About the Bryn Athyn Church
Bryn Athyn Church is a congregation of the New Church. The New Church, a new Christianity, teaches that there is one God who we know as the Lord God Jesus Christ. We believe that God created the universe and everything in it with an ultimately loving purpose and that religion is to be lived, not just believed. The New Church is based on the teachings of the Bible as illuminated by Emanuel Swedenborg, an 18th century theologian and scientist. Swedenborg provided an explanation of the Bible’s internal meaning, as well as writing many additional volumes which shed light on why we’re here and how to develop a functional relationship with God. The teachings of the New Church are immediately practical and deeply spiritual and provide answers to many questions about God, love and life after death that make sense.
Our core purpose is to guide people to love the Lord and their neighbor by living according to His Word. Some of our most important beliefs are highlighted below (click to read more), with further details in our denominational site (www.newchurch.org). Many of our worship services take place in the Bryn Athyn Cathedral, which was dedicated in 1919. This website is your window into current Bryn Athyn Church activities and your outlet for resources ranging from online sermons to information about our worship services, our various programs and activities as well as our school system. Please email us with your questions. We warmly invite you to come to our worship services and to join in our community activities that interest you.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the one loving God.
“The Lord Jesus Christ is the one God of heaven and earth. He loves each of us without qualification. The Father is the Soul, the Son is the Body, and the Holy Spirit is the Activity of the One Divine Person. He is intimately aware of the directions of our lives, and works in countless ways to inspire our free response to all that He offers.” More about “God” on newchurch.org
The Bible is God speaking through literal stories and a systematic inner meaning.
“The Bible, also known as the Word of God, is how God teaches us about Himself. In the pages of Scripture, He teaches us about Himself, about the eternal life He gives us, and that heavenly happiness (in this life and in our eternal life) can be found by living according to His Commandments. We can read the Bible on many different levels. There is a literal meaning, a history of God’s relationship with His people, and a deeper symbolic meaning which teaches us about our own spiritual lives. On the deepest level it is about His love for all people and His work to bring us close to Himself in heaven. We call this allegory the “internal sense” of the Word.” More about the “Word of God” on newchurch.org
God came to earth as Jesus Christ to overcome the power of evil and re-establish our freedom to choose a path to a heavenly life.
At the time of Jesus’ birth the power of hell had increased to the point that people no longer knew how to love one another and all were in danger of becoming enslaved to selfishness and materialism. Jesus set us free by overcoming the power of hell, and by teaching the truth about His love for us and our need to love one another. In the beginning Christians obeyed the Lord’s command to love one another, but through the ages the Christian world became more concerned with political power, Divine condemnation of unbelievers, and faith without love.
The deepest meaning of the Bible is all about Jesus Christ. By opening up that deeper meaning Jesus makes it possible for us to know Him, understand Him and love Him more deeply and intimately than ever before. His Second Coming is a real presence in our minds and hearts, not before our physical eyes, but before the eyes of our spirit, that is, in our understanding of Him.
Happiness comes when we let God inspire our daily work and service to others.
“We open ourselves to the love of God by turning away from evil and learning to do what is good. In acting from that love by living a useful and productive life for the sake of others, the Lord opens heaven within us and prepares us for an eternal life of ever growing love and happiness in heaven.”
God endows us with the capacity to choose our eternal destiny.
“The Lord ensures that each of us has the freedom to choose what we want to believe and how we want to live. He gives us this ability, knowing full well that we can use it to reject Him and serve ourselves. Yet by means of it we can turn to Him and see the wisdom in freely choosing to serve others as He asks. Freedom is the cornerstone of individual spiritual growth.”
Salvation is progressive and involves an ongoing process of spiritual growth.
“The New Church teaches that every person is saved (chooses heaven) who acknowledges God and lives according to the Ten Commandments. The Lord makes sure that all people have the opportunity to learn these two most basic principles of religion, working through many churches in many nations.” More about “Salvation” on newchurch.org
Marriage Love can become spiritual and continue to eternity.
“Love in marriage is a special gift from the Lord. When spiritual principles are applied not only to one’s spiritual growth, but also to the marriage relationship, troubled times can be overcome, and that marriage will grow in friendship, mutual support, and happiness. Genuine marriage does not end with death, but continues to eternity.” More about “Marriage” on newchurch.org
Life after Death is real.
“The life after death is real, and much more knowable than many people believe. The book Heaven and Hell by Emanuel Swedenborg has inspired people for over two centuries with its detailed description of life after death. It teaches that death is merely a transition from the natural world to the spiritual world, where life continues for all people according to the patterns they have developed in life. Those who have cooperated with God in this life by striving to become better people, find themselves in a heavenly way of life in the next. Those who have chosen to serve themselves above their neighbors gravitate towards others like themselves in the place called hell. People freely choose their eternal destiny.” More about the “Life After Death” on newchurch.org
The Lord welcomes good people from every religion into heaven.
“People who love God and follow His Commandments (while on earth) will become angels and live in heaven after death. Their life will not be an eternal paradise of leisure. Everyone in heaven gets personal satisfaction and true meaning from being in useful service to others. The spiritual love that makes heavenly life within a person beautiful also creates a beautiful spiritual environment around them. In heaven this environment is experienced just as we experience the objects around us in this world, only far more vividly.” More about “Heaven” or the “Life After Death” on newchurch.org