Thursday, January 31, 2013

Why am I Anonymous?

Before I begin I must say, to protect myself and others, some of the details in my experiences may have been changed. Some of the experiences may be a compilation of different experiences that have been shared with me.

I remain anonymous because I wish to freely express my perspective and thoughts on these weighty issues without disturbing the lives of those close to me. Can you imagine if your loved one not only lost faith but was questioning the very foundation on which they were raised? What kind of talk would go on behind closed doors about the stability of their mental state? Can you imagine how painful that would be for you to hear such talk about your loved one? Even if you don't hear it directly you know it's going on and others are going to interact differently with you. Perhaps put you under the microscope and realize that you are not as good a believer as you seem, checking to see if you have similar symptoms. Checking if it's rubbed off on you yet? Most likely there is already talk about me. I don't need to reveal my identity to increase such talk. Besides that, I don't want to be completely ostracized for the way I think. I know this would happen. This kind of thing is viewed as "contagious" and one would not want to be seen around me or associating with me for the concerns others may bring up about the company they associate themselves with.

Is it somehow ok to gossip about "unbelievers"? I have heard it many times growing up as a believer. I know we are taught that we are simple, sinful humans and that we fall into sins every day, but I have heard others being rebuked for this matter of gossip and judgement very, very few times. Why is it that it is not considered on the same level as other "sin." Like listening to music, wearing earrings, watching movies, ect. As if those are important life issues and the way a person treats others comes second to whether you have pink toenail polish on or not. I believe that is because it is easy to rebuke someone for something you do not do yourself. It is much harder to stop mod conversation and face to yourself and others that what you are doing is wrong. Plus we are curious as humans, we like to know what others are doing. Talking about the misdeeds of others makes us feel better about ourselves whether we are willing to accept and be truthful about that or not. It's easy to make these small issues that have no real answers into the important issues rather than facing the bigger issues of human rights, decent parenting, and the way we treat one another. Has our faith become nothing more than a bandaid?

In order to find happiness and love, one must find peace, in order to find peace one must find truth. In order to find truth, one must let go of fears. In order to let go of fears one must first come to realize what they are. And in order to realize what those fears are, they are one must explore themselves freely and be willing to discover whatever they may find.

Rules and Regulations

Rule: noun
1. a principle or regulation governing conduct, action, procedure, arrangement, etc.: the rules of chess.
2. the code of regulations observed by a religious order or congregation: the Franciscan rule.
3. the customary or normal circumstance, occurrence, manner, practice, quality, etc.: the rule rather than the exception.

We are taught in our life as a believer that we do not have definite "do's or don'ts" we do not have rules.

However, is if a person decides to go and do one of the things that are against the suggested guidelines they are met with rebuke. If these are not rules and definite right or wrongs why is a person rebuked and told they are being disobedient?

Take the example of listening to music. We are told that certain music is grey area and not a definite yes or no. When a person decides to listen to music that is in that grey area and another believer discovers this, often they are asked if their heart is in the right place. Why would they want to tempt themselves and explore that grey area? If the accused person says they don't believe this type of music is wrong and continue to listen to it, they are told they are being disobedient and should ask for forgiveness and stop this behavior if they want to remain believing. I know of many who have gone through this very thing. One questions why it creates such a disturbance if there are no rules? Why leave things so open ended like that? Wouldn't it just be better and raise less questions if we had a list of what to do and what not to do?

If we are led by the Holy Spirit and it is one unified Body of Christ, why does the Holy Spirit not guide everyone to the same conclusions? Why did the believers in Ecuador have to be told by a minister that earrings are wrong? If they have received this one true Holy Spirit it seems as if it would have guided them to know wearing earrings is a sin if it is, in fact, a sin. If one is to argue the Holy Spirit guided that minister to tell them I would ask why the Holy Spirit did not tell them itself? It seems as if a truly powerful Spirit would speak directly to those who have received it when it dwells within them. If it is truly one Spirit and they have truly received it, it seems as though it should never have been an issue.

Why would the Holy Spirit speak differently to each of us? Why do we need so many meetings and discussions to figure out what the Holy Spirit is saying? Are some more enlightened with the Holy Spirit than others? Are some more sinful than others and clouded so that they cannot see the truth? Forgiveness washes away all sins and doubts does it not? Then why are there many who truly desire forgiveness and receive it but are still clouded and weary with doubt?

Who's guidance are we following? Is it the Holy Trinity, or is it the guidance of man? Who is it that we are we being obedient to? Are we following what is right and true, or is what we believe to be right and true only a product of our biases that have been passed down generation to generation? Do we want Truth or do we just not want to upset our nice little packaged up and tied with pretty ribbon lives?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Precious Things

This is not a blog to bash or bad mouth the ways of the typical Laestadian believer. In fact there are many precious blessings and gifts in this lifestyle. When a person finds such a group of people who have been raised so similarly how could it not be a comfort and joy? I just want to reiterate the things I found most precious in my life as a believer.

The sound of children laughing.
The sweet old songs and hymns of Zion.
Coffee lunch.
The ritual of the forgiveness of sins (which I plan to do a blog on)
The camps.
The greeting of Gods peace.
The sanctity of marriage.
Candlelight discussions.
Sunday school programs.
Singing with friends at night.
Some sincere friendships.

Does anyone want to add anything?

Being Afraid

Some of you reading this might think this is brave of me. Some of you might call me a coward. Let me tell you, this is not easy to do. I feel like I am betraying friends and family. I do not like the feeling, but I will be uneasy unless I do something. I know there are many voices out there that feel they are not being heard or they are too afraid to say something because they fear what may happen. They are too afraid to question openly because they know they will be received with rebuke, extreme emotional reaction and often judgement (usually behind closed doors)

This is a place to ask those questions. A place to be truly free. And afraid as I am of displeasing and upsetting my own family and friends and offending them And their beliefs I cannot stand by. There are countless unhappy people within this faith and I can't imagine a God who wants us to live in such an unhealthy way. I don't see how it could possibly please Him.
We are to there are no rules just guidelines and suggestions but if one dares to not follow those guidelines, they are being disobedient. Please tell me how that is not a rule? These things are found no where in the bible, which leaves us with a sense that our foundation is not as sturdy as we are led to believe. This is not a healthy way to live. We are given no real answers, just told to simply trust, no matter how miserable we may be. We can feel happy for a day with the forgiveness of sins but every time we dare dwell on the idea that maybe we are not happy and this is not the truth that "happiness" vanishes. We must seek forgiveness and we do so as if it is a drug. Each time we receive it, it becomes less powerful but we feel we need it more and more.

This is not an effort in correcting those who wish to live this way but an effort, as I've said before, to allow those who seek the Truth a place and the freedom and ability to do so freely.

Emailing me

If anyone wishes to email me, I can assure you would remain anonymous, you can do so at

Questions on appearances

We are told that wearing makeup is a sin, along with dying our hair and piercing our ears. When I was a child I accepted this blindly and recognized "the unbelievers" by their dyed hair, make up and pierced ears. I avoided them. I thought they had special germs. I could not share my soda with them because they had "unbeliever" germs. I was afraid it was contagious. I don't want to catch it!
Look how gross they look, my mother would say to me. Don't they just look worldly? Aren't you glad we don't do that? Yes, I would respond obediently. Secretly I admired the dangly earrings and pretty painted nails of those unbelievers and was caught many times having colored the nails of my dolls with permanent marker and had been taunted by my friends for leaving my Barbies earrings in their ears.
One day I asked why we don't pierce our ears and received this answer; "because if God wanted us to have holes in our ears we would have been born with holes in our ears." Easy enough to accept as a child.
Over the years I became friends with a "heretic girl" at school. She complained one day that she had to sneak her hair straightener to school because she was not allowed to straighten her hair. "How strange, I thought..." And I asked her why. She responded "My mom says if God wanted my hair to be straight, I would have been born with straight hair."
This came as a bit of a shock to me. How could her mom have come up with such a similar response if they are wrong and we are right? I decided to bring it up at a discussion. I was told again, we don't know the ways of the Holy Spirit and the gospel was preached. I decided to move on and to accept and be obedient.
One night this discussion came to mind... I decided to allow myself to think about it. Many more questions began to arise. If God wanted our hair to be short, wouldn't He just stop it from growing? If God wanted us to have curly hair, would it be curly? Finally, and most hilariously, if God wanted us to wear clothes, wouldn't we be born with them?
While talking to a "Christian" friend (who knows far more about the Bible than I do) I brought up this topic. Her response: "well that's just silly. The Lord judges one by their heart not their appearance. In the Old Testament the women wore pearls and silk for their husbands to look good for them. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good, it's the intention behind it. What kind of attention are you trying to attract? Or are you simply wanting to look pretty, which is natural for most girls and women?" This was a very comforting response after so many years of trying to convince myself that wanting to do those things was surely evil.

One of the Chosen

We are taught, that many are called but few are chosen. How lucky are we, that of the 7 billion or so people God created, us few 100,000, give or take, are going to heaven. Faith is a precious gift. That means, God is going to destroy more than 99% of the undying souls He has created, in vengeance to Eve picking the apple from the tree. How fortunate are we that we have been blessed with this precious gift of living faith!

This was the most disturbing "reality" I had to face as a believer. Some of my friends and family were going to burn for eternity because they did not receive this precious gift of faith? I was told that God gives everyone a chance. Many are called but few are chosen. I wondered how this was remotely possible before the time of technological communication. How could it be that every person who has ever lived on this earth has had an awareness of this very tiny Kingdom and been given a time of visitation? I heard recently of some groups of people who have no record of being contacted by the modern world. How are they given a time of visitation? Well here's the answer I received; "God works in mysterious ways, don't question and believe all sins an doubts forgiven in Jesus name and precious blood."

That answer did not ease my aching soul. I could simply not adhere to the idea that somehow, I was one of the chosen. That despite the fact that there are many churches that claim their way is the truth, mine was the only true way. I could not accept that my God, my loving, all mighty, all powerful God would create so many living souls, only to send them into an eternity of suffering and damnation. If God is so powerful why does Satan control more than 99% of the world? What kind of God would create so many people just to send them to hell? This seemed so evil and twisted. I simply could not and still cannot accept this to be true. And if it is so, I do not want to spend eternity with such a being. What reward could possibly be waiting for me from such an angry and vengeful God?


Hello to all who are reading this and welcome. Before I start, I would like to say to any preciously believing Laestadian Lutherans, if you would like to continue to hold your faith in a pure and unquestioning regard please stop reading this blog. Do not continue. I am not saying I am so powerful I can take away your faith, because we all know that is not true but I am saying that the topics on which I discuss may bring any doubts you probably had in your walk of faith to the surface. You may not be able to ignore them any longer or push them down in effort to drown them. You will know you are not alone in your doubts. That can be a dangerous thing to one who wishes to remain on this narrow pathway which we have been taught, leads to heaven. My goal and intention is not to lead anyone astray. I believe there are some who are happy and content living this way and this lifestyle. I am ok with those who are. Everyone has the right to live freely choosing their own path. My goal is simply to let those out there (and I know there are many) who are not truly happy living this way know that they are not alone. My goal is to give people who have grown up in this faith or have experienced it, a place to talk freely and openly. I know there are many looking for such a place in which to find refuge. Some who have left, some who are in the edge and some who struggle daily to try to force those doubts and thoughts chattering around in their head down. Trying to convince themselves that the devil is working hard on them. That it is because it is close to the end times. Asking for the forgiveness of sins, more and more every day and finding less relief every time. Praying with every step that God would come now and take them away, thinking they cannot possibly stand this life for another second and clinging desperately to the hope of heaven. To those who relate, know that you are not alone. There are some logical answers to the questions that weigh so heavily on your mind, even if they have been answered with "human reasoning". Many if them will be answered with human reasoning but some can be answered using nothing other than the Holy Bible. If you are willing to explore those doubts, as frightening as it may be, continue on freely. If you are not willing, I have one question, why are you still reading? If your purpose is to find fault in my writing, to prove that your way is the truth, undoubtably you will find it. Seek and ye shall find, as the holy book reads. I have no claims to perfection, I am a simple human, as are you. I am simply seeking truth and I believe if something is the truth it cannot be exploited through exploration of it. If it is truth it will be revealed, for truth will not and cannot die. It remains, forever.