[lucerna] [L] RE: Jewish Church & LNC

Lucerna Discussion lucerna@lists.newearth.org
Fri Jul 7 12:54:07 HST 2006


Hi Greg,

No, I did not remember that you had corresponded with me four years ago.
I went back to our correspondence and I now realize you started your study
of Swedenborg through my books and articles on the Web. I am happy to see
that you continued your interest and even intensified it, it seems, from
your messages to Lucerna.

I'm sorry if I cannot share your enthusiasm and conviction regarding
physical objects like oil in anointing or worship, other relics and
rituals, flags next to altars, etc.. I can honor these things in the name
of those who believe in their sacredness and in their necessity, and I
myself may have felt that way prior to my familiarity with the Writings.

But now I see all external forms of worship as not essential, though
useful for religion in many circumstances -- and I support them for that
important use.

There is only one thing that is essential for the salvation of a New
Church mind and for being close to the Lord. That is the practice of good
and truth in our daily regeneration in accordance with our enlightenment
from the Lord regarding the spiritual sense of the Word.

Aloha,

Leon


On Fri, 7 Jul 2006, Gregory Davis wrote:

> Date: Fri, 07 Jul 2006 15:23:41 -0400
> Reply-To: Discussion on doctrine drawn out of the Latin Word
>     <lucerna@novahierosolyma.org>
> To: lucerna@novahierosolyma.org
> Subject: Re: [lucerna] [L] RE: Jewish Church & LNC
>
> >On Wed, 5 Jul 2006, Alan Longstaff wrote:
> >
> > > Since this is on Lucerna, even though I don't want to confuse the issue,
> > > there is something here that takes me back to Greg's CONCERN about being
> > > very clear about specific words like "CALAM*". Alan
> >
> >Hi Alan,
> >
> >I'm not completely sure what you mean exactly. I'm not offering it as
> >"hair-splitting" semantic issue (to use Barrie's language about what we
> >are doing on Relform). Why would I do that? You know my interests and
> >level of thinking.
> >
> >The issue is substantive and socially sensitive. It will impact the New
> >Church for centuries to come -- depending on how that issue is handled.
> >
> >Have you seen my (partly auto-biographical) article on the issue of
> >anti-semitism in the Writings?
> >
> >Anti-semitism and Holocaust Theology
> >http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj//anti-semitism.htm
> >
> > > Hi Doctrine Lovers, What do you make of this?
> > >
> > > SE-WE 237. But because the Jewish Church, in itself, must be one and
> > > >the same with the Church truly Christian, as was the earliest or infant
> > > >Church, therefore, so that that Church might be portrayed as an inner
> >one,
> > > >Abraham depicts a belief that makes one righteous.
> > > >	The fact that belief was accounted to him because he had believed
> > > >the promise concerning Isaac, who was to be the promised son [Gen.
> > > >15:4-6], could not have made Abraham righteous, unless at the same time
> >he
> > > >had believed that by the promised son was meant the Messiah, Who was to
> >be
> > > >born, and Who is the One Only promised Son. (SE-WE 237)
> > > >=======================
> > > >
> > > >The apparent anti-semitism in the Writings is counterbalanced by
> > > >statements like the above, which asserts that the Jewish Church must be
> > > >the same as the "Church truly Christian" which is a reference to the
> >New
> > > >Church (TCR). So the NC and the Jewish Church form a one. How are we to
> > > >interpret this (a) literally, and (b) spiritually?
> > > >
> > > >Aloha,
> > > >
> > > >Leon
> > > >_______________________________________________
>
> Leon,
> You wrote in the meaning of “Jews” in the New Church mind: “Religious
> rituals, religious prayers, religious sacrifices, fastings, meditations—none
> of it can prevail. Only what can prevail is a reformed character in daily
> willing and thinking for the sake of God and religion (LIFE 1). No one has
> the power to attain this. But anyone can turn to the Lord and ask Him to do
> it, for He can. And He has laid out in His Word what we must do in order for
> Him to regenerate us. This He does to anyone from any religion with any
> background universally. In heaven there are no religions, but only conscious
> life in accordance with the Word (AR 918).”
>
> The references you quoted from the Writings follow at the end of these
> observations. The following answers the questions on how we to understand
> the literal and spiritual meaning of the Word and its 'oneness' with the
> Israelite and Early Christian Church in the desending New Church.
>
> You state that because there is no Church in Heaven therefore it seems no
> Church in the world except in the capacity as an individual. In this world
> the life of the Church is in its religious rituals, religious prayers,
> religious sacrifices, fastings and meditations. These practices conjoin the
> individual to Heaven as I can tell you from much experience in life and
> through my attendance at the Ethiopian and also Coptic Orthodox Churches.
> Oriental Orthodox practices are beyond the understanding of those who have
> never experienced this life of the Church. Therefore, it follows from your
> statement: Those who have the Writings don’t need to engage in spiritual
> practices that were taught by the resurrected Savior to the Apostles and
> earlier to the Ancient and Israelite Churches. Odd how the justification of
> this ignorance develops, wouldn’t you say? And yet at its basic this is the
> founding theology of the 'five branches' of the New Church Movement.
>
> The first Christians were Jews who worshipped at the Temple in Jerusalem for
> over three decades and the first Divine Liturgy of James the Just is
> retained in the Orthodox practices. What I have found is that the Writings
> explain or open the understanding when these Church practices are adhered
> to. I have been asked many times. How come you attend our Church if you do
> not understand the teachings, which are in Amaharic at the Ethiopian or
> Egyptian when attending the Coptic? I tell them it is the symbolism and the
> blessings of the priests. The Divine Liturgy is given in English on a
> projector, I should note.
>
> But this brings us to another interesting point in your observation of the
> Church practices you dismiss; the blessing from the hand of the priests. You
> state ‘in daily willing and thinking for the sake of God and religion’. And
> also, ‘This He does to anyone from any religion with any background
> universally.’ Do you attend a Church? Is it Swedenborgian with its ’20
> minute sermon’? Does it follow the in and out the door practice in under an
> hour? Who are the Machiavellians? What is the New Church militant in your
> New Church mind?
>
> My experience in the opening of the Word through the Writings and the
> literal and spiritual understanding was overwhelming and still is extremely
> difficult. Being able to understand at a deeper level than the
> ‘Swedenborgians’ who claim these doctrines as the Third Testament is a
> lonely vigil. I did not know this at the time, but my education in the
> Writings was based upon the formula stated in Lucerna for the correct study
> of the Writings. By the way, you may recall that it was you who introduced
> me to www.heavenlydoctrines.org four years ago. The Lord alone ‘illuminated’
> and ‘illustrated’ for me this experience after I learned that the priests of
> ‘one of the branches’ rejects the literal Word. It was during this time at
> an Ethiopian Orthodox Church that a spiritual experience was given to me. My
> subsequent experiences at an Ethiopian Orthodox Church allowed me the
> capability to continue with these discoveries. At the close of the service
> the priest administers an individual blessing and then the congregant is
> given a drink of Holy water. The influx at the time was immense and
> uplifting. Being able to delve into these mysteries became doable. It is in
> the worship experience and life of the Church that opens the spiritual mind
> to enable these mysteries to take hold and become translucent. It is this
> conjunction in the spirit, which enables the man to know and do the ‘will of
> God’ at a celestial level. In Rev., "And He showed me a pure river of water
> of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the
> Lamb." xxii. 1.
>
> One of the favorite phrases in the LNC is, “Now it is permitted to enter
> with understanding into the mystery of the faith.” This quote is used to
> mean that the mysteries are now understood. Or even that the ‘New Church‘
> priests alone understand, when in actuality the Writings are not understood
> at all in their depth. This phrase is misused with deleterious effect and
> closes the mind.
>
> The revealing of Joseph to his brothers is absolutely astounding in its
> significance when the literal Hebrew Word is accepted as physically true and
> understood from out of the Writings. The focus upon the ‘Jews’ and the
> ‘Holocaust’ and the anti-Semitism of the Writings you assign this
> importance, “The issue is substantive and socially sensitive. It will impact
> the New Church for centuries to come -- depending on how that issue is
> handled.” The Ethiopian Orthodox Church traces its history back to the
> founding of that Israelite Church by Solomon. And even earlier to the
> Ancient Church as they retain the Book of Jasher in their Cannon. It was the
> priests of this Israelite Church that caused the uproar for they are the
> wise men from the east. Any theological student should know that the ‘Jews’
> are not going to be in an uproar over anyone from outside their religion.
> The Ethiopian Israelite Church has now and had then the Ark of the Covenant.
> This is the celestial Church where the literal Word is understood and
> worshipped as Holy and so is the Divine Man. In Matthew, “Now when Jesus was
> born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came
> wise men from the east to Jerusalem. Saying, Where is the He that is born
> the King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to
> worship Him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled,
> and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests
> and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where the Anointed
> should be born.” ii. 1. – 4.
>
> Here are two sites that really will engage the mind on this subject:
> http://www.meta-religion.com/Archaeology/Israel/scholar_says.htm This site
> documents the use of the blessed 'oil' by John the Baptist in the Sacrament
> of Baptism.
>
> http://www.yourarmstoisrael.org/Articles_new/notes/?page=AncientSymbol This
> site documents the use of the blessed 'oil' by James the Just in the
> Sacrament of Baptism.
>
> In Genesis, "And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for
> righteousness." xv. 6.
>
> In your earlier question it was directed to what do we think of a passage in
> the Writings. In this quote is the phrase, “the promised son was meant the
> Messiah”. The ancient prophesy that God would walk the face of the earth, as
> a man is what Abram believed and that he would found the race from out of
> which this Divine man would manifest. This promised son is identified as the
> ‘Messiah’ in Hebrew or the ‘Anointed’ in English. When you are able to
> comprehend what this term means literally then the Writings and their
> explanation of the Word will begin to open and you will be able to ‘see’ the
> Lord Jesus the Anointed as the Divine Human. It is this literal
> understanding that will be made manifest physically in the future of His New
> Church. This literal and spiritual understanding is now closed. It is
> CERTAIN that there is no other term “like CALAM*” (Alan) AE 627. This term
> means in the Writings both ultimate truth and falsity sustaining. When this
> falsity is no longer sustained in the translations of the Writings then you
> and the world will ‘see’ Him in the clouds with a sickle in hand, wearing a
> golden crown. Rev. 14:14
> Your brother in the Anointed, literally
> Greg
> Doctrine of Life
> 1. ALL RELIGION HAS RELATION TO LIFE, AND THE LIFE OF RELIGION IS TO DO GOOD
> Every one who has any religion knows and acknowledges that he who lives well
> will be saved, and that he who lives wickedly will be condemned; for he
> knows and acknowledges that he who lives well thinks well, not only
> concerning God but also concerning the neighbour; but not so he who lives
> wickedly. The life of man is his love; and what a man loves he not Only does
> willingly but also thinks willingly. The reason, therefore, why it is said
> that the life [of religion] is to do good is, because the doing of good
> unites with the thinking of good; and unless they act in unison in a man,
> they do not form part of his life. But these things will be demonstrated in
> what follows.
> 918. [verse 22] 'And I saw no temple therein, for the Lord God Almighty is
> the temple thereof, and the Lamb' signifies that in this Church there will
> not be any external separated from what is internal, because the Lord
> Himself in His Divine Human, from Whom is everything of the Church, is the
> Only One being approached, worshipped and adored. By 'I saw no temple
> therein' is not understood that in the New Church, which is the New
> Jerusalem, there will be no temple, but that in it there will not be what is
> external separated from what is internal. This is because by 'a temple' is
> signified the Church as to worship, and in the uppermost (supernus) sense
> the Lord Himself as to the Divine Human, Who is to be worshipped, as may be
> seen above (n. 191, 529, 585); and because everything of the Church is from
> the Lord it is therefore said 'for the Lord God Almighty is the temple
> thereof and the Lamb', by which is signified the Lord in His Divine Human.
> By 'the Lord God Almighty' is understood the Lord from what is eternal, Who
> is Jehovah Himself, and by 'the Lamb' is signified His Divine Human, as
> frequently above.
>
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