Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Lurkers Please Post

I'm feeling so much better. Thanks for the prayers. Now if any of you are feeling a strange "stitch in the side" that lasts for months on end, please go get it checked out. My surgery and recovery would have been easier a year ago. (Doh!)

This week the children made recycled-paper fish in church camp. (In addition to being a Christian symbol, these "koi nobori," symbolizing courage and endurance, are traditionally flown on Children's Day in Japan.)

SPECIAL REQUEST: Now that the site is getting spammed regularly, I would like to know how many of the 70-plus daily visits are actual live human readers. If you've been lurking but not posting, would you please write a line today? Just a hello is fine. Anonymity guaranteed.

Muchos gracias.

38 comments:

  1. No mystery that I'm here.
    And my scars prove we have at least something in common. :)

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  2. LLLreader is alive and kicking.

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  3. I have never posted before but I read your site almost daily! I left the FALC recently and am glad to see that their are many others who were smart enough to get away from these churches. Thanks to everyone who has shared your stories. It has strengthened my faith.

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  4. I want to suggest a new posting just for discussing the problems of the FALC...that church has a lot of problems. Their was a recent split in Cokato and I know their are people out there who need to hear the truth...they may be searching on this site.

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  5. Many Trails Home8/24/2005 12:46:00 PM

    Hello, I visit regularly, probably daily, to see what's new. While I'm saying "Hello," I would like to offer this comment (encouraged by my sister):
    For my part at least, I would like to be ABSOLUTELY CLEAR that I have no beef with the PEOPLE in the OALC. I have some cousins in the Brush Prairie area who are loving, forthright, dear, dear people and always have been. I also have cousins still in the church who have done some very bad things and "gotten away with it." This is no different than any other slice of humanity, NEITHER BETTER NOR WORSE. I leave them all in God's hands.
    What I do take issue with on this blog are the OALC TEACHINGS and some of the beliefs, particularly the belief in exclusivity. I think it is our obligation to God to take issue with what we see as wrong-mindedness. If in open discussion we see that we were mistaken, we can correct our thinking. It should always be our intention to add to the "Truth" side of the scales, an activity which will always receive the support and assistance of the Holy Spirit. Of that I am absolutely certain. Amen.
    Many Trails Home

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  6. I am occasionally coming to read your blog. Sometimes it is weeks, sometimes a couple of months in between my visits.

    I am a conservative Laestadian myself, who is interested in other branches of the Laestadian movement to gain some more depth in understanding what this faith is about.

    Personally, I am happy with the conservative Laestadian teachings and faith and seriously regard my congregation as the true Kingdom of God. It also looks like we are not having many of the problems present in the OALC.

    "Nameless"

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  7. About FALC... to "Anonymous" Anything more you could tell about the split?

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  8. Yes, anything you want to know. I am one of those that left the church. Its really a lot of things that were going wrong. I would say the main problem being the understanding of faith and forgiveness? I'm not so good with explaining things good so maybe other ex FALC people can add in...

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  9. Hello, Free2BME, I am also one who checks in on a regular basis (every day, unless I am out-of-town) to see what is being discussed. I must confess that I'm keeping a journal into which I put all the topics I hope to bring up on this site. I'm waiting for inspiration on my wording, I guess!

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  10. Faith here, I check in a couple of times a week.. lifelong member of ALC but interested in all points of view and have never really understood what the other churches - our sister and brother Laestadian churches - believed... church membership not being #1, rather, faith which believes our blood-bought freedom was purchased at the foot of the cross... Jesus paid it all!

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  11. OALC:
    For women: No makeup, no earings, no fancy clothes with bright colors or designs on them, long hair required, most of the girls are married by the age of 20. Women wear hyvees during church.

    Other: No drinking, no TV, radio or internet, No pictures taken in the church, even during weddings. No organ in the church, they have 4 preachers that sit up front at the same time. Many large families. Church is very simple.

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  12. Still here and checking daily. More if a good converstation is going, so I only have to read for a minute instead of 1/2 an hour of catch-up. Sometimes I wonder if this is a drug or a cure!?

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  13. Still here and checking daily. More if a good converstation is going, so I only have to read for a minute instead of 1/2 an hour of catch-up. Sometimes I wonder if this is a drug or a cure!?

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  14. I check about every 3 days or so. This doesn't seem to be a drug OR a cure to me, but anonymous--I sure keep coming back too, so I can see why you would mention it. It's a place of familiarity of feelings. The familiarity of being in the OALC is what keep some people there--the sounds and sights are what we knew as children and there is a comfort in that. The familiarity we feel on this site is shared understanding of what it took to leave. We KNOW each other in a very deep way, even though we don't know each other's names. Thank God for this site

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  15. Amen to that.

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  16. Yeah, the toughest thing for me when leaving the church was leaving the social group. However, I wouldn't trade my faith to go back there. I am thankful to know the truth now!!

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  17. I post every so often. I'm from a "Pollari group" and not an ex- or an apostate, but a current member. I initially went on because I was curious about the OALC as my son has classmates in the OALC. My church is not conservative in dress and women are free to limit their families and to get an education. We can go to the movies, watch TV and secular music, listen to the radio and go on the InterNet. No public confession of sin. We still have rejoicing. It is still, however, exclusive in doctrine for the most part. We don't shun people who have left us, they remain dear in our hearts and in our families. Maybe that is why nothing negative (so far) has been posted about us. I believe I am believing in the right way and every morning I know I must wake up and believe anew. However, I reserve the right for judging to Jesus, who sitteth on the right hand of God and who will come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe I am following the right doctrine. When I came to this realization I felt free. Before, I felt burdened. I feel free to love others outside of my faith. My fiance is an athiest who lives in Gellivare, the "mecca" of the OALC, and he works with one of the elders.

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  18. I meant, by the way, that I came to the realization it was not up to me to judge, and that is what made me feel free.

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  19. About the FALC split...

    Was there some major difference in the doctrine between the (now) two groups? Are both of these groups still exclusive, or is it getting less in one of them (most likely those who "left")? - now that people are discussing going to ALC.

    I guess it wasn't about life style, anyway? Or how is it, do the people in FALC still have large families etc?

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  20. Gods peace.
    I'm from Finland kind of OALC parison. Just happened to visit on this site. There is much debat also in Finland of the problems caused because of misunderstandings of grace caused by The Crist's salvation.

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  21. We have many "mixed" marriages in our faith. Mine will just be one of many. Sometimes the unbelieving spouses come, sometimes they don't. We don't forsee having children, as both of us have a child from our first marriage already. But if we do, he's agreed to letting me raise a child in our faith. He likes going to church with me. He likes the people there. He thinks there is a lot of love there and support, but he thinks of it in more sociological terms. We've already made the agreement that for the two children we already have, he will raise his child without religious interference from me, and I will raise mine without him disputing doctrinal issues with him. It's about mutual respect.

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  22. Re:Article in Sunday Detroit
    News August 21,2005 Section
    19A entitled:
    "To save marriage,demons must
    be purged,(Husband's behavior
    since joining a new church
    is intolerable and defies
    Christianty."
    By the God Squad

    If you odd-couple wives think
    you have marriage problems,
    check out a few excerpts:

    A women writes:
    "My husband has gotten
    involved in a fundamentalist
    church where the women are
    not allowed to speak in
    church. Women must obey
    their husbands without
    question.etc.

    "He said he was leaving if
    I did not obey him. My
    youngest daughter asked
    him if he was leaving,and
    he said he decided to stay
    and make me so miserable
    that I would leave."

    God Squad said in part "we
    can assure that your hus-
    bands behavior has nothing
    to do with Christianity
    and every thing to do with
    demons in his soul,"

    I tried to find the arti-
    cle on the Web at
    Newsday.com:God Squad but
    last article dated 8/2o/o5

    Because I am a Columbus
    ) typist (search and land),
    article too long to handle.
    Maybe one of you trolls or
    yoopers could get a copy
    of paper and type up for
    site.


    yp


    "

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  23. Here is the article in full taken from the Detroit News Archives.

    The God Squad

    To save marriage, demons must be purged

    Husband's behavior since joining a new church is intolerable, defies Christianity.

    By Rabbi Marc Gellman and Monsignor Thomas Hartman

    Comment on this story
    Send this story to a friend
    Get Home Delivery


    Q: My husband has gotten involved with an independent fundamentalist church where the women are not allowed to speak in church. Women must obey their husbands without question. They must wear dresses at all times, and you cannot read any Bible other than the King James Version.

    I was brought up in a First Baptist church where you were not forced to wear dresses and where the New International Version is at times quoted or read from to clarify points in the King James Version. This is seen by my husband as a perverse version of the Bible, and he can't stand that the children and I go to this church. He said he was leaving if I did not obey him.

    My youngest daughter asked him if he was leaving, and he said he had decided to stay and make me so miserable that I would leave. He would go days without speaking to any of us and many times not come home until 1 a.m. His obsession has made him turn from us completely.

    He says I've turned the children away from him, but he doesn't see the hatred he emits toward us. I finally asked him to leave.

    The people he is around compliment him for his behavior and tell him that God would bless him for being so dedicated to the Lord that he would give up his family to serve him.

    I have asked him to go to counseling with me, but he says he doesn't need it. Can you help me understand this or tell me what to do? -- S., Langley, S.C.

    A: When professional baseball players take steroids, it makes baseball look bad. When executives steal money from their companies, it makes all business look bad. And when churches divide families like the church your husband has chosen, it makes all organized religion look bad.

    Whatever your husband or your husband's minister might say, this is not authentic Christianity. Christianity does not teach that women must be slaves to their husbands. Christianity does not teach husbands to be abusive to those they should love and respect.

    We have seen many people who were depressed and angry, lonely and adrift, find their way to cults or fringe religious groups that reinforce their paranoia and further isolate them from their families. The cults know that their greatest threat is the love their new members have for their families. So they try to get these sad, impressionable people to believe that the people who most love them actually are the ones who most hate them.

    If your child had come into the grips of a cult-like church, we would encourage you to make an intervention and get her deprogrammed. But this is your husband, and such an action is impossible.

    What you need to think about is whether the pain of separating from your husband is greater than the pain of living with him. Only you can answer this question, but we can assure you that your husband's behavior has nothing to do with Christianity and everything to do with the demons in his soul.

    Rabbi Marc Gellman Monsignor Thomas Hartman Send questions to The God Squad, Telecare, 1200 Glenn Curtiss Blvd., Uniondale, N.Y. 11553; post them on the God Squad Web site www.askthegodsquad.com; or e-mail them to godsquad@ telecaretv.org.

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  24. Question: Was there some major difference in the doctrine between the (now) two groups? From what I understand, the FALC teaches the people have to be continually blessed with the forgivness of sins. All focus is on the forgiveness of sins. The split, known as the Grace Apostles, believe that you saved through faith. This is a huge difference in doctrine. The group that left also seem to be less concerned about those traditional things that seem to get in the way of faith, such as having large families, not wearing makeup, etc. Grace Apostle church believes focus should be on Christ.

    Question: Are both of these groups still exclusive, or is it getting less in one of them (most likely those who "left")? - now that people are discussing going to ALC.

    Answer: The Grace Apostles are not exclusive. However, the FALC preaches that they are the only ones saved. It is one of the reasons many people left.

    Question: I guess it wasn't about life style, anyway? Or how is it, do the people in FALC still have large families etc?

    Answer: Yes, people in the FALC still have large families. They feel that it is important for their salvation. I know that some families with many children are stressed and unhappy and the kids are not getting the attention they need so the kids turn to negative things, such as drinking and drugs. However, the FALC denies the drinking problems. The FALC is very exclusive. It is similar to a club. Your either in or your completely out. Grace Apostles seems to be much less exlusive. Probably because the focus is different. Its not focused on things such as how you look on the outside. Rather, they emphasize Christ, being a good example to others around you. Cuz you all know, the FALC is bad for gossip. The people that left the FALC realized that you can't grow in your faith when your in a spiritually dead church. I am glad that they took a stand for their faith.

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  25. God's Peace. I'm still a regular visiter. During the summer i would come here at least once a day. Now that school has started, i visit acouple times a week.

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  26. I visit 2-3 times a week. Post every other month or so.

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  27. Thanks to the above for your
    quick response to my request
    on the Detroit News article.

    Possibly the greatest contri=
    bution that this site has and
    will make are the links pro-
    vided by you and such partici-
    pants to a widespread informa=
    tion network on the Leastadian
    religions.

    My ignorance of same before the
    web was abysmal!

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  28. Hi! I check this site several times a week. My best friend was an OALCer, and as destiny would have it, I am now dating a former, or near former, LLCer. Thank you for this site. It is great!

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  29. To anonymous- tell your significant other to indruduce himself in the discussions here. I have only seen one other person here who left or is trying to leave the LLC. It makes me wonder if there are other LLCers who are going through the same thing I am.

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  30. Keep on blogging. I read this site every now and then. I'm still within the OALC equivalent in Finland and have no plans to leave since I've found Christinity there. I definitely don't support the exclusiveness and other questionable thoughts of some members here and a lot more in OALC of USA. But I understand that you and other writers on this site can't at the moment feel OALC is your spiritual home.

    There is no perfect congregation on earth. We are all humans after all. Let us all believe in Bible (and only in Bible, not men) and in Jesus Christ as a personal saviour.

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  31. I come here about 2x a week. I love this site and have been waiting for 17 years for something similar!

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  32. to anonymous- God bless you. I liked what you said about believing Jesus Christ as a personal saviour. It is so true. If you are a member of the OALC, or any church, it doesn't really matter. I'm glad your a christian.

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  33. True Confessions:
    Dear FREE2BEME,
    I must confess that I don't visit this site once a day -- I come here 2-3 times a day. I check it as I start my day by reading my email. I check again at bedtime, as a form of prayer. I may also look for new entries midday. Other writers' comments helped me understand why I do this: it has become my community, a familiarity that has been lacking in my life for so long. And you, FREE2BEME, are the perfect person to administer this site. You come across as very warm and accepting and someone I'm happy to have in my life, even at this anonymous level. I married outside the OALC and moved away from that community soon after. For over 30 years, I've had no one around me who understood where I've come from. I have always said I'm A Stranger in a Strange Land. Enter extoots. This has changed my definition of community, and I feel I belong to this group.
    Thank you and God Bless.

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  34. My first post. I have been reading off and on for a couple of weeks.

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  35. I still check in quite frequently, but dont often post anymore. Ive been happily enjoying moving on with life, and there are fewer and fewer 'stranger in a strange land' moments and situations :) But I know 'home' is here when I do feel that way. Where people know where Ive been and where I want to go, without having to try and explain it all. Thanks!

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  36. I'm still here, just don't post much anymore. Moving on with my life, very happy with new church, very glad to be away from oalc!

    Free, hope you are well.

    4Eyes

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