A Forbidden Subject

Do we often stop to consider how little the name of God enters into daily conversation with our fellow men? One may travel thousands of miles by sea and by land and not hear God's name once mentioned reverently, unless perchance one's lot is cast among Christian Scientists or one attends a religious service. Religion, in fact, would almost seem to be a forbidden subject of conversation with the rank and file of humanity. People spend long periods of time in talking of the most trivial and even unwholesome things of earth, among whom the mere mention of the Word of God would be treated as an almost unpardonable obtrusion. Some who profess to be Christians are aroused beyond measure when the Christian Scientist introduces the subject of religion and the Bible.

Must it be said of such that God is not even in their thoughts? Christian Science does not judge thus harshly, but it does say that if God were better understood, the desire to talk more of spiritual things would be uppermost in thought. It is a perfect delight to the Christian Scientist to be able to talk on the subject of religion. Why is this so? First of all, because he knows and can prove for himself and for others that true religion is practical rather than theoretical; and second, because there is nothing nearer and dearer to the Christian Scientist, nothing more vital and sacred, than his religion. Naturally enough his one desire is to break the bread of Life to all who are ready to accept what he knows is of inestimable value; but with his understanding of true religion has come the revelation of the unreality of evil, or the carnal mind, with the secret, subtle workings of which he must wisely and intelligently cope. Having found out that this so-called mind is enmity against true religion, he knows that there is "a time to keep silence, and a time to speak." He has learned, possibly through sad experience, that the Word of God cannot be discussed promiscuously among men. There must be a manifest willingness to receive the good, else there is no suitable soil in which to plant the seed of Truth. If one tries to bring the subject of religion to another prematurely, one need not be surprised to encounter almost any phase of opposition and possibly anger.

The writer well remembers an experience of a young student of Christian Science with a clerical friend who had invited him to come to his home to discuss this subject. He accepted, as a neophyte is wont to do, and before the discussion terminated he found himself facing the threat of bodily violence upon having accurately quoted this passage of Scripture: "They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God." Love of course protected the situation, but the student has often wondered at this sudden outburst of passion, accompanied with the declaration that there was no such passage in the Bible. His clerical friend had doubtless read this identical passage many times, but hearing it quoted from an entirely different point of view, it probably meant something so radically different to him that he may have honestly thought it was not Biblical. His sense of the letter was confounded. Such experiences only help to intensify the practical significance of the Master's instructions to his disciples when sending them forth to preach and to heal. He said, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." Prior to this he had also admonished them to beware of casting their pearls of thought into the mire of unbelief.

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The Holy Grail
January 11, 1919

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