Good Omnipotent

In a characteristically pithy sentence Mrs. Eddy on page 228 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" settles forever the question of God's omnipotence and the powerlessness of evil. "There is no power apart from God," she declares; and adds, "Omnipotence has all-power, and to acknowledge any other power is to dishonor God." With what definiteness she states the case; and with what definiteness God, good, is the only power. And if we, in our thought, seem to give power to something besides God, then we dishonor Him; we break the First Commandment. Moreover, if we acknowledge another power, if we give power to any type of evil, to sin, sickness, and death, we seem to be subject to that belief in just the degree of our acceptance of it; evil's seeming power is just in proportion to the reality we give it in our thought.

In declaring God's omnipotence, Mrs. Eddy was following precisely in the footsteps of the holy men of the Bible. From Genesis to Revelation, those spiritually illuminated acknowledged the all-power of God, whether Deity was regarded as Jehovah, as in many of the early books of the Scriptures, or understood as Spirit, as in the New Testament. The inspired writer of Genesis records that when Abraham was ninety-nine years old the Lord appeared to him and said, "I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect." And the Revelator wrote, "And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth." There was no doubt with either of these inspired writers, between whom stretch many centuries, as to the all-power, the omnipotence of God.

It does not follow, however, that all the Biblical writers who acknowledged God's omnipotence also recognized Him as infinite good. In fact the evidence is quite to the contrary. But Mrs. Eddy, following the precepts of the blessed Master, denies both reality and power to any phase or claim of evil. That God is All, and good, is her fundamental teaching. In view of this, how mistaken are we when we admit into consciousness even the possibility that evil is, and has power, for then do we either deny God's omnipotence, or we attribute to Him the knowledge of evil, thus making God responsible for the hardships and sins of humanity. Such a conclusion utterly contradicts both the spirit and the letter of Christian teaching. Furthermore, it seems that although we recognize the all-power of good and utilize our understanding to destroy the claims of evil expressed as sickness and sin, as want and inharmony, yet we do not apply this understanding to all the problems of mankind. It is as though the omnipotence of good which we acknowledge and utilize in destroying the claims of evil for persons, were not equally practical and available in the destruction of all untoward conditions of whatsoever type or form which confront the race. Is there not a delinquency here which Christian Scientists should remedy, and in remedying it, thus bestow a blessing upon a whole nation, perhaps on a whole race; or even upon all humanity? To detach the error from the thought of personality and to attack it as abstract evil is the need. In whatever direction evil seems to threaten, its destruction is brought about by spiritual power; it is no less amenable to the omnipotence of God when threatening as a common peril than when manifested as personalized discord, either as sin or disease. In whatever form evil may seem to menace, the remedy is at hand: it only remains to be applied; and the remedy is always in terms of Christ, Truth.

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"Thou hearest me always"
September 8, 1928

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