Monday, February 07, 2011

What Does Scientology Have in Common With Laestadianism?

Don't miss this fascinating article about Scientology through the eyes of an "apostate." While at first blush, the experiences of a Hollywood film director seem remote from ex-Laestadians, I recognize a few parallels, such as the willing suspension of skepticism while in the Church, and the "confirmation bias" that keep followers from hard truths by seeking out people who agree, and discounting (or demonizing) those who don't.

What does Scientology have in common with Laestadianism?

Both are relatively new religions that continue to attract new followers.
Both were started by charismatic men with mystical writings.
Both practice disconnection or shunning if a member leaves (as do Mormons, the Amish and some Orthodox Jewish communities).

Maybe there's more. If you read the article, please comment below.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Two Versions of ALC Doctrinal "Principles"

I've long been aware of the 1996 ALC official doctrinal statement Principles of the Doctrine of Christ as Taught in the Apostolic Lutheran Church of America A long-winded document with lots of proof-texting and presenting assertions as if they were self-evident, it makes my head hurt to try to wind my way through it (and I am typically the type of person who likes to read this type of thing!)

What I didn't know until recently is that there was an earlier version of this document that was much shorter. First published in 1989 and titled A Brief Statement of the Principles of the Doctrine of the Apostolic Lutheran Church of America it also states the ALC position on such theological issues as conversion, justification, baptism, confession, laying on of hands, etc.

Neither version of the document speaks to issues such as shunning, exclusivism, dress codes for women and men, TV ownership and viewing, or the host of other issues that seemed to make the ALC distinctive back in the day.

Thinking back to my ALC confirmation class, these documents were never mentioned. We used Luther's Small Catechism, and the confirmation teacher pointed to the Nicene Creed, Apostle's Creed, and "unaltered Augburg Confession" as being the main doctrinal documents for the church. Does anyone know if either version of the Principles is used today in confirmation class or anywhere else?

SEE ALSO: Principles of the Doctrine of Christ