“Charity” and “Church” defined by David Millar to AC LP group 19 Oct 2011 (email) edited, DM/GG 22 Oct 2013
Charity is the good that arises from the application of truths to the life of the mind. To love the neighbour is to love truth because it is true, and truth is the neighbour because it is what is closest to good. From a Logopraxis perspective, the practice of charity is both self-examination (as it relates to the life of the mind) and repentance –turning from false thinking and evil affections—in response to engaging with the Word.
The quality of all external life and activity is related first and foremost to this inner practice. External life can only be called a charitable life insofar as this inner dimension is attended to. It is the practice of charity on this inner plane of life that keeps external life in its proper perspective and gives it spiritual meaning. It is in our effort to work faithfully, to be sincere in our dealings with others, to operate with integrity so far as our external employments, relationships, situations and circumstances are concerned that we become aware of our inner responses. It is this awareness that gives form to seeing what it is that needs to be worked on interiorly.
The function of a task drawn from the Word is to provide a means of drawing a conscious connection between our inner and outer lives and to then bring these dimensions of life into their proper order. We are working to make what is inner primary and to keep the focus of external life more related to what is genuinely spiritual. This is one way of understanding the principle “working from primes through ultimates” given in the Heavenly Doctrines.
The important thing to realize in Logopraxis work is that the goal is not to effect changes in our external life, that is, not in our relationships, situations and circumstances; but to seek changes that have to do with our inner states of life. As we come to experientially see not just that truths are true, but how they are true, the structures of our mind are actually reorganized by the seeing itself. This kind of seeing is only possible through the practice of truths from the Word; it is an experiential seeing that arises from the good of charity present in those truths we practice. It is the way the Lord as the Word saves us.
Another important term in the Word we need to understand is “church”. Think of “church” as the understanding of the Word that exists within human consciousness. That understanding can be on a cultural, social or individual level. A church is a church according to its understanding of the Word. The closer that understanding comes to recognizing charity as an inner practice, the more a church is a true church.