The Affirmative Principle

I have always tried to approach the things I read in the Word as things that are True. The Word contains all things that are True from the Lord. He never misstated something. He never said something that doesn’t apply for all time. Sometimes the meaning is in the correspondence and not in the literal sense, but it is always right and True if the Lord said it. That goes for everything He said through His servant Swedenborg. Swedenborg was asked to write down the things he saw and heard, but they were from the Lord. 

When we approach the things the Lord is teaching us in the Word, knowing that all things contained there are absolute Truth, we are being left in freedom by Him to be taught and open to learn more. 

“In respect to truths the celestial angels say, Yea, yea, or Nay, nay; but the spiritual angels reason about them whether they are true or not, where the Lord’s words, ‘Let your speech be Yea, yea, Nay, nay; what is beyond these is from evil’ (Matt. 5:37). are explained).”
Heaven and Hell 214

I am not claiming to be celestial or close to being celestial, I just know and have found, that when I start with, “These are from the Lord and must be True, whether they make sense to me right now or not,” that it is the most simple, but powerful way for me to understand what the Lord says. Sometimes I don’t understand what a passage says or how it could apply to my life in any way, but later I have read something again and it strikes me deeply. I imagine that has happened to a lot of us. 

“Those who are in an affirmative principle in respect to the truths of faith, are therefore permitted to confirm these truths intellectually by means of scientifics, but not those who are in a negative principle; for the affirmation which precedes inclines all things in favour of its own side.” New Jerusalem and its Heavenly Doctrine 51

“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

While approaching everyone and everything with the affirmative principle is not always going to work (there is something about healthy skepticism), even in our daily interactions, approaching people and ideas with a charitable and affirmative attitude will likely be a better result. 

Reading the Lord’s Word is really important. We are getting to receive DIVINE TRUTH from HIM when we do that. That’s pretty amazing. Approaching the Word and the Lord knowing that He is going to give us what we need there and that it is never wrong is a pretty amazing thing too. 

About Eliza

I am wife to Matthew Genzlinger and mother of 7 big and little humans. We lived in Concord, MA for 11 years until last year when we moved to Kempton, PA. Until recently We were homeschooling all our kids, now we have the eldest in the Kempton New Church school and our smaller girls are still at home. Matthew teaches at the Bryn Athyn College and Academy of the New church. I love working on raising potential angels, making a home for us. I love to run (when I can squeeze it in) and sewing and cooking are some of my favorite home-activities.

One thought on “The Affirmative Principle

  1. Absolutely! Accepting the Word as True “whether we understand it or not” is spot on. Hard, but spot on. Thanks for the reminder!

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