A synopsis in your paper of a recent sermon indicates...

The Hedley (B. C.) Gazette

A synopsis in your paper of a recent sermon indicates that the clergyman apparently misapprehends Mrs. Eddy's use of the word principle. In her Message to The Mother Church for 1901 she says: "To define Love in divine Science we use this phrase for God—divine Principle. By this we mean Mind, a permanent, fundamental, intelligent, divine Being, called in Scripture, Spirit, Love" (p. 3). Jesus said, "God is a Spirit," and the dictionaries define spirit as "an animating principle." Mrs. Eddy capitalizes this word principle and uses it in a deific sense, making the phrase "divine Principle" a synonym for God. This is vastly different from saying that "God is only a principle." If Deity is not the fundamental, creative, governing cause of all real being, we may well ask what is. Surely one who believes in God does not believe that creation was an accident or that man and the universe are governed by chance; and if creation is governed intelligently, that is scientifically, this government must be based on Principle, and we are not irreverent in naming this Mind, or Principle, God.

If your report is correct, this clergyman also mistakes and misstates the attitude of Christian Science toward sin, and most grievously so. The Christian Science movement—its publications, churches, and activities—was established and exists for the sole purpose of teaching mankind how to overcome and destroy sin. Christian Science churches are well attended, not because their congregations are taught that lying, drunkenness, and robbery are not crimes and that there is no sin in committing them, as one might conclude from your report of this sermon, but because Christian Science reforms the sinner.

The denunciation of Christian Science in the present instance, and in most others, is due to the failure to distinguish between the absolute and the relative, between absolute truth and relative human experience. Christian Science accepts the Scriptural teaching that God is All-in-all as being literally true; therefore to be loyal to that understanding of God it cannot consistently accept what is called evil as being true also. It is self-evident that you cannot destroy a reality. If evil is a real thing it is necessarily a part of God's creation, which would be an offensive thought; but if God did not make evil, if it has no divine approval, whence or from whom does it or can it derive reality, that is, permanence?

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