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Be a Truth-teller! [Confidently defeat all kinds of lies!]

Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn (Bartlett), IL
Posted Sunday, September 30th, 2007

Be a Truth-teller!  [Confidently defeat all kinds of lies!]

Lesson application ideas for: "Unreality" for October 1-7, 2007

Prepared by Craig L. Ghislin, C.S. of Glen Ellyn, Illinois


Editor's Note:
The following application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for this week are offered primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp!   You can sign up free to have these mets emailed to you in English by Monday or in French or Spanish by Wednesday: CHECK www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/ FOR FREE TRANSLATIONS.

Golden Text  - [Meet all lies fearlessly and defeat them with confidence!]

"Truth spoken stands firm forever, but lies live only for a moment" (New English Bible).  How does a lie receive even temporary credibility?  In Unity of Good Mrs. Eddy writes, "A lie has only one chance of successful deception,-to be accounted true" (p. 17).  A lie is credited only as long as it is believed.  A lie that nobody believed wouldn't have much of a chance at being credited as truth.  But lies aren't always obvious.  Sometimes they can seem pretty convincing.  Sometimes a great majority of individuals believe them.  But lies are never true, no matter how many believe, nor for how long.  Sometimes lies are purposely told to cover up the truth.  Telling the truth exposes the lie for what it is-nobody and nothing-unreality.  This Lesson confronts some of the lies that face us today.  Armed with Truth, we can meet these lies fearlessly and defeat them with confidence.  [Possible Sunday School Topic: (P.S.S.T!): What commonly accepted lie(s) can you challenge and defeat this week?]

 

Responsive Reading  - [It's always your choice: Trick? Or Treatment!]

The Psalmist has been a victim of lies.  Looking for freedom, he puts his whole trust in God, Who is his "rock and fortress."  [In a forerunner to a "Christian Science treatment,"] David commits every occasion of his life to the "God of truth."  He recognizes no inconsistency in God.  No matter how difficult life may be, the goodness of God is utterly reliable.  He has full confidence in God's goodness and protection.  He encourages all of us to be hopeful in God's power to save and heal. 

 

Have you ever been the victim of a lie?  Have you ever been deceived?  Perhaps you are faced with a physical, emotional, or financial challenge right now?  Or maybe you might be having trouble in school, or you feel puzzled, lonely?  No matter how real these challenges may seem, you can be assured that they are lies one and all.  The knowledge of the truth of being [in your treatment] has the power to cut through anything that would argue otherwise.  "Be of good courage and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord." [P.S.S.T!:  During this Halloween month, can you detect and unmask the "wolves in sheep's clothing" that come knocking at the door of your thought?  Remember, it's always your choice:  Trick?  Or Treatment?!]

 

Section 1: Lie #1: Evil Has Power (Life's Not Fair and God Made It That Way)

Most of the world [other than Christian Scientists] believe the lie that God knows about evil, allows it, and to some degree intended it to teach us lessons and make us turn to Him when in trouble.  The opening passages of the Lesson reveal that Paul believed nothing of the sort.  How could human reasoning possibly comprehend things of the Spirit?  Paul reasoned not from the human picture back to God, but from the perfection of God that operates in a realm beyond human logic and comprehension (B1, 2).  All truly real things find in God, "their Source, Sustainment, and their Goal" (The Abingdon Bible Commentary).  All that He made must be good like Him.  God could never be unfair (B3).  His justice can never be called into question, for God takes "no pleasure" in any form of evil (B4).  God's goodness reigns throughout the universe and the natural world.  "What life and light (man) enjoys have their source in the heart of God." (Ibid.)  But in this world evil appears to sometime take the upper hand and those who indulge in evil practices seem to get away with it.  The Psalmist is sure that "wickedness has no stability.  It falls on itself."  Abingdon notes, "Evil is suicidal; it is self-destroying.  Righteousness makes for permanency; but sinners are as transient as dry grass to which a match has been struck."

 

Science and Health reminds us that nothing is real "except the divine Mind and His ideas" (S1).  Mrs. Eddy bluntly states, "Every mortal must learn that there is neither power nor reality in evil." (S2)  Evil is no more than a false belief.  God has nothing to do with it (S3).  Mrs. Eddy explains that since God is good and is real, evil, matter, and all that is opposed to God is unreal (S4).  Error has no creator.  If error were true, Truth would have to have made it, but error is its own author (S5).  It lies to itself and believes its own lie.  It is doomed to nothingness, because good is the real and eternal and error is unreal.   [P.S.S.T! on Lie #1:  Name a fundamental unfairness that you vow: to disbelieve to be divinely authorized; to expose to others as a lie; and to prove powerless?]

 

Section 2: Lie #2: Truth Can Be Reached by ["Babel-lonious"] Building on Material Foundations

Paul warns us (B7) to be on guard against "the self-deception of worldly wisdom.  The only wisdom worth gaining is that which brings us to God" (Abingdon).  The commentary goes on to point out that, "Scripture has given us many warnings that disaster overtakes the strategy of the clever who will not stoop to learn from God."  The phrase "wise in this world" literally means, "in this age" implying that worldly wisdom is as temporary as changing fashions.  The Babylonians built their structures to resemble the mountains in which they believed the gods resided.  The Jews found this distasteful at best, because they regarded the structures as idolatrous and rebellious against God (Dummelow).  The word Babel most likely came from a phrase meaning "the gate of God" rather than the Hebrew word meaning "confusion." (Ibid.)  This puts an interesting light on the story of the tower of Babel.  Mrs. Eddy's definition of "Babel" notes that the higher one builds on false knowledge, the worse things get and the downfall of the false system is certain (S6).  In Psalms, "Counsel is considered a decision or plan of action.  When God's plans and those of man collide, the human schemes come to nothing" (The Interpreter's One-Volume Commentary on the Bible).  Men building on their own wisdom are building on shaky "ground" [or dust.  Note that the Tower of Babel was built using bricks of baked (or half-baked) dust and that dust - man's supposed original building block, according to Genesis 2 -was what Jesus later spat upon to bring about the healing related in John 9 (B19, 20).]   The passage in Zephaniah (B10) foresees the time when all confusion [of a dust man origin] will be wiped away as men turn back to God through the pure [and inspired] language of the Scriptures [wherein men and women are created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26, 27].

 

Mrs. Eddy's statement on page 312 (S7) is similar to Dummelow's Commentary on the Tower of Babel.  They both point out that whatever is learned through material sense needs to be unlearned (S7).  The material senses have never heard "the pure language of Spirit" (S8) [as when the Holy Spirit redeemed Babel on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem where pilgrim Jews from all over "were all with one accord in one place" and heard foreign languages spoken in their own mother "tongues."  (Acts 2:1-8)]  Of course Mrs. Eddy isn't referring to the Hebrew language as used in Zephaniah, but to the language of the still small voice of truth and spiritual sense that transcends all human language.  God speaks in pure thoughts that are eternal.   Material thoughts have no divine cause and therefore, aren't really thoughts at all (S9).  The material senses are not worthy of our trust or attention.  They advance the lies of error not the truth (S10).  The lies of material sense are planted in dirt and destined for destruction.  Ultimately Truth will put an end to the lies as Truth always does.  Spiritual sense, rather than building on a material premise and sinking into the earth, reaches upward and includes all elevated thoughts (S11).  They lead to God and to the spiritual sense of being. [P.S.S.T! on Lie #2: What are some of the humanistic "Towers of Babel" being built today? Remember that efforts will always be confused and self-destructive when based upon "EGO (Edging God Out," according to Maryl Walters, my team SS teacher.)  How can your spiritual sense partner with God like Jesus did ("I can of mine own self do nothing" John 5:30) on all your precious projects and so redeem the confusion and self-destructiveness of Babel building in the dust?]

 

Section 3: Lie #3: Man Has a Material Personality That Originates in Matter

As man cannot safely presume to reach heaven through his own devices, neither can he expect to understand his true nature by believing that his identity originates in matter.  The material personality "born of a woman" is among the lies of belief that exist briefly (B11).  Accepting the premise that man originates in matter sets one up for vulnerability to sickness, sin, and death.  The Psalmist is looking for a rock, a place of security, above the onslaught of his enemy (B12).  In citation B13 the psalmist is in "imminent peril of death" (Abingdon).  God delivers him.  In gratitude, his mouth is filled with a new song of praise.  Have you ever been in a desperate physical situation?  If you really hit the point of becoming overwhelmed, you realize then that all that is left is your relationship with God.  There is nothing else.  You realize that your very being, life, health, and existence are in God alone.  God is Creator and Father, Mother.  Never again will you be tempted to call any earthly man your father (B15).

 

The human experience and material personality living in it is not the reality of being.  It might be hard for some to accept this, because they like the material personality and feel inextricably bound to it.  But God created man spiritually (S12).  We need to break out of the limiting and sickly sense of a material personality.  It is but a brief lie about who and what we are (S13).  Our Leader bluntly states: "Material personality is not realism..." (S14).  The material senses are unable to comprehend this, but they are liars.  That our true nature is spiritual is a fixed fact (S15).  We will never understand this while believing that man is creator rather than God.  The spiritual idea will be seen as we discover the truth of being.  The reality appears in exact proportion as the lie is seen for what it is and fades away.   [P.S.S.T! on Lie #3:  Ask yourself: What ugly mask of selfishness - or egotistical masquerade - can I finally rip off of myself?  It's easier to do and discard as no part of my unselfish nature, or of me when I acknowledge,  "I am impart truth, health, and happiness, and this is my rock of salvation and my reason for existing."   Miscellany 165:20]

 

Section 4: Lie #4: Hereditary Laws of Sickness and Sin Determine Our Experience

The Psalmist wants to see things the way they really are (B17).  The planets shift, the sun rises and sets, but there is no variation in God (B18).  God, being the Source of all reality, is one hundred percent reliable and consistent.  He doesn't allow for evil at all.  Upon seeing a man blind from his birth (B19), the disciples questioned Jesus as to the cause of the defect.  When faced with a physical challenge, do you ever wonder what caused it?  The Jews believed that misfortunes were the direct result of sin, even of an unborn child.  In much the same way, today people blame heredity.  Interpreter's comments that, "the sin of man and of his parents, i.e. forebears, causes him to love darkness rather than light.  Men struggle in darkness since the sin of Adam, preferring evil to good, blind to their own condition, until light comes to open their eyes to God."  Here, heredity would include not only faulty genes and DNA, but a faulty belief system as well.  Jesus rebuked such theories.  He knew man was created for the glory of God.  [Cobbey Crisler said that Jesus refused to be pigeon-holed and therefore restructured the multiple choice test given him by his disciples: A) This man sinned as an unborn baby; or B) his parents sinned; by adding a C) None of the above!  I like to add that Jesus spelled out a D) Does Not Apply (DNA, as is the case with today's popular genetic code of DNA or DeoxyriboNucleic Acid).]

 

Jesus rejected all so-called material laws and theories (S16, 17).  With God as the Father of all, there is no avenue for evil or defects to intrude on the harmony of man.  Accepting the belief of heredity causes one to yield his control of his health and happiness to random and often discordant theories.  We need to take back control of our bodies "through the understanding of divine Science" (S18).  Christ destroys the beliefs that life can be confined in a body, or that man originates materially (S19).  Do you find yourself looking to ancestry for positive traits or abilities?  Be careful!  There are two sides to the coin of heredity, and both sides are false. [P.S.S.T! on Lie #4: What supposed genetic defects or benefits are you ready to wash away today?  Remember they are "as impersonal as dust, trying to settle wherever allowed" (Maryl Walters, CSB and co-SS teacher)]

 

Section 5: Lie #5: Spiritual Healing Is Not Possible

In the story, the Pharisees are shown to be the ones who are really blind.  They absolutely refuse to acknowledge divine healing power.  Sometimes the world's refusal to acknowledge healing can be perplexing.  Right in the face of a healing, the worldly-minded try to explain it away.  Make no mistake about it.  The carnal mind is not inclined to accept healing.  But like the man in the story, we too, can have our eyes opened to the healing power of the Christ.  Interpreter's calls this story "a parable of a spiritual pilgrimage to unshakable faith...The blind man comes through to Jesus against every natural obstacle: his own puzzlement, his parent's cowardly fear of getting involved, his religion's leaders unfair advantage of him in argument from authority and precedent, and the threat of excommunication."  Those of us who turn to God's healing power face many obstacles.  The man in the story had his eyes open because he was willing to learn.  The Pharisees, thinking they already knew it all, could not be taught, and were effectively, spiritually blind.

 

Mrs. Eddy tells us that the world is still "blind to the reality of man's existence" (S20).  Jesus made his statement against worldly opposition through his healing works (S21).  Mrs. Eddy tells us in the Church Manual to refrain from debating Christian Science in public.  Often in school or sometimes in casual conversation, we meet ignorant opposition to the healing power of the Christ.  Don't be surprised or dismayed.  And don't feel the need to get into a war of words to defend Christian healing.  Blind belief will discount even documented cases of spectacular healing.  There is no use in arguing.  Mrs. Eddy lays out the basic situation in citation S 23.  She describes two distinctly different standpoints.  All we can really do is make up our own minds as to which side we are going to accept.  Each individual has the freedom to choose the eternal over the temporal.  The man in the story was willing to let go of the theological mistakes that blinded him.  Our willingness to leave false thinking (S24) will open our eyes too.  [P.S.S.T! on Lie #5: With Thanksgiving approaching remember: "Gratitude outlaws blindness to present good!" 1967 (SS teacher, Miss M. Kessler)  What blindness to present good or to complete healing will your gratitude outlaw today?]

 

Section 6: Lie #6: Worldly Ways and Methods Are Attractive and the Way to Fulfillment

There is an old saying: "Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see."  The world is rife with theories both reasonable and unreasonable.  John warns us not to believe every spirit that comes our way (B21).  We are to "try the spirits" or put them to the test to determine their worth.  We're also cautioned not to love the world (B22).  John then arranges worldly thought into three categories: "all that panders to the appetites, or entices the eyes, all the glamour of its life" (NEB).  These worldly temptations, like all lies, are fleeting.  Peter admonishes us to put away all worldly longing and vices and to seek the pure unadulterated word of Truth (B23).  It's interesting that in some early congregations the drinking of milk was a sacrament meant to "impress upon the hearts and minds of the worshippers that they had entered upon a new life in which they would find nourishment and growth" (Abingdon).  Worldly thought is generally aggressive, but in Philippians (B24) Christians are expected to avoid self-assertion and rivalry.  They are to contemplate and exhibit integrity of character, sound morals, grace in social interactions, and to acknowledge virtue wherever it is found (Dummelow).

 

Science and Health states unequivocally, "The realm of the real is Spirit" (S25).  Nothing else is real (S26).  Mrs. Eddy defends her stance on the unreality of sin, disease, and death (S27).  She also reminds us to take things gently.  Merely stating our position, no matter how right it may be, is not sufficient.  We need to prove our convictions through demonstration.  Citation S28 is quoted often: "What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire for growth in grace..."  We need to reflect the consistency of God mentioned in the Responsive Reading through living our lives consistently with our prayers.  Our Leader tells us not just to seek, but to strive.  In the discussion for Section I, material beliefs were likened to dry grass being lit by a match.  Here we have the analogy of the sun melting away the mist.  Believing a lie obscures the truth.  But the truth evaporates the lie and shows it to be unreal.  Hymn 429 says, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."  The dawn is unstoppable.  Choosing good as the only reality of being will evaporate the lies of unreality.  So go forth with good courage, a strong heart, and hope in God alone.  Overcome the lies of unreality by resolving to be Truth-tellers.  [P.S.S.T! on Lie #6: As you "stand porter at the door of thought," (S&H 392:24) what hijacker masked in worldly attractions & temptations will you detain, see as a dangerous deception with bomb-filled bags, and deny entrance?]


Camp Director's Note: The above sharing is the latest in a series of CedarS Bible Lesson "mets" (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians [with bracketed, italicized notes and "Possible Sunday School Topics" offered by me as editor]. This document is intended to initiate further study as well as to encourage the application of ideas found in the Weekly Bible Lessons as printed in the Christian Science Quarterly and as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms. * Originally sent JUST to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study,application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson "mets" are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension, background and daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied.   The citations referenced (i.e.   B1 and S28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "met" (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the King James Version of the Bible (B1-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. (S1-30) The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist.  The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world.  The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one.   We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of these ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.  Have fun unwrapping, cherishing and sharing your special, spiritual gift(s)!  

Enjoy!

Warren Huff, Camp Director    director@cedarscamps.org     (636) 394-6162
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MyBibleLesson is a new, visually oriented and very helpful resource for study of the weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson. It is being produced by The Christian Science Publishing Society and can be found at: myBibleLesson.com.  What a great auxiliary to lesson study -- maybe even reading beyond citation markers using the handsome new student books now sold in Reading Rooms.   MyBibleLesson contains word definitions, Bible background info, fun topical cartoons, timelines and translations, plus many healing ideas to use. Why not check out this vehicle to help bring new meaning and life to each beloved Bible lesson in order to bless the youthful thinker and Sunday School student (and teacher) in us all!   

You can receive or stop your free subscription to CedarS weekly newsletter in your email box by Sunday or Monday of each week by subscribing - or unsubscribing --at www.cedarscamps.org/myCedars additional support, or if you have any concerns, please send e-mail to: Fordirector@cedarscamps.org.

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