Christian Science: The Revelation of True Security

 

Paul K. Wavro, C.S.B., of Jacksonville, Florida

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:

True security is a present possibility for everyone in this audience. You can have it right now. It is my joyous privilege to tell you how Christian Science can bring security into your experience. The solution for every human problem is assured when one faithfully practices the truths explained in the textbook of Christian Science, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy. I make this statement without reservation, for more than eighty years this textbook has been the key that has unlocked the promises of the Bible for countless thousands. It has brought them health, happiness, abundance, and all good as well as freedom from fear, anxiety, limitation, and want of any kind. Its teachings can bring this same security to you. The textbook states, "Security for the claims of harmonious and eternal being is found only in divine Science" (Science and Health, p. 232). Now, let us consider how Christian Science can bring this security to you.

 

God Is All-Power

Human experience appears as uncertain and insecure. This lack of security stems from mankind's reliance upon material means for health, harmony, supply, and well-being. Matter being finite, security based upon material means and power must be finite. Security and power are inseparable. To have true security you must have true power. The Psalmist sang, "God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God" (Ps. 62:11). You will find real security in direct ratio to your understanding of the true nature of God, for true power is found only in God. Christ Jesus perceived this fact when he said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:33).

Christian Science brings one an understanding of God. It is through prayer that security is demonstrated. Christian Science reveals God as Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, and Love. In these synonymous names for God we find revealed the wholeness and completeness of Deity. I shall mention during the course of the lecture how an understanding of these terms for God will help you in demonstrating true security

God, Principle, Love, is the only cause and creator. In Genesis we read, "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Gen. 1:31). Since like produces like, God, good, could create only good. Evil, disease, and discord are no part of His creation. Christian Science assures you that good is the nature of all that is real. When you think of God, think of omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, and omniaction. God is all-power, all-presence, all-knowing, and all-acting. You always have available to you the power, presence, knowing, and activity of the law of Love. God, Principle, Love, embraces you in His goodness. This is secure being.

 

 

Ever-presence of the Christ

Christ Jesus demonstrated security by accepting the omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience, and omniaction of God as true. Christian Science distinguishes between the man Jesus and the Christ which he expressed. Jesus was a human man, the son of the virgin, Mary. The Christ is the Truth which Jesus demonstrated. In speaking of the Christ, Mrs. Eddy says, "Christ is the true idea voicing good, the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness" (Science and Health, p 332). Christ is the manifestation of God.

Jesus' understanding of the Christ enabled him to accomplish his wonderful healing works. Christ Jesus demonstrated security from every argument of human existence. He stilled the tempest, fed the multitude, healed the sick, the lame, and the maimed. His infinite ability and might were the result of his claim to oneness with God. Jesus claimed no power, presence, knowing, or activity apart from God. He said, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). You must claim your oneness with the Father to experience the dominion that Jesus demonstrated. This is a present possibility. Christ Jesus was the Wayshower. His mission was to show mankind the infinitude of good that is available to all.

Jesus did not resort to personal power in performing his works. They resulted from his clear manifestation of the Christ. He expected you and me and all men to follow his example. He said, "Verily, verily I say until you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do" (John 14:12). You do not have to wait for the Christ to come. The Christ is always with you. The Christ is here. This promise is beautifully stated in Hymn No. 412 in the Christian Science Hymnal:

 

"The Christ is here, all dreams of error breaking,

Unloosing bonds of all captivity."

 

Man's Life Is Secure

Mankind's enslavement by the false arguments of fear, failure, accident, world uncertainty, and want, indicate an urgent need for a better sense of security. As the Christ breaks these dreams of error, we find the true and secure nature of man revealed. Christian Science declares man to be the image and likeness of God. This is the man God created, mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis. Man, created in God's likeness, is like God. You can understand your true selfhood only as you understand God. If you feel limited in any way, you are suffering from a limited understanding of God. Open your thought to the fullness of God. This brings into your experience the infinite ability and capacity of God. As God's image and likeness you are whole, sound, perfect, intact, and well made. Refuse to accept any other concept about yourself.

Your life can be made harmonious and secure because you are the expression of God, who is our Life. Life, God, is indestructible, unassailable, perfect, and eternal. This Life is your life. The Apostle Paul said, "For in him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28). This spiritual sense of life brings freedom from all material bondage and reveals the perfection of man as the son of God. This is the only true man.

You may ask, "What about mortal man, the man who appears as sick, sinning, and dying?" This mortal appearing results from the false belief that both good and evil emanate from God or that God allows evil. But God, the creator of all, is wholly good. Then the belief that man is mortal, a mixture of good and evil must be false. All there is to mortal man is a false belief. When we stop thinking of ourselves as mortal, all seeming discords can be eliminated from our experience. Belief in matter and the material senses is the source of insecurity. Material sense is a liar. It is in conflict with itself. For example, the perfume that is so sweet to the nose is bitter to the tongue. The boiled cabbage that is so palatable is anything but pleasing to the nose. It is these very senses that would try to dictate to you in all things.

Speaking of the material senses, Mrs. Eddy writes: "The only evidence we have of sin, sickness, or death is furnished by these senses; but how can we rely on their testimony when the senses afford no evidence of Truth? They can neither see, hear, feel, taste, nor smell God; and shall we call that reliable evidence through which we can gain no understanding of Truth, Life, and Love?" She adds, "Friends, it is of the utmost importance that we look into these subjects, and gain our evidences of Life from the correct source" (Christian Healing, p. 16).

Material sense testimony must be replaced with Christ-ideas. The Christ reveals the true nature of man. It discloses to you the fullness and completeness of Life, God. This knowledge brings you the full measure of security and harmony that is your heritage as the son of God.

 

Discoverer and Founder

The desire for freedom to worship God brought many English, Dutch, and Scotch settlers to the new land of America. Mary Baker Eddy was a descendant of such Scotch and English ancestry. Religion played a prominent part in her early life. It was the custom for her father to read to the family daily from the Bible. Her mother often talked to her about God and encouraged her to pray in time of need. This religious background influenced Mrs. Eddy's entire life. She was a delicate child, and her health did not improve as she reached womanhood. During this time, Mrs. Eddy continued her study of the Bible, seeking to know God better. In 1866 she experienced a severe fall. When the attending physician told her she was dying, it was natural for Mrs. Eddy to turn to God in prayer. She asked to be left alone with her Bible. Opening it she read the account of the healing of the palsied man recorded in the ninth chapter of Matthew. The spiritual promise in this healing became clear to her. She arose from her bed, healed. From that day, Mrs. Eddy enjoyed a normal sense of health.

For the next three years, Mrs. Eddy studied the Bible to learn how she had been healed. She writes of this period: "The search was sweet, calm, and buoyant with hope, not selfish nor depressing. . . . The revelation of Truth in the understanding came to me gradually and apparently through divine power" (Science and Health, p. 109). Her discovery of the Science of Christianity was not a personal thing nor a human invention. It was clearly a revelation from God of the healing method used by Christ Jesus. As Mrs. Eddy reasoned in accord with this revealed Truth, it became evident to her that all mankind would be benefited by her discovery. She accepted patients seeking healing and enjoyed remarkable success in this work.

In 1875 she published her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures." It is a complete statement of how one can attain security through understanding God and the true nature of man. This book is not Mrs. Eddy's personal opinion but is divine revelation. Jesus said, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever" (John 14:16). In referring to this statement, Mrs. Eddy writes, "This Comforter I understand to be Divine Science" (Science and Health, p. 55). Naturally, Christian Scientists are grateful to Mrs. Eddy for bringing the promised Comforter to the world. They recognize her work as being divine revelation and accept her as the forever Leader of Christian Science. They acknowledge her place as Discoverer of Christian Science and Founder of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts.

 

The Prayer of Understanding

Mrs. Eddy discovered that divine law, God's law, governs all real being. Healing in Christian Science results from the application of divine law to the human problem. This problem may appear as sickness, sin, lack, inharmony, or unhappiness. When divine law is applied to these experiences, or what we term false beliefs, we call it Christian Science treatment or the prayer of understanding. Such prayer does not involve the ignoring of the problem, or wishing away the apparent discordant condition through the exercise of human will.

Occasionally, I have someone tell me that prayer in Christian Science is simply will power, or mental suggestion. This is not true. Human will power, mental suggestion, hypnotism, psychosomatic medicine, or any other mental system has nothing to do with Christian Science healing. Such systems deal with the suggestion that one is a material being. Prayer in Christian Science declares man to be spiritual and corrects the false beliefs about man through spiritual understanding. We do say error or evil is unreal. It will be helpful to explain what we mean by that statement.

Evil is unreal because it is the opposite of God, good. Such arguments as sickness, sin, and discord are unreal, for they cannot and do not emanate from a good God. Evil is unreal because God is not its cause, and there is no other cause. However, sickness, sin, and discord do claim to be present and must not be ignored in your work in Christian Science. Ignoring an error never brings correction. It is truth that eliminates error. Christian Science treatment or prayer replaces error with Truth. Truth is God, the reality of all being. Truth is a revelation, for it reveals the true facts of all creation. Truth, God, is changeless and enduring. When you know the truth, this brings you the security of changeless and eternal being. Truth is always demonstrable and effective. Christian Science healing takes place as you consciously entertain ideas of Truth, God. These ideas of God operating in your consciousness replace false mortal concepts with true concepts and bring healing into your experience.

To be successful in Christian Science treatment you must hold steadfast to the Christ-idea in the face of all sense testimony to the contrary. It you are in doubt as to what constitutes a Christ-idea, ask yourself, "What is God knowing about me at this moment?" God could know only that which is true, good, perfect, whole, healthful, harmonious, active, and free. Then, these are the Christ-ideas to accept into your consciousness. Maintaining them will bring out harmony in any situation. This is the prayer of understanding. It is understanding the true nature of God, and man in God's likeness. When you apply this understanding to the false sense testimony, it brings the desired correction. You readily see that Christian Science treatment is more than mind over matter. It is Truth, God, over error. Since Truth is always demonstrable, you will always find the security you are seeking by knowing Truth, God. True knowing is true security.

Security in Business

Through true knowing you can bring security to your daily activity or business. This security is demonstrated when you understand your real activity to be the expression of divine ideas. This is your real business − to glorify God. In the degree that you reflect divine ideas in your daily activity will your business prosper. Your business will be just as secure as your thinking about it. You need to take frequent inventory of your consciousness. If you are entertaining thoughts of fear, anxiety, doubt, jealousy, or ill will, this will limit your activity. These are liabilities. Only as you replace such false beliefs with love, trust, confidence, good will, and gratitude will you experience a full measure of security in your business. These divine qualities are assets that are sought by every employer and business.

Let me tell you how a young man found security in this way. Due to a change of residence he had to find employment. Because he was in an area of economic recession, this presented a problem. Christian Science had taught him that his human experience would be governed by the ideas he maintained in consciousness. Knowing that every employer desires honesty, loyalty, intelligence, ability, and cheerfulness, he daily expressed these ideas. Within a short time employment of a menial nature was offered to him. Despite the long hours and small pay, he was grateful for the activity.

Soon a sales position was offered to him. Here, two new arguments appeared: one, that business was seasonal; the other, that to secure business, it was necessary to take it away from others. He saw the necessity of replacing these limited beliefs with spiritual facts. Divine Science had revealed to him the omnipresence and omni-activity of God. There could be no seasonal limitation to the unfoldment of good. He knew God to be Mind. Since Mind, God, has infinite ideas, there was enough for all. He did not have to take anything from another. Trying to outguess another would be placing his activity on the level of limited mortal thinking. Reflecting Mind, he could manifest only unlimited, intelligent, helpful, loving ideas which would attract.

He reasoned that true competition was similar to a footrace. In a race, all start at a common point and try to reach the goal through putting forth their best efforts. To interfere with another would only impede one's own progress. He saw the necessity of watching his own thinking. Each day he was about his Father's business by being loving, helpful, considerate, and honest. As a result, in the next two years his business increased one third each year over the preceding year. He was given a supervisory position with a substantial increase of salary. He proved his security and supply to be in his knowledge and understanding of God. You can do the same in your experience if you will remember your real employment is to express God's ideas. Then, you, too, will be secure in your Father's business and in all business.

Not only did the young man just mentioned find success and security in the business world, but he also found it in an entirely different way. His prayerful daily work began to attract others who were seeking the ideas he was expressing. Requests for help in Christian Science became so numerous that he had to decide whether to continue in business or enter the full-time practice of Christian Science. The choice was not difficult. He knew the wonderful blessings that had come to him through the teachings of Christian Science. For many years he has been a successful Christian Science practitioner and has had the privilege of helping others find true security.


Secure Health

Through Christian Science we can experience freedom and security in health as well as in business. Christian Science teaches that inharmonious conditions of the body exist solely as phenomena of the human consciousness. Correction or healing necessitates regeneration of this consciousness. The mental nature of existence has been recognized for many centuries. The Bible declares, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Prov. 23:7). At a later date, Descartes, the French philosopher, said, "I think, therefore I am" (Principes de la Philosophic, Bk. 1, Sec. 7).

We know that human emotions such as fear, embarrassment, anger, and grief all affect the body. Grief or anger causes tears; embarrassment brings a pink blush to the cheek. Fear can increase or decrease the activity of the pulse. If you were experiencing any of these conditions, it would not help to do anything to your body. The tears, blush, or pulse would be changed only as the cause was removed. These conditions are familiar to you. But are you aware that strong feelings such as criticism, hatred, envy, and malice lead to diseased conditions of the body? You must strive daily to eliminate such false beliefs from consciousness if you would avoid their bad effects.

Let me tell you how a woman received help from a Christian Science practitioner in purifying her consciousness of criticism and domination. She was suffering from an internal growth which prevented normal function of the body. She was capable, efficient, and financially successful, but had become domineering, critical, and expressed little appreciation or gratitude. Through prayer, the practitioner discerned the need to dissolve this accumulation of mortal thinking. It was pointed out to the woman that she needed to replace this false sense of substance for the understanding of God, Spirit, as the only real substance. She perceived that substance is not an accumulation of matter. True substance, being Spirit, God, is the very opposite of matter. It could be found only in the ideas of God. Then, true substance could appear in her experience by replacing material beliefs with spiritual ideas.  She replaced domination with cooperation and flexibility. Genuine appreciation and gratitude dispelled the false argument of criticism.

She not only made a daily effort to express these spiritual ideas but also looked for them in those around her. She was surprised to find others expressing the same ideas of God that she was striving to express. When she looked for good and made a place for it in consciousness, she found it. Within a few weeks she was completely healed. This healing proves that one can be preserved from any false sense of substance by understanding Spirit, God. Spiritual ideas free one from the bondage of material beliefs. Security, then, is attained when one is conscious of God, Spirit, the only true substance. Mrs. Eddy has written, "The true consciousness is the true health" (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 298).

 

The Promise to Youth

Young people are especially interested in security. Christian Science offers youth unlimited opportunities for good. It is a happy, joyous religion. Those who practice its teachings are happy and joyous people. Christian Science provides sound guidance for all young people. I have mentioned its application to business and physical problems. Many students in school and college have found that Christian Science makes them better scholars. It frees them from tension, fear, and beliefs of immaturity and inadequacy. I, personally, can vouch for the security it brings to the athlete. In the three years I participated in sports, I was never subjected to any disabling injury. During the past world conflict thousands of young Christian Scientists found safety through their knowledge of God. Many were protected from harm in the thick of combat.

Young people have found lasting satisfaction and true companionship through this Christ Science. They have found that the practice of their religion does not set them apart from their friends. Instead, it brings them the respect and admiration of all those who love good. Christian Science shows youth the infinite possibilities of thought when liberated from personal sense. Personal sense is always a limited sense because it makes no place for divine revelation. Through Christian Science youth perceives that spiritual sense alone satisfies. This knowledge dispels uncertainty about the future. It reveals the true basis for present and future security.

 

Mission of the Church

The church is of vital importance to you in finding true security. Mrs. Eddy indicated that the church was the way of salvation. She said that the Christian Science church would uplift the race, that it would awaken the dreamer from material beliefs to the understanding of spiritual ideas. This awakening results in the demonstration of Christian Science through the elimination of error (Science and Health, p. 583:14-19). Therefore, the purpose of the Christian Science church is to bring redemption and salvation. Do not feel that you are not worthy of church membership. Since its mission is redemptive, the church helps you attain perfection. The Christian Science church welcomes all who are willing to accept and practice its teachings. It helps one to become a better Christian. By joining the church, one identifies himself with God's cause and purpose. He is uniting with those who love and serve God. This must bless him.

However, there is more to salvation than just joining the church. To experience the full benefits of church membership it is necessary to study the Bible and Science and Health, to attend church services regularly, and to become an active church worker. Those who have attended our church services know the great joy, peace, and spiritual good that come from such attendance. This is just a small taste of the blessings that come through active service as a church member. Church membership and activity stimulate individual progress. Such activity requires you to demonstrate a more spiritual sense and Christlike affection. Through study and consecration you attain the spiritual sense which results in spiritual growth.

 

Security in the Home

Nowhere will you find these teachings more practical and helpful than in your own home. Your home is just as secure as the divine ideas you entertain about it. You will find expressed in your home only those ideas you accept into consciousness. How important it is for you to make sure that you are bringing love, helpfulness, consideration, kindness, and cooperation into your consciousness of home. Make sure that you are expressing these ideas in a way that is tangible to those around you. Take the time to give loving encouragement and assurance to the members of your family. Establish your home in the Love that is Principle. Love is firmness in the right. Make Love the rule by which you do things. This will unite your family in the bonds of true affection. Christ Jesus, our Wayshower, met the human need at the standpoint of that need. Be sure that you are following in his way. Through expressing divine ideas you will assure the harmony and security of your home and family.

You will be interested in hearing how a home and marriage were made secure in this way. A woman whose husband had been unfaithful asked a Christian Science practitioner for help. The practitioner explained to her that man is in reality the reflection of God, Soul. In Soul she would find only the pure, beautiful, immortal ideas of God. Soul reveals man's true identity as sinless and perfect. This was the truth about her husband. She needed to replace the false suggestions confronting her with these spiritual facts. It was explained to her that prayer in Christian Science does not condemn man. True prayer lifts man above error. When man's true selfhood is perceived through the ideas of Soul, sin is destroyed.

Her attention was directed to this passage from the textbook: "The substance of all devotion is the reflection and demonstration of divine Love, healing sickness and destroying sin" (Science and Health, p. 241). Real devotion must manifest truth, honesty, purity, and goodness. Without these divine ideas, any claim to devotion was simply a counterfeit and could exercise no real attraction. The wife resolved that divine Love alone would be manifested in her thinking. She created in her home an atmosphere of appreciation, pure devotion, sympathetic understanding, and forgiveness which proved to have irresistible attraction.

The husband was completely transformed, and he, too, became a student of Christian Science. Through its teachings they both found security, happiness, and joy in their home. Be sure that you are establishing the ideas of God, or Soul, as the substance of your sense of home. Make your home the center of the affections. This is the basis of all family happiness and security.

 

World Security

Today, Christian Science presents to you the means of attaining a safe and secure world. Its teachings reveal that true power is found only in God. The false claims of matter are exposed by this understanding. In a time when we are hearing much about the power of the atom, it may be well to examine the claim of material power. Atomic research has reduced matter to force. Over eighty years ago, Mrs. Eddy declared: "The physical universe expresses the conscious and unconscious thoughts of mortals. Physical force and mortal mind are one" (Science and Health, p. 484). Thus we see that atomic discoveries are simply thoughts of mortals. Material power is the result of the belief in materiality. Christian Science teaches us that there is but one Mind, God. God being Spirit, Mind must manifest only spiritual ideas. This fact nullifies the suggestion that mind is mortal. This understanding enables us to nullify the claims of physical force which are inseparable from mortal mind.

The Bible records an instance where spiritual ideas maintained by one man brought deliverance to an entire nation. The armies of the Philistines had come to battle Israel. Their champion was a giant named Goliath. He was equipped with the most formidable weapons of his day. Ten feet tall, wearing a coat of mail weighing two hundred pounds, and carrying the heaviest of spearheads, he challenged the armies of Israel. Israel sent David, a shepherd boy, to meet this great hulk of a man. David refused the armor of King Saul and carried only a few stones and a sling in the way of material armament. He answered the taunts of Goliath with these words: "I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel" (I Sam. 17:45). Clad in his unshakable faith in God's power and protection, David slew Goliath. The armies of the Philistines were routed. Demonstrating security for himself, David proved it for all Israel (I Sam. 17:1-53).

Here is an important point. The world is made up of individuals. World security, then, is attained through the demonstration of individual security. This makes you important to the demonstration of world peace. David proved that one with God is a majority. Claiming this oneness with God will enable you to establish a secure sense of being. There is but one God, Mind. This truth nullifies the belief in minds many which is the cause of conflict among men. Claiming only one Mind, God, you will express divine intelligence, helpfulness, appreciation, harmony, and love. This state of mind will bring unity to your relationships with others. In the infinite ideas of Mind there is just the right idea to meet every human need. In God, Mind, true knowing, you find the ideas that are necessary for a safe and secure world.

 

Conclusion

In this brief hour we have seen how Christian Science can bring true security to every phase of your life. The Bible makes this promise: "God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him" (Acts 10:34,35). Resolve to work righteousness today by reflecting God's ideas in your consciousness. This spiritual consciousness will make you acceptable to God. You will meet challenges to your faith as David did. Meet each one with the same conviction: ''I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts" (I Sam. 17:45). You are always in the presence of God. You never stand alone. God is omnipotent, so God never fails. Your demonstration of true security in health, home, business, and all things will be in direct proportion to your fidelity to Truth, God.

To reach this goal, these two books are indispensable. One is the King James Version of the Bible. The other is the Christian Science textbook. The Bible has been called the book of Life, and so it is. Science and Health is the key to the Scriptures unlocking its treasures. A faithful study of these two books will open for you the gates of heaven. You will prove security in your own experience and see the true meaning of Jesus' promise, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and  all  these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:33). God's kingdom is the kingdom of heaven. Mrs. Eddy has given us this definition of "Kingdom of Heaven:" "The reign of harmony in divine Science; the realm of unerring, eternal, and omnipotent Mind; the atmosphere of Spirit, where Soul is supreme" (Science and Health, p. 590). Stay in this atmosphere of Soul, in this Christ-consciousness. In this kingdom of heaven, you are forever secure.

 

[Published in The Media (Pennsylvania) News Comment, Nov. 13, 1958.]

 

 

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