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.
 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)