While reading the account of Moses and Aaron confronting Pharaoh with God’s demand to let His people go in order to worship Him—to remove them from the slavery of Egypt—I took note of Pharaoh’s response. When Aaron—at Moses’ command—threw his staff on the ground to become a snake, or struck the waters of the Nile to turn them to blood, Pharaoh had his magicians do “the same by their secret arts” (Exodus 7: NRSV).
Now, I’ve certainly been aware of this many times before, but on this occasion it took on a different meaning for me—a meaning that you might want to consider also.
“And, what might that be?” you may well be asking.
Nothing less than the attempt by error to ape and invert the Divine—God.
We need to be very alert to the methods or “secret arts” of error that would try to convince, lull, and mesmerize us into believing that other systems of thought are the same as Christian Science.
Why? Because if we aren’t, we’re falling prey to the illusions of error and thereby diminishing our capacity to heal.
Having spent a fair amount of my life prior to Christian Science being impressed by the “magicians’ staffs” of various eastern/western philosophies, esoterica, and religious denominations, I’ve naturally become very aware of how different, as well as how false, those “staffs” are—each being based wholly or in part on a material and fear-filled basis that parades in the guise of spirituality. And make no mistake, these “staffs” can and do lure many individuals away from experiencing the all-encompassing power and love of God—a love which brings healing to every aspect of our experience.
Now, lest anyone be confused here, I am in no way condemning the individuals who are adhering to other religions/philosophies. I am, however, clearly pointing to the need for us to be alert to the temptation to make or see parallels where in fact there may be none.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote of Moses’ staff and his obedience to God at the burning bush:
The serpent, evil, under wisdom’s bidding, was destroyed through understanding divine Science, and this proof was a staff upon which to lean. The illusion of Moses lost its power to alarm him, when he discovered that what he apparently saw was really but a phase of mortal belief. (Science and Health, p. 321)
Remember, it was this understanding—this staff—that Moses brought to Egypt and Pharaoh’s court which began the practical liberation of the Israelites.
Before drawing parallels, shouldn’t we be asking ourselves if the apparent fruits of other belief systems are based on the rock of Christ, or whether they’re based on the illusions of error?
In other words, are they the staffs of the magicians—the staffs of enslavement? Or is it the staff of Truth—of God’s infinite freedom?
As the Apostle John wrote:
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: (First John: 4)