Religion Put into Practice

Christian Science may be tersely defined as the reestablishment of the healing practice and teaching of Christ Jesus. The neophyte in Christian experience might query as to how religion can thus be put into practice, but if he is deeply in earnest and sufficiently humble to investigate Christian Science, it will answer his question. It will begin by making very plain to him that religion, if it be merely of the head, is but the dead letter which killeth, and that real religion consists not in what a man believes concerning God and His creation, but in what he does in his daily life in obedience to the law of God. If he says that he believes in God, and an hour later is found implicated in a dishonorable business transaction, he not only has failed to apply his religion but has virtually proved that he has no religion. If he professes belief in God as omnipotent and omnipresent, and then turns round and declares that evil has power and presence, he has again proved that his religion is in vain. If he believes that God is Love, then he must hourly and daily yield obedience to the imperative demands which Love makes upon him, if he would be termed a genuine religionist.

The first real conviction that comes home to him is that he must think his way into the kingdom of heaven. How to think as Jesus thought is the problem now confronting him. He is told in Christian Science that Jesus thought and acted from the standpoint of the reality, omnipotence, and omnipresence of infinite Mind. This certainly means that Jesus was obeying a law which must be ever operative and just as available for him as it was for Jesus. As he grasps man's true relationship to God, he finds that the image and likeness of Mind must be and is the activity or reflection of right thoughts or ideas. Then his path of duty is clearly defined to him,—he must begin to check the thoughts which do not come from God. Here his real Christian warfare begins, and for the first time in his life he senses the metaphysical meaning of watchfulness, self-denial, and unceasing prayer. He sees that in order to think above the plane of blind human belief, which constitutes the veil of the flesh, he must take his mental stand on the side of spiritual reality, and begin to disbelieve every cherished human concept which contradicts the supremacy of God, good. It seems very clear to him that he cannot overcome any phase of evil or error so long as he believes in it, and that he must cease thinking that which he would disbelieve. In other words, he cannot think or believe that evil is real, and at the same time overcome evil. The whole problem of emancipation then becomes to him purely mental; he must watch his thinking from the moment that he begins to reckon himself spiritual instead of material. He must bring "into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."

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Uprooting the Weeds
April 12, 1919
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