Golden text: I Peter 2:11 The Message, copyright by Eugene Peterson
Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul.
People with a big head are headed for a fall, pretentious egos brought down a peg. It’s God alone at front-and-center on the Day we’re talking about, The Day that God-of-the-Angel-Armies is matched against all big-talking rivals, against all swaggering big names; Against all giant sequoias hugely towering, and against the expansive chestnut; Against Kilimanjaro and Annapurna, against the ranges of Alps and Andes; Against every soaring skyscraper, against all proud obelisks and statues; Against ocean-going luxury liners, against elegant three-masted schooners. The swelled big heads will be punctured bladders, the pretentious egos brought down to earth, Leaving God alone at front-and-center on the Day we’re talking about.
I Corinthians 8:1-9
The question keeps coming up regarding meat that has been offered up to an idol: Should you attend meals where such meat is served, or not? We sometimes tend to think we know all we need to know to answer these kinds of questions—but sometimes our humble hearts can help us more than our proud minds. We never really know enough until we recognize that God alone knows it all.
4-6 Some people say, quite rightly, that idols have no actual existence, that there’s nothing to them, that there is no God other than our one God, that no matter how many of these so-called gods are named and worshiped they still don’t add up to anything but a tall story. They say—again, quite rightly—that there is only one God the Father, that everything comes from him, and that he wants us to live for him. Also, they say that there is only one Master—Jesus the Messiah—and that everything is for his sake, including us. Yes. It’s true.
7 In strict logic, then, nothing happened to the meat when it was offered up to an idol. It’s just like any other meat. I know that, and you know that. But knowing isn’t everything. If it becomes everything, some people end up as know-it-alls who treat others as know-nothings. Real knowledge isn’t that insensitive.
We need to be sensitive to the fact that we’re not all at the same level of understanding in this. Some of you have spent your entire lives eating “idol meat,” and are sure that there’s something bad in the meat that then becomes something bad inside of you. An imagination and conscience shaped under those conditions isn’t going to change overnight.
8-9 But fortunately God doesn’t grade us on our diet. We’re neither commended when we clean our plate nor reprimanded when we just can’t stomach it. But God does care when you use your freedom carelessly in a way that leads a fellow believer still vulnerable to those old associations to be thrown off track.
21st Century Science and Health, copyright by Cheryl Petersen
The inclinations of mortals are to indulge the flesh and ego.
Human mind is unaware of its false ego or it could never be self-deceived. If this mortal mind knew how to be better, it would. When human mind tries to believe in something besides itself, it only promotes its own image as deity, thereby becoming an idolater.
The understanding that the Ego, I AM, is Mind, and that there is but one Mind or intelligence, begins at once to destroy the errors of human sense and to supply the truth of spiritual sense.
Modest intellectual discoveries, gained with contentment and virtue, are better than the luxury of learning with egotism and vice.
I Am. God: bodiless and eternal Mind; divine Principle; the only Ego.
In a world where sin and sensuality scramble to rise in the ranks of power, it is wise earnestly to consider whether we are being influenced by the human mind or the divine Mind.
The description of people as purely molecular, or as a mixture of molecules and spirituality—but in either case dependent upon their physical organization—is a can of worms. Opening this can, we find all ills, especially depression. Materiality takes divine power into its own hands and claims to be a creator, but it is only a fabricated fiction. In this fabrication, idolatry and lust are so encouraged by society that humankind has caught their moral contagion.
The conscious human mind is believed to be superior to its unconscious substratum, matter, and the stronger never yields to the weaker, except through fear or choice. But, the animate should be governed by God alone. Our real identity is spiritual and immortal. We can lay aside the counterfeit version of God’s children as imperfect beings. Mortality is put off and spirituality is put on in proportion as human beings realize the Science of true identity and seek the true model.
People are the reflection of Soul, the direct opposite of tactile matter. Soul is the one Ego. We run into error when we divide Ego into egos or multiply Mind into minds. Misunderstandings occur when we suppose error to be mind and mind to be in matter and matter to be a lawgiver. We feel stuck between a rock and a hard place when we assume unintelligence is the template to intelligence or that mortality is the matrix of immortality.
Mortal existence is a dream. Mortal existence has no real entity, but mimics “I Am.” Spirit is the Ego which never dreams, but understands all things. Spiritual Ego never mistakes and is always conscious. Spirit never believes or decides, but knows. Soul is never born and never dies. Our true identity is the likeness of Spirit, Ego. We are not God, but we are the outcome of Spirit. We reflect God.
Spirit is positive. Matter is negative; the absence of Spirit. For positive Spirit to pass through a negative condition would be Spirit’s destruction.
Anatomy teaches that our being is structural. Physiology continues this explanation, measuring human strength by bones and muscles. Genetics chimes in and insists that genes can instruct our virtues or faults. Psychology makes a person aggressive or honest based on the body’s chemical levels or the person’s history. Material structure is mortal. Anatomy, physiology, genetics, and psychiatry do not define our spiritual individuality, whereas divine Science does.
Human reason and religion come slowly to the recognition of spiritual facts. Human belief systems continue to call upon matter to remove the error which the human mind alone created.
The idols of domestication are far more fatal to health and longevity than are the idols of the undomesticated. The idols of domestication call into action less faith than the doctrines of a human deity. Village Guardians and Shaman restore health by incantations as consciously as do modern practitioners by their more sophisticated and esteemed methods.
Is civilization only a higher form of idolatry, where humankind makes gods out of massage, drugs, diet, exercise, or vitamins? Nothing except divine power is capable of doing more for human beings than we do for ourselves.
The movement of thought, advancing past limiting standpoints is slow and warns the spiritual traveler of the long haul ahead. However, the angels of Love’s presence—the spiritual intuitions that tell us when “the night is nearly over; the day is almost here”—are our guardians in the gloom. Whoever opens the way in divine Science is a pioneer and stranger, marking out the path for generations yet unborn.
It happened that as [Jesus] made his way toward Jerusalem, he crossed over the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten men, all lepers, met him. They kept their distance but raised their voices, calling out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14-16 Taking a good look at them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.”
They went, and while still on their way, became clean. One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank him enough—and he was a Samaritan.
21st Century Science and Health
The assumptions that human egos are spirits or that there are good and bad spirits, are mistakes.
Divine Science adjusts the circumstances as Jesus adjusted them. While there is sin, there is penalty. Science removes the penalty only by first removing the sin that incurs the penalty. My interpretation of divine pardon is that God destroys sin. It is foolish to think our own sins will be less sinful if we attack someone else who we believe is sinful.
I advise students to be charitable and kind, not only toward differing forms of religion and medicine, but to the very people who hold these differing opinions. Let us be faithful in pointing the way through Christ as we understand it, but let us also be careful always to “stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.”
When using the light of divine Science, we see beyond the surface of mortals and detect inverted thoughts and erroneous beliefs so has not to be fooled by them. We also borrow thought from a higher source than human knowledge to look at cause rather than effect, to see celestial Truth replace error.
Knowing the Science of creation, in which all is Mind and its ideas, Jesus rebuked the materialist thought of the people: “You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time?” We may be able to sequence the human genome, but wouldn’t we rather seek and know the thoughts behind the genes? To discern the rhythm of Spirit and to be holy, thought must be purely spiritual.
We are never God. Our spirituality is made in the likeness of Spirit. We reflect God. In this scientific reflection, the Ego and the divine Parent are inseparable.
Error assumes that God’s children are both mind and matter. Divine Science contradicts the physical senses, refuses human assumptions, and asks: What is the Ego? Where is the source of Ego, and what is its destiny? The Ego-child is the reflection of the Ego-God. The Ego-child is the image and likeness of perfect Mind, Spirit, divine Principle.
Jesus represented Christ, the true idea of God. The true idea of God causes a battle to flare when up against perfunctory religion and the blindness of popular belief, determined to kill the true idea by crucifying the flesh. Spiritual clear-sightedness wins the battle. The Christ-like character takes on greater heights and proves that Truth is the master of dying beliefs. Christ presents the indestructible person, whom Spirit forms, constitutes, and governs. Identifying our self with God, we feel our dominion to overcome worldliness.
The one Ego, the one Mind or Spirit called God, is infinite individuality. The one Ego supplies all form and attractiveness. Spirit reflects reality and divinity in our individual spirituality and in all manifestations.
 Rom. 13:12
 John 7:24
 Matt. 16:3; Luke 12:56 (NASB)