Prayer that arrests crime

The United States Government recently reported that violent crime rose 17 percent during the first quarter of this year. Some other western countries are also reporting increases. This latest rise in crime may perhaps be attributed to economic recession and inflation, but the basic disposition toward crime must be present for economic factors to have such an effect.

All mortal, matter-based thought is in some way a violation of the first commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Ex. 20:3; The premise of such mortal-mindedness is that there are gods—or minds—many, capable of thinking and acting contrary to the nature of the one divine Mind. Paul recognized this lawless character of matter-based thought when he wrote, "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Rom. 8:7; Even if there were full employment and all the presumed social preconditions of crime were eliminated, there would still be crime. Why? Because the underlying source of evil—ungodlike thinking—has not been challenged and because the tendency of this pseudo intelligence is criminal. Its basic inclination is defiance of God's law. Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health, "Mortal mind, not matter, is the criminal in every case; and human law rightly estimates crime, and courts reasonably pass sentence, according to the motive." Science and Health, p. 105:

The task of controlling crime can seem like trying to pull up poison ivy that has—let's say—taken over a bed of ivy. One pulls up a tendril here and a vine there, but as long as the central root is untouched, the vines will once again appear. It may seem that a number of public measures could substantially reduce crime in the United States; tighter gun-control laws, job programs for youngsters, a more streamlined judicial system are among the proposals. And such measures may have an important role to play in containing crime. But we can through prayer thwart the essential criminal—the carnal mind and its ancient assumption that life and intelligence are something other than Spirit, God. Christ Jesus graphically exposed this impersonal evil element when he said to those who sought to kill him: "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning .... He is a liar, and the father of it." John 8:44;

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The best defense
September 17, 1979

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