Until today I hadn't updated this blog since June. I'm thinking of getting back into updating it regularly now that the school year is starting up again. I am wondering, however, if anyone would be reading it. If I knew that there were at least a couple of people reading it that would help motivate me to keep updating it so if you're interested in New Church Thought continuing please leave a comment on this post.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
For the last month or so the many people who rely on heavenlydoctrines.org to search the Heavenly Doctrines have been frustrated to find an error message rather than the site they were looking for. Now if you go to heavenlydoctrines.org you find a message that says,
This is version 4.0 Beta. We are still developing the features and the look of the site, but we wanted to give our users access as soon as possible. We realize that the interface and document presentation need work.Try out the new beta version.
We have included some new documents which are:
- Additional translations of some of Swedenborg's theological works.
- New Church Life – A monthly journal published by the General Church of the New Jerusalem since 1881.
- "Books and Monographs" - A collection of works by New church authors.
Caring For Marriage puts out a newsletter with articles, stories, and thoughts about marriage. For one of them Rev. John Odhner wrote a great article about why sexual fantasy is harmful. He writes,
Acting out sexually can have huge consequences—disease, pregnancy, divorce, emotional trauma, financial loss, ruined reputation or jail. Fear of these things keep many people from actually doing things they fantasize about, but frequently people assume that fantasy itself may be harmless, and even be helpful. .... The Lord's message is contrary to this. He asks us to look at where our thoughts are going: “Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27). .... The flood of evil in Noah’s time was not that much different from today—it was in people’s fantasies: “The imagination of the thoughts of their hearts was evil every day” (Genesis 6:5). ....
Another reason why fantasies are so harmful is that they are so pleasurable. Yes, they can spice up you sex life, but so can crack. The problem is that we easily become dependent on fantasies to create sexual excitement, but we become more tolerant, so we need newer, more daring and forbidden fantasies to maintain the same level of excitement. .... The bottom line is that fantasy is focused on getting pleasure for oneself, while true love is feeling the joy of another as joy in oneself, so that each wants to think and intend as the other does.
Many people believe that chastity is simply abstinence from adultery physically, even though this is not chastity unless it is also at the same time abstinence in spirit. For a person's spirit—meaning here his mind in its affections and thoughts—is what makes him chaste or unchaste. (Conjugial Love 153).
On Monday Bryn Athyn College of the New Church launched its new website. In their news article about the new site they say,
The launch of our new website marks more than just a new layout; it demonstrates the College's emphasis on student perspectives by allowing current students to speak directly to potential students about the Bryn Athyn experience.