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.
Haps.
Some sincere friendships.
Visiting.

Does anyone want to add anything?

19 comments:

  1. Visiting. I know you have it already. But I like that one too.

    Knowing that someone else knows what you are going through when someone laughs their butt off at you because you can't do something at school when everyone else is. It makes me so mad, but I like when I know other people that understand.

    Going to sauna somewhere on a Saturday night. Kind of like visiting and coffee lunch put together, but with a sauna in there. I especially like when they serve homemade pulla.

    Song services. I like to sing and I like the sound of lots of people singing.

    Showers, as in baby or wedding--when everyone is happy getting together and they make the good salads.

    When church is over and everyone stands around greeting each other and you ask each other how they're doing, and the kids get to play like crazy and no one yells at them for running except maybe a few older people who think they might get knocked down or something.

    Having kummi parents who always remember me on my birthday.

    Knowing people who live all over the country.

    How about dislikes? The sermons. They are so long. Seriously. No one really listens. They only listen for the blessing and then they tune right out until he sounds like the amen is coming.

    Oh. And another thing--people who like to watch you so they can find you doing something wrong. Then they scowl at you, or if you are unlucky, they pinch you. I HATE that.

    Thanks for writing this, by the way. I wish you luck.

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  2. Thank you for commenting! And you're very welcome! Yes some of the sermons are long and sound like broken records. You know what would be interesting? If a minister went up there and was like so, how is everyone today? Really how are you!? What's up!?! Anyone have anything they want to talk about? Lets talk about something besides the weather this time! I'm sick of saying the same crap over and over and I know you've all heard it before and I want to know what you all are thinking! Or, so I read this crazy bible verse and I don't know what to think of it!! What do you all think? Lets have a chat!

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  3. I love the fact that I have lots of siblings. I like the community feeling, and visiting over a noon meal. I love the sound of congregation singing. And the feeling of going to the church on any given day, even just dropping by. It feels like a nice place to be. But I don't like the feeling of being constrained, and fear of being found out that I don't believe the same.

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    1. It's fine for people who are natural conformists and like living in boxes but then there's people like me who have no idea how I'm supposed to live in a box so I spend all my time and energy trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do in there so no one knows Im different. Then I have one half of me thrashing around, trying to kick holes in the box and the other half trying to tie my feet together to stop them from kicking.

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    2. So true, you know if you look at other churches, there are denominations that have lots of nice singing and visiting and families without all the rules and condemnation. It's just so hard to make the break because of family ties I think.

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  4. I know isn't it sad? Somehow these little (non) issues have become as important or more important than the teachings of Jesus. I think that being discouraged from using the newer versions of the Bible are just an attempt once again at control because old English is just confusing so no one read the Bible at all. But I can't say for sure. I'm not sure which version is used Finland...?

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    1. I'm not sure which version is used in Finland either, and although the old English may be confusing, the new versions have changed some of the wording and even left out whole key verses sometimes! I don't claim to be a bible expert, but I have myself actually compared the two. I have recently been to a discussion at a parents camp where a minister said it was perfectly okay to read these new versions as long as you reference to the KJV to be clear wording and such is understood correctly. My dad is a minister and has even purchased some of the newer versions for us as teens as a way to encourage us to read the bible (it didn't work back then). We also listened to the bible on cassette or CD from time to time growing up. Unfortunately, the desire to read/listen and understand also has to be there.

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  5. I have thought that too about the exclusive use of the KJV of the Bible. If it takes so much time and energy just to decipher the atequated English used, and you don't even understand half of it, most just give up trying to read it. If you don't know what the heck is in the Bible, you just assume that the ministers must know, and everything they preach must be in there. I think that is why they only want the KJV. As soon as a person starts reading a traslation that is easily understood, they may start wondering...Wait! Where is all the support for the rules/regs in the church? They may find out that its not there, and then what happens to the LLC. The LLC is only unique because of the rules/regs it imposes on its members. Take away the manmade rules and regs and they are just another christian church, and could no longer claim exclusivity and feel so special.

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    1. I disagree, the LLC is unique because they believe in the forgiveness of sins through the holy spirit within another believer. If I am wrong and you know of another denomination that allows your sins to be forgiven in this manner, please let me know.

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    2. The "heretics" practice this.

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    3. But, we are told that the "heretics" have left the church because they no longer have the Holy Spirit to help guide them, which is also a neccesary part of getting to Heaven (to have the Holy Spirit). I have had experience with only two kinds of heretics, but based on their practices, I have agreed that I do not think I could do so many of the things they do and remain on the straight and narrow path, or that they have clung to so much tradition that they started to feel better than others who did not follow these traditions, which is also a sin and a danger to losing the Holy Spirit...True, that I guess I could never know without looking at EVERY split, but based on my experience with those two heresys, I believe this teaching that they no longer have the holy spirit. If it is true for two, why not for all?

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    4. I have talked to some heretics, and they think the EXACT same thing of us. And when I said that you went with the other side, one of them told me that WE are the "other side". They don't believe in drinking, dancing, birth control, etc, either. How crazy is that? If I didn't know better, I would have said I was talking to someone from church (our LLC church).

      Really, I don't think we can say 100% that the heretics don't have the Holy Spirit, but I also know that if I said that to my mom, she would say I was wrong.

      I don't think I believe it, though, and I don't know what to do about it. Do I just pretend I believe it? If I tell everyone, they will probably not greet me anymore either and think that I don't have the Holy Spirit.

      How can you lose it if you just think something that is different from what someone else thinks? I don't get it. Can I turn it off and on like a switch? Now I think it, now I don't. Now I have the Holy Spirit, and now I don't.

      Really, if I can turn it off like that, by thinking the wrong thing, does it even matter if Jesus died on the cross? If I have to creep along this little trail and not think wrong and not say things wrong, like not even say God's Peace to someone who used to be in our church and think and act just like we did, and everything depends on my not doing things wrong, and if I do, I am the one who has to ask for forgiveness for it...does that mean that Jesus is not more powerful than my words or my actions or my thoughts? Even though he died for us and I am saved through his name and blood, why is it that I have to be the one to take the actions that make me saved? And why can my actions make me not saved?

      To me when I write this, it makes me think that because of all that, I sound more powerful than God or Jesus because if I suddenly think the wrong thing, it's out of their control to save me anymore. I am going in circles in my head! It does not make any sense atall anymore. Is this why I am not supposed to think about these things too hard? Cause it can make your brain hurt. Seriously.

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  6. The use of the KJV Bible and the rule about only reading LLC/SRK puplications is a way to control the flow if information and knowledge, in an attempt to keep the members from questioning. The feelings of guilt a person is brainwashed to feel for questioning or looking at outside information is very effective in keeping keeping the members real feelings stuffed down. They just get it forgiven and try to stuff it back down. If you feel like you understand something in the Bible, and it doesn't jive with the LLC position, you are told you don't know how to interpret what you are reading. Apparantly only certain people in the LLC can interpret. In the LLC questioning the LLC is equal to questioning God, and leaving the LLC is equal to leaving God. They are not the same thing. The LLC looks to what the ministers or the mother congregation (which is really just ministers and maybe a few ultra conservative congregation members...they are the only ones that usually dare to talk) for all answers to all questions. Even questions that have nothing to do with faith ex: should my daughter be able to wear clear fingernail polish. They don't look to what the Bible seems to say about the issue, just what the people of the congregatin seem to think. But how many people are really thinking something different that what appears to be the consensus in a meeting? Probably lots, but there is an indoctrinated fear of not conforming and appearing lenient. The fact the questioning/leaving the LLC is equal to questioning/leaving God and that the LLC is looked to for answers, rather than the Bible, tells me that the LLC has elevated itself above God.

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    1. Unfortunately, disscussion groups have gotten so large that these are the only people who feel comfortable speaking up. WE NEED TO SPEAK UP! This is supposed to be the voice of the holy spirit and the mother-the congregation. Its true that many of the so called 'rules' will not be found in the bible because they have been revealed by the holy spirit through this way so many times. Do you not agree that TV has become so full of images of half naked people and swearing and music that it would be difficult to remain believing the way we do? Nowhere in the bible does it say not to watch tv, yet this was recommended by the holy spirit in this same way, and I do believe it could be a temptation to many if it were allowed in believing homes.

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    2. The world in general is full of those things, the Internet even more so that tv. Porn is at anyone's fingertips unless there is censors on the Internet. Btw did you know television companies offer censorship as well? There are half naked people on billboards but we don't stop driving around because of it. And we certainly don't tell others to stop driving around because of it. We still go to shopping malls and restaurants despite the fact that there is music, drinking swearing and half naked people at these places many times as well. There is also near nudity in most magazines available for purchase that I have seen in many Laestadians homes. Health, Fitness, People and even, National Geographic. Magazines all together are not considered a sin. Some people may avoid them but there's not generally discussions on them. Why not? They hold the exact same sinful things tv hold, without the animation or moving picture. If that is the problem, then webcam shouldn't be ok, not home videos or documentaries.
      Personally I don't particularly like the idea of a tv in my home but it has less to do with the content on it and more to do with an added unnecessary expense and my personal view that it is a waste of time. Also, If I wanted to, I could get any tv show I felt like watching on the Internet.
      But my point is not to argue why this or that is ok. My point is that God cares about our heart, not our works. If we watch Barney on tv, I don't think God would really care. Our church should not have to govern the details of our lives. Our church is not the one who knows our hearts anyway. Only God does. Whether we have a tv in our house or not probably doesn't matter to God. It seems as though it matters to our church. It seems as if the appearance of it is a bad thing. Almost as if owning the electronic box is a sure path to hell.
      Ill use the example of gun control, I know many people are against it, their argument is, guns don't kill people, people do. Well.. My argument is a tv box doesn't cause us to sin. Our lack of self control does. "It is not that which goeth into the mouth of a man that defileth him, but that which cometh out." Im not saying we should sit in front of a tv all day just because we can either. "You are called to freedom brethren but do nt use that opportunity to serve the flesh."
      Faith is personal. A long list of "guidelines" is not going to get someone to heaven and I would go as far to say freedom is not going to take away anyone's faith if it is true faith, nor is the way another person decides to live their life. If your faith is True and God granted you this gift, it is only YOU that can lose it. Not anyone else and not the devil. do you believe satan is more powerful than God? Why fear what everyone else is doing? We should remove the beam from our own eye before the sliver in our brothers.
      There is so much focus on the governing details of our lives, as if God would care if we decide to have glitter on our eyes or not. I think it is more important to focus on teaching morals and values, do not steal, treat others the way you want to be treated, do not judge, love your neighbor and your enemies, do not commit adultery, love our children, give to the poor... Focusing on nail polish is only taking attention off of important issues and creating divides, not nurturing love for our neighbor. We need to govern the details of our own lives, not depend on our church to tell us how to dress, how to wear our hair, what music to listen to, what interests are ok to have... So on and so forth.
      Ask yourself this: what would God want us to focus on?

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    3. It is so true that God does not much care whether or not we have a TV in our house. But, I believe that the Holy Spirit helps guide us to make our path way to heaven easier, which is where the guidlines come in. Yes, you can find this stuff all over, but it has been instructed that it is easier to resist if it has not been welcomed into our homes, and yes, we allow the internet, which also contains just as much as TV, but on the internet you do have to go looking for it to some extent. If you are using the internet for email, school research, work, and the occasional game or something on a trusted website, you are not going to accidentally come across porn- you have to go looking for that. On tv I do believe there are images that are very close to porn (a movie in which man and women are in bed together and you can't really tell if they have clothes on or not) that you can come across without even trying. You can be watching something totally innocent- the news, a football game, flip the channel and WOAH you hear nothing but swear words, or see a sexy woman getting undressed in a movie and if these are your weaknesses it can be easy to fall into sin.

      I agree 100% that God would not want this to become the focus, but I think it is a valid question to ask someone if they are SURE this is not going to harm their pathway to heaven. If they are sure, then more power to them, and I would allow them to do whatever it is they are doing, unless I thought it was harming my faith in some way, or it was something that is clearly a sin-like infidelity.

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    4. I can see your point. I agree that it is a good idea to have some kind of moderation and consider whether something is going to benefit our path or not. Someone saying that they personally don't feel tv is right for them, doesn't give grounds for rebuking someone else for it. I understand honest, innocent questions about why someone would want to do something. I think some people are sometimes over sensitive when they feel judged. But, I think it is wrong to say "I wouldn't do what you're doing because I wouldn't feel comfortable, therefore what you are doing is wrong, and you must not have the "right heart". I feel people should also be sensitive if someone talks to them about something or asks why they are doing something. I think it is good to assume that no one is intentionally doing anything wrong and also that people are not trying to be judgemental when they ask questions. It is just not good to assume to know someone else's intentions. Most often our perception of another's intentions I due to our personal biases. We only view the world through our own small keyhole perceptions and assuming to know another's intentions only makes us more ignorant and it is not a healthy practice.

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    5. I agree M. David, we are told to approach another with love, even to rebuke, and I think this often gets forgotten. It is a good thing for us all to remember. It is also good to remember that just because someone is asking questions does not mean they are looking down on you. They may be confused because they would never be comfortable with it and are unsure of how to approach the topic so it comes out rough or blunt. It is hard, as humans, to ignore these biases or preconcieved notions, and even our own emotions (confusion and insecurity) and it is something that is good for us all to work on.

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  7. Very good points!

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