The Christian Science
“Never was there a more solemn and imperious call than God makes to us all, right here, for fervent devotion and an absolute consecration to the greatest and holiest of all causes.”
Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings, page 177
Volume 18, Number 2 October 2010
Christian Science Endtime Center P. O. Box 27539, Denver, CO 80227
This Standard contains excerpts from Volume 2, Number 1,
of The Christian Science Standard
Stanley C. Larkin, Author and Editor, 1989 - 2001
THE NEW AND FINAL CRUSADE
Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (page 226): “The voice of God in behalf of the African slave was still echoing in our land, when the voice of the herald of this new crusade sounded the keynote of universal freedom, asking a fuller acknowledgment of the rights of man as a Son of God, demanding that the fetters of sin, sickness, and death be stricken from the human mind and that its freedom be won, not through human warfare, not with bayonet and blood, but through Christ’s divine Science.”
This “new crusade” is not fanciful imagery of Mrs. Eddy’s imagination used for the purpose of ornamenting her writings. Rather this crusade is every bit as real and momentous as the crusade just then concluded, — the American Civil War.
This new crusade is encompassed in the “Elias rescue operation” referred to in the May 2010, issue of The Christian Science Standard, to help humanity worldwide to reach Christ’s kingdom, the “New Jerusalem”; to escape from a self-destructing world, through scientific translation, as taught and prophesied by Christ Jesus.
MRS. EDDY CALLS A CRUSADE
At Chickering Hall, Boston, Sunday, July 4th, 1886, following the sermon by the Christian Science pastor, Rev. Wm. I. Gill, Mrs. Eddy addressed her followers:
Never was there a more solemn and imperious call than God makes to us all, right here, for fervent devotion and an absolute consecration to the greatest and holiest of all causes. The hour is come. The great battle of Armageddon is upon us. The powers of evil are leagued together in secret conspiracy against the Lord and against His Christ, as expressed and operative in Christian Science. Large numbers, in desperate malice, are engaged day and night in organizing action against us. Their feeling and purpose are deadly, and they have sworn enmity against the lives of our standard-bearers.
What will you do about it? Will you be equally in earnest for the truth? Will you doff your lavender-kid zeal, and become real and consecrated warriors? Will you give yourselves wholly and irrevocably to the great work of establishing the truth, the gospel, and the Science which are necessary to the salvation of the world from error, sin, disease, and death? Answer at once and practically, and answer aright! (The Christian Science Journal, August, 1886, page 116; also, Miscellaneous Writings, page 177)
Mrs. Eddy states here that the long-prophesied battle of Armageddon is now upon us and that Christian Scientists are the God-appointed warriors called to fight this battle. Although it necessarily involves all mankind, this battle is being fought by Christian Scientists, as indicated by her words: “as expressed and operative in Christian Science”; and that the “salvation of the world” will not — cannot — occur without Christian Science.
THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON: A MENTAL CRUSADE
The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible explains “Armageddon” in part: “It is to be noted, moreover, that the battle said to take place on this spot is clearly one of ideologies (the gospel [Godspell] versus the ‘badspell,’ God’s truth opposed to Satan’s error) — e.g., the ‘prophesying’ of the two witnesses in Rev. 11:4; the fact that Satan fights by means of ‘demonic spirits’ which issue from the mouths of dragon, beast,
and false prophet in Rev. 16:12-16; and that in the co-ordinate passage at Rev. 19:11-16 the ‘Word of God,’ who leads the forces of righteousness, wields as his weapon a ‘sharp sword’ issuing from his mouth (vs. 15).” (Vol. I, page 227)
This period of the battle of Armageddon referred to in Scripture is directly related, in practically all cross-references, to the end of the world; that is, such references as “the day of the Lord,” or “the day of judgment,” or “the wrath to come,” the “battle of Armageddon,” etc. In Scofield Reference Bible these references are regularly cross-referenced with Rev. 19:11-21.
THE FINAL REVOLUTION: THE ATTAINMENT OF HEAVEN
In her address at the National Convention in Chicago, June 13, 1888, Mrs. Eddy stated: “Christian Science and the senses are at war. It is a revolutionary struggle. We already have had two in this nation; and they began and ended in a contest for the true idea, for human liberty and rights. Now cometh a third struggle; for the freedom of health, holiness, and the attainment of heaven.” (Miscellaneous Writings, page 101; also, The Christian Science Journal, August, 1888, page 219)
Mrs. Eddy defines “New Jerusalem” in Science and Health as: “Divine Science; the spiritual facts and harmony of the universe; the kingdom of heaven, or reign of harmony.” (S&H 592:18) This is the Jerusalem which our Leader’s crusaders are to fight for and attain.
KEYS TO THE KINGDOM
To successfully reach this objective the crusaders must have a clear understanding how two key spiritual concepts have developed in Christian history.
ADVANCEMENT IN THE CONCEPT OF GOD
Perhaps the most significant advance in church doctrine in the Protestant separation from medieval Christianity during the Reformation, was the defining of God as contained in “The Augsburg Confession” in A.D. 1530, which read in part: “. . . there is one divine essence which is called and is God, eternal, without body, indivisible (without parts), of infinite power, wisdom, goodness, the Creator and Preserver of all things, visible and invisible; . . .” (Philip Schaff Creeds of Christendom in 3 volumes; New York: Harper & Brothers, 1877, Vol. 3, page 7)
The first English Protestant articles of faith, “The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of the Church of England” adopted in 1562 (four years after the accession of Queen Elizabeth), reads in part: “There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker and Preserver of all things both visible and invisible.” (Ibid., page 487)
Subsequently, in the “Westminster Confession of Faith,” published in 1647, this article was expanded to read: “There is but one only living and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute, working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will, for his own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek him; and withal most just and terrible in his judgments; hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.” (Ibid., page 606)
NOTE: Footnoting the above, to give the Scriptural authority for the words “without body, parts,” are cited Deut. 4:15, 16; John 4:24; Luke 24:39; and for “passions” is given Acts 14:11, 15.
While this reformed doctrine acknowledged and avowed belief in an incorporeal, bodiless God, the views entertained by English Protestant Christendom, in the centuries since its adoption four hundred years ago, tend heavily toward anthropomorphism.
Nevertheless, this was a tremendous advance over the medieval traditional Christianity of southern Europe, which reformulated their doctrines in the “Canons and Dogmatic Decrees of the Council of Trent” in 1563, and thereafter these two distinct forms of Christianity moved separately.
And what was the result of this acceptance of God as incorporeal, and the freedom to read the Bible?
The historian, J. R. Green, graphically sets forth in his A Short History of the English People (London: MacMillan & Co., 1882) the marvelous relation which the Bible at that time, and this advanced doctrine defining God, sustained to the country: —
No greater moral change ever passed over a nation. . . . England became the people of a book and that book was the Bible. It was as yet, the one English book that was familiar to every Englishman; it was read at churches and read at home, and everywhere its words, as they fell on ears which custom had not deadened to their force or beauty, kindled a startling enthusiasm. . . .
No history, no romance, no poetry, save the little-known verses of Chaucer, existed for any practical purpose in the English tongue when the Bible was ordered to be set up in churches. Sunday after Sunday, day after day, the crowds that gathered round Bonner’s Bibles in the nave of St. Paul’s, or the family group that hung on the words of the Geneva Bible in the devotional exercises at home, were leavened with a new literature. Legend and annals, war song and psalm, State-rolls and biographies, the mighty voices of prophets, the parables of the Evangelists, stories of mission journeys, of perils by the sea and among the heathen, philosophic arguments, apocalyptic visions, all were flung broadcast over minds unoccupied for the most part by any rival learning. . . .
But far greater than its effects upon literature or social phase was the effect of the Bible on the character of the people at large. . . . The whole moral effect which is produced now-a-days by the religious newspaper, the tract, the essay, the lecture, the missionary report, the sermon, was then produced by the Bible alone. And its effect in this way, however dispassionately we examine it, was simply amazing. The whole temper of the nation was changed. A new conception of life and of man superseded the old. A new moral and religious impulse spread through every class.... THE WHOLE NATION BECAME, IN FACT, A CHURCH. (pp. 447-449)
THE INCORPOREALITY OF GOD:
THE SLOW YIELD
Christian Scientists know that their religion is emphatic in stressing the importance of the incorporeality of God. However, Mrs. Annie M. Knott, C.S.D., a personal student of Mary Baker Eddy, writes editorially: “Humanity has been slowly yielding up the belief in a corporeal God, . . .” (Christian Science Sentinel, Volume XVI, page 371, January 10, 1914). There is a great need for understanding this fact of the slow yield.
Even though some denominations of Protestant Christendom accept academically the fact that God is “without body, parts, or passions,” human thought is slow to yield to this fact of God’s incorporeality. The good results of doing so were realized, however, in the great advancements which came to the nation of England, — the progress and development in all areas of life, — at the time of the Reformation and with the overwhelming acceptance of the Book — the English Bible. There is no higher level of living than in a nation which has become a church-nation.
THE SLOWER YIELD:
THE INCORPOREALITY OF MAN
The reason that Christendom is slow to yield to the fact of God’s incorporeality is because it believes man to be corporeal, and made in the image and likeness of God. Mankind cannot truly and completely avow its belief in God’s incorporeality while believing man to be corporeal. If thought is slow to yield to the incorporeality of God, it seems even slower to yield to the acceptance of man’s incorporeality. Yet this is what Christian Science teaches and the time has come to demonstrate this fact.
Despite the allegory in the second chapter of Genesis where it is narrated that man was made of the dust of the ground, Jesus and Paul condemned this lie and proved its falsity.
JESUS DID NOT ACCEPT THE PERSON (BODY) OF MAN
With the advent of Jesus of Nazareth a higher thought of man as spiritual and existing outside the flesh was attained. In Matthew we read: “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life [body], what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?” (Matt. 6:25) And Luke tells us: “And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person [body] of any, but teachest the way of God truly.” (Luke 20:21)
Mrs. Eddy writes: “He overcame the world, the flesh [body], and all error, thus proving their nothingness. He wrought a full salvation from sin, sickness and death. We need ‘Christ, and him crucified.’ We must have trials and self-denials, as well as joys and victories, until all error is destroyed.” (S&H 39:4) During his three-year mission Jesus showed his followers that we cannot attain the transfiguration and our salvation until we crucify the flesh, in accord with his example. As Paul says, we must “mortify the deeds of the body.” (Rom. 8:13)
LAZARUS NEVER LIVED IN THE BODY
Mrs. Eddy writes: “Had Jesus believed that Lazarus had lived . . . in his body, the Master would have stood on the same plane of belief as those who buried the body, and he could not have resuscitated it.” (S&H 75:16) She also writes: “Entirely separate from the belief and dream of material living, is the Life divine, revealing spiritual understanding and the consciousness of man’s dominion over the whole earth.” (S&H 14:25-28) As said Jesus: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.” The person (body) of man, which Jesus did not accept, was not of God but entirely separate.
Mrs. Eddy also states: “It is contrary to Christian Science to suppose that life is either material or organically spiritual.” (S&H 83:21-22)
According to Mrs. Eddy’s words about Lazarus, every treatment given by Jesus would have to be from the standpoint that no one ever lives in his or her body. He “mortified” the belief in Adam and a man or woman made from the dust of the ground.
THE CROSS OF JESUS
The cross of Jesus was the sacrificing of the material body. At the time of the Protestant Reformation the manner in which the Holy Communion was administered changed. In the medieval Christian church of southern Europe the celebration of Holy Communion claims that when Christ Jesus broke bread, and gave it to his disciples with the words, “Take, eat, this is my body,” that there occurred a miraculous change by which the bread was altered in substance into the literal body of Christ. They call this occurrence “transubstantiation” which is defined as “the change, by and at the consecration of the elements in the Eucharist, of the whole substance of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, only the appearance of the bread and wine remaining; also, the doctrine that such a change occurs.” (Webster)
The Protestant Church of England and northern Europe, on the other hand, at the time of the Reformation discarded the medieval belief and acknowledged and avowed that “the bread broken represented his body so soon to be broken on the cross.” (Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopedia. Chicago: Howard-Severance Co., 1926, page 1078)
Protestant Christianity recognized the breaking of bread to mean that his body was to be broken BY THE CROSS; that is, “to be present with the Lord,” he had “to be
absent from the body”! He was requiring his followers to eat — to partake of — his broken body, his INCORPOREALITY. They had to do this individually for themselves in order to enter his kingdom. No one can enter the kingdom of heaven without the Eucharist and Baptism, the two sacraments of Christ, in their spiritual significance.
Christ Jesus was the Son of the incorporeal God; not of the Lord God who mythically made man in a fleshly body. We have to break this myth for ourselves.
SOME OF PAUL’S WORDS REGARDING BODY (“FLESH”)
Paul writes to the Galatians: “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” (Gal. 5:24)
To the Romans: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” (Rom. 6:6)
Also to the Romans:
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye
live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Rom. 8:1-17)
And also to the Romans Paul writes:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Rom. 12:1, 2)
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20)
WHY RAISE LAZARUS FROM THE DEAD?
It might be asked why Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead if he did not believe Lazarus had ever lived in the body? In Luke 13 we are given a clear explanation. “The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. Nevertheless I must walk to-day, and to-morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.” (Luke 13:31-33)
Jesus and his followers do not “perish [die] out of Jerusalem,” they are perfected out of it; that is, they rise spiritually out of the belief of life in matter, of “body, parts, or passions.” This is achieved as one “casts out devils” and does “cures” both for himself and for others. We do not reach his kingdom by dying, but by transfiguring, or transforming — changing our thinking from the standpoint of material sense and the corporeality of man to a clear apprehension of our incorporeality as in the first chapter of Genesis. The healing of the sick and the raising of the dead is for this purpose alone,
and not to extend the enjoyment of materiality. It is for the purpose of laying off the body formed of the dust of the ground by the Lord God, and rising to the perception of our true spiritual identity as the incorporeal image and likeness of God.
Jesus emphasized to his followers that there can be no transfiguration or salvation until each crucifies for himself the flesh, according to the example he gave. Paul does not hesitate to tell us that we must “mortify the deeds of the body.” (Rom. 8:13)
THE UNITED STATES TO BECOME A CHURCH-NATION
As England accepted the Bible and acknowledged the incorporeality of God and became a church-nation, so the original New England colonies of America were founded by a church and were constituted as a church-nation. Is it not logical to expect that the United States will accept Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, acknowledge the incorporeality of man, and complete its destiny as a church-nation? As this is accomplished, Christendom in America will return to the spiritual teachings and simplicity of life in primitive Christianity; the present quest for material “life enrichment” will be discarded and the church take its place.
EVENTS TO ENCOURAGE CHANGE
At the time Jesus departed, his disciples had interpreted his teaching to mean that he would return in their lifetime, and following his Second Advent the world would come to an end. It is well to consider what this meant to their way of thinking and their lifestyle. Did this not make them readily responsive to the teaching of God as Spirit, and of man as incorporeal? Not wars or rumors of wars would serve to bring about this mental and spiritual result then, nor has it today. Apparently nothing short of world termination can serve to cause mankind to turn away from corporeality. Jesus evidently knew this.
Although the teachings of primitive Christianity have been and are being taught in Christian Science, thought does not readily accept them. The threat of atomic war or any other similar catastrophe does not hasten or spur mankind, or Christian Scientists, to seek the God who is infinite Spirit or to seek man’s incorporeality. American Christendom may not quickly or readily yield to the fact of man’s incorporeality, but persuaders are closing in.
THE CLOSING OF HISTORY
One wonders why Jesus permitted his disciples to believe he would return and the world come to an end during their lifetime. Undoubtedly the attitude of thought imbued with that conviction produces the greatest level of spiritual endeavor and spirituality. It was that attitude of thought which preserved the original spiritual language of his teaching. Had he said he would return in 2000 years it is most likely there would be no New Testament, surely not the one we have today.
When it became apparent that his return, and the end of the world, were to be delayed, many variant interpretations of his teachings arose in Christendom in the form of denominations. Church historian, Robert Peel, indicates in Years of Authority, that even Christian Science has not been immune to the tendency towards variant interpretations. Despite this fact, Christian Science is a science and can be subject to only one method in its teaching (explanation). As Mrs. Eddy writes: “Those who depart from this method forfeit their claims to belong to its school, . . .” (S&H 112:5-7)
As the self-destruction of the world becomes more evident to present day Christendom, the various interpretations of the teachings of Christ Jesus will yield to the scientific interpretation found only in Christian Science. Until that time no disaster, no wars or rumors of wars, no earthquake, famine, or pestilence will shake off divergent or variant interpretations of the teachings of Christ Jesus, or Mary Baker Eddy, — only the stark evidence of the coming end of the world. This is the same attitude of thought which inspired the early Christians, that produced our inspired gospels and the letters of Paul.
It is the original teaching of Christ Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy that will be the saviour of humanity. As John the Baptist asked: “Who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Matt. 3:7)
Mrs. Eddy tells us that the answer to this is found in the Scriptures and in the teachings of Christian Science. She writes, “The spiritual status is urging its highest demands on mortals, and material history is drawing to a close.” (No and Yes 45:25-27)
Mrs. Eddy also writes, “. . . the mist of materialism will vanish as we approach spirituality, the realm of reality; cleanse our lives in Christ’s righteousness; bathe in the baptism of Spirit, and awake in His likeness.” (Misc. 30:29)
LUTHER’S BATTLE SONG
At times of reformation there are conflicting opinions and strong persecutions. We are now in such a time of reform. Dr. Schaff states in Creeds of Christendom: “The heroic spirit of the Reformers in these trying times found its noblest expression in the words and tune of Luther’s immortal battle-song, based on Psalm xlvi.:
‘A tower of strength our God is still,
A mighty shield and weapon;
He’ll help us clear from all the ill
That hath us now o’ertaken. . . .
‘And though they take our life —
Goods, honor, children, wife —
Yet is their profit small;
These things shall vanish all —
The City of God remaineth.’”
Siquis habet aurem, audiat. — Joannis Apocalypsis XIII.9
“If any man have an ear, let him hear.”
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