Why the Heavenly Doctrines found me

May 26, 2017 § Leave a comment

 

I was not born in the New Church.

As a child I was sent to church. I don’t recall my parents actually going themselves. I wasn’t very old when I told my mother that I did not want to go to church anymore. She asked me why. I told her that they tell you to believe in God, but they don’t tell you the nature of God. They tell you to be good and not evil, but they don’t tell you the nature of either. After that I did not have to go to church anymore.

Later, through a business acquaintance of my father’s, my family came in contact with the new church. I read some of the Heavenly Doctrines, and decided for myself that they were Divine revelation. I was 16 when I was baptised as an adult with my family.

There is no doubt in my mind that I would have been an atheist if it were not for the Heavenly Doctrines. The passage below describes why the Heavenly Doctrines are for people like me.

The previous chapter and the present chapter up to this point have dealt with the conception and birth of the Rational within the Lord; and how this was made Divine is also dealt with in what follows. But some may possibly suppose that knowing these details does not contribute very much to faith, provided one knows that the Lord’s Human Essence was made Divine and that the Lord is God as regards both Essences. The position however is this: People who in simplicity believe it to be so do not need to know how it became so, for the only reason for their knowing how it became so is so that they may believe that it is so.

[2] There are many at the present day who do not believe anything unless they know it to be so from reason, as is made quite clear from the fact that few believe in the Lord, although they make lip confession of belief for the reason that the doctrine of faith so teaches. Nevertheless they tell themselves and one another that if they knew it could be so they would believe. The reason they do not believe and yet say this is that the Lord was born as any other is born and to outward appearance was like any other. These people cannot possibly receive any faith unless they first of all grasp in some measure how it can be so. This is why these matters have been explained. Those who believe the Word in simplicity do not need to know all these details because they have already arrived at the end which those who have just been described cannot reach except by becoming acquainted with such details. (Arcana Celestia 2094; Elliot)

Having the Heavenly Doctrines is truly a blessing. Yet having the Heavenly Doctrines is also dangerous if one is not going to live by what they teach:

The arcanum is that purification from those foul loves is absolutely vital inside the Church, for the reason also that people inside the Church are capable of rendering sacred things unclean, something that those outside the Church, that is, gentiles, cannot do. For this reason those inside the Church stand in greater danger of condemnation. What is more, those inside the Church are capable of formulating and adopting false assumptions that are contrary to truths of faith themselves, whereas those outside the Church cannot do so because they have no knowledge of those truths. Thus those inside the Church are capable of profaning sacred truths, but not those outside. (Arcana Celestia 2051; Elliot)

 

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No Secrets

May 7, 2017 § Leave a comment

“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed” (Mt. 10.26 // Mk. 4.22 // Lk. 8.17)
 
“That ‘he said, Hagar, Sarai’s servant-girl’ means information is clear from the train of thought, for Hagar is addressed by the angel as if she were to inform him of something. In the Word, even though Jehovah knows already, it is common for Yehowah to question someone and for people to make replies to Him. He knows not only what took place but also the causes and the ends, thus every least intimate detail. But since a person is not aware of this and believes that nobody else can possibly know what he does in secret, and still less what he thinks, that which takes place therefore does so in accordance with his belief. But the truth of the matter is that even quite common and ordinary spirits perceive a person’s thoughts better than the person does himself. Angelic spirits perceive the more interior aspects of his thoughts, and angels those that are more interior still, that is to say, the causes and the ends in view about which the person himself knows but little. This I have been given to know from much and continuing experience lasting for many years. Since spirits and angels perceive those things, what then must the perception be of the Lord or Yehowah, who is Infinite, and who enables all others to perceive?” (AC 1931)

Divine Providence

May 6, 2017 § Leave a comment

But after the Lord’s Human Essence had become united to His Divine Essence, and had become at the same time Jehovah, the Lord was then above what is called perception, for He was above the order which exists in the heavens and from there upon earth. It is Jehovah who is the source of order, and therefore one may say that Jehovah is Order itself, for from Himself He governs order, not merely, as is supposed, in the universal but also in its most specific singulars, for it is these singulars that make up the universal. To speak of the universal and then separate such singulars from it would be no different from speaking of a whole that has no parts within it and so no different from speaking of something consisting of nothing. Thus it is sheer falsity – a figment of the imagination, as it is called – to speak of the Lord’s Providence as belonging to the universal but not to its specific singulars; for to provide and govern universally but not specifically is to provide and govern absolutely nothing. This is true philosophically, yet, strange to say, philosophers themselves, including the more eminent, understand this matter in a different way and think in a different way. (AC 1919.4)

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