Friday, November 20, 2009

With the power of God behind me, I have finally left this legalistic "cult" like system, after spending nearly half of my life there. I offer up daily thanks to have gotten "outtathere" with my brain still intact. I've been told that using the word "cult" is an extreme choice of words, yet it is the most obvious and self explanatory. My thoughts and ideas are mine now, and I am free to express them in any way I choose and mostly in agreement with the Websters Dictionary; CULT: a particular system of worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.


I am sure that the many OALC'ers who read this will take offense to this statement and that is fine with me. I see it as an eye for an eye.... they think I'm going to hell, I think they're a cult.

Here is a list of ceremonies and rites, or as I see them "Rules & Regulations" of their religious system:

After each "rule" I added a way to get around the "sin" that most OALC'ers practice.

* No Hair Cutting for Women (trim your bangs and sides and make it look like it fell out of your bun)
* No Facial Hair For Men (unless it's hunting season)
* No Music (tell everyone your MP3 player is a Book-On-Tape)
* No Dancing
* No TV (use your computer)
* No Theaters
* No High Heels
* No Tupperware or Pampered Chef Party's (people feel bad if they cant buy anything)
* No Photos on Walls or Scrapbooking with Pictures (we can carry these in our hearts)
* No Pants for Females (even to run to the post office)
* No Make-Up
* No Jewelry (try and find a cool watch that looks like a bracelet)
* No Restaurants with Music (Red Robin)
* No Gym's (tank tops and music are a sin)
* No Computer Games
* No Holiday Decorating
* No Christmas Tree (wreaths are ok)


And the most "fulfilled sin" at the OALC:

*NO GOSSIPING

The amount of gossip and fault finding of others is out of control at the OALC. I have never experienced this sheer volume of nit-picking, tattletales in my life. You would think this behavior limited to the school playground, but it is far worse than you could ever imagine, because it is the adults who are doing it, and it includes shaming those who violate the above rules.

YOU MUST:
* Attend All Services
* Say The Lords Prayer Daily (no relationship building with God)
* Be Baptized
* Have Your Children Baptized in Infancy (so they can't choose for themselves later)
* Have 2 Sets of God Parents (in case one fails like I did?)

I am not trying to bash or ridicule this system...just merely expose it for what it is. A double-standard, fault-finding, brow beating, spirit killing way of life. God did not make robots... he made us in His likeness and gave us life to live to the fullest. For me, when my heart is filled with God's true teachings and songs of worship... I know that finally... I am FREE...free in the name of Jesus.

463 comments:

  1. that sounds so much like our house when i was married to my first husband. He was raised Catholic then decided they weren't strict enough. we had daily lectures, I mean service, at our house. we had to wear head coverings too. he was such a hypocrit! you go girl!!

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  2. I am so very insulted about all these lies on this site about my religion this breaks my heart. First off we r not a cult we don't shun People who leave or other religions or believe they will not go to heaven because of it. We soley believe that if u r a repentent sinner u believe with ur all being that jesus forgives u for ur sins and that he died for our sins u will go to heaven. None of the above is true u could be a rapist or a murder and still go to heaven if u belive ur sins forgiven there is so much more I could tell u. It just gives me tears to know people r being so judgmental when they do not truly know

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    1. Hello, I am a former member of this church and though I do not fully agree with what was posted above ther are many truths in it. The "True Living Christianity" is a great place, there is a lot of love and a great social experience. But, what I pose to you is what are the children who leave the church suppose to do when you see your cousin after you leave and he shuns you. I grew up in this church for many years, I grew up in a town that didn't have a large population of "Christians" so I got a taste of the "world". It isn't as bad a place as the church paints it. I have found there to be more compassionate and highly educated christian beings outside the walls of the OALC. I still have family in the church so I am not encouraging those that believe to leave the church. Only, that I ask that many of the children develop a sense of self, "know thyself"... The children are going to have to live in the "world" as it continues to get smaller due to the ever changing work and social environments provided by the internet. The isolation that is preached in the church doesn't provide an outlet for many adolescents, I reference the case out on the west coast where, a couple OALC boys killed over 100 cats. This type of thing will only get worse, it could lead many to become rapists and serial killers. These children have to be taught that hormones are not the devil and are part of life. Remember to understand yourself Children of the OALC.

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    2. Dear Anonymous (Nov 1),
      I would be insulted by lies as well, but I have completely spoken the truth here. I have attended your church for almost 20 years. Battle Ground and Brush Prairie, WA, as well as those in South Dakota, Montana, and Minneapolis. I assure you I know first hand what I have told here and I "truly know" your church and its treachings to be just as I have explained. Your little summary of the basic belief system of the OALC insults ME. I have seen African American people leave and never return to your church because of the superior attitudes and judgemental stares... a rapist or murderer would be welcome? I think not! I remember being looked at sideways for not having the latest boots from the latest Nordstrom sale. This church is based on gossip, ridicule and rules. If you do not conform, you are shunned. I live it daily dear child. By the way... why are you on the internet? I know it is preached as SIN. You see, it's members like you always pointing the finger at those who don't attend your church and follow the rules that you think earn you a free pass into heaven while forgetting that you have three other fingers pointing back at yourself, that cause people like me to create blogspots like this. I'm praying for you just as much as you are praying for me.

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    3. I've been shunned and still am being shunned. While I was still a member of the OALC I was told I didn't fit in and I was going to hell. Some of my 'friends' told me this and I was still following all the 'rules/advice' of the preachers and going to church everyday. I slowly stopped going after that and years later even family shuns me in public and at family gatherings.

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    4. I believe oalc is a cult, because of all the rules they make, the majority of them are ridiculous. Almost all of the kids from oalc that go to my school break all of these rules just by attending school. Why do I have to go to hell if I am not a part of your religion.
      One day there will be very few people who practice this religion, I have a girlfriend from this religion, I don't talk to her much about religion but I want her to leave this religion because in my thoughts its a cult.

      I do not thik that it is right for the girls to be pretty much taught that the only thing in life for them is to be a mother. When me and my girlfriend breakup I don't want her to HAVE to marry someone and HAVE to have 5-10 children.

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  3. It looks that the elders or whoever helps lead this church, need to adress the issue of "rules, gossip, unexplained allowances", ect. Exmaple: who is worthy of getting married in the church building? It has been known that some who have gotten divorced, have happily been remarried in the church, while others..like a young in love couple who got pregnant, were told to keep it quite about the pregnancy, but then held the marriage ceremony somewhere else, following a full invention to the reciption at the church.???? Guess you cant be a sinner to get married in the building! I understood gods house was in the congregation, not the building structure?! So would not gods house be at any place thay decided to get married? Where their family and preachers also where.

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    1. Rules, rules, rules...yes there are even more concerning marriage at the OALC:

      1. If you divorce and both of you stay in the church, the one who petitions, CANNOT get married until the other (ex) spouse does first.

      2. If you have previously been divorced and come to this church, you CANNOT get married inside the church.

      3. If you get pregnant, you MUST marry the childs father. Even if you are merely 17 or 18 years old.

      4. You CANNOT sit with the opposite sex during services or everyone will (gossip) think you are "engaged".

      5. You CANNOT wear a bridal gown that touches the floor.

      6. You CANNOT have more than two bridesmaids, groomsmen.

      7. You CANNOT go to a tropical place for your Honeymoon (bathing suits excite the flesh).

      8. You can only choose from pre-appointed songs for you wedding.

      Anything else I have forgotten?

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    2. You must wear a scarf on your head, not a veil ('worldly tradition')

      The bride does not carry a bouquet down the aisle.

      The man does not wear a ring.

      You do not make up your own vows.

      You do not kiss the bride in front of the congregation.

      No photos in the sanctuary (some sneak some downstairs at the reception.) No professional photographers.

      No decorating the couple's departure vehicle.

      No ring-bearer or flower girls.

      No tuxedos on men.

      No champagne, wine or spirits.

      No band, no instruments, no music beyond singing.

      No sleeveless wedding gowns (unless covered by lace or jacket or bolero or some such)

      Certainly no 'garter-removing' ceremony' (gauche anyway)

      I know there's lots more, can't think of them all at the mo

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  4. Thanks for your reply, Anon Nov 25, there are SO MANY rules that helped create this religious cult that the true meaning of Christianity has been lost. Going to Hawaii is now preached against, as well as any other hot, sunny vacation spot as "the flesh" shown in a swimsuit will excite other flesh. As far as the marriage rules you mentioned, members who are divorced CANNOT get remarried in the church, ever. So, Anon's response (Nov 1) is a blatant lie as "all sins" are NOT forgiven as divorcees are not allowed to marry again in the church AT ALL. They have to use a grange or family home. It doesn't matter wh the petitioner was, however, if you ARE the petitioner and still attend the church, you are not "free" to get married until your ex spouse remarries. This church is the epitome of double standards. You are right in that God's house/body is His congregation, NOT a building. Too bad the "true living christians" do not see this. But it's just another "rule" that you are preached to never "doubt". All teachings spoken by their preachers are "from God" and you are told not to question them. Like my sister said, "It's the blind leading the blind".

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  5. Hello everybody, I just found this blog and feel it is interesting and sad - I'm a Finnish member of "esikoislestadiolaiset" (should be same as OALC), with about 50 years of experience. Sorry my English - I'm not native speaker :)

    I have never visited OALC in the Americas. This blog and discussion about OALC sounds quite strange to me. Obviously OALC is much more legalistic than its sister "cult" in Finland - may I explain you some differences:

    1. In Finland, rules and laws of preachers and elders are not Word of God - if something is not according to Bible its worth of nothing. We don't worship elders - but I've heard rumors that when elders visit America that happens at some level. Let's see what happens next summer 2013..

    2. You will go to heaven if and only if Jesus Christ saves you by giving you faith - it is nothing to do with how much good you work - you just believe what Jesus Christ said: I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me. - Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

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  6. ..continues

    3. My personal comments to List of Sins :

    * No Hair Cutting for Women (trim your bangs and sides and make it look like it fell out of your bun)
    - my wife has cut her hair,and nothing happened

    * No Facial Hair For Men (unless it's hunting season)
    - I know some friends of mine here are bearded

    * No Music (tell everyone your MP3 player is a Book-On-Tape)
    - the device is not any issue - depends what you listen

    * No Dancing
    - my daughter's hobby

    * No TV (use your computer)
    - My family has a TV - and appr. 50% of members here have TV - in fact i never watch it because I think its waste of time

    * No Theaters
    - no problem - but waste of time

    * No High Heels
    - this is no problem except in church

    * No Tupperware or Pampered Chef Party's (people feel bad if they cant buy anything)
    - these stupid pyramid games are not sin - never heard something preaching against them - very common hobby among women

    * No Photos on Walls or Scrapbooking with Pictures (we can carry these in our hearts)
    - my secong best hobby after reading Bible and Luther is photography

    * No Pants for Females (even to run to the post office)
    - no problem here - of course women have to use pants outside. This issue was "sin" in Finland 50 years ago.

    * No Make-Up
    - sometimes i've heard some preacher preached against this

    * No Jewelry (try and find a cool watch that looks like a bracelet)
    - 5% of preachers speak of these kind of things , the rest don't bother to talk about such minor issues

    * No Restaurants with Music (Red Robin)
    - this is same here - should not to laugh and enjoy with sinners - we are citizens of City of God..

    * No Gym's (tank tops and music are a sin)
    - no big problem here

    * No Computer Games
    - my boy plays those time-wasting games
    - I don't remember a preach against this

    * No Holiday Decorating
    - this hobby has to be an American speciality, don't understand this - why to decorate every holiday? Maybe you mean Christmas decorating - this is "allowed" but of course you keep in mind who's birthday Christmas is..

    * No Christmas Tree (wreaths are ok)
    - We had Christmas tree every year when our children were young - now I'm happy we hadn't it because of big mess (so much needles)

    *travelling
    - everybody go to southern warmth from ice cold Nordic countries -> Thailand, Egypt, Canary Islands - how can it be sin?

    About gossiping: our preachers have preached against it - as we are human beings we do sin - can't say that our "cult" here is free of it

    Our best preachers preach mostly against internal sins - like selfishness, greed etc.
    Of course we have some simple guys among local preachers who think that lists of sins should be preached 99% and in the end of preach just say few words of evangelium..

    I don't know did my letter help anybody but I'd like to inform you all that there is still real faith also in this "cult" - I'm hope also OALC on the other side of pond has a healthy core.

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    1. Reply to 'Esikoislestadiola' thanks for the post. I found it helpful. I have heard that it is a little different (less about rules of appearance) over there yet its hard for me to believe when I hear the elders come and preach even stricter guidelines each time they come. Last time they were here I remember they preached that wearing open toed shoes in summer are wrong. I've went to the OALC for many years and this is what is preached: the preachers have enlightenment through the Holy Ghost and any other teachings is evil work including questioning them. We can ask for clarification but if we "question" then we are said to be thinking of ourselves
      higher than we ought to think. The elders are
      treated like idols and I am told by my OALC friends
      that going to the east coast to say Goodby is a
      spiritual experience itself (it sounds like a commercialized spiritual experience to me but I've
      never been so....)
      * a woman cutting our styling her hair is preached
      sin. Woman are to wear there hair in a bun. Not
      many woman strictly follow the bun style (i agree
      with the original posters comment on this)

      * I've heard it preached that facial hair for men is ok as long as they don't trim it for style. That would be vanity. (men PLEASE, for the sake of the human race, start trimming your noise and ear hair)

      * absolutely no music or musical instruments. Not even if the school requires it for the program

      * no dancing (how do you dance without music)

      *no organized sports

      *TV is preached sin and if you are bold enough to have one in your home than many OALCers will stop coming to visit or let their kids come over to play

      * sales parties are frowned on as some people feel bad if they don't have money to buy anything or they might use their families grocery money to purchase things they don't need

      *high heals are preached to be sin but many ladies wear them anyway
      *i just heard it preached that theaters are wrong and if one burned and you perished inside than how could any of the Christians give you a testimony
      *I've heard it said that photos on walls is a form of idolism
      * makeup is preached sin along with earrings, nail polish, trimming eyebrows, styling hair, jewelry (yes, even watches that appear to be bracelets) etc.
      *I've never seen a Christmas tree in an OALC home but now wreaths are even starting to be held wrong.
      * I've heard that some are told not to go on vacation to Hawaii but Florida is fine if you don't linger on the beach.

      Please note: This is my understandings of going to this church. I don't agree with a lot and I wish that someone could explain many of there teachings in a way other than "that's just what we've been taught" way. I would love to hear from anyone who could share biblical based understanding of their teachings (everyone I ask questions of either don't understand what I'm asking or choose not to answer In a theological way.

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    2. Thank you for your clarity. I know there are many OALC members here in the USA that talk about and are aware of the "differences" among them and in your country - why do you think there are so many if Sweden (Finland) is the "Mother Church" that inspired the Laestadian movement here? What went wrong?

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  7. i have been married to someone who was raised in OALC. I agree with everything you said and there is so much more to add. It is most definitely a cult. His family has tried and failed to convert me and my children and as a result we have never been excepted.who they think they are, and who they really are, are completely different. I too have been told I will go to hell. They all disgust me! Dont get me started about the molestation within that church. Ask for forgiveness and that makes everything ok. Stay away from this cult!



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  8. Spent a few years living in Eastern South Dakota, talk about "cult"! It wasn't just the OALC, but every Luthern church. I'm Baptist and had never had an issue with these people, they sure had an issue with me. It's pretty bad when the Sheriff looks the other way while these minions steal everything you have worked so hard for. That's OK though, I forgave them and have started over in a different State. I'm sure that in God's Masterplan, they'll get theirs.

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  9. What did they steal? How did you know people from OALC?

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    1. "What did they steal?"...Everything but the clothes on my back! With the assistance of the Sheriff, I was basically thrown out of my own home. Kind of funny when an a parade of pickup trucks show up the next day and remove everything from my house and take it all to their own homes.

      "How did you know people from OALC?"...The town was full of them and they made sure everyone knew it. The above mentioned folks were known OALC.

      Over the years, I was friendly with them, never caused them any harm and never gave any reason for them to be hostile towards me and my family. I suppose just the fact I was a Baptist was enough cause for them. I filed a theft report with the Sheriff, but I was told to basically "leave well enough alone". After that, I filed a complaint against the Sheriff with the FBI - it's their issue now.

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  10. Would love to hear from anyone that knows first hand about the sexual abuse that is rampant in that church and why no one presses charges. Forgiveness is NOT enough! These children suffer for the rest of their lives!

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    1. you dont press charges. That is a sin against your brother. that is what I was taught when it happened to me

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    2. So why not press charges now? You can be sure its happened to more than just you! Why let them get away with it? They are NOT above the law and should not be allowed to hide behind their "religion"!Its sick!!!

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    3. So, to hell with their victims? Thats such BS!!! They need to go to jail like any other child molester! If you dont report it, you are just as guilty! What are you afraid of?

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    4. Tried pressing charges when it happened to me but due to state laws the police told me I had waited to long to press charges. I reported it 2 years too late. The preachers had to me to forgive and forget and never tell anyone. If any OALC members are reading this and are going through abuse, please report it to the police! Do not wait until you cannot and your abuser is doing the same thing to others!

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    5. Im sorry that happened to you! I didnt realize there was a time limit in which to press charges. Thats not right! I would suggest that you tell people who did this to you to protect his next victims! Dont be afraid of what the preachers tell you. Forgiveness is for you! It does not let the abuser get away with such a horrible crime. Please do what you can to protect others. It takes courage, I know! I hope you are doing ok.

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    6. Just wanted to say also, if any OALC are reading this, you know full well that if someone outside of the church molested you or one of your children, you WOULD report it! Why then is it not ok to report someone within the church? Do you really think you are above the law or better than "worldlys"?
      Think about it and do the right thing to put a stop to this. It continues because no one ever tells! Shame on you!!

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    7. Actually, the preacher at OALC told me not to drop the charges when I asked if that was the right thing to do; he said the molester needs to obey the laws of the land and be stopped from violating others. You can forgive but it has to be stopped. On average ONE molester molests about 200 children in a life time. That does not make the church 'full' of molesters. The percentage is less than the general population.

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    8. Really!? Thats wonderful that they would want to stop this! I would love to know that the oalc is changing their policy in this issue and "councling" members to press charges. Because you are pressing public charges could you tell us who you are charging? I don't. Ask this to spread rumors or gossip. I ask because it has been a huge issue and i want to confirm the new oalc policy

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    9. Just the way you stated how "the percentage is less than the general population" seems like you are trivializing this horrific crime. Could that be because it is so rampant that you are desensitized? I too am hoping you are correct when you say things are changing as far as prosecuting the molestor. They should also be identified to protect others.

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  11. Some do the right thing. I know of one brave mother who is fighting for her daughter's life and emotional/mental health after learning her own husband had abused the daughter. The crime is reported and the authorities are involved. Her daughter is in therapy. Perhaps the tide is turning? I can't speak to the way these cases are counseled in the church, or of the rate of incidence, but I hope more women are empowered to do the right thing also in the future. Must be frightening beyond imagining! But children are worth it. They have no voice- adults have an obligation to advocate for them.

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  12. Im married to someone who was raised in that church and Ive lost count of how many of his siblings, relatives etc. have been molested by someone in that church. They refuse to say who it was that molested them and they very obviously have scars. When I ask about it, they dont say much except that they have forgiven the molester. I cant help but worry about all the little kids that this is happening to and they are afraid to come forward and will be scarred for life. Its sickening!!

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    1. well actually we say that we r all brothers and sisters. everyone who goes to my church say we are all a family. everyone has their own opinions and I say that the kids will not be scarred for life and have no reason to be. do u think that they will be scarred because of our belief systems? well people might think the same about the church u go to, perhaps it being skull church or fresh life church.

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    2. Are you seriously asking if being sexually molested as a child scars you for life? It has nothing to do with your "beliefs"! They need counselling, they need to be able to talk about it and know it is not their fault! They also need to see that when someone does something that horrible to them, that the molestor doesnt get away with it. Why should the molestor be able to continue his abuse with other children because your church says its sin to tell? You all are guilty then! Shame on you! Its cowardly and sick! You obviously has no knowledge of molestation and its affect on children! Do some research!Read the bible!!

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  13. This "church" is a cult. Never met a person from there that thinks for themselves! The are racist, rude, arrogant, amish-like, backstabbing hypocrites! Stay away from there!!!!

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    1. I am sorry you think this way but we are NOT a cult. We think for ourselves, as well as for the good of others. We are not Amish-like, racist, rude, or arrogant. I don't care if u stay away because that is your choice. it is your decision whether you would like to come to our church or not. I do go, and I enjoy it. besides the fact that everything they put on ere is not true. we are allowed to wear high heels and pants and wear our hair in things other than buns. so if u don't agree that is fine but everyone has there own opinions, ,mine being that I will stay with the church that I grew up with and agree to the belief systems and every thing we do.

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    2. I agree that you are allowed to wear your hair how you like, wear heels etc. If you were taught to think for yourself and ask questions you would see what it really is. I feel sorry for you. You are living in fear and thats sad. Most ARE racist and very much like the amish. If you agree with the belief system, why are you on here?


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    3. Much like hutterites would be a more accurate description. A few differences, but much the same. Its a cult!!

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  14. I think its written in the bilble on many places about those speaking lies about the thrue chrisianity and those leaving it and start to hunt it. And if someone in that church say something wrong those peolpe blame all members and preachers and says its the doctrine of that church. Hope no one believes that the elders comes and gice new rules. The "open toed shoe" story is a big big lie. This kinds of storys and lies will keep going untill the end. Its sad but in the same way u read from the bible about this.... Everyone is always welcomed in the church and if 1 wedding was not in the church it was a reazon for that. Ive been at many weddings where 1 or 2 of the wedding couples been married before so stop lie please.
    Eaven if a sex abusement is forgiven by god, still the human needs to get his punishment from the law on earth. Jail or whatever it will be. Thats how they teach in OALC. Been OALCs in jail cause of different stuffs that was not tried to get stopped or hidden in the OALC.
    Im from Egypt so sorry for my bad English. Ive search for the thrue light in 100s of different churches and one they god showed me where the thrue light is. Please dont believe all this crap about the OALC. This just gives ME bigger faith according to the bible....

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    1. Wow! I can understand if you said you have never seen this happen or haven't had these experiences but to say I/we lie when we talk of our own experience is out right arrogant and stupid. How would YOU know if our experience is false? Did you go to every elders meeting and can truly say they didn't preach open toed shoes to be wrong? Can you say that molestation has never been done and also not reported? And I believe that you're seeing the church through rose colored glasses not unlike I used to see before I had PERSONAL experience with these issues. I challenge you to ask around to "Christians" about these specific things and find out for yourself that they really do happen and has happened. I agree that people might exaggerate but that doesn't make it untrue.

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    2. Tell me who of the elders preached toed shoes to be wrong?. I dont say ur experience is wrong i just say what they teach in the oalc. And if molestation has happened in that way its really sad and wrong. Not according what they teach. I dont doubt u....

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    3. Molestation DOES happen!! So many immature perverts hiding behind a "religion". They bare safe there because no one tells!!

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    4. Soooo WHAT NOW! (smirk)!! Elders spoke AGAIN that open toed shoes are wrong. You said that was a lie before but now it cannot be denied as MANY OALCers are talking of this. Before you say people are lairs you might want to check your facts. you just make ALL your other arguments seem unreliable.

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  15. The majority of sexual predators are NEVER reported! I know this for a fact! Been married to someone from that church for many years! They are NOT allowed to marry again in that church if they are divorced. Please start to open your eyes and think for yourself!!

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  16. I´ve been at 3 weddings in OALC where in 2 of them both of the wedding couples was divorced and the third only one was married before so I really think u talking BS. If there have been a wedding where they dont married in church its a reason for that so just ask why that happened and u will have an answer. Maybe the couple wanted it in that way...but NOT forbidden for divorced couple to get married in OALC church if they want it. Im a big freethinker but I just cant handle bullshit...
    I have not heard about any Egyptic OALC guy in the us??;) Who are u? I just moved home after 18 Month in the free land of America;)
    Esko K

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    1. Esko, remarrying in the OALC is ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN! Go check around and find out how many people have gotten remarried in family backyards and grange halls because of this. I could list at least 5 couples that I know of, but will not add names here. All due to divorce of one party.

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  17. Actually I did ask. I was told by the couple and the preacher that it was because the female was divorced! Dont talk if you dont know the FACTS!! 30 plus years I was involved with that church! I definitely know what Im talking about!!

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  18. Still I´ve been on three, so? 3-1;)
    Love u too;)

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  19. oalc is the only true religion that is the same religion jesus taught and im sorry for all those who dont repent

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    1. We are sorry for your lack of knowledge! Why are you on here? Hypocritical wouldnt you say?

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    2. The OALC is the RELIGION LEASTADIUS TAUGHT. sheesh... how ignorant... and robotic.

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    3. Robotic?....Guess thats a reference to how your preachers speak when they are trying to fill your mindless brains with their BS!! Ignorant?...referring to the majority of the members of this cult!

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    4. Hang on a second everyone. There are many different churches of OALC led all by different men with different perspectives. Many churches today practices similar believes as the OALC churches. I would agree they are not biblically sound YET... neither are other churches of today. There is sexual abuse in all the churches, Catholics for instance have been plagued by this. Listen up everyone: Most churches today are not biblically sound. Why? Because the vast majority refuses to seek out God, to pray and take on HIS YOKE and be taught by God himself. Pretty much all churches are lost, including OALC members. If only they would read the bible, and pray to have their eyes opened as well as all the other congregations.

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    5. Yes we r all sinners except you who started this blog? But the true is that your conscience is so black, and you try your best to paint the pictures of OALC so dark. Make rependens and ask for forgivness. There is only one congregation one earth. There are only one way to heaven. From Norway

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  20. Our oalc supporting anonymous is obviously on here because of searching. Please don't chase him/her away. They've read these posts...they'll start to think. To realize.

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  21. Notice how the members of this CULT have no response to the comments made about all the molestation that goes on in their so called religion! Cowards!!

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  22. I have been a life-time member of this church as I was born and raised in it. Much of what I have read here I have not experienced in our locality. And, often times people within the church take it upon themselves to make something right or wrong, while it has not been preached so.
    The part that most recently has me upset is the sexual abuse that has taken place and the advice given to not report it...keep it quiet. This is a CRIMINAL OFFENSE determined by the laws of our country and state! True we are all sinners, and while forgiveness for this act can be asked for, but the offense still has a LEGAL PUNISHMENT. It is no different than the coverup within the Catholic Church with the priests that for years have molested children.
    My own daughter was sexually abused by a family member, but not a member of OALC. She has required years of therapy, and was encouraged to do so by one of our ministers that has since passed away. She was never told to keep it quiet, and we have not! Why should the victim be further victimized by being made to hide the perpetrator? That is absurd!
    I do hope those that have been abused will get the help they so desparately need. And I pray their families will be supportive through the years of healing...and the abuser be required to face the ramifications of their actions!

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  23. Thank you for the validation.I have first hand knowledge that this happens and they are most definitely told to forgive and forget! I am sure that there are exceptions to this in some OAL churches. I even wrote a letter to the preacher after a loved one was molested by an uncle. He said to the victim that this matter was too important to discuss through a letter and that we should sit with the molestor and talk about it. We did! The molestor skirted around it and claimed he vaguely remembered but "if" it happened that way he needed to ask forgiveness. I do not nor have I ever belonged to that church. My loved one was raised in it and I know for a fact accepted the apology and said all was well. He is an addict and has been for years. A direct result of the molestation and the fact there was no one to tell!! My family has paid a heavy price for this. We have all suffered immensely and NO ONE from his church has helped. His family has lived such a sheltered naive life that they have no idea how to deal with anything. The whole thing is so sad and we all hurt so much!! I have had many individuals from that church tell me about the molestation that they experienced too! I just dont understand why it doesnt get reported. The poor children who will grow up without the help that they so desperately need! Its so heartbreaking and such a sinful crime!!

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    1. I also wanted to add, that the family members of my loved one refuse to hear the name of the molestor in case it made them think bad of him. They should think bad of him! He is a molestor!! Do you think maybe since your daughters molestore was not a church member that that is why it was ok to tell. What if it was a church member? Would the preacher still handle it the same way? I am thankful your daughter is recovering and hope she continues too!!

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  24. Hello preachers...sex abuse, and covering it up...a deal-breaker for many congregants. It's like finding a rotting, wormy core in the center of what you thought was beautiful, healthy and good for you...it's breaking the hearts of many believers to see such horror in what they held so dear. Don't tell, keep quiet, don't report? Because it is 'forgiven' and the offender's soul is precious? What then, of the victim's soul? The family of the victims? The friends and other fellow Christians whom this torments and who very well may become disillusioned and 'fall away'? To hell with them? Are their souls not precious? How many losses per decision to not report is acceptable? Two? Twenty? What makes the offender's condition more important than the physical and collateral victims? Why would reporting cause the perpetrator to lose forgiven status? Could he not still 'believe' in prison? Could it be a desire to protect the image of the church? At which point do we see that the illusion of purity seems to be held higher than truth, grace, safety and morality? How many children are worth it? How many?

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  25. Thank you for this!Its the first time EVER that someone from OALC has validated our feelings. Even though I dont know you, it means a lot. We are hurting so badly and have suffered for years. Someone has to open peoples eyes to the damage being done!

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  26. I have been a member of 3 different laestadian movement churches always looking for the "true church", finally someone from outside the church showed me from the scriptures how to be saved. I drilopped my church label and trusted In Jesus Christ alone gor forgiveness. IT WORKED Iwas then, Born Again and knew for certain. The best thing that all the Laestadian bloggers could conclude is that the Whole Hlaestadian movement is nothing more then Laestadian related culture with some toxic false religion thrown in. Yes it is a cult..Matt

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    1. I'm happy for you Matt that you found the truth, Jesus. The Laestadian religion is a cult, sadly. Now that you are outside the Laestadian church, can you be the 'someone' to lead others, inside, to the truth you've received? We can complain, judge, and criticize this church for all that it is, but we can't change it if we don't start actively praying for it and sharing the gospel message.

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  27. I Live in Battle ground Wa, They are everywere!!! They are vile and hateful bigots. they should not be given any respect for their beliefs. the are a CULT and should be treated as one!
    the one thing I find odd about this is you say they are a cult, but yet you are still a christian? why? What makes Christian and Bunners so much different? You think everyone else is gooing to hell too! You just widened your acceptable range. Why do you throw out some of what you were indoctrinated into, but not all of it?

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    1. If you think all Christianity is a cult, then my answer doesn't matter.

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    2. Give some good examples of how they (we) are bigots and hateful. What have we done to harm you? Society says "accept" everyone, but how can we do that if we are the ones being targeted? It sounds like you aren't able to live with yourself because you see some truth to our beliefs. And if so, there is help. your're always welcome.

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  28. The Laestadian movement is lucky in a way they know that they are sinners and hnow that Jesus is their saviour but they just dont know how to get saved. They are trusting ipn heritauge and aGod will not acept that. We must trust in Jesus alone. IS that possible to do? for someone indocrinated as the Laestadian movement is.....Matt

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  29. I was a life-long member of OALC who recently decided to leave. My hope is that I can leave all the bitterness behind and find a new path for myself. I just don't understand why there has to be so much OALC bashing. I see the hypocrisy; I see the double-standards, but I don't think brow-beating them back is going to help them see anything new. Just my opinion....

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    1. I agree, but it helps people heal to vent. What will help them see anything new? They are taught not to listen to anyone else.

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    2. We are taught to simply believe, yes. And there is peace in the belief so why seek anything else? I myself have been in the church my whole life and I went through a period where college turned my world upside down, but I went back because I knew it to be true. If you came and actually listened with your heart and not your mind, you would see that all these so called "rules" are warnings against potential harm to the soul, not a list of can and cannots. And there is no "shunning" to speak of. Just my thought.

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    3. Why is it true? What makes it so? How is it different from some other church's truth? Or the Bible's truth? And what PART of the Bible's truth?

      Yes, the rules are warnings, but for so many within the church, they ARE the belief system.

      And, yes, there IS shunning. Maybe you haven't been around those who do the shunning.

      I am happy for you that you found your place within the church. Many of us would never fit in there, and it's not for lack of opening our hearts and minds. It is like leaving childhood behind. Once you've lost that child-innocence, there is NO way to go back, never ever. Many of us see folks like you exhibiting "willful ignorance", but that is OK if it works for you.

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  30. Brow beating? I'm only concerned where cult members will spend eternity.I have family in several Laestadiab movement cults....Matt

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    1. I agree with you Matt. I am concerned too.

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  31. The above list goes on an on; in fact I've seen a longer list on Learning to Live Free's blog. It's not about the list though. It's about the fact that this religion has it's eyes off Jesus and on works. We aren't saved by works but by grace...it's a gift...faith + nothing. If they don't believe in the salvation experience, then they don't understand that works is a product of salvation and a spirit-filled life, not a requirement. Where you find a religion that keeps its eyes on works and not Jesus, there you will find satan.

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  32. The OALC absolutely does believe in the "salvation experience" as you word it. Awakening, repentance, confession, and forgiveness (in and through the name and blood of Jesus Christ) is the crux of the Christian doctrine. The fact that they don't believe in "eternal security" is what many highly dislike. They are firmly taught that we are saved by grace, which is unmerited favor, and grace only, and that fruits of faith will be evident. There has been and is a tremendous amount of undo criticism. Compare it to most churches who have gotten so watered down, many even bypass Christ altogether. I have found that many of the Ex'es actually do not want religion at all that follows Christ's teachings. Non-Bittered.

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  33. Yes but, like I did for 40years after I tryed to keep the 10 commandments by my own power.Thats the reason I could not use the term "born again" because I was mostly tirusting in my church.that's a nonstarter,as far as God is concerneb.I was religious but lost depending on confession and absolution....Matt

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  34. You c'ant honestly say any of the Laestadian movement churches teach that we are saved only by the Grace of God, without making their own church to be more important then the rest.

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  35. heartbroken to see that everyone has to stay Anonymous

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    1. But not surprised Im sure

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  36. Friday, November 20, 2009, Thank you for explaining the thought process behind these requirements. I totally agree on the rules and this church being a cult.

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  37. "Love thy neighbor as thyself". This is obviously not included in the OALC's teaching unless of course you are a member of their "church. I have to work with a few and I tell you it is no picnic. The schools where I live and my children attended are becoming segregated. It's "them" and the non OALC students. It is really sad how they being brainwashed in this religion and teaching it generation to generation. Why have so many children when so many of them can't care for them adequately. Thank goodness for government help I guess. I would like to read the part of the bible where it says only these people will be saved. I can't believe these people can be so brainwashed and ignorant in this day and age. I agree they think they are above the law in every way. They hide behind their religion to justify their non-christian lifestyles. It is sad really. I pray they will wake up and smell the coffee.


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    1. Go to their church. Ask them their doctrine. They are hard workers. The kids are raised to work hard. Many of them have high aducation. Many engineers, medicine, dentist, policeman, constructors, all kinds og aducated people. Men and women. The OALC are a average of the people, with diffrent caracters. Child abusers, homo, and lesbian. But the thing is, their soul will never die. So there is forgivness for all sins even yours if you will. If you dont ask forgivness and repend, there is no way between hell and heaven. Please this is serious.

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    2. Not just 'their' souls will never die. Everyone's soul is eternal. Not all the children are 'raised to work hard' (that gains you nothing in eternity anyway...it's just works.) And of course there are all kinds of people there...yes, child molesters too. The concern is what exactly do they do about it; do the congregants understand they are free to support victims by seeking help for them, and free to report the crime? Or is there a compulsion to hide/minimize/sweep the crime under the rug? Please, this is important.

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    3. If one come to a preacher and confess that he has been abusing child, the preacher can not go to the police and report the crime, but he will be told to do that himself. He got to trust the preacher, so the precher is not alowed to say anything to no one. But the preacher tell him to report himself, so he can get his sin forgiven. I know Christians that has been in jail for thous things. We have to follow the law like other people. I know lots of OALC people in the states, and I can not say I recognice any of all this toeless shoe, and other things. If my friend leave the Church, I always keep in contact with them. I never try to force them back. But I get sad and feel I loos them, when they leave. When I read this blog I feel that many of the writers would love to come back, but they feel they have gone to far. Everybody are welcome back, the Christianity are there for sinners, and not for the perfect people.

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    4. re..aug 4....
      this cult is based on fear.No where in the bible does it say that JUST these cult members will be saved! Most of them never read the bible. They listen to the brainwashing of the so-called "preachers". They are a sad group of individuals never thinking for themselves and too scared to question.

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    5. Let's talk about sad. Sorry to say, but the fact that you all are so "open minded" as you call it, is the most dangerous heart condition out there! We are only protecting ourselves from the effects of the world- and the "shunning" you all speak of, is in another sense, our own protection from YOUR "evil works." You are sad! you have no idea how black your soul is, how rendered by the devil you have become. That it comes down to you justifying your own ways by ripping us down. you will find sexual abuse ANYWHERE! Why target us? We are not brainwashed, we are not a cult, but if you believe so, then that is fine. Remember that the bible says the one true living faith will be discriminated, tortured, persecuted, and scorned. That is us. We are sinners, yes. But at least we can admit it, and we welcome anybody who wants to step through our doors. It doesn't matter what race, age, sex, what have you, welcome. And sorry if this seems harsh but many of you are misguided and word of mouth (or speculation) has no hold on the truth.

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    6. Oh, give me a break! Why did you come to this site to spew your vitriol? We don't go to your church and yell about your beliefs from the altar! I must say, you sound just like a Muslim leader in a small Afghan village.

      We have the right to discuss our issues with one another. Maybe if someone had LISTENED when we attended church, we wouldn't be turning to sites like this. Had you thought of that?

      I have no problem with your belief that my soul is black. It is my soul, not yours. Believe what you want. Just keep it to yourself.

      OK, having said all this, I have to wonder: Why are you so defensive about your faith? Are your church and your God so weak and so small that they need YOU to defend them? I have always found this interesting and exhibiting more than a little arrogance!

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    7. Do you not live in the "world"? You are such a weak and shallow person that you cant be trusted to venture out of your bubble? We were all created EQUAL! That means YOU too! You may very well welcome anyone into your cult, but if they dont conform they are shunned! Children look at "outsiders" like they landed from mars because they may have short hair or makeup etc. My faith is strong! You will most surely end up in hell with your attitude towards everyone else on this earth! If you think we are going too, then I guess we will see you there! Ask questions. God gave you a brain, use it!

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  38. YOU, are a prime example of someone brainwashed by this cult!! Have some respect for those that have been molested by these monsters! My guess is maybe 98% of them NEVER get held responsible because the victims are too afraid to tell! The damage is horrible, I know first hand!! Wake up! You people (most of them) are so self righteous. One day you will all see!!

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  39. OK, Everyone. Take a deep breath. I understand that you, and that includes both sides of the aisle, have strong feelings and issues regarding the church. But it, really, does not help to sling arrows. Everyone has his/her own experiences and path to follow, and it is important that we remember that and honor it. I am an ex-OALCer and in my 60s. I went through withdrawal, anger, and hate before arriving at a place where I can Live and Let Live. It takes awhile. So much of our upbringing is ingrained in us and pops up at the strangest times, and we often don't recognize its origins until later!

    The above lists of rules are a mixed bag, and I won't belabor them because they are incidental to the issue of sexual abuse. When you are told from the cradle how to dress, act, think, relate to others and you have no sense of personal boundaries, it is difficult, if not impossible, to bring up experiences of abuse. So much of behavior is tacit understanding, not something that is discussed, even with immediate family members. There is no where to go.

    I remember distinctly how alone I felt in so many ways. I had my friends, went to gatherings, and lived in a "church household", but I had no one to talk to. It is a bizarre feeling and yet, back then, I thought it was normal.

    It wasn't until I went to college that I began to see how I could live differently. It wasn't an immediate, easy fit, believe me. It was "Dark Night of the Soul" and all that. But I ultimately didn't condemn those I "left behind". I came to realize they have their own view of life, faith, and the hereafter.

    To each his own.
    God Bless.

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  40. Now, let's talk about sexual abuse. It does not help to say, "Well, look at the Catholic Church." We are not talking about the Catholic Church, or any other entity, but the OAL. Considering that they hold themselves above everyone else in the world and focus on outward appearances and actions, I guess abuse of this form is easier to overlook and deny because it is hidden. As one of the posters above stated, we are liars for even bringing it up.

    Sexual abuse happens in the OAL and most likely a lot more than anyone realizes simply BECAUSE it is hidden. I personally know of many cases. I was attacked by a male cousin when I was a teen. I never told anyone until years later.

    So, denying that it exists does not help. It needs to be brought out in the open. I don't see that ever happening because preachers hold the power and they want to keep it quiet to preserve "this precious Christianity."

    It took me decades to realize that "this precious Christianity" is much more important than individual Christians.

    That is their idol.

    Take care of yourselves --- and each other.

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  41. I KNOW THIS SITE IS MOSTLY ABOUT THE OALC BUT I HAVE 40 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN 3 DIFFERENT FACTIONS,AND THE WHOLE LAESTADIAN MOVEMENT IS A CULT. EVERY GROUP HOLDS "RELIGIOUS HOSTAGES" IN THEIR PEWS.Each faction claiming to be the only ones going to heaven. That teaching in itself can cripple a plerson for a lifetime.People can't have faith to trust in Christ alone and autually get "born again".......Matt

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  42. im 13 years old and reading all this information about this church I have been going to my whole life I never new so much stuff I thought I was the perfect church I wish I could know more if someone would please tell me more. I never new we had so many rules. and expectation to follow

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  43. Im curious what brought you to this blog? Are you looking for help? Are you scared?

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  44. We are NOT a cult. I have been going to this church for 10 years now and i have truly been awakened. I have never seen so many loving, caring and humble people in my life. I have never felt like I have been judge by anyone(except by some people not from our church who think I'm some stupid "bunhead") All this stuff in this blog is completely untrue. There are no rules. We all sin. We all forgive. I feel so thankful and blessed with all that god has gave me.. My faith, my kids, my hardworking loving husband who helps me so much in everyway and all my family and friends. I pray for those who look at us and cannot see how happy we are and what simple lives we live in this blessed Christianity. I only came onto this blog because I was curious an I wish I never had. It's these kinds of "blogs" and websites that we have to be careful on and try to stay away from because of all the negativity and untrue things being said. I'll pray for all those who write ridiculous comments on here and think we are such "horrible" people but only time will tell..nobodys perfect and God will be the Judge. If u have any questions come to church and listen...it's only gods words u will hear and I doubt god is trying to "brainwash" u but only help u see what sin actually is. I will not come onto to this website and read this kind of garbage again.

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  45. If the young 13 year old really wants to know more about the Kingdom of God, that's wonderful. Here are a few tips. The Bible says " seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, not their righteousness, as I was taught in the Apostolic Lutheran Church.
    There is no right church, there is no wrong church, but there are churches who do not teach the word of God, they teach man's tradition and that's where we are at today and God does not accept that. The Bible also says that God is a reearder of those that seek him. but how can God reward those who do not read the Bible for themselves. There is one more verse that is my favorite, The salutation verse in 2nd Peter, Grace and peace be multiplied to you by the knowledge of God the father and our Lord Jesus Christ.Wow! I want that,How do I get knowledge? Only by reading the Bible for yourself.....God bless you, Young one, go for it.....Matt

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  46. I forgot to remind you to look closely at the last verse that I quoted Grace and Peace be multiplied to me.Wow? God multiplies grace and peace to us, if we learn more about him. And most of us don't even open our Bible, almost never, how sad.

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  47. This blog is actually humorous...and sad. It's funny how people come on here and write things that are absolutely not true. No open toes shoes? No pictures on the wall? No trips to tropical places?! All untrue. Check ur facts before u start writing. As for our "rules"... Why change the way god has made u with make up and jewelry and other things..why listen and watch all the crap on tv and the radio. Would god really want me drinking, swearing, doing drugs and dancing. This is how we believe..we are not perfect and temptation comes but with prayer and god and going to church on Sunday and believing all my sin are forgiven.. That is how we choose to live. That is how we will get into the kingdom of heaven. If u have a problem with it, keep it to ur self. All ur doing is jugding us because u have nothing better to do and are obviously dwelling on it so u have to turn to these stupid blog spots. I live a very simple life and like it and with prayer and hope my children will realize what a horrible place this world is and stay close to this precious Christianity.





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  48. I agree you can wear open toe shoes, travel to tropical places, although that isnt encouraged by any means, pics on the wall, maybe, but very few do. No, Im sure God doesnt want any of us doing drugs etc. Obviously you are seeking answers. The real truth. Why else would you be here? Maybe you should stay barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen running after your brood of kids that you teach to think they are better than everyone else. What a sin!

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  49. Ur funny and obviously very angry with ur life...I'm not seeking answers. I'm trying to stand up to people that are putting us down. U don't know wut ur talking about... barefoot and pregnant..I'm lucky I don't have to put my kids in some daycare and can stay home with them and raise them right. This is RIDICULOUS! You people need to grow up and stop worry about us. Trust me... Were the least of ur worries...minding our own business while everyone one around is judging an watching our every move to wait til one of us messes up. I can't believe this is what the world is coming too. This is all the devils work and I encourage anyone and everyone to stay away from this evil website where everyone can hide behind there computer or smartphone and say such ridiculous things and be so hateful. Goodbye

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    1. I assume that means you too? You bare hiding behind your computer arent you? Im not angry with my life. Im angry about the molestation, hypocracy, bigotry etc. that is rampant in your cult. I know very well what Im talking about. For more than half my life I had to deal with this crap. My worry is the little children that get destroyed by teaching them that its ok to judge others, that if molested, dont tell, ask forgiveness, that you are worthless, that education isnt important. I could go on and on. Wake up lady! You dont like this blog, then go back to the kitchen! What are you searching for? The truth? Of course, thats why you came back.

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  50. People only put other people down because they are insecure and do not realize the TRUTH! Do you think GOD is happy with all the hate this "blog" has published. I think not. Agree to disagree and only time will tell...

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    1. telling the TRUTH is NOT putting people down!God likes the truth!

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  51. Oh really.. Call us hypocritical and uneducated is NOT putting us down?? Hm I better go back to my kitchen actually and bake some more cookies. It will be much better then wasting my time on this blog trying to stop all this hate

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    1. The truth hurts, as they say. Enjoy your cookies!

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  52. NO..u hurt.. With all ur mindless words. I will enjoy my cookies and my simple life without all this hate

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    1. you keep saying you are not coming back to this blog, yet here you are yet again. Its obvious you have issues within yourself and came here looking for answers. Hope it helps you to see the truth

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  53. Take 5.. score tied.. 1pun and 1 bun....would'nt you rathet show love to each other?...that's what religion does...

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  54. Can't u see who is filled with so much hate here. The devil has no love, and this blog is all the devils work.

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  55. wow, all the stuff on this blog about oalc is not true

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  56. Really? I too know of so much molestation in that cult! So much predjudice, back mouthing other religions, teaching children not too like people from outside the church etc. Maybe you oalc people should take a look at yourselves before pointing fingers! The truth is the truth!
    PS..Its NOT hate from what I can see. Its letting out years of pain and fear.



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  57. Ive been going to oalc for a few years now best thing that's ever happen to me

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  58. Religion is ur own decision..don't let people get u down..stand tall.. their is love and religion out there for all.. do not hate or discriminate..everybody makes MISTAKES

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  59. I go to the oalc and yeah, some of this stuff is definitely true. It is. I don't really understand why some ppl are saying NONE of it is, that's kinda extreme.

    At first when I started reading these blogs I was like "gasp!" too, but eventually realized it's just people with different opinions and beliefs. So what. C'mon fellow oal's... someone else's opinion isn't enough to sway what you hold true.

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  60. Im impressed that someone from OALC is willing to be truthful. Thank you for your honesty. I think this blog is healthy for those of us that have experienced terrible things such as molestation in that church. You are correct in saying that if you are true to your convictions, then what others say shouldnt matter to you. We are speaking of our own personal experiences. I would also add that if you look up the definition of a cult, this is one. Again, my opinion. For those of you that disagree, so be it. If OALC is what you believe in, then that is what works for you. Just please, be careful and ask questions. Dont be afraid to speak up when especially a child is molested. It will cause irreparable harm for the rest of their lives!

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  61. Always ALWAYS speak up and defend children when abuse is suspected, regardless of denomination! Child sex abuse is a great wrong and an evil...it is real and it does happen, in every faith, religion, and creed...across racial, geographical, and socioeconomic borders. Always open your mouth...do what is right and stand against sin. You will know what is right...it is written in your heart and in the hearts of all humans. Speak up, report abuse, support and seek help for the innocent victims. It's that simple. Enormously difficult and frightening (as the right thing often is) but not complicated. ..just the correct thing to do.

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  62. I just want oalc patrons to know they need not lose their faith, leave the church, take sides or make tremendous inadvertent statements when doing what is right when it comes to child sex abuse. Support the victim. Ruin the fertile ground of secrecy the sin of sex abuse festers in. Love. Love. Love. Kindness. Compassion. Trust the Holy Ghost within...it sounds like your instincts and it won't steer you wrong. It will be okay. This child is on loan from the Father and He will not fault you protecting it to your last drop of strength.

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  63. Exactly...and it has happened in our church, jut like evrrywhere else and it's horrible but we are not perfect, nobody is and people have gone to jail and it obviously isn't " hidden" like u say if u all know about it.....but remember that there is forgiveness for all sins great and small

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  64. Yes there sure is. Absolutely there is. And that's the beauty of it... both the sinner and the victim can receive a measure of peace. I trust that the same Father who comforts and protects victims also can comfort and preserve the offender, even through what may come. And I'm sure He does. I can't recall saying it is "hidden", just that it festers in secrecy saying I'm sure you'd agree. No need for hating the sinner or for poisonous bitterness (though it may take victims years to move through these)...Just that it is always okay and right to support child victims.

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  65. Nobody from what I can see, said you all think you are perfect. . These victims tend to tell very few people and usually someone that is not a member of the church or one that wont tell. Im sure you no of NO ONE from your church that has gone to jail! There is forgiveness. What you fail to understand is that if it is hidden or the child does not feel safe telling, then they are not given the help they will so desperately need. They need to know it is right and ok to tell. As a parent, it is your responsibility to tell the police and get the right counselling for the child. Forgiveness is NOT enough!!

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    1. What makes you think we would raise our children like that! Obviously we want what is best for our children and for ur information I DO know of people going to jail. Tell me, What should we do besides trying to have a forgiving heart?? Live life in bitterness and ask god everyday "why me"? Life is full of hardship, sometimes more than others. All YOU Should be doing is praying, not ranting about how we are a cult.

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  66. All of this molestation you are speaking of... There is hardly any and when it does happen people are very sad and justice does get served. Nobody wants to see a child suffer like that. This should all not even be talked about so freely. Those poor families. Shame on all of you.

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    1. Unless and until it happens to you or someone you love, dont judge those of us that have been through it! Hardly any? You are sorely mistaken. It most definitely needs to be talked about!Has anyone mentioned names? NO! Shame on YOU for wanting to silence the victims!!

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    2. Whoa there. I didn't say I wanted the victims silenced and it DOES not happen all the time. It happen more outside our church if anything. Maybe u should speak more to the public about this subject then to us.

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    3. I remember when I too used to think there was "hardly any". I almost miss that ignorant innocence. I'm sorry other oalc anon, if you start asking and looking there is a lot. A LOT. It needs to be addressed. It's frightening and sickening. I still think it happens everywhere in every church but oalc need to try to stop being naive about the scope of the problem. It's a dangerous denial.

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    4. I was raised in this church and would know if this was going on all the time. It is not I assure you. And when it does, it is taken care of just like everyone else with consueling, love and prayer. We are not in denial and naive. I am sorry you feel that way towards us. I will pray for you.

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    5. Thanks for your prayers. I was raised in it too. I only know what I know because I asked people. I have to assume they are telling the truth. I didn't mean to say it's going on 'all the time'... Just that there was much more of it old & new than I'd thought. I think it's beginning to be handled better though overall. There's not a harm in mentioning that I hope. I hate no one. I wish harm on no one. I just need truth.

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    6. Thanks be unto God. I think we all know where we can find the Truth, in our hearts.

      Delete
  67. Actually I can think of at least 3 right off the top of my head oalc who have gone to jail for child sex abuse. People have been supporting the children and getting them the counseling they need. Take heart. It may be a bit different from the climate of your day. You may not be aware of these new conditions. You don't have to love the oalc of course... that is your journey and that's okay. But it's nice to be aware of the recent truths, few as they are.
    Forgiveness (Christ) is still the cornerstone, always.

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    1. Im glad to hear that. Im pretty sure it depends on the locality of the church congregation also as to how things are handled.I found that many of them can be very different from one another depending on size, etc. Forgiveness is hard but I work on it daily

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  68. August 20,2013 2:40pm im writing back to u beacaues i hear ladys from church talking about the websit so i had to check it out for my self no am not scard but going to OALC for 13 years i thought i would of know some what about it but there are scerts behind this so called wonder place. but i am looking for help. i know both sides of being in this church and being out because of my mother who is now in the world. she showed be both side but not everything makes sence about it i dont know if u went to the church before or not but i am looking for help and lots of answers.

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  69. I will help you any way I can. Im not sure what you want to know. I was involved with the church through marriage. My husband of 30+ years was born and raised in it. I certainly dont want you to be in trouble for being on this site. I will try and answer whatever questions you have. Obviously anyone else who reads it may have a different answer. I will be as honest with you as I can.

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  70. Ok thank u. I don't really care if I get in trouble its not that big of a deal. R u still in the church? My mom left me when i was 6 years old and came back and left again. She gave me a the option to go to church or not but I was still young we had a tv and everything so I'm pretty clear on that but what I don't understand is y do they preach about everything they say god gave them the word but wearing opened toe shoes that makes no sence and everything we wear they preach about we can't just stop wearing everything for them

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  71. Do you still why did she leave the church? Was she raised in that church? I dont go near that church anymore.I found that they focus too much on "rules" rather than what really matters and that is the word of God. It should not matter what you are wearing. I found that a favourite pass time of theirs is gossiping. I believe it is because they have no life, so nothing better to do. You really should talk to your parents. That way you get an idea from both sides. Do you feel that would be something you could do?

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    1. Sorry, my first question was, do you still have contact with your mom?

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  72. I'm 13 years old just to let u. Know and no not to long ago almost a year she gave my dad full responsible of me and she didn't want me to even vist her so no not any more and she left the church for the same as u pretty much.and I could ask them but they would get pissed mostly my step mom but I can still try.but some times I wish I could live that life out side the church again cause I can never get my hair cut short like I had it now it's long and pretty but I like it short lol

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  73. Its never wrong to ask questions. Ask if you can talk to your dad in private and if he would keep your conversation between the 2 of you. Im sorry you dont see your mom. That must hurt you quite a bit. Maybe you could try and contact her? Would that be something you would want to do? Who we are is much more than what we look like on the outside. Im sure you are a beautiful girl, but what matters is on the inside. The way we treat people etc. If you can ask questions you will come to know what is right for you as long as you stay honest with yourself and others.

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  74. No I can't contact her she can't even answer my phone calls cause she mad it that way with the court for wht reason I don't know but she is very sick in the head but wht I miss the most is my two little sisters they were my world and now I just don't know how I live anymore but I just want to say thank u for wht u said that's so sweet and u r a very special person u brought tears to my eyes I don't know if that sounds cheese but the littles thing touch me sorry. I will try to talk to my dad. I have a question my mom might be at church tomrrow cause that's the only place I can see her at if she's there I can leave and not go or I can see her I would love to she her and my little sister but the thing is I will fall apart and have a bad week and I might not be able to c her every again in a long time cause she is moving. I just don't know wht to do and I'm moving on with my life with out her but when my dad told me that she might come I've been sad scard lost and confused and I can't sleep and I don't know if I should go or not

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  75. Oh, Im so sorry! I say you should go. You obviously need to see your mom. Tell her whats in your heart. Please dont be scared. Is your mom going to church tomorrow so she can see you? I believe that everything in life, as hard as it is, happens for a reason. We need to face what we are most afraid of. You are a strong girl, I know that even though Ive never met you. She is your mom and she might be afraid too. Maybe thinking that people have turned you against her. A mom always loves her children. Trust that it will be okay. Say what is in your heart. Tell her youre scared, sad, lonely, confused. I pray it will all go okay. Let me know.

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    1. Im just curious whether your mom was born into that church or whether she married into it? Stay strong!

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  76. She was bron into the church! And I will talk to her thank u even though I don't know u I feel like I could tell u any thing one question did u say ur husband was at the church so u married into the church.and I will tell my mom how I feel I guess I never looked at it that ways

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  77. My husband was born and raised in the church. I was never a member but went sometimes. I was always around the people from that church though and his family. Good for you, tell her how you feel. No matter what happens at least you wont let the opportunity pass. Just remember you are strong and the truth is never a bad thing. I hope you find some peace by doing this. I will be thinking about you tomorrow and hoping everything goes ok for you.

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  78. I will talk to my mom and tell her how I feel so she knows wht she did to her kids and how she mad them feel and no that it hurts more then just one person and tell her I love her and always and wht ever reason she did this is was to keep me safe from wht she was thinking and that she is my my mother so she did it for a good reason and I must understand that a mother does love a child and will do whatever to protect them from harm and she must of done this for a good reason did u marry into the church?

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  79. I will think of wht u said to and I CANT let this Monet pass not if it is for my mom

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  80. If you want a relationship with her, you have to tell her that too. I would bet there is more to her story than you know. Maybe give her the opportunity to explain. Listen to her, and then ask questions. I bet that she is really hurting too.I know she loves you!

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  81. I just wish she told me y she was even going to do this to me first I seen her once and she said her doctor said it was the best for her health but i don't understand and I hope talking to her tomrrow will help and get answer to question I've have for a long time. And I hope I get to see my little sister I just don't know wht to do should I just walk up to her give her a huge and tell her I've been thinking about her a lot and wondering how she is doing and tell her how I am feeling and whats on my mind

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  82. Thank you!!! A question r u and ur husban still together?

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    1. Yes we are but we have a lot of problems.

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  83. If thats what you want to do, then yes. Hug her and tell her youve missed her and love her but you dont understand what happened. Then ask her if you both can talk about it. Tell her you need answers because not knowing is affecting your life. At 13, I think she will know that you are old enough to hear the truth.Im sorry you are going through this. Hopefully tomorrow will help you heal. Be brave and say what is in your heart

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  84. Thank u and I'm sorry for u and ur husban know that god is watching over u and will be there for anything and everything.i hope in time u will work things out. In my heart I know sometimes u have hard times and they will move on in time and u just have to work things out but never at the monemnt that u want it to it takes a long time it took me a year just to realize that my mom is gone and nothing can change and that's the way things r do u have any children

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    1. Youre a sweet girl.I have 3 children.

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  85. It might not take a long time but things will work out and if not the best thing will have u ever thought about going to the church againg or is it just not u

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    1. I have had so many problems with my husbands family because I dont belong to the church. Unfortunately, he has many problems and the family doesnt know how to deal with it. We have no contact with any of them anymore. Its sad really, but it was necessary.

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  86. My mom had 5 and then 2 more with my step dad and it was every hard and ur 3 kids r very blessed to have a mother like u. And I hope they realize that from we're I stand but maybe ur husban just doenst c it from ur eyes and it may take a little bit trying to talk to hima nd letting him know how u feel might be the best but I don't really know much cause I'm just. Kid and I don't know ur life but I wish the best for u

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    1. Are all 5 of you kids with your dad? I am very close to my 3 kids. They are the best! Thank you for your kind words. My husband has problems that have nothing to do with me. He will have to get the help he needs before anything improves between us.

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  87. I understand that's how it is with my mom well was and now we don't really even talk to my grandparents or any of that side but they blame my dad really not my mom becasue they got devorice I don't really no much I just hear bits from my sister so yeah I can kind of understand something but at least u have 3 children who love u and u love them and u can always talk to them just to get things out that may not be so good but I don't know I just hope u can find something to work out for u

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    1. Maybe there is more to the story that you dont know. Hopefully tomorrow you can get some answers. I will watch for you to post something tomorrow to let me know how it went and how you are doing. Remember, speak from your heart and dont be afraid to ask questions. Youre a sweet girl!

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  88. Yes they r with my dad but there r older and can see my mom cause they have to be 18 and it's just me and my sister who can't and we're very close but she doesn't really like to talk about my mom only when she wants to but rather that she will get pissed or mad which I understand.have a good relationship is very good and I was very close to my mom when she left me at 6 I was to young to know and understand what was really going on but the older I got I understood more and then my dad and mom started to do one week with my mom and one week with my dad and in that time I got very close i would sleep with her and when my step dad came home for the week ends or just what ever I would sleep with my little sister and I was very close to my little sisters I would worrie sometimes my mom would leave I would stay up all night and make sure she wonted get up and pack her bags and leave or some one would come in and kill her I was just so scard to lost her and now my nightmare just came true and I just lost my best friend my mom and my fighting partner and my bossy annoying but alsome person to talk to and tell how I feel and how my day of school went I don't really even have a best friend who knows everything and it's hard to get close to some one after what happen

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  89. Is it 12:05am were u are cause this thing sayes it's 9:02 it's weird and I will post something tomrrow

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  90. I don't know if I'm going to be able to sleep now

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  91. Sorry, I fell asleep after my last post. Hope all goes well for you today!

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  92. I think the whole time me and my mom talked we were just in tears the whole time and she was hurting a lot and shes moving becasue my step dad lost his mod so there going to go and live with his parents but I have a lot of answer I'm so glade that I talked to her thank u sooo much I don't think I could of done it with out u and this dumb wedsit but in a way u can also get help out of this thank u sooooooo much I'm so thankful for u

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  93. He lost his job that's what I ment to say

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  94. Thats wonderful! Im so glad you were able to see her. I cant imagine how hard it is on both you and your mom.Im glad you got some answers. Do you have plans to see each other again? You did this all yourself. I cant take any credit for it. You are a strong brave girl and you did what was right. Im proud of you!

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  95. Thank u and she is going to come next Sunday sence I can't see her any other days but I would have never thought of this if it weren't for u so thank u again

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  96. Well ,thats great! Every time you see her you will get more answers and get that much closer to each other. I bet she is so happy to have seen you too! I wish you nothing but the best!

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  97. Thank u!!!! U the same the best for u and ur family!!! I'm going to dettrout in October I'm so excite!!!!! I don't really know whybut my older friend asked and I was like wht the heck so I said yes lol I can't Waite

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    1. Im assuming there will be meetings there? Have fun. A trip always makes you feel better and gives you something to look forward to. Im going out now for a while. Enjoy your day and we will talk another time.

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  98. so y doesn't any one post anything this is gay u all fight like ur five years old lame

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  99. Regardless of anything anyone say I couldn't be more thankful for my christianity! Wat a warm nice feelinng to go to church every Sunday and feel the love all around you!! I jus can't say how thankful I am! And all the advice is not do or dones its jus advice to help u on ur way 2 heaven! How nice it is to have someone u can lean on and no the advice comes from god! Life wld be so much more of astruggle without the forgiveness of sins n encouragement every Sunday! The discrimination, everything is all worth it everything is I just wldnt want anything else I love living a simple lifestyle!

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  100. I do not like. Their rules in this church and the molesting of children thing is sick I wosh they wouldn't practice this sick religion . Most of the Other religions have actual freedom I hate to know all these kids in my kids school have to be sent away to find their spouse its kinda weirdmy son is so in love with this girl from their cult and she loves him back but he knows he can mever actually marry her unless he asks her to leave their religion or if he gets converted but I don't want him to do that plus they are racists nd my son is native american wellif you agree with mw or disagree reply. They are a cult!!!!!!!!!!

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  101. 100% Agree!! He should break it off now and get as far away as he can! When they find out there is no hope in converting you, you are never accepted!

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  102. I thought you think they are racist? Obviously not if one is dating your son! And if anyone is interested in this church this is definitely the wrong place to look. . . I can tell ppl r goin overboard n trying toget ppl away from it but let ppl experience things themselves. And the molesting thing is so far from the truthg cuz I have seen in the news people from the church going to jail for similar things. I don't see why everyones so interested in tearing down a particular church? They are people too, and people have problems no matter what church you go to!

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  103. Its a cult!! You try to discourage people from falling into that trap! Wake up!! They ARE racist. Just because ONE person dates outside their race doesnt make it not true. Molesting is definitely true! Again, there are a few exceptions. The stronger ones will report it!

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  104. How do you know these things for certain if you do not go there? And on my previous post I meant that this blogspot is the wrong place to look if you have interest, not the church. Why do you have such hard feelings against the church? I have friends there. And none of them are racist. And it happens anywhere were some people don't report it, not just there I don't understand why everyone has to go against the church they have never harmed anyone I know

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  105. I DID go there! Many years!! Maybe I should ask you that since all you are basing your info on is "friends" from there. If you dont know what youre talking about, maybe you shouldnt make those comments

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  106. I've been there with them and visited with many people there and asked questions and my firends are open to discuss their beliefs. . I find it interesting u still havnt gave a good reason for making these blogs against this church?

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    1. I am the one who created this blog - formerly known as OUTTATHERE. No one who has posted other than myself - as annonymous at times - created this blog therefore I am VERY JUSTIFIED in blogging my experiences and life there. Almost 20 years. I certainly have the correct information and you are indeed racist. The children from your church call African American people "blackies" - I wonder where they learn that from? Hmmm... children learn what they live. Another obvious conclusion can be made through the fact that NO African Americans attend church there - IN ANY OF YOUR LOCALITIES! There are a handul of Asians, but those were adopted as infants.

      ONE MORE BIG ISSUE - why are you on here? The internet is preached as SIN! Go repent on Sunday... then just do it again...

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  107. Oh and mary, they do not get sent away to find husbands. Some don't even get married and some go to college but the ones who do get married get married to who they choose. And also, they most definitely don'tthink in any way its ok to moleste! Whoever started thatidea is twisted.

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    1. You apparently cant read, or have not correctly read these posts. NO ONE said they think it is "ok" to molest! They said they DONT report it! It also happens A LOT!! In your defense, you are correct. They dont get sent away to marry. They are free to marry whomever they choose.

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  108. You can to be accepted there even if you don't believe that way or is you guys have been stating ' being converted '.

    When I've been there I've seen mexicans and other races.

    The person who said they're not judging jus telling the truth has things way overboard and some not true but there are things based on the truth. And they hsay god likes the truth. If u want to please god why would you try to put down this church and get people against it? Do you think they're going to hell or why are you so against people going there?

    This blog has made me more interested in the oalc and the more truth I learn about it the more it makes me glad I found it! Things fit together and it makes sense! Its also made me more curious so opened me up to asking questions there.

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    1. You're at the WRONG church. Please double check your facts. I can tell by your impeeded speech and spelling.

      There are only white people who attend this church and as I mentioned above, a few Asians who are only there because of adoption.

      * OUTTATHERE

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    2. Absolutely correct!

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    3. Absolutely correct!

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  109. Its a CULT!! If you are so weak minded, GO there! NOBODY is telling you you cant. We are speaking about our many years of experience.

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  110. I agree with the above post. No one owes you an explanation. Just trying to warn you! Its good you are asking questions. Just hope its the right questions.

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  111. You're calling me weak minded for interest in attending this church? I don't understand the point of this still, but I guess do what floats your boat if it makes you feel good about yourself! Just remember if you think there's not just one churc tht gets you to heaven then I'm assuming you believe all that believe in god goes to heaven. So if people wanna follow this church to heaven, don't discourage. . Don't you want all to go to heaven? People take their own paths, let them if they're happy. Also don't you want to make god happy? Discouraging people from finding god, no matter what church they go to doesn't make god happy.

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    1. Weak minded, robots, followers,simple minded, judegemental, gossip mongers...
      should I go on?

      *OUTTATHERE

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  112. why is it that so many of the latter posts are from those who apparently don't have a handle on the English language and grammar. No, don't tell me that's an Apostolic thing. It's not.

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  113. Blogspots don't need good grammer that's why:) haha find it funny that's your only response cause you couldn't find anything else to say or. . ?

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    1. Thanks for that, it just proves that your lack of grammar and uneducated responses proove that you're either a simple minded adult or no need for education child. I think the latter.

      *OUTTATHERE

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  114. Reading this blog has given me a heavy heart. The hate is disquieting to the spirit. My birth name is J. Ruonavaara. Due to this being the internet my full name is not given. I only identify myself because even though the church has many believers, you know mostly everyone. Some of the hate spewed by claimed ex-members I doubt ever grew up in The Old Apostolic Lutheran Church. Why? Because what you say is not accurate. I grew up in Hancock, MI. I am the last of ten children from a loving home. My favorite memories are going to meetings, seeing my cousins, and so many friends. Singing from the hymn book at gatherings or get togethers. Laughing and a sense of belonging. Beautiful people, never going to bed angry, forgiveness. My mom and dad always there for us not wanting us to be hurt, like parents should. I have been blessed to grow up in such a loving home, always surrounded with family and friends. Unfortunately for me at 14 my life changed. I had a spiritual conflict in my heart that I wanted resolution. I needed God in such a big way. My prayers since I was 5 til 14 wasn't good enough for me. When I was 5 I asked God why He put a boy heart in my girl body. I desperately needed God to fix my heart. My journey brought me to a bible college after graduation. It was non-denominational. I danced in spiritual warfare to praise God like King David which os customary, I fasted in prayer, I had many sleepness nights searching for God's Heart through scripture. Many years later my journey to change my heart of male had failed and it was either commit suicide or change my body to match my soul. So yes I am transgender. The grace of God and the joy He has given me, I am grateful. In the end when everything is said and done, if God's decision to place me in hell, I will still praise Him. It's all I know how to do.
    When I was in bible college, my roommates and I went out for pizza and in the next booth there was talk about sex and drinking,etc. One of my roommates response ''listen to our conversation compared to theirs.'' After all we were talking about The Father, Jesus Christ, and The Holy Spirit. We were righteous and they were not, because we read the bible and talk about God. No, no, no... enough is enough.
    Fruit is grown from love, and love is greater than faith and works. Jesus did not ride into Jerusalem on a high horse as the Pharisees were expecting, but He fulfilled the prophecy of the prophets riding in on a mule. Also a Samaritan women came to Jesus for healing and He said the bread was for the lost children of Isreal and not for the dogs. She replied, ''Master, even the dogseat the crumbs which fall from the King's table.'' Great is her faith. The story of the good Samaritan however examples how this Samaritan was greater in the kingdom of heaven because of his compassion! The sun shines upon the just and the unjust. When you are forgiven a debt forgive those who are debted to you. If you have mercy from God but are merciless with your neighbor even you enemy God will charge you your debt.

    Woe to the man who builds a house and labors no more. Jesus came to make the seeing blind, and the blind to see. When a person thinks they got it all, pray God makes us blind that we may see.

    It doesn't matter if you are Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Catholic,
    etc. In all churches there is Chistians and Non-Christians alike.



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    1. You're not supposed to be on the internet MR. Ruonavaara - go repent!

      Your experience is YOUR experience. MINE IS MINE and I made this blog to expose what I endured in Washington. But I've heard it said by Walter Ek, any other place than here was a "breath of fresh air". In any case, the OALC'ers here are learning their behavior SOMEWHERE - and that is at the pulpit!

      *OUTTATHERE

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  115. Also, if you claim to follow Christ but are doing the accusor of the brethrens bidding... check you thinking cap and motives. My motive... you are a poisionis tongue speaking and ridiculing my family, cousins, friends, and many other believers who love Jesus dearly. If you don't agree with there belief structure, leave in peace (your emotions because you obviously already left) because all this anguish must be tiring. And if you want to continue to speak and speak a message of hate, don't claim to be better than them and don't callyourself a Christian. If you have been hurt and crushed by a few members, I'm sorry. A few people's wicked ways doesn't make the whole church wicked. God's Grace is Beautiful as He has given us His Son, our Healer, Counselor, and Teacher.

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    1. But I feel sooooo much better when I get my turn to expose you! It's the best therapy out there! :)

      Again... why are you on the internet? It's a SIN!!! (rules, rules, rules)

      Is it part of your "livliehood" to browse the web in search of people speaking the truth about your rule inspired, loveless, god on a shelf, "church"?

      *OUTTATHERE

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    2. If you read what I wrote you would realize I left to be on my own journey over a decade ago.

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  116. Also you need to look at your initial posting. (i.e. bashing, ridicule, free in Christ)

    1 John 3:7-10 Little children, make sure no one deceives you. The ones whonpractices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.
    The one who practices sin is ofthe devil, for the devilnhas sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to desftroy the works of the devil.
    No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him, and he cannot sin, because hebis born of God.
    By this the children of God and the children of the devil is obvious. Anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not his brother.

    1 John 3:23-24
    This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.
    The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

    I understand you have been hurt, but holding grudges does not hurt who hurt you, but only yourself.

    Most churches have rules they abide by or pursue in abstinence to purify themselves for Jesus Christ.

    Btw my name is no longer my birth name.
    Be blessed

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  117. Wow. All I can say here is wow. I could not stop reading this blog once I tripped over it. I must say that I find it odd that no one, no ONE, in almost 4 years of blogging, has bothered to commend you "outtathere" for finding strength in your self .. finding your own freedom to believe what you will (which is your inalienable right), and to have opened up a blog site that so obviously helped one very alone and distressed 13 year old girl ~ since no one else has commended you for that ~ I thank you.

    J. Ruonavaara - I also commend you for what must have been an extremely challenging and difficult road to travel given the cradle-route into which you were born. I'm thinking your experience would be hard enough as a non-oalcer but to be oalc on top of it must have been extraordinarily difficult.

    I understand much of what is presented here on a very deep and personal level from the listings of do's and don'ts and can's and cannots all the way to the end where large family, good memories, home, comfort, happiness and hymn-signing are represented. I was raised in a strict ALC home (not OALC) and the church when I was young was very legalistic with many of the same do's and don'ts that are exposed here as part of the OALC. Both churches do stem from the same teachings of Lars Levi but have differences. I find that when I speak of my experiences to others that I am somewhat of an anomaly to them and they find things (for lack of a better term) incredulous.

    I departed from ALC years ago but I grew up definitely thinking it was normal so still have my interpersonal struggles due to proximity and location. However, I have managed to be strong in my own life as it is not a "fit" for me. I'm sure there are those that still think I am hellbound on a hell-train but I have been able to come to peace with that as their opinion.

    In observing the church I grew up in now, I do see that some things have relaxed over time. Perhaps some things will relax eventually for other churches as well. My mother still attends and finds peace there. For me, the church still has many things cradle-taught that become so ingrained in those taught that those teachings become the very "stumbling blocks" we were taught not to become to others seeking peace. Most of the time I perceive this as occuring even today (and I believe mostly unawares) in the most strange representation of denial. It is good for me to perceive those things at a different level now and to realize that I control my reaction to the harshisms I once experienced so that I may remain impervious to them. Once in awhile when I attend with my mother and I find it dfficult not to tune out those things that I do not agree with or the guilt that was so ingrained in me as a child. Out of respect for her, however, my tounge gets a little sore from time to time but mostly I am able to return to go back to my own life .. my own peace .. my own freedom to believe what I will.

    Outtathere - I hope you have peace and hold on to it.

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  118. Oalc, ARROGANT, SELF RIGHTEOUS,HYPOCRITICAL, BRAINWASHED ETC. ETC.

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