Monday, April 25, 2005

Church Signs

Here is an OALC sign. Notice that it does not list service times or a phone number. Why?

oalcsign

16 comments:

  1. Service times and phone numbers may change quite often. Thats why. There is sure no bigger secrets in this case. (Even if You hope so?)

    (In finland you get a new fresh and costfree phonebook every year. Only Gods law is written in stones)

    B.R.
    Finnjewel

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah, I'm sure the service times are constantly changing. I bet they like to have church at 8am Sunday morning one week, then change it to 8:30, 8:45, 10:30,and finally 11:30.

    More likely, they never thought to post the times, because everyone that matters to them already knows what time church starts.

    It's a mark of insensitivity, at the very least.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey B.R.!

    I like Finnjewel MUCH better than Finnjavel.

    I go to another Apostolic Lutheran church, and I guess we don't post our signs outside with service times either. I've seen plenty of other churches who don't either come to think of it.

    Comes to mind a guy who was searching and opened the phone book, closed his eyes, and said, "Lord, the church my finger lands on is the church I will go to." He got the address and headed to our church the next Sunday, liked what he saw, sat down, and liked what he heard. He spoke to no one and left just as soon as the sermon ended. The whole next week he felt his load was lightened and it seemed seeds of faith were beginning to sprout. So the next Sunday he came back, but no one was there. Confused, he went home. Every Sunday he journeyed back to the church waiting for there to be services there again. He did not give up hope. He sat patiently in the parking lot thinking about what he had heard about God's grace and forgiveness of sins.

    Eventually came the day he met a crowd there and he rejoiced. That day he asked for forgiveness of sins and became a believer.

    Seek, and ye shall find.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Jesus said:
    "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations" (Acts 1:8) and "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" ((Mark 16:15)

    Kevin Costner said: "Build it and they will come."

    Significant difference.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mwahahahahahahah. You all are FUNNY. That guy in the parking lot must have been a true intellectual.

    Here in the U.S., it is customary to post a phone number on a church sign. Phone numbers do NOT change often. The idea is to make it easy for people to learn more about your church. Some churches even have WEBSITES.

    My guess is that the OALC got that severe sign concept from the Old Country, and it is now a matter of doctrine.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Whoa, dude!!!

    Have you met this specific guy who was fingering through the phone book and happened to put his finger on your church? (My guess is, if he were not a figment of someone's overactive imagination, he didn't speak to anyone because nobody spoke to him).

    Looks like you have fallen prey to the AP version of an urban legend-- a fictitious illustration meant to conjure up fear or loyalty in the face of Biblical truth. (A topic I'd love to see addressed).
    In this case, it is an opportunity to cop-out from doing any type of outreach and obeying the great commission.

    I noticed you didn't say the guy was saved because of Christ, but rather because of some people testifying sins forgiven.

    Interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Actually, we don't publicly testify as they do in other Apostolic Lutheran churches. Our sins are considered a matter between us and God, and although if we're troubled we're encouraged to talk to another believer, it isn't mandatory. We don't even have a system of "elders" in our branch. We don't read the postillas of Lars Laestadius. I would say probably 90% of our members don't even know who he is. I've always been curious about people who belong to what we call "split-churches" as I read about them in some Finnish-American history books, and have found your site interesting reading. We don't wear hyvees, our girls go to universities, and we don't have so many children per family. We have televisions and go to movies, and our kids participate in sports, Scouts, 4-H, and other youth development organizations. Some of us are even politically active to varying degrees, and gasp, many of us are democrats. We don't wear hyvees on our heads at church, and the girls wear make-up and have pierced ears. Some of our boys have pierced ears too.

    And yes, I know who that man is, so its not an urban legend.

    So not all apostolic lutherans are the same.

    Judge not that ye be judged.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Actually, we don't publicly testify as they do in other Apostolic Lutheran churches. Our sins are considered a matter between us and God, and although if we're troubled we're encouraged to talk to another believer, it isn't mandatory. We don't even have a system of "elders" in our branch. We don't read the postillas of Lars Laestadius. I would say probably 90% of our members don't even know who he is. I've always been curious about people who belong to what we call "split-churches" as I read about them in some Finnish-American history books, and have found your site interesting reading. We don't wear hyvees, our girls go to universities, and we don't have so many children per family. We have televisions and go to movies, and our kids participate in sports, Scouts, 4-H, and other youth development organizations. Some of us are even politically active to varying degrees, and gasp, many of us are democrats. We don't wear hyvees on our heads at church, and the girls wear make-up and have pierced ears. Some of our boys have pierced ears too.

    And yes, I know who that man is, so its not an urban legend.

    So not all apostolic lutherans are the same.

    Judge not that ye be judged.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Actually he talked to a church member after the sermon, and asked how he could join the church. He was told all he had to do was say he believed Christ died on the cross for his sins. He had already missed communion by the time that happened. He didn't want to wait the next month for the next communion service, so the fellow believer asked the minister if he could have communion and he was given communion.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I never said all Apostolic Lutheran churches are the same.
    I have some beautiful-hearted Christian friends who attend AP churches.
    Faith is in the heart of the worshipper, and they should go to whatever church God calls them to at the time. Church attendance does not prove faith.

    I guess if you know the guy, I believe the story. I tend to be a little skeptical when people tell stories like that one. It sounded like you were saying "seek and you will find" means if they want to know the truth, they will come to us. Therefore we do not have to reach out. We should not be pointing them to us, anyway. We should be pointing them toward Christ.

    I have heard a lot of tales like the one above. Presumably they are tall, and some of them verging on ridicuous.

    Big experiences don't really prove anything. The Word of God speaks for itself.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Maybe I don't understand the basic concepts of the OALC compared with the AL church I go to, but isn't getting your sins forgiven is forgiven by Jesus and not your community? In the OALC are you asking the community for forgiveness or are you asking Jesus to forgive your sins? Must you confess your sins in front of the congregation.

    I must confess reading some of the comments on this site has really brought home to me how little I really understand the OALC.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Perhaps the congregation runs under the assumption that everyone knows church services occur on Sunday. And if I remember correctly, the doors were opened by a trustee at the crack of dawn each Sunday morning.(Time to make the coffee, turn up the furnace and open the shutters). The same trustees usually stayed and closed the church at about 8 p.m.(sweep the floors, close the shutters and turn down the furnace). No one would be able to hear a phone ring inside the church on Sunday anyway, so why post the number on the sign?
    This is only my guess, but then again they may have intentionally left the pertinent information off of the signs in order to deepened the rut of exclusion. Who knows?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Okay, I understand the part about not having an office or a receptionist. That would be downright worldly. But why not an answering machine with a message of welcome and the day and time of services?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Frequently asked questions...

    "In the OALC are you asking the community for forgiveness or are you asking Jesus to forgive your sins?"

    -Jesus is now in heaven by Gods rigt hand. But he builded his conragation on the Earth and it remains till the end of times. And Jesus is with and in His conragation.

    "Must you confess your sins in front of the congregation."

    -No.

    Hope this helps You!

    B.R. aFinnAgain

    ReplyDelete
  15. Here is the deleted message with the potentially offensive bit removed.

    To freetobeme...

    Feel free to publish service times in this site while You are worried about folks not finding rigt time and place?

    I'll help You a bit; In Helsinki/Finland sundays 3 pm. Lahti/Finland sundays 1 and 6 pm.

    Welcome! See Ya!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I know for a fact that these people don't welcome outsiders. I used to go to one of these churches. Most of my cousins unfortunately, still do. Oh and they believe the louder you bawl when you ask for forgiveness, the more your sins will be forgiven. What a bunch of bull.

    ReplyDelete