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New Church Perspective
is an online magazine with essays and other content published weekly. Our features are from a variety of writers dealing with a variety of topics, all celebrating the understanding and application of New Church ideas. For a list of past features by category or title, visit our archive.

Friday
Jul252014

Meditate | Scripture Surprise

Meditate is a monthly column in which insights gained from meditating on the Word are shared. We welcome your insights, too, in the form of comments or even your own article. Contact us if you'd like to write a submission for this column. -Editor

The following may be obvious to many of you, but I just heard an old favorite in a new way. It's the 23rd Psalm. It all began with that first verse, “The Lord is my shepherd—I shall not want.” I always took this as just the first of several stand-alone sayings throughout the psalm, but as such I’ve never got much meaning from it. More recently I’ve lingered over the word “want,” understanding it as a somewhat old-fashioned way of saying “lack”; as in, “The Lord is my shepherd, [and therefore I won’t lack anything].” Taken by itself, this has really helped me. But it gets better.

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Friday
Jul182014

We Are Only As Sick As Our Secrets 

Drugs, alcohol, and the following mental illness went hand in hand with religion and spiritual experiences for Dave. As he worked on moving away from one he moved closer to the other. But the conflict between the two and lack of resolution on either front led to further conflict. Ultimately he has found change in the 12 steps program of AA and the ideas of regeneration, as we read in his article for this week. -Editor.

I found myself deceiving others about the double life I led. Drugs and alcohol were a large part and they led to all kinds of horrible behavior. This resulted in spiritual and mental insanity.

I believe a large part of the insanity was because I was violating deeply held moral beliefs that I held for myself. But I was trapped in a cycle of addiction that I couldn’t break free of.

From time to time, I would resolve to stop putting the chemicals into my system and detox on my own. At some point shortly following that, I would ‘confess’ my secrets to an inappropriate person and I would be thrown into spiritual upheaval.

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Friday
Jul112014

Understanding More Truthfully - About "Why This Way"

How does the way you think affect the way you speak? And the things you speak the way you think? Sylvia introduces the core ideas of Why This Way and shares how her efforts to shed even the subtle false bits and pieces in communication has allowed for true things to come into her thoughts and words. -Editor.

I remember being at Bryn Athyn College and regularly being involved in intellectually stimulating theological discussions, both in class and in social contexts among friends. There I learned to communicate about deep issues, and to discuss ideas on their own merits. One thing I love about New Church culture in Bryn Athyn is the emphasis on truth seeking – not just truth, but the constant, humble search for it. And I didn't realize how important that was to me until a couple of years ago, when I started looking more closely at communication patterns.

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Friday
Jul042014

Meditate | The Daily Reckoning 

Meditate is a monthly column in which insights gained from meditating on the Word are shared. We welcome your insights, too, in the form of comments or even your own article. Contact us if you'd like to write a submission for this column. -Editor

“If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light shall dawn in the darkness, and your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually” (Isaiah 58:9-11).

I find taking actions from a place of love and charity and hanging onto a sense of responsibility for the future, for the outcome, are like oil and water. The two perspectives don’t mix:

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Friday
Jun272014

The New Jerusalem Part 2

Continuing here with part 2 of this article, this week Malcolm looks at further places Jerusalem is talked about, what it means that Jerusalem is “the church”, the new Jerusalem is the new church, and where we fit into that. Find part 1 here -Editor.

Last week we looked at some of the places that Jerusalem is mentioned in the Old testament. The word “Jerusalem” occurs 806 times, and together they paint a varied and contradictory picture of the city’s meaning. This week we continue on to look at some of the places it’s mentioned in the New Testament, Writings, and where we belong in this holy city.

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Friday
Jun202014

The New Jerusalem Part 1

Having marked the anniversary of the establishment of the New Church this week, today we share the first of a two part article looking at what the new Jerusalem is, what it means that it is Jerusalem, and what it means to be a part of the “the holy city, New Jerusalem.” -Editor.

Why Jerusalem? Have you ever wondered about that? Why not Bethel or Bethlehem? Maybe I should back up a bit.

We’re talking about the establishment of the New Church today (the actual anniversary was on the 19th). Often around June 19th we talk about stories from the book of Revelation because some of the elements in the stories are symbolic of the New Church. And at the end of the book, chapter 21 and 22—the last 2 chapters of the whole Bible—there’s this vision of a huge, golden, holy city, coming down from heaven.

Let’s read a little bit of the vision.

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:1-2

Lots of different aspects of this city are described and the detail that caught my attention this time was Jerusalem. It’s called “the holy city, New Jerusalem.”

Why Jerusalem?

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