Our Greatest Need

Certain tendencies of the times are turning men's thoughts away from the contemplation of Deity, of the things not seen, the eternal things, and fixing them upon some form of materiality. The extraordinary advancement of the physical sciences in recent decades, especially of synthetic chemistry, has had the result of building up in human consciousness a reliance upon materiality which, if the views of some enthusiasts were accepted, would in a measure supplant the ancient reliance upon God. That this tendency is to be deprecated all Christians will agree; for whatever strengthens faith in matter lessens reliance upon God. And firmer reliance upon God is the way, the only way, whereby mankind may gain the salvation which all desire. The tendency toward the acceptance of the unreal as real is one to which all Christians, and Christian Scientists in particular, will give much thought.

The golden thread which weaves its way through the pages of sacred Scripture is the fact of God's presence and availability to meet human needs, to succor mortals, and to bring them into pathways of peace and joyous plenitude. The desire to do God's will, obedience to the divine commands, self-immolation, and loving one's neighbor as one's self-these are the preparations of the heart for successful seeking of divine aid.

But, above all else, knowledge of God is the paramount necessity. Knowledge of God, that is, demonstrable understanding of Him, is the most precious possession within the grasp of mortals. It is the open sesame to the kingdom of heaven. In order properly to evaluate this knowledge let us ask ourselves, What is the alternative to the scientific understanding of God and reliance upon Him? The answer is, Belief in creation as material, of matter as substance, of man as mortal and accordingly subject to all the vicissitudes which mankind has conceived as the inevitable attendants of human experience—this is the alternative to faith in God.

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Error's Nothingness
February 16, 1929

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