The Land of The Midnight Sun: “Fundamental Belief”

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****Warning This Post contains pictures of Flagellation. It may be seen as graphic for those whom are sensitive to blood*****

I am weird and wonderful, I will try to explain religion in an anecedotal, lacksidasical way – I mean not to offend: I have my own experiences, you may have seen the world differently.

I wanted to know what makes “The land Of the Midnight Sun“, so wonderfully humanitarian and so loving in spirit. I don’t really love God in the sense that it is a person. I fell out of love with it because I thought you had to believe in sins – love was not easy because my parents where like Northern Ireland. Wait, let me explain what I mean by this whole Northern Ireland Blighty conflict: it’s a notion about disagreements or a divided country.

My dad was Catholic and my mom was an Anglican. They both used to conflict about their beliefs. To be honest with you – conflicting belief systems are bound to end up in divorce as spiritually you just cannot connect. You feel nothing but creating barriers in your relationship. (Words of wisdom from someone who is agnostic from this whole situation!) So this is why I call this conflict, the Northern Ireland Conflict. Where fundamental core beliefs are so judgemental it actually hinders relationships. It is all unnecessary. I do recall, a time when I mentioned the possibility of them being friend’s; values and other influenced would encroach on them actually beginning to agree on anything.  This whole belief system was periodically broken. Until they had been divorced – my mother could never actually let another man involve her because apparently she had found “God”….

I laugh at the concept of God replacing an individual because we all have needs – Psychologically it is not possible for us to be not involved with one another sexually or even connecting with one another. I warned you at the top – I am slightly sarcastic.

It is the boundary you create which makes the relationship with the person – worse. So, when I tell people I am boundless; it scares the heck out of them! Well I am – I find boundaries as insignificant to someone I would like to be closer to. Why should there be?

Hold on a minute….. You believe in God but not the concept of boundaries?

I seriously said to myself, I have had enough of not believing in something – there is definatly something out there. It is so hard to explain. You look at nature and the entity of God is there. I mean – God is physically there and it is neutral gender, not a he or a she. It’s just God.
Is this making sense? To me it is and this is the other important parts to explaining in a theological and psychological aspect – it is your own personal experiences and influence, building your own concept of God. Satan is supposidly a fallen Angel now – many argue at the concept Good vs. Evil. However, it is there; knowing it is there becomes an influence and impacts our spiritual wellbeing.

The land of the Midnight Sun…. What is the history behind it?

Lutheranism was created in 1530. The whole of Europe was in conflict with Roman Catholisms concept or structure. If you look at “Blighty” (colloquial phrased), Henry VIII was separating England from the Catholic Church – he had conflict with the Catholic Empororer Charles V.

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Pope Leo X owned most of Europe through his pope role. So He really was in control of a lot of places: Scandinavia, Blighty, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, France, Portugal and yes he was beginning to voyage on to other destinations also.  Through this Lutheranism was born – because the German’s, bless their hearts; felt as though there was something missing out of the values.

I was taught that Henry VIII took the opportunity to marry Anne Boleyn – which means Henry VIII was gluteus and had other motives. I mean – I haven’t heard of the Lutheran concept murdering and slaughtering monks over a women.

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Martin Luther (1483 – 1546), was a German man who studied at university. He became a doctor of Theology. Even though he was influenced by Catholism he still had the  notion to create something more meaningful as BBC History :

“Luther became increasingly angry about the clergy selling ‘indulgences’ – promised remission from punishments for sin, either for someone still living or for one who had died and was believed to be in purgatory. On 31 October 1517, he published his ’95 Theses’, attacking papal abuses and the sale of indulgences.

Luther had come to believe that Christians are saved through faith and not through their own efforts. This turned him against many of the major teachings of the Catholic Church. In 1519 -1520, he wrote a series of pamphlets developing his ideas – ‘On Christian Liberty’, ‘On the Freedom of a Christian Man’, ‘To the Christian Nobility’ and ‘On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church’. Thanks to the printing press, Luther’s ’95 Theses’ and his other writings spread quickly through Europe.”

I would shake the man’s hand if I could. He was right – we humans cannot stop sinning. It is human nature to feel as though we have sinned – it’s trial and error; not punishing ourselves which we develop our spiritual awareness of other’s.  Especially when you realise how much Catholism has encroached on the indegiounous population of other countries. It hasn’t exactly improved their way of thinking has it?

Well, I found out the prysbetarian is not actually a core fundamental aspect of Lutheranism. As they would like to believe – it is more an Anglican version of this whole puritanical aspect of religion, to encroach their ideological beliefs on others and I thought I understood the whole religion foundations but it isn’t true. Our believe structure isn’t to judge other’s as we have been led to believe. However, the historical sources I have come across have me believing in “The Land Of the Midnight Sun” evolving into the platform of belief systems. As I read further

“Christianity was introduced to Denmark in the 9th century by St. Ansgar, bishop of Hamburg. In the 10th century, King Harald  became a Christian and began organizing the church, and by the 11th century, Christianity was gradually becoming accepted throughout the country”

Denmark formally made Scandinavia: Norway, Sweden and Finland… there maybe some dispute about Estonia.  So far Lutheran isn’t practiced in Lithuania – the irony if it was the case.  Poland has been Catholic alongside the German’s both have  been apart of  this religious debate.
As they too have connections with “The land Of the Midnight Sun“…. Obviously there are Orthodox Christians and this becomes very complexed. Different, religious denominations of Christianity becomes a little watered down. But the core concept of taking on Lutheranism  was grasped by Christian III as Britannia Encyclopaedia explains:

“In the late Middle Ages the church had become worldly and offered little spiritual leadership. King Christian II (reigned 1513–23) attempted to reform the church, but the Reformation was brought to Denmark by King Christian III (reigned 1536–59), who had known Martin Luther and had become a Lutheran. After winning a civil war, Christian III decreed in 1536 that Denmark would be Lutheran. Roman Catholic bishops and clergy who objected were imprisoned or deposed, and the church’s property was confiscated by the government. Johannes Bugenhagen, Lutheran reformer and theologian at Wittenberg, Ger., came to Copenhagen in 1537 to help organize the Lutheran Church of Denmark. In 1683 King Christian V decreed that the law of Denmark would recognize the Apostles’, Nicene, and Athanasian creeds, Luther’s Small Catechism, and the Augsburg Confession as the authoritative confessions of the Danish church.”

I was intrigued to find this concept was based on feelings and emotion. Sin isn’t punished.  No I haven’t attended any Sunday Service at an “Evangelical Land Of the Midnight Sun Church” – but we are talking on a sociological aspect because the church is so involved it actually has control of finances still and was very much involved in the daily lives of people.

Here is an example of how forward thinking Lutheranism is and how they possibly could take on other alternative ways of thinking. I read Church and State in Norway, Finngeir Hiorth (1997) :

“Conservative forces within the church did not want to have women among the clergy. But liberal forces wanted to appoint women as clergy. In this case the state interfered and with the assistance of the liberal forces in the church appointed the first female priest in 1961. In the 1990s the first female bishop was appointed. Conservative forces in the church continue, however, to fight the equality of men and women in the church.”

There is boundless sense of humanity flowing through Lutheranism. As also seen in “The land Of the midnight sun dislikes inequality”; I do feel this is so beneficial to the way of life and a better way of thinking. To take on a liberal approach and not to create boundaries. Although I read freedom of religion didn’t come about until 1964 in the land of the midnight sun.  I feel the whole world was dormant until Human Rights came into play.

Practicing these kinds of approaches with religion and legislation is key to any society. Politicially the church in the lands of the midnight sun have been active and have been written in constitutions and everything.
As Hiorth (1997) states:

“There is no important Norwegian political party with a clearly atheistic profile. Atheism is tabu or ignored in all important Norwegian political parties. At most the parties go as far as stressing humanist values. And as said earlier, most of them are, in fact, quite positive in their attitude to Christianity.”

So although, I may not believe – I am not altogether Atheist; therfore I am Agnostic. I am agnostic I believe humanistic values are very important. Especially after the incidences of WWII, where there was an encroachment of one man’s  ideology: Hitler. We face this whole freedom of expression and autonomy. If you are unaware of autonomy it is seen as Autonomy the Big Word Not Everyone comprehends or Respects.

I have this whole humanistic approach but I thought I may find out what the structure of Lutheranism is all about, “I.T.C.P” –

â—‡ Instruction – listen to the sermon
â—‡ Thanksgiving – be thankful of the sacrifices Jesus has made and that the sermons show you your sin.
â—‡ Confession – Forgiveness of sins without the middle man. It’s just you and God.
â—‡ Prayer – blessing everyone else means you bless yourself.

Why would you want to participate in  self – flagellation?

I feel the need to make this amusing for a moment. As I will just tell you about my first encounter of flagellation in my history class. I was 13 and I felt this was too weird…. not wonderful just strange. Priests would actually participate in this action?

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To this day I still do not understand why the Catholic Flagellation during Easter in Philippines still continues. I mean, it is barbaric.
No, wait it becomes even worse when you look at flagellation in the Shiite communities in the middle east. Oh my word they have something in common with Catholism. Just keep hitting yourselves – just keep the punishment going. I don’t know why!

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We are not talking about adults participating in this barbaric act and influencing children to watch – no the children are participating. I mean – come on! It is actually too far for me:

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No matter how anyone else feels, it says in the bible your body is a temple. I feel a little like my own moments in life where I felt like being hard on myself is nothing compared to walking in the street to some effigy and actually letting people watch you cut your whole body up.

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Spain actually participates in this ritual. Let’s make this very clear; I am cured of self – harm, I used to not feel or be overwhelmed…. now people doing this over religion just makes me think I am evolving and becoming better –  thinking with more of a humanistic approach with better values.

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I do think many of us do feel the need to scrutinise ourselves. It isn’t beneficial and it certainly does not help build relationships with others.

What are you implying?

Lutheranism is a sort of evolutionary pathway to religion. Everything else seems to be making these boundaries which means there is a lack of compassion for other’s.  It’s human nature to be prejudice, so, accepting what you have done is okay, but the law will step in. I like this ideology. It’s better for a society to work together and tackle their own problems.

What do the Lutherans believe?

According to About religion the beliefs are:

1. Baptism

2. Individual access to God

3. The Lords supper without breaking of bread being Christ’s body.

4. Sacraments

5. Salvation through grace and faith

6. Salvation for All

7. Scripture

8. Worship

It isn’t top bad however I am 100% for humanistic approaches. I wouldn’t disregard people’s religious beliefs. Let’s show you a demographic for the religions in “The lands of the midnight sun”, so you do not think they cannot tolerate others.

From Left to Right in scandanvia and the Baltic Region:

Norway Religious beliefs are as follows:

85.7% follow Protestants Lutheranism

1% follow Catholism

2.6% of the population are Muslims.

Less than 1% follow Buddhism.

20% of the population consider religion as important.

Swedish Religious beliefs are as follows:

87% Lutheran

13% follow other denominations

4.9% of the population are Muslims.

Less than 1% Buddhist.

16.5 % consider religion as important.

Finnish Religious Beliefs are as follows:

82% Lutheran

1.1 % Christian Orthodox

0.8% Muslim Population

Only 28% consider religion as important.

Estonia Religious Beliefs Are as follows:

Evangelical Lutheran 13.6%, Orthodox 12.8%, other Christian (including Methodist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal) 1.4%, unaffiliated 34.1%, other and unspecified 32%, none 6.1%

16% consider religion as important.

Lithuanian Religious beliefs are as follows:

Roman Catholic 79%, Russian Orthodox 4.1%, Protestant (including Lutheran and Evangelical Christian Baptist) 1.9%, other or unspecified 5.5%, none 9.5%
0.1% Muslim Population.

41.5 % consider religion as important.

Poland Religious Beliefs are as follows:
Roman Catholic 89.8% (about 75% practicing), Eastern Orthodox 1.3%, Protestant 0.3%, other 0.3%, unspecified 8.3%

75% of the country consider religion as important.

German’s Religious Beliefs are as follows :

Protestant 34%, Roman Catholic 34%, Muslim 3.7%, unaffiliated or other 28.3%

5% of Muslims make up the population in Germany.

40.5 % consider religion as important.

Icelanders now worship Asatruarfelagio – these are Norse God’s – Odin is apparently a German God but Thor and Freya are God’s and are highly regarded. I find this sintilistsing, awesome and actually sensual to spiritual awakening.

I really do not think “The land Of the Midnight Sun” is meant to follow a religious belief from Latin lands as Scandinavia is made up of  Sami and the population is decreasing.

Sami believed in the rocks, the trees and the entity of life; spirituality like dates back to ancient times. I believe in the whole Sami principle – because it is so basic,  beautiful and pure. Many believe that the journey a Sami makes into spirituality is much like Aztec – or something even more like Nordic God’s.  So, really to have this boundary of religious beliefs only makes us go against one another and our good nature.

Spiritual wellbeing is good for the self. Having the flexibility in your religious beliefs makes you accept other’s.  Being knowledgeable in other religions makes you far more intelligent.

Knowing if you are accepted no matter what your beliefs; well – it feels better. I don’t think anyone should force anyone else to believe in religion. Those days are over. If a religion is more accepting of other’s or realises the mistakes they made and changed their nature – surely it means we can evolve? Surely it means we are diverse?

Yes I prefer the basic principles and the ideological belief of “mother nature” or humanistic approaches. My philosophy is accepted and this is all that matters.

There are so many to take in. Isn’t that weird and wonderful?

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