My critic advises that "a good stiff reading of an old-styled,...

Baltimore (Md.) American

My critic advises that "a good stiff reading of an old-styled, old-school theologian would help my understanding." I imagine it would help me about as much as a good stiff studying of the methods of the good old doctors whose blood-letting was the summum bonum of healing. This critic claims that theologians and shrewd dialecticians have decided that "there is no possible theory which will free God from the full responsibility for at least the permissive existence of evil, sin, and pain, but dualism. And, unfortunately, dualism is logically contradictory to the essential truth of Christianity." No doubt we all agree on the proposition in the last sentence, omitting the word "unfortunately," but to contend that an "all-wise, all-powerful, all-merciful Deity" is responsible for both good and evil would appear to the "ordinary" thinker to be absolute dualism. Our friend admits that pain is mental, or psychical. Then from that standpoint it would depend on the attitude of the mind whether pain was or was not manifested in the body. But take man as the image of God, seeking first the kingdom of heaven and reflecting the "mind of the Lord," with no thought of evil, disease, or pain, and pain would not be expressed, for it would be banished from consciousness.

Christian Science is, contrary to the claims of our ministerial friend, scientific and rational, as the above truth is being daily demonstrated by Christian Scientists all over the world, and their works are ample proof of the faith that is in them. As the Bible states, "By their fruits ye shall know them." This minister also acknowledges that healing the sick is in the divine commission and was observed by the church for many years (in reality for nearly three centuries), but he says it was given up for something better (?), thus ignoring the divine commission. But the early Christian healed with the spirit, and not the letter as our friend claims, and this healing was only abandoned when human opinion took its place and destroyed its value. But why a divine commission, or physicians or hospitals, the latter two assisted in every way by the churches, if the "real problem of human life" is "the atoning mission of pain and suffering"? How can this critic consistently allow his parishioners, and perhaps himself, to call in a physician when suffering pain from whatever cause, if he believes that it is in opposition to the intention of the Father, who, he claims, has ordained suffering as a necessary concomitant of righteousness?

Your correspondent really allows, though, that this intention of God is imperfect; as he says, it is a truism that in a perfect world there would be no pain. Jesus is quoted as saying, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect;" also, that "heaven is at hand." Why not strive, therefore, for the perfect world by knowing and teaching that righteous thoughts together with righteous living will overcome the thoughts of pain, disease, and their expression, and prove in a direct way that dualism is not the law of God, but that His creation is, as He pronounced it, good? Christian Scientists are working for the accomplishment of this perfect world, and they are gradually demonstrating it.

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