The teachings for the New Church present a picture of heavenly life in which all the people in a community share a common love or similar goal. This is part of what makes it a happy heavenly home for all who live there. An angel’s neighbors are similar to them down to the core of […]
Do We Know What is True?
From Rev. Eric Carswell, Head Pastor
February 15, 2017
In the spiritual meaning, testifying falsely refers to convincing people that a false belief is a true one and an evil life is a good one, and the reverse; but only if these things are done deliberately, not out of ignorance. Doing them deliberately is doing them after we know what truth and goodness are, not before. The Lord says, “If you were blind you would have no sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.” (John 9:41)
This falseness is what is meant in the Word by a lie and this deliberateness is what is meant by deceit. (True Christian Religion/True Christianity 322)
There is a renaissance painting by Pieter Brugel the Elder illustrating Matthew 15:14 “If the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.
Knowing what is true and what is not true is tremendously important if we are to make good decisions. If a person over time loses track of what is and isn’t true and, perhaps from self-deception, has a pattern of decision-making based on a false view of self, others and the reality of the world we live in, that person is dangerous to themselves and others.
It is troubling that in our national discourse there seems to be so little agreement on what is true. The issue of patently false information on social media and other internet sources is only one part of this problem, although a very troubling part of it. There are dramatic and opposite views on the reality of climate change. More broadly some will tell us not to trust the accuracy of the media. Conversely, what have been relatively trusted sources of reliable information in the media raise troubling concerns about what some public figures are asserting as the truth of some issue or event related to the public life of this country. With such dramatic and regular disagreement about what is the truth of the situation we face, it can seem that many are following blind guides. Each of us can ask “Am I following a blind guide?”
The long-term welfare of our country and the many communities that make up that country depends on us seeing the key issues facing this country in the light of heaven. Each of us can pray that we individually seek to understand what is true and good for our country. Each of us can “let our light shine,” in conversations with the people around us, hopefully with a spirit of respect and mutual goodwill even with those who see things differently. Both the truth and the goodwill are essential to the long-term welfare of our country.