Avoiding the "appearance of evil"

"Abstain from all appearance of evil" is the admonition of St. Paul in his first epistle to the Thessalonians. This becomes an imperative demand upon every sincere student of Christian Science, and obedience is essential for Christianly scientific demonstration. Does it mean merely that the student should avoid or shun evil, or error, wherever he may see it manifested? This is one meaning of the command, and it is in accord with the admonition of our Leader, Mary Baker Eddy (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 452), "Never breathe an immoral atmosphere, unless in the attempt to purify it."

There is, however, a broader meaning in this admonition which is in agreement with the Scriptural statement, found in the words of Habakkuk and revealing the nature of God, "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity." In the first chapter of Genesis we are told that man is made in the image and likeness of God; hence it follows that the real and only man reflects the purity of his Father-Mother God. This shows the truth which the alert student of Christian Science will adopt in his endeavor to "abstain from all appearance of evil," or error.

Vision is a spiritual faculty of divine Mind expressed through spiritual consciousness. It is not dependent upon material sense, which claims to be the source of vision. Thus the student realizes that man, reflecting God, who is "of purer eyes than to behold evil," naturally possesses true vision and perceives the divine facts about God and His creation, man and the universe. Hence, the real man cannot behold or know anything about evil. He can see only what divine Mind, God, sees; and this is all good, for in Genesis we are told that "God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good."

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Knowing Man Aright
August 12, 1933

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