Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Introduction

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.

16 comments:

  1. I think it's dangerous to think too much. Seriously. Because you will drive yourself crazy with it. Either you buy it all, or you might as well shove it all in a bag and throw it in the dumpster. Because when you really think about it, everything we believe is because of what our parents taught us, and our Sunday school teachers. When we got married, somebody gave us a Bible. I kid you not, I didn't even know which books were in the Old Testament and which books were in the New Testament. And I never opened it to read it. NOT ONCE. And I do not EVER remember seeing anyone else do it either, until I knew someone who had to present at bible study or speak on a Sunday. How do we know what the Bible says is the same thing as we believe? People just quote something from HSZ when they want to make a point or comfort somebody. You could make up a verse and tell me it's in Romans or Genesis or something, and I wouldn't know the difference. Maybe we should be looking at that and checking it out. My mom always said you have to ask what the Bible says before you say if its right or wrong, but I never saw her read it either. I might do that.

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    1. Yeah it's dangerous to think too much. It's also dangerous to drive, it's dangerous to eat food, and life is dangerous, it leads to death. We're all going to die but let's live in safe little boxes that make us comfortable in an effort to avoid the inevitable. Basically let's unhappily confine ourselves so when we do die, we look back and say, wow that was pointless. It's all going to end anyway so we might as well just give up doing anything at all and live like zombies. Right?

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  2. Thank you for starting this blog for others trapped in the LLC. I am no longer trapped, except in the regard that some of my family still is, and it continues to affect me. The major issue that I have with the LLC is that the organization is not faith or Bible based. Too many single issues have been decided for everyone by a single person, or small group of MEN who were just reacting and not considering what the long term effects of their decisions might be. I think in my entire life leading up to adulthood I only saw anyone reading the Bible a handfull of times. (Excluding the reading of the Christmas gospel.) Really. I was shocked as an adult reading stories I knew, but for myself with an open mind. EVERYTHING was different, everything changed. Faith doesn't have to be complicated. It doesn't have to be governed by someone's rules, subject to constant speculation by other humans under the guise of being another's keeper. I was so amazed on the day that I realized what the Holy Spirit/ Ghost was. It was something that I had always had but never understood until LEAVING the church, because I wasn't taught to believe for myself, I was taught to believe what they believed. It was so difficult to leave, so incredibly painful to dismiss everyone that was important to me, and I had some very dark times afterward, so I'm not going to say that everything will immediately be ok. But I am still so relieved and grateful to have that cloud of never ending pressure I felt when I "belonged" lifted off of me. I realized that though the support is great, if you're on the right side of the tracks, as are alot of the other community type of details, it isn't true if everyone is pretending. And it doesn't need to be so formal. I'd wager that the the most touching events, faith wise, that have happened to members haven't been while they were listening from the pulpit, but rather in a small discussion with family or friends. Also, prayer is huge component in sustaining faith, and I wasn't really taught the importance of that, and the importance of being honest in prayer. If you are even trying to be stuffy and righteous in your prayer, how are you supposed to get anything accomplished? It's supposed to be "get real" time, God sees anyway, so what's the point of putting on a show? That's what I feel the LLC is, a big show of tradition and manipulation. If a minister says that he is preaching the word of God, he is equating himself with God. (Which is a form of blasphemy.) The minister's views should be expressed as the minister's views, not as what God says. IF and this is a big if, you're good with God, He will give you that peace that surpasses all understanding. It doesn't matter if you're in a church or studying the Bible or where you are. So have faith, honey, that if you open yourself up to listen from within yourself, (after all, God is probably not going to get through to you via any other person or location, He will personalize it for you!) you will find your way. The decisions are yours. For me, I had to get very far away from the LLC to really be able to understand even a little about who God was, and who I am in Christ, and the great POWER in that. Power to do good, and not evil. Power to bring people peace and not stress. Power to bring people up, and not run them down. Love, true and real love.

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    1. Thank you for your support and comments as well as your perspective. It's nice to know that this blog is supported.

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  3. Have we been led to believe this is the truth due to years of hearing it repeated? Do we accept what the ministers say without reading the Bible for ourselves because we are told they are are guided by the Holy Spirit and we are afraid to doubt? Are we afraid to doubt because that too has been indoctrinated in us from childhood? Or is this the truth? I invite you all to study the teachings of Jesus with an open heart and mind. If you have trouble with the "accepted" King James version, try the New International. It is not a sin to read it. If we have the same Spirit wouldn't it tell us all the same thing? Why would God make his Word so convoluted, twisted and hard to understand. Kind of seems like the work of man to me.

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    1. I read the NIV also. (Have alot of Bibles for researching purposes, but that's my most used.) I have a really great study version so that you can take into acoount other things that were going on in history, and the background...things make alot more sense for someone like me who hasn't attended seminary. Plus, new findings of what the ancient languages meant in context of certain scriptures have helped me. For example, When Jesus was asking Peter (after being denied,) if he loved him those three times, in the ancient language there are three different kinds of love, three different words for love, with three different meanings, but our English Language only has one word to encompass them all. So the story takes on a whole different meaning. This is what I mean about the importance of doing your own reading, being led by YOUR Spirit instead of simply listening to what someone else tells you, (even though I don't think it's all bad to listen to others,)If faith is personal, than let it be that! So, M David, really, Jesus WANTS you to do what you feel in your heart is right, He WANTS you to get more information if he has given you the seed of inquisitiveness. This should make you feel good. You may get what I call a "nugget," something that shakes you to your core and scares you a bit because it's contradictory from something you've heard before, but EMBRACE it! You could be the person that has been called to reform things, you could be a leader in helping others around you escape darkness! M David, if you feel calling on your life, even if it's beginning a blog, I would just like to say don't ignore it. I firmly believe we wouldn't have hopes and dresam if God hadn't already decided before our earthly existance that we could be more than we could possbily even dream, so long as we remain open to being a participant in His plan. Throughout history, all radical movements and radical people were labeled as radicals, and voila! something happens for the good. Phil. 4:13- " I can do ALL things through Him that gives me strength." Even in the KJV, it's pretty awesome. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Have a great day. I'm rooting for ya!

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    2. Wow thank you for your support. So far that is all I have received. It's very encouraging and brings me peace because I've already had times where I've debated just shutting the whole blog down before it really goes anywhere, thinking maybe I should just let it be, let someone else do something. Or that maybe there's nothing that should be done and I should leave "well enough" alone. But every time I do I think of the many people who are searching for a sanctuary from their fear, and a way to be free, as I was and I feel in some small way maybe I can help with that and maybe there is a reason I was inspired to do this. So just know your support and all the support I've had from others really means a lot to me and if this is what Im supposed to do, you guys are all just as important and I couldn't do it without you. There is definitely strength in numbers.

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    3. You are doing a wonderful thing and you have a gift of writing! Keep pressing on, don't give up because of what others may think. There are so many people who have these same doubts and questions and it makes it easier to talk about if you can remain anonymous sometimes. I believe God has called you to do this blog! Its amazing. If you need encouragement you know you can call me!! Xo

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  4. Robert Jay Lifton's Eight Point Model of Thought Reform

    1. ENVIRONMENT CONTROL. Limitation of many/all forms of communication with those outside the group. Books, magazines,
    letters and visits with friends and family are taboo. "Come out and be separate!"

    2. MYSTICAL MANIPULATION. The potential convert to the group becomes convinced of the higher purpose and special calling of the group through a profound encounter/experience, for example, through an alleged miracle or prophetic word of those in the group.

    3. DEMAND FOR PURITY. An explicit goal of the group is to bring about some kind of change, whether it be on a global, social, or
    personal level. "Perfection is possible if one stays with the group and is committed."

    4. CULT OF CONFESSION. The unhealthy practice of self disclosure to members in the group. Often in the context of a public gathering in the group, admitting past sins and imperfections, even doubts about the group and critical thoughts about the integrity of the leaders.

    5. SACRED SCIENCE. The group's perspective is absolutely true and completely adequate to explain EVERYTHING. The doctrine is not subject to amendments or question. ABSOLUTE conformity to the doctrine is required.

    6. LOADED LANGUAGE. A new vocabulary emerges within the context of the group. Group members "think" within the very abstract and narrow parameters of the group's doctrine. The terminology sufficiently stops members from thinking critically by reinforcing a "black and white" mentality. Loaded terms and clich├ęs prejudice thinking.

    7. DOCTRINE OVER PERSON. Pre-group experience and group experience are narrowly and decisively interpreted through the
    absolute doctrine, even when experience contradicts the doctrine.

    8. DISPENSING OF EXISTENCE. Salvation is possible only in the group. Those who leave the group are doomed.

    http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/mindcontrol/index.html

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    1. Excellent information! I wish I had seen this years ago...

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  5. I will say it before someone else does. That guy wasn't a believer so his work is not credible. The purpose of that work (whether he realizes it or not) i s to lead us astray. He's part of the "devil's army." So then, is Mozart, Einstein, George Washington (and all of the presidents) and a lot of the songs in our songbooks are written by people who were not "believers". So should we take all of those out and ignore everything anyone who is not or was not believing says? If you answer yes, that only further proves the affectiveness of the above theory.

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  6. And excuse me for saying "we" I suppose the "proper" term would be "they." (There's that black and white thinking again!)

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  7. I would love to print up that the Lifton's 8 point Model of thought reform and suggest it to use as a topic for a doctrinal discussion.....

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  8. If we do not do something, we will be the destruction of ourselves. Perhaps there is no "man in the sky." Perhaps there is no "eternity of doom." Perhaps this is all there is. If that is so, maybe there is still something to the stories of heaven and hell. Consider that maybe they are here on earth. If that is the case, we choose our destiny. It certainly seems that whether there is a God or not, we have the power to chose our destiny and mankind's. Do you wish for a destiny of peace or a destiny of suffering?

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