Signs of the Times

[A. J. Peel in Ottawa (Ontario) Citizen]

I am one of a large number of ordinary folk who have been under the impression that Christianity had some message for such times as these and that Christian faith was proof against fear of plague or pestilence, and it rather staggers one when we see professed Christian people and good church members not only fearful, but anticipating sickness for themselves and others, and by the power of suggestion creating fear in the minds of those who had no fear. Is there any cause for wonder that men are asking what our boasted Christianity is worth? (I should perhaps state that I am a member of the Presbyterian church.) There are those who raise their voice against God and ask why, if He is all good, He brings sickness and death upon us and our kin, and orthodox Christianity replies that His ways are inscrutable and "past finding out." This is far from satisfying; moreover, it is a base libel on the eternal Spirit of good in whom "we live, and move, and have our being." God is the eternal enemy of disease and death and has no more to do with this epidemic, either as a judgment or as a means to compel our thoughts to dwell on the serious side of life, than the people of Ottawa have to do with the government of China. God is all good; therefore He can only acknowledge health. Disease is the absence of health; it is negative, just as darkness is the absence of light and is not a positive substance. When humanity recognizes this truth and alienates itself from the misconceptions of orthodox religion, dominion over disease and sickness will be an accomplished fact. If the student of metaphysics realizes this truth, how much more should the professed Christian realize it, seeing that the Christ whom he professes to follow and who was the greatest metaphysician the world has ever seen, always treated disease as a negative thing.

December 21, 1918

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