Monday, July 20, 2015

John Hargrove's First (1802) Sermon

Hat tip to Bill Fortenberry for finding and uploading Swedenborian John Hargrove's first sermon delivered to the President and Congress.

In it you will not find the trippy teachings of Swedenborg. But you do find an honest comparison between the prevailing doctrines in orthodox Christianity and what the New Jerusalem Church teaches. They were not orthodox on among other doctrines the Trinity and the Atonement.

You do see there, the notion (I'm not sure if original to Swedenborg) that God never gets "angry" (yes I put that term in scare quotes). Many objections could be offered like "but what about Jesus and the money lenders." The response is the Bible doesn't say Jesus got angry with them, rather merely that He drove them out.

So yes, you can "straighten someone out" even to the point of pulling the trigger without getting angry or upset (that is if you have achieved such perfection). To be not upset means to be in control. Likewise anger and fear, insofar as we understand the biological response to them are opposite sides of the same coin: Fight or flight. Stress. Part of the lower animal nature.

So saying God gets angry is to me necessarily like saying "God gets scared" or "God gets stressed."

One recent response I've dealt with was proof texting "but God says He gets angry." Yes there are translations of verses and chapters of scripture that use that word to describe how God feels. My response is that the word "anger" is not the properly translated term for the reasons I noted above. It's not what humans experience when they get angry (when their heart races and their face turns red, etc.). It's something in principle different.

See the link below from a modern Swedenborgian teacher on why there is no such thing as "righteous anger."

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