13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in thestatement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if youbite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh [g]sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you[h]please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: [i]immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry,sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, [j]factions, 21 envying,drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who [k]belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also[l]walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
Is this not a clear portion in how we should live our lives? These words seem so simple yet ring so true. This does not speak of earrings and makeup, music and movies, dancing and sports. It says it is the condition of the heart that matters.
Perhaps the practice of the forgiveness of sins has only served as a tool to have us not think of these things and consider them. Do we mindfully pursue the Spirit of The Lord or are we mindlessly doing as we have been taught, by man?
Could it be that the forgiveness of sins is a learned ritual, practicing the release of guilt? Perhaps the relief we hear from "the gospel" is only a learned behavior, indoctrinated in us from childhood. Is it not natural for us as humans to feel guilt when we have done wrong and to then seek relief from this guilt? Perhaps it has only served us as a wine, tempering our foundational problems for a moment, but never healing us.
I implore also, perhaps the speaking of the end of time has only served as a control mechanism, keeping us in fear? Perhaps the increase of this topic is due to our fear of change.
Reflect also on the possibility that our traditions are not born of The Lord but of men. They are not truth but the twisted perceptions of men, leading not with the spirit of Truth or the wisdom of The Lord, but with the faulty, erring wisdom of man. We have heard rumors and whisperings of such things, have have been told stories with many cracks, different every time, but no one daring to speak of the truth. We have been told, do not doubt, doubting is a sin. I say to you now, Thomas doubted Jesus but Jesus did not reject Him, He only said, blessed are those who have not seen but have believed. If Thomas had done wrong by doubting do you think perhaps Jesus would have admonished him?
Do you seek to know Jesus Christ as your own and accept and pursue the Holy Spirit, or do you seek honor the empty traditions of men? Perhaps this "forgiveness of sins" has only alienated us more from Christ. The book says, "For the kingdom of God does not consist in [j]words but in power. 21 What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?"
"I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.2 I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, 3 for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking[a]like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not meremen?
Why are we called Laestadian Lutheran? Do we follow the teaching of these men more than Christ? Why can we not simply be called Christian? Is the Holy Book and the teachings of our Lord not our highest authority?