The chart below summarizes in a nutshell the principal differences between the New Church and traditional Christianity. For more information on any of these topics please see the preceding pages under the “Summary of Beliefs,” or go to the “contact” page and write to us with your specific questions. We look forward to hearing from you.
|TOPIC||TRADITIONAL CHRISTIANITY||THE NEW CHURCH|
|God||A trinity of Divine Persons in a mystical union as one||A trinity of essential qualities in one divine person, the Lord Jesus Christ|
|Purpose of Christ’s life on earth||To atone for the sins of all mankind by His suffering and death on the cross||To restore spiritual freedom to the human race by teaching the truth with love and power|
|The Second Coming of Christ||Still awaited in the literal clouds of heaven at a cataclysmic day of earthly judgment||Accomplished in the 18th century by means of the revelation of the spiritual sense of the Word|
|Human Heredity||The sins of the whole human race have been passed down from Adam, condemning everyone.||Both good and evil inclinations are passed on through heredity, but not sins or anything of personal merit.|
|Sin||Any disorderly trait that alienates a person from God, whether consciously acquired or not||Any evil consciously done knowing it is contrary to God’s will.
Sins condemn, evils do not.
|Rebirth||People are “born again” and thus saved by a single act of confession and faith, often including baptism.||We begin with a conviction of faith, but our spiritual growth and well-being is a gradual life-long process.|
|Salvation||Eternal heavenly life is granted only to those who are born again and baptized in a Christian faith.||Refers to spiritual health, which is granted by God to all who live well according to His laws of order.|
|The Bible||Either seen as literally true or as teaching the truth through myths, metaphors and legends||Every word contains a symbolic spiritual sense concerning the Lord and our own eternal lives.|
|Life After Death||Will commence for everyone at the time of the Last Judgment on this earth. Meanwhile… ???||Will commence for everyone immediately after the death of the body; many details revealed|
|Heaven and Hell||Heaven is the eternal reward for those who live well (or get saved) on earth, and hell is the eternal punishment for those who don’t.||Heaven is the state of eternal happiness of those who love God and love to serve others. Hell is the opposite, for those who don’t.|
|Angels and Devils||Angels are a separate race of beings created by God, and devils are fallen angels.||All angels and devils were once people living in this world who now live on as spirits in heaven or hell.|
|Marriage||Necessary for the procreation of the race but dissolved along with the flesh after death. Men often seen as governing over women.||Men and women are distinct and complementary in spirit as well as in the flesh, and a truly spiritual marriage continues in eternal life.|