A couple of years ago, I heard a 20-something Christian Scientist say that since God was governing everyone at all times, then she knew that no matter what choices she made, no matter what she did in her life, she could never make a mistake.
Unfortunately, she is not the only church member voicing such an illogical conclusion.
“But wait” you might be thinking, “God is in control and His image and likeness, man, is always governed by Him! What’s unfortunate and illogical about that?”
Well, yes, God is governing His creation at every moment—including the spiritual, perfect man. However, the problem with the assertion that we therefore can never make a mistake is that it ignores the fact that we are required to be demonstrating this spiritual reality in our daily lives—in our thoughts and actions. To assume that we have a “free pass” is dangerously naïve at best. It falls headlong into one of the traps of error by ignoring the scientifically Christian and biblical imperative to rely on God for our directions in life—to “Pray without ceasing.” (First Thessalonians, Ch. 5) It also relinquishes our duty to use our God-given spiritual senses and spiritual discernment to distinguish the false from the true—to separate the wheat from the chaff, to choose and follow the God-impelled path.
In short, it may sound pleasant, but it isn’t Christian Science.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote in Science and Health (p. 82):
In a world of sin and sensuality hastening to a greater development of power, it is wise earnestly to consider whether it is the human mind or the divine Mind which is influencing one.
If there is no mistake possible, then why would Mrs. Eddy make such an admonition?
Likewise, the line “Lest my footsteps stray” in the first stanza of her poem “Feed My Sheep” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 397) turns the lie upon error’s assertion.
Shepherd, show me how to go
O’er the hillside steep,
How to gather, how to sow, —
How to feed Thy sheep;
I will listen for Thy voice, Lest my footsteps stray;
I will follow and rejoice All the rugged way.
Now, lest there be any confusion here, I recognize and have personally experienced the spiritual fact that once we learn the lesson needed after having made a mistake, the mistake ceases to have any effect on us—rendering it null and void. But the mistake was nonetheless still a mistake!
So—is that all there is to the false logic of this “no mistake” theory? Far from it!
This temptation—and it is nothing less than that—would also imply that since we could never be mistaken, we would have no need to immediately and vigorously oppose error in all its forms and guises—an assertion that is contrary to Mrs. Eddy’s teachings in her published writings.
And what would the purpose be of such a siren song? To shipwreck us on the shoals of error by nullifying our essential responsibilities and effectiveness as healers through falsely claiming that there is no need to actively recognize, oppose, and then to destroy error through the awareness of the allness of God.
Yet, Mrs. Eddy wrote in Miscellaneous Writings (p. 37)
In proportion as we oppose the belief in material sense, in sickness, sin, and death, and recognize ourselves under the control of God, spiritual and immortal Mind, shall we go on to leave the animal for the spiritual, and learn the meaning of those words of Jesus, “Go ye into all the world . . . heal the sick.”
The serpentine call of error to ignore our Leader’s writings inevitably would lure us down the proverbial primrose path whose gate and way is wide and broad and “…leadeth to destruction and many there be which go in thereat.” (Christ Jesus, Matt. 7).
And that would really be a mistake!