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True Christianity #94

True Christianity (Rose translation)

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94. In the Christian churches of today it is common to call the Lord our Savior "the Son of Mary;" it is rare for people to call him "the Son of God" unless they mean the eternally begotten Son of God. This is a result of Roman Catholics putting Mother Mary's sainthood above the rest and setting her up as the goddess or queen of all their saints.

Yet in fact, in the process of being glorified the Lord put off everything from his mother and put on everything from his Father, as we will fully demonstrate later on in this work [102-103]. Because the phrase "the Son of Mary" has become a common expression on everyone's lips, many horrendous things have poured into the church. This is especially true of those who have not taken into consideration things said in the Word about the Lord - for example, that the Father and he are one, that he is in the Father and the Father is in him, that all things belonging to the Father are his, that he called Jehovah his Father, and that Jehovah the Father called him his Son.

The horrendous things that have poured into the church from our calling him "the Son of Mary" instead of "the Son of God" are that we lose the idea of the Lord's divinity and we lose everything in the Word that is said about him as the Son of God. Furthermore, this concept lets in Judaism, Arianism, Socinianism, Calvinism in its original form, and finally materialist philosophy. Materialist philosophy brings with it the extreme position that the Son of Mary was Josephs child, or that his soul came from his mother, and as a result he is called "the Son of God," but truly he is not. All people, both clergy and laity, should check to see whether the idea they have spawned and nurtured of the Lord as "the Son of Mary" is any different from the idea of him as a mere human being.

Already by the third century a concept like this was becoming prevalent among Christians, as the Arians were on the rise. To salvage divinity for the Lord, the Council of Nicaea made up "the eternally begotten Son of God. " Although it was a fiction, this concept did succeed at the time in elevating the Lord's human nature to something divine; and it still works for many even today. It does not work, however, for those who see the hypostatic union as a union of two separate entities, one of whom is superior to the other.

What other outcome could this concept have but the destruction of the entire Christian church? The church is based entirely on worshiping Jehovah in human form; it is based on the Human God. The Lord states in many places that no one can see the Father, recognize him, come to him, or believe in him except through his human manifestation.

If people do not do this, all the church's precious seeds turn into seeds of little value. Olive seeds turn into pine seeds; seeds from an orange, a lemon, an apple, and a pear turn into seeds from a willow, an elm, a linden, and a holly; seeds from a grapevine turn into seeds from a swamp rush; and wheat and barley turn into chaff. In fact, all forms of spiritual food become like the dust that snakes eat. Our spiritual light then becomes nature's light; and in the long run it becomes the light of our physical senses, which is in reality a faint, deceptive light. Then we become like a bird that used to fly high but then its wings were cut off and it fell to earth; now as it walks around it does not see more than what lies at its own feet. Then when we think about the church's spiritual teachings that are necessary for our eternal life, our thoughts about them are no more than the thoughts of a jester. All this is what happens when we regard the Lord God, the Redeemer and Savior, as no more than the Son of Mary, a mere human being.

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True Christian Religion 342


Thanks to the Swedenborg Foundation for the permission to use this translation.

From Swedenborg's Works

True Christian Religion #342

True Christian Religion (Chadwick translation)

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342. The previous section (336-339) showed that saving faith is in the Lord God the Saviour Jesus Christ. But the question may be raised, what is the leading point of faith in Him? The answer is that it is acknowledgment that He is the Son of God. This was the leading point of faith which the Lord revealed and announced, when He came into the world. For if people had not first acknowledged that He was the Son of God, thus God proceeding from God, He Himself, and afterwards the Apostles, would in vain have preached faith in Him. Now because the situation at the present day is similar, but in the case of those who think from the self, that is, only from the external or natural man, saying to themselves, 'How can Jehovah God beget a son, and how can a man be God?', this leading point of faith must be proved and established from the Word. I shall quote therefore the following passages:

The angel said to Mary, You will conceive in your womb and give birth [to a son], and you are to give him the name of Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. And Mary said to the angel, How shall this be, seeing I have no knowledge of a man? The angel replied, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, so that the holy thing that is born of you will be called the Son of God, Luke 1:31-32, 34-35.

When Jesus was being baptised, a voice came from heaven, saying, This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased, Matthew 3:16-17; Mark 1:10-11; Luke 3:21-22.

Then when Jesus was transfigured, again a voice came from heaven which said, This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased, listen to him, Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35.

(References: Luke 1:31-35)


[2] Jesus asked his disciples, Who do men say I am? Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus said, Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah. I tell you, on this rock I shall build my church, Matthew 16:13, 16-18.

The Lord said that He would build His church on this rock, that is to say, on this truth and admission, that He was the Son of God. For rock means truth, and also the Lord in His capacity as Divine truth. Therefore where anyone fails to admit this truth, that He is the Son of God, the church is not present. That is why it was stated above that this is the leading point of faith in Jesus Christ, and so the true source of faith.

John the Baptist saw and bore witness that He is John 1:34.

Nathanael the disciple said to Jesus, You are the Son of God, you are the King of Israel, John 1:49.

The twelve disciples said, We believe that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God, John 6:69.

He is called the only-begotten Son of God, the only-begotten of the Father, who is in the Father's bosom, John 1:14, 18; 3:16.

Jesus Himself admitted before the High Priest that He was the Son of God, Matthew 26:63-64; 27:43; Mark 14:61-62; Luke 22:70.

Those who were in the boat came and worshipped Jesus, saying, Truly, you are the Son of God, Matthew 14:33.

The eunuch who wished to be baptised said to Philip, I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God, Acts of the Apostles 8:37.

Paul after his conversion preached Christ 1 as being the Son of God, Acts of the Apostles 9:20.

Jesus said, The hour will come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live, John 5:25.

He who does not believe has already been judged, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God, John 3:18.

These things have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, so that by believing you may have life in His name, John 20:31.

I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have everlasting life and you may believe in the name of the Son of God. 1 John 5:13.

We know that the Son of God came and gave [us understanding,] so that we might know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and everlasting life. 1 John 5:20.

If anyone shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him, and he in God. 1 John 4:15.

Also elsewhere, as Matthew 8:29; 27:40, 43, 54; Mark 1:1; 3:11; 15:39; Luke 8:28; John 9:35; 10:36; 11:4, 27; 19:7; Romans 1:4; 2 Corinthians 1:19; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 4:13; Hebrews 4:14; 6:6; 7:3; 10:29; 1 John 3:8; 5:10; Revelation 2:18.

There are also many passages where Jesus is called Son by Jehovah, and He calls Jehovah God His Father, as in this:

Whatever the Father does, this the Son does; as the Father raises up the dead and gives them life, so does the Son; so that all may honour the Son, as they honour the Father. As the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted to the Son to have life in Himself.' John 5:19-27.

There are very many examples elsewhere; and it is the same in the Psalms of David:

I will bring news of a decree. Jehovah said to me, You are my son, today have I begotten you. Kiss the son, so that he may not be angry and so that you do not perish on the way. For in a short while his wrath will blaze up; blessed are all who trust in him, Psalms 2:7, 12.

(References: Matthew 16:13-18)


[3] These passages now permit the conclusion that everyone who wishes to be a true Christian and to be saved by Christ should believe that Jesus is the Son of the living God. Anyone who does not believe this, but only that He is the son of Mary, is implanting in his mind various ideas about Him which are damning and destructive of his salvation; see above on this (92, 94, 102). Much the same might be said of these people as of the Jews, that in place of a King's crown they put on His head a crown of thorns; and also that they give Him vinegar to drink and cry, 'If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross' [Matthew 27:29, 34, 40]. Or as the devil said tempting Him, 'If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread' or 'If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down' (Matthew 4:3, 6). These people profane His church and temple, and make it a robbers' cave. These are those who make His worship like the cult of Mohammed, and do not distinguish between true Christianity, which is the worship of the Lord, and nature-worship. They can be likened to people riding in a carriage or a trap over thin ice, when the ice breaks beneath them and they are drowned, as freezing water closes over them, the horses and the carriage. They can also be likened to those who fashion a boat out of rushes and reeds, and glue it with pitch to make it hold together, and entrust themselves to it on the open sea; but the pitch that holds it together comes unstuck, and they are drowned and swallowed up in sea-water, and find their grave in its depths.

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Footnotes:

1. The Latin has 'Jesus', but this is corrected in the author's copy.

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(References: True Christian Religion 92, 94, 102)

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Son of God 1


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