Thursday, March 26, 2015
By John Wellsman
(John is a life-long student of Christian Science,
and lives in Arizona.)
Many individuals today are earnestly contemplating what Jesus, the Master Christian, would do in various world situations. The simple answer to that question: "He would heal the situation" was touched upon in a previous post by this author. However that response begs another, deeper question: What did Jesus actually DO in his healing ministry? And HOW did he do it?
First we must ask ourselves, did Jesus actually change reality? In other words were the conditions Jesus healed actually something real that he was able by some miraculous personal dispensation to change into another state? For example, did he actually change sick persons to well persons? Did he change a crippled person into a person able to "take up his bed and walk"? Did he change a blind person to a sighted person? Or ultimately did he change a dead person into a live person? Or did he reveal a reality hidden to most of the world steeped as it was and continues to be in materiality?
Even the Christian world generally accepts the position that Jesus did in fact change reality through a miraculous personal dispensation from a material god who creates and maintains both evil and good conditions but occasionally sets aside his maintenance of certain evil conditions to allow healing. And, of course many in the world today simply deny that Jesus' healing actually occurred.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of the Christian Science religion however took a radically different position. In doing so she was herself able to duplicate many of Jesus' so-called "miracles" including restoring apparently dead individuals to life and health. And she taught literally thousands of individuals to heal both themselves and others. In the ensuing century additional thousands of individuals have been instructed in Jesus' method of healing as taught in Christian Science, thus proving Jesus' "miracles" were not a one-time personal dispensation from a changeable and sometimes vindictive material god.
Any serious exploration of Christian Science and its' healing efficacy inevitably brings one to the conclusion Jesus did not change reality, but revealed it. Mrs. Eddy, whose own healing from what had been pronounced by the medical faculty to be a fatal accident, states in her textbook of Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals. In this perfect man the Saviour saw God's own likeness, and this correct view of man healed the sick." (p. 476:32).
The above passage is part of Mrs. Eddy's answer to the question, "What is man?" which begins on the previous page (p. 475:5). That answer, she boldly opens with the statement, "Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements." And she immediately continues with: "The Scriptures inform us that man is made in the image and likeness of God. Matter is not that likeness. The likeness of Spirit cannot be so unlike Spirit."
Jesus, of course, had no human father and this fact enabled him to see far more clearly than others the entirely spiritual nature of man behind the frail material facade. Nonetheless even Jesus was tempted by the appearances of so-called human existence. However he put down every attempt of the devil (evil) to convince him of the reality of material conditions. See the Bible, Matt 4:1-11. When Jesus put out of thought all of the devil's temptations,"...angels came and ministered unto him." And from that point on he began his world-changing healing ministry.
In-depth study of the teachings of Jesus and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy cannot help drawing one to the conclusion that what Jesus actually did in his healing ministry was to change beliefs and perceptions rather than material conditions. So clear was Jesus' perception of the perfection of God and man he was able to change the consciousness of others--and teach his disciples to do the same on a limited scale. This changed consciousness resulted in changed beliefs. Mrs. Eddy explains Jesus' perception and its' effects thus: "Holding the right idea of man in my mind , I can improve my own, and other people's individuality, health, and morals." Miscellaneous Writings, p. 62:1).
The power of a changed belief can be seen in the results of discarding the belief that the world was flat. For millennia the ancients had believed the world to be flat. So strongly were their thoughts held to this fallacy they actually put to death the first man to seriously challenge their opinions. Now the world was never flat but the ancients believed (and feared) that it was. And they "saw" what they believed. However look at the progress of the world since they finally discarded that belief of flatness for the reality of the world's actual roundness. They didn't change the world, just their view of it. Now virtually everyone "sees" a round earth.
In like fashion Jesus changed the beliefs of the world regarding sin, disease and death. Not realities but the beliefs were changed. Just as the world was never flat, man was never in reality a sinner, nor was he ever diseased or subject to death. Man was always the image and likeness of God, spiritual and perfect. Jesus' perception of this fact became apparent humanly to those present as improved material conditions.
The power of even a brief realization of the perfect status of man as God's spiritual image and likeness is inculculable. Mrs. Eddy states it this way in Science and Health: "Become conscious for a single moment that life and intelligence are purely spiritual,--neither in nor of matter,--and the body will then utter no complaints. If suffering from a belief in sickness, you will find yourself suddenly well." (S&H 14:12). An understanding of this statement will demonstrate that there is no separation in time from the perception to the evidence of the reality. This explains the seemingly miraculous phenomenon of instantaneous healings. Both in Jesus' works and Mrs. Eddy's as well as those of other students of Christian Science.
Is this not what Jesus actually did? Rather than changing reality he became conscious of the reality of God and man in His image and likeness. This consciousness changed the world's--and their own--perception of the individuals Jesus healed as Mrs. Eddy explains in the above quote from Miscellaneous Writings.
Posted by Poet at 11:15 AM
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Someone may wonder, don't the negative comments on your New York Times piece bother you? My answer, as Sidney Greenstreet said to Humphrey Bogart in "The Maltese Falcon", "As to that, sir, as to that", not in the least. As I was merely presenting my views on the healing efficacy of Christian Science, and not debating, I chose not to open up a back and forth with said commenters.
I'm far too steeped in the lives of those who stood up for their religious beliefs, heroes of the faith I call them, to be affected. Nothing short of being gunned down or thrown in jail for what I espouse makes any difference to me personally.
And as to the divine truths God revealed to Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, nothing touches them. Truth is Truth, and will remain so. That individuals who have not investigated my religion, who know nothing about it really, who have not experienced what God can do for one who has the understanding of His laws that Christian Science makes available, who worship not Him, but drugs etc, who have no use for religion in general, would make disparaging comments, is no surprise to me. Or those individuals who sadly have not been healed of their conditions through Christian Science. My heart goes out to them, as it does to individuals who have not been healed by medical means, or have been left in a worse state of health.
Of course, people want what they consider best for their children, all children. So does every Christian Science parent and practitioner I know. Who decides what is best? The medical profession, the state, a child's parent/parents? Who? Not one of us wants a child harmed. Not ever, never!
And I say again, as Americans we are guaranteed freedoms concerning religion and expression by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. It forbids Congress from restricting an individuals' religious practices. It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely.
Posted by Poet at 5:20 AM
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Just have to blog this morning, being awash in love and gratitude to our heavenly Father. Oh, the blessings He does give to those who stand up for Him.
As I was driving along just now, I had on Felix Mendelssohn's oratorio "Elijah". What a sublime thing it is, too. And I couldn't help thinking about his experience of coming across a New Testament one day and reading something Jesus said. His conversion to Christianity was immediate and lasting. But the part of this oratorio that stood out to me was this: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in their heavenly Father's realm. Joy on their heads shall be forever lasting."
To think what awaits us as we become, and are now, righteous which to me means being right with God as much as we're able, living our lives as His Son made plain for us. This, as I'm finding, brings into our lives here and now joy that will never wane.
Posted by Poet at 6:30 AM
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Have been thinking about an email I got earlier today from someone a world away from where I live. He related some of the experiences that led him to become an atheist.
How sad. But what I want to say to anyone else out there who feels this way, don't shut God out of your life. You are His child, whether or not you realize it -- a divine fact you can't get away from. And He has so much good to bestow on you, if you will just open your life up to Him. One may even feel life at present is wonderful without God in it. This won't last. It can't. How much infinitely more so it would be with God in it.
The broad path Jesus warns against has for the traveler fewer and fewer flowers as he walks in it until the landscape becomes very bleak indeed.
So, don't shut your loving heavenly Father out of your life. Return to Him a fraction of the oceans of love He feels for you, and you will wonder why you were ever content to live estranged from Him. Trust me, a world of good awaits you.
Posted by Poet at 5:11 PM
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Political discussions, as anyone knows, can get heated at times. But instead of going down that road and letting ourselves get all hot and bothered over what this or that government official may or may not be doing--too many of them corrupt--there is a better way for the follower of Christ Jesus and Christian Science.
It is to mind our true business which is to clearly know who really governs us--God almighty. As Psalms 22:28 points out: "For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations." And to pray that His will--not that of persons--be carried out.
And as with all the problems we face in daily life, Jesus' words hold the answer. Case in point: one day Peter was walking along with Jesus when John 21: 20-22 says, "The Peter turning about seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following;...Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me."
Taking the high road thus indicated in Scripture, we will avoid needless mental agitation and as we should, hold onto our peace and joy.
Posted by Poet at 10:33 AM
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
When I think of all that
Christ can do,
The myriad things
Christ has brought me through,
Can't help feeling awed,
Can't help feeling more indebted,
More inclined to praise.
What are some of the things
That I've been delivered from?
Illness, lack, fears too many,
Just to give a few.
Whatever the problems we face,
It is often-proven, undeniable fact,
That the might of Christ
Can bring us through intact.
"All power is given unto me
in heaven and in earth."
Blessed are those who know this,
Who know Christ Jesus
As Lord of all they do.
Posted by Poet at 9:32 AM
Sunday, March 1, 2015
By John Robert Howell
Challenges and afflictions come to us all. But whatever our particular problems may be, it is sometimes tempting to limit our efforts to the demands of personal tribulations. Obviously, our first responsibility is prayer for our own well-being, so that we may be helpful to others. But taking care that this deviation to self does not become self-indulgent, shutting out Christly compassion for our fellow beings, is essential.
Everything we learn in Christian Science and certainly from the Bible stresses the importance of loving our neighbors--wherever in the world they happen to be. And prayer on their behalf never fails to bless. As the New Testament points out: "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (Jas 5:16)
Failing to pray for the mitigation of humanity's overwhelming needs, we default to some extent our duty as students of Christian Science to pray more comprehensively for our own. Ignoring the countless evils besetting humanity is to fail to wrestle with and overcome some of the false beliefs which tempt us all, and which originate in the basic lie of mortal mind and to invite unwittingly the unclean spirit Jesus speaks of to take "seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and enter in and dwell there [in our consciousness]: and the last state of that man is worse than the first." (Matt 12:45)
To human sense the dismaying quantity, depth, and ferocity of the evil, depravity, and cruelty in the world is inescapable, but we cannot afford to ignore our duty to defend ourselves from aggressive mental suggestion and to refuse to "stand aghast at nothingness." (Mary Baker Eddy) As we heal in our thinking--the only place it ever "exists"--the world's aggressively mesmeric claims, we cannot fail to some extent, to heal ourselves. Turning our back on suffering humanity or foolishly hoping the bad out there isn't as bad as we don't want to know gives to Satan the only "life" and influence he can ever have.
Posted by Poet at 4:47 AM