"The armor of a Christian"

[Written Especially for Young People]

Is warfare ever Christian? This is a question which sometimes presents itself. Although world events make plain the need for defensive measures, many are puzzled as to how this need can be reconciled with the teachings of Jesus. Some people call themselves "conscientious objectors" and refuse to fight. Others, although they object to war in theory, are willing to support it in practice. What should be the position of the youthful student of Christian Science? Like others who follow the Master, he is well aware of the saying in the Sermon on the Mount, "Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." This saying is not a basis for formulating a philosophy of nonresistance. It is a call to all men to realize, understand, and demonstrate the truly spiritual nature which is man's. Christian Science teaches that man is God's image, consisting not of material elements, but of spiritual qualities. And it declares that everyone's need is to live so that this true or spiritual selfhood is shown forth increasingly as the actual fact of his being.

To do this, meekness is essential. And what is meekness? It is not weakness, self-abasement, or lukewarmness, although people sometimes think of it in this negative way. In Christian Science, meekness means the consistent, honest endeavor to make divine truths practical in daily living. It means placing one's trust in God and in the fact that man is His likeness. It means recognizing evil, not as personal or factual, but as error seeming to act as thought. The meek turn the left cheek to error's threats, because they will not believe that sickness, fear, envy, limitation, or the like is real.

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