I was raised as a Swedenborgian.
Although I attended the Church of the Holy City (Swedenborgian, aka "Convention") in Wilmington, Delaware as a child, my primary affiliation with organized religion has always been with the General Church1.
This affiliation has become increasingly looser over the last 15 or so years, till now I primarily consider myself an unaffiliated Swedenborgian.
Several years ago, my sister-in-law was on an advisory council to the pastor of the local congregation.
The pastor asked them to find out what people in the congregation wanted from their church.
When she asked me, I told her I wanted a church full of sinners that didn't have all the answers.
My experience of the General Church is that no one will admit to being a sinner and there are all too many answers about which people are all too sure.
I'm in an online reading club that's reading one of Emanuel Swedenborg's books: Divine Providence, the New Century edition (also available in .pdf [3.8 Mb] and .txt [792 Kb] formats).
A recent selection sparked one reader to post this, which sums up my beliefs about faith pretty dang well:
Look not to one source,
but to all sources, and even to all Life, for your definition and experience of
the Divine. Reject nothing, but also include everything. Do not say that the
truth is exclusively "here" or exclusively "there," but rather that the truth is
"neither here nor there," but everywhere. It is in the Qur'an, and it is in the
Upanishads. It is in the Bhagavad Gita and it is in the Bible...the Book of
Mormon and the book of Hidden Words. Yet know this: It is found in Whole
nowhere, and in Part everywhere. All these sources, taken singularly,
contain incomplete understandings. Therefore, entreat those who would live the
New Spirituality to consider every book sacred and every messenger holy, even as
they, themselves, are holy, and as the living of their own lives writes the book
of their most sacred truth. Remember that always. The living of your own life
writes the book of your most sacred truth, and offers evidence of it.
– Neale Donald Walsh, Tomorrow's God, p. 208 [thanks to Jenny Keal]
1The latter split from the former in 1890.
There are instantiations of something like the Swedenborgian Church in Great Britain, Australia and Africa.
Furthermore, the Lord's New Church [sic] split from the General Church in the 1930s.
Why is it that it's always the smallest sects that can least afford it who are the most plagued by schism?
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