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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.

Entries in belief (2)


The Phrases that Define Divine Providence

Abby identifies some commonly used phrases about Providence and how the Lord works. She suggests that these ideas are not only harmful to our individual perceptions of the Lord, but to the spread of the New Church. Abby hopes that through correcting these ideas, we can present a more accurate, appealing, and useful picture of the Lord and His church. -Editor.

“God only gives you what you can handle.” “I’m sure God will smile on you for your kindness.” “If I keep following God, I will get what I deserve.”

There are these little phrases, sayings, and cliches that sneak into the way many people think about Divine Providence. Phrases that I’ve heard from Christians and non-Christians, readers of the Writings, and people who haven’t read the Writings. Whether the speaker has thought it through or not these phrases and sayings describe a kind of God and a kind of fatalism that just doesn’t sit right with me. And when I hear anyone assign these ideas to God it makes me angry. Angry because of the way that these ideas get in and make us feel a certain way about how God works, when these ideas are diametrically opposed to what I have come to understand and love about how God works.

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How Can We Believe 

Do you need physical evidence to support your faith, particularly faith in Jesus Christ? If not what is the foundation of your faith? Coleman writes about why faith in Jesus Christ is a crucial part of a relationship with God, and why physical evidence isn't as important as it can feel. -Editor.

Jesus said, “Blessed are they who have not seen, and have believed.” (John 20:29)

The gospel of John records Jesus speaking those words to “doubting Thomas,” who only believed when he was able to see the risen Lord for himself. Today, almost 2,000 years from that event, we are the ones who, if we are to believe, must do so without seeing, at least not with our physical eyes. Can we do that? Some things may seem fairly easy to believe: for example, that we ought to treat one another with respect, and even that there is an unseen force guiding the universe. But can we believe the specific and the miraculous: that the Lord Jesus Christ is God, and that He literally rose from the grave? The belief that the risen Lord is the living God is a vital one; Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have believed,” and stated even more strongly, “unless you believe that I am, you shall die in your sins” (John 8:24) – a teaching affirmed in the Doctrine of the New Church (e.g. in Arcana Coelestia 10083) 1. If we want to have eternal life, we have to believe in the Lord. But what if we find ourselves besieged by doubts? How can we do anything about that? Can we force ourselves to believe? It can seem to be a hopeless situation, but the Lord gives us hope that we can believe. In Scripture and in the Doctrine of the New Church, He shows us how.

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