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Love is the Liberator

From Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy


Ask Love for what you need and for what Love has to give; then take it, and demand of yourself to rise up and live it.


by Mary Baker Eddy

Moral Fiber

September 2014


Table of Contents




Prayer

Be like a little child. Turn your thoughts to Love and say, O Love, just take me in; give me one Mind, one consciousness, and make me love my neighbor as myself. Let your heart cry out to divine Love. A child cries out to its mother for more light, more truth, more love. Ask Love for what you need and for what Love has to give; then take it, and demand of yourself to rise up and live it.

God will direct you in all your ways, if you trust Him; faith must take hold before sight or fruition, and this faith will, when instructed in divine Science, become understanding, and you will have no doubts, but every proof of His promise, “Lo! I am with you alway.”

Trust Him, dear; read daily the Bible and Science and Health, and pray the prayer of our Lord’s in your own words; ask for His kingdom to come, for Love, Truth and Life to govern all your desires, aims and motives, to feed you with faith and a clear knowledge of good, to make you patient, forgiving, long-suffering and merciful, compassionate, even as the dear God is thus to you, and you desire Him to be, and thus reflect this God, good, in all His qualities, etc. My desire is, that this year shall be crowned with mercies for you and all.


from Watches Prayers Arguments

Moral Fiber


“Put up thy sword”

While Jesus’ life was full of Love, and a demonstration of Love, it appeared hate to the carnal mind, or mortal thought, of his time. He said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”

This action of Jesus was stimulated by the same Love that closed — to the senses — that wondrous life, and that summed up its demonstration in the command, “Put up thy sword.” The very conflict his Truth brought, in accomplishing its purpose of Love, meant, all the way through, “Put up thy sword;” but the sword must have been drawn before it could be returned into the scabbard.

My students need to search the Scriptures and “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” to understand the personal Jesus’ labor in the flesh for their salvation: they need to do this even to understand my works, their motives, aims, and tendency.

The attitude of mortal mind in being healed morally, is the same as its attitude physically. The Christian Scientist cannot heal the sick, and take error along with Truth, either in the recognition or approbation of it. This would prevent the possibility of destroying the tares: they must be separated from the wheat before they can be burned, and Jesus foretold the harvest hour and the final destruction of error through this very process, — the sifting and the fire. The tendency of mortal mind is to go from one extreme to another: Truth comes into the intermediate space, saying, “I wound to heal; I punish to reform; I do it all in love; my peace I leave with thee: not as the world giveth, give I unto thee. Arise, let us go hence; let us depart from the material sense of God’s ways and means, and gain a spiritual understanding of them.”

But let us not seek to climb up some other way, as we shall do if we take the end for the beginning or start from wrong motives. Christian Science demands order and truth. To abide by these we must first understand the Principle and object of our work, and be clear that it is Love, peace, and good will toward men. Then we shall demonstrate the Principle in the way of His appointment, and not according to the infantile conception of our way; as when a child in sleep walks on the summit of the roof of the house because he is a somnambulist, and thinks he is where he is not, and would fall immediately if he knew where he was and what he was doing.

My students are at the beginning of their demonstration; they have a long warfare with error in themselves and in others to finish, and they must at this stage use the sword of Spirit.

They cannot in the beginning take the attitude, nor adopt the words, that Jesus used at the end of his demonstration.

If you would follow in his footsteps, you must not try to gather the harvest while the corn is in the blade, nor yet when it is in the ear; a wise spiritual discernment must be used in your application of his words and inference from his acts, to guide your own state of combat with error. There remaineth, it is true, a Sabbath rest for the people of God; but we must first have done our work, and entered into our rest, as the Scriptures give example.


from Miscellaneous Writings, by Mary Baker Eddy, pp. 214-216

People are not our enemies. The arch enemy is self — self-will, self-pity, self-justification, self-righteousness and all the numerous names for self. Self-pity is the most insidious enemy and disturbing element, caused by seeing injustice. Sensitiveness is the exaggerated sense of selfishness.


from Mary Baker Eddy’s Lessons of the Seventh Day

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Excerpts from Kimball

The Necessity of Watching

Suppose that each one of us should keep watch for twelve hours and see how many times we admit error, or declare error, or declare for something that is against ourselves. You would be amazed to see how much you do this. If you would keep account of it for twelve hours, it is very likely you would watch yourself forever. Again, what do you suppose you would find if you kept account of every thought that is unlike Love? Here is humanity, and we see it oppressed with hatred in its different forms. People hate, and yet expect to learn to love. The divine demand is to learn to love your neighbor as yourself; to learn to do unto others as you would be done by.

Golden Rule

How far do you have to go before getting at the fault, if you put that rule into practice? Put it to the test, — Would I like to have my neighbor do this thing to me, be thinking this thing about me? Before the evil words come, before the evil feelings, before the evil actions, if we would stop and say, “Would I like to have him do this to me?” How many times would you say, “No”?

Price of Help from God

Until we stand at the door of thought, with the most intense earnestness, and put the Golden Rule up as the test of our thought and feeling and action, and learn to be governed accordingly, we hope in vain for satisfying help, in vain for heaven, for the healthy or whole idea of Life, because Love is substance, the animus, the Principle of Life. We must get the attitude of Love, and do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

Don’t Practice Condemnation

Learn to forgive, utterly to forgive. Cast out the terrible cruelty that defaces mankind. Take off the burden that you lay upon your brother man, — I mean the condemnation. What a pitiful weight do we cast upon a man when we enter upon a campaign of condemnation! How often do we practice idle criticism, which does him no good and hinders us? How long shall we be in forgiving? Never will we realize health and be happy in the brotherhood of man until we learn to forgive; to be merciful, forbearing and loving.

Encourage and Stimulate Good in Others

Practically, we are all sinners, every last one of us. We look upon a person who is sixty per cent bad and forty per cent good, and condemn the bad. Mrs. Eddy knew enough to use the forty per cent that was good. Now that is what we must do: make the most of the forty per cent that is good in our brother man, and wait for it to be fifty and sixty per cent, etc.

Learn to Love

It is a very easy thing for one to jump upon a pedestal and to say, “Thus saith the Lord.” It is with much reluctance that I do it. But I have learned this much. I have made the demonstration of learning to love. I have not one atom of malice toward any person on earth, and there is no one whom I would not forgive; and I have been just as resentful at times as anybody you ever saw. It is more comforting to love; vastly more pleasurable, a great deal more satisfying. It is astonishing that a man can be fooled by such an outrageous lot of stuff as hatred. It is mental gangrene. It absolutely consumes; it produces unhappiness and disease.

No Life Without Love

Then remember the judgment will be upon us, and if we have not love, then we live not, for Love is Life. As a whole, you see, as a procession, we move on toward this achievement, and all that it depends on is the expansion, the exaltation of our thoughts; keeping our thought reaching out; taking on a larger dimension all the time, having more of Love. Have it do all you can; and declare the right things; declare for that which you would have come to pass.


from Teaching and Addresses of Edward A. Kimball

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“SENT”

And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. [Bible lesson 5]

“SENT” is one of the great themes of the Gospel of John, recurring everywhere, e.g.: “I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it . . . [T]he Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not . . . As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me . . . As the Father has sent me so send I you.”

Jesus never went anywhere without being sent there. He never performed a single work without being sent to perform that work. He never spoke a word to any audience, great or small, without being sent to speak that word.

Whenever self commanded Jesus to look upon and study some material problem with his material eyes, he made himself blind to it. Whenever self commanded Jesus to bear witness of himself with words of self-aggrandizement or self-defense, he became dumb to it. Whenever self commanded Jesus to listen to words of hopelessness and helplessness like “My daughter is dead,” he became deaf to those words, opening his spiritual ears to the voice of the Sender, “She is not dead, but sleepeth.”

“SENT” presupposes the sent-one’s obedience to the Sender. The more willing I am to be sent by the Sender (the more obedient I am to hear and act upon the instructions of the Sender), the more disobedient I must be to the demands of self that would send me on self-serving errands and missions, all of which lead to nowhere. For to be self-sent is to walk in darkness and to immerse oneself in polluted waters, dulling spiritual sense while making material sense more acute. But the more obedient I am to the Sender’s orders, the more blind I am to the testimony of so-called material sight, the more my spiritual eyes are opened, cleansed in the unsullied waters of “Sent” and thus, the more illuminated my path.

“And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind” (John 9:39).


Posted by Parthens on the PlainfieldCS.com forum

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Excerpt from Herbert W. Eustace

For Satan Finds Some Mischief Still for Idle Hands to do.


Watts

No statement could be truer than that the devil, malicious mental malpractice, always finds work for idle hands — idle minds — to do.

The Christian Scientist must think seriously about this question. If he is not constantly active on the side of Truth he can rest assured that malicious mental malpractice is right at his door.

That is the danger of an attitude of thought like, “Let God do it.” It is a waiting attitude; an endeavor to make one’s thought a blank, and Jesus warned of the danger of this, for he said, “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and finding none, then he saith, I will return unto my house from whence I came out; And when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.”

Why is it worse? Because the poor victim thought he had thoroughly cleaned his house, and lo and behold, Satan is again dwelling therein. Such disappointment cannot come to you if thoroughly cleaning your “house,” means replacing every erroneous sense with the true sense, so completely filling it that Satan — evil suggestion, — can find no sanctuary there. Mrs. Eddy declares in Miscellany, “There is no door through which evil can enter, and no space for evil to fill in a mind filled with goodness. Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort.” Christian Scientists must never be careless about replacing the wrong sense that is cast out, with the right sense, so that evil will find no door unbarred, and no vacant room to occupy. They must not take the attitude of crying, “Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” Peace can be won and maintained only when we have fought the Holy War and have put up such a fight that evil is cast out forever — seen in its true sense. Who does not yearn for peace? But today it is the coward, under evil’s direction, who calls for peace. The battle for Truth has not yet been won. Only malicious mental malpractice would say it has, in order to encourage you to stop the warfare. Never forget that the sword cannot be put up until it has first been drawn.

Christian Scientists are soldiers of the cross, and they must fight until victory is theirs. Evil is ever urging us to cease fighting and “let God do it.” God cannot do more than He has already done. He has done all. It is the work of the Christian Scientist to prove that, — to show that forth.

If evil can persuade you, the Christian Scientist, to relax, it will have accomplished its purpose. It will then, — after all your years of work and faithfulness, when you think that you are at the point of enjoying the reward of your labors with your “house” nicely cleaned, — enter in and rob you of the fruits of your effort. It does this because you have listened to the voice of the charmer, admonishing you not to be so vigorous in your denunciation of malicious animal magnetism, because God is Love, and Love does everything and cares for everyone. True enough, but has not God always been Love, and has He not always taken the same tender care of all His creation? How can He be “about to do” something that He has not already done? Then it is our work to begin vigorously to prove that God is Love, and that He is proving His care by making His children active and alert. We have work to do ourselves; we cannot expect God to do our work. He cannot hear that kind of prayer. He hears only the prayer of being active about His business. As Mrs. Eddy says, in Miscellaneous Writings, “Be active, and, however slow, thy success is sure; toil is triumph.”

If you succeed in making your mind a blank, thinking that by thus doing you can place yourself in a listening attitude to hear God’s voice, you have let the bars down and opened your house for the devil’s entrance. That idle, listless mood is exactly the opportunity evil desires, and Satan will quickly find something to fill idle minds.

Keep active and no matter how slow your progress may seem to be, success in the end is assured. Guard against a negative watch that would lull you to sleep, that would make you believe a listless peace is a lasting peace. Today the only peace is the sword of Truth. ...


from “Christian Science, It’s ‘Clear, Correct Teaching,’ and Complete Writings” by Herbert W. Eustace

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What Do We Mean By Moral Fiber?

In sports, academia, business, law, etc., moral fiber is required to resist the temptation to cheat or bend the rules in order to win. The one who has strong moral fiber maintains that winning in the short term is not everything. That one is confident that a clear conscience is far more valuable than the world’s applause.

In Christian Science practice, moral fiber is required to resist the temptation to use alternative mental methods, such as will power, visualization, or faith-cure to achieve the desired results. In the case of will power, the morally weak mental healer loses confidence in God as the only Physician, and wills his patient to be healed, leaving Science out of the picture. He thinks, “I know what is right, and I have no doubt God agrees with me.” Visualization, a technique used by many other systems of mental healing, creeps into the thought of the practitioner as an innocuous tool, perverting the scientific instruction, “Let the perfect model be present in your thoughts instead of its demoralized opposite.” (S&H) by visualizing a matter condition controlled by human will.

Faith-cure is well documented in an article by that name in Retrospection and Introspection by Mary Baker Eddy: “admit the claims of the corporeal senses and appeal to God for relief through a humanized conception of His power.”

In this same article, Mrs. Eddy describes Christian Science healing as far more demanding, requiring cross-bearing and self-renunciation in order to deny the claims of the corporeal senses, “drinking Jesus’ cup, being baptized with his baptism, gaining the end through persecution and purity.”

Now which path would you choose? Sounds like the alternative methods are easier. This is where moral fiber is critical. Love for God, divine Principle, for the way as shown by Christ Jesus, must be paramount, even greater than the desire to have the satisfaction of healing others of physical problems. Deviation into these alternative methods saps the power of one’s Christian Science practice, even while that one continues under its name.

However, the results of faithful Christian Science practice are incomparable: “The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus’ time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation. Now, as then, these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural. They are the sign of Immanuel, or ‘God with us,’ a divine influence ever present in human consciousness.” (S&H)


Andrew Kidd

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Is it Christian to be a wimp?

This is from the PlainfieldCS.com forum, 
submitted during the Love weekly lesson.

Andrew - 07/29/2014

“Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.

Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.” (RR)

This seems to require that we be wimps and let the enemy walk all over us. How does this jive with “Even the disposition to excuse guilt is punished.” (S&H)

Response

I have struggled with the idea of turning the other cheek for most of my life, but finally I am seeing that maintaining love for our ‘enemies’ is not being wimpy. It is understanding that while animal magnetism would love for me to keep fighting in the material world, Christian Science shows that I am spiritual.

Since we are spiritual, and we place our trust firmly in God, why bother worrying about our cheeks at all? The real strength in those situation is the ability to maintain love and continuing to listen to God. I struggle with this, but I am so grateful that the struggles are quicker now as I work to get past my material senses and old habits thanks to what I am learning here.


JPalmer - 07/29/2014

Response

“When my home was bombed in 1955 in Montgomery, many men wanted to retaliate, to place an armed guard on my home. But the issue there was not my life, but whether Negroes would achieve first-class treatment on the city’s buses. Had we become distracted by the question of my safety we would have lost the moral offensive and sunk to the level of our oppressors.”

“. . . [T]he nonviolent approach does not immediately change the heart of the oppressor. It first does something to the hearts and souls of those committed to it. It gives them new self-respect; it calls up resources of strength and courage that they did not know they had. Finally, it reaches the opponent and so stirs his conscience that reconciliation becomes a reality.”

“. . . There is no easy way to create a world where men and women can live together, where each has his own job and house and where all children receive as much education as their minds can absorb. But if such a world is created in our lifetime, it will be done in the United States by Negroes and white people of good will. It will be accomplished by persons who have the courage to put an end to suffering by willingly suffering themselves rather than inflict suffering upon others. It will be done by rejecting the racism, materialism and violence that has characterized Western civilization and especially by working toward a world of brotherhood, cooperation and peace.” [from the writings of Martin Luther King]


Parthens - 07/29/2014

Response

I will add a little something... My Dad was an ardent pacifist (Christian) at the start of WWII. He was assigned watch duty on the church tower east of London during the Blitz, and after weeks and weeks of perpetual nightly bombing, he acknowledged he was wrong — that you cannot allow evil to run rampant. Hitler was enabled by what I would like to call material Christians, so-called Christians without an ounce of spiritual sense. Since the Christ message is spiritual not material, it must be so understood and practiced, otherwise it is the weakest, most gullible system imaginable.


Andrew - 07/29/2014

Response

Martin Luther King said of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the World War II pastor whom the Nazis executed owing to his involvement with members of the German Military Intelligence Office in a conspiracy to assassinate Hitler:

“If your opponent has a conscience, then follow Gandhi. But if your enemy has no conscience, like Hitler, then follow Bonhoeffer.”


parthens - 07/29/2014

Response

In the readings last Wednesday night, Bruce read from Mrs. Eddy’s article “Peace and War” in Miscellany which states in part, “I will say I can see no other way of settling difficulties between individuals and nations than by means of their wholesome tribunals, equitable laws, and sound, well-kept treaties….But if our nation’s rights or honor were seized, every citizen would be a soldier and woman would be armed with power girt for the hour.” In her dealings with Mrs. Woodbury, who turned against Mrs. Eddy and made horrible and untrue accusations, Mrs. Eddy did everything she could to avoid an unpleasant and drawn-out conflict, but when all else failed Mrs. Eddy went to war (law case), met this error head on — and won.


MaryBeth - 07/30/2014

Response

There is a way of confronting error with dominion, not with agitation and hate, which is the lesson of “turning the other cheek.” It is not about ignoring or suppressing. Human love will quickly turn to hate – therefore, only the demonstration of divine Love will enable you to “bless them that curse you.” This is why persecution can lead to such tremendous growth – you become forced to get on your knees and profess your helplessness before God –“save Lord or I perish.” This is the state of supreme humbleness that leads to transformation and the burning away of self. Daniel would have been eaten by the lions if he had not known and demonstrated this Principle.


MaryBeth - 07/30/2014

Response

“But if our nation’s rights or honor were seized, every citizen would be a soldier and woman would be armed with power girt for the hour.”

Is the emphasis on the soldier with the power of mental might of right knowing or one ready with material arms? If the real enemy is mortal mind from which all our woes begin then our individual effort of knowing God’s Allness and evil’s nothingness is a constant “war” of great value.


Florence - 07/30/2014

Response

http://therightscoop.com/awesome-mark-levin-interviews-son-of-hamas-founder-mosab-hassan-yousef-who-says-israel-is-fighting-for-the-world/

Mark Levin interviews the son of Hamas founder: VERY relevant and inspiring.


A T M - 07/30/2014

Response

“Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you….
This seems to require that we be wimps and let the enemy walk all over us. How does this jive with “Even the disposition to excuse guilt is punished.” (S&H)

In terms of this statement, we need to be tough and stand up for what’s right. If I turn the problem over to God, and am not tempted to retaliate or ruminate, but instead leave the situation to divine justice, after having done all I could to remedy the situation, I feel that God’s promise will take care of the situation in due time. Anxiety is quelled.

“Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you,…” Chronicles 20:17

But if I do nothing and continue to ruminate… yes, I’m letting the enemy walk all over me.


Susanne - 07/31/2014

Response

If someone tries to hurt “me” (or I feel hurt) it is only his personal sense of me (or my personal sense of self) that is hurt. And if so, all the better!

On the other hand, Jesus didn’t say to let someone cut your arms off. It was a smite on the cheek — an offense to dignity.


Peter - 07/31/2014

Response

I believe you can’t be a wimp and be a Christian. We need to stand up to error, detect what it is trying to do and then not let it be done. God gives all the power and directs our every step in the annihilation of error. This takes the strength and power of God. No wimpiness there, but a lot of Love.


Sharon - 07/31/2014

Response

If someone tries to hurt “me” (or I feel hurt) it is only his personal sense of me (or my personal sense of self) that is hurt. And if so, all the better! 
On the other hand, Jesus didn’t say to let someone cut your arms off. It was a smite on the cheek — an offense to dignity.

The Scribes accused Jesus of casting out evil through the devil. His good was evil spoken of. This was a slap in the face, a major offense to Truth. It is mental warfare not a physical attack. As we did in our watch workshop last night, we completely destroyed the accusor. You can’t be a pushover and do that.

Turning the other cheek shows Man has dominion over the earth and is not impressed with hatred AS he casts it out as unreal!


A T M - 08/01/2014

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Moral courage and spiritual sense

Mrs. Eddy refers to morals nearly 100 times in Science and Health. Although I was a lifelong Mother Church member and a class taught student of 15+ years, I had no concept of what moral fiber or courage meant. This changed when I started attending Plainfield church services and reading their Bible lesson and speaking with a practitioner from the church.

As this Science took root in me, the truth about God became more real to me. For the first time I could feel it. This was my spiritual sense awakening in me. Feeling more of His presence, I became sensitive to unprincipled behavior. As my understanding of God increased and I saw for the first time His perfect creation everywhere, I became extremely intolerant of any error in my life and daily experiences. I made a mental demand to be tough on error and cast it out and only see God’s reality. I felt great joy and love doing this. This is Science. Living with an error is not. It takes moral courage to stand up for Truth and cast out error wherever you experience it.

I encountered a major problem in my branch church when I notified them that the Mother Church board of directors had been extremely disobedient to Mrs. Eddy’s Church Manual. I would be a hypocrite and unprincipled if I didn’t stand up to this and cast it out. The church rejected the honest truth and decided to live with the error. I had no choice but to resign my membership and devote myself to the practice and demonstration of real CS as taught in the Plainfield CS church. That was three years ago. Making this stand taught me that spiritual sense and moral courage are linked together for God’s purposes. Only good can come from trusting God, Good, and acting when needed.


Anthony Moore

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Abigail

The following is from a Bible Study where we discussed Abigail as an example of independent action as a spiritual quality.

Abigail, Nabal, and David

The Bible tells us that King Saul hated David and wanted to kill him, thinking that David wanted to replace him as king. So David was forced to flee into the wilderness, along with 600 men, to avoid being killed by Saul.

When David and his men had gone into a cave to spend the night, Saul entered the same cave. While Saul slept, David’s men tried to convince him to kill Saul, but David refused. He understood that God had made Saul king, that he was God’s anointed, and David would do him no harm. Instead, he cut off a piece of Saul’s garment to show him how near he had been, and that he had spared his life.

Nabal was not at all like Caleb

David was well known among the people, and known to be the future king. While in the wilderness, he and his men protected the shepherds and the flocks. Nabal was a wealthy man with many servants and many sheep, but he is described as a churlish man, one who was mean, selfish, and greedy. He was of the house of Caleb and had inherited Caleb’s wealth, but he was not at all like Caleb. Caleb was one of the men Moses sent to spy out the Promised Land; and he and Joshua came back to Moses with a true report of the land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and they were willing to fight for it. After the children of Israel wandered in the desert for 40 years, the land was divided, and Caleb chose the land of the giants — a land that had to be worked and fought for. Caleb had moral courage; Nabal was the worst of selfish actions, arrogant, totally self-involved — instead of humbly serving God as caretaker of Caleb’s riches.

David sent some of his men to Nabal to ask for food — not too much to ask for someone who had protected his flocks! Nabal belligerently refused, saying, “Who is David? Should I give my food to someone I don’t know?” But he did know David. When David’s men returned and told him this, David told his men to put on their swords — he was ready to kill all the males in Nabal’s household. David personalized the error, and that’s a trap. On the one hand, he stayed the course with Saul because he understood God had made him king. Then this error comes along and he’s ready to destroy the error — but by personalizing it, it would have turned into a massacre, which would have been all wrong and laid heavily on him.

Abigail acts independently, obedient to Principle, not person

But one of the young men went to Nabal’s wife, Abigail, and told her what had happened. She didn’t ask anyone what to do, didn’t think about it, didn’t even tell Nabal what she was about to do — she just moved quickly. Abigail was in command of her household and everyone respected her. So she instructed the servants to prepare food and supplies. She gathered the food and brought it to David and his men. She showed the utmost respect for David and David’s relationship with God, and took full blame for her husband’s actions. She offered her own life for her husband’s transgression, and asked David’s forgiveness.

Abigail was a spiritual thought who acted with Principle. She didn’t worry about what might happen or what her husband would do to her — she operated totally under Principle. She was obviously used to doing right, and stepped out with confidence, and then bowed low with humility when she approached David. She said to David, “My lord fighteth the battles of the Lord, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days.” (I Sam. 25.) It had to be very clear to David that God sent her to save him from what he was about to do. She approached him in total humility, in such a way that he had to pay attention, and defused his personal sense of the situation. David came to his senses and didn’t slaughter everyone. Abigail saved the day. That’s why in our work we know not to personalize the error — it would undo all the good you mean to do. Keep it impersonal always.


Abigail returned to her home, and the following morning told Nabal what she had done. The Bible says, “his heart died within him and he became as a stone.” His hardheartedness caught up with him, and he refused to face up to the mistake he had made. When David heard that Nabal was dead, he sent for Abigail, and she became his wife.

From human knowledge to divine Intelligence

We need to trust Principle, not our human “risk assessment” of what might happen in a situation. Thinking about and analyzing what might happen, then taking the path with the lowest possible risk — what a waste of time! Learn to trust God, get out of human knowledge and into divine Intelligence; out of personal sense and into Principle. The humanly wise way of doing things is an impediment to spiritual growth.


For those Watching


Extract From A Letter

The Rules and By-laws in the Manual of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, originated not in solemn conclave as in ancient Sanhedrim. They were not arbitrary opinions nor dictatorial demands, such as one person might impose on another. They were impelled by a power not one’s own, were written at different dates, and as the occasion required. They sprang
from necessity, the logic of events, — from the immediate demand for them as a help that must be supplied to maintain the dignity and defense of our Cause; hence their simple, scientific basis, and detail so requisite to demonstrate genuine Christian Science, and which will do for the race what absolute doctrines destined for future generations might not accomplish.


from Miscellaneous Writings, by Mary Baker Eddy, page 127

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The Veil is Lifting!

First, we made the startling observation that the first six pages of the chapter “Christian Science Practice” in the textbook of Christian Science describes Mary Magdalene as possessing the ideal qualities for both healer and patient. This fact has been ignored by the vast majority of students, whose primary concern has been to learn to give metaphysical treatments, to know the truth, etc., with little attention given to preparing the heart. And what a sad commentary — the stereotype of the Christian Scientist to outside observers, for many generations, has been “aloof and superior!” even while the textbook declares: “The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love.” This could never have happened except that there has been a fatal institutional veil over the textbook – instead of reading what is actually there, readers conform to thinking according to the institution.

Next, we have “discovered” the following from the Church Manual by Mary Baker Eddy:

Duties of the Church Officers from Article 1 Section 9:
“Law constitutes government, and disobedience to the laws of The Mother Church must ultimate in annulling its Tenets and By-Laws. [emphasis added] Without a proper system of government and form of action, nations, individuals, and religion are unprotected; hence the necessity of this By-Law and the warning of Holy Writ: ‘That servant, which knew the lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.’ ”

Further in the same section: if and when the Board of Directors do not abide by the Manual, they will be replaced by the Pastor Emeritus (Mary Baker Eddy) — which would be impossible after she passed on.

With the estoppel clauses (requirements of Mary Baker Eddy’s approval) being ignored by the Board of Directors since Mary Baker Eddy’s departure, the Tenets and By-Laws were annulled in effect in 1910. The Board of Directors have made a mockery of the Church Manual, ignoring it as it applies to them, but threatening and excommunicating in its name for generations. This has not been the church established by Mary Baker Eddy. The only church she left us is clearly laid out in the Glossary of the textbook:

“Church. The structure of Truth and Love. Whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle.
The Church is that institution, which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science, thereby casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick.”

Why would Mrs. Eddy insist on the estoppel clauses, and require the annulment of the Tenets and By-Laws when they were not obeyed? Is it not clear that she knew what would happen? It is as though she was saying: “Start your own church, but do not associate my name with it! Do not use my Church Manual as a justification for your reign of control and excommunication!”

The Church Manual remains an important spiritual guide, but is in no way a justification for five self-perpetuated popes! Now that the veil is lifted on yet another misconception, it is time for students of Christian Science to sing and soar, no longer under the shadow of “The Mother Church.” Each one owes allegiance to God, and only to God. Christ Jesus gave the keynote: “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”


Andrew Kidd

Since 1910, the Directors have not been subject to any oversight. Members who try to invoke Article I, Section 9, of the Church Manual are ignored. If they persist, they are excommunicated.


from “The Banner” (Summer 2014) by Andrew Hartsook

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What Makes a Happier Christian

I’ve always loved the statement in Science and Health that says, “Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals.” It helped me recently to resolve an argument between two of my business associates.

One associate came to me seeking my support against the other. He complained about how he was being mistreated and disrespected by the other fellow. But he forgot one important thing, that he, himself, had treated me in the same discourteous manner — in fact worse than he was being treated! I reminded him of his behavior and how I have since forgiven him and have shown him nothing but love and kindness. He was surprised that I confronted him, but agreed that I have forgiven him.

I reminded him that the Bible says to love your enemies and to bless them that curse you. I explained to him that I had recognized the truth about him, and this enabled me to forgive him. I urged him to go and do likewise, and to respond to hate with love and kindness. At first it was difficult for him, but when he finally did, the situation was resolved and a healthy environment was restored. He’s now a blessing to everyone around him.

I have found that if you look for fault in anyone, you will find it; but if you look closer, you will find there is strength beneath the surface and the capacity for great good. This frees us from carrying such a heavy burden around, which is an unhealthy thing to do to one’s self. The heaviness would drag you down.

Never let this error take advantage of you. It’s malicious and harmful. We must know now and always that every child of God is capable of doing the utmost good. As we know this fact, it opens the door of true being where love and strength reside. And the starting point is to forgive and forget, and if you have offended anyone, there is nothing wrong with letting that person know you are sorry. It is the right thing to do, and it’s unchristian if you fail to do so. Many would argue that it’s weakness to forgive, but to forgive is real strength, and to be sorry for any wrong doing is true courage. There is no better love than this, and it’s what makes a happy, healthy, and strong Christian.


Benjamin Ndukwe

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From the walls of the Mother Church edifice
From the walls of the Mother Church edifice

The Stones Shall Cry Out

Recently a few of us had the opportunity to visit The Mother Church Extension in Boston. What was especially riveting about this visit was time spent observing the quotations written on the wall excerpted from both The Bible and from Science and Health. Many of these quotations were carved into the stone — never to be erased, and all of them were carefully chosen and placed by Mrs. Eddy.

In the Biblical chapter of Habakkuk, there is a verse which states in part, “for the stones shall cry out of the wall.” When you step into this beautiful building and sit down in the silence of it all — this is what you feel, Mrs. Eddy speaking to us — telling us of lessons past, lessons for our present time and lessons yet to come….the very stones crying out!

These quotes are for the most part not of the “God is Love” garden variety. They are the tough citations, the call to action, the call to stay awake and the call for moral courage.

Think about this — above the First and Second Readers platform are the following verses: “Preach the word; be instant in season out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (Paul)

“When error confronts you, withhold not the rebuke or the explanation which destroys error. Never breathe an immoral atmosphere unless in the attempt to purify it.” Mary B.G. Eddy

Is not Mrs. Eddy reminding each and every one of us of the moral fiber needed to maintain the spiritual nature of church — to keep it pure and free from the danger of the human mind and of human organization?! And yet how many have even really seen — let alone have followed these solemn instructions?

The Church Manual on page 17 interestingly states - at the meeting of the Christian Science Association in the year 1879 a motion made by Mrs. Eddy, was voted on and approved and it was, “to organize a church to commemorate the word and works of our Master which should reinstate primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing.” How important we have this early instruction of Mrs. Eddy engraved upon our hearts never to be forgotten.

In an early July 4th Sermon Mrs. Eddy emphatically states: “But what of ourselves, and our times and obligations? Are we duly aware of our own great opportunities and responsibilities? Are we prepared to meet and improve them, to act up to the acme of divine energy wherewith we are armored?

“Never was there a more solemn and imperious call than God makes to us all, right here, for fervent devotion and an absolute consecration to the greatest and holiest of all causes. The hour is come. The great battle of Armageddon is upon us. The powers of evil are leagued together in secret conspiracy against the Lord and against His Christ, as expressed and operative in Christian Science. Large numbers in desperate malice, are engaged day and night in organizing action against us. Their feeling and purpose are deadly, and they have sworn enmity against the lives of our standard bearers.

“What will you do about it? Will you be equally in earnest for the truth? Will you doff your lavender-kid zeal, and become real and consecrated warriors? Will you give yourselves wholly and irrevocably to the great work of establishing the truth, the gospel, and the Science which are necessary to the salvation of the world from error, sin, disease, and death? Answer at once and practically, and answer aright!” (Miscellaneous Writings pages 176-177)


Mary Beth Singleterry

From the walls of the Mother Church edifice

Science in Action

Several months ago I was diagnosed by a physician as having pancreatic cancer in its third stage. My husband had passed on recently, and this was another devastating blow. Most of my family are not Christian Scientists and urged me to have medical treatment in the form of chemotherapy, which I decided to do. I also called a practitioner from the Plainfield Church in great fear and desperation. She lovingly agreed to help me and assured me of God’s great love for me, and also reminded me that nothing is impossible to Him.

I was encouraged to spend time each day listening to our online services, Roundtable discussions, Bible studies, testimonies, as well as the audio of Science and Health, which I faithfully did. I spent more time working with the daily Lesson, and also listened each day to the reading of it by Joseph in the UK. I found great inspiration from the featured articles on the home page of the website. I would print them out to study for myself, and also send copies to my mother in Florida. I called the practitioner several times each week, and when I was feeling discouraged, she reminded me that joy and gratitude are two essential ingredients to any healing, and to continue my study of the textbook. Many ungodlike character traits were uncovered and healed. I felt helpless before God.

A few weeks ago, after an examination, the doctor told me this kind of cancer was rarely curable and at best I would have only a short time to live. Again I called the practitioner in disbelief and despair. She lovingly assured me the doctors really don’t know. They are examining matter, but as Mrs. Eddy states in the Scientific Statement of Being, “All is infinite Mind, and its infinite manifestation, for God is All-in-all. . . . Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual.” I put the words of the doctor behind me and pressed on.

I am overjoyed to report that a few days ago I had a cat scan, and the doctor told me, in utter amazement, the cancer is completely gone! He said only very few survive this type of difficulty and it truly must be a miracle. I told him with great gratitude — God healed me and the power of Christian Science.

I thank God for Mrs. Eddy and this tremendous Truth. I am so grateful for the steadfast work of the practitioner, and thank all of you for standing strong and sharing with us so freely your obvious love and devotion for Christian Science.

from M. M. in Vermont

With the help of a Plainfield practitioner, I received a wonderful healing of a legal situation I have been involved in for some time. It was at the point where I was placed on leave without pay and could have lost my job of 25 years.
I was constantly being told by my lawyer and the people I work with that nothing could be done. I felt discouraged and frustrated, and all I could focus on was how wrongly I was being treated. I could not see God in any of it. But thanks to the practitioner’s help, I am learning that I am not helplessly bound to man’s laws, and to argue on the side of Truth.

The practitioner said, “There is a solution to every problem,” and “Don’t give in to discouragement. Stay focused on the good, enduring and true.” She encouraged me to work with this week’s Lesson, which had excerpts from the Trial in Science and Health. I was told to keep myself in the Court of Spirit and out of the court of error! She told me not to sit idle, but to take action. She reassured me of God’s presence and power.

I learned to trust in God, and how the operation of divine Principle overturns any unjust situation. When you trust that Principle is in operation, and that the only laws are God’s laws that work only for good, then you can see that all other laws are nonexistent. You cannot be a victim of any such laws or be “unjustly sentenced” by them.

With the help and encouragement I received from the practitioner, I went to my place of work with these truths in hand, trusting in the omnipotence of God, knowing that there was a solution and it would be principled and just. I calmly addressed with my supervisor the problem of being placed on leave without pay, trusting that God was working with me. I had the union rep. on the phone, who said very lovingly, I just found a rule in the manual that indicates that the facility must place you on 1/2 pay. As a result, my job and benefits are secure. I will be receiving 1/2 pay until the situation is fully resolved. Now that this rule has been implemented, it is also available to benefit everyone who finds themselves in this situation.

I am so grateful to God for answering all my prayers, for the tremendously valuable work of my practitioner, for the thought that goes into these weekly Lessons, and to Mrs. Eddy for showing us the way to apply these truths to our daily lives.

from L. T. in New York

I want to express my gratitude for Plainfield Church, the practitioners, and the members. All your work is so powerful, full of blessings, and your website so full of strong, clear teachings.
I want to share an experience I had recently since discovering your church. It was small, but for me it really meant a lot. I was cooking one evening and burned my hand on a utensil. I was tempted to put ice on my hand, but I stopped myself and said, “Do I really believe what I am learning from the Plainfield practitioner and what I am reading on this website?”

The words that I heard next were, “Then prove it.” I don’t remember any specific thoughts I had, but, rather, this deep conviction that I did not need to suffer this burn. Immediately the pain stopped, the mark disappeared, and there were no aftereffects. To me this was a waymark in my growth. Thank you again from deep within my heart.

from L. S. in Pennsylvania

Since I was a boy, I struggled with sneezing. My mother said I inherited it. More recently, some people have said I have allergies.
Last year I finally had enough. I was miserable, and so was my family. I was hard to be around. After what seemed like weeks of sneezing uncontrollably, I called a practitioner in this church for help.

The practitioner uncovered the root problem after a few short phone calls — the problem wasn’t allergies or something inherited. It was that I was constantly annoyed and irritable. I was asked to pay attention to my feelings and recognize when I was feeling worked up and irritated.

So the next time I felt annoyed, I asked myself, “Is this God talking?” No it was not!

As I became more loving and patient with people, I gradually began to feel better. Now this chronic sneezing problem has completely dropped away. I feel great, and feel I am a better Christian now.
In Christian Science we learn that God governs everything and the results are peace and health. God created man perfect — we have not fallen and, therefore, forced to suffer. It is our God-given right to be free! My deep gratitude goes back to God. And a special thank you to the practitioner, for the spiritual insight he had that guided me back to God.

from T. M. in Georgia

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for a healing that came for me after a couple of months at Plainfield, thanks to a practitioner there and the Bible Study, Roundtable, and the wonderful services.
I had a lifelong battle with insomnia, which began when I was about 10 years old. It was often hard for me to fall asleep, and I suffered many sleepless nights. It became so bad a couple of years before I found Plainfield, that I would literally be unable to sleep all night long and began to think I would have to learn to function without any sleep. In that case I began giving up driving, though I found it very difficult due to my circumstances. My solution at that point was to take very strong sleeping pills, which had possible extreme side-effects, but they became necessary some nights because they made me sleep.

After I found Plainfield, I began to abandon the pills, though occasionally taking one for whatever reason. Then I heard a testimony by a practitioner at Plainfield about being awake and, instead of popping a pill, turning to Science. Soon after that, I totally abandoned even the occasional pill. And I still feel extreme gratitude for the fact that this lifelong problem has completely left me.

I want to express particular gratitude also for the group watch we had recently, during which I learned better how to do a watch. That night I went to sleep as normal now, but awakened in the middle of the night unable to sleep. Something was disturbing me. I got up and sang a couple of hymns to myself. Then it occurred to me to do a watch for myself. So I established the fact of God’s allness, then refuted the claim of any possible disturbance, and prayed to know a healing could never be reversed. After that I went on back to bed, fell asleep promptly, and had a wonderful night.

from F. M. in Maryland

Late one Wednesday afternoon I developed a painful left elbow. It was a bit too late to call my Plainfield practitioner because of the three-hour time difference. So early the next morning, I called for help, and I was given a number of truths to think about. As I recall, the one that brought an end to the pain was, “There is no spot where God is not.” The pain in that elbow disappeared, and the healing was immediate and complete.

Since that healing, I have been healed of pain in one knee that has bothered me for a long time. It was suggested that I review an article by Rev. Kratzer. While reviewing the many articles on our website I spotted, “Perfect God, Perfect Man,” by Mrs. Evans. In this article is a reference to a practitioner who, when walking to his office, spotted a cripple selling pencils. This practitioner realized that in place of a cripple was the prefect child of God. Daily for three years as he passed by this man, the practitioner would say to himself, “Perfect God, perfect man, but that’s not it.” The man was healed. I made a couple of placards with this statement on them. I, too, was healed of the troublesome knee by this simple, but powerful truth.

This helped me to learn not to get discouraged if healing doesn’t come immediately. The healing Christ is ever present, and when we let that healing presence into our consciousness, the healing appears.
I am most grateful for these healings.

from J. D. in Arizona

A while ago, I began to notice distortion in the vision in one of my eyes. I asked for help from a Christian Science practitioner here in Plainfield. I was encouraged to consider what true vision is, to strive to see everything as God sees it. There was improvement, but I just couldn’t seem to get over the fear of going blind. I talked this over with the practitioner, and I told her I felt it might be a good idea to have it looked at by a medical doctor. So, with the practitioner’s support, I went for an eye exam — and was told I had macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness. He recommended I see a specialist.

The practitioner continued to pray for me, and I had one treatment from the specialist. On my next visit, he said he couldn’t believe it — he said this was beyond his wildest expectations! My eye had gone from one step away from being legally blind, to 20/60 vision — and he said he’s never seen this happen in less than 6 months of treatment — if at all. I had only one treatment! It may seem strange to say, but in my case, going to the doctor broke the fear of not going to a doctor — and this opened the way for God’s healing power to work.

I am so grateful to the practitioner for standing with me in this ordeal, despite my going to the medical. I have no doubt her calmly listening for divine guidance and holding me in God’s care during my medical treatment saved me from sinking into the expectation of the specialist. I thank God for this amazing healing, and for the growth and progress I made during this time. Thank God for this practical Science that Mary Baker Eddy discovered that brought me closer to God, and saved me from the cruel verdict of material “law.”

from C. C. in New Jersey


Letters

I thank you so much for the package! I received it and it was rich in literature and Science and Health textbooks.

Please tell me the procedure to become a member of the Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent because I see that you are practicing the legitimate and primitive Christian Science that Mrs. Eddy taught.

El Salvador

I want to express my gratitude for the Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent. I have been working with a Plainfield practitioner, reading your material, and listening to your audios. One of the first things I noticed since I started this is that I have become more alert, a longstanding sense of exhaustion is leaving, and I no longer have an unnatural craving to be in bed. I am also getting up earlier, which gives me time to pray for the day.

Pennsylvania

Please find enclosed a contribution to help with the church outreach. As out-of-town members, our ability to attend church and participate in the many activities via the website and teleconferencing is absolutely vital! There is not other church like this in the world, and it just keeps getting better. Keep up the good work, and thank you.

Vermont

I want to say thank you for our new magazine, The Liberator. My first impression was that it is very pretty to look at. Secondly, I was struck by how intelligently it was put together. It’s mission is to “clear away the misconceptions of Christian Science,” and it begins with the theme of spiritual progress. I’m quite sure that each of us who came from “the culture” arrived at Plainfield longing for just that, having been starving for it during our time in the culture. The articles arranged to lead us in that path. How wonderful! And how loving! Thank you.

Texas

Thank you for making the Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent truly a church without walls. No longer (and not for quite some time now) does living out- of-town mean being out-of-touch. Through the prayerful use of technology we are in-touch and in-tune with the heart beat of the Plainfield Church. Thank you all.

California

There is a lot of honesty, joy and insight during the Saturday Bible study and Sunday Roundtable for participating in a living Christian Science that heals.

Thank all of you so much.

Germany

I love the Bible Lesson and everything I am learning on your website, because what I read and listen to makes me feel absolutely confident that “This is the way, walk ye in it.” This is what I need to do, a step at a time.

England

Thank you so much for all the valuable instruction in the Roundtable on August 3, 2014 including Mrs. Eddy’s articles, “Love Your Enemies” and “Taking Offense” in Miscellaneous Writings. I really appreciate it!

Virginia

I would like to express my gratitude to all the members of this church for their hard work and dedication to getting the Word out about the Science of Christianity and its healing power.

Please accept the enclosed contribution to your efforts.

Georgia

What a wonderful Bible Study. We may go through mighty struggles in life and it may seem, as brought out in our discussion, not fair. But, as we earnestly seek Him, our God, this lets in the light. As we have heard there is always a light at the end of the tunnel or in my case struggle. Seeking God is the key to everything! What an honor to be a part of this Bible group. Thank you.

Georgia


Original Music


“Winds of God”


original lyrics by Peter Kidd

Blow, blow, winds of God,

fan the flames to burn the chaff,

consume the dross and purify.

Corruption receives the destruction deserved

And God’s likeness is preserved.


What are you afraid of?

Our God is a law of utter destruction

Unto everything unlike Himself.

And a law of life unto His likeness.

You are His likeness.


You can trust His promise.

The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob is your God.

And he will uphold you with His right hand.

His hand almighty.


How can you fear what is to come,

when you know what is to come

is from your Father?

So walk into the holy fire,

Surrender all that you desire,

And find eternal life.


So, blow, blow winds of God,

fan the flames to burn the chaff,

consume the dross and purify my heart.

Corruption receives the destruction deserved

And His likeness is preserved.

See God’s likeness preserved.


If you want to hear Peter’s excellent music that he and Faith have been performing, the best way is live in the church! If that isn’t possible we have a lot of their music at SoundCloud ready to listen to for free.

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Love is the liberator.