Life Without Doubt

 

James E. Pike, C.S., of Chicago, Illinois

Member of the Board of Lectureship of The Mother Church,

The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts

 

The lecturer spoke substantially as follows:

 

Many of you have undoubtedly heard this story, but it so aptly illustrates what we’re concerned about this evening, it bears repeating.

A little girl, who was devoted to God in her childlike way, was positive that God answered her prayers. Her father was skeptical and chided her about her complete confidence in having her prayers answered. They decided to test the point: for one week the little girl would pray for a bicycle, and they would watch for the results. So she faithfully did – only to have the week completed, prayers and all – and she ended up with no bicycle.

"See," said her father, "doesn't this prove to you that God doesn't answer prayer? All week you've prayed for a bicycle and you didn't get it! Obviously He doesn't answer prayer."

"But, Daddy," she replied, "He does, too. This time he said, No."

What conviction! What a sensible concept of God! What assurance! Not a doubt in her little thought that God, in His own way and time, would take care of her need. And, as far as she was concerned, God had done so in this instance.

Here then is illustrated that complete confidence that God does care for us in every detail of our lives. Certainly, if this is a true story, and we might assume that it is, this little girl is well on her way to having a life without doubt. The one word that best describes such an outlook is faith. But what really is faith?

This question is best answered by a look within one's own thinking. For faith isn't actually something acquired from outside one's self. It's inherent within each of us – like feeling or thinking, or loving our family and fellowman. It isn't something we get, as much as something we already have. It's a power.

Whether all here are willing to agree or not, we're practicing faith right now. We're believing in something – and believing is a form of faith. You may believe in your ability or in something outside yourself. It may be in history, or the Bible, or a person. We all have faith in something.

We have faith in God or in men, or both. It may be faith in heaven or hell, in a problem or an answer. Many people believe in a rabbit's foot, or astrology, or patent and quack medicines. Others have faith in wars as the solution to international problems. Many have faith in technical know-how. One might say that the human thinking process is a blend of many types of faith.

One dictionary definition of faith is ". . . a conviction operative on the character and will." So faith is operative, active; it does things to us. Another dictionary defines faith as "the state of acknowledging unquestioningly the existence, power, etc., of a supreme being and the reality of a divine order." For this type of faith to be fully effective and operative, we need to understand the nature of the Supreme Being we’re acknowledging. And if this faith is to be operative for good, we need to understand this Supreme Being as good – good in its highest and purest form, spiritual good.

Once faith is firmly established on the basis of understanding and acknowledging the presence and power of spiritual good, of the divine good that is commonly called God, it becomes mightily active in an individual's life. Then no one can outline how far and fast that life may go in the line of usefulness and achievement.

This then is an inherent possibility in each of us, to so build an understanding faith in divine good that hitherto hidden possibilities become actualities in our lives. This happens with faith that acknowledges unquestioningly "a supreme being and the reality of a divine order" and understands that Supreme Being and its order to be spiritual good. Whatever this faith touches comes alive, actively operative for good.

And so this is what I want to talk with you about tonight – a life without doubt, a life of faith, faith raised to its highest power, faith that is a spiritual and scientific understanding of God, good.

 

The Nature of Faith

In the Bible the writer of the letter to the Hebrews traces in chronological order the effect of faith on the lives of many leaders of Bible history. In the 11th chapter, beginning with the famous verse: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1), the writer tells how – from Abel to Enoch to Noah, to Abraham and Sarah – clear up to Jesus "the author and finisher of our faith," this power termed "faith" has been employed. No one in all history has ever made a contribution of value to himself – let alone to humanity – without a good degree of it.

Look where you will, be it to a character of the Bible, a man of recorded history, an inventor, a scientist, an artist, a political leader, a writer, no matter what the vocation, an underlying faith is present and needed to produce desired results. Without it you can do nothing – in fact yon can't even have God without it. The same writer of Hebrews says: "For he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Heb. 11:6).

Let's look briefly at the life of one whom this writer refers to – the patriarch Abraham. Here we have a life in which faith was guided by God into a spiritual force for good. Abraham's religious faith, you may remember, called for the making of human blood sacrifices. So he prepared his son Isaac to be slain upon the sacrificial altar. But under Abraham's deep desire to more intelligently serve and know God, the way opened for him to yield up the traditional beliefs of his tribal faith. Isaac was saved, and Abraham was blessed as he responded intelligently to a new and higher vision of faith. A new concept of God came into being, and generations have profited by the intelligent faith of this man. A new order of worship and sacrifice – the laying of one's earthly all on the altar – but not of one's son, came into being.

In this experience of faith in action we see that a high and developing form of faith is intelligence. Guided rightly it is intuitive and leads to our doing the right thing at the right time. Therefore it progressively eliminates false beliefs and traditional forms of faith that have outlived their usefulness, if indeed they ever had any.

So step by step and strong in faith Abraham went on to the fulfillment of his high destiny. He proved that God always answers prayer, even though he no doubt learned what the little girl we spoke of had learned, that God sometimes answers "No."

Mrs. Eddy's Life Based upon Faith

We can gain a deeper insight into faith by a more modern example of a life based upon faith in God's goodness. Think of a young girl in the 1800's, reared in the stern religious and puritanical atmosphere of New England. She was frail of body, sheltered by parents concerned about her physical and emotional well-being. At twelve years of age she wrote in a poem: "Increase thou my faith, my vision enlarge."

At nineteen she married, and in less than a year her husband died. Four months later her son was born; but, too frail to care for him, she had to give the child to others to raise. She married again and hoped to make a home for her child. Over a period of some years this husband proved increasingly unfaithful, and her already weak health degenerated further. There followed years of vainly seeking a cure in all kinds of material systems. This went on for over twenty years during which the early plea of the twelve-year-old  girl,  "Increase thou my faith," grew stronger and stronger. So, in 1866, Mary Baker Eddy – for this is who I'm talking about – was healed of the results of a serious accident by turning to God in prayer. Her healing was accompanied by a great spiritual illumination. She glimpsed all true existence as spiritual, in and of divine Spirit. Eventually she set out this discovery and all it meant in a book, first published in 1875 and now known as Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

In this book she explains the spiritual significance of Abraham and his faith like this: "Abraham. Fidelity; faith in the divine Life and in the eternal Principle of being. This patriarch illustrated the purpose of Love to create trust in good, and showed the life-preserving power of spiritual understanding" (p. 579). Mrs. Eddy, too, had known this life-preserving power.

Viewed humanly, the experience of the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science is as unhappy and bitter a life as anyone might ever be subjected to. At least it would seem so up to the point of her healing. But then, with her faith developing into spiritual understanding, she launched into an entirely new life. She wrote, she established a church and a publishing society, and she taught students her metaphysical system of healing while publicly practicing this healing herself. All the while she earnestly studied the Bible and especially the life and works of Christ Jesus.

Her early efforts to enlarge and strengthen her faith were coming to fruition. Now she proceeded to show the power of an unquestioning trust in God. False beliefs were exchanged for faith in a spiritual system of medicine and religion. And from her own hard-earned inspiration and understanding come these words in Science and Health: "When we come to have more faith in the truth of being than we have in error, more faith in Spirit than in matter, more faith in living than in dying, more faith in God than in man, then no material suppositions can prevent us from healing the sick and destroying error" (p. 368). Mrs. Eddy had discovered and restored to humanity the divine method of spiritual healing which Christ Jesus and the early Christian Church had practiced.

 

Faith in Action

Like Abraham and Mrs. Eddy, I, too, have experienced the life-preserving power of trust in good. I'd always had a faith in God, but it was little more than a blind belief in good. Then when I began to study Christian Science and this Christ Science came into active power in my thinking, my desires to know God better were fulfilled. There came a closeness and nearness to God in my life. My faith in God was transformed into complete trust in His goodness. This deeper, more understanding faith saved me in a moment of great emergency.

One cold snowy night in my times of soldiering, I was ordered to drive across a dangerous border area. Fighting had been intense. Now a dark silence brooded everywhere – the lull before the storm. Intelligence reports indicated a major offensive by the enemy was imminent – a last desperate push for victory.

All across this area were concrete and steel spikes, dubbed "dragon's teeth," which were erected as barriers for tank warfare. Standing perhaps three to five feet in height, with at least a foot-square base, they stretched for miles along the border to a depth of several hundred feet. Driving under blackout conditions – no headlights, only the edge of the road to guide one – traveling at about 30 miles an hour, I rammed directly into one of these "dragon's teeth."

The jeep was inoperable. Immediately my mind was filled with questions. How would I handle physical injury?  How would I get evacuated from the place? Who would dare stop and help? Did our engineers fail to remove this barrier or was it an enemy trap? Was I being observed? Ambushed? A furious array of mental suggestions and doubts flooded in. The one word that best describes what was needed is: Faith. And it needed to be understanding faith. Could there be any better way out than the way of faith, understanding faith in divine good?

As a Christian Scientist, I'd recently been spending hours poring over Science and Health. This book is filled with spiritual ideas, and I needed every one of these I could latch on to. The dangers were many, and I was afraid. But ideas from this book had kept meaning more and more to me – the fact that man is created and governed by God, Spirit, the spiritual nature of man, the indestructibility of man as made by God. Not unlike Abraham and Mrs. Eddy, I felt these ideas forcing me to see beyond the immediate circumstances – to get a spiritual view of my true being.

All through the drive that evening, and for days prior, I'd pondered the indestructible nature of man. My thought was on fire with it. So much so that at the moment of the crash it was as though I wasn't even in it. The fact that I was aware that Spirit made me, that I was made exclusively of the qualities of God, Spirit, and that this was the all and only power that governed me and the entire situation, brought such dominion with it, that I was actually free from destruction, and the physical laws which seemed to govern.

Through an amazing set of circumstances, too long to tell at this point, relief came. A convoy of soldiers saw the plight and took care of everything. I was held at a field hospital and told I had internal injuries and broken ribs. To all outward appearances I had been in a most vulnerable spot with the steering column jammed into me. But the following morning, upon further examination, I was found perfectly well. Two days later I found my way back to my outfit. Soldiers in the unit thought I was a ghost – I had been listed as lost in action.

To learn to have a faith that is based on a spiritual and scientific understanding of God's great love for man, is to learn to master all the fears and foes which come with doubt.

We've seen that with a strong, intelligent faith we can have a purpose to our life, and a life of love, free of doubt and other evils. And we have seen examples of understanding faith in operation. In order to grasp this enlightened kind of faith more fully, we need to look at the other end of the spectrum – doubt.

 

Doubt Defined as Uncertainty

By doubt I don't mean the healthy kind of skepticism with which we can properly meet all the threats of fear and evil and ignorance. Of this alert attitude the French have a saying: "No error can resist a sufficiently rigorous application of doubt."

No, by doubt I mean what dictionaries define as wavering in opinion or judgment, an uncertainty about anything. Webster, in fact, says that doubt is to be ". . . undecided as to the truth of the negative or the affirmative proposition." So we can see that doubt is a state of indecision. All the fence-straddling, the pussyfooting around, the mollycoddling, the failure to come to grips with any given situation, lie within the area of doubt.

Consider what this can tell us about our lives. The Bible interestingly says that a "double minded man is unstable in all his ways" (James 1:8). It's of help to know that both double and doubt come from the same Latin root – "duo" – a word which means two. But are we really guilty of this dualism, this double standard? Yes, if we admit to a mind believing in both matter and Spirit. If we accept that all we can ever see or know or touch or feel or smell is confined to the physical frame. And it we allow that in this frame called a body is the capacity both to sin and be holy, to be sick and well, to be poor and rich, successful or a failure, to live or to die.

Now a strong, genuine faith asks why does this happen? What seems to be the reason for these double-minded states of thinking? And the intelligence which marks a genuine faith answers like this. It looks at one side of the picture and sees the sin, disease, death, sensuality, insanity, and unbalance that accompany materially based mentality. Then on the other side it views the joy, freedom, harmony, peace, purity, security, and buoyancy which arc the outgrowth of spiritually based mentality. And viewing Jesus' statement: "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing" (John 6:63), we can see that matter, of which flesh is one form, has no quickening, no ability to come alive, no power to dictate the terms on which we live.

And so matter, with all its attendant beliefs of flesh and physicality is at the root of double-mindedness and doubt. The belief and faith of being limited and confined within the physical framework of a material body is what would hold humanity in bondage. That which keeps double-mindedness and doubt alive and active, is the belief that life and Spirit are confined in and must act through matter.

Do you remember John Bunyan's book The Pilgrim's Progress? If so you'll recall that his hero is a man named Christian. And Christian, on a journey, comes to Doubting Castle. And who should be the owner of Doubting Castle but Giant Despair! And guess to whom the Giant is married? None other than Diffidence.

What a telling allegory! One might liken the physical senses and other physical evidence to a Doubting Castle. Imprisoned within them, confined to what they say about us, turning to them for the answers as to our well-being and well-doing, who might not become wedded to diffidence – distrustful, unconfident and despairing? For to constantly look into the world of material sensation, with its ups and downs, its evolvements and dissolvements, its actions and reactions, its productions and destructions, is to always be at the mercy of doubt and double-mindedness. It is to always be "undecided as to the . . . negative or affirmative proposition."

 

 

 

Belief in Matter Yields to Spiritual Understanding

We can see that matter and physicality in and of themselves arc not the real concern. No, rather is it the belief we implant in them. But what the human mind beholds through the five physical senses isn't reality to Spirit, God. It is illusory, a mental picture held by a material mentality, which yields its false-picture when viewed spiritually.

When belief is changed to a higher basis, to a spiritual basis of thought, then the belief or faith in matter disappears. Just as Abraham's higher concept of faith saved his son, so does our faith, elevated to spiritual understanding, save us from being confined to a mortal basis of being. Spiritual sense doesn't accept matter or physical sensation as reality. And spiritual understanding can lift us out of material beliefs into a spiritual sense of life. For spiritual understanding is an understanding of Spirit, God, and of Spirit's limitless indestructible creation. Belief in matter is destroyed by the power of such understanding, and doubt vanishes. Before a faith that has developed into spiritual understanding, the insurmountable, which is matter, becomes surmountable.

Today increasingly large numbers of people doubt that there even is a God or spiritual truth. They believe there's no true religion, no divine motive and purpose for living.   They find themselves imprisoned within the limitations of the physical universe and its sensations. They think that nothing can be known beyond material phenomena, certainly nothing about the existence of a God. In this state of thinking all reality is held to rest on objects discernible to the physical senses. All the "intimations of immortality" – to use   Wordsworth's phrase – the poetry, art, beauty of nature are to him but subjective phenomena in the elusive framework of matter.

But if only matter-phenomena were true, where would advancing life be? Still in the caveman era? or the Stone Age? or even twenty million years back in the Miocene period? If everyone had lived within the narrow limits of physical sight, that's exactly where we would be. But the very nature of developing faith is to look beyond – to quest for more than is visible to physical senses. And gratefully there have always been those who have done this, who have had insight, a talent beyond the borders of physical sight. And they have assiduously cultivated this talent of insight, insight – which is actually spiritual understanding. It is the cultivated art of learning to know yourself and your universe, all aspects of man and the universe in which he lives, from a spiritual point of view.

 

Jesus Exemplified Spiritual Sense

Let's see how Jesus taught his disciples to do this. An experience occurred three days after the attempt to get rid of Jesus had failed. One of his disciples, Thomas, refused to believe that he wasn't dead. To establish proof of his identity to Thomas, Jesus permitted him to feel the spear wound in his side, and the nail prints in the palms of his hands. Then Thomas was convinced it was actually Jesus.

Jesus then said to Thomas: "Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed" (John 20:29). In other words, blessed is anyone who does not need to see, or feel, or touch matter or physical evidence in order to know the presence and power of God, Spirit. Here was Jesus leading the thought of his disciple to see beyond what the limited physical senses were telling him.

In so doing Jesus set the pattern for progressive Christianity. And he skillfully practiced this in his own ministry. His was a spiritual understanding based on the insight that God is an absolute presence and power at hand. And Jesus himself embraced and held this presence and power of God as his individual state of self-knowledge. This earned for him the title of the Christ. And this Christ, or true knowledge of God and of his own spiritual selfhood, enabled him to see beyond matter and destroy its limitations of whatever kind.

The same power enabled him to withstand all temptations – temptations that even came in the guise of good. So mentally imbued was he with this Christly consciousness, he could, with a glance, a word, or a thought, destroy any evidence of evil that might appear.  So disbelieving was he in matter's claim to power that he remained unimpressed when the devil offered him all the kingdoms of the world. Jesus knew the devil didn't have a half acre in his own name!

This Christ-power enabled him to be so enthused with the world of Spirit that he said: "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). And this sense of unity of Father and Son led to his conclusion that the devil, evil, was, to again quote Jesus, "a liar" (John 8:44). That which each of us can do is keep the Christ-spirit running strong and vital within us. If we never lose the vision Jesus had of himself and the clear sense of man's indestructible relationship to God, we'll never lose our own ability to see that the Christly qualities are natural to every one of us, too.

As sons and daughters of God, we have the same spiritual heritage as his, and our spiritual understanding goes hand in hand with this heritage. This is our authority for dominion over evil under any guise – even if it looks real, feels real, seems real, and even if one seems to be born into it, and lives in it. No one who has had the slightest glimpse of his Christliness need accept any inheritance but what comes from God, the creator and Father of all.

This line of reasoning coincides with Jesus' challenge to all men to be perfect, "even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:48). For what else would God have in his creation but a perfect man? And who else could be that perfect man but you and me in our true, Christly natures? This puts a new accent on faith, and brings into play its highest meaning – spiritual understanding of eternal perfection. For to be perfect, man is consonant with the spiritually inspired passage from the prophet Isaiah which says of material mortals: "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils" (2:22). And in the same book we read of God's man: "Ye are my witnesses . . . that I am God" (Isa. 43:12). Only spiritual perfection could bear witness to God as its Maker, and this is the man progressively revealed to us by spiritual understanding.

 

Mrs. Eddy's Spiritual Understanding

This same insight seen in the life of Jesus is what gave Mary Baker Eddy her basic premise: "There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all" (Science and Health, p. 468). Her own experiences forced her thought to see beyond matter; and even more, to see beyond mortal mentality to the realm of spiritual reality. She discovered that true religion is found in the understanding of absolute good. She saw that God, the cause and creator, is divine intelligence, the one and only Mind. And since it is the sole province of a mind to know, God's, Mind's, creation is comprised of His knowledge. What He knows alone constitutes reality. And it is a spiritual reality.

Mrs. Eddy's concept of true religion centers around the fact that one should see a man other than a physical man. In spiritual understanding the man limited to the physical senses, and the medical, biological, and materially psychological opinions of him, are gone. Mrs. Eddy's understanding of this was like the Apostle Paul's who had written centuries before: "For I know that . . . (. . . in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing," (Rom. 7:18).

Each of us can accept the joy of proving the higher nature, the spiritual Christly qualities, we each possess. Each of us can refuse to indulge in or rest in a state of faith or belief in evil and matter. And by evil and matter we mean all unfaithful, indecisive, doubtful thinking – be it of moral fault, of accident, of grief, of disease, of death – of any matter-based condition.

Life without a doubt is life which knows that matter or evil is unreal, because the allness of Spirit precludes evil. And it is our thought and life so in love with the things of Spirit – so enthused and at one with Spirit's allness – that writes our clear title to mansions in the sky and liberates us from material limitation – from Doubting Castle.

 

Prayer Is Essential to Spiritual Understanding

We have seen that faith can be developed into spiritual understanding, and that in so doing doubt is destroyed. Now the question naturally arises: "How does one do this? How do I achieve this great goodness and spiritual power?" A Christian promise from the teachings of Jesus is that we shall be able to do his works.

What could be a greater Christian goal than wholly spiritualized consciousness? The way to work toward this is to look in thought beyond physical sense evidence. And this life-giving process, this coming face to face with one's spiritual sense of being, is accomplished through prayer.

Prayer is learning to understand who we are – spiritual man. It changes our attitude from that of doubt to conviction. Prayer is essentially attitude – it is our way of thinking about ourselves and others, about any given situation or circumstances. The proper attitude eliminates ignorance and blind faith. Instead it utilizes enlightened faith and spiritual understanding. Begging, pleading, emotionalism are gone. Prayer not only acknowledges our nearness to God, our actually being in His presence, but permits us to know and feel our complete unity with Him. This brings to bear the light of divine intelligence and dispels false beliefs with right concepts.

In spiritually scientific prayer we don't ask God for anything material; but acknowledge that all of God's goodness is already at hand. It awaits only acceptance. The individual who understandingly guides his thought in this manner finds himself living with the spiritual facts of being. There's no failure in this kind of prayer, no hopelessness, no fruitless words, no ritual, but always a feeling that in the words of Science and Health, "Spiritual sense is a conscious, constant capacity to understand God" (p. 209). Prayer is asking and receiving. And this kind of prayer never leaves us comfortless. Though purely spiritual, it meets every human need in ways we can understand. It heals any and all ills.

 

Acting in Accord with Spirit

This kind of prayer results in faith and works and points up the saying: "Faith without works is dead" (James 2:20). For the thrill of spiritual understanding is gained by acting in accord with it.

Let me illustrate spiritual understanding in action by telling of two healings which were accomplished by the kind of prayer we've been speaking of. They are of interest told together because one is of an innocent child – the other of a jaded, hardened sinner. But spiritual understanding is no respecter of persons, is universally available, and knows no generation gap.

A ten-year-old girl, while on an outdoor outing with some young friends was seriously burned when her clothing caught on fire. Her mother was one of the parents chaperoning the event. She immediately wrapped the child in a blanket, brought her home, and called a Christian Science practitioner to pray for the child. When the practitioner arrived at the home, he found the child sitting up in bed, unable to lie down because of severe blisters.  A Christian Science nurse was called, the body was immaculately cleansed and properly dressed, and soon the child began to rest more peacefully. Prayer was continued.

Within a comparatively short period the child was back in school. Today she is a leader in her community of young people, and a healthy, happy girl.

While the healing itself is important, what makes this a significant experience is the attitude of the mother and child. Not once did this ten-year-old child show that she didn't have an absolute faith in God's ability to care for her. The mother was a study in spiritual courage, as she stayed constantly at the child's side, reviewing many spiritual truths with her.

This, you see, wasn't blind belief at work or even mere enlightened human faith. This was actually the absolute presence and power of good, God, understood and demonstrated. From infancy this child had never been taught anything but the presence and power of divine Love. And now in her hour of need she was bolstered and supported. Just think what a heritage this young lady has in spiritual dominion. She started out living her life without doubt.

 

A Life Is Changed

The other experience is of a man who from his early teens found himself possessed by the worst possible tendencies. As he grew to young manhood, these only increased. He said that his thinking was finally at the point where he lived only as an animal organism, seeking thrill after thrill in material, sensual living. This went on for several years. Then his health broke and he had two operations. But he was still wracked by pain even though he was braced from the base of his spine to the nape of his neck to ease the condition. Finally he was told there was nothing else to be done for him, and that within six months he would lose all his teeth and his eyesight.

In this plight he recalled that a brother of his, as a young child, had been healed in Christian Science when medicine could no longer help. Now in desperation he turned to Christian Science to save him. Little by little he began to place his trust in God and dispossess himself of the evil tendencies that had attached themselves to his thinking. One by one he began to exchange them for more wholesome attitudes, and thus began to build into his life a faith in the things of God. For the better part of three years this process continued, his sight and teeth began to improve, and he exchanged the large brace for a smaller one. He still had a great amount of pain. But he prayed with increasing confidence and understanding.

At this point he was on a total disability allowance. Then came the realization that, if he were to truly see himself as the full expression of God, as the whole man, the spiritual man that was his true being, he could no longer accept income on the basis that he was an incapacitated, sick, limited, mortal man. Courageously he wrote the necessary authorities and asked that his allowance be canceled. Two weeks later he took off the small brace, found himself free of pain, and the possessor of a new consciousness – his true one!

Today he is married, has a lovely family, is president of a successful corporation, and gratefully acknowledges that his health and well-being are the results of a cultivated spiritual understanding. He, like the little ten-year-old girl overcame his belief in matter, accepted spiritual reality, and started living his life without doubt. Such are the fruits of faith that has become spiritual understanding and spiritual understanding that has been put boldly into action.

 

"All things work together for good"

We're all familiar with the account in the New Testament where it's related that those with divers diseases were brought to Jesus for healing. Two young brothers I know had this exchange of dialogue concerning this passage one Sunday morning, as they left Sunday School. Dick, a four-year-old, turned to his six-year-old brother and said: "Hank, what are divers diseases?" Hank's quick retort was: "What do you care for? You can't even swim."

This aptly states a truism for many of us – where the things of Spirit are concerned, where the deep issues, God and man, are involved, we only wade – or perhaps don't even get our feet wet. Our explorations in outer space have only whetted our appetites to know more about the vastness of the physical universe. Why then should not a religion keep pace with this quest, teaching men and women to push out from matter-based concepts into the brave new world of Spirit?

Mrs. Eddy writes: "The restoration of pure Christianity rests solely on spiritual understanding, spiritual worship, spiritual power" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 152). As a religion based on the allness of God, Christian Science gives to its student such a faith in Spirit's omnipresence that one can learn to know the nothingness of all lies that would contradict the exclusive presence of good. In its spiritual worship it gives a true philosophy wherein all negation is gone and faith upholds and supports individual consciousness, giving doubt no lodgment.

And in its offering of spiritual power, Christian Science does the work of true Science; it releases power – the power of faith in good. It releases spiritual understanding that is so buoyantly and spontaneously expressed that we can live a life without doubt.

 

©1969 James E. Pike

All rights reserved

 

 

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