Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pondering the questions...and your own answers.

This week we are studying one of our Bible Lessons that poses a question. That prompted me to consider the other questions included as well. We are students of Christian Science and should be learning something each week. More of the truth about God and our relationship to Him should be clearer and clearer. And we should be expecting and experiencing healing. If someone asked you these questions, how would you answer them?

Question. Are sin, disease, and death real?
Answer. No. Why not? Because God never made them and He maintains His creation perfectly.

Question. What is this supposed power, which opposes itself to God? Whence cometh it? What is it the binds man with iron shackles to sin, sickness, and death?
Answer. Whatever enslaves man is opposed to the divine government. Truth makes man free.

Question. What is that in thine hand?
Answer. A rod. When God tells Moses to throw it on the ground, it appears to turn into a serpent, and Moses runs from it. But in reality it is still and always has been a rod. What he thought he saw was an illusion. The illusion of Moses lost its power to alarm him. God has lessened his fear of its reality.

Question. Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Answer. The power of Christian Science and divine Love is omnipotent. It is indeed adequate to unclasp the hold and to destroy disease, sin, and death. ( Am I claiming this every day and demonstrating it in my own life?)

Question. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servant to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Answer. Let the slave of wrong desire learn the lessons of Christian Science, and he will get the better of that desire, and ascend a degree in the scale of health, happiness, and existence. (Am I alert to 'wrong desires' and abstractions)

Question. Is it possible, then, to believe that the evils which Jesus lived to destroy are real or the offspring of the divine will?
Answer. Find a sovereign antidote for error in the life-giving power of Truth acting on human belief. (See next question)

Question. How can a Christian, having the stronger evidence of Truth which contradicts the evidence of error, think of the latter as real or true, either in the form of sickness or of sin?
Answer. All must admit that Christ is "the way, the truth, and the life," and that omnipotent Truth certainly does destroy error. (What am I admitting, letting into my life, accepting as real?)

Question. Who dares to doubt this consummate test of the power and willingness of divine Mind to hold man forever intact in his perfect state, and to govern man's entire action?
Answer. That is the question we each must answer.

This week's Lesson is like sitting in on one of Mrs. Eddy's classes. There is much to think about and many false beliefs to challenge and overcome. Don't dismiss the questions lightly. Look into your heart, see the serpent illusion as unreal, break off false shackles for yourself and those around you, find that sovereign antidote, admit Truth.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Golden image or true image and likeness

Today I am praying about golden images. Our Bible Lesson this week, on Unreality, starts each section with a reminder not to be deceived. The three Hebrew men were not deceived when the king created a gigantic golden statue and made a law that everyone had to bow down to it and worship it. They knew there is only one God and we do not bow down or worship any other. Jealous men, hoping to see them punished, reported their behavior to the king. He is furious when they still refuse to obey his ruling, even when faced with a burning fiery furnace. "When they get tossed into it, the only thing that gets destroyed are the ropes binding them. They walk around freely and the Son of God is with them.

Our world is constantly setting up 'golden images' that it expects us to bow down to and worship. If we do not stay alert, we can buy right into that mindset. Like the image of 'golden years' that claims certain things should be part of our life during those decades. We should have built up some kind of financial plan or retirement benefit. If we are not yet to that point, we should be planning for it because if we don't how ever will we maintain a good standard of living. Every magazine at the check out stand shows a 'golden image' of what a man or a woman should look like. The issue is filled with exercise plans and diet suggestions to help us have that image. How does one combat all these aggressive mental suggestions? Keep your eye and your thoughts on God. God, good, the only cause and creator. God, divine Love, who meets every human need. God, Principle, the law of ever present good.

When those men came out of that furnace, untouched by the flames, their hair was not singed, their clothing was intact, the fire had been unable to hurt them. Not even the smell of smoke remained as a reminder of the ordeal. God sent His angel and delivered them. The king, the jealous counselors, all the people, saw what happened....and what did not happen. How are your family, friends and co-workers seeing you? Are you a bright, happy person, filled with confidence, always expecting blessings for yourself and those around you? Do you look at others' experience and see them threatened, bowing down to a false god, or do you take a moment to see that they have the power and understanding to face down that picture. 

We honor the words of Genesis One where God saw everything (and everyone) that He had made and it (and they) were very good, made in His own image and likeness. We should be claiming that image and likeness daily, hourly if need be. We should never bow down to a false god. No one can make you do that so never give your consent. Lift your eyes and see what your God can do. He can deliver you from any and all false gods and silly laws. Mrs. Eddy says that 'Enslavement of any kind is not legitimate'. What God did in the fiery furnace, the lions' den, and in kings' palaces so long ago He can and will do today.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Admit or not admit, that is the question.

Our branch church recently hosted a wonderful lecture by Suzanne Riedel entitled Security and Living Without Fear. It was filled with inspiration and good examples of how to do that. One thing I took away with me was her references to 'admit'. I was reminded of it this week in our Bible Lesson on Unreality which focuses on not being deceived by what the material senses are presenting.

Admit has several meanings. Let in. Open the door to. Allow to enter. Give right of entry. Take in. Welcome. Accept. Those sound positive. Admit can also mean to permit, grant, tolerate, bear. Those sound a bit more negative and unhelpful, if not unhealthy. Admit can also be to approve of, to accept, to go along with.

In the first section of the Lesson there is this from I Corinthians beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.  That is something worth admitting. From Science and Health, page 277....If  goodness and spirituality are real, evil and materiality are unreal and cannot be the outcome of an infinite God, good.  That is also something worth admitting. It is an interesting way to look at the Lesson, watching for those citations that alert us to what we might be admitting as real or unreal. The same section another passage from Science and Health says this...."We lost the high signification of omnipotence, when after admitting that God, or good, is omnipresent and has all-power, we still believe there is another power, named evil (page 469).

There are dozens of places in her writings where Mrs. Eddy uses the words admit, admits, admitted, admittedly, and admitting. I may spend some time today looking those up and pondering what she says. During my most recent rereading of our textbook I spent extra time with the chapter, Christian
Science Practice, and on page 392 there is a reference. "Admitting only such conclusions as you wish realized in bodily results, you will control yourself harmoniously".

There is an interesting conversation between error and good in Unity of Good, starting on page 21. On the next page Good says, "Thou shalt not admit that error is something to know or be known, to eat or be eaten, to see or be seen, to feel or to be felt. To admit the existence of error would be to admit the truth of a lie". That is also something worth admitting.

Be alert today to what you are admitting, accepting as truth, and what you might be admitting into thought that is not true or real. "Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought" (S&H 495).