Notes and References, June 4, 2000
Connection between sin and growth
We all are growing or want to grow whether it be in our knowledge, friendships, romances or finances. We might be working on a project or we need new energy to see more progress. Did you ever stop to think that there is a connection that Christian Science establishes between sin and growth? You thought, your heart’s purpose is like the soil that feed the flower. If you don’t water it and feed it the flower will die. Or worse, if you poison the soil you will kill the flower. The quality of your thought determines your experience. How much wrong thinking are any of us guilty of and what happens if we don’t come face to face with that wrong thinking.
While the discussion of sin isn’t anyone’s favorite subject is mandatory discussion for anyone wanting to be a Christian Scientist. The citations below will bring out that three things are requires in our thought: 1. Innocence, 2. Affection, and 3. Unselfishness. Three other things are required to eliminate sin: (1) A proper sense of sin; (2) repentance; (3) the understanding of good. Read the following references intently.
Is a Christian Scientist ever sick, and has he who is sick been regenerated?
Perfection, the goal of existence, is not won in a moment; and regeneration leading thereto is gradual, for it culminates in the fulfillment of this divine rule in Science: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
The last degree of regeneration rises into the rest of perpetual, spiritual, individual existence. The first feeble flutterings of mortals Christward are infantile and more or less imperfect. The new-born Christian Scientist must mature, and work out his own salvation. Spirit and flesh antagonize. Temptation, that mist of mortal mind which seems to be matter and the environment of mortals, suggests pleasure and pain in matter; and, so long as this temptation lasts, the warfare is not ended and the mortal is not regenerated. The pleasures — more than the pains — of sense, retard regeneration; for pain compels human consciousness to escape from sense into the immortality and harmony of Soul. Disease in error, more than ease in it, tends to destroy error: the sick often are thereby led to Christ, Truth, and to learn their way out of both sickness and sin.
The material and physical are imperfect. The individual and spiritual are perfect; these have no fleshly nature. This final degree of regeneration is saving, and the Christian will, must, attain it; but it doth not yet appear. Until this be attained, the Christian Scientist must continue to strive with sickness, sin, and death — though in lessening degrees — and manifest growth at every experience.
Three cardinal points must be gained before poor humanity is regenerated and Christian Science is demonstrated: (1) A proper sense of sin; (2) repentance; (3) the understanding of good. Evil is a negation: it never started with time, and it cannot keep pace with eternity. Mortals' false senses pass through three states and stages of human consciousness before yielding error. The deluded sense must first be shown its falsity through a knowledge of evil as evil, so-called. Without a sense of one's oft-repeated violations of divine law, the individual may become morally blind, and this deplorable mental state is moral idiocy. The lack of seeing one's deformed mentality, and of repentance therefor, deep, never to be repented of, is retarding, and in certain morbid instances stopping, the growth of Christian Scientists. Without a knowledge of his sins, and repentance so severe that it destroys them, no person is or can be a Christian Scientist.
Mankind thinks either too much or too little of sin. The sensitive, sorrowing saint thinks too much of it: the sordid sinner, or the so-called Christian asleep, thinks too little of sin.
To allow sin of any sort is anomalous in Christian Scientists, claiming, as they do, that good is infinite, All. Our Master, in his definition of Satan as a liar from the beginning, attested the absolute powerlessness — yea, nothingness — of evil: since a lie, being without foundation in fact, is merely a falsity; spiritually, literally, it is nothing.
Examine yourselves, and see what, and how much, sin claims of you; and how much of this claim you admit as valid, or comply with. The knowledge of evil that brings on repentance is the most hopeful stage of mortal mentality. Even a mild mistake must be seen as a mistake, in order to be corrected; how much more, then, should one's sins be seen and repented of, before they can be reduced to their native nothingness!
Beloved children, the world has need of you, — and more as children than as men and women: it needs your innocence, unselfishness, faithful affection, uncontaminated lives. You need also to watch, and pray that you preserve these virtues unstained, and lose them not through contact with the world. What grander ambition is there than to maintain in yourselves what Jesus loved, and to know that your example, more than words, makes morals for mankind!
There is but one way of being good, and that is to be good!
Art thou still unacquainted with thyself? Then be introduced to this self. "Know thyself!" as said the classic Grecian motto. Note well the falsity of this mortal self! Behold its vileness, and remember this poverty-stricken "stranger that is within thy gates." Cleanse every stain from this wanderer's soiled garments, wipe the dust from his feet and the tears from his eyes, that you may behold the real man, the fellow-saint of a holy household. There should be no blot on the escutcheon of our Christliness when we offer our gift upon the altar.
Daily Prayer. SECT. 4. It shall be the duty of every member of this Church to pray each day: "Thy kingdom come;" let the reign of divine Truth, Life, and Love be established in me, and rule out of me all sin; and may Thy Word enrich the affections of all mankind, and govern them!