Statement about sodomy
Lord’s New Church which is Nova Hierosolyma
Statement about Sodomy
September 16,1988 Bryn Athyn, Pa.
The International Interior Council and the International Council of Priests in joint meetings have considered the position of those in the Church who are practising sodomy. They present the following things for your consideration. In the Church all things have to be judged by the Church’s understanding of the Word of the Lord. The opinions of the world, which are constantly changing with the times, have no importance with regard to the principles by which the Church should be led.
It is the understanding of the Councils that according to the Word, sodomy is an evil which does great harm to the spiritual life of man. The attached paper contains teachings of the Word that sustain that understanding. Sodomy is to be considered as a transgression of the sixth Commandment. Though we may not have light about how the inclination to homosexuality comes into existence, just as we know little about the cause of other sexual deviations, the Church cannot condone the practice of it, any more than the practice of any other disorderly inclination. To condone those evils would be unfaithful to the Lord’s Word and do harm to the Church, since the end of the Church is to strive for the conjunction with Heaven and the Lord.
The Councils wish to add that conjugial love is the fundamental love of Heaven. It is the privilege of the New Church that the Lord has revealed this truth to it. The Church therefore encourages sound marriage relationships as the basis for the coming into a state of conjugial love. For the same reason, it discourages all things of life that according to the Word might be harmful to conjugial love. In the second part of the Work on Conjugial Love laws of order are stated for those who cannot yet enter married life, laws that protect the potentiality of coming into conjugial love.
Among those laws there is none that would give rise to the idea that homosexuality could serve that purpose, though it may be true that there are more and less evil forms of sodomy. To the contrary, the Word makes it clear that sodomy is adultery. Consequently, those members who practice sodomy cannot be considered differently from those who are in a life contrary to other Commandments of the Decalogue.
Rev. Peter van Balen,
International Council of Priests
With regard to the teachings about sodomy, those of the Church must acknowledge that the internal evil which produces sodomy in the Spiritual World is present with everyone from birth, and must be faced in the order of regeneration, (Cp. Apocalypse Revealed 502.) All the external evils mentioned in the Word signify in their internal sense things which must be faced by men in the order of regeneration.
Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination.
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Arcana Coelestia 2220:
In the following chapter it appears as if by Sodom is signified the evil of the worst adultery, still nevertheless by it in the internal sense nothing else is signified than evil out of the love of self.
Arcana Coelestia 2322:
They who grasp the Word out of the sense of the letter alone, can suppose that by Sodom is meant filthiness which is against the order of nature: but in the internal sense by Sodom is signified the evil of the love of self; out of this evil all evils of whatsoever kind gush forth, and the things which thence gush forth are called adulteries in the Word and are described by them.
Spiritual Diary 2675:
Concerning Sodomy. (Heading) In the other life they who are sinners of sodomy, they in their life had believed nothing about the life after death, nor that there is hell and Heaven, but that they are altogether as beasts, and would die like them. … In the other life they are treated most miserably and are punished with infernal torments, which are so dire they can scarcely be described; and moreover they (constitute) the region of the tail, where are the faeces, because they are dung, and dwell in privies.
In the Spiritual World, in hell, and with those on the way to hell, every conjunction of the evil and false in the mind produces some form of adultery in the external of their lives. Sodomy is produced there by the love of commanding out of the love of self. This is described in the following numbers:
Apocalypse Explained 1006:2:
There are sodomitic hells for those who were in evils out of the love of commanding over others out of the sole delight of commanding and in no delight of uses.
De Coniugio 86:
The love of self, especially of ruling and still thinking out of the Word, is such as there was at Sodom….
Spiritual Diary 6696: XXIX:
That they who are in the highest degree of commanding out of the love of self, and not for the sake of uses, are in Sodom.
It is from these things in the Spiritual World that the internal sense of Sodom in the Word is derived, namely the evil of the love of self, especially in the form of the love of commanding, ruling and dominating out of the love of self, without any love of use.