Worship on steroids!

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According to the theology of Emanuel Swedenborg “all worship has as its end that man may be purified from evils and falsities” (Arcana Coelestia n 10022).

Without the removal of these character flaws, the Lord God’s goodness and wisdom cannot flow in and be implanted into a person’s heart and mind. This is because negative aspects of our character are blocking the way and must first be un-rooted. However, Swedenborg’s Doctrine of Love and Uses has become so embraced by some worshippers that they have (hypnotically) skipped the uncomfortable process of purification and have rushed headlong into doing good deeds and acts of kindness.

Goodness is only genuine when it is done in innocence. Everyone is capable of doing good deeds—even hypocrites. Goodness is not an “App” or an add-on.

That is why the Lord’s saving influence can only be implanted to the degree that one acts in a state of innocence. This is also why we are asked to become like little children in order to reach heaven (this is also why spiritual “remains” are implanted during our youthful years of innocence).

The innocence of youth (and ignorance) must evolve into the innocence of wisdom, as we get older. This transition only results from the personal purification of one’s heart and mind.

Swedenborg states that a purifying worship consists in an acknowledgement of our sins and confession. BUT he raises the bar by suggesting that we must each bravely identify specific evil traits that lurk within us. Yes, specific! (Most people find such inner sincerity really uncomfortable and resist it.) This specificity communicates to God which negative character traits we seriously want removed from our life. Although personally painful, this process is the only path to true spiritual humility and becoming one of God’s heavenly angels.

Without choosing such a challenging path, church worship becomes no more than observing ritual and our good deeds no more than pantomime.

http://www.staircasepress.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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