hoping some other religious people would pick up on the truth that I tried to share

    1. I really feel sad and I must apolgize for being disturbed your good purpose.

      You can maybe understand my sharp words better, if you
      understand my personal history. Being an old Firstborn,
      confused By all kind of beliefs and old traditional habbits and tales, I try to look for the Biblical background and a certain red tread which goes thru centuries in the christianity.

      Maybe its only my unability to understand the text, but I did not see it good to neglect the importance of the minister.
      Maybe it had been better, whether I had know more about your history and way to come into this conclusion. If we
      life long enough unders hard pressure of preachers and their universal authority, maybe we then easily look for the opposite, after having suffered so much.

      So, I cannot blame you, as we both are in the run, escaping something, which so much made our lives so difficult.
      So, be free!

  59. I must feel shamed for my English. I am sorry for bothering you.
    I was trying to say, that Jeesus called 12 apostels, and apostels called their followers...
    So there was an office from the very beginning.

  60. Baa Baa: Jesus called 12 Jews as Apostles,thier ministry was for the nation of Isreal. Their gospel was different then it was for the gentile church which is the body of Christ. Only on two occasions did Jesus Himself minister to us gentiles, He made it clear to His apostles, not to go unto the gentiles, that includes us Finns The Jews hung around Jurusalem for many years waiting for the earthly KIngdom of God,waiting for Jesus to return. Finally God had to drag Peter to the house of Cornelius to show Peter that it was now time to go to the Gentiles, but what did Peter do? He went back to Jurusalem trying to convert Jews only, mean while, God raised up Paul to be the Apostle to the gentiles and Paul got the job done ,the 12 were mostly trying to convert the Jews.The Church has no middle man between man and God. You said To get saved,you need the word and sacraments.. No not true..to get saved you need to understand what Jesus accomplished on the cross,and you need to believe it and tell it to God. Keep the sacraments out of salvation,faith alone in Christ alone, that will get the job done, placing sacraments into the picture as part of getting saved will only mess things up. people have to get saved first, then think about the sacraments.
    what about the thief on the cross? no sacraments involved, no baptism, no nothing, just believed Jesus... aNyway, I was raised in Hiedamen church, they threw rocks at Michelson group, finally God drew me from bad apostolic Lutheran, Laestadian doctrine and showed me to read Pauls writings only until I got saved.
    I favorite Bible teacher on this subject is...Les Feldick..he is on internet, you can down load 30 years of teaching for free.
    Baa Baa, you are a very interesting and sincere man .. God Bless

    1. My dear friend, where ever you are!

      Do you ignore totally, what Jesus said: "as Father sent me I send you....to all over the world...".
      As you realize, I cannot trust myself unto Jesus or believe in him without the word.

      In word he is given to me for my belief.
      If the office of the minister and administration is bordering only to Israel, what is the idea?
      That was only the beginning...

      So, Jesus really sent the to all over to world to baptize and preach tho Gospel.

      Maybe you try to explain, that ministers are no more needes, as all christians are like priests, but I think that was not the case. There is a general ministry and then a special ministry, to administrate the teaching and sacraments.

      Do you understand me right?
      You did not like, I said: "I need word and sacraments" in order to be able to believe Jesus Christ.

      You say: No! You say: I must understand what Savior Jesus did?
      What is the point?
      HOW CAN I UNDERSTAND without a word, which is telling me
      what Jesus is, and what he did for me???


    2. (after pause)

      I do not often hear, that I am a very interesting and serious man. :-))

      You said I must forget the sacraments.
      Well, well, well!
      I understand, that you try to let word and sacraments
      compete with each other.
      That is the case in Laestadianism and among evangelicals.

      My dear friend. We shall not do it!
      In the holy sacrament is the word itself, United with the materia, so we weak people can better believe in it.

      I repeat, spoken word and sacraments are the same thing, as to salvation. We must take it and believe what they offer us.
      What do they offer: Jesus Christ, the Saviour.

      You seem to divide the work and position of Peter and Paul.
      If we accept, that Peter was more with the Jews, that ended in 70 anyway.

      Paul was more with the gentiles, but anyway he wás a minister, in the office given to him By Jesus.

      Then Paul called Timothy (Timoteus) as blessed him to
      the office of Bishop in Ephesos.
      I do not understand, how do you ignore all this certain and true history of the church?

    3. (after the pause)

      Did you forget totally, that there were gentiles already baptized in Israle, and moreover, when Paul, Silas and others worked in the Asia Minor or in Greece
      a n d moreover in Rome - there were all the time
      many Jews, who converted into Christianity.

      In Rome, where Paul never had been, he wrote a letter, and there were 2 congregations and much Jews.

      So, I do not see any good idea for you to reject the
      Body of Christ concluding the gentiles only.

      Moreover no one of them had been baptized without a
      minister, or shepherd of the congregation or pastor.

      Is it so, that your friends are writing a totally new
      history of the church?

  61. Baa Baa; You are the most honest Lutheran or Laestadian I have heard in many years. All the religion that you are carrying started with the Roman Catholic church over the centuries ,remember how godless they were when Luther came on the scene,Luther spent half of his life trying to understand the tangled mess which was the Catholic church and still is today. What Luther learned and taught for half his ministery was full of Catholic belief and not for the dispensation of grace ,God did'nt reveal every thing to Luther in a year or two ,by the time Luther got a hold of the Gospel and could say from his heart, the just shall live by faith ,by then he had all kinds of teachings that he would have changed.
    Todays church gives Luther the credit for the reformation ,but they recognize that Luthers works are still steeped in religion.
    You can't call the Lutheran or Laestadian churches born again churches, because they are mixing old testament with new testament, mixing what is for the Jew with what is the requirements for the Body of Christ and you can't do that. Jesus came to earth to fulfill the old testament promises to Isreal , His ministry was not for the gentile church. Even the day before He was crucified some gentiles came to see Him and He refused to see them. He said I can.t see them or do them any good until He was planted into the ground and raised up. The Bible says that the day before Jesus was crucified us Finns were without God and without Christ and without hope, it was the blood of Christ that brought us close .Jesus never not once revealed the gospel of grace intended for the gentiles, in fact, Jesus never even once used the word "grace". Its not hard to check that out in your concordance. Jesus revealed the gospel of grace to the gentiles thru Paul, all of it to Paul and told Paul, you are the Apostle to the gentiles, but in every town go to the Jew first.
    Baa Baa , I'm surprised that this all seems like you never heard of these things, but to a Lutheran or Catholic that have been hearing only Luther, I'm not surprised ,by the way,do you really think that the pope has a God sanctioned position ?

  62. So, I must give up?

    I do not consider myself as a Laestadian.

    Is it true, that catholic church is for you a kind of monster?
    I mean, there is no word and nothin right during those
    1500 years of churchs history?

    There is NO church on this earth, even not the one, where you belong to, which is full of saints and holy people 100 %.
    No, there are mistakes, and heretic teachings, but also
    the living word.
    Antichrist is not going to establish his seat in to a fallen ruin of the church, but in the most holy Place, in order to
    lead christians far away from Christ.

    If the catholic or Lutheran church is for you full of devils,
    please, do not expect the Antichrist is appearing there.

    So, there is no idea of blaiming the history of church in general. Of course, we can criticize the church, popes. various
    doctrines and so on. That is right.

    But in that very church, there was also something to be preserved. That is the word and sacraments, for example.

    But, I understand you. You have that common Laestadian or
    Evangelical opinion (I presume only), that church has ceased,
    I mean, existed NOT any more.
    Then, suddendly it aroused from the ground like a mushroom
    in the September forest.

    If you compare Laestadian and Lutheran teaching and if you say
    Lutherans are mixin old testament and new testaments teachings
    you do not know what Lutheran teaching really is.

    I wonder, how you can see any similarity between Laestadian and Lutheran doctrin.

    I do not undertand totally your message, as you jump form one
    topic to another, but that is for me very strange, because Laestadian doctrin and teaching how to become righteous, is totally different.

    Maybe you try to speak about the position of law, is law spoken to the
    born again christians, that is totally wrong. Laestadian teaching is totally legalistic. They fullfill the law

    What is the point, that in the days of Luther, catholic church
    was in bad condition, or what you are trying to say:

    For me is unclear, what you are trying to say about Jews and gentiles.
    Both are in the same way believed in Jesus Christ and both are
    participating the body of christ.
    There is no difference between the criminal on the cross,
    those Peter met on day of Pentacos or those Paul baptized in Corinth.
    I am sorry, I do not understand your point in this.

    But, if I read your message, you seem to follow exactly same
    doctrin of "one holy congrecation" as the Laestdians.
    Where is the difference?
    Now you blame me, and you blame the Lutherans.
    What is the point?

    I did not say a word about Pope. What is your point.
    But, if pope believes in Jesus Christ as his savior for his
    sins, can you condemn him to hell?
    Is it not a Laestadian way to preach?

    Evangelicals do not like Luther, they tink that Luther did not
    accomplish his work.
    Well, in my opinion the problem lies in the doctrin of righteousness.

    Many things which Lutheran thiks to be adiaphora, evangelicals
    seem to think as a necessity.
    In Laestadianism you see many teachings like that, for example
    that concerning music.
    However, Jesus did not say a word about that, do we have organs, or two organs or 100 quitars.

    I say this,as you are very willing to say, that Lutherans mix
    law, old testament and new.

    I am not antinomist, of course.
    I think, that love belongs to the christians, but no more as
    a threat or punisment.
    Jesus is the end of law for those who are righteous.

    BUT we need to hear teaching or education on law, so our flesh
    do not become leader.
    But, as a new born christian, we are free of law, we live in love
    and not in fear.

    I wrote this in order to say, that I have nothing to do with the Laestadian doctrin.


    You say, that there is not a word "grace". What does that mean?
    It is spoken in many other words, that the sins will be
    washed, forgiven, God will show his benevolence, his peace, will no more count one's trespassings etc.
    So what is the point?

  63. It is funny how fundamentalists of all stripes are all about taking the bible literally...except when they don't. As the previous post states all christian churches trace back to the Catholic Church. Ironic then how the statement about Peter "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." If one takes that literally, then the truth still is in the Catholic Church....because certainly Jesus would not speak untruthful statements.

    As far as jesus not converting non-jews...Samaritans were not Jews...they were a mix of Jewish and pagan beliefs - Yet when one reads John chapt 4...they believed
    How about the centurion...Jesus said he had not found such faith in all of israel (Matthew 8)
    In matthew 15 he heals the daughter of a Caananite woman
    To suggest that Peter and the rest of the Apostles were only for the Jews, and Paul was only for the Gentiles would mean that Jesus created 2 churches.
    Matthew 28 records Jesus instructions to his disciples "Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, and the son , and the holy spirit"...hard to get just jews from all nations. (it would have read all tribes in reference to the tribes of israel)
    Of course then you have the meeting between Peter and Cornelius.

    1. I think, that the Holy Ghost works By the word and sacraments. The word is awakening and the word is healing.

      When they have the word of God, do you think, that
      Holy Ghos is not working, where ever God so pleases?

      If there are human words and teachings, that is nothing.
      If they speak about St. Mary as a second saviour, that is
      But, is it right to say, that the Holy Ghost is not
      in the word, if a worng-church-person is preaching or reading it.
      So, I would not like to throw anybody into hell, if
      he has the word.
      The main question is: Does he believe it, the word?


      Do you really think, that first a 100% holy congregation is needed, only then a sinner can be saved?
      If so, what makes the difference from OALC?

  64. You wrote like this:

    """You are the most honest Lutheran or Laestadian I have heard in many years. All the religion that you are carrying started with the Roman Catholic church over the centuries ,remember how godless they were when Luther came"""

    I do not understand, what is the idea in this.
    Everything was bad when Luther came.
    All right!

    But, there was the word of God in the Scriptures.
    There was the Holy Ghost to lead and teach the truth, as
    once promised By Jesus Christ.

    Is that not enough?

    I suppose you do not have any better word of God, probaply the
    King James version revised and inspired By Luthers German
    translation and Vulgata.

    So the church was restored, and the Gospel was spread among the
    Finns and with time among Americans.

    So, there is no new Revelation for your church, either.

    1. So prior to Luther...where were the "True Christians" Certainly God had not allowed the church that he built and said that hell itself would not prevail against simply disappear

  65. You wrote like this:

    ""Jesus never not once revealed the gospel of grace intended for the gentiles"""

    I am sorry, but I do not understand the meaning of this writing.

    We must read John 20:21
    Mark 16:15-16
    Matthew 28: 19-20

    Is that not enough for Jesus and for the gentiles?

  66. Okay, gentlemen (how do I know you are all men? Something just tells me). Let's give this a rest.
    Everything you are talking about has been mediated by men.
    To redress the balance, I only want to hear from women about women for a while.
    Comments on this topic are closed.