Q Does God love me?
a Infinitely. The New Church teaches that the Lord cannot even frown at us, for He loves us with an infinite love. We can withdraw from Him, because we have the precious gift of freedom. He won’t withdraw from us. As one person said, “If you feel distant from God, who moved?”
Q Why did the Lord come to earth?
a Humankind had lost its way. People had turned from God for centuries, and the awareness of what true love and kindness are had faded from the earth. The Lord came to do two things. First, He fought all the hells which were so powerful that they were overwhelming people. Second, He fought them with the very truth He taught us, thereby giving that truth almighty power. Today, when we use that truth, His power is with us, and our victory is certain. That is why He said, “All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
Q Did the Christmas story actually happen?
a Yes indeed it did. Many people who don’t believe in Jesus Christ have tried to deny it, but the incredible weight of history supports it, as well as the only known written testimonies—the gospels. And the beautiful stories themselves contain a deeper meaning, speaking of how the Lord Jesus Christ may be born in our hearts and minds. Every single word and event is fulfilled millions of times over in human hearts.
Q How do you explain the Trinity?
a The Trinity is three aspects of one God. We have a soul, a mind, and an influence on people. In God, what is called “the Father” is His soul, His infinite love. “The Son” is His mind, or truth as He showed it to us, a truth which springs from love. “The Holy Spirit” is the Lord’s energy, reaching out to us and saving us, and lifting us up to heaven. They are all part of one Person, Jesus Christ.
Q How do I show love to the Lord?
a By doing what He says. We might feel that we love other people more than we love the Lord, and in some ways that might be true. But if we say, “I will obey the Lord, even if a loved one wants me to do something the Lord doesn’t want,” then we are loving Him above everyone else. We do this because He is totally to be trusted, and His ways are perfectly good. And as He blesses us, we come to feel our love for Him more and more clearly. People who truly love each other would not ask the other to do something that was against that person’s conscience.
Q Does the Lord need my love?
a Well, the answer is “yes,” and “no.” Yes, He needs your love because He loves you so much, and it is the essence of all love to want to be close to and loved by someone we love. No, He doesn’t need our love in the sense of being a “needy” person. He certainly wants our love because then He can make us happier and happier to all eternity.
Q Is there an unforgivable sin?
a Well, yes, there is. Jesus said on earth that “the sin against the Holy Spirit” could not be forgiven. But what does that mean? When we allow the Lord’s energy to reach out and touch us, and then deliberately turn from it, we make it impossible for Him to reach us. I think that this “unforgivable sin” is “determined self-justification.” If someone knows what’s true and good, and absolutely rejects it, he or she makes it impossible for the Lord to reach him or her. But never, never, does He stop trying. It is the person who has built the wall. We are taught that He forgives all sins, for He says, “They know not what they do,” even as He said these words on the cross. Sometimes people refuse forgiveness.
Q Who is God?
a Simply, He is the Lord God Jesus Christ. Before He was born on earth, God was perfect and as He is now—all loving, all wise. But when people fell into disorder, He was born as a Man, and showed us in the most present of ways who He is, what His laws are, and how we can be led. He Himself lived all the truths He had always revealed, and showed us the way—in Human terms. Today we worship Jesus Christ as our God.
The Rt. Rev. Peter Buss, Sr. is a retired bishop of the General Church. He served eleven years in South Africa and as pastor of the Glenview New Church in Illinois. He lives with his wife Lisa in Colorado.