"Who did sin?"

We are told in the ninth chapter of the gospel of John how Jesus healed a man who had been blind from his birth. The disciples asked, "Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?" To this Jesus answered, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him."

In the light of Christian Science this is one of the most helpful of the gospel narratives, in showing that from the standpoint of Principle, sin and disease are not real, may not rightfully be attributed to anyone, are neither cause nor effect, and that the abandonment of a material viewpoint for the spiritual heals disease and banishes evil. In explaining that it is only in human belief that sickness and evil seem to exist, Mrs. Eddy says (Science and Health, p. 218), "What renders both sin and sickness difficult of cure is, that the human mind is the sinner." This statement is a categorical answer to the age-repeated inquiry of the disciples, "Who did sin?" The human mind pleads guilty to being a sinner, and Christian Science proves that it is the sinner. On page 512 the main indictment reads as follows: "Ignorant of the origin and operations of mortal mind,—that is, ignorant of itself,—this so-called mind puts forth its own qualities, and claims God as their author; albeit God is ignorant of the existence of both this mortal mentality, so-called, and its claim, for the claim usurps the deific prerogatives and is an attempted infringement on infinity." Logic and Scriptural authority agree that this basic sin of attributing to God responsibility for evil is a characteristic of the carnal mind.

One of the beliefs of the human mind is that God caused the man in question to be blind in order that Jesus might show his God-given power to heal. This is a radical departure from the Christ-teaching that God is unchanging Love; but conventional religion often goes still farther in its opposition to scientific spiritual healing. It denies that divine Truth heals now as it once did; and it even finds fault with those who rely upon God alone for their healing. Because it conceives of God as causing or recognizing disease, its prayers do not heal. Then it imputes to God the responsibility for such unanswered prayer for healing, saying in effect that although God still causes men to be blind or sick, He has ceased to heal them. For healing, it recommends the medical doctor and material methods. To explain a case of congenital blindness in conformity with such a theory would require a transformation of Jesus' statement into something like the following: Neither did this man sin, nor his parents, but God made him blind that the power of the doctor, surgeon, or drug should be manifested in him.

"Be ye stedfast"
February 23, 1918

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