Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Lutherans Do Vary

Tonight we joined some friends from church for a Los Lobos concert at the zoo, where we and oh, a thousand others picnicked on the meadow in front of the stage, and then sat or swayed or danced to a rocking show. The children were so much fun to watch. At one point I found myself in a conga line.

With Lutherans. It was a splendid moment.

Sorry about the mess-up with the comments (they were unreadable earlier today). Next time I'll try to show the names of the archive posts without destroying any other functions.

By the way, I've been invited to an OALC wedding next month. I don't think there'll be any conga lines.

20 comments:

  1. Many Trails Home8/26/2005 01:47:00 PM

    Hello again,
    Along a completely unrelated line:
    I was listening to an old gospel quartets tape a friend gave me that I absolutely love. It got me thinking and I decided to post this suggestion: For those of us from the OALC, what did you REALLY LOVE in the OALC? Here are my two contributions:
    1. The beautiful old hymns; for instance, "When upon life's billows"; "Count your blessings"; "When we walk with the Lord" etc etc.
    2. The intense feeling of belonging when attending the last evening service during June meetings in the old Calumet church, the lighting a mellow yellow, singing "Blessed be the tie that binds."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those songs in a minor chord, in the evening, after many services, really do bring back memories. I felt so safe and warm then. But I'd also feel safe and warm hiding under my covers all day, and that obviously isn't the best place to be.

    My siblings and I used to dance the conga line, but we didn't know it was dancing or that it had a name. We called it "train."

    ReplyDelete
  3. I remember being at a relatives funeral and at the cemetary the group was singing Amazing Grace The day was cloudy and suddenly the sun came out. I heard that Amazing Grace was banned at the OALC by someone from Spearfish. Could that be true?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Why would they ban a song like that?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Many Trails Home8/28/2005 11:50:00 AM

    They also banned "Count your blessings." I couldn't believe it. But then, as a child already, I used to wonder why they sang ANY hymns at all, since none of them were composed by "Chrisitans" so presumably could not be truly inspired by God, now could they? If they were, how could those people then just go on to hell, while we got the benefit of singing their hymns? (Except for "Onward Christian Soldiers" of course, and maybe one or two others.) MTH

    ReplyDelete
  6. No Organs
    No Violins
    And Certainly No Dancing

    What do the Leastadian Churchs
    do with Psalm 150 ?

    4. Praise him with timbrel and
    dance: praise him with
    stringed instruments and
    organs.






    Dance is used in many religions
    as an expression of religious
    experience and praise to God.

    Isn.t even the rejoicing (at
    times in tongues),arm raising,
    swinging, swaying,up and down
    the church aisles during a
    service a form of dance
    expression in praise of God ?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think they transfer it over to Levitcus.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hmmm... good point troll. Today i read that verse and the last couple chapters of psalms to my grandma. I found it very encouraging. I wonder what an organ was like 2,600 years ago.


    Troll- from your post, it sure doesn't sound like you where brought up in a laustadien church. ---arm raising, swaying, dancing, speaking in tongues-- I never learned about any of that at my laustadien church. It sounds more like what you would hear at a pentecostal church. what is your religious background?

    Anonymous- what do you mean "transfer it over to Levitcus" what does Leviticus have to say about this?

    During summer services at the LLC, there was a preacher talking about a certain "worldly church" called "The Church of Rock". The preacher said that it wasn't called the Church of Rock because it was built on a strong spiritual foundation, but instead the church started out very small and played Rock N Roll music during their services. The church gained popularity and grew fast, and their services could be heard city-blocks away. The preacher then went on to say, "This is so far away from the truth", and he talked about how the music was of the world and pleased their flesh, and how they where all going to Hell.

    Soo....When you worship God, it is only acceptable if you do it with the correct instruments? It pleases God when you praise him with singing accompanied by a piano, but it displeases God if you do it with other instruments such as a guitar or a drum set?

    How is this Logical? How is this backed up by the Word of God? Who creates the list of musical instruments that is acceptable and not acceptable? People have told me that “worldly” gospel music is pleasing to the flesh. How is a guitar pleasing to the flesh and a piano isn't? People enjoy classical music the same way they enjoy other genres of music. I've also been told that it's the beat that makes it sinful. Where did you learn that? And guess what, all music has a beat. Take a music class and you'll learn that there is 4 beats in a standard measure. It's also called a tempo. So God dislikes worship if the music is over a certain number of beats-per-second?

    If you don't like a certain instrument, that's ok. If you don't want to read the Word of God for yourself, Fine. If your comfortable in your religion, great. But it really angers me when people start telling other Christians that they're going to Hell because they don't submit 100% to the leaders in the So-N-So church.

    Man, sometimes i really dislike religion. Religion leads to Division. Religions follow the teachings of man. Instead, follow the teachings of God.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I was just meaning that we don't hear much about Levitcus, it's ignored/dismissed/skipped over etc. I think that's what is done with other verses that don't fit in with Lastadiusism. (that's probably not a word is it?) It was a tongue-in-cheek comment.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Many Trails Home8/29/2005 12:11:00 PM

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the questioning, thinking, contemplating evident in these posts. I think God "smiles" on us as we use the capacities with which he blessed us (and not just "stay really busy so we don't have time to think" as my brother's OALC friend recommended). And when there is evidence of acceptance, love, and restraint from criticism, why, what could be more "Godly" than that? Many blessings to you all. MTH

    ReplyDelete
  11. exLLC,

    The early Laestadian congregations were very much like Pentacostal congregations in some ways, which is ironic because many Laestadian congregations now criticize the Pentacostals severely. One Finnish name for the early Laestadians translates as the "Holy Jumpers" from the ecstatic rejoicing they did.

    ReplyDelete
  12. See my post on 8/9 "Passion of the Reformed." Your comment confirms what I had quoted there; I'm not surprised.
    We were sometimes referred to as "Holy Rollers" by other townspeople when we were kids, but the term obviously did not truly apply, as we didn't "roll" (no ecstacy there, ever), just a cacophony of weepin' and wailin'.
    V

    ReplyDelete
  13. To:exLLC

    I was raised in a Leastadian
    Church but have since left.

    Such a type of rejoicing was
    common in my growing up years
    in the church but I understand
    it is rare today.

    The reason I left was simple.
    When I raised questions about
    what the preacher was saying,
    he said my doubts were a sin,
    but he would forgive them,
    which I thougt was arrogant.

    I said to myself:

    "WAIT A MINUTE ! "

    I wonder if he WRONG !!

    Should I entrust the salvation
    of my soul for eternity to
    someone else because I don't
    trust my own God given insight
    and belief ?

    So I started a new journey.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The phenomenon referred to as "holy jumping" above still occurs to some extent among the Firstborn Laestadians (=OALC) in Finland, and in certain localities in Northern Norway, while most Norwegian Firstborn Laestadians nowadays consider it inappropriate conduct at church and also many Finns resent it. Based on the stories I've heard from the older generations, it seems like the practice of "jumping" was much more common before and is gradually disappearing, and many younger ones may not even know about anything else than the weeping and crying at the end of the sermon. Personally I don't see any great value in either jumping or weeping (it easily turns into a dead custom and nauseating faking), but it is just plainly interesting how it all has changed.

    ReplyDelete
  15. NO WAY! holy jumping is still around! i never would imagened it. It was one of the first issues in the Early Laustadien church, right after Laustadius died. check it out.

    http://www.me.mtu.edu/~mahepoko/disputes/disputes.htm#_Toc99768339

    The following was published in 1882-"But the devil was also awake, trying to corrupt the work of the Lord by false doctrine. There came to the congregation a preacher who encouraged ‘cold jumping,’ as it has since been called. That is, people started jumping and rejoicing in a group, though hearts were cold and hard, so as to become fervent. The late Matti Laakso was the first to oppose this offensive activity, and others also zealously opposed it. Men also came here from Muonio to end this disturbance, and Maria Parkajoki, in particular, vehemently preached against it, and so this sad period of cold jumping did not last long."

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'd like to point out that there is a difference between 'cold jumping' and 'warm jumping'. Warm jumping is spontaneous jumping, dancing and rejoicing that is based on strong emotions, while cold jumping is just jumping without any great emotions.

    From the quote above it seems like they promoted 'cold jumping' in order to get warm, while the most common form of 'cold jumping' nowadays would probably be faking of strong emotions and expressing these emotions by jumping in order to make oneself look better in the eyes of the fellow-congregants.

    As far as I know, the spontaneous and genuine variety of jumping ('warm jumping') started already when Laestadius was alive, while the famous 'cold jumping' episode happened after his death (as stated in the post above). However, I can imagine that faking may have occurred even earlier although the problem was not perceived yet.

    By the way, exllc, you might not want to let others post your name on this blog. You never know what kind of people lurk around here. Of course if you are ok with having your full name posted, feel free, but personally I have requested such posts removed on another board I've been posting on. Most people I know recognize me anyway, and I'm ok with that, but I still don't want my name mentioned. I like your posts, exllc!

    ReplyDelete
  17. As a member of a Pollari group where "jumping, weeping, and wailing" frequently occur, but not always with every service, I can't really say that I ever really saw anyone that I believed were "faking" it. Many people even look a little embarrassed once they sit down like they are thinking "I can't believe I just did that." I've rejoiced myself, usually it hitting me before I ever knew what had happened to me. Rarely my heart warms through movement or visably with tears, more often my insides feel like warm though my outward demeanor is unchanged, and sometimes I feel stone cold. At those times I feel a bit cold is when I find another's rejoicing a bit ridiculous, and I can understand why those who have not experienced it might feel like it is not real. I don't rejoice out of sadness for my sins, I rejoice out of gladness that those sins that I do have can be washed clean with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and that God loves even me. For me, like the other anonymous up there in Finland, it is about my own personal salvation. Some people have been given the ability to rejoice, and others haven't, and its never seen as a requirement in being a believer.

    ReplyDelete
  18. How many people who leave Laestadianism leave to join pentacostal or charismatic denominations?

    Growing up in the ALC, I heard about some who spoke in tongues and exhibited other types of ecstatic behavior, but it was never anything that popped up in the worship service.

    I'm curious whether some of these folks would eventually leave, looking for an environment where they could be more open about these phenomena.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I've always been under the impression that all Laestadian churches had rejoicing...it seems its mostly the independents. I was talking to a lady at work once who had been raised in the ALC but left, and I asked her if she ever missed it or if she had had enough of hollering in church. She looked at me like I was about crazy. Then I explained that my church has rejoicing and found out that hers didn't. She laughed and said, "Maybe if they had I would have stayed!"

    ReplyDelete