Legends – Concluding Remarks
January 19, 2017 § Leave a comment
My original intention was to analyze and comment on all 16 of Kurt Simmon’s Legends. The facts of each legend are different. For the most part, however, their responses would use the kind of arguments that we have already used. Consequently, there does not seem to be much point in continuing.
But to briefly summarize:
Legend 7. The teachings on “Charity in the case of the priest; Charity in the case of Governors,…Officials under them,…Judges,…the Commander of the Army, …the Common Soldier,…the Business Man,…the Workman,…the Farmers,..Ships’ Captains,…Sailors,…Servants.” (Doctrine of Charity 160ff.)
While the charity involved in these occupations are not covered in the same detail in the published works, there is nothing taught here that is contrary to any teaching in the published works
Legend 8. The teaching that “There are two foundations of truth; one from the Word, and the other from nature.” (Spiritual Diary/Spiritual Experiences 5709)
Again, there is nothing in SR 5709 and SD 5710 that is contradicted by the published works.
Legend 9. The teaching that “Unless the present little work is added to the preceding work, the church cannot be healed.” (Invitation to the New Church 25)
In this instant, there is no comparable teaching in the published works. Yet, there is no way show that it is false.
Legend 10. The teaching that Swedenborg’s revelation “surpasses all miracles.” (Invitation to the New Church 39, 43, 44, 55, Coronis, heading “L”)
Again, there is no comparable teaching in the published works. That, however, does not make the teaching false. To not see the Heavenly Doctrines as a miracle is to not see or appreciate the wondrous blessing the Lord has bestowed upon us by their revelation.
Legend 11. The term “New Christian Church” appears only in the Coronis, heading “L.”
Yet there is a “new Christian heaven” which makes one with the church on earth.
Legend 12. The Canons of the New Church aren’t, and the Invitation to the New Church isn’t.
I really cannot respond to this one. I have no idea what he means.
Legend 13. The teaching that “The Holy Spirit…passes through men to men, and in the church chiefly through the clergy to the laity.” (Canons of the New Church, Holy Spirit IV)
I think that this is just another way of saying what is taught in Divine Providence 154:
IT IS A LAW OF THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE THAT MAN SHOULD BE LED AND TAUGHT BY THE LORD FROM HEAVEN BY MEANS OF THE WORD, AND DOCTRINE AND PREACHING FROM THE WORD, AND THIS TO ALL APPEARANCE AS OF HIMSELF.
Legend 14. The teaching that there are 10 laws of Divine Providence (Apocalypse Explained 1155-1185), as opposed to the five listed in Divine Providence (71ff.).
There are often many ways to look at the same thing. One way will bring out one aspect, another way different aspect. For example, heaven is often divided into two kingdoms, and other times into three heavens. Sometimes, each heaven is divided into three degrees. Do any of the five laws in Divine Providence contradict any of the ten laws in the Apocalypse Explained?
Legend 15. The teaching that ” in the church, there must be a filleted primate, parish priests, and curates under them.” (Coronis 17)
I don’t think that point of this passage is to provide names for different kinds of priest, but to show that there should be an hierarchical order. See New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 313 and 314.
Legend 16. The name “Church of the New Jerusalem” does not appear in the Writings.
And yet we have the phrase “the Lord’s church on earth, which is the New Jerusalem” (TCR 188.13).
None of the legends are matters of faith that affect one’s salvation. In that sense, it matters not whether or not they are believed or not believed.
I am very uncomfortable with idea that these teachings in the unpublished works should be rejected simply because they are not repeated word for word in the published works.
Personally I think Kurt Simons should have attempted show us how and why these teachings are false and there they are contradicted in the published works.
January 3, 2017 § Leave a comment
If your area are reading this post, then you (like me) believe you can see. Yet, your belief (and mine) are false! We are all blind! None us of ourselves can see. It is the Lord, and the Lord, alone who sees:
It is the very same with man: it is his spirit that sees, not his eye: the spirit sees through the eye. . . . The case is the very same in regard to this interior sight, or that of the spirit; this again does not see from itself, but from a still more interior sight, or that of man’s rational. Nay, neither does this see of itself, but does so from a still more internal sight, which is that of the internal man. And even this does not see of itself, for it is the Lord who sees through the internal man, and He is the Only One who sees because He is the Only One who lives, and He it is who gives man the ability to see, and this in such a manner that it appears to him as if he saw of himself. (AC 1954.2)
It is our egos, our propriums, that insist we can see. We do not wish to admit that we are blind. Yet our vision can only see a small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Our vision is limited to things within a certain distance, and to things of a certain size. There is so much of the world we can not and do not see.
It is no different in spiritual matters. We are also spiritually blind. We only catch small glimpses of the Lord and all that He does. We do not truly see how He reforms and regenerates us.
We need to become humble and to admit to our blindness. Only then can the Lord do as He promised in Isaiah:
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them. (Isa. 42.15; NIV)