Subject: Christly Reformation
Golden text: Isaiah 53:1, NKJV copyright Thomas Nelson
Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists0, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. 2 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. 3 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, 6 whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.
7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
Acts 7: 51-60
[Stephen told the religious people,] “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, 53 who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.”
54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
21st Century Science and Health, copyright Cheryl Petersen
You confess to ignorance of the future and incapacity to preserve your own existence, and this thinking helps rather than hinders disease. Such a mindset induces sickness. It is like walking in the darkness on a high narrow ledge. You cannot stop suspecting danger, so your steps are insecure because of fear. We must be aware of mental cause and effect.
Heat and cold are products of the human mind. Human mind produces bodily heat and then expels it by abandoning the thinking that caused it. Sometimes, human thinking is so extreme that it increases bodily heat to the point of self-destruction and calls the body dead. When the body is deprived of human mind, the body cools and then breaks down into simple atom structures. However, those very atom particles that make up the body don’t produce heat or cold whether the body is alive or dead. It is human mind, not matter, which says, “I am hot,” or “I am dying.” Heat would pass from the body as painlessly as vapor escapes water, if there was no belief that inflammation and pain must accompany the separation of heat from the body.
To suppose that oppression for righteousness’ sake belongs to the past and that Christianity today is at peace with the world because it is honored by sects and societies, is to mistake the very nature of religion. Misguided mindsets repeat themselves.
There is too much animal courage in society and not enough moral courage. Christians must take up arms against limited mindsets at home and abroad. They must wrestle with selfish and incomplete views in themselves and in others, and continue this warfare until they have finished the course. If they keep the faith, they will receive the honor of rejoicing.
Christ-like experience teaches faith in the right and doubt in the wrong. We learn the value of working more diligently in times of persecution because that is when the work is really needed. The reward of self-sacrifice is great, although we may never receive it in this world.
Dr. William Barclay wrote, “Jesus insists that the Christian should remember that he has one teacher only—and that teacher is Christ; and only one Father in the faith—and that Father is God.” Those instructed in Science have reached the glorious perception that God is the only creator.
We must be willing to surrender mortal thoughts that we may walk securely on the only practical road to immortality.
As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.
Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
3 As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. 4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?”
Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”
6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?”
21st Century Science and Health
The powers of this world will react and the old-guard will try to stop truth, will try to make it submit to their human standards and systems, but Science is not distracted by threats or assaults, and continues to unfold. There is always some chaos; however, a mobilization to truth’s standard is inevitable.
Saul of Tarsus turned his attention to the way of Christ, Truth—only when his uncertain sense of right yielded to a spiritual sense which is always right. Saul was changed when his thought took on a more decent attitude and his life was spiritualized. He learned the wrong he had done in persecuting followers of Spirit, whose religion he had not understood. In humility, he adopted the name Paul. He beheld for the first time the true idea of Love and learned a lesson in divine Science.
Reform comes by understanding there really is no lasting pleasure in ill-will. Reform comes by gaining an affection for good according to Science which reveals the immortal fact that pleasure, pain, appetite, and emotionalism can’t exist in or of human mind. Divine Mind can and does purge the false beliefs of the human mind.
Improvement and progress come as mindsets improve. World history illustrates the might of Mind and shows human power to be proportionate to its embodiment of right thinking or spiritual clarity. Words and actions breathing the omnipotence of divine justice and wisdom, are powerful to break through the barriers of human ideologies, fear, and caustic practices.
To insist on a scrupulous human way of life as a means of achieving perfection, doesn’t achieve God’s ideal.
To assume that there are no claims of evil and yet to indulge them, is a moral offence. Close-mindedness and self-righteousness clamp onto iniquity.
Sinners are not reformed merely by assuring them that they cannot be sinners because there is no sin. To put down the claim of sin, you must detect it, remove the disguise, point out the deception, and thus get the victory over sin and prove its unreality.
Some sinners say as a subterfuge, that evil is unreal, but to know it, they must demonstrate the statement.
“Now,” urged the apostle, “is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.” This doesn’t mean that now we must prepare for a future-world salvation or safety, but that right now we can experience salvation in spirit and in life. Now is the time for temporary pains and pleasures to pass away, for both are unreal. To break this earthly spell, human beings must get the true idea and divine Principle of all that really exists. The understanding of what governs the universe harmoniously is comprehended slowly and it comes with doubts and disappointments, as well as successes.
We resist Spirit because our learned behaviors come with the belief that temporal systems benefit us. When we admit that short-term benefits provide no lasting answer, we turn toward the eternal Spirit. Remove error from thought and it will not appear in effect.
Critics who attack faith should be careful not to confuse spiritual faith with blind faith. Faith is necessary in science, medicine, and religion. Consider the researcher or scientist who is trying to find a cure for cancer; they obviously have faith that a cure exists; otherwise they would not even try. People who cannot distinguish between blind (ritualistic) faith and that of spiritual faith are easily misinformed. They can make unfortunate statements such as: “If your beliefs are those of a Christian Scientist, obliging you to forgo all medical interventions, you may even have collaborated with God by refusing to give your child antibiotics.” Christian Science does not “oblige” any particular human action as if people are androids. A student of Christian Science does not collaborate with God as if God is a separate mind. In Science, there is no attitude of give-and-take; there is no human element that says, “If you do this, I’ll do that.” Do physicists collaborate with the law of gravity in order to go to the moon? No. Scientists study the principles of physics, they have the faith those rules will work, they apply the principles, and they go to the moon. Comments and condemnations based on a lack of research obscure any good points being made.
Opponents should consider that the mortal human being is not the reality of God’s child, and this consideration will allow the mind to receive new ideas that lead to progress and well-being. We can expect to receive enlightenment as a result of Christ in action. The Christ-spirit comes now as of old, preaching the good news to receptive minds, healing the sick, and destroying that which violates our dignity. Can materiality, human intellect, or any human invention, restore the essential element of spirituality—namely, apostolic, divine healing? No, the Science of Christ is restoring it, and is the light shining in darkness, a darkness that does not overcome the light.
Effective repentance reforms thinking and enables human beings to do the will of wisdom. We feel secure in God’s goodness when we try to demonstrate, even a little bit at a time, the divine Principle of the teachings and practice of the Teacher.
Divine Principle speaks through spiritual sense.
Principle and its idea are one, and this one is God—omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Being. Omni is adopted from the Latin adjective signifying all. Therefore God combines all-power or potency, all-science or true knowledge, all-presence. God’s reflection is child (man and woman) and the universe. The diverse manifestations of divine Science indicate Mind, never mindless matter, and have one Principle.
 Barclay, William. The Gospel of Matthew. Volume 2, Revised Edition. (Pennsylvania, Westminster Press) ISBN: 0-664-24101-8 (. 2). First published by The Saint Andrew Press, Edinburgh, Scotland.
 Acts 9
 II Cor. 6:2
 Harris, Sam. The End of Faith. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2005.