The term "adversary" is employed in the Scriptures as...

The Christian Science Monitor

The term "adversary" is employed in the Scriptures as one of the many synonyms for the Antichrist or devil. It also implies anything that is ungodly and evil, as opposed to all that is Godlike or good. The apostle Peter uses the word in its generic sense, when in the familiar imagery of his time he writes, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."

The Latin word adversarius, from which the English term is derived, suggests that which lies before the eyes, or, as it might be expressed, the testimony of the physical senses, and in the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy, on page 580, we find the following definition: "Adversary. An adversary is one who opposes, denies, disputes, not one who constructs and sustains reality and Truth." Metaphysically, therefore, the adversary, whether considered as genus or species, as cause or effect, is always the same false supposition that life, substance, and intelligence are material and mortal.

Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, taught how a true Christian should deal with the problem of evil when he said, "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison." Every one who understands in the least the import of this inspired utterance knows full well that Jesus did not mean that his followers should literally agree with or accept the arguments of the evil one, but, on the contrary, he clearly implied that they should come to terms at once with the adversary and thus agree to disagree while the opportunity remained open. The failure to deny the false claims of the adversary, while in the way with him, would indicate either tacit acquiescence with evil or a fear of uncovering it, and neither of these attitudes in the least characterized Jesus' method of dealing with evil.

November 30, 1918

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