Suffering Is Not of God

One of the first things learned by a student of Christian Science is that matter has no sensation and no intelligence, that it is in fact inert, mindless. Therefore, it becomes increasingly evident to him that if there seems to be a sense of suffering or pain it is not in the so-called physical body, but obtains solely in what Christian Science names mortal mind. However, aware of the fact that many who are not familiar with the teachings of Christian Science stil believe that matter is sentient, Mary Baker Eddy, on page 205 of the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," asks this arresting question: "When will it be understood that matter has neither intelligence, life, nor sensation, and that the opposite belief is the prolific source of all suffering?"

Scholastic theology has for centuries attributed suffering to God, teaching that Deity causes suffering and uses it for the purpose of making mankind better. Christian Science teaches that it is not God, but ignorance of God, manifested through fear and sin, that causes men to suffer, and that they are made better not by suffering but by the understanding of God. And Mrs. Eddy says (ibid., p. 357), "If mankind would relinquish the belief that God makes sickness, sin, and death, or makes man capable of suffering on account of this malevolent triad, the foundations of error would be sapped and error's destruction ensured."

The great need of mankind is to learn that instead of suffering being natural and necessary it is, in fact, foreign to the true nature of man as God's reflection, and is to be overcome as an imposition of error, and not to be submitted to as legitimate or unavoidable. Writing of the atonement, on page 23 of Science and Health, our Leader says that "suffering is an error of sinful sense which Truth destroys;" and she adds that "eventually both sin and suffering will fall at the feet of everlasting Love."

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January 15, 1938

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