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Abraham Lincoln's Religious Beliefs (Open Swedenborgian)
The Swedenborgian Online Church: Online Sermons ^ | February 11, 1996 | Eldon Smith, Lay leader

Posted on 09/21/2009 1:44:23 PM PDT by DaveMSmith

Abraham Lincoln's Religious Beliefs By Eldon Smith -- Sunday, February 11, 1996

Bible Reading

At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."

Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it."

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he said, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? What do you read there?" He answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live." (Luke 10:21-28)

Reading from Swedenborg Freedom and Slavery

When a person has been regenerated, one then for the first time comes into a state of freedom, having before been in a state of slavery. It is slavery when cupidities and falsities rule, and freedom when the affections of good and truth do so. How this is, no one ever perceives so long as one is in a state of slavery, but only when one comes into a state of freedom. When in a state of slavery, that is, when cupidities and falsities rule, we suppose ourselves to be in a state of freedom; but this is a gross falsity, for we are then carried away by the delight of the cupidities and their pleasures, that is, by the delight of our loves; and because this is done by delight, it appears to us to be freedom. All of us, while led by any love, and while following whithersoever it carries us, suppose ourselves to be free, whereas it is the diabolical spirits in whose company, and so to speak torrent, we are, that are carrying us away. This we suppose to be the greatest freedom, so much so that we believe that the loss of this state would bring us into a life most wretched, indeed into no life at all. . . . But that this impression is false has been given me to know by much experience. . . . People never come into a state of freedom until they have been regenerated, and are led by the Lord through love for what is good and true. When in this state, then for the first time can we know and perceive what freedom is, because we then know what life is, and what the true delight of life is, and what happiness is. . . . A life of freedom, or freedom, is simply and solely being led by the Lord. But as there are many things which hinder us from being able to believe that this is a life of freedom, both because we undergo temptations, which take place in order that we may be set free from the dominion of diabolical spirits; and because we know of no other delight than that of cupidities from the love of self and of the world, as well as from their having conceived a false opinion in regard to all things of the heavenly life, so that we cannot be taught by description so well as by living experiences, therefore, of the Lord's Divine Mercy, we may adduce such experiences hereafter. (Arcana Coelestia #892)

Sermon

Tomorrow, the 12th of February, is Lincoln's birthday. When people refer to some of the great leaders of our country, the name of Abraham Lincoln is always a part of the conversation. None of our national leaders have come from a more humble beginning, and no one has achieved a more revered memory. Born in a log cabin, he was tested and trained by the rough frontier life of Kentucky and Indiana. He had almost no formal schooling, but was a devoted student of people and of the books that he could buy or borrow. In 1831 he settled in New Salem, Illinois, and soon became the storekeeper, postmaster and surveyor, thereby earning the high regard of his neighbors as "honest Abe." Already showing great leadership qualities, Lincoln moved to Springfield, Illinois, in 1837, and began practicing law. He was elected to the state legislature, became successful as a circuit-riding lawyer and served for one term as a representative in Congress. Lincoln's loyalty to the Union inspired his belief that the nation could not endure "half slave and half free." As the Republican candidate for Senator, he opposed the extension of slavery in his famous debates with Stephen A. Douglas. He lost the election, but he became known nationally and was elected President in 1860. War followed his inauguration. Confusion and disaster endangered the Union cause, but Lincoln's courage and faith surmounted all obstacles. Lincoln was assassinated five days after Lee's surrender.

Lincoln was a deeply religious man and many of his famous sayings have frequent Biblical references. But he refused to join any of the organized religious denominations. His wife's family was Episcopalian, although after their marriage she usually attended a Presbyterian church, both in Springfield and in Washington. She was frequently accompanied by Mr. Lincoln, who was always friendly with his wife's pastors, and always rented a family pew.

When Lincoln was questioned about his objections to becoming a member of a particular church, he replied, "I have never united myself with any church because I have found difficulty in giving my assent to the long, complicated and questionable statements of Christian doctrine which characterize their Articles of Belief. . . . When any church will inscribe over its altar as its sole qualification for membership the Master's condensed statement of the substance of both the law and the Gospel: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength and thy neighbor as thyself, that church will I join with all my heart."

If Lincoln could not completely accept any of the organized church denominations of his day, was there any theologian whose influence on him was predominant? We believe there was. Research reveals that a number of Lincoln's close friends were among the pioneer followers of Emanuel Swedenborg. Records at The Swedenborg Foundation, now located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, show that one of the more prominent of Lincoln's Swedenborgian friends was Isaac S. Britton, who later became the Illinois State Superintendent of Schools. Journals of visiting Swedenborgian missionaries record being introduced to Lincoln by Mr. Britton and confirm that Lincoln was an interested student of the theological works of Swedenborg.

The Rev. J. R. Hibbard wrote, "At Springfield we remained for a week or more to rest after our long and fatiguing journey. Here I first met that remarkable man, Abraham Lincoln. . . . I was astonished at the man. I had never seen nor heard of him until that morning. He was then unknown to fame. . . . Mr. Lincoln was not a member of any of the various churches or sects. A very few knew why. He was a religious man, a very conscientious man, and his conscience was formed by the Ten Commandments and the Word of God, which, in private, he read much. His views concerning the Lord Jesus Christ as God manifest, concerning the moral government of the universe, and the civil government of nations, the humanity of man, the duty of rulers to protect and preserve the principles of humanity wherever found, in the highest or in the lowest, were largely formed and influenced by his friend, Mr. I. S. Britton."

Other early Swedenborgians among Lincoln's close friends were Colonel William B. Archer and Jacob Harlan, whose cousin James Harlan became Secretary of the Interior and the father-in-law of Robert Lincoln. Jacob died while still a young man, and his widow married Stephen Sargent whom she converted to the teachings of Swedenborg. The Sargent home in Coles County became a stop-over for Lincoln on his frequent journeys between Springfield and Marshall, where he occasionally joined in the family Sunday religious services.

All religion is summarized in the Two Great Commandments. They tell us that we shall love the one God with all our being and our neighbor as ourselves. But what is meant by loving the neighbor? Our church teaches that there are many forms of the neighbor to be loved and among them is the country in which we live. Swedenborg writes, "Not only is man in the singular the neighbor, but also man in the plural. For a society, smaller or greater, is the neighbor; our country is the neighbor; the church is the neighbor; the Lord's kingdom is the neighbor; and so above all is the Lord. All these are the neighbor who is to be benefited from charity" (Arcana Coelestia #6819).

From this we understand that our country should be loved as a neighbor and benefited with our charity even as an individual. The country is neighbor to us in a higher degree than an individual. And, whereas we are told to love the neighbor as ourself, we are to love our country more than ourselves. Love of our country should be of a spiritual nature and not just a natural love, or a love of what is useful and of public benefit in the country. We love our country not just because we have been born here, or have become naturalized citizens, but because it makes and enforces laws to promote justice and order among people. A country can serve the common good in a way that an individual cannot, and this is the service for which countries should be loved. Our love of country should be from the heart as well as from the mind and should be a rational and discriminating patriotism rather than a blind allegiance to all the policies and practices of our native land.

A true patriot will examine the quality of his country's good, supporting and promoting from a love of the neighbor what is found to be for the common good, and seeking to change by orderly means what does not support the common good.

A true patriot will also place the common good above personal good. In a democracy there is always the danger of assuming that what is good for the majority is good for the country. It is a mistake to think that the best interest of the country will be served when every individual in it votes for personal benefits. A majority voting from self-interest alone could destroy the common good. Therefore, our stand on issues should be for what is right as we see it, and not necessarily for what will benefit us the most as individuals. In this way we put our country and the uses of our country, ahead of ourselves, according to the Lord's command.

The Lord commands us to love our neighbor, thus to love our country. This is not a matter of choice. We cannot say that patriotism is all right for others if they are interested in that sort of thing, but it is not for us. The second of the Two Great Commandments places this obligation upon each one of us to love our country. If we fail to carry out that obligation we break the commandment.

There is also a way in which love of country prepares for a very positive spiritual benefit. And for this reason it is among the divine commandments that we should love our country even more than ourselves. If, while on this earth, we strengthen an affection for serving our country, because the Lord commands it, we develop a deeper and more precious affection at the same time; for after death the affection for our country which we will carry with us to the spiritual world, will be transformed into its spiritual counterpart, which is the love of the Lord's kingdom, and we will love that kingdom and become one of its citizens.

Lincoln spent his lifetime defending freedom for all, both natural and spiritual. Such teachings of Swedenborg as "Conscience is God's presence with man," "Doctrine divides but charity unites," and his presentation of the three essentials of true religion as faith in the one God, the holiness of the Word, and a life of charity or love toward the neighbor were often expressed in Lincoln's own statements.

So what were Abraham Lincoln's religious beliefs? They were living the Two Great Commandments, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." Amen.


TOPICS: History; Other Christian; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: abelincoln; christians; lincoln; presidents; swedenborg
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I live in 'Bloody Kansas' as it was known in Civil War days and witnessed the excavation of the slave quarters behind the original White House in Philadelphia from my office window (see picture on my profile page). Travelled to DC and felt so much purpose and determination at the Lincoln Memorial and Rev Dr Martin Luther King said: “Swedenborg enables us to understand why we were created, why we are alive, and what happens to us after our bodies die. Swedenborg enables us to have the best possible understanding of God’s message as it exists in those Bible books which constitutes God’s Word.” -- Rev Dr Martin Luther King

I pray President Obama draws upon history not by skin color but by the inferiority of those who do not have God in their life. They are today's slaves. They are their own taskmaster. Full of fear, anger and hatred they project these thing unto others. My healing ministry is an outreach to spread the Good News of the New Jerusalem here on earth for us to enter the gates of the city and admire all the good things God has provided us. He will make His Last Judgemnt and those committing evil acts and falsity will be exposed for what they are. Humiliation is how the Lord enters into one's heart and mind.

It is not only elements of the human mind-- its thought and affection-- that correspond to spiritual and heavenly realities, but it is also in a general sense the whole person, and in a detailed sense everything within the person.            --Emanuel Swedenborg, Arcana Coelestia 3628

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More Swedenborgians:

Carl Jung and the Holy Grail of the Unconscious - NYTimes.com -- NY Times
Johnny Appleseed: Swedenborgian Evangelist in America
Johnny Appleseed; Good News Fresh From Heaven

Foundation for my Church

The Faith of the New Church

Major confirmations of Him:

THE TWELVE STONES SET UP AT THE JORDAN FOUND WITH INSCRIPTIONS
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Upcoming articles on Death and Rebirth (Near Death Experiences and Swedenborg) and Helen Keller

1 posted on 09/21/2009 1:44:24 PM PDT by DaveMSmith
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To: DaveMSmith

“None of our national leaders have come from a more humble beginning, and no one has achieved a more revered memory.”

Humble beginnings don’t impress me; results do. George Washington has a far more “revered memory” in my opinion...


2 posted on 09/21/2009 1:47:23 PM PDT by jessduntno (Tell Obama to STFU - Stop The Federal Usurpation.)
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To: jessduntno
None of our national leaders has come from a more humble beginning ...

Andrew Jackson.

3 posted on 09/21/2009 1:51:31 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("USAF fighters are the sound of freedom; children are the sound of the future of the Church.")
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To: jessduntno

Reagan had pretty modest roots.


4 posted on 09/21/2009 1:54:53 PM PDT by Winstons Julia (doubleplusungood)
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To: DaveMSmith; Godzilla

Swedenborianism is a cult:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~quote~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Swedenborgianism is also known as The New Church, the Church of New Jerusalem.

Founder: Emanuel Swedenborg, born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1688. Died in 1772. Of course, members of this group deny that Emanuel Swedenborg is the author of the religion, but will admit that it draws it primary theology from his writings.

Headquarters: No single headquarters. The North American headquarters is located in Newtonville, MA.

Membership: 25,000 to 50,000 world wide.

Doctrines: Denies the Vicarious Atonement, the Trinity, and deity of the Holy Spirit. It holds to Christ as divine. All religions lead to God, though all are not equally enlightened. One of its goals is to bring the world together under a new religious understanding. It teaches a need for Christianity to undergo a rebirth — according to Swedenborgian interpretations. The Bible is the inspired word of God with two levels: the historical and the deeper spiritual one. Regarding the Trinity, a Swedenborg pastor said, “The Christian trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are aspects of God just as soul, body, and activities are aspects of each one of us.”

There is no personal devil. Instead, the devil is the personification of human evil. Hell is corrupted human society. The Scriptures are best interpreted through the writings of Swedenborg. Angels go through cycles of purity of character where they are sometimes closer and at other it times further from God. Swedenborg stated that the Acts and Epistles were not inspired as are the four Gospels and the Book of Revelation. There is no physical resurrection. After death, a person becomes an angel or an evil spirit. Angels are not supernatural creations of God. Position in the afterlife is based on “the kind of life we have chosen while here on earth.”

At a person’s death, his mind falls asleep for three days in a place called the world of the spirits. Afterwards, he awakens and encounters spirits who’ve died before hand who help him adjust to the afterlife.

There is marriage in heaven.

Origins: Emanuel Swedenborg was born on January 29, 1688 (died 1772) in Stockholm. His father was a Lutheran minister. Emanuel was very bright and had an inquisitive mind. He was particularly interested in science and religion. In the former, he was recognized as an expert in geology and he also studied astronomy, cosmology, and physics. In 1744 he was stricken with a severe delirium which seems to have affected his mind for the rest of his life since many trance states were attributed to him as his life progressed.

In 1745 he had a vision where loathsome creatures seemed to crawl on the walls of his room. Then a man appeared who claimed to be God. This apparition said that Emanuel was to be the one who would communicate the teachings of the unseen realm to the people of the world. He would be the means by which God would further reveal Himself to the world.

Publications: Arcana Coelestia: The Earths in the Universe. The 35 volumes of writings by Swedenborg.

Comments: This is a dangerous mystical non-Christian religion. Its denial of the Trinity and the Holy Spirit, the vicarious atonement, and rejection of Acts and the Pauline epistles clearly set it outside of Christian orthodoxy.

http://www.carm.org/religious-movements/-religions-list/swedenborgianism

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~quote~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Reader beware.


5 posted on 09/21/2009 1:56:55 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: jessduntno
I see humility as a humble beginning before God to realize His presence within. When a person's ego and self will is humiliated, the Lord can enter into his life.

Lawyers who have never worked or studied the Lord's Word -- taking on man made view of what society and culture should be, based on envy are those which I take offense to. These souls are in the dark as to the Lord's enlightenment.

I had a six figure salary once and was full of myself then I was forced to retire on disability. That is when I returned to the Lord and found a Divine purpose for myself. I've seen both sides and can understand what drives the sad man and poor souls in this, the greatest nation on earth.

6 posted on 09/21/2009 1:57:50 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: aMorePerfectUnion
Swedenborianism is a cult:

Beyond a doubt. Swedenborg was a confirmed necromancer (medium) and events hosted at the Swedenborg church (New church) are often referred to as seances. Read with ample tinfoil.

7 posted on 09/21/2009 2:08:51 PM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: aMorePerfectUnion
Swedenborianism is a cult:

I post these as open threads and would appreciate respectful opinions rather than name calling. It is your opinion based on what some website says about my Church. I suppose that they have an agenda to convert all others to their way of thinking.

Everyone is free to believe what they will. I am not asking anyone to convert to my religion. Many folks just read Swedenborg's works and find enlightenment. We are not 'scalp' hunting. We do not have personalities that constitute a cult. Swedenborg used the funds he had to publish his works. He was a very worldly, respected figure.

I am here laying out the truth behind great figures in American History and you are tossing grenades. I come in peace and am not anyone's enemy. I seek to inspire. Post comments to the sermon and open up your mind and realize you may be believing a big lie.

Care to post a thread on your own beliefs?

8 posted on 09/21/2009 2:11:01 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: Godzilla

And what faith tradition do you believe?


9 posted on 09/21/2009 2:14:40 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: DaveMSmith; aMorePerfectUnion
Swedenborianism is a cult:
I post these as open threads and would appreciate respectful opinions rather than name calling.

The definition is correct, even more correct is that it borders on the occult.

10 posted on 09/21/2009 2:18:58 PM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: Tax-chick

Dirt poor is dirt poor.

Jackson and Lincoln had very similar beginnings.

If anything, Jackson may have had it slightly easier, as he had fairly well-off relatives that helped out somewhat, albeit at the cost of young Jackson being treated as a “poor relation.”


11 posted on 09/21/2009 2:21:30 PM PDT by Sherman Logan ("The price of freedom is the toleration of imperfections." Thomas Sowell)
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To: DaveMSmith
And what faith tradition do you believe?

My 'faith tradition' is that of Christianity. I believe in the biblical condemnation of necromancy, divination and the whole rest of the occult practices of Swedenborg. As such, the bible is clear that those practices represent the doctrines of demons and are contrary to Christianity.

12 posted on 09/21/2009 2:22:20 PM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: DaveMSmith

One less President I’ll see in heaven.

Washington, Jackson, Davis, Roosevelt, Reagan. That’s about it.


13 posted on 09/21/2009 2:22:22 PM PDT by panzerkamphwageneinz
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To: Godzilla; aMorePerfectUnion
Swedenborg practiced what is today known as Mystical Theology in Christianity and is common to every religion in the world: Sufi, Yoga, Buddhism, Mystical Judaism. This practice was possible since the Last Judgment in Heaven in 1757 which Swedenborg witnessed.

Our Father, who are in heaven
Hallowed Be they name,
Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done,
On earth, as it is in heaven

Those words appear twice in the Gospels spoken by the Lord. I have seen them manifested in meditation and prayer with the Word.

Your opinions are falsies in my reality of His kingdom on earth.

14 posted on 09/21/2009 2:30:39 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: DaveMSmith
I post these as open threads and would appreciate respectful opinions rather than name calling ... open up your mind and realize you may be believing a big lie.

Your opinions on other FReepers' religious beliefs are hardly "respectful".

"Catholicism is not the future" ring any bells?

15 posted on 09/21/2009 2:34:34 PM PDT by Campion ("President Barack Obama" is an anagram for "An Arab-backed Imposter")
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To: Godzilla

You are saying you just read the literal words and do not seek a deeper spiritual meaning? Do you open the Word randomly and let you eyes fall where they will and meditate with the intention of hearing the Lord’s voice within?


16 posted on 09/21/2009 2:36:07 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: DaveMSmith

Humble beginnings don’t impress me; results do. George Washington has a far more “revered memory” in my opinion...


17 posted on 09/21/2009 2:38:50 PM PDT by jessduntno (Tell Obama to STFU - Stop The Federal Usurpation.)
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To: Campion
I never said that. All my comments have been centered around the pope and the vatican having authority on what others THING and what movies to watch (Da Vinci Code).

With the Roman and Orthodox Catholic Churches, the Orthodox spiritual model should be adopted and the position of pope eliminated. Release folks from 'defending the faith'.

18 posted on 09/21/2009 2:41:15 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: DaveMSmith
Swedenborg practiced what is today known as Mystical Theology in Christianity and is common to every religion in the world: Sufi, Yoga, Buddhism, Mystical Judaism. This practice was possible since the Last Judgment in Heaven in 1757 which Swedenborg witnessed.

Actually it is a mind science - akin to Anton Mesmer, Phineas Quimby and Mary Baker Eddy. Which makes him accordingly a false prophet and teacher - the only one who verified it was himself! When 'mystical' practices are addressed in the bible they are throughly condemned (even to the point of being executed for the practices). (Deuteronomy 18:9-12)

Tell us all Dave - since you failed to address it on another post - is Mercury inhabited by those wearing the clothes of the 1800's? That is the prophecy/divination from Swedenborg.

19 posted on 09/21/2009 2:42:47 PM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: DaveMSmith
Do you open the Word randomly and let you eyes fall where they will and meditate with the intention of hearing the Lord’s voice within/

I pointed out earlier that it is a form of bibliomancy - Divination by interpretation of a passage chosen at random from a book, especially the Bible.

I systematically study the bible - the spiritual meanings are readily apparent within the historical-literal context. No need to seek out occultic assistance al la Swedenborg to understand scripture - particularly since he is condemned by scripture as an abomination for his necromancy/divination/medium practices.

20 posted on 09/21/2009 2:48:40 PM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: Godzilla
Mercury refers to the element mercury on this planet which is contained in the new CFR light bulbs. Look closely at one and compare it to the old bulbs. The spiritual world is in everything.

Mercury was the first NASA mission

The universe is a big place and we are not the only inhabited planet

Orthodox Christianity was developed when it was believed earth was the center of the universe.

Fantastic photos of our solar system.

Swedenborg's Writings on the subject:

THE WORLD OR PLANET MERCURY, AND ITS SPIRITS AND INHABITANTS

The whole heaven is in the form of a single human being, who is therefore called the Grand Man. Every detail, both outward and inward, in the human being answers to that Grand Man, that is, to heaven. This is a secret so far unknown in the world, but I have shown the truth of it at great length.# But those who reach heaven from our world are not enough to make up that Grand Man, being relatively few, so there will need to be people from many other worlds. The Lord's providence ensures that as soon as a deficiency in quality or quantity occurs at any point in the correspondence, people are instantly summoned from another world to fill up the numbers, so maintaining the proportion and keeping heaven stable. # Heaven has a correspondence to the Lord, and a human being has in every detail a correspondence to heaven, so that in the Lord's eyes heaven is a man on the grand scale, and may be called the Grand Man (AC 2996, 2998, 3624-49 [original adds 3636-43], 3741-5, 4625). The whole subject of the correspondence of man and all his parts to the Grand Man who is heaven has been described from experience (AC 3021, 3624-49, 3741-50 [3741 in original], 3883-96, 4039-55 [4051 in original], 4218-28, 4318-31, 4403-21, 4523 [4527 in original]-33, 4622-33, 4652-60, 4791-4805, 4931-53, 5050-61, 5171-89, 5377-96, 5552-73, 5711-27, 10030).

10. I have also had disclosed to me from heaven the part played by the spirits from the planet Mercury in forming the Grand Man. It is the memory, but it is the memory of ideas abstracted from earthly and purely material objects. However, having been allowed to talk with them over a period of many weeks, hearing what they are like and how things are with the inhabitants of that world, I should like to relate my actual experiences.

11. Some spirits approached me, and I was told from heaven that they were from the world nearest to the sun, the planet named in our world Mercury. Immediately on arrival they sought out from my memory what I knew. (Spirits are very clever at doing this, being able when they approach a person to see the details stored in his memory.#) So when they looked into various matters, including the cities and places I had visited, I noticed that they were not interested in churches, palaces, houses or streets, but only in the events I knew had taken place in them, together with such matters as their administration, the character and customs of their inhabitants, and so forth. For such matters are closely bound up with places in a person's memory, so that when the places are recalled, these facts are presented too. I was surprised at this behaviour, so I asked why they dismissed the splendid locations and only looked into the things and events associated with them. They said that they took no pleasure in looking at material, bodily or earthly objects, but only facts. This proved that the spirits from that world answer to the memory of abstract ideas, not material or earthly ones. # Spirits have access to the whole of a person's memory, but nothing passes from their memory into the person's (AC 2488, 5863, 6192-3, 6198-9, 6214). Angels have access to the affections and purposes which initiate and direct what a person thinks, wishes and does (AC 1317, 1645, 5854 [5844 in original]).

12. I was told that the inhabitants of that world behaved in the same way. That is to say, they take no interest in earthly or bodily matters, but in the constitutions, laws and governments of peoples. They are also interested in heavenly matters, which are innumerable. I was also told that many of the people of that world converse with spirits, so that they know about spiritual matters and the conditions of life after death, which makes them disdain bodily and earthly matters. For anyone who knows for sure and is convinced he will live after death is concerned about heavenly matters, since they are an everlasting source of happiness, but not about worldly matters, except so far as the necessities of life demand it. This being the nature of the inhabitants, it is also that of the spirits who come from there.# # The spirits of each world are in the vicinity of their world, because they come from its inhabitants and share their character. It is also so that they can be of service to them (AC 9968).

13. The following experience proved to me how anxious they are to seek out and absorb knowledge of the kind to be found in the levels of the memory above bodily sense-perceptions. When they were looking into my knowledge of heavenly matters, they ran through everything and kept saying: 'That's the sort of thing, that's it.' For when spirits approach a person, they review everything in his memory, calling up from it whatever suits them. In fact, as I have often observed, they read its contents as if it were a book.# These spirits used to do this more skillfully and faster, because they skipped the things that slow down and narrow the inward sight, so as to delay it. All earthly and bodily matters are in this class, if they are regarded as ends in themselves, if, that is, they alone are loved. They concentrate on real objects. For objects free from earthly encumbrance allow the mind to rise and expand widely; but purely material objects draw it downwards, restricting and closing it.

Another experience which plainly showed their anxiety to acquire knowledge and enrich their memory was this. I was once writing something about future events, and they were then too far off to look into these by drawing them out of my memory. They were very cross because I was unwilling to read those things in their presence, and contrary to their usual habit they wanted to abuse me, calling me very wicked, and similar names. So as to show their annoyance they brought on a kind of painful contraction of the right side of my head as far as the ear. But such efforts did me no harm. Since, however, they had done wrong, they kept withdrawing even farther, but still kept stopping, because they wanted to know what I had written. That is how anxious they are for knowledge. # The spirits present with a person have control over everything in his memory (AC 5853, 5857, 5859-60).

14. The spirits of Mercury surpass others in the amount of knowledge they possess, both about matters within the solar system and in the starry sky beyond it. What they have once learned they retain, and recall whenever similar facts are observed. This is another clear proof that spirits have a memory, one in fact much more perfect than human beings have. They retain what they see, hear or otherwise grasp, especially if they get pleasure from it, as these spirits do from knowledge. Things that give pleasure and are loved flow in as if of their own accord and are retained. Other things do not penetrate the memory, but only make superficial contact and slip away.

15. When the spirits of Mercury visit other communities, they investigate the extent of their knowledge, and having done so depart. There exists among spirits, especially among angels, a means of communication which ensures that, if they are in a community where they are accepted and loved, everything they know is shared.# # In the heavens all kinds of goodness are shared, since heavenly love shares everything of its own with others; this is the source of their wisdom and happiness (AC 549-50, 1390-1, 1399, 10130, 10723).

16. The spirits of Mercury are more than usually proud of their knowledge. So they were told that, even though they knew countless facts, there is still an infinite number they do not know; and even if they went on increasing their knowledge for ever, they could still not achieve an acquaintance with all general principles. As for being proud and puffed up, they were told this was not proper. But they replied, by way of excusing their faults, that it was not pride, but merely boasting about the excellence of their memory.

17. They dislike speaking aloud because it is a physical process. So, when there were no spirits to act as intermediaries, I was only able to talk with them by a kind of thought activation. Their memory, being of ideas, not of purely material pictures, presents these more directly to their thinking. For thinking above the pictorial level needs abstract ideas as its object. For all this the spirits of Mercury are not particularly distinguished for their powers of judgment. They take no pleasure in matters requiring judgment or in inferences from known facts. It is the bare facts that give them pleasure.

18. They were asked whether they did not want to make some use of their knowledge, since it is not enough to take pleasure in knowledge, but this must serve a purpose, which is its end in view. Knowledge alone would not serve any purpose for them, but would for others, if they were willing to share their knowledge with them. They were told that anyone who wants to be considered wise ought never to stop at acquiring knowledge, since these are merely auxiliary causes intended to assist the discovery of matters that will affect behaviour. But they replied that they take pleasure in acquiring knowledge, and that is for them is its purpose.

19. Some of them do not want to be seen as human beings like the spirits from other worlds, but as crystal globes. The reason why they want to be seen thus, although they do not succeed, is that in the next life knowledge of non-material matters is represented by crystals. Earths in the Universe (Chadwick) n. 20 20. The spirits of Mercury are totally different from the spirits of our world, since these are not so much interested in ideas as in worldly, bodily and earthly matters, which are material objects. For this reason the spirits of Mercury are unable to associate with the spirits of our world, and wherever they meet them, they run away. The spiritual spheres which emanate from either party are more or less antagonistic. The spirits of Mercury claim that they do not wish to look at the wrapping, but the ideas stripped of their wrappings, that is, what is inside.

21. A fairly bright flame was to be seen burning cheerfully; it lasted for some time. The flame signalled the arrival of spirits from Mercury whose perception, thought and speech were quicker than that of the previous ones. Immediately on arrival they ran through the contents of my memory, but they were too quick for me to grasp what it was they were observing. I heard them saying repeatedly: 'That's the sort of thing.' When they came to what I had seen in the heavens and in the world of spirits, they said they had known this before. I became aware of a large number of spirits associated with them, who were behind me, a little to the left on a level with the back of the head.

22. On another occasion I saw a large number of spirits of this kind, but at some distance from myself, in front and a little to the right. From there they talked with me, but using spirits as intermediaries, for their speech is as rapid as thought and can only be translated into human language by using other spirits as intermediaries. What surprised me was that their speech gave an impression of a rolling wave,* but was still so ready and quick. Since there were many of them speaking at once their speech reached me in waves. A remarkable feature was that it slipped towards my left eye, though they were standing to my right. This was because the left eye corresponds to knowledge of abstract ideas, matters, that is, which are in the province of intelligence; the right eye corresponds to matters which are in the province of wisdom.# They displayed the same quickness in grasping what they had heard and in taking decisions as they did in speaking. They kept saying: 'Yes, that's right; no, that isn't,' making virtually instantaneous judgments.

[* The precise meaning of this word is not clear, but a parallel passage in SE 3233 adds: 'there was as it were a roll of them talking at once'.-TR.]

# The eye corresponds to the intellect, since the intellect is the faculty of inner sight and concerned with non-material objects (AC 2701, 4410, 4526, 9051, 10569). The sight of the left eye corresponds to truths, that is, matters of intelligence, the sight of the right eye to the kinds of good belonging to truth, that is, matters of wisdom (AC 4410).

[...] This what I have been allowed to learn about the spirits and inhabitants of the world of Mercury.

21 posted on 09/21/2009 3:02:58 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: DaveMSmith

“This practice was possible since the Last Judgment in Heaven in 1757 which Swedenborg witnessed.”

Correction: Swedenborg CLAIMED to witness. Bad joojoo can do that.


22 posted on 09/21/2009 3:10:42 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: Godzilla

Mark 4:21-34
21 Also He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? 22 For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. 25 For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”


23 posted on 09/21/2009 3:11:26 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: DaveMSmith

The only good thing to come out of Sweden
was the Swedish Bikini Team - not Swedenborg...

Please Dave, for your own sake and your soul,
flee from this necromancer.

ampu


24 posted on 09/21/2009 3:14:23 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: aMorePerfectUnion
Quote from another site: "There was an interesting conversation I once heard between a spiritual master and his student in India. At one point the student looked at this master and he said, "I don't know about you. You must live in a different world." And the master said, "No. We live in exactly the same world. The only difference is you see yourself in the world, and I see the whole world in myself. It's a minor perceptual shift that you need to make."

Can you qualify what bad joojoo means?

25 posted on 09/21/2009 3:14:31 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: aMorePerfectUnion
The only good thing to come out of Sweden was the Swedish Bikini Team - not Swedenborg...

Lust for the flesh will prevent communion with the Lord, in my experience. Swedenborg was single all his life.

26 posted on 09/21/2009 3:18:03 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: DaveMSmith
Swedenborg's Writings on the subject:

The lurkers will note the completely absurd ramblings of Swedenborg. The Apostle Paul warned believers of future 'borgs -

1 Tim 4:1* ¶ Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

27 posted on 09/21/2009 3:18:30 PM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: DaveMSmith
Mark 4:21-34

2Co 11:14* And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

28 posted on 09/21/2009 3:22:11 PM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: Godzilla

Leaving A Cult, Alcoholism, Depression and Finding Jesus - David Weaver’s Story (Left the Cult of Swedenborg - read on)

Hello, my name is David Weaver. I am 38 years old. My wife’s name is Debbie and I have three children: Rachael, Melissa, and Joshua. I am a Born Again, Spirit filled Christian who is in Love with Jesus, who saved me and dramatically changed my life 18 years ago.

I want to take this time to tell you about myself and give my testimony of what Jesus has done for me. I was born and raised in Bryn Athyn Pennsylvania. My wife Debbie also grew up there. Bryn Athyn is the headquarters for Swedenborgianism.

Swedenborgianism is a religion based on the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg who lived in the 1700’s. He claims to be the messenger of God and says that the second coming of Jesus Christ occurred through his books. To find out more about Swedenborgianism and how it differs substantially from the Bible, check out the X-Swedenborg Files. Plus Cults and the occult.

I was born and raised in this religion. When I was about 12, my father walked out of our lives, never to be seen again, leaving my mother with five of us kids to raise by herself. I dropped out of high school in my senior year. By the time I reached 20, I was already a alcoholic living on 18-20 beers a day. My life so far had been one of fear, depression, confusion and anger. I tried to escape through drugs and alcohol but to no avail. My family didn’t know what to do with me and even suggested that I commit myself to an mental institution. By May of 1980, I had pretty much hit rock bottom. I was so depressed and I felt so all alone. Drunk and depressed I really felt like my life was about over and that the only way to end the misery was through death.

Click here to read the rest: http://www.carm.org/christianity/testimonies/leaving-cult-alcoholism-depression-and-finding-jesus-david-weavers-story


29 posted on 09/21/2009 3:28:00 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: Godzilla
doctrines of devils;

Swedenborg published 30 volumes of the Revelation of Jesus Chist to establish his New Church on earth. This was the beginning of the end of the old Christian Age. The New Church was built and is now ready for all who are moved by the Holy Spirit to search deeper. Everything I offer is free on the web. We're not selling anything, just giving away the truth.

Can you cite something from the post that is absurd in your eyes and I will explain it?

So you are admitting Paul was a prophet? What if he was a false one? (We do not consider the epistles cannon -- they were chosen by the Catholic Church).

30 posted on 09/21/2009 3:28:06 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: aMorePerfectUnion
So it's this random guy against Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Helen Keller, Jung, Robert Frost, Walt Whitman and the owners of the Asplundh Tree company and the Pitcairn family (PPG) among others.

Everyone is entitled to thir own opinion. I've been a member of the New Church for 40 years. I've throughly studied and medditated on Swedenborgs Writings and have applied them to my life experience and wisdom and conclude that they are the Word of God.Am I not entitled to express my beliefs here without the attempt to censor?

31 posted on 09/21/2009 3:36:59 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: DaveMSmith
Swedenborg published 30 volumes of the Revelation of Jesus Chist to establish his New Church on earth. This was the beginning of the end of the old Christian Age.

Yes, doctrines of devils as 'borg himself practiced necromancy and seances. Look at the OT - key word search 'familiar spirit' and you'll see that he ignored God's clear condemnation of those practices. As an abomination, any revelations are due to even closer examination - and they fail, just like the laughable discussions with the spirits on mercury.

We're not selling anything, just giving away the truth.

Truth - not really, but occultic mind sciences and doctrines supported of demons. Even if given out for free, snake oil is snake oil. The bible is clear on the subject, such 'enlightenment' sourced from demonic. Even 'borg himself admitted such

When spirits begin to speak with a man, he ought to beware that he believes nothing whatever from them; for they say almost anything. Things are fabricated by them, and they lie.... They would tell so many lies and indeed with solemn affirmation that a man would be astonished.... If a man listens and believes they press on, and deceive, and seduce in [many] ways.... Let men beware therefore [and not believe them].(Samuel M. Warren, A Compendium of the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg)

So you are admitting Paul was a prophet? What if he was a false one? (We do not consider the epistles cannon -- they were chosen by the Catholic Church).

Yes, I already knew that you 'reject' the writings of the Apostle Paul (as well as the epistles). Your problem is that your assertion that they were chosen by the Catholic Church doesn't bear up to history and closer examination. Paul's writings were recognized as inspired (and prophetic for that matter) before the end of the first century. 'borg doesn't like him because at every turn the Apostle Paul refutes every one of his 'revealed' truths.

32 posted on 09/21/2009 3:47:53 PM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: Godzilla

Well, Judas is one of 12 apostles in heaven. Paul is not. That is reality.


33 posted on 09/21/2009 3:55:17 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: DaveMSmith
Lincoln's religious beliefs were pretty minimal. People can claim that he was anything, everything, or nothing. Swedenborgianism isn't closer to the mark than the other answers.

Lincoln believed in a God and had a strong sense of Providence, but didn't go in for the answers that different faiths and denominations gave to the questions we all have. Beyond a minimal core of faith in a creator, his views were more negative than positive. Much the same thing could be said of Washington, Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson.

But hey, a "Great Emancipator" was a Swedenborgian. Robert Carter III embraced your faith in the late 18th century and freed his 500 slaves. See the recent book The First Emancipator.

34 posted on 09/21/2009 3:58:27 PM PDT by x
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To: Godzilla

Swedenborg tell us that Paul was seen around some pretty unsavory characters in the spiritual world.


35 posted on 09/21/2009 3:59:50 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: DaveMSmith
Well, Judas is one of 12 apostles in heaven. Paul is not. That is reality.

Apparently you don't study the Bible or you wouldn't make such an uninformed statement.

Judas betrayed and sold Jesus for capture - forfeiting his position. Confirmed in Acts 1:25* to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas fell away
Paul was called to be an apostle as outlined in Acts 9. That is the real reality.

36 posted on 09/21/2009 4:04:01 PM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: DaveMSmith
Swedenborg tell us that Paul was seen around some pretty unsavory characters in the spiritual world.

All of 'borg's contacts with the spirit world were unsavory demons masquerading as other spirits. The testimony of Paul is truth, 'borg's is demonic.

37 posted on 09/21/2009 4:05:54 PM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: x
Lincoln's religious beliefs were pretty minimal

Well the Church as an institution was in it's infancy then. What he held to be true in his heart is what matters.Today, Church of the Holy City in Washington DC has a blog site and many congrations are available in the Convention and New Church. They differed in focus but seem now to be coming together in purpose

Personally, my wife and I attend our community Episcopal Church for sacrament of Holy Supper. I can listen to sermons online at anytime or study the Writings. Membership to a brick and mortar institution is pretty meaningless in the next life.

Thank you for the referce to Robert Carter III - I will research him.

Blessings,

38 posted on 09/21/2009 4:24:43 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: Godzilla

Acts is not part of our canon. My future threads will be ecumenical to put an end to this harassment. Please do not contine this.


39 posted on 09/21/2009 4:27:47 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: DaveMSmith
I post these as open threads and would appreciate respectful opinions rather than name calling.

There is a small group here who are very threatened by anything that doesn't conform to their own religious views. They ping each other whenever someone posts something they disagree with.

As long as you are not cramming anything down our throats, you have as much right to post as they do in my opinion though, of course, I don't own this website and have nothing really to say about that.

Swedenborg is, indeed, a well-known figure and I do not think people should be threatened if some wish to read about his ideas..

40 posted on 09/21/2009 4:38:28 PM PDT by cerberus
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To: panzerkamphwageneinz

“One less President I’ll see in heaven.”

“Washington, Jackson, Davis, Roosevelt, Reagan. That’s about it.”

What a small list; unfortunate!


41 posted on 09/21/2009 4:41:54 PM PDT by huskerjim
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To: cerberus; Godzilla; aMorePerfectUnion
This is some advice I received early on from one of our ministers: 7/27: take up your cross and follow Me: Dave, Rev.Robert Leas responding. I have been partcipating in a Bible study at Grace Presbyterian Church where Marjoryand I worship.In the 16th chapter of Matthew's Gospel, the 24th verse following, Jesus told his disciples,"If anyone would come after me let him deny himself and take up hs cross and follow me." Jesus goes on asking what profit is there to gain the entire world and forfeit his life? The Christian mystic is admonished to follow the love of Jesus, death to the old self, and rejoice in the new! Can these words help you on your journey toward the Holy?

"Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

I certainly take it in a light hearted manner when a bloke hiding behind the screen name of Godzilla is trash talking my faith. The Lord gives me strength to use his attacks to extend the conversation and provide more details. It helps me grow in my ministry. I will be posting this thread to the White House Web Site as President Obama may want to find a church and Lincoln and Rev Dr Martin Luther King are inspirational to him.

42 posted on 09/21/2009 4:54:08 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: DaveMSmith
The only thing I would ask you as well as every other religious poster and indeed my own self, is what is the need to post this stuff? It seems to me it should be personal.

It seems to me that if a person is trying to shut others up or even just trying to get others to agree that they are really insecure in their own belief and seeking some sort of validation.

43 posted on 09/21/2009 5:05:27 PM PDT by cerberus
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To: cerberus

You are right. I should ignore the silly comments and leave them pass.


44 posted on 09/21/2009 5:09:05 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: cerberus
I hold the Great Commission foremost and close to my heart and mind

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore F166 and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

45 posted on 09/21/2009 5:18:04 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: DaveMSmith
That's the problem.

To have a meaningful conversation about this, it can only be a dialogue. As long as one person believes he has the Truth and the person he is speaking to is lost, nothing is achieved.

It seems to be a quality of some religions to do this. Others, such as Hinduism or Taoism perhaps, seem not to care at all if anyone comes along with them.

Personally, I respect that.

46 posted on 09/21/2009 5:30:15 PM PDT by cerberus
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To: cerberus
Right on the front page, Our Church Website has this quote from Swedenborg: "All people that live good lives no matter what their religion, have a place in Heaven"
47 posted on 09/21/2009 5:43:25 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Be interested, not interesting: Offer a wreath, not wrath)
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To: DaveMSmith

“Am I not entitled to express my beliefs here without the attempt to censor?

I don’t think anyone tried to censor your posts.

I’m sure you don’t want to censor anyone else either...

ampu


48 posted on 09/21/2009 6:03:08 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: DaveMSmith

“Right on the front page, Our Church Website has this quote from Swedenborg: “All people that live good lives no matter what their religion, have a place in Heaven”

If it really says that, it is a further testimony of the error of Swedenborg’s belief system, for it conflicts with the words of the Bible. Living a good life will not get you to heaven.

best,
ampu


49 posted on 09/21/2009 6:07:29 PM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: DaveMSmith
Acts is not part of our canon. My future threads will be ecumenical to put an end to this harassment. Please do not contine this.

Again, this is an open forum, and the fact that you don't like the book of Acts further points to the aberrant nature of Swedenborgism. As the Apostle Paul wrote :

1 Cor 17* ¶ For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not in wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made void.
18* For the word of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God.
19* For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And the discernment of the discerning will I bring to nought.
20* Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
21* For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom knew not God, it was God’s good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save them that believe.
22* Seeing that Jews ask for signs, and Greeks seek after wisdom:
23 but we preach Christ crucified, unto Jews a stumblingblock, and unto Gentiles foolishness;
24 but unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26* For behold your calling, brethren, that not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
27 but God chose the foolish things of the world, that he might put to shame them that are wise; and God chose the weak things of the world, that he might put to shame the things that are strong;
28* and the base things of the world, and the things that are despised, did God choose, yea and the things that are not, that he might bring to nought the things that are:
29* that no flesh should glory before God.
30* But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption:
31* that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.,

50 posted on 09/21/2009 6:34:43 PM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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