Core Beliefs

Altar 038Religion is about living a good life, not just about beliefs and certainly not about believing things just because someone else told you it is true. Because of this, we believe that we should not only learn what is true from the Lord’s Word (the Bible), but also to fully engage with that truth in the way we live and grow, knowing that this how we come to truly know our Creator and Savior.

The core beliefs listed below are founded in the Bible as it is illuminated by the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. Swedenborg was an 18th-century scientist and later theologian who provided an explanation of the Bible’s internal meaning, as well as writing many additional volumes that shed light on why we’re here and how to develop a functional relationship with God.  We believe that these teachings were revealed by the Lord Jesus Christ, and so belong to Him and are Him speaking to us.  We find in these teachings a clear path to happiness in this world and to eternity, as well as satisfying answers to questions about God, love, life after death, and the Bible.

Core Beliefs

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the one loving God.

There is only one God who is at the same time the all-powerful Creator and Savior.  God loves us individually and collectively.  He reaches out to us to communicate His love and life, and to draw us close to Him.  He came into the world as Jesus Christ, calling His unseen Divine Soul “the Father,” the visible body and personhood by which He could be known “the Son,” and His ability to affect us spiritually “the Holy Spirit.” God is one, just as a person’s soul, body, and actions, make up one person. The Lord Jesus Christ is our approachable, loving God who is intimately aware of all we face in life, and works in countless ways to lead us–in freedom–to eternal happiness.  More about “God” on newchurch.org

The Bible is God speaking through literal stories and a systematic inner meaning.

In the pages of His Holy Word (the Bible), God teaches us about Himself and about how to respond to the life and love He gives, so that we can live happily to eternity.  The laws of eternal happiness are summarized in the Two Great Commandments and the Ten commandments, and are elaborated throughout His Holy Word. We can read the Bible on many different levels. The literal level gives a history of God’s relationship with one nation. A deeper symbolic meaning is about the perfecting of our own spiritual lives. The deepest level is about the Lord’s life on earth as He made His Humanity Divine by acting out of love for all people and rejecting all that blocks and destroys that love. These allegorical, deeper meanings are called the “internal sense of the Word.” More about the “Word of God” on newchurch.org

God came to earth as Jesus Christ to overcome the power of evil.

By the time of Jesus’ birth the power of hell had increased to the point that people no longer wanted, nor knew how, to love one another truly.  All were in danger of becoming enslaved to selfishness and materialism. Jesus set us free by overcoming the power of hell, and by teaching the truth about His love for us and how to love one another. In the beginning Christians obeyed the Lord’s command to love one another, but Jesus foretold a time when genuine love would be lost and spiritual darkness would gather.  So He also foretold His Second Coming and the new light it would bring.

By opening up the deepest meaning of His Holy Word, which is entirely about Him, the Lord Jesus Christ makes it possible for us to know Him, understand Him and love Him more deeply and intimately than ever before. His Second Coming is a coming to the eyes of our spirit–to our rational understanding–and a real presence in our minds and hearts when we understand that truth, love it, and live by it.

Happiness comes when we choose not to do evil and let God inspire our daily work and service to others.

Turning our back on evil turns our face to God.  Saying “no” to the selfish and materialistic choices because they are opposed to Divine law opens our heart to truly love God and other people.  In this way we learn to live a useful and productive life for the sake of others.  We find our happiness in doing God’s will and benefitting other people spiritually as well as materially.  This prepares us for eternal life in heaven where all the angels share in such wholesome, outward-looking love.

God endows us with the capacity to choose our eternal destiny.

We could not love the Lord if He forced or engineered our love or faith in any way.  So He ensures that each of us is free to love and believe as we wish, even to the point of utterly rejecting Him and denying the reality of every truth.  He also ensures that we have a rational mind that can recognize truth if we wish to see it, and the freewill to follow it if we wish to be led by its wisdom.  Spiritual freewill is the cornerstone of spiritual life and spiritual development.

Salvation is progressive and involves an ongoing process of spiritual growth.

People are saved from hell–saved from the miserable life of self-centered, materialistic living–when they choose to believe in God and live by the laws of spiritual order which are summarized in the Ten Commandments.  The Lord makes sure that all people have the opportunity to learn and follow these two most basic principles of religion, no matter what their religious heritage has been.  But the closer that heritage has been to the genuine truth that the Lord aims to convey in His Holy Word, and the more one seeks it out regardless of his or her heritage, the greater is the potential for understanding God’s ways and choosing to align oneself with them. More about “Salvation” on newchurch.org

True Married Love is a gift from the Lord, given forever.

In the beginning God made people male and female so that they could be one–not just in body, but in mind and life.  Husband and wife are joined together most deeply when they share their deepest loves–the ones that have to do with God.  Love in marriage and love of the Lord go hand-in-hand as they keep His commandments together and toward each other, with increase after death and to eternity. More about “Marriage” on newchurch.org

Life begins on earth and thrives after death.

Life after death is more real than many people believe. The book Heaven and Hell by Emanuel Swedenborg has inspired people for over two centuries with its detailed, eye-witness description of life after death. It teaches that death is merely a transition from the natural world to the spiritual world.  Our love is the core of our life, and this we bring with us into the next world, unhindered by the restrictions of matter, space and time.  Those with beautiful love have a correspondingly beautiful spiritual body. There, our surroundings and experiences are expressive of the quality of our love and the wisdom by which we have lived.  Thus everything is much more real and full of life than we have known in this world.  More about the “Love and Eternal Life” on newchurch.org

Heaven is for all who want it, and live for it.

Life continues after death according to the way we have directed our love in this world. We are free to choose our destiny but we continue to choose as we have chosen in this world. Those who have enjoyed serving others in God’s way, love the heavenly way of life in the next. They love being useful to others in engaging careers that are more numerous and varied than what we know here.  Those who resisted God’s ways and served themselves above others gravitate towards others like themselves in the place called hell. Only punishment restrains them from being nasty to each other, and only the need for basics like food induces them to do any useful work. More about “Heaven” or the “Life After Death” on newchurch.org

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