The Affirmative Principle

Does the Word have some sort of expiration date I didn’t know about? A ‘best used by’ but maybe could still be okay for a little bit after just not as good? Like food, does it become unhealthy to consume after a certain point?

Why would the Lord write something that would go out of date?

After the Lord’s first coming the Old Testament did not expire:

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. Matthew 5:17

Even after the Lord’s second coming, the Old and New Testaments are not to be thrown out or disregarded. The Lord’s Word is never going to be unhealthy. If we are having an adverse reaction to it that is not because there is something wrong with the Word that needs to be changed. We can’t substitute gluten free doctrine just so we don’t react poorly to it. Of course we have sensitivities to the Word! It is not going to sit right with us, because we are not right!

And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. Revelation 10:9

The only way to approach the Word is to assume that the Lord is telling us the truth. That He is not misleading us or gave us some kind of Where’s Waldo where we have to look through it for something we recognize.

There are therefore two principles; one of which leads to all folly and insanity, and the other to all intelligence and wisdom. The former principle is to deny all things, or to say in the heart that we cannot believe them until we are convinced by what we can apprehend, or perceive by the senses; this is the principle that leads to all folly and insanity, and is to be called the negative principle. The other principle is to affirm the things which are of doctrine from the Word, or to think and believe within ourselves that they are true because the Lord has said them: this is the principle that leads to all intelligence and wisdom, and is to be called the affirmative principle. Arcana Coelestia 2568:4

I’m not saying that understanding the Word is easy. But it’s easier if you assume that is is right. If you constantly have to be wondering if the Lord actually means what He says then it’s exhausting hard work. Just assume that He knows what He’s doing. AND He knew what He was doing a couple thousand years ago when He told people to write down His Word. Our problems aren’t new. He even knew (and knows) about every single thing we’re facing in 2018, and He wrote about it a long time ago. And it’s still active and living today.

There is no expiration date on the Truth.

Come, Lord Jesus!

“And the spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely…

He who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” Rev. 22:17, 20-21

Wishing you and your families a blessed June 19th from all of us at New Christian Woman.

Stop World, I Want To Get Off!

Have you ever had those moments when everything seems too much and you wish you could take a time out like they do in sport?

What would you do in those time out moments?

I have felt overwhelmed with life a lot recently. So I started to work out what was going on for me.

I find that I get too caught up in stuff that I have no control over. I give it too much weight and that weight overburdens me.

Where do I turn at those moments? I would like to say that I always turn to the Lord. But I don’t always think of that first. Sometimes I bury myself in a book. Sometimes, I have a beer. Sometimes I find myself getting angry at everyone around me. Eventually, in desperation I reach out to the Lord, and take time out to focus inwardly as to why I’m overwhelmed and try to find peace. I read a great quote from Buddha which said:

“Peace comes from within, do not seek it without.”

Understanding that I’m not ultimately in control of everything is important. Looking inward for answers instead of looking outward for answers also reminds me of the serenity prayer:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change:
The courage to change the things that I can:
And the wisdom to know the difference.”

When I started to feel overwhelmed this week and was shouting, “Stop World, I want to get off!”, I took a moment and started by doing something that helped me clear the clutter from my mind. I cleaned up my office. This act helped ground me in the reality of my world for this moment.

It isn’t always possible to take a time out and dig deep for answers. Sometimes we need a distraction (some mindless, easy task like cleaning) to help get to a place where we can make the space to seek some answers.

However, there is no right answer for everyone. I try to step out of life for a moment, not to numb myself or disconnect (although for me I sometimes need to disconnect), but to be still and find the joy in the small things, to take one step at a time. To be grateful to the Lord knowing that he is always there with me, walking by my side.

I have found that I often feel overwhelmed because I am not happy with my life. I go through each day with the same mundane, tedious tasks that have to be done. I have to remind myself often that I chose this path and that no-one else is responsible. So to change it, I have to be the one to do so. So I seek the courage to change the things that I can…

I would love to hear your experiences of life becoming overwhelming and what you do in those moments. Feel free to share!

An Overview of the Field of Children’s Spirituality

Anne Glenn is a wife, parent, and graduate student working on an MA in Religious Studies with a focus on children’s spirituality at Bryn Athyn College in the US. This article was a paper she wrote for one of her psychology courses highlighting the importance of children’s spiritual development from a psychological perspective, with particular focus on Swedenborg’s high regard for children’s spiritual development in his writings.

The field of Children’s Spirituality is a relatively young one, both from psychological and theological approaches, with the vast majority of research being done in the last 20 years. Children have historically been neglected or minimized by both psychologists and theologians, but slowly over the last century both religious and secular scholars have turned their attention to children and childhood. In recent years the research has begun to shift from studying children and their spiritual capacity only in terms of their potential future as adults to seeing children as complete spiritual beings as they are, and focusing on nurturing their spiritual development for their own sake.

This paper is an investigation into the significance of the field of children’s spirituality, including summary of the history of the field, the interactions between theology and psychology in this field and the implications of research into children’s spirituality on religious communities, particularly in the New Church.
Continue reading An Overview of the Field of Children’s Spirituality