Establishing God's Kingdom

In a letter to the First Members of The Mother Church in 1895 (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 147), Mrs. Eddy sets forth somewhat explicitly the duty of an upright man guided by "a fixed Principle." She speaks especially of his obligation to "follow the road of duty, according as Truth and the voice of his conscience" point the way for him; and she describes the one so governed as the "trusty friend, the affectionate relative, the conscientious man of business, the pious worker, the public-spirited citizen." By the term "public-spirited citizen" one may justifiably conclude that she implies that person who recognizes, respects, and does his civic duty according to his ideals. The Christian Scientist, to whom has been revealed the Christ-ideal, above all others should most effectually perform his civic duty under the guidance and direction of divine Principle. He above all others understands the rule and operation of God's government.

A Christian Scientist should be in no doubt as to his duty faithfully to discharge all obligations entailed upon him by reason of his citizenship. Our Leader always and invariably admonishes students of Christian Science to do their full duty as citizens. The Scriptural injunctions are also to the same purport. Paul, arrested in Jerusalem and threatened by the mob, did not hesitate to appeal to his rights as a citizen of Tarsus, which, with a show of civic pride, he denominated as "no mean city." Is it not fair to conclude that since Paul resorted to the privilege of citizenship for protection, he also recognized its duties and obligations? The Pharisees attempting to confuse and entrap Jesus brought to him a coin of the realm. When he questioned them as to the image and superscription it bore, they declared it to be Cæsar's; Jesus followed with the admonition to pay to Cæsar what belonged to him, but to render unto God what belonged to God. It seems by no means a false interpretation of this passage to conclude that the Master was urging respect to constituted law, adherence to the civil code, as a part of civic duty, however unfair and irksome he may have held Roman law to be.

A correspondent inquires as to the duty of Christian Scientists in taking part in the nomination and election of public officials, and in meeting the obligations incumbent upon a citizen. There can be no doubt as to the right course. The path of duty is plain. Nothing from our Leader's pen can be construed even as an intimation that one should neglect one's civic duty; and much may be cited to the contrary. How is divine Principle to become more directly the guide in human affairs unless those to whom "the arm of the Lord" has been revealed shall use their utmost endeavor to establish God's kingdom, the reign of righteousness, here and now? To hold aloof from participation in public affairs is to leave the conduct of government to those perhaps less spiritually enlightened, some of whom look upon public office as an opportunity for private gain. Such aloofness could by no means hasten the coming of that better day toward which all progressive Christians yearningly look, when divine justice shall universally prevail among men, and public service be rendered solely for the love of serving God by serving mankind.

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"The royal law"
June 7, 1924

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