Reacting or responding?—that is the question!

“Well,” you might be asking yourself “what’s the difference?”

In a simple phrase: Night and Day!

How so?

Glad you asked!

sunlit-waves-in-waldoboro-me-11-10-16Reacting is one of the tactics of mortal mind that would draw us into its web of lies through emotions, disappointments, personal will, etc., by seeking to have us attempt to work on its terms.  Terms that are the essence of the carnal mind and that would strive to “…deceive the very elect.” (Matthew 24:24)

Let’s remember that Mary Baker Eddy unequivocally stated:

Thought will waken from its own material declaration, “I am dead,” to catch this trumpet-word of Truth, “There is no death, no inaction, diseased action, overaction, nor reaction.” (Science and Health, p. 427)

Nor reaction!

And in Unity of Good (p.11), she penned:

Jesus taught us to walk over, not into or with, the currents of matter, or mortal mind.

Walking over clearly involves not reacting and being pulled down into the currents—the modes—of material thought.  You’ll recall that the Apostle Peter, when directed by the Master to come out of the boat and walk over the waves as the Savior was doing, initially was successful.  Initially, that is, until he looked at the ferocity of the waves—the picture that mortal mind was presenting to his thought through the material senses.  A picture that engulfed him in the mesmerism of fear and that led him to begin to sink. (Matthew 14:29-31)

Shouldn’t we, as Christian Scientists, recognize that it is imperative that we do not react to the false images that mortal mind is placing before our thought—whether of disasters, diseases, accidents, conflicts, problems within our churches or families, or any other inharmonies that error would use to exalt itself via its lie that God is not present or not all-powerful?

What to do then?

Handle those falsehoods by responding with the metaphysical truths as revealed and taught in Christian Science—that’s what!

Don’t accept the lies that are presented.  Realize that they are each and every one of them originated and supported by the material senses (Science and Health, p. 318) and therefore have no reality to them.  None!

We can’t possibly begin to fulfill our responsibilities as healers if we’re busily engaging and believing in the reality of evil, can we?  We have to see how it’s trying to operate in thought, expose and denounce it, assert the truth and see error’s nothingness thereby destroying the claim.

And lest anyone may be thinking that the current political climate and outcome of the presidential election in the United States are somehow exempt from this necessity, let’s not forget that Mrs. Eddy admonished us to:

Pray that the divine presence may still guide and bless our chief magistrate, those associated with his executive trust, and our national judiciary; give to our congress wisdom, and uphold our nation with the right arm of His righteousness. (Christian Science versus Pantheism, p. 14)

Notice that she did not say: “only if he is the one we favored!”

Everyone deserves to be saved—to be awakened from the lie and enslavement of the belief of life and intelligence in matter.  Everyone!

But if we are agreeing with the lies about them—lies that would attempt to deface their true and only nature as the image and likeness of God—we are joining in with “…the accuser of our brethren…which accused them before our God day and night.” (Revelation 12:10)

Do we really want to do that?

And let’s not neglect the fact that the same biblical passage declares that it is because the accuser is cast down that “…salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ…” is come and demonstrated.

Shouldn’t that be where our thought lands—not reacting but responding?

But I don’t believe in that!

I’ve noticed over the past year that when pointing out that there is a need for an individual to metaphysically handle a specific false belief system that is wrongfully influencing them and blocking their healing, nearly everyone uniformly replies: “But I don’t believe in that system!”

sunset-on-clouds-08-14-16Whether we believe in a system or not isn’t the sole criterion for it working against our demonstration of Christian Science.  Remember, there are millions upon millions who believe in each of these false concepts, and unless we’re handling the specific form of error that’s trying to obstruct our healing—both in our own thought and the world’s thought—we likely may experience its adverse effects.

So, the important questions are:

  • Are we—through prayer and spiritual discernment—awake to what’s coming at us?
  • Are we handling those lies based on the truths of Christian Science—the truths of the absolute supremacy of God?

And please, let’s not forget, that none of these lies are to be feared but are instead to be destroyed.  As the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy:

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (II Tim 1:7)

Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about.

Perhaps you feel that though you’re deeply turning to God for the lesson you need to learn, you’re not able to hear what He is revealing to you.  Clearly, since Mary Baker Eddy wrote:

In divine Science, where prayers are mental, all may avail themselves of God as “a very present help in trouble.” (Science and Health, p. 12)

to believe that we can’t hear God is unacceptable.

But what form of animal magnetism might be trying to convince you otherwise?

Well, beliefs such as atheism that claims there is no God to hear come to mind.  Or religious systems that would insist that one must pray to an intercessory saint or to a person who has passed on (such as a “guide” in occultism)—systems which falsely assert that we cannot speak to and hear directly from our ever-present Father-Mother God. Credos that fly directly in the face of the biblical truth that declares:

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. (Ps. 139:7-10)

And let’s not be naive enough to believe that we aren’t being wrongfully influenced. To some degree, we all are.  As Mrs. Eddy told Laura E. Sargent:

If you believe you are above error while in the flesh, master that lie, or it will master you. (We Knew Mary Baker Eddy—Expanded Edition, Vol. 1, p. 121)

One of the great beauties of Christian Science—one that I saw from my first exposure to it—is that each of us can turn to God directly to awaken to both what we need to cast out of our thought and to what is absolutely true about our indestructible, inexhaustible, infinite relationship to our God—the truth that sets us free!

And you can believe that!

New JSH-Online Christian Science Journal Podcast

Carlisle Woods 10.11.15My latest JSH-Online audio podcast “Take off the victim label” has just been posted at the Putting it on Record section of The Christian Science Journal. Rita Polatin interviewed me about how important it is to not allow error to label us in this way and how we can throw off the shackles of victimization by using the truths of Christian Science.

You can hear it at: http://journal.christianscience.com/audio/putting-it-on-record/take-off-the-victim-label

Enjoy!

The victim label!

Here’s a question that we all need to ask ourselves: “Am I—in any way—accepting the label of being a victim?”

If we’re honest—and we must be if we’re expecting to make spiritual progress—perhaps we’re acquiescing to that claim in some fashion.

What do I mean by that?

Sunrise on Rte. 2 10.30.15Well, are we accepting any assertion of limitation on our experience—be it illness, lack of supply, relationship inharmonies, feelings of oppression, anger, aging, discouragement, etc.—while simultaneously believing that we’ve done everything we could have done, and all to no avail?

If so, then my friends, we’re wearing the garment of victimization and suffering accordingly.

And, let’s face it; if we truly had done all we needed to do, we’d be free. It’s just that simple!

But more and more, I hear from Christian Scientists, who have fallen into this trap of believing that there is a power opposed to God that could actually thwart their ability to be healed, and who thereby have agreed—tacitly or overtly—to take on this insidious victimization mantle. A mantle that has been heavily promoted throughout our society by psychology and psychiatry. A mantle whose adornment allows the person to give excuse to error—whether they’re comfortable or uncomfortable in its lies.

A mantle that God has never, ever placed upon us!

To the contrary, we’ve been given the dominion, power, ability, and authority by Almighty God, whose image and likeness is our true and only identity—an identity that is wholly, immutably, and irrevocably spiritual—to cast off those self-imposed shackles of mortal mind—of the carnal mind!

But to do so requires that we use our God-given spiritual senses of discernment, perception, comprehension, judgment, and vision to be alert to the carnal mind’s claims of an identity separated from God and existing in matter—and vehemently refuse to use its weapons that the Apostle Paul alludes to in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians.

Weapons that include the belief of being a helpless victim.

Weapons that we dare not embrace!

Instead, we need to metaphysically persist in using what Paul states are the spiritual weapons of our warfare—weapons that are:

mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ… (II Cor. 10)

Make no mistake: God is leading us out of the wilderness as we strive to bring every thought to the obedience of Christ and recognize that there is only one God—one power—that we are subordinate to: namely, divine Love.

As Mary Baker Eddy wrote:

Citizens of the world, accept the “glorious liberty of the children of God,” and be free! (Science and Health, p. 227)

Go ahead! Cast off that “Scarlet V”!

Our only triumph

No, this title isn’t referring to winning a sporting event, or succeeding in business, or any other material endeavor.

It’s the beginning of a profound idea that Mary Baker Eddy voiced to Laura E. Sargent (We Knew Mary Baker Eddy-Expanded Edition, Vol. 1, p. 120):

Our only triumph is when we open our consciousness to the fear or error that is blinding and holding us in thrall and overcome it. God gave me this insight when first I discovered the Science of Christianity, and I have not lost it and can never lose it so long as I duly watch and pray to this end.

Think of it!Carlisle Woods 10.11.15

Our only—our only—triumph is to awaken to the evil that is mesmerizing us and overcome it!

Now to some, this may seem obvious.

But far too many folks that call me for help are exceptionally reluctant (to be euphemistic) to examine their thinking and find out what error they’ve taken in and are allowing to detrimentally govern their health and well-being.

Yet throughout her published writings, Mrs. Eddy states the need to uncover error.

For example, in Miscellaneous Writings (page 154), she counseled us to:

Watch diligently; never desert the post of spiritual observation and self-examination.

By the way, in case anyone is confused here, “never” means never!

In the same book (p. 348), she penned:

Error, left to itself, accumulates.

And she stated in Science and Health:

A knowledge of error and of its operations must precede that understanding of Truth which destroys error, until the entire mortal, material error finally disappears, and the eternal verity, man created by and of Spirit, is understood and recognized as the true likeness of his Maker. (p. 258)

It should be absolutely clear that we must uncover and rebuke error.

Yet I frequently hear “reasons” offered for not being obedient to her demands such as:

  • If I uncover error, aren’t I making a reality of it?
  • Shouldn’t I just be thinking of the good?
  • Isn’t this going on a “witch hunt”?
  • If I look for the error, aren’t I saying that I’m not already the perfect idea of God?

These excuses—and make no mistake, that’s exactly what they are—and others like them, are only the efforts—the suggestions—of the carnal mind to keep itself covered and operating in our consciousness so that it can continue to enslave us!

You’ll recall that in referring to the Master, Mrs. Eddy wrote:

All that error asks is to be let alone; even as in Jesus’ time the unclean spirits cried out, “Let us alone; what have we to do with thee?” (The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany, p. 211)

And let’s not forget, that the Founder and Discoverer of Christian Science also admonished us to uncover error when she wrote:

Without a knowledge of his sins, and repentance so severe that it destroys them, no person is or can be a Christian Scientist. (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 107)

There is no wiggle room in that declaration, so it’s imperative that we take the time to seriously ponder its import.

You might be asking: “OK, what’s the practical application here?”

Well, if you’re not receiving the healing you’ve been praying for—whether it’s physical, emotional, or behavioral—ask yourself if you’re really willing to cleanse your thought to the degree that is required of you.

Mrs. Eddy told her last class:

So often have I longed to see and know only Love—only the good—but I have not dared. I must uncover and rebuke and hate iniquity. (We Knew Mary Baker Eddy-Expanded Edition, Vol. 1, p. 297)

If we profess to be Mary Baker Eddy’s followers, shouldn’t we also be willing to uncover, rebuke, and hate iniquity?

Dare we do otherwise?!

New JSH-Online Christian Science Journal Podcast

Pampas Grass 1, Carlisle 11.18.15My latest JSH-Online audio podcast “…to be present with the Lord.” has just been posted at the Putting it on Record section of The Christian Science Journal.  Rita Polatin interviewed me about how this vitally important spiritual truth can be practically applied in our daily experiences as well as in the lives of those who contact us for Christian Science healing.

You can hear it at: http://journal.christianscience.com/audio/putting-it-on-record/to-be-present-with-the-lord.

Enjoy!

Prayers in church

Here’s a simple question that I think we all need to be asking ourselves: What are we praying for while attending a Christian Science Sunday Service or a Wednesday Testimony Meeting?

Concord, MA 10.11.15Now, some may wonder: “What is he talking about? I’m listening to the readings, the solo, the testimonies, and trying to be inspired!”

But is that why we, as Christian Scientists, go to these services?

Are we really just there to imbibe the thought and atmosphere for ourselves—for our own benefit?  And if so, isn’t that just a form of selfishness?  Isn’t that just a “what-can-I-get-from-it” kind of mentality that at its very core is opposed to the nature of Christian Science to bless and heal others?

Shouldn’t we instead be taking all the metaphysical work that we’ve done during the week via our study of the Bible Lesson and its subsequent revelations, and bringing that uplifted and more spiritualized thought to bear at those services?

Imagine if all of us were focusing on healing—on praying throughout the service—that anyone there, anyone walking through those doors that is looking for healing, would find it!

Imagine if we all were prayerfully supporting the Readers in their efforts to keep their thought elevated to the highest level of spiritual understanding and to fulfill what Mary Baker Eddy requires all Readers in every Church of Christ, Scientist to do, namely, that:

They must keep themselves unspotted from the world, —  uncontaminated with evil, — that the mental atmosphere they exhale shall promote health and holiness, even that spiritual animus so universally needed. (Manual of The Mother Church, p. 31)

That every word they uttered, that every idea expressed was to bring about healing!  That every thought was a treatment and demonstration of the practical and immediately tangible and effective power of omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, and omni-active God!

Unspotted and uncontaminated!  In other words, fully protected and free from wrongful influences in whatever guise mortal mind would advocate!

And shouldn’t those same qualities be what each of us should be striving to bring to church?  Not relying on the world’s ways and means—the methods of the carnal mind—but on the immediate inspiration and ever-present help of our Father-Mother God!

Mrs. Eddy wrote in Science and Health (p. 345):

When the omnipotence of God is preached and His absoluteness is set forth, Christian sermons will heal the sick.

And if we’re not seeing that immediate healing evidence at our services, then shouldn’t we be asking ourselves some serious questions as to why?

Remember, healing the sick and reforming the sinner is the bottom line. Nothing less!

So, what are your prayers in church going to be about this week?