A misstatement in mathematics may seem to express...

Healdsburg (Cal.) Enterprise

A misstatement in mathematics may seem to express reality so long as one believes it to be true, but as soon as its falsity is discovered it is at once seen to state what never had any existence and what is wholly unreal. The fact that an incorrect statement cannot destroy or even affect the absolute truth, does not prevent either the guilt or the suffering of the one who accepts it as true. This gives some idea of the Christian Science teaching as to sin, which is well summarized in the church tenet: "We acknowledge God's forgiveness of sin in the destruction of sin and the spiritual understanding that casts out evil as unreal. But the belief in sin is punished so long as the belief lasts" (Science and Health, p. 497).

Christian Scientists do not question that in our present human experience sin seems a terrible reality, but they recognize that all acceptance of and indulgence in evil is to be overcome. Moreover they hold to the absolute Scriptural teaching that God is the only creator, and that all He made was good. They are glad to apply to their own lives the test which Jesus gave for the correctness of a doctrine: "Ye shall know them by their fruits. ... A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit."

Jesus defined the devil as "a liar, and the father of it," and said he "abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him." This would indicate that Jesus did not regard Satan as a real being, or a creation of God, but as merely a false statement, a lie, which was to be overcome by refusing to obey it or to give it credence. He said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

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