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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 love (19)


Meditate | The Essential Ingredient

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 better yet, your own article. Contact us if you'd like to write a submission for this column. -Editor

Outward worship is described as corresponding to inward when it contains the essential ingredient, which is heartfelt reverence for the Lord. Such reverence is not possible in the least except where charity, or love for one’s neighbor, exists. Charity, or love for our neighbor, contains the Lord’s presence. With it, we can adore the Lord from the heart. When we have charity, our reverence comes from the Lord, since the Lord gives us all the ability to revere him and all the vital essence of our veneration. It follows, then, that the kind of charity we have determines the quality of our adoration, that is, the quality of our worship. (Secrets of Heaven 1150)

How do I live worshipfully? This passage seems like the most basic teaching, pointing to the essentialness of love for our neighbor to life, for opening ourselves to the Lord’s presence. It is very useful for me to get reminded, to revisit the idea again and again. It is so simple and yet so easily navigated away from.

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Failure is Not a Detour

Lori peers over her shoulder at all that failed to thrive in her life, despite her clear intentions and decisive actions. Though many of her dreams have not been realized, she is reaping where she did not sow. -Editor

This is a theme I have been sashaying with for a long time now. I am only in my fifties but the view over my shoulder has a trail of broken dreams that I believed in with my whole being. Many of them died.

John and I articulated a plan of planting a church congregation in New Mexico in the 80's. I do not remember any space parceled out for doubt that we would succeed. We had prayed about this. John had studied the demographics until he could recite them by heart. We had no gap between our clasped hands for The Goal to slip through. But after three years of living and breathing it, we let it go like a trapped bird and watched it fly out the window. Yet in the silence that stayed behind to keep us company I learned that there is life after failure. I have more respect for John for reaching and losing, not less. There are gray and white memories of our family of six hovering below the poverty line, reminding me that I have lived with less than I have now. Failure made me stronger, insulating me from entitlement.

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Forgiveness By Any Other Name

Vaishali condenses Swedenborg's writings into one compact statement of purpose. She encourages everyone to identify themselves with Divine Love and Wisdom, and explains how this is the key that unlocks heaven within us. What can stand against this love? If you'd like more on the topic of forgiveness, check out the brand new issue of New Church Connection magazine. -Editor

If I were to distill all of Emanuel Swedenborg’s writings into one concentrated principle it would be this: You are what you Love and you Love whatever you give your attention to. In the same way that the Earth circles around the Sun, everything revolves around this Law - every facet of human and spiritual existence.

Think of this Law as running sunlight through a prism. It reveals a spectrum of colors, the true essence of light, that is invisible to the naked eye. Everything is understandable and knowable in light of this Law. There is no spiritual maturity without embracing it and making one’s peace with it.

To further explore this Truth let’s see it in action. Take forgiveness for example. What is it? How does it happen? What does it look like? How does it feel? How can you be sure you are in a right relationship with it? Forgiveness is a choice, your choice, to grow beyond what has hurt you. But it is more than that. It is having the power to grow beyond any and all limitations.

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A Common Heart

Chelsea writes of how religion, while becoming more central to peoples lives generally, is also the justification for increasing aggression between people of differing faiths. She calls on humanity to recognize our common heart, and shows us how New Church doctrine is uniquely suited to inform the growing desire for interfaith respect and love. -Editor.

Effort to understand people of various religions is needed right now in our national and global society. Religious intolerance and extremism are current issues in American society and around the globe. The combination of increasing religiousness world-wide and a vastly interconnected global society makes it nearly impossible for people of different religious identities not to cross paths. These current circumstances raise the question: is it possible under conditions of such close proximity for the world’s religious variety to coexist harmoniously?

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A Home for Love

Ronnie Schnarr takes the fourth slot in the series on Women as Ordained Priests (or Not). However, acknowledging his current lack of firm conclusion on the subject, Ronnie sidesteps debate and takes a different approach to the subject. He paints a picture which conveys the beautiful blessings we might pursue by rethinking our priorities as a society. -Editor.

First of all, I would like to say that my opinion has not been fully solidified on this topic so I would I hope I wouldn’t be tied down to my opinion, but for the sake of balance I thought it would be useful to make this post. I think the most important thing about this question is the context in which you look at it and here is a context that I would offer for your consideration.

Here is a question for you and a quote to ponder:

How does love come into the world?

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Women in the Ministry

Joel presents an argument for why women should not be ordained in the General Church. He draws passages from the Writings that support his opinion, while admitting that the writings are absent of a clear position on this issue. This is the third entry in the series: Women as Ordained Priests (or Not). -Editor.

This article addresses the question of whether women should be ordained into the Ministry of the General Church of the New Jerusalem. This can be a very complex and frustrating debate. My own position, that I have come to after much uncertainty, is that it is better to have an all male priesthood. This is based on my understanding of how men and women operate and on the role that the priesthood is to play in the church. My hope is that in this article, I can share with you a little of how I believe that this position is consistent with the truths we are taught in the Word and in the Doctrines.

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