Understanding

The belief that God's law operates as a material law of nature, and that God at infrequent intervals sets aside this law when some special proof of His power becomes necessary to teach mankind a needed lesson, has never helped humanity to have faith in God. In fact, to attempt worship of God while holding in thought such a concept of His law begets a lack of faith in His unchanging goodness and infinite intelligence and love. It is even believed that the various ills of the flesh are experienced as a punishment visited upon mankind by God for disobedience of this law of nature, and this, irrespective of whether or not the offender was aware of his mistake. Mankind, believing themselves deprived of reliance on God by this teaching, are directed to the ever changing opinions of materia medica for instruction as to what constitutes proper obedience to God's will. This has left humanity at the beck and call of various material systems, which are not in agreement among themselves as to the proper method of caring for the body, except that all believe prayer an unimportant element.

Religious teaching which accepts this material belief of God's law, or which makes a theoretical condemnation of "the things of the flesh" in the nature of a compromise with materiality, cannot furnish mankind the spiritual guidance which they have been taught to seek in the church, nor can such teaching give a concept of prayer in which God is known to be Spirit, Love, and His law absolutely spiritual, in accordance with the teachings of Jesus as summed up in his talk with Nicodemus, when he said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." This necessity for the rejection of materiality was also taught by Paul, for he declared, "The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other."

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The Unfolding of God's Purposes
September 6, 1919
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