Wednesday, January 30, 2013

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.

20 comments:

  1. Yah for you for searching, asking and seeking! I left years ago and have been there. I am so thankful to be freed from that mindset!! Truth is the LLC is not preaching truth. You can be saved outside of this one church. Its your relationship with God and your faith in what Jesus has already done for you on the cross! You only need to follow him and where you choose to worship him is your choice. A healthy church allows you to ask questions without fear of being rebuked. There are so many churches out there like the LLC. They are not unique. Check out batteredsheep.com, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, Twisted Scriptures. The bible says seek and you will find, knick and the door will open. Thats a promise! Put your faith in what the bible says not man. I wish you well!

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  2. Thank you for your perspective!

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  3. I invite others to share theirs!

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  4. I am so much happier since leaving the llc. It was the root of depression in my life. I'm struggling with the fact that I was raised in such a strict/narrow-minded environment . It makes it difficult to face reality at times. The bible says one faith. Not one church. Sorry laestadians. Your not the only ones saved.

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  5. Well when I asked my mom how come there aren't very many black people in our churhc, she said that they had their time of calling a long time ago and they didn't take it. I don't know how she knows that. I don't know if I believe it either, but I didn't ask her any more about it because I didn't know what else to ask. Do you know what she is talking about? I think it is because we came from Finland and there aren't many black people there. How do you get black people in your church when there aren't any around you? And then when you come here, if you never talk to them, how do you expect them to come to your church and be converted if you never talk to any of them and ask them to come? It just never made any sense to me. But I don't know why they would come to our church when some people don't like them here. I know what people say about those people sometimes. And if my mother heard me say it, she would frown at me even though she doesn't like them much either.

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  6. Ummm I don't even know what to say about that besides what on God's green earth? "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." -Galations 3:28. Reminder, reminder, reminder!!! Especially with all the suppression of women that I have heard is going on lately!

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  7. As a man, I think its ridiculous that woman can't preach. I've heard so many precious insights from woman regarding matters of faith. Gentle and loving insights, where the fruit of the Spirit was shining brightly. Woman can preach in their homes, teach Sunday School, but can't teach Bible class or give sermons on Sunday? How hard will we cling to tradition in this area? Until it leads us away from Christ? Has it done that already for some? Based on my personal interactions with many male leaders in the church, I think they would be EXTREMELY intimidated by a female preacher. Especially if they embodied a mother's love and tenderness.

    Two of the earliest Christians, and close friends of Apostle Paul, were Priscilla and Aquila. They spread the Gospel to many different areas in early Christianity. According to historians, Priscilla was the leader of this couple, and most likely an ardent promoter of the Gospel. And of course, Priscilla was a woman.

    I don't think God cares who preaches or teaches, or what chair they are sitting in when they do it. As long as they have Christ in their hearts.

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    1. And yet many churches believe this not just LLC, and now some LLC churches are even rolling back some gains they had made in this area to put women down/back in their place. Out of fear mostly, I think. If people truly are all one, it shouldn't matter race/gender if they want to speak/share their spirituality. I don't think it would make a difference to Christ either--he was one of the first and most radical includers of women out there in history.

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    2. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." -Galations 3:28
      Seems pretty simple to me! :)

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    3. Will be interesting to see if in the future some of these African men that have joined the LLC will become speakers...

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    4. There are a number of speakers in Africa. Sometime within the last year or so one of the African speakers was in the US and spoke in many of the LLC congregations.

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  8. Its become more tradition of man then what God says. Its all they know and to think any differently would be sin. Its a big red flag when hardly anyone ever joins your church. Border line cult if you study characterisitics of one. So glad my future children are not going to be taught all the lies. Lovemthe people there but they are believing a huge lie, its sad!

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  9. This is a huge bone of contention for me as well. The rules that aren't really rules b.s. From an early age I did things that were "sins", growing up in an area with very few other LLCers and being the only LLCer (besides my younger siblings) in my school. I would babysit at unbelievers homes and watch A LOT of TV - never felt like that was a sin (I never felt wrong for doing it), secretly listened to music on my little alarm clock under my pillow or with a walkman, danced during phys ed in school, watched movies in school, etc., etc....the list goes on. All these "sins" I did, I never felt bad, never felt like I was doing something wrong, just really wanted to be like my friends and fit in! One instance when I was about 6 or 7 years old, I was at a fun night at my school, I let the lady paint my finger nails there. Turns out we had haps at our house later that evening and I felt SO ashamed that I had painted nails that I scraped them off with scissors cuz I was so scared what someone would say! Not that I felt bad having them painted, just fear of the rebuke that would come because of it! And I thought they looked so pretty! Every nail a different color!

    One thing I have noticed is that when a young person from the world, joins the LLC, it's usually because they have fallen in love with an LLC boy/girl and because that person tells them they'll never be able to have a relationship with them because they aren't believing - they repent. Not because they believe, they just think "how bad can it be? Especially if I can be with so and so?". Well in every case of this happening (in my area anyway), it doesn't take much more then a year in the church for them to leave. They realize what it's all about and although they want to be with that person they fell in love with, they decide it's not worth them giving up who they are for that person.

    I also agree that women should be given a larger role in the church and be able to speak and teach. Why is it that women within this church feel content to sit back and let the men run every aspect of their lives - right down to telling them they aren't allowed to use birth control and have to have as many children as God feels they can handle - because it "says so in the bible"?? Come on people! Wake up and realize that you doing these so called "sins" are not going to make a difference the end when God is looking at each person for what is in their spirit and soul, not what color their hair or fingernails are or if they watched TV or listened to "jazzy" music or felt the need to control the amount of children they had (due to whatever circumstances they felt were important). It just makes me sad to see so many people believing this way when most of them feel there is no other choice and most are depressed to some degree because of their limitations within this religion.

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  10. Every time one of my LLC family or friends tells me they're going to have another child, I tell them congratulations but inwardly I feel sorry for them. Baby after baby after baby! Some mothers can handle it no problem but others get run down. And I feel bad for the kids too. Especially the middle ones. They just get kind of forgotten about. The oldest kids, too, have it rough. They're expected to be mini-parents, even being kept home from school sometimes to help take care of the younger ones.

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  11. I think a lot of people are afraid. They stay in the church because they are afraid. They are afraid of what will happen if they buck the rules. They are afraid of doing life not with the group. They are so comfortable in their church that they don't want to picture life any other way. Someone one told my friend that we are afraid and she snapped on her. She said we're not afraid! And said its an easy faith because you just have to believe and that's it. She likes that.

    I think what that really means is its a lazy faith, not an easy faith. Just do what your told and if you want to do something like watch TV, don't get caught or you better be ready to repent if the wrong people see you. I think she's afraid of what people will think of her though. Afraid that she will get rebuked, not that she thinks God really cares if we do something like watch the football game on TV instead of listening to the radio. I think God shakes his head when he sees us do all this stuff. He probably does a facepalm and goes Oh, my lanta, people. What is wrong with you? That is NOT what I meant at all!

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    1. :) I agree! Thank you for commenting. We are judged by our spirit, not by our works. To me that doesn't mean we don't need to worry about participate in community activities for the common good, it means we should worry more about where our heart is that outer actions, appearances, traditions, ect. It means we should use Jesus and His teachings as the example of how we live our lives, not the things we hear from men.

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    2. I can also say that it's not always out of fear but also out of comfort (and a bit of fear as well). Someone close to me (in the LLC) has voiced many doubts about all the so-called "rules" but doesn't feel like she could ever leave because she would lose all of her friends, her family would treat her differently and she doesn't really know what she would believe if she were to leave the beliefs of the LLC. She feels like some of what is taught/believed is how she believes but a lot of it isn't.

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    3. That is what is kind of sad about this organization. It is our lives, our foundation as cracked as it might be. We don't have anything else, so we cling to it, we don't know where else to go. I hope your friend can find some peace and happiness in her life. I would tell her to pray that God will guide her and show her a path filled with goodness, love, light and peace so she may have a fulfilling life.

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    4. And yes often it is comfortable. It's what we know. But the things that make us uncomfortable are often the things that help us grow, if we allow them to.

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