Resistance to Evil

The problem of evil is continually presenting itself to the children of men. In some form or other the belief of evil is constantly confronting them. At one time it is sickness they have to contend with; at another it is one of the many phases of sin. During the entire period of what goes by the name of human existence, the human race is faced by the problem of so-called evil; and men either overcome its temptations or go down before their sinister influence.

While evil seems as rampant in the world to-day as ever, the problem has assumed an entirely different aspect since Mrs. Eddy's discovery of Christian Science. She perceived with marvelously clear spiritual vision that God is perfect and infinite; and she rightly concluded that good is limitless, or, in other words, that good exists without a real opposite. This amounted to the discovery that evil, which is the opposite of good, has only a fabulous existence, or, simply, that evil is unreal. The importance of the discovery has never been paralleled in the history of the world. Age after age had seen mankind groping in the dark in the vain attempt to discover the origin of evil, and so account for its seeming activity; but all to no avail. To attribute it to God was to deny that God is wholly good; to believe that it was the creation of a being other than God was to assume that God is not omnipotent,—both untenable positions, if God be, as He in reality is, the infinite and perfect divine Principle. Mrs. Eddy was obedient to the logical deduction which she drew from the spiritual facts, and with courage unsurpassed, declared to a skeptical world the truth that evil is unreal. And so, that is how evil is regarded in Christian Science. Being unreal, evil possesses neither actual presence, power, nor identity. It is a dream-shadow, a passing illusion of material sense, a mere negation.

But to mankind, even when to some extent it is enlightened by Christian Science, the belief of evil still presents itself, and sometimes apparently in formidable enough shape. For example, who among men is not confronted at times with the temptations of anger, jealousy, envy, hatred, malice, or some other of the lusts of the flesh? Indeed, until the last trace of the belief that matter or evil exists as reality has been destroyed, evil will seem to assert itself as temptation. At the present stage in the history of mankind it often seems very formidable; and all are confronted with the problem of how best to handle, practically, the belief. The Apostle James, after telling his hearers to submit themselves to God, advises them in the words, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Notice the word "resist." Many have taken this to mean that the person tempted by evil should oppose it by force of will. But how futile this has been proved to be times without number, the reason being that will-power, itself the offspring of material sense or the carnal mind, cannot destroy that which is identical with the carnal mind—evil. Resistance to evil, then, must be something very different from a display of will-power.

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Among the Churches
January 13, 1923

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