Monday, May 8

Thoughts from the Road

Welcome to my little place in the world of the uncensored mind, a seemingly safe place to start a journey of spiritual recovery from a past that I have yet to understand. It is my sincerest hope that everyone that visits would stop a moment, think, and share their life with those of us that are out here, living gay.

93 Comments:

Blogger free2bme said...

Markus, I just want to say bravo for starting a blog, and I hope you find it as rewarding as I have. I would be very interested in hearing your story. What was it like growing up gay? Have you come out to your family? I just spoke with a good friend who wishes she had believed her PFLAG counselor, who told her that time would eventually heal the terrible rift in her (unaccepting) family. Time did help. Fear has faded. (If only that were true for everyone.)

4:52 PM  
Blogger Markus said...

Free2, thanks for the post. I just have a few short minutes to post right now but I just wanted to give a short response and expound later. I am out to my family and they are incredibly loving and supportive; my immediate family that is. It hasn't been an easy struggle and I must say that if anything, I want to be able to help anyone that might be going through any of what I went through. I hope to somehow be able to help by sharing my experience and showing that we are out here and we are all created in the image of God.

Thank you again for your support and if you wouldn't mind, I would love to see a link on your blog over to mine and I will do the same. I hope to eventually put words to my whole experience and somehow, some way, gain a better understanding of who I am in that way.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Rhyming Blue said...

Hi Markus,

You and any other gay Laestadians have my support:) Growing up gay in a Laestadian family must present some challenges, and I'd also be interested in hearing your story.

5:21 PM  
Blogger Tomte said...

I second Free's "bravo!" I'm encouraged to hear that your immediate family now accepts you as you are.

I have a couple of relatives who came out in recent years, and they have not had that acceptance. Until I heard your story I tended to think that such acceptance was impossible within Laestadian circles.

9:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Markus:

I'm an IALC member (Independent or Pollari) and I've had at least one friend come out as gay. I know of at least 6 others who have as well. I think its been hard for them, and I miss them. I have a relative whose brother is gay and he remains extremely close to his family, even taking vacations with them. Recently at a family wedding he was the immaculate church decorator and was appreciated at this post, from what I hear. They don't really talk about him being gay but its clear they've maintained a close supportive relationship with him. I know of at least one other gay man who has a partner and he and his partner are very included in all their family events. That family is more open about acknowledging his sexuality. His niece told me that his family, though they have mixed feelings about his orientation, are still glad he has a supportive life partner and he does not have to be alone. I confess I don't have a developed sense of knowing what it would like to be gay or how it would be for me or my family, if, for example, one of my nieces or nephews were gay. Or how I would reconcile it with my own personal set of beliefs, either. I hope I would be a loving presence in their life. I've had several gay colleagues and classmates, and though I cannot quite generalize them, I've found them to be honest and caring people, more so than most. I sympathize with their struggle, and know how it feels to be an outsider, as I often feel I don't belong anywhere myself. Good luck to you, honey.

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You gotta post about your experiences.

6:34 PM  
Blogger free2bme said...

Markus, in the Lutheran (ELCA) church I currently attend (and the Espiscopalian church I occasionally attend), there are many openly gay parishioners and no doubt many more who are not open about it. I hope you find a church where you are supported and loved for who you are. While your parents' church may eventually evolve, and there is a case to be made for staying in it and pushing for that change, I think it is not likely in your lifetime . . . and by staying you will miss out on so much love and fellowship. Just my two cents.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hei Markus,

Thanks for starting this site!

A gal from Finland

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Markus,
You can be nothing less than a perfect expression of God! I am so impressed you found the courage to be you in such a environment.
I grew up in the FALC in the Copper Country and know from experience how stifling it can be.
Go forth and spread your joy and light in the world.
I believe in you always.
Found in Texas

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To lust after another man is a sin

7:10 PM  
Blogger Markus said...

To lust after anything is a sin. My love toward another human, whether male or female is the truest expression of what my Lord has taught me.

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

faith cometh by hearing the word of god. so what is your faith based on?

10:51 PM  
Blogger Markus said...

My faith is based on the living word of God and the Holy Spirit's direction of my conscience. I need only to justify to my Lord on judgement day.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Markus said...

It has been brought to light to me that the listing of links on my blog somehow have been felt to endorse eachother, my thoughts, the thoughts of those posting, or in some way the overall discussion happening here. The links are just resources that I have looked at over the course of my young adulthood and thought they might be of interest to anyone participating in this conversation. I am trying to facilitate a healthy conversation and thought that it would be interesting to bring people together who understand the environment that I consider my faith.

I hope that anyone participating would feel free to identify themselves and to be respectful of all who post here.

4:19 PM  
Blogger a laestadian said...

You should ask your parents about the LLC Mission statement from summer services. It was very good and clear. Part of it was something to this effect: Even if one was 'born with' homosexual tendencies, as a believer they should refrain from sexual relations just as those that are heterosexual and unmarried. Premarital sex is wrong and is sin. That is so clearly stated in the bible. Jude 1:7 "Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." This is just one example from scripture. Yes, we are all created in God's image. Yes, we are ALL sinners. But to live in sin and try to find justification and to try to rationlize it is wrong. Markus, you remember from sunday school and confirmation, there are exactly two ways to get to heaven. One is to follow the law, and to be perfect in thought, word and deed. We all know that this is impossible as humans. Jesus, however, accomplished this for us, and died on the cross for the sins of the entire world. He did this so that we can believe on him, put sin away, and in this way keep a clean concience and get to heaven.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Markus said...

I sincerely appreciate the posting and you have brought up some very good points. I do want to awknowledge a couple things. I am not at this point talking about sex or relations with anyone. I am just making the point that I am gay, and that this is what life is for me. I appreciate the support and kind words and would encourage more thoughtful discussion like this.

9:04 AM  
Blogger another laestadian said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:28 PM  
Blogger another laestadian said...

When you say "I am just making the point that I am gay" what exactly do you mean? There is a HUGE difference between someone that may have "homosexual tendencies" and someone who is actively living a gay lifestyle. As was mentioned before about the LLC Position Statement, a person with homosexual tendencies should refrain from sexual relations just as a heterosexual person should refrain from premarital sex. It IS possible for a person with homosexual tendencies to remain a believer, have their sins forgiven and be saved, but it is IMPOSSIBLE for a person who is living a gay lifestyle (having homosexual sexual relations) to remain a believer. Premarital sex, whether heterosexual or homosexual, is sin and sin is what separates man from God.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Markus said...

What do you define as a gay lifestyle? I have had some conversations with my dad about this and it seems everyone has somewhat a different perception of this.

3:10 PM  
Blogger another laestadian said...

I would define it as someone who is actively having homosexual sexual relations.

3:16 PM  
Blogger another laestadian said...

Maybe I shouldn't have used the term "gay lifestyle" and many people probably wouln't agree with the above definition but for the sake of the above post, use that definition.

3:26 PM  
Blogger a laestadian said...

It's sort of besides the point to get into discussions about definitions, i think. One can either strive for the center of the fold or one can push the limits and boudaries of one's own temptations and so doing live on the edge of the fold, or, as you are, on the outside of the fold. God can see into each one of our hearts. He knows our very thoughts. It doesn't matter what the temptation, sin is sin is sin. And, i should point out--temptations are not of or from God. Those are directly from Satan.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Hannah-Hill-Jurmu said...

Markus-
I am not so good on my Bible verses, but I do know that in the Bible it says that marriage is intended to be between a man and a woman. And, as said before any pre marital sexual relationship is sin. I am so bummed to see your site, and know that you are so far in the dark. I used to know you back when we were in high school and used to talk on the internet, and you sure seemed sincere then. There is nothing wrong with dressing classy or being a bit feminine, but it is wrong to be outwardly gay and act on your tendencies. I do not know that exact definition of blasphemy, but that was the first thing I thought when I read your site. Hopefully you have not reached that point because as we both know, blasphemy is an unforgivable sin. I will pray that one day you can be lead back to the Kingdom of God and reach that heavenly shore.
Hannah (Hill) Jurmu

6:06 PM  
Blogger Markus said...

Thanks Hannah. It's nice to see people who I know and that take an initiative to say hi.

I am still a little confused as to where I said anything about sex or marriage. I haven't eluded to any of that. I am not wishing to discuss any of that here as it does not pertain to us. What I would like to talk about is what it means to know about who I am and how that fits into living in faith. Is it wrong to acknowledge that this exists and that it is something I live with?

I have a hard time understanding why everyone jumps to the conclusion that I am out having sex and carrying on homosexual relations just because I acknowledge that I am a gay man.

11:20 PM  
Blogger a laestadian said...

So, i'm curious then...is it a rumor that you are living with another man? I have heard that you have a boyfriend and are living with him. Is that a rumor? Not unheard of to have those floating around, but would be nice to hear from the horses mouth, so to speak.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Markus said...

I do have a renter here, yes. No, I am in no way engaged in any sort of relationship, sexual activities, or other rumors you may have heard. We are hardly even friends.

While I feel it is wrong to have to justify this publicly because of the rampant tongue of the devil working to spread unfounded rumors, I have a renter to pay the bills.

9:34 AM  
Blogger anothergaylaestadian said...

I am a little confused as to why many of you are jumping to conclusions and saying Markus is no longer of the correct faith. As it is my understanding, there is nothing wrong with accepting the fact that god, who is perfect, infact made him the way he is. Nothing should, or was by Markus, be brought up about sex or being in a relationship with another man. Where is that even relevant to this blog? Markus and many other believers who are gay are simply looking to find some comfortable place within themselves in dealing with this matter. Where is the love of God in wanting to help out a fellow child of God when he or she admits to having downfalls? It frankly alarms me that there are Laestadians who are so willing to judge and not accept people the way that God made them. I applaud Markus for helping to bring this very important issue to light.

10:40 AM  
Blogger oulu said...

Hi Markus,

I need to get a few things off my chest!

I appreciate the effortless grace you have shown so far. You are a great role model for blog hosts.

Homosexuality has existed in humans since the beginning of time and it will continue to exist as long as we are on this earth. The correct approach to dealing with homosexuality is to discuss it and be social about it.

Lastly, I wish people would think about the many gay people out there who have not "come out" and think about how much better the situation would be for them if people would respect their condition.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Markus said...

Oulu,

Thank you for the kind words. While it may look like effortless grace, it is extremely hard to be attacked through one's whole life for something that can not be changed.

I have prayed and tried so hard to find a way to change. It is hell. To tell you the truth, I finally accepted that this is God's will for me when I was sent to Finland after I had given up my faith and was about to commit suicide when I was 17. One night at Suvi's, I was in the tent with the youth singing and found peace with who I am and that it has been preordained by God for me. It was a miserable night but a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.

I am here for some form of healing and understanding from my growing years when I didn't know what to think of myself and all that I heard from the world around me was that I was sick, twisted, an abomination, and so on.

This is not a choice. This is my journey and I have to live it.

1:43 PM  
Blogger a laestadian said...

I'm sorry if i have jumped to any conclusions as to whether or not you are believing. I guess my feeling has always been that when one has temptations one would do all that you could to avoid it, stay away from it, and refrain from falling into that sin. If your temptation is, say, movies, for example. Would you begin to hang out with a crowd of people that you know frequents the movie theatre? Would you look up movies online to see what's new and out there? Etc, etc. So for you, as a gay person. If you want to keep faith and a clean consience, is it productive to live in an area where it is known to have a lot of gay/lesbian unbelievers? (i'm not saying you do...i don't know where you live, but--as an example). Or, would it be helpful for you to purposefully seek relationships with other gay people, especially unbelievers? To me that would seem to exasperate your dilemma, which, i might add is a dilemma we all have-- avoiding sin.
I don't understand homosexuality, and i don't pretend that i am some expert, but God's word clearly states that sexual relations between man and man, and likewise, woman and woman is sin. I know that you said you are not talking about sexual relations. But what, then, is homosexuality? Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as "1 : of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex
2 : of, relating to, or involving sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex."
What is gay? Merriam-Webster dictionary referred me to homosexual, so it obviously doesn't have any other meaning than that of sexual nature.
So i am assuming, (correct me if i'm wrong) that you are attracted in a sexual way, the way that heterosexuals are attracted to each other, to other men.
If that is true, that is sin.
If you are simply more feminine than most of your other male counterparts, THAT, i don't think, constitutes as "gay".
I also wanted to say that i think it's important to realize that we are all born with inherited sin. But God does not give each of us temptations, and make each of us to 'tend' to want to do certain sinful things. Those are from Satan, the world and our own flesh. THOSE are the things which we need to strive against.
So i guess what i'm trying to say is that I am not condemning you because of the way God made you. But perhaps you have some thinking to do on the issue of "being gay". Maybe if you defined what you mean by that pertaining to yourself it would help us understand where you are coming from.
For example, most of us do not go around saying, "I am heterosexual". (I'm not trying to be facetious). When you state your sexual preference, it indeed means "sexual preference" which would undoubtedly lead a person to think "sexual relations". Because that's where that leads.

12:00 AM  
Blogger believinggirl said...

I have read this whole blog and all the comments. Why did you start a blog and not bring it up in the church directly? I think it'd do you well to listen to the presentation that was kept at Summer Services. I agree that homosexuality is an inherited sin, just as jealousy or bitterness. It is something that you have to fight against with the gospel. It will never be easy, but think about that great reward of everlasting life which is waiting for us believers.

I know that many people in the Kingdom are, and for lack of better term, homophobic. We spoke about the way that believers, especially believing young, treat homosexuals. I think that many of them are realizing that the way they've been acting is wrong. It'll take time, but I know that people are starting to realize what they've been doing.

You are created by the Heavenly Father, and everything that he creates is perfect. He gave you as a gift to your parents and chose you to be one of his children. That is the greatest gift you have ever recieved. Cherish it, believe it.

Satan will always be tempting us in some way or another. The Kingdom of God is a levelheaded flock, and we are all sinners. No one is better or more of a believer than any other. This is something that we must all remember. I know that it can be easy to get bitter at some of the believers for the way that you've been treated, but you must also remember that they are sinners too.

12:16 PM  
Blogger believinggirl said...

As I was searching the web, I came across a blog or website with said.. something to the effect of... The person called themselves free because they were no longer part of the OALC, which I believe is a group that has left Faith in 1973 during the schizms. I noticed that the same person has posted comments of encouragment on your page. You should take a look at their page.. It made me sick. I can tell that the Holy Spirit wasn't with them.

I have a prayer that you'd surround yourself with your family and other believers. You may feel that there isn't anyone else who accepts you the way you are, but I know there are. Another thing that will give you strength is being in the hearing of God's Word.

One thing that really stuck with me and comforted me during Summer Services was the thought that, as long as I believe for today, I'll make it to Heaven. It makes life seem so much easier to handle. You never can believe for tomorrow, or yesterday, only for today. You never know when it may be that God calls you home. You want to be ready at moments notice. We have recently been reminded of this several times, when younger believers have been called from our midst suddenly. As long as you believe for today, you'll be one of the Saints in Heaven, when it's your time to go.

Our God is a good and loving God. He doesn't leave any of his children behind. He never gives us more trials than we can bear. Your homosexuality is the way you were created. It's the cross you must bear. Live as a believer, and surround yourself with the love of the Congregation and God will richly bless you. He always blesses those who are obedient to his Word.

I hope something that I have said will strike somewhere within you. You are loved and cared about by the believers. No sin is too big to put away.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Friend said...

Point of clarification, the OALC was formed in 1899-1900. They have their "headquarters" in Swedish lapland and follow closely the "edicts" of a groups of elders.

7:24 PM  
Blogger a laestadian said...

Just curious why you choose those lyrics under your header? That was one reason I assumed you are not believing! I googled them because they sounded like rock lyrics to me. I don't know who Josh Groban is, but nevertheless, his work doesn't look like something that would be beneficial to the life of a believer. I would also join in encouraging you to read the Bible. It's really easy to do when you are online even, just google "king james version bible" and there you are.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Markus said...

The lyrics are indeed from a song sung by Josh Groban, a classical vocalist who I was introduced to at "older haps" one Sunday afternoon.

Regarding reading the bible. I do. I read it quite frequently and research parts in Stong's Concordance and all over. I look up other translations including the one used by the state church of Finland and SRK and modern translations of the Greek and Hebrew. I find it really rewarding.

8:50 AM  
Blogger a laestadian said...

Just because something is introduced at "older haps" doesn't make it right.

I'm curious why you have not responded to anything else in the other posts i've made and the others as well.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Markus said...

Sorry for not responding yet as I have to put some thought in to how to respond. Words don't come easily to me, as most who know me would admit. I too easily say the wrong thing and often offend someone. I will respond once thought through.

7:56 PM  
Blogger angel said...

Markus,

I was sad to see that you are making such an issue of your stand on homosexuality. It has been made clear what we as laestadians believe regarding homosexuality . As I clicked onto your site I was upset that your sites are connected to the LLC sites, it seemed like we condone this and we don't. Do we need to tell everyone of our downfalls and shortcomings? Its unnecessary to seek support for our downfalls.

8:28 PM  
Blogger a laestadian said...

I disagree, Angel...I think it's extremely important that we seek help and support for our downfalls. But we need to seek help and support from believers for things such as temptations. It was even stressed at Summer Services that if you have fallen or if you have temptations to seek help from an older or experienced beleiver...one that can help you and counsel you through your hard time and help you avoid further downfalls. (In other words, seeking help from someone that is a peer, or unexperienced in the matter obviously would be less helpful to your life of faith--although of course, they too can preach the gospel.)
And obviously, in some issues such as depression/thoughts of suicide, etc, help is needed from a psychologist.

9:19 AM  
Blogger a laestadian said...

I would like to add, however, seeking help and trying to change others opinions are two VERY different things. I would have to say that Markus, perhaps that's what Angel meant....(correct me if i'm wrong, angel.)
Because, what you have said so far, Markus, does indeed come across as though you are trying to change believer's stance/take on homosexuality.
God's word is unchanging. It is not for man to pick and choose portions of scripture that they like and ignore the rest. Wouldn't life be easy if that were true?
God's word is the same, "yesterday, today, and forever". It is comforting that the believers of many hundreds/thousands of years ago lived and believed the same as we do today, and read the same Word of God that we do today as well.
We as believers do not make up rules according to what we like best and what we as humans feel. No. The Bible is the most important guidebook one can have. And as believers we have the Holy Spirit that guides us as well as the Mother congregation. We are a levelheaded flock, as someone already said. No one believer or minister is above or better than the rest.
When we have downfalls, shortcomings, temptations, doubts, whatever they may be that are hindering our journey, it is important to put those away in the name and blood of Christ. When we unburden ourselves, even of doubts and temptations, I have found personally, that it makes it easier to believe. In this way you take care of your soul and keep your eyes on the eternal goal.
Remember, we are only here temporarily. No matter what our temptations or trials are here on earth, whether it be movies, stealing, music, homosexuality, premarital sex, drinking, etc. No matter what it is that we are dealing with here on earth-- it's temporary! But once the end of the world comes, or once our time comes to die, then it is eternal life in question.
Which place would anyone rather be? I think everyone can say unanimously that they would rather be in Heaven.
So even if we have the wrong understanding, or totally do NOT understand some issue, we do not need to dwell on it. Maybe some day down the road here in this life we will understand. Maybe not. But then in Heaven we can understand it all. When i have had difficult questions in my own life and have asked my father about them, if he hasn't had an answer, he has told me to ask God when i get to Heaven.
It doesn't pay to burden ourselves unnessicarily. We can put those doubts and temptations away and believe freely for today.

9:39 AM  
Blogger a believer said...

markus, i feel that a believer can have homosexual tendencies and remain as a believer as long as they don't act on their tendencies and desires or lust after someone. i wouldn't know if you do or not. i feel that people can be born with tendencies and you probably are not attracted to females and will never be. you shouldn't be involved with men however. if you are sincerely believing why do you act so defiant in this blog? i have trials and temptations too, i'm not a good christian, i have troubles with music, movies etc. but i take care of my sins and doubts and move forward. i don't think this blog is necessary if you aren't trying to prove anything.

10:15 AM  
Blogger Markus said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:24 PM  
Blogger itdoesnotmatterifiamabelieverornot said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Matt Sturos said...

Marcus-
You don't know me and I don't know you. Therefore I preface this with the thought that I am not trying to offend you and am expressing my own feelings. I am not judging you for the bible tells that God in Heaven is the Judge of the quick and the dead.
Your blog is interesting in that you are seeking "spiritual healing" from a blog that is broadcast to the world at large. When has the world ever offered a true and Holy comfort to you? I know for myself that there is only an emptiness out there.
I would like to know what your definition of gay is. In my opinion to label yourself as a "gay man" you embrace the gay lifestyle. Gays are seeking a partner of the same sex. Maybe not now but that is their ultimate goal in identifing themselves. If that is not your intention than is "gay" the correct label to apply to yourself.

I accept that you, Marcus, are just like me sinful and in need of grace. I do not identify myself as "married heterosexual Matt." That is not neccesary. To identify yourself as "gay Marcus," in the context of my definition of gay or homosexual is to provide a stumbling block to others because they relate gay or homosexual with practicing these lifestyles.

8:09 AM  
Blogger Matt Sturos said...

I meant to say that if that is not your intention than "gay" is NOT an appropriate label.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Markus said...

Thanks for the comments. According to dictionary.com, "Gay is distinguished from homosexual primarily by the emphasis it places on the cultural and social aspects of homosexuality as opposed to sexual practice." The reason I make mention of it is because of the mental and emotional anxiety that I have had to deal with most of my life trying to hide that side of me. I don't go around saying, "Hi, my name is Markus and I am gay!" The reason it is mentioned here is because it is vital to the point of the discussion that I had hoped to have.

The spiritual healing that I am dealing with has to do with the years that hit me the hardest, my adolescent years. I was in severe depression and became extremely cynical about what the church was and what it meant to me to be a believer. I am not seeking healing from wrongs by the church, I am seeking healing from wrongs that I committed on myself.

I have heard over and over from people that being gay isn't wrong, acting on lustfulness is. That being said, and if all that is true, why then when I want to have a discussion about it does it become wrong?

Part of my hope with starting this discussion was to allow myself and other people time to post well thought out comments; to have time to research things that you wouldn't necessarily be able to research in the context of a real-time conversation in person.

It would be my hope that not one more child of God has to deal with what I dealt with as a adolescent and young adult. If by chance someone is seeing this and has been dealing with the struggles that I went through, I hope they would see that there is love and respect, and life is a temporary stay on the way to a better life beyond this world. There is no need to take ones life. There is no need to suffer pain over this.

I can't say that this blog has been an easy thing to come home to. I check my email daily with anticipation and anxiety because I don't know what sort of mail I am going to find. I did not start this to find glory nor did I start this to be attacked. I started this because I wanted to start an open dialogue about something very real to me and something that is not going to go away.

I am not going to leave faith over this. Jesus loves his children and he loves me. I am not blameless and perchance I have offended one or two and for that I ask forgiveness. I am not here to start a mess but to help clean one up. I pray that all of you reading this could have a heart to love every single human being on this journey and show support as not a single one of us are perfect and every one of us falls.

I want to publicly acknowledge the strain that this has put on my parents and how much love they have shown me. My mother and father are the most stunning examples of dignity and grace that have been shown me. I understand my fathers concern that "we don't know the answers and we have to be careful." Pops, you are the greatest, and I love you. Please know that I am trying so hard to do the right thing and that I too, would not give up everlasting life for anything.

We are on this earth such a short time. I was taught in sunday school that no matter what we utter out of our mouth, we are judged on the condition of our heart and soul. I can't go through life in silence. I truly believe that God would not have created me, his child, like this to be left for eternal damnation. Yes, I have my struggles, but acknowledging that I am gay is not going to damn me to hell, I firmly believe that.

I have been working on some other items that I will post as soon as they are complete.

Once again, thank you for all that are here and joining in.

9:45 AM  
Blogger a laestadian said...

Markus, that was well said. I'm so glad you responded, and i am also glad that you believing. I think that it is very helpful for other believers that are like you, to see that post. I can see your dilemma in that how do you "bring it up" or what do you call yourself. Because, I agree with you 100% that whatever you call yourself will not matter to God as long as what's in your heart is correct. But I also think that calling yourself "gay" or "homosexual" is incorrect because it doesn't define you as a believer! Perhaps "gay" is a better term than "homosexual" but nevertheless the common understanding of the word leans towards the homosexual definition.
Here's me, discussing definitions when i decided earlier they weren't very important. Ha. :)
Goes to show.

It was extremely important for you to clarify whether you are believing and also what you are seeking healing from. Like i said earlier, i thought otherwise because you said a little bit but did not clarify. So, i apologize for misunderstanding you so thoroughly, but i think that i am not alone in doing so.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Markus said...

Thanks!

I knew that I was not conveying what I wanted to say correctly. Dad let me know that right away as we have discussed this for almost 5 years now and he understood what I was getting at but knew that I didn't convey it. I have a hard time with words and have to think a lot before I put them down for fear of backing myself into a dark corner that I didn't intend to get into.

10:49 AM  
Blogger a laestadian said...

"Cast all your care and sorrow
On Him who cares for you;
The Lord who knows tomorrow
Has helped you hitherto.
He who from dust you made,
Your breath and spirit gave,
He knows your needs and trials;
His arm is strong to save.

So lay your cross upon Him
and rest your burdens there;
the Lord in grace will change them
to blessings you can bear.
Before you comprehend
you see how God again
has scattered all your sorrow
and taken all your pain.

Do not forget this pilgrim,
but let your heart embrace
how God sheds on His children
His blessedness and grace.
Believers He will bear,
and hold them in His care,
He never will forsake them
but hears the smallest prayer.

Thus on His way endeavor,
the just shall live by faith.
Far from your heart e'er sever
all earthly lusts away.
On your Redeemer wait!
His love and mercy great
will strengthen you in battle;
let not your heart be faint.

When sorrow fear you're fighting,
and doubts your heart command, the Lord of Hosts Almighty,
still holds you in His hand.
He will not always chide
but in His house will hide
His warfare-wearied children,
His name to glorify."

Songs and Hymns of Zion #470

I thought the words to that hymn particularly relevant!

10:59 AM  
Blogger Matt Sturos said...

Marcus-
What are these social and cultural aspects of homosexuality that so define you?
I know that homosexual acts are sin, and I am in no way shape or form implying that you engage in this. When you say you are believing I believe you. But your position in my mind is akin to a believer that has difficulties with alcohol saying that they are living as a drunk Laestadian. It seems to me a contradictory statement.
Why continue to embrace something, even the cultural and social aspects, of something that the Bible speaks of as a sin. Why would a believer want to continue to identify themselves to everyone around them as embracing the culture and social aspects of a sinful lifestyle.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Matt Sturos said...

MARKUS-
My sincere apologies on spelling your name wrong on my last posts.

3:45 PM  
Blogger Markus said...

Some of the social and cultural aspects would be that I will not be marrying. Afterall, would you want your daughter marrying someone that can not love her the same way you love your wife? Not only is that deceiptful and not fair to her, it is contrary to what was laid out for me. I have accepted that. That puts me into an entirely different social circumstance. It is not an illness. It is not a disease. It is me and I need not be shameful of it.

4:01 PM  
Blogger believer said...

Markus,

The most important matter in life is that you believe sins forgiven and are able to live with that hope of eternal life.

I have read these comments and don't understand what you are trying to accomplish through this posting. I don't understand why you are choosing to be so public about this gay matter.

I am a believer and do not see it fit that you have links to the LLC website. This could indirectly imply that LLC supports living gay and this is not acceptable. Living a gay lifestyle is clearly sin and it is offensive to see this link. It would do good to remove the link from your site.

5:27 PM  
Blogger angel said...

Markus,

I didn't mean that we dont want to seek support from a trusted vessel when in need. we dont need to seek support from unbelievers simply because they dont have the holy spirit to guide them. there is no need to post for all the world to see our struggles, find your trusted vessels. I was a little offended to see links concerning the church to your site, it seemed to send an incorrect message regarding our beliefs.

7:54 PM  
Blogger CAS said...

I'm coming into this a bit late it seems, and, will likely not check back too much as reasoning with unreasonable people just seems pointless. So, I guess my effort here would be to give the pot a good stir, hope that a bit of it would mix in some good tolerance and compasion...

I would like to comment on some things that Matt Sturos said...
"I know that homosexual acts are sin..."

Really - how do you know this? Is this in the bible? If so, read all of Leviticus and ask yourself if you have done anything that makes yourself an abomination... Had any pork lately?

Matt also went on to say: "Why continue to embrace something, even the cultural and social aspects, of something that the Bible speaks of as a sin."

Well - let's go back to that great pork chop you most likely had last night. How about sleeping with your wife in the same bed in that "time of the month"! Hmmm - wonder if we should follow everything in that book?

Maybe it's more of a "guide"??? Well, which pieces shall we follow? The whole laying with another man as you do a woman? Or, eating pork? Each can get you a disease. Maybe the "good book" is just that - a set of good practices to regulate an delicate economic, health, social, and law system of the time. Seems to me that most countries and other law forming bodies change their laws with the times rather than stick with something that no longer has literal relevance in today's world. If so - why aren't we driving 65 mph by day and 55 mph by night on roads here in Minnesota - seemed to work back in the 60s when my parents were learning to drive...

Matt goes on to say: "Why would a believer want to continue to identify themselves to everyone around them as embracing the culture and social aspects of a sinful lifestyle."

Lifestyle - what a fun word. We can even say other fun things like Homosexual "tendencies". We can even then entertain things like "cures" for this homosexual disease.

Well - being a gay man myself - let me tell you that it's not a tendency this love I have for my partner. It's love - just like any other person's love. It's not a sin anymore than any other sin according to most religions - most hold that all sins are equal.

So - why should some be held to a higher standard for a sin that is just as equal as any other sin in this "good" book? The answer - lack of tolerance and compassion. And - what does ever good priest, pastor, or other religious official preach each holy day? You need to practice tollerance and compassion. They don't qualify it - by saying "tolerate but don't accept". Let's just all grow up here a bit and get back to a civilized world. Markus - keep on going. Keep the link you have to any old thing you want. It's your blog. It's your opinion. It's your life. It's your beliefs. It's your right to have an opinion and share it with anyone who will listen. Regretably, everyone else get's those rights as well and can tell you that you're an evil sinner. The good question to ask yourself is - what do you believe?

9:10 PM  
Blogger a laestadian said...

...............Tolerance for sin?.............

A lot of those old traditions that you referred to, cas, were from leviticus, in other words, the old testament. When Jesus came and died for our sins, the curtain was torn between the "holy" and "most holy". Why do we no longer "need" to circumcise? There are a lot of things that we no longer do that the old testament believers did do.

Compassion, of course! This person obviously did not read this whole blog.
I think, Markus, you see why, and i also see why now, some believers have voiced concern about having this blog...

10:09 PM  
Blogger a believer said...

as for what cas said about tolerance..no one said that laestadians make fun of or discriminate against gays..they simply believe that leading a gay lifestyle is sin..by this i don't mean the way markus is gay because he does not have homosexual relations

7:34 AM  
Blogger Matt Sturos said...

Cas-
Romans, Chapter 0ne. Read it, it's pretty plain.

8:51 AM  
Blogger a laestadian said...

I'll make it easy and post it for you:
verse 17 until the end.
"17: For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
18: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19: Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20: For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22: Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23: And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24: Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26: For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28: And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29: Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30: Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31: Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."

10:44 AM  
Blogger contrarionRebel said...

Hi Markus,

Cheers....I am finding your blog extremely entertaining! I like you left the old time religion a few years back and a little bit of advice, dont expect anything but the same old rheoric from the lastad contingent.....you have to realize the Church does NOT want to be in the spotlight so you starting this blog is threatening to them! I have one question....it seems like the lastad bloggers think you are still a 'believer in their eyes' from some of their comments, are you still in the MLLC church or are you in a free church? Just curious. Your blog is going to really start a war like debate between the everyday lutheran/catholic members and the Lastad membership......should be interesting:):)

5:21 PM  
Blogger skier said...

Markus, WOW, I really feel for you. What a huge burden for you to bear. I can understand why you would want to start this blog. I'm sure you are hoping to get some understanding and support trying to deal with your emotions. It's too bad some people only see things in black and white and not human. Theoretically sin is sin, and pre-marital sex and lust for ANYBODY is sin, so your life shouldn't be any different than any other christian person who is single. But I would think the realization (or finally admitting) that you are gay would be so traumatic that it is harder to deal with emotionally than most other sins or temptations, whatever you would call it. By the way, temptation is not sin. Everybody has temptations. The devil tries to get everyone in different ways. Acting on the temptation is the sin. I would recommend going to family.org and reading some of the articles regarding homosexuality in the box labeled "Hot Topics". They may give you a different perspective. I hope you can find some peace.

11:28 PM  
Blogger concernedbeliever said...

I highly recommend that you read that web site family.com about homosexuality. I also strongly urge you to seek couseling. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult battle.

12:18 AM  
Blogger doesitreallymatter said...

Markus, what is your email address or phone number so that we can contact you directly, or even better, meet you in person? I think that is the appropriate way to handle this issue and speak with you face to face. The world cannot relate with you because they are not of the same Spirit. You should be ashamed for seeking pity and wanting to make a conspiracy for being gay. What does living gay mean, anyway, how do you define it?

12:13 AM  
Blogger doesitreallymatter said...

and furthermore, you should delete this website and forget it ever existed

12:14 AM  
Blogger itreallydoesnotmatter said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:18 AM  
Blogger QuitThisCRAP said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:07 AM  
Blogger QuitThisCRAP said...

Delete this website and grow up and be a man about it.

3:08 AM  
Blogger concerned traveler said...

Hi Markus, If you are sincere about believing you should strive toward the center of the sheepfold. Many of your actions are further distancing you from the Kingdom- Having unbelieving roommates, and living in areas that are known to have high populations of gays. This is putting you right into the midst of temptation.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Ilmarinen said...

I like how the love of Christ is being made manifest in the church of the homophobes. Way to go folks! Keep showing us what real Christian love is.

5:01 PM  
Blogger mllc_teen said...

Just a question because I am confused? were is the center of the flock then? Monticello? Big lake? Plymouth? Rockford?? I didn't think the bible meant geography when it said center.

12:10 AM  
Blogger ajourneyfriend said...

I've been trying to refrain up to this point to even comment here since it isn't exactly the most common way we discuss such of a precious topic-faith.. especially for those to see that can't truly fathom or understand our faith. I can't decide if I should chuckle or despair over the very clearly disparaging attitude many outside of our "flock" have toward us. It's clear from many of the comments made toward the believers that we are seen as an "oppressed" and "intolerant" group, forced to stay in this church that yet needs to be "enlightened" about the ways of this world. Actually, we are no different from any other human beings, all the time being tempted by many of the same things that you are. Being tolerant toward what the Bible defines as sinful would actually be a lot easier than trying every day, and many times failing, to simply follow God's teachings... putting away sin, as humbling and difficult as it is, simply to reach heaven's shores when we die. To call us a "homophobe church" is a little inaccurate. For one thing, there are so many churches that are just as aware of homosexuality as a sin as we are and they fight allowing gays and lesbians to lead their churches, get married, etc.. read the news! It's not exclusive to our church! For another thing, homosexuality just hasn't been a huge topic amongst us, mostly I would imagine, because it is clearly stated in the Bible as sin, and unfortunately for those who struggle with homosexual tendencies haven't felt comfortable bringing it up in discussion, so most of us simply haven't been aware of it being an issue! I don't even think that's so uncommon even in the world. You can read all the time about people finally "coming out" and either being accepted or rejected by their families, loved ones, etc. I realize that some of the comments are a little harsh and maybe some have jumped to conclusions before Markus had a chance to explain his situation. We are all human and have that side to us that can lash out. I think though that mostly everyone who has commented on here has, in his or her own way, tried to help Markus out of love and fear for his undying soul. We don't always have the correct words or ways of doing that but I think Markus understands that and has forgiveness in his heart for them as well! He has been very respectful in all his comments thusfar. I think that the thing we can all try to remember is that Markus has had a burden that he has carried for all these years and is now trying to figure out, in his own way, how to sort it all out and do what is right. I'm not sure that this is the most appropriate place to discuss this, but I feel that he is truly trying to do what is right and appropriate in his attempt to find peace. In this matter you can even remember to pray for guidance.. the important thing though is that you are trying to deal with the issue instead of just burying it. This is a new topic to probably most believers because those before this haven't opened up to other believers quite in this manner, so remember to be patient with us also, as we try our best to help you keep faith on this journey to heaven.
Now briefly, re: mllc_teen's comment relating to geography... I think you know very well the center of God's flock has nothing to do with geography and the writer that referenced to it didn't have geography in mind when mentioning it. They simply meant that you can greatly help yourself stay in faith and in God's kingdom by not putting yourself in temptation's way... but I think you knew that. And Markus, you are in many people's hearts and prayers.. I truly feel for you and hope you can continue to believe your sins forgiven, as we all try to do!

3:06 AM  
Blogger forgiveness said...

Markus, you can believe your sins forgiven in Jesus' name and blood. Be free. This controversy with the unbelievers is causing totally unnessary strife for both you and the believers. It would be beneficial for you and all of us if you did indeed delete this website.

4:42 AM  
Blogger Ilmarinen said...

ajourneyfriend, how interesting that you would interpret "church of the homophobes" to refer to the LLC. You made that association, not me. Perhaps you are correct. Perhaps those who object to the label will one day work to make you incorrect.

Whoever the folks making the nasty comments -- telling Markus to delete the website, saying he's "seeking pity, needs to grow up, and does it really matter," and insisting he shove himself back into the closet -- are not speaking from a heart of love. This insistence on keeping the outside of the church-cup clean, while ignoring deep hurts and feelings inside, is pharisaical. John the Baptist called the pharisees a generation of vipers. It were far better that these pharisees repented and came in a spirit of love and humility, trying to help, than coming with the pharisee-spirit, trying to hush up anything that could besmirch their precious reputation. Their pious and smug spouting of God's Word is a ruse, and this ruse does not offer them the moral authority they think.

10:14 AM  
Blogger mllc_teen said...

well then why does it matter where we live? where does he live nayway?

12:32 PM  
Blogger believinggirl said...

Anyone who is in the light of the spirit knows that the comments which are posted by those outside of the Kingdom of God are just the devil trying to tempt us. He works his way into anything possible to try to get us to fall. Please, Markus, whatever you do, don't take the words of the unbelievers too close to heart. It will make it much more difficult for you to keep on the right path. I also think that this perhaps isn't the best place to discuss such precious matters. Come to services! You probably feel as though you're not welcome there, I know how the enemy of the soul can tell you these things. "I am not welcome there, everyone is going to whisper and stare at me because now for sure everyone knows." These are all coming from the devil. He wants to keep you away from services as much as he can. Be stronger than him, and come to the hearing of God's word. Seek help there in the congregation. It'll give you strength to make it even one more day. Just remember that you are in the thoughts and prayers of the believers. We love you! We want to see you happy and free, and most of all believing and among us.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Rellaanne said...

This entire conversation is so painful and sad that it is difficult to read. Those of you that are members of the Laestadian congregation should be ashamed of yourselves for your self-righteousness. I too was a Laestadian. I belonged to the church for over twenty years, raised six children, one of whom is Markus' exact age. I am sure you know of our family.
So I know who Markus is and the church background and most of the families.
My question is this. Why do you folks, who think you have the exclusive rights to heaven, continue to say things that you think are correct doctrine and from God in an effort to convert a person, but only bring a person pain and sadness. You are clearly wrong and sinful to think you are the only group that are saved, and in Markus' case you really all should be begging GOD, not one another; as I know your doctrine teaches, forgiveness. You are treating Markus like he is a casted out heathen. He is a human being with preferences, sin, love, and all the other emotions every person has. He is honest and open and one of Gods chosen, whether Laestadians believe he is or not.
Laestadians say they do not hate the sinner, but the sin, but how is that true when they continue to tell this young man horrible things like he has committed blasphemy, etc. Your sad self-righteousness hearts are more sinful than any physical sin. Your hearts and minds are programmed from birth from your parents and the church doctrine to believe such untruths! (Incidentally, the AALC or now it's called the LLC doctrine has changed many times, along what is and is not a sin according to one of the "speakers" or elders.) That should be a clue.
Truth is truth and does not ever change.
Markus, I know what you have been up against and the struggle it is to keep your sanity when your whole group of friends and family think you are hell bound. It is only a strong man that could be as honest as you have in the midst of so much judgment and self-righteousness.
I lived in the group you are talking about for a very long time. I knew of gay members that continued to "believe" and get the Gods Peace greeting etc., yet they still have a non-traditional sexual preference. And yes they occasionally do have relations.
No one has the "power" to tell you that you are a child of God or not.
You should feel free to have this site, post what you want, and help other people in your position. Just remember, no one small group of Finns have exclusive rights or link to God. That is the brain washing talking and it is self-righteous. Honestly, if I were a Leastadian judging you and everyone else I would be fearful of Gods wrath for being unaccepting, judgemental and unloving.
Hang in there Markus and thank God that you are not still amongst such a shallow, mislead group of people. Feel sorry for them and be free. It is not surprising that God put it in your heart and gave you the strength to start this site so that you can help others. After all, that is why we are all here, to love and help one another.
You do have God's Peace Markus.
Take Care.

12:05 PM  
Blogger skate o die said...

a sign of the times
God gives everyone trials and temptations.. this is surely a sign of the times that you are posting your trials on the web for the world to see; you are simply trying to justify sin--- there is no such thing! my first impression of this site was that it was making the Laestadians look bad because they do now accept your way of life. why do you need to inform unbelievers of your trial? they will not be able to assist you in your faith life. one is not saved by going to church, but why are you never there?

3:53 PM  
Blogger believinggal said...

Markus, props to you for having the courage to speak up about such a difficult subject for most. Remember that there are those out there that love you for exactly who you are.

And for the rest of the commentators in here, you all must have been doing an extreme amount of digging to find such an obscure site. I can see that it has spread like wildfire to many ends of the world already. I can say I was invited here by the host himself. Markus, you must just be that sought after that folks spend their days digging up what ever they can find on you. Where is the humility? Where is the support of a fellow traveler who is facing such hard times? Where is the love we preach about each and every day? I'm ashamed at some of you!! This is why we lose so many to the world. Anytime that a topic is brought up that is not a comfortable topic, so many are waiting and full of hateful words. If we actually took the time to listen to what people around us were really saying, maybe we wouldn't be in such a predicament. Being "gay" simply means that a person is attracted to a person of the same sex. There is nothing that a "gay" person can do about this. It cannot be CURED!!! There is nothing wrong with being "gay", the problem lies in if it is acted on. So, for those of you that are incredibly naive to the trails that people face, NEWS FLASH, you are not immune to any of this! Children of God face all the same trials and temptations that any other non-believer faces. It is our job to help them along in their journey. And for the rest of you out there that are telling Markus to delete this site, think about this... He is sharing his trials in hopes of not only helping himself in his struggles, but help others with the same trials. If we don't talk about our troubles, they just get buried deep down and eventually they build up to huge problems that seem too big to overcome. This topic for obvious reasons that have come out in these conversations is a very difficult one to talk about. I couldn't imagine admitting in front of a whole congregation of people that this is my cross to carry. Could you imagine the direct hate one would feel? It is evident in many of the postings just what many feel about someone being "gay". This isn't a chosen mindest as many like to think. What believer would choose to be gay and choose to be pursecuted as some of you have Markus? Just take a little time to think of your own condition before you start judging others. Remember that you can only believe for yourself. Speaking of our trials and temptations, no matter where, is a good thing. Why would we try to hide our issues from anyone? We can be a light onto the world with even these discussions by being open,honest, and RESPECTFUL!!(which some of you have forgotten to be)

...........A little food for thought from someone who struggles with "life as a straight single" everyday.....

10:57 PM  
Blogger skate o die said...

on my previous post i meant to say that this site makes laestadians look bad because they do NOT accept your way of life... it does seem necessary to discuss your trials on the world wide web.

7:27 PM  
Blogger skate o die said...

it does NOT seem necessary to discuss your faith life on the world wide web

7:29 PM  
Blogger worried said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:37 PM  
Blogger worried said...

We all need to remember that it is difficult to be a brother's keeper. Often times we come across as being too harsh, angry, or perhaps ridiculing when we remind each other of the temptations/sin/trials in this world and the consequences of falling into it. As for this blog site that Markus has created, it seems confusing to me why one would seek spiritual healing from the world if they clame to be in God's kingdom, but nevertheless, it seems to me that many people are starting to argue/blame/slander one another for the comments that each other has written to Markus. It appears that many want to help Markus out, but find it difficult to use the right words and guidance for him. If Markus feels so free to explain his trials/tribulations on the web, why not let him answer those issues directly himself. If it appears that some of the believers doubt Markus' faith life, it is an issue that Markus should be worried about. If he truly wants to believe and truly cares to hear the advice, guidance, and care of the believers he knows exactly where to go. Markus, if you are so offended, as some of your readers are, by some of the words and doubts of some of the bloggers, AND if you truly desire to believe, you need to confront these people to assure them of your faith and to cast out all doubt. Do not let your bloggers argue/defend these issues for you. If you started this blog to seek guidance, explaination, care for your trials, please let it be you that reassures/answers people for their questions/comments and concerns. You started this site as a, quoting you, "journey of spiritual recovery from a past that I have yet to understand." If you desire to believe, as some of your comments hint at, and as some of your readers doubt, then to seek this 'recovery' you should remember that the best help can only come through the Holy Spirit...and you know well enough that this can only be found in one place...in the kingdom of God. AND if your blog was not meant to discuss these issues, and instead, quoting you again, "It is my sincerest hope that everyone that visits would stop a moment, think, and share their life with those of us that are out here, living gay."...then maybe you should direct your readers/bloggers in the direction you were really seeking. What are you really seeking?

9:51 PM  
Blogger exoalc said...

Psalm 139
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!

20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.

21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?

22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

I'm sure that all you condemning folk think you are doing the work of God, but you don't have ownership of the Spirit. Why don't you let Him do His job? He's pretty good at it.
Since nobody's asked for my opinion on homosexuality, I won't offer it. I'm sure that it would rile up both camps, but I do believe that it is the most compassionate and gracious while still holding true to Scripture.
I do know that the body of Christ needs a lesson in grace and compassion when you can't even resist attacking a hurting person. Gossipping is malicious, and nobody needs to convince you they believe.
If God hates the sin and loves the sinner, you people are doing a great job of hating both.

7:16 PM  
Blogger itdoesnotmatterwhoiam said...

troll

v.,n. 1. [From the Usenet group alt.folklore.urban] To
utter a posting on Usenet designed to attract predictable
responses or flames; or, the post itself. Derives from the phrase
"trolling for newbies" which in turn comes from mainstream
"trolling", a style of fishing in which one trails bait through a
likely spot hoping for a bite. The well-constructed troll is a post
that induces lots of newbies and flamers to make themselves look
even more clueless than they already do, while subtly conveying to
the more savvy and experienced that it is in fact a deliberate
troll. If you don't fall for the joke, you get to be in on it. See
also YHBT. 2. An individual who chronically trolls in sense 1;
regularly posts specious arguments, flames or personal attacks to a
newsgroup, discussion list, or in email for no other purpose than to
annoy someone or disrupt a discussion. Trolls are recognizable by
the fact that the have no real interest in learning about the topic
at hand - they simply want to utter flame bait. Like the ugly
creatures they are named after, they exhibit no redeeming
characteristics, and as such, they are recognized as a lower form of
life on the net, as in, "Oh, ignore him, he's just a troll." 3.
[Berkeley] Computer lab monitor. A popular campus job for CS
students. Duties include helping newbies and ensuring that lab
policies are followed. Probably so-called because it involves
lurking in dark cavelike corners.

Some people claim that the troll (sense 1) is properly a narrower
category than flame bait, that a troll is categorized by containing
some assertion that is wrong but not overtly controversial. See
also Troll-O-Meter.



Source: Jargon File 4.2.0

10:20 PM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

Everyone has their own problems that need to be watched and taken care of, but it is also important for us all to remember to be a brother's keeper and I firmly believe that is what most of us in this blog are trying to do.

It seems as if there has been a lot of confusion over defining terms. It seems as if to most (Vanhollais) Laestadians (including myself) that defining oneself as a gay person means that you act on your tendencies and that you have given up on your struggle to fight the temptation. However you yourself have come out and said that you have not acted on your tendencies and that you still fight each day. This is an extremely good sign.

Markus, you have to understand that believers as a whole in no way condemn you for your homosexual feelings. There is nothing wrong with you for having those feelings. God has chosen to allow you to be burdened by this specific temptation.

I am far away from your hometown congregation, yet I can imagine how difficult it must be to come to church on any given Sunday and how shameful you must feel. It hurts any believer in a big way to have to reveal a big burden onto someone or somebodies. I also suspect that if you go to church you feel as if everyone is staring at you... and it may very well be possible that some believers may go into the flesh and that is completely wrong. (Making no excuses for them)You must however understand that each believer fails on his pathway each and every day and must be lifted up by and through the merits of Jesus Christ constantly.

I have read this specific blog over and I can see how the people from the world encourage you to turn away from the "hateful" and the "homophobes". Many of us I am sure cannot comprehend exactly how a person could have homosexual feelings because it seems like such a foreign temptation to many of us. For instance, I know that I am very tempted by certain types of music and I am often extremely tempted by pornography. However, it is often very hard for me to understand why someone would be tempted by drugs and or alcohol. Despite that difficulty in understanding which stems from me being a weak believer, I and all Laestadians accept you for who you are as a believer and a person. We understand that you have a temptation and we recognize how difficult it must be to keep it in check, and furthermore knowing that you could never love a woman the same way a heterosexual.

The unbelieving bloggers would like you to see our church as "unaccepting", "hateful", and "mean-spirited", yet I am sure that is everyone's prayer that you would be able to sort out your feelings in this difficult time and make the decision to stay on the one and only correct path. Many of them conveniently forget there is only one Path, one Holy and Unified Spirit, and One God in the Triune Form. Of course it would be nice if all the world could be saved and God would like that but the Devil tempts and is strong. It is not through our own merits that we are saved.

We Know We Are Saved Because We Believe In The Triune God And We Have Our Sins Washed In The Name And Blood Of Jesus Daily Or When Needed To Strengthen Our Faith. Jesus Has Given The Key To Forgiveness To All Believers.
It nevers ceases to amaze me as to how simple our Faith really is.

I think you speak Finn:

Always been a very powerful song for me.. It's in English somewhere as well, might be in one of the new pamphlets.

V538

1.Oi Jeesus, lohdutukseni
ja autuus, riemu sieluni,
sinulle kiitokseni soi,
kun uuden aamun koitti koi.
Yön yli jälleen suojelit,
vahingot, vaarat karkotit.

2.Mä kaiken, Jeesus armias,
taas suljen armohuomahas,
niin ruumiini kuin sieluni
ja kotini ja perheeni,
myös lähimmäiset, ystävät
ja päivän työt ja tehtävät.

3.Taas anna enkeleittesi
turvana olla tielläni.
Suo minun olla valmiina,
jos tänään kohtaa kuolema,
niin etten syntiin nukkuisi,
en kadotukseen hukkuisi.

4.Mua, Jeesus, auta valvomaan
ja tätä aina muistamaan:
on lyhyt ihmiselämä
ja iäisyys on edessä.
Jo askel riittää siirtämään
tulevaan, toiseen elämään.

5.
Kun voimat riutuu, vähenee,
elämän ehtoo lähenee,
suo, että silloin uskossa
pois nukun tunnon rauhassa.
Sen rauhan kuolemallasi
valmistit itse, Herrani.

6.
Oi Isä, näitä rukoilen
ja turvaan nimeen Jeesuksen.
Korvasi kuulkoot huutoni
ja heikot huokaukseni.
Se sieluni on toivomus
ja sydämeni uskallus.

I have noticed that you have deleted some comments on this blog and I would only hope that if they were Laestadians commenting in an fleshly way that they would be ashamed.

In all honesty, I dont know why some people are so worried about you creating this blogspot. I mean... Your temptation is extremely difficult to deal with and you are trying to sort things out. With that said, I do however agree with some of the comments about linking LLC websites to your blog especially when concerning any common conception(misconception) with the phrase "gay laestadian". I also believe that we all need to be extremely careful with how to approach the unbelievers' posts as it is definitely very easy for us all to just twist the Word of God and/or make our own allowances and justifications for any sin.

So try to take care of sin as it comes along and go to church to hear the refreshing sermons so that it may be easier to believe. You may fall into sin like we all do, but be not discouraged, but rather be encouraged once more to take hold of that outstretched hand that wishes to guide you along that pathway. That hand is always available with any believer and they will preach that Gospel onto you and may even ask for it for themselves and for their misgivings and sinfulness.

With God's Peace,

2:39 PM  
Blogger exfalc said...

Many in the LLC seem to think they can point out who is a believer and who isn't by using phrases such as
"out of the fold"
"I am so bummed to see your site, and know that you are so far in the dark"
"I will pray that one day you can be lead back to the Kingdom of God and reach that heavenly shore."
"Living a gay lifestyle is clearly sin and it is offensive to see this link."
"The world cannot relate with you because they are not of the same Spirit. You should be ashamed for seeking pity and wanting to make a conspiracy for being gay."
"this is surely a sign of the times that you are posting your trials on the web for the world to see; you are simply trying to justify sin--- there is no such thing!"

STOP DOING GODS JOB

I'm glad these comments have been posted by LLC members. "I see your true colors shining through....true colors...true colors...(love that song!)

9:42 PM  
Blogger a.spectator said...

Hmmm... still no Markus! At first I really felt that Markus is sincerely trying to find peace for himself and doing it in the manner that he truly feels is right. Now, with all that's going on is people trying to help or advise in their own way and everyone attacking every attempt to shreds, another picture begins to emerge. It seems as though Markus tosses out a piece of "meat" to a pack of hungry wolves. There are the LLCers and non-LLCers... picture it how you wish, the LLCers taking the bait or the non-LLCers taking the bait and consequently the other "pack" ravenously and fiercely attacking the meat and the other "pack", tearing both to shreds in the process! Then when that hunk of "meat" is thoroughly devoured, both packs somewhat scathed and licking wounds, and nothing is left to "chew", another hunk of meat is tossed out there, only to start another session of wounding each other. I guess I'm really getting confused, simply from lack of participation from the host himself... what exactly is this blog serving? I don't really see any benefit anymore unless the benefit is purely for sake of amusement or entertainment.. of course I may be so wrong but it is so difficult to draw any other conclusion because so many people are saying hurtful and often times very uninformed comments and there is no redirection or even comment from the host! Now, I fully anticipate a thorough tearing to shreds of my perspective and lack of "sensitivity"... Go at it! :) Although I am a very sensitive person I also try to be honest and straight-forward!

10:47 PM  
Blogger Markus said...

No, I am not going to attack you or tear your thoughts to shreds though I will attempt to paint you another picture.

I have said before and I will say again, I am not good with words and I, being quick to respond to critisism, often offend. I am not here to justify sins or my life to anyone. I am here trying to open dialogue.

Imagine for a moment if you will, the view from my computer screen, looking at this blog with your own face on it. Aside from Hannah Jurmu and Matt Sturos, every single other person, no matter what they had to say, has hidden from you, shrouded themsleves behind a name that is anonymous. What would you think? What would you say?

Many times I don't know what to say so I say nothing. Often I think that soon, someone will have a good response as they are much better with words than I.

A thought occured to me today while I was working because I haven't looked at this blog so much recently. I think I have tired from hosting this because I am tired of hearing why I am going to hell rather than why I am loved. I, like anyone else that is believing or not, have my shortcomings daily. I have to ask for forgiveness endlessly. Why do I have to come here and find hate in a venue that was supposed to be a constructive conversation on how I am going through life, dealing with this what is me.

I once had a conversation with another person in faith who had a close relative kill themselves because they could no longer deal with life as a homosexual believer. It is not funny. It is not a joke. We are here and repenting of every sin in the world is not going to change our situation. We are still the same person with the same body and we are going to have to deal with it until our dying day. I am not going to take my own life over it and I hope and pray that all those that have come on here to hate anyone for anything they have said would step forward and make things right.

11:53 PM  
Blogger a.spectator said...

Thanks, Markus for clarifying. As far as putting my name on here, I would have absolutely no problem saying who I am if I felt that there wasn't that viciousness going on. I'm usually pretty straight-forward, as you could probably tell on my previous post.. I hope you can understand that it was not meant to be offensive, I have just really been wondering what would be the point of having this if, when person after person has impolored you to speak what is on your mind too and you have been so silent. I know you are worried about offending but I don't think you need to worry about that too much. I think that if people can hear that you are just speaking honestly and from the heart and aren't meaning to offend, that would be more important than if you tiptoe around making sure your wording is right! Feel free!!!

7:54 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

It seems that Markus started this blog as a support for other people who are gay in the Laestadian Church. I personally know they are out there. Imagine If 90% of people looked at you with distaste. How would that make you feel? It saddens me to see so much judging of Markus. God is looking down shaking his head. I don't know if homosexuality is right or wrong, and don't care. It is not for me or you to decide. I know what I am saying may be put aside because I am not of the Laestadian Faith anymore. However, I understand that God loves everybody and so should we.
Markus, I can't begin to understand what you must have gone through, and probably still do. I only wish Gods blessing and that you live a long happy life.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Kix said...

Markus,
I am one of your close friend's brother and after hearing about your site I had to show you some support. It's taken me about 10 years to truly start to come to grips with leaving the laestadian church. It's a horribly tough journey but I'm starting to realize that one can be spiritual or religious in a faith outside of the laestadian church. As for being gay... For a long time I have believed that there are few people that are either completely gay or straight, most people are somewhere in-between. I have come to accept that I am somewhere in-between and that was a huge leap for my formerly homophobic laestadian self. The best of luck to you and remember that there are caring, spiritual and loving people in this world. Go to sleep tonight knowing that you are in my prayers.
P.S. I have to admit that you're definitely hot! If it came between you and Enrique Iglesias you would lose, but you're still a hottie! ;)

7:01 PM  
Blogger 18yearoldlaestadian said...

Markus!! I just wanted to say a few things after reading this whole blog. Each of us as believers have temptations and trials but because God allowed his son to die on the cross for our sins, we can preach and recieve that gospel and all sins will then be washed away. God didnt sit there and say hey I want Markus to be gay, but that is your trial and your temptation and you have to battle against it and continue to strive in faith, asking for that gospel when you fall again and again. The internet is not a good place to talk about such a special matter as faith and I feel that if you have more questions that come to church there we can discuss openly and maybe some questions can be answered. I pray that you wouldnt stray from the narrow path but keep fighting the devil and asking for forgiveness when you fall! Thinking of You! Much love

4:10 AM  
Blogger Chip Council said...

Markus, I think that you are brave and Courageous. Reading some of these responses, I can only think of the Scribes and Pharases denounced by Christ. Christ was a loving man who was an advocate for outcast and down trodden. It is common for the self righteous to look for weaknesses in others and focus on the sins of others because it takes the light away from their pride and self obsorption. Jesus loves you the way you are and just like you are. I wish you the best in your Journey.

9:52 AM  

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