1. People who live lives based on falsity with evil intent and people who live lives based on falsity without evil intent; and also the nature of false beliefs that accompany evil intent and of false beliefs that do not (Continued)

Examples showing how truths can be falsified. Why evil people are allowed to falsify truths. Evil people falsify truths by bending and applying them to an evil purpose. Truth is said to have been falsified if it has been used to support evil, which happens mainly through deception and superficial appearances. The evil are allowed to attack truth but not to attack what is good; they are allowed to distort truth by various interpretations and applications. Truth that has been falsified for an evil purpose is in opposition to what is true and good. Falsified truth used for evil purposes smells terrible in the other life. More on the falsification of truth.

Some false religious beliefs harmonize with what is good and some do not. False religious beliefs that do not clash with what is good do not lead to evil except in people who are intent on evil. False religious beliefs are not held against people who are intent on doing good, but they are held against people who are intent on doing evil. Truths that are not genuine and even falsities can be associated with genuine truths for people who are intent on doing good, but not for people who are intent on doing evil.

The way things appear in the literal meaning of the Word sets elements that are true beside elements that are false. False beliefs are rendered true and softened by what is good because they are used for and deflected toward what is good, and the evil is put aside. The false religious beliefs of people who are intent on doing good are accepted by the Lord as if they were truths. Any act of goodness whose character has been shaped by false religious belief is accepted by the Lord if it was done in ignorance and innocence, and if the aim behind it was good. The truths we possess are outward guises of what is true and good, guises deeply stained with misleading appearances, but if our lives are focused on doing what is good the Lord adjusts them toward genuine truths.

Falsities containing something good can be found in people who are outside the church and therefore ignorant of the truth and also in people in a church where there are false teachings. Falsities in which there is nothing good are more harmful for people within the church than they are for people outside the church. What is true and good is taken away from evil people in the other life and given to the good, in keeping with the Lord’s words:

“To those who have, more will be given, and they will have abundance; but from those who do not have, even what they have will be taken away” [Matthew 25:29].

from New Jerusalem, Section 21 (Continued)

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