February 10, 2021

Subject: Faithful fighting

Golden text: I Timothy 6:11-12*

Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith.

I Chronicles 12:16-19, 38-40

 And some of the men of Benjamin and Judah came to the stronghold to David. 17 David went out to meet them and said to them, “If you have come to me in friendship to help me, my heart will be joined to you; but if to betray me to my adversaries, although there is no wrong in my hands, then may the God of our fathers see and rebuke you.” 18 Then the Spirit clothed Amasai, chief of the thirty, and he said,

“We are yours, O David,
    and with you, O son of Jesse!
Peace, peace to you,
    and peace to your helpers!
    For your God helps you.”

Then David received them and made them officers of his troops.

19 Some of the men of Manasseh deserted to David when he came with the Philistines for the battle against Saul.

38 All these, men of war, arrayed in battle order, came to Hebron with a whole heart to make David king over all Israel. Likewise, all the rest of Israel were of a single mind to make David king. 39 And they were there with David for three days, eating and drinking, for their brothers had made preparation for them. 40 And also their relatives, from as far as Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, came bringing food on donkeys and on camels and on mules and on oxen, abundant provisions of flour, cakes of figs, clusters of raisins, and wine and oil, oxen and sheep, for there was joy in Israel.

21st Century Science and Health**

Spirituality lays open siege to materialism. On which side are we fighting?

The beliefs of mindless matter/energy, the fight-and-flight nature, or morphing substances, are flimsy propaganda, yet mesmerizing. So we ask, who will deny that these are the errors which Truth must and will annihilate? Scientists of reality must live under the constant pressure of the apostolic command to come out from the indefinite world and be dedicated. We must renounce aggression, oppression, and the pride of power. Christianity, with the crown of Love on her brow, must be our queen of life.

Students of divine Science, who start with its letter and think to succeed without the spirit, will either weaken their faith or get sadly off course. They must not only seek, but strive to enter the narrow path of Life, “for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are many who take it.”[1] We walk in the direction toward which we look and where our gratification is, there will our heart be also. If our hopes and inclinations are spiritual, they come from enlightenment, not from trained thinking, and they produce the fruits of the Spirit.[2]

Mind’s ideas are never sick, for Mind is not sick. Material particles can’t feel sick. Human mind is the feeler and the feeling, the tempter and the tempted, the sin and the sinner, the disease and its cause. It is beneficial to be calm when dealing with sickness; to be hopeful is still better. However, understanding that sickness is not real and that Truth can destroy its seeming reality is best of all, for this understanding is the universal and progressive remedy.

By gullibly giving power to disorder, a large majority of doctors depress mental energy, which is the only real recuperative power. If we admit that a bodily condition is beyond the control of Mind, we become more vulnerable. Don’t give the upper hand to matter, it’s discouraging. It’s similar to advising a person who is down in the world, not to bother overcoming their difficulties. The better approach is to apply the knowledge that we can accomplish the good we hope for. This stimulates the system to act in the direction which Mind points out.

Experience has proved the fallacy of material systems in general. The theories of human systems are sometimes destructive, and it is better to keep that fact in mind. Would you urge people to let evils overcome them? Would you assure a person that all misfortunes are from God, against whom human beings should not fight? Will you tell the sick that their condition is hopeless unless it can be aided by a drug, operation, or different climate? Are human temporal means the only refuge from fatal chances? Why tell people a religious creed will save them? Is there no divine permission to conquer disorder of every kind with harmony, with Truth and Love?

We should remember that Life is God and that God is omnipotent.

Mark 8:31-38

 And [Jesus] began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

21st Century Science and Health

A rule in Science is to fight against error and negate personal finite reasoning with infinite Truth. This rule clearly interprets God as divine Principle—as Life, epitomized by the Father; as Truth, represented by the Child; as Love, represented by the Mother. Every human being at some point, here or hereafter, must battle with and overcome the mortal belief in a power opposed to God.

The Scripture, “You have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things,”[3] is literally fulfilled when we are conscious of the supremacy of Truth. The nothingness of error, which is in proportion to its wickedness, is seen when we are conscious of Truth. People, who touch the fringe of Christ’s garment[4] and master their illegitimate convictions, their angers, and their fight-or-flight reactions, will rejoice in the proof of healing—in a sweet and certain sense that God is Love. It is a sad day for the person who professes to practice and be faithful to divine Science but fails to strangle the serpent of sin as well as of sickness! They are still living in their self-sabotaging comfort-zones and human passions. They are in the turbulent sea of error, not struggling to lift their heads above the drowning wave.

What happens when we don’t fight and destroy sin? What happens when we don’t destroy finite convictions or mortal status quos? Our mental and physical state will perceive suffering.

It is a fight with the flesh in which we must conquer sin, sickness, and dying, either here or hereafter—certainly before we can reach the realm of Spirit or life in God.

I Timothy 6:2-8

Teach and urge these things. If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

21st Century Science and Health

Some people condemn Christian Science because Science and Health refers to God as Principle. Misleading comments are made such as, “It is therefore important to remember that Eddy never believed in a personal God nor does any true Christian Scientist today.”[5] God doesn’t have a human personality, but is the One Person, reflected uniquely by individual ideas, therefore, a very close personal relationship can be felt. Our personal relationship with Principle is higher and grander than human mortal friendships which are often unreliable, biased, or fragile.

Strangely enough, we ask for physical theories to support spiritual and eternal truths when the two are so antagonistic that the human thought must become spiritualized before the spiritual fact is attained. The material existence affords no evidence of spiritual being or immortality. Sin, sickness, and death do not prove the immortality of person. Discord can never establish the facts of harmony. Matter is not the threshold of Spirit.

Jesus reasoned practically on the subject of existence and controlled sickness, sin, and death on the grounds of spiritual existence. Understanding the insubstantiality of material things, he spoke of the flesh and Spirit as two opposites—as error and Truth, not contributing in any way to each other’s happiness and being. It has been recorded that Jesus said, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.”[6]

There is no immediate or on-going partnership between error and Truth, between flesh and Spirit. God is as incapable of producing wickedness, sickness, and mortality as Truth is of experiencing these errors. How then is it possible for Mind to create spiritual being, made in the divine likeness, but yet capable of experiencing that which is unlike the divine?

Does evil proceed from good? Does God create a human out of Spirit? Does divine Love commit fraud by making man and woman free to do wrong, and then stand on the sidelines to punish the wrongdoer? Would anyone call it wise and good for God to create people and then condemn them to remain His enemy, prisoner, or an orphan?

Subsequent follows its precedent. An intelligent sinless God precedes an intelligent sinless creation. God did not create sin, and sin can’t be self-creative because God is the only Creator. There is not a second creator making people who need to be corrected.

God’s “eyes are too pure to look on evil.”[7] Truth is sustained, not by accepting but by rejecting a lie.

Jesus was quoted to define anthropomorphic evil as, “a liar and the father of lies.”[8] Truth does not materialize a lie, a capacity to lie, or a liar. If humankind would stop believing that God makes sickness and destruction, or makes man and woman capable of suffering on account of malevolence, the games of error would no longer be played and error’s destruction would be guaranteed. Seriously, if we accept that disease and destruction are God’s will, why do we try to fight or avoid disease and destruction? God isn’t testing us, because God’s will is good and can only produce goodness.

*Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

** Text from 21st Century Science and Health, 5th edition, copyrighted by Cheryl Petersen.

[1] Matt. 7:13 (NRSV)

[2] Gal. 5:22

[3] Matt. 25:21; Luke 19:17 (NRSV)

[4] Matt. 9:20

[5] Martin, Walter, and Zacharias, Ravi, The Kingdom of the Cults, Revised and Updated and Expanded Edition. Minnesota: Bethany House, 2003.

[6] John 6:63

[7] Hab. 1:13

[8] John 8:44

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