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Know God Is Your Father-Mother, the Only Cause, and Have Nothing to Fear!

Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn (Bartlett), IL
Posted Monday, June 1st, 2009

Know God Is Your Father-Mother - the Only Cause - and Have Nothing to Fear!
Lesson Application Ideas for "God the Only Cause and Creator"
June 1-7, 2009
by Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn, Illinois
[with bracketed italics by Warren Huff]

 

Editor's Note: The following application ideas for this week and the Possible Sunday School Topics that follow 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 to have them emailed to you free -- in English by Monday each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French from Pascal or in Spanish from Ana. JUST SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters

People are worried about a lot of things these days - not the least of which are the state of the world, their health, the economy, and the stability of their churches. Do you ever worry about anything? Where does all this worry come from?

Many thinkers today believe we live in a "culture of fear." It seems everywhere you look doom is on the horizon. The recent swine flu scare is a case in point. Frank Furedi author of Culture of Fear writes, "Today, fear entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes. Some are moral crusaders who genuinely believe that the very fabric of society is threatened by evil forces. At the other end of the spectrum are the salespeople and hustlers of the market of fear." He fills in that spectrum of fear-mongers, noting religious and secular "moral entrepreneurs," a wide range of so-called "experts," health activists, environmental groups, relationship gurus, and various other advocacy groups devoted to raising concerns about everything from crime to terrorism.

Is there a way out of this fear culture? Of course there is. We can learn to recognize God as the only Cause and Creator of all things.

Most of the concerns we have are about what has happened already or what will happen in the future. The Golden Text has that covered. God is affirmed to be first and last. It is He alone who acts.

Many of us have been in tough situations either in real life or in games where the outcome looks questionable. In such cases, you get hope by passing the ball, the puck, or the problem to the "go-to guy." The go-to guy is someone you can count on and everyone is more at ease when he or she's got command of the situation. For people of faith, the "go-to guy" is God. When situations get tough the realization that God is the only Cause and that everything God creates is good, really helps to relieve the worry and concern that we feel without Him.

In the Responsive Reading Isaiah shares the message that there is no reason to fear or be dismayed because God strengthens and helps us. No matter what the situation is, God is able to meet the need, and He promises never to forsake us. In verses 21, 22, and 26 of Isaiah 41, the prophet lays down a challenge. It's a test of God's validity. Other gods can't correctly predict anything. But the God of Israel has a record of accurate predictions. How different are God's predictions from those predictions of doom made by the fear mongers. What God declares always comes to pass. His will is always good and therefore, we never need to fear.

Section 1: There's Only One Creator and All that He Creates Is Good
So much of what scares us springs from a misunderstanding of God. If God is believed to be the creator of everything including evil, there seems to be no way to avoid evil. On the other hand, some believe that while God is good and creates only good, there remains another force for evil working in the opposite direction. Some people believe that God has nothing to do with it at all, but that the world we experience is just a random collection of occurrences - some good, some bad. The Bible is clear on the fact that God is all and "there is none else" (B1). There is no question here that God is the only Creator. To question God or consider Him doing anything less perfect is a pointless pursuit. This seems so fundamental, but people have a habit of forgetting it. Jeremiah predicts that eventually, everyone will come to a full understanding of God (B2).

Mrs. Eddy declares that now is the time to thoughtfully consider God (S1). She states unequivocally that there is only "one creator and one creation" (S2). She points out that the mistaken notions about God have originated in the human mind (S3). She logically reasons through the absurdity of thinking that there is any power opposed to God. Her method of reasoning is to ask questions. In this way the reader will logically come to realize that it couldn't be any other way. If we reason from the premise that God is Mind and created all, then we have to acknowledge that there can't be any other power (S4). We also have to recognize that if the Creator is good, the creation must be good also.

Section 2: God Is the Only Father-Mother
Even though many people may concede that God is the "original" Creator, they mistakenly believe that since that time, man has assumed the creative role. This leaves God out of creation and is the source of many fears. How important is it to understand God as our only Father-Mother? When children are frightened, their first inclination is to seek comfort from their parent or guardian. If we expect our human parents to help us be unafraid and give us comfort, how much more would be our comfort when we recognize God as our Father-Mother? The Bible reminds us that God is the father of all (B3). "It is he that hath made us and not we ourselves" (B6). Man, as God's creation, cannot assume the creative power on his own. Yet this is just what mortals tend to do. This mistaken view of man as being a creator leads to all sorts of fears. It opens the door to the possibility of inherited diseases and dispositions, birth defects, and a host of other problems not the least of which is great concern over fertility issues. Many married couples are in great distress over the fact that they have not conceived a child. Many more have had one child but are having trouble conceiving a second. The medical community would contribute these problems to any number of causes, from heredity and illness to environmental issues. What a burden we feel thinking man is in charge of his own creation. What a freedom we feel knowing God is the only creator originally and forever.

Mrs. Eddy tells us "Mortals can never understand God's creation while believing that man is a creator" (S5). She also writes, "The multiplication of a human and mortal sense of persons and things is not creation" (S7). That's pretty strong meat! The whole system of material creation and procreation is no part of the divine creation. Only the spiritual creation is real. Mortal mind tries to mimic the spiritual creation, but it has no creativity of its own (S8). The material view and process of creation is a mistake. Think how much of a difference this makes in our lives. We don't have to worry that we are fragile mortals created materially and subject to dangers of sin, disease, and death around every corner. Nor do we need to fear that we won't be able to have a family. Everything is created spiritually, and God is the only Father and Mother of everyone throughout time (S9). What's there to be afraid of?

Section 3: Our Father-Mother Keeps Us Safe
Even if we begin to see that God is the only Cause in a general sense, we still have to make that understanding practical. Most of the time people feel fairly safe at home. But eventually we need to step out and face the rest of the world. The world isn't always as safe as we would like it to be. There seem to be enemies afoot who mean to do us harm. Whether our enemies are neighborhood bullies, threatening employers, international terrorists, or anything in between, we can remember that God is the Father-Mother of all and is always taking care of us. The psalmist petitions God for protection from his enemies (B7). Light, safety, refuge-God offers us all these things (B8). We normally feel safer at home than anywhere else. Making our home in God eliminates fear of a threatening world. Have you ever tried to find a shadow with a flashlight? You can't. Because everywhere you point the light, the shadows disappear. That's what it's like to trust in God. In Isaiah, we're promised that with God as our help, we will look for our enemies but won't even be able to find them (B9). If we do get scared, just as we'd run home to mom, our Mother-God is there to comfort us (B10). When we know that our parents love us we feel safe. Love casts out fear (B11). This precious statement from The Interpreter's One-Volume Commentary on the Bible sums it up perfectly: "To live in love is to live victoriously over all error and all anxiety."

Mrs. Eddy refers to John's statement as an "inspired proclamation of Christian Science" (S10). In Christian Science we begin by understanding God is Love... "the divine Principle of all that really is" (S11). Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the hatred in the world? Do you ever find yourself frustrated by all the news reports of crime, violence, and war? There's no need to feel overwhelmed or frustrated. Our textbook assures us that "Human hate has no legitimate mandate...[consent, go-ahead]" (S13). No matter how many stories are told of hatred either against individuals or nations, Love overrules them all.

Section 4: Our Father-Mother Keeps Us Healthy
Anyone who has ever watched the evening news on a network television station knows that a great deal of news time and commercial time is devoted to warning people about health issues. Much is made of "early detection." This scares people into thinking they could be sick when they feel just fine. There is a presupposition that we were born with hidden defects and preprogrammed by genetics to have certain ailments. If we were mortals beginning in the flesh, we may well have cause for fear. But seeing that God is the only Cause, we know that we were never born into matter and that God would never pre-program His creation to be sick or to suffer. It's worth noting that citation B12 is from Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane. In his darkest hour, Jesus still trusts that all things are possible to his Creator. He knew God to be the author and source of everything he did; and he knew that God's work is always good.

Jesus wasn't impressed with material pictures. He didn't look for material causes with which to justify human ailments. "Physical causation was put aside from first to last by this original man, Jesus" (S15). Our Leader writes, "the foundation of mortal discord is a false sense of man's origin." If we begin with the brain, we're on the wrong foot to start with. If we get hung up on the material picture, we are liable to become fearful. Science and Health teaches us that we must begin rightly to end rightly (S17). Cause does not exist in matter so we don't look for it there. Refraining from looking at the material evidence, we can oppose that evidence based on man's spiritual perfection as a child of God (S18). The great thing is, we don't need to understand all of it at once. Even a bit of it is powerful enough to destroy fear and set us on the path to healing (S19).

 

Section 5: Our Father-Mother Will Supply Our Every Need
Perhaps the biggest fears promoted today are those concerning the economy. We don't need to reiterate them here. While greed has certainly played a role in recent financial difficulties, the promotion of fear is the catalyst for the gloomy outlook. But what is the only cause? God is, of course. God does not cause financial ruin. Our Master, Christ Jesus, taught us not to be anxious over our daily needs (B17). Interpreter's summarizes the importance of recognizing God as the Creator in the overcoming of fear over supplies: "If God has given man his life, he will surely provide the means of sustaining that life. ... The form needs to be clothed; the life needs to be sustained; God who gave both will sustain and preserve both. Man can therefore, be free from anxiety when he lives in consciousness of his dependence on God." Jesus teaches that we will receive what we ask for. We trust our human parents to give us the good things we need. How much more should we trust our divine Parent? (B18). Those who seem to have enough right now don't need to be worried about the future either. God's blessing includes "no sorrow with it" (B20). That's a beautiful way to live.
[What sorrows are you ready to leave behind today?]

The message of God's never-failing ability to provide for His creation is written on the walls of nearly every Christian Science church. "Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need" (S23). We aren't dependent upon economic forecasts to bring us peace. God is our Creator. He gives us just what we need right now. It is His "good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (S24). Do you look at the economic news wondering what the experts will say? Do you worry you won't have enough to cover your necessities or have a peaceful retirement? [We often remind staff and campers that "Worry is ingratitude in advance." So start being grateful in advance-it's the Christian way to heal as Jesus showed us at Lazarus' tomb.] Follow Jesus' example. Don't look at the human picture. Plunge "beneath the material surface of things" (S25), and be free from anxiety. Find the peace of expectancy in your Father-Mother Love that meets your every need.

Section 6: Our Father-Mother Will Preserve Our Church
Along with all the other anxieties of our day, there are those concerning the future of the church. For one reason or another some believe that the signs of the times threaten the very existence of church. But once again, there is no need to worry. God is the Cause of church as well as of everything else. The church will survive because God is its foundation. Some may argue that the church is merely a human organization and that we could continue to progress spiritually without it. But church is more than a human institution. If it were merely a human product, it would be doomed to fail (B21). "No product of purely human effort can survive... Labor from dawn to dusk brings no lasting result" (Interpreter's). Abingdon agrees, "There is no use to build unless you build with God. Material building is all in vain unless great spiritual interests are housed therein." The context of Hebrews 3:4 (B22) is particularly interesting. Part of the argument between the Jews and early Christians was that the Jews believed Moses to be the last one to have spoken to God. The Christian response was that Moses belonged to the world, but the Christ represents the creator of that world, and therefore, the Gospel supersedes the Law. Peter's confession [declaration of Jesus as the Christ] (B23) marked a turning point in Jesus' ministry. From that point Jesus' ministry was recognized as coming directly from God. Jesus' status was no longer taken on the authority of John the Baptist, or on working theories of his followers. It was now ratified by the disciples' conviction and personal experience that Jesus was indeed sent by the Father.

Our Leader underscores that "spiritual causation is the one question to be considered" (S26). Most Christian Scientists are fairly familiar with Mrs. Eddy's re-telling of Peter's confession (S27, S28). It encourages us not to be afraid for the future of church. Our church isn't founded upon a human personality, nor run by human personalities today, any more than the church was two thousand years ago. "The supremacy of Spirit was the foundation on which Jesus built" (S29). The Church of Christ, Scientist is built on that same foundation. Nothing can shake it [our Cause] because God is the only Cause.

It makes no difference what area of life we consider - our basic origin, our continuing procreation, threats to our safety at home or abroad, our health and well-being, our financial situations, or the welfare of our church - God is the "primal cause" of all that exists (S30). Nothing can interfere with the divine purpose. When we realize this, we can rise above the culture of fear into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

This weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff we hope to bless again this summer at CEDARS--as well as to CEDARS alumni, families and friends who request it, or find it on our website. But, current and planned gifts are much-needed to help cover the costs of running this service and of providing camperships.

CLICK HERE RIGHT AWAY TO SUPPORT CEDARS WORK ONLINE!


If a couple of large, hoped-for FOUNDATION GRANTS come through on top of several small and large individual gifts, we will have enough campership contributions to guarantee that any Christian Science Sunday School student who wants to come to CedarS this summer can do so. Please encourage all the C.S. Sunday School students you know to attend a camp for Christian Scientists this summer! To also help cover transportation costs to get these dear ones to camp, your donations of earned airline tickets, or frequent flyer miles, would be VERY helpful.
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You can always charge or discuss any short or long-term gift you are considering by calling us at (636) 394-6162.
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Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 8-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "mets" (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians. (To keep the flow of the practitioner's ideas intact and to allow for more selective printing the "Possible Sunday School Topics" come in a subsequent email.) This weekly offering is intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and 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 new angles on daily applicability to some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson.com or myBibleLesson.com. The citations referenced (i.e. B1 and S28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "met" (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from 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 the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.
Enjoy!
Warren Huff, Camp Director, director@cedarscamps.org (636) 394-6162

--------------------------------------------------------------

 

Possible Sunday School Topics by Merrill Boudreaux
for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for 6-7-09:
"God the Only Cause and Creator"

 

P.S.S.T. - Golden Text:
Correlating to the Golden Text in this week's lesson, ask students to memorize and review Psalm 23 as a view of the comprehensive nature of God in the role of caring for that which is created. One might also look to the new Hymnal Supplement and read together Hymn 444 - "I am the Lord, there is none else, there is no God beside me..." (See also B1.)

P.S.S.T. - Responsive Reading:
Identify the action words (verbs) in the Responsive Reading that state what we should do, what God does and will do, and what we should declare. Speaking of verbs, consider the last passage in the RR, Ex. 3:14, "I Am That I Am:" and help students see the conjugation of the verb, ‘To Be' as:

1st person: I am
2nd person: You are
3rd person: He, She, or It is

Make the connection between I Am (God) and You are (Me or Us). Declare that because God is, I is, or we is. Note that the "is-ness" of God and us is in the present tense and is forever held as such.

P.S.S.T. - Section 1:
"The time for thinkers has come." [S1, vii:13 (only)] Are you a thinker? If you can find a picture of Rodin's ‘The Thinker,' that might stimulate a conversation also. What do you think about? Have students make a list of things they think about or wonder about. Depending on the list there should be opportunity for good conversation-starters from it, or use these words, "What does God know about...?" followed by an item from the list.

P.S.S.T. - Section 2:
The creation story in B5, Gen. 1, is probably known by students. Review B3, Mal. 2:10, "Have we not all one father?" Ask students what does that mean in their lives and how one can use that declaration in praying for the world? How should and can brothers and sisters act or behave toward each other? If there is any temptation to look at the material picture, turn students to S9, 256:6.

P.S.S.T. - Section 3:
Through the lesson is repeated the phrases, "Fear Not" or "Fear thou not." Make a list from the Bible and Science and Health in this Section of statements of truth as to why we need NOT fear. For example, "I am with thee" and "God is love".

P.S.S.T. - Section 4:
This section declares, "Father, all things are possible unto thee;" (B12, Mark 14:36). Have students read the healing story in B14. Look to S&H in this section to explain how this healing was possible. Remember there is no formula or prescription of words that bring about healing. Also look to (S19, 454:5-9) for the word "understanding" as the key word. Here is also a good place to have students share a verbal treatment for an issue in their school, town, city, state, nation, or share a healing experience they had that resulted from some truth understood. With the younger students one might consider a role-play of the healing story from this section.

P.S.S.T. - Section 5:
Discuss with students the Sermon on the Mount, portions of which are in this section. Discuss what preceded the Sermon on the Mount in Matt 4. Help the class identify various components found in the Sermon on the Mount that are foundational to Christianity:

• Lilies of the Field parable
• Lord's Prayer
• Golden Rule
• Ask and it shall be given....
• Beatitudes
• Reconciliation with one's brother
• Love your enemies
• No man can serve two masters

P.S.S.T. - Section 6:
The final Bible citation, B24, summarizes the theme throughout the lesson: Know God, there is none else. What are our responsibilities as children, heirs, of God and followers of Christ Jesus? See possible responses in S26 "Spiritual causation....The age seems ready to approach this subject..." Are you ready? How did Jesus heal the sick? Why is healing foundational to Christian Science? Whom say ye that Jesus is? (See S28) Jesus' demonstration and his church are built on what? (See S29, "The supremacy of Spirit...") In S30 define "primal". Finally, can there be anything outside of this one, great, and only cause? Here then is the declaration for a life filled with only good.

[P.S. We are SO grateful to all of you friends of Christian Science youth who have already donated funds for CedarS to buy 101 Christian Science Hymnal Supplements! CedarS Memorial weekend Sunday School students loved singing Hymn 444 from the new Supplement so much that they chose to sing it again for a rousing Hymn Sing! When "Mary's Chapel" is full (SOON!) with 360 happy campers and counselors, we will need more Hymnals Supplements to share. If you would like to send funds to buy more, please send your tax-deductible gift, in any amount, to: CedarS Camps (Hymnal Supplements), 19772 Sugar Dr., Lebanon, MO 65536]

 

 

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