These teachings are immediately practical and deeply spiritual, providing a new understanding of God's timeless story. A religion founded on these teachings is a religion to be lived, not just believed.
Some of our most important beliefs are highlighted below. Most of the sections below also include a link to our denominational site (newchurch.org), where you can find additional articles and videos.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the one God of heaven and earth — the all-powerful Creator and Provider, and an approachable, loving, personal God who reaches out to all of us. The Father is the soul, the Son is the body, and the Holy Spirit is the activity of the One Divine Person. He is love itself, and so is incapable of anger or coldness towards any human being. 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. Read more about God.
The Bible, also known as the Word of God, is how God teaches us. In the pages of His Word He teaches us about Himself, about eternal life, and He teaches 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 the Bible is about God's love for all people and His work to bring us close to Himself in heaven. We call this symbolic meaning the "internal sense" of the Word. Read more about the Word.
Jesus said that the two great commandments are to love God and to love other people, and that all of Scripture refers back to these two commandments. What we love determines who we are, and whether or not we go to heaven. The whole of heaven rests on love as its foundation. Read more about love.
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 heaven in the next life. Those who have chosen to put themselves above their neighbors gravitate towards others like themselves in the place called hell. People freely choose their eternal destiny. Read more about life after death, heaven, and angels.
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 a life of eternal leisure. Everyone in heaven discovers personal satisfaction and meaning from useful service to others. The spiritual love that makes for beautiful heavenly life within a person 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. Read more about heaven, angels, and life after death.
Being "born again," or saved, does not take place in a single moment. Having faith and living it are two parts of a journey of change and growth. The New Church teaches that every person is saved (chooses heaven) who acknowledges God and lives according to the Ten Commandments. The Lord works through many churches in many nations to make sure that all people have the opportunity to learn these two most basic principles of religion. Read more about faith and salvation.
A marriage is truly a spiritual covenant between a man and a woman, and the love that is shared by a couple who are united this way is a beautiful 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. Read more about marriage, and love in marriage.
When Jesus was born on earth the human race was in danger of being consumed by selfishness and materialism. Jesus came to restore spiritual light to His people, and He did this by teaching the truth about His love for us and our need to love one another. At first Christians obeyed the Lord's command to love one another, but through the ages the Christian world became more concerned with political power, condemnation of unbelievers, and faith without love. To restore light to the world, the Lord came again, this time as the "Spirit of Truth." He restored our ability to understand the things taught in His Word, and He opened up the Bible's inner meaning.
This renewal of the Lord's teachings is called the Second Coming because, on the deepest level, 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 meaningfully than ever before. So the Second Coming is an advent to our minds and hearts — not before our physical eyes, but before the eyes of our spirit, that is, in our understanding of Him. Read more about the Second Coming and the new christianity.
We open ourselves to the love of God by turning away from evil and learning to do what is good. When we act 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. Read more about happiness and fulfillment.
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.