Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Laestadian Lingo

Okay, this a thread where you can weigh in on any special terminology used in your Laestadian church. If you click on the link above, it will take you to a very early discussion on this blog of OALC terms.

31 comments:

  1. Believe all your sins forgiven in Jesus' precious name and blood.

    It is my sincere hope and prayer ...

    Paint (face paint, nail paint, etc.)

    Jumalan derva (sp?)

    Jumalan rauha (sp?)

    vale of tears (this life)

    that golden shore (next life)

    that precious faith

    that or those ... (Laestadian ...)

    cutting and curling of hair (, sin of)

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  2. What about that little saying, "Believe all you sins forgiven in Jesus' name and precious blood." Where did it come from? Seems like some people need to hear those exact words to be saved. I know some people who say it to their children every night. Has anyone had their parent say it to them every night? How do you feel about about it? Has it made leaving harder or no effect?
    Where in the bible is it referenced?

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  3. Regarding the original lexicon list, there is some misconception which gives wrong information to those who have never been to an OALC church.

    1)"Fornicators, whiskey merchants, whores, bastards" are terms from LLL's sermons which are heard because they read one of his sermons each Sunday. They do not use those terms in regulars sermons in the church. There are a ton of other terms LLL used since he was heavy in this, such as "dragon's poison, forest devils", etc. He was very allegorical too.

    2)The term "church of the first born" is never used by OALCers, only referred to that by some of the other LLL church members, mostly older people.

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  4. Anonymous 11:28AM has the saying right: it's "Believe all your sins forgiven in Jesus' name and precious blood." That's the exact wording you will hear when a preacher or member of the congregation publically asks something like, "Can it can be made known unto me that God's grace is great enough for even such a worthless one [or wretched sinner] as I?" My parents thought many people were too formulaic with this message.

    Also, the use of _that_ doesn't quite equate to just _Laestadian_. It's more of a reference to a Laestadian-specific teaching, understanding, cultural thing, etc. So you'll hear things about "those who have left that precious faith in which they were raised" to mean those who have left the Laestadian faith in which they were raised.

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  5. one more-

    "thanks be to God" (you're welcome)

    I find this to be a strange response when thanking someone for a mint or tissue or something similar.

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  6. and John "together with his precious children"----

    now John "what say you"----

    it was Johns "hearts desire"--

    and there is more to the forgiveness statement--it's "believe all sins forgiven in Jesus name and precious blood of reconciliation"

    "speece"

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  7. And another variation:

    "Believe all your sins forgiven and forever washed away in Jesus' name and precious blood of reconciliation"

    As for "firstborn," I do remember hearing this in the OALC as a child, and puzzling over it (maybe because I was an eighth-born!). The term firstborn seems to indicate other children (churches). How ironic.

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  8. Why is the forgiveness of sins so overemphasized?

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  9. Does the term "firstborn" refer to as the "child" who receives the inheritance, i.e. everlasting life, whereas all churches who split from the OALC are not to receive this inheritance?

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  10. Many Trails Home5/18/2006 11:52:00 AM

    Anon 9:44 must be a "worldlie" to ask such a question. Forgiveness of sins is not just "over emphasized," it is ALL that matters. ALL, period. Reference Sisu's comment recently, that "love has nothing to do with it," or something like that.
    The basis for this is the one statement in the Bible, "You are given the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever sins he remit, they are remitted unto them, and whosover sins ye retain, they are retained." Or something close. These are the "keys" on which Laestadianism is founded. Everything else is trivia. The only reason to avoid sin and follow all the rules is so that you don't tempt God, have less to ask forgiveness for, and don't get caught dying in a car crash with some unforgiven sins on your conscience.
    Do the rest of you ex-OALCers agree? MTH
    PS My problem with this is that, if "mere" human beings are given the "keys", they then have the right and responsibility to condemn other humans to everlasting hell. Nonsense, I say. God could never have meant that MTH

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  11. At 18, I brought my "worldlie" highschool boyfriend to the OALC (I was forbidden to see him unless it was at church).

    He brought his Bible. We sat in the front. Afterward, he said: "Er, what about the other side of the coin?"

    He never returned.

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  12. MTH...
    What you have said touches on the core of the belief system...
    "Forgiveness of sins is not just "over emphasized," it is ALL that matters."
    On the one hand the OALC is a very simple (and frankly, beautiful) doctrine. We are all irrevocably flawed, we all believe that and we are only saved by grace and in order to get there we present ourselves humbly and beg for forgiveness for our condition. I am obviously oversimplifying but many of us get the point. On the other hand, in my experience, we have no balance in our lives because some things (such as "coming around") are infinitely more important than other things (such as family). It is the placing of perhaps inappropriate importance that leads to the dissonance.

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  13. Some anonymous poster asked awhile ago that I clarify my "love" comment. I see that MTH referenced it. When I was growing up and living at home, I got the message loud and clear that Love was VERY conditional. And I mean both from parents and from God. It took me decades to relearn the definition of love, and I still think I have a way to go.
    Forgiveness of sins, with the forgiving part done by a bona fide OALCer, was the only thing that mattered. When my mother said Love has nothing to do with it, she meant the whole issue of being Saved.

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  14. The term "the church of the firstborn" is taken from the Bible (Hebrews 12). It is used very frequently by the European "oalcers", it seems like for many preachers it is the only way they refer to their group. I think most people don't even think about the background of the word, what it really means.

    I think the original meaning of the expression is probably connected to Christ being the firstborn son of God, and traditionally the firstborn son of a king inherits the kingdom. So, being united with Christ makes also the Christians firstborns, and thus the Church is the Church of the firstborn who will inherit the kingdom of God.

    However, the early Laestadian preachers developed the original meaning further during the first splits of the Laestadian communities. They started claiming that people and geographical areas that had been laestadianized first were superior to people and geographical areas that had been laestadianized later because they were the "firstborn" members of the community. They claimed that you had to be united with the "firstborn", i.e. Swedish Lapland, in order to be a member of the "church of the firstborn". I don't know if John Raattamaa is the main culprit for this distortion, but at least he uses the concept of the "firstborn" in this way in his letters against the groups in America that had broken their ties with the Swedish Lapland.

    By the way, having been used to hearing the words "the church of the firstborn" every so often by Laestadians in the Laestadian context, it was kind of weird the other day when I was reading the Orthodox memorial service for the departed, in which one of the prayers asked God to unite the departed with the Church of the firstborn... So, it's not used only by Laestadians, but the Laestadians have developed their own meaning to it.

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  15. Nice explanation, Theoforos. Thanks!

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  16. You forgot

    repent... means to confess and orally hear your sins proclaimed forgiven.


    true Christian... anyone know how that works?

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  17. Yes, thank you Theo! Very interesting.

    I took this from wikipedia about repentance. Is it possible that in Laestadian practice the emphasis on formulaic verbal confessions distorts the more traditional and nuanced understanding of repentance that includes restitution, change of behavior, etc.

    Repentance is the feeling and act in which one recognizes and tries to right a wrong, or gain forgiveness from someone that they wronged. In religious contexts it usually refers to repenting for a sin against God. It always includes an admission of guilt, and also includes at least one of: a solemn promise or resolve not to repeat the offense; an attempt to make restitution for the wrong, or in some way to reverse the harmful effects of the wrong where possible.
    In Biblical Hebrew, the idea of repentance is represented by two verbs: שוב shuv (to return) and נחם nicham (to feel sorrow).
    In the New Testament, the word translated as 'repentance' is the Greek word μετάνοια (metanoia), "after/behind one's mind", which is a compound word of the preposition 'meta' (after, with), and the verb 'noeo' (to perceive, to think, the result of perceiving or observing). In this compound word the preposition combines the two meanings of time and change, which may be denoted by 'after' and 'different'; so that the whole compound means: 'to think differently after'. Metanoia is therefore primarily an after-thought, different from the former thought; a change of mind accompanied by regret and change of conduct, "change of mind and heart", or, "change of consciousness". One of the key descriptions of repentance in the New Testament is the parable of the prodigal son found in the Gospel of Luke 15:11.

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  18. Regarding the word "FIRST BORN!"
    This does, in my research, indicate the "First Laestadian"
    Church. This,in Michigan, was the Old Apostolics of Calumet. In the early 1900's, there was a split. According to Torola' books, it was regarding the claiming of forgiveness of sins. The first church was more penecostal,in nature. The split occured because some thought the peacher of the first Laestadian church to the area, got too carried away in how he declared the forgiveness of sins. According to what was passed down, this peacher wanted the repentors to knell at the feet of the peacher and those they offended, and hug their legs as they forgave their sins. I have the booklets, in storage, that were passed down to me. Perhaps others can help with this. Many of the new arrivals from Sweden and Finland were shocked by this and huge debates became the result.

    I am catching up with my reading. To Free2beme! I am thrilled to have your research available to re: repentance. Thank God that reading was encouraged in your home!

    Re: The saying "Believe all your sins forgiven in Jesus' precious name and blood"... why the debate?
    I have left years ago and have questioned many issues, but this seems okay to say. I find it comforting. The other churches do have sayings too. Jesus did die for our sins!

    And to the young teen, if you are starting to read what we are all talking about. The people raised in these churches are afraid...
    They are scared if they leave that they will not be allowed into heaven. Forgive them. My belief, is that most believe this. So, when a loved one leaves they are saddened.

    Another saying was "Devil's music....all music that was not sung in the church!!

    God's Peace!

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  19. That was an interesting piece of information, s.o.. I never heard of the practice of kneeling during confession in the Laestadian communities. Do you remember what group it was?

    In the Orthodox church we usually kneel at the end of the confession to receive the absolution prayer while the priest puts his hand on your head. But we don't hug the priest's legs, though... ;) As a matter of fact, we are not even supposed to face him when we kneel, but the altar. I once did it wrong and knelt facing the priest, but he kindly told me turn so I'd be facing the altar and he'd be standing by my side. I guess this is to emphasise the fact that we are confessing to God and the priest is only a witness and a mediator.

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  20. Theoforos-I took my books from storage. This is a quote from the "Coming of the Lord draweth nigh"...3rd Edition Published by Apostolic Lutheran Mission 1970. A narrative by Walter Torola. In my readings-Walter Torala writes about the history of the Apostolic faith in Calumet, Michigan. A minister was sent from Finland -Johan Takkinen (1877) to help settle the differences between the First Borns and the other Christians. Takkinen was "exceeding demanding in his sermons. Confession, for example was made utterly compulsory. All Christians were strictly demanded to confess all their sins openly before the congregation. If someone was suspected of not confessing all, or of fancifying his confession, his sins were retained. In some cases a confessing Christian was ordered to embrace below the knee all Christians which were present before their sins were forgiven."

    A split occured in 1888-A vote was held between Takkinen and Johan Rovanpaa. Rovanpaa received amajority of the votes. "The First Borns were so insulted that they separated from the congregation and established one of their own, "The Old Apostolic Lutheran Church." Takkinen was their minister unitl his death."



    God's Peace!

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  21. That blog entry went in twice because I didn't think it went the first time...so I wrote it again.

    Oops!

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  22. In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

    Luke 10:21

    What this means?

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  23. Norah said: S.O. - is Takkinen one of the elders of the OALC, and Torola is from the FALC, right? All I can say to what you've written is 'wow'.. compulsory confession. I had no idea...

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  24. I've heard Johan Takkinen was reprimanded by John Raattamaa & Co for his compulsory confession when he went back to Europe, and he is said to have repented from that teaching. However, I never heard of the practice of hugging the legs during confession. May have happened, or it may not. Everything that has been written by his enemies should be taken with a grain of salt...

    Yes, Johan Takkinen was the leader of the group that would later become the OALC, while mr Torola comes from the FALC, I think. I don't think they were contemporaries.

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  25. Norah-
    Yes-Torala was from the FALC and
    Takkinen was with the OALC. The two groups were the same in the late 1800's.

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  26. In my mother's northern Minnesota Apostolic Lutheran Community, if a young person was dating an "unbeliever" (the equivalent to what the OALC calls "worldlies") they were described as dating someone "from town." Regardless or not if they actually lived in a town or from out in the country. I.e., "he's got a girlfriend from town."

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  27. Please tell me what this text below means for us today...

    In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

    H. Finn

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  28. Great question! The OALC loves this verse and uses it to discourage learning. (How ironic, as both Luther and Laestadius were highly-educated men.)

    There are lots of interesting things about this verse. First, Jesus was using a tradition of rabbinic speech that uses opposites for effect. Taking it literally would require some mental gymnastics, as it is contradicted by other verses, as I'll show below.

    In Christ's day, the powerful had the learning and the books and wielded their power over the illiterate. These "babes" did not even have access to the Scriptures that Jesus knew so well (through study!!!!). They had to rely on intermediaries.

    So in choosing children to symbolize the powerless in his parables, Christ powerfully reinforced a new and extraordinary vision of God. That is, God is not a God of the kings, of the powerful, but of the weak and powerless, of the innocent of spirit. And He is available to all, anywhere, anytime, without intermediaries.

    Elsewhere in Scripture, wisdom is encouraged. Paul counsels the Corinthians: Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be ye men (1 Cor. 14:20).

    Jesus did not reject the wisdom of Solomon, the wisdom of Joshua, son of Sirac, the wisdom of the Prophets and Apostles, to those whom He gave the commandment to be "wise as serpents, and harmless as doves"(Mat. 10:16).

    But he criticized those who: "err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God (Mat. 22:29).

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  29. Huckleberry, I knew it was you asking! :)

    Maybe it means that if someone's got a strong background and training in some falsified form of religion/christianity it is harder to break away from it than for someone who doesn't have any religious background at all? For example Laestadians have many false manmade understandings about certain Bible verses, and if you have been trained to memorize those explanations it can be difficult to accept that those verses actually mean something else. While someone who has never heard a false explanation to those verses may understand it right the same moment (s)he hears it the very first time.

    Or maybe it just simply means that you have to be like a child to be able to come to Christ, not having anything of your own?

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  30. Maybe it means that if someone's got a training in some falsified form of religion/christianity it is harder to break away from it than for someone who doesn't have any background at all?

    Or maybe it just simply means that you have to be like a child to be able to come to Christ, not having anything of your own?

    Thanks for the answers!

    H. Finn

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  31. i just recently found this blog, and found it really interesting. I am a laestadian lutheran. Contrary to how some of you were brought up, i was taught that the bible is the most important book, and encouraged to read it. Confession is not compulsory, but it is a privelage. One is not saved by confession, but is saved by the forgiveness of sins. My dad was in his early adulthood during the time of the heresy (i think it was actually in 72, minneapolis) and was told by his parents and family members that he read too much scripture. How can that be? Red flag there...
    But it's not the wording of the forgiveness of sins that is so important, but when another believer forgives your sins for you, it is also then forgiven in heaven.
    I was also taught, and thoroughly believe that it is ALL about love. That's why Christ died in the first place is because He loves us and wants us to get to heaven. And I have always been taught to show love to unbelievers and people that are not of the same faith that i am. To do anything else would be wrong. Even when someone gives up their faith, i still love them and care for them. Even more so, because it's always the hope that one day they will be given the grace to return. It is scary to think that loved ones will not go to heaven, but a person cannot believe for others. We are all responsible for our own soul's condition. When Jesus was preparing His diciples for His departure He said, John 14:26 "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." And continueing in 27, which is why believers only greet other believers; those that also have "God's Peace". Saying so is a confession of one's own faith and an acknowledgment that the one you are greeting also has true faith. John 14:27 "[27] Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

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