External Worship and Internal Worship

One person can have two belief-systems. The reason for this is that humans are both flesh and spirit. And we are so constituted that the body and spirit can be unified in worship or divided in worship.

Few people consider that humans enjoy both external worship and internal worship.

External worship includes going to church, attending church rites, listening to sermons, putting money in the donation basket and giving praise to the Lord.

Internal worship depends on the inner quality of one’s heart and mind, and the evaluation we actually give to the Lord and His teaching.

External worship can be united with internal worship if we sincerely do God’s will, which is to love the neighbor as God has loved us. However, in spite of good outward actions and noble words coming from the lips, we can still harbor self-centeredness, envy, greed, and disdain toward others.

It is because of this unique dual nature that hypocrisy, false appearances, and hidden agendas can describe who we really are, despite what we permit the world to see.

The Lord’s spiritual salvation takes aim at our inner, hidden world of the spirit – to clean the “inside of the cup.”

This is why salvation by faith alone does not work. It allows people to believe they can be saved by faith no matter how they lived, provided that they frequently attend church, and take part in its sacred rites. In other words, we derive salvation from external worship.

Anyone can see if this faith were truth, humans could be saved even while in the act of destroying each other. Furthermore, if we believe that we are redeemed solely by the passion of the cross, and that we are gifted by the Lord’s merit so as to no longer be under the condemnation of the Commandments, we are left to live in ignorance as to whether this gift is actually in us. We are even told that any attempt to co-operate with God would ruin our chance for salvation.

Hogwash!

Religion is instruction for the heart. The Lord plants the seeds of truth in the soil of our mind. But mere believing in Christ as Savior and Redeemer does not make these seeds sprout, grow, leaf out, blossom, and bear fruit. This happens through spiritual acts of genuine love.

Innocence and genuine love are obtained to the extent that we deprive interior and harmful motives of their power and influence. This is accomplished when we ask the Lord for help in our battle against evil inclinations. As evil is removed from the heart, our good deeds become genuine acts of goodness, because they are done from humility, innocence and from God dwelling in our hearts. This unites outer worship with inner worship.

The doctrine of salvation by faith alone was derived from misinterpreting Scripture and not listening closely to the Lord’s very words.

Website: http://www.provinggod.com

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About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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13 Responses to External Worship and Internal Worship

  1. thegodguy says:

    Dear jon,

    Thanks for the positive and pithy comment!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

  2. domenic says:

    BY BELIEVING IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST IS MEANT BELIEVING IN THE SPIRITUAL QUALITY OF LIFE HE REVEALED,NOT A MERE PAYING LIP SERVICE TO A HISTORICAL FIGURE…PRAYER COMES FROM TRUTH INSIDE YOU,AND YOU ARE CONTINUALLY AT PRAYER WHEN YOU LIVE ACCORDING TO THAT TRUTH… UPON A LIFE I DID NOT LIVE,UPON A DEATH I DID NOT DIE,I RISK MY WHOLE ETERNITY…NOTHING IN MY HANDS I BRING SIMPLY TO THE CROSS I CLING, FOR REMEMBER THAT THESE BAD BEGINNINGS HAVE HAD A GREAT EFFECT IN MAKING A MAN FRUITLESS,

  3. thegodguy says:

    Dear domenic,

    While I agree with your words they sound too much like “church-speak” to me. I hope you are not a minister. Find some levity and creativity – not capital letters!

    Spiritually yours,
    TheGodGuy

    • domenic says:

      im not a minister, and why would it matter in how you express yourself, in bold letters or small letters, what levity and creativity do you need when people agree on the lord, its a bold comment cause i agree with you from my personel and inner life and i also happen to be a major swedenborg follower i also have contact with leon james and ian thompson, and now you,see how we connect has long as we practice what we preach. i dont belive in organized religion. i always belived in the real thing, i always right bold, im not here to win a popularity contest, just to make a point regardless. God bless

      • thegodguy says:

        Dear domenic,

        I haven’t challenged the verity of your words (and thanked you earlier for contributing to the discussion). This blog represents an experiment in expressing Swedenborg’s ideas in new, unnexpected ways. My concern is that Swedenborg’s ideas are not catching on in the world and that his writings need to be looked at with fresh eyes. While organized religion has a purpose to serve, it tends to lead people towards inner “inertia.” I do not need levity and creativity among those who are in spiritual agreement – but I do need it to open new doors of the mind and also to get the attention of non-Swedenborgians. Most of my readers are non-Swedenborgians – which means I am having some success at interfacing with “outsiders.”

        Now that you have shared with me some of the qualities of your inner life I can adapt my responses to you more properly. I apologize for any misunderstandings!

        Spiritually yours,
        TheGodGuy

  4. domenic says:

    its a great site in what your doing, and your right you must present swedenborg to outsiders in a more down to earth approach, and your titles do catch the attention of the person, good job. im at http://trudom22.blogspot.com/ i also promote sites like yours i might use some of your stuff on my blog if thats ok with you, under your name the God guy.

    • thegodguy says:

      Dear domenic,

      You may promote my site and material. However, keep in mind that I am an independent Swedenborgian author and the main goal of my blog is to promote my books. My latest book “Proving God” has won three awards (from non-Swedenborgian institutions). I am proving that one can earn a living spreading Swedenborg’s ideas (without having to become a minister to get paid). I will check out your site in the near future but am involved in lots of writing projects!

      Spiritually yours,
      TheGodGuy

      • domenic says:

        yes we all must promote the lord regardless, weather we earn a living or not, im just a regular guy trying to spread some life out there from my own personel life and inner perception, and people like you and swedenborg put it all in perspective, i always fealt growing up there was more to the lord then the old system had to offer, thats why we met and agree. its called spread the message of the lord, for the lord is great. amen

  5. domenic says:

    yes i understand, by doing that it might lead people to your site in another way which may also promote your book.

  6. domenic says:

    it may be called marketing cause you earn a living from it, as long as its done with a sincere and honest heart i see nothing wrong with it.

    • thegodguy says:

      Thanks for your words of support. However, I will hold my heart under suspicion until the day I die – I like being a rascal!

      Spiritually yours,
      TheGodGuy

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