Our Role in the World
We are part of the “Swedenborgian” family of churches. Much like “Lutherans” are from Martin Luther or “Calvinists” from John Calvin, so you get “Swedenborgians” (pronounced Sweden-bor-jenns) from Emanuel Swedenborg.
Swedenborg never intended to found a new Christian denomination. Instead, he went to some lengths to make his writings available to the leaders of the various churches in western Europe. His hope was that what God had revealed to him would gradually come to be preached from the pulpits of the nations, leading ultimately to the emergence of a truly "new church” from within the framework of the old.
However, Swedenborg faced increasing opposition from the official or "state" churches of his day, even in his native Sweden. This was hardly surprising, considering how strongly he rejected their traditional doctrines and divisions while upholding the new revelation of a truly universal gospel. In fact, although Swedenborg always sought to work with the churches, there is much in his work which also suggests the need for an entirely new community of faith to help point the way. Both approaches are necessary to accomplish what the Lord intends, the creation of a new world and a new human family, rich in its diversity yet united in the Spirit.
Accordingly, a new denomination of the Swedenborgian Church was founded but NOT to be an “elect” or “chosen few” who have the truth while dismissing all others as deluded and damned. That’s nonsense. The whole point of the universal gospel we proclaim is that it constitutes the deeper truth uniting all people and all religions (sacred and secular). It represents a path for bringing us all together in peace and justice while honouring our differences.
Swedenborgians are called to serve and be of use in making this path known, that a new and better world might arise (the symbolical “New Jerusalem” described in the Book of Revelation). We recognize that the Lord is stirring up this same vision in the hearts of other Christians as well as in those of other religions – Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and many others. Swedenborgians gladly work with them all for the sake of the one Lord who is known by many names.
To learn more about the worldwide family of Swedenborgian churches and how it all started, go here.