True and False Teaching

THE perverseness of the so-called human or mortal mind is proverbial. Assuming for itself entity and reality, and, consequently, indulging in the foibles of pride and self-love, reluctantly, if at all, does it concede any degree of reality to that which opposes it. Verily, "the flesh lusteth against the Spirit." A common phase of this self-assertiveness manifests itself in a certain type of disobedience, a dislike to accept the precepts of another without modification and adaptation to fit its personal preferences. The history of Christianity furnishes many examples of this kind of dissension, and the Pharisee always undertakes to justify himself in what he regards as an advanced position. While it is certain that Mrs. Eddy's teachings regarding God, man, and the universe are perfectly clear and unmistakable to the obedient student, yet it appears that the disobedient would cause confusion regarding certain fundamentals of Christian Science, thereby losing that clear comprehension which is preliminary to a demonstrable understanding of the subject.

That, for example, our Leader drew a sharp distinction between mortal man, as a counterfeit of the real, spiritual man, and God's image and likeness, is perfectly apparent; yet, it has sometimes been held that the children of men are in that likeness. On page 476 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy says, with a finality that is convincing, "When speaking of God's children, not the children of men, Jesus said, 'The kingdom of God is within you;' that is, Truth and Love reign in the real man, showing that man in God's image is unfallen and eternal." No less definite were Jesus' pointed declarations to certain of his countrymen who were striving to confound him with their sophistry. "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do," proves conclusively that he in no sense regarded the mortals whom he addressed as the children of God. On the contrary, it is apparent that he saw them as the seeming creation of lustful false beliefs, claiming to usurp the prerogative of the one creator, the infinite Mind, who is divine Love.

Furthermore, when John declared in a familiar passage, "Now are we the sons of God," he set at rest forever the contention that by any possibility man can claim to be God, apparently or de facto. The theological dogma which declares that Jesus was God has been worn quite threadbare through much discussion during many centuries, yet without convicing proof of the truth of its contention. Instead of taking the Nazarene at his word and accepting the Christ which he demonstrated to be the Son of God, it seems that theologians, in the face of Jesus' own specific denial, have sometimes been perverse in their insistence that Jesus was God. Now if the proof be conclusive regarding Jesus, can it be less conclusive in regard to men generally? By what logic could a mortal claim for himself what Jesus repeatedly denied regarding the real man's relation to the Father? Yet the attempt has been made to show that Mrs. Eddy taught that man is God, and conversely that God is man. No statement could be more explicit and definite than her assertion to the contrary on page 70 of Science and Health. Under the marginal heading, "The infinite one Spirit," our Leader says: "Man is never God, but spiritual man, made in God's likeness, reflects God. In this scientific reflection the Ego and the Father are inseparable."

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February 10, 1923

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