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Mind Heals! Reject Idolatry!

Kathy Fitzer, St. Louis, MO & Park City, UT
Posted Monday, August 16th, 2010

Mind Heals!  Reject the Idolatry of Material Creation and Be the Image of Mind!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
"Mind" for the week of August 16-22, 2010
Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, C.S. of St. Louis, MO
 
[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 thanks to Pascal, in German thanks to Helga or in Spanish thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio. YOU CAN SIGN UP at www.cedarscamps.org/newsletters 
 
This lesson reveals that all is Mind, and teaches us how to rely on Mind for healing. Start with Mind as all. Reject the serpent's suggestions of life in matter (knowledge of good and evil.) Give full allegiance to God, turning completely from theidolatry of matter.  Reject fear. See Mind as the source of all movement. Understand that Mind's government extends to ALL! The world is continually putting idols before us, tempting us to disobediently depend on matter to keep us safe and make us wise and healthy. As we accept the fullness of Mind, and reject everything that appears to spring from idolatrous matter, we will discover man made in God's (Mind's) image - whole and free!
 
Golden Text:  Man was made in the image of MIND. The substance of the universe, including man, is thought. You and I (and all) are ideas, a balanced expression of the masculine and feminine qualities - shaped according to perfect Mind without a smidgen of matter, or limited substance. 
 
(Since the Bible wasn't originally written in English, everything we read is a translation. In the 16th century, the Bible was translated from the Latin Vulgate and Martin Luther's German into Icelandic. This verse (Gen. 1: 26, 27) was translated from the Icelandic into English, and Mrs. Eddy included it in Science and Health. It presents a unique perspective which forms the basis of this lesson. ) 
 
Responsive Reading: Mind knows all there is to know, and expresses wisdom.  Mind, God, gives wisdom - continually expressing Himself by supplying us (His children) with right thoughts, perfect answers, and ordered lives. What is required of us if we are to perceive these blessings? Simply to "commit [our] works unto the Lord." Have everything be about the SOURCE. Acknowledge the works of Mind and give our consent to be the full expression of this Mind -- rejecting everything that is unlike Mind. God GIVES us wisdom!   We can count on God's wisdom to supply our every need -- including our health-care needs.
 
Section 1: Be who you are, Mind's idea -- See the good and give God the glory!
Sometimes when things go well, it is tempting to think we've done something to make it be that way. But, then when things don't go well, what then? Good is man's natural state, and will be experienced more consistently as we become clear that God created all things by HIS power. Notice the references in Jeremiah to God creating the world by his wisdom and his discretion. (B-1)  These are direct references to God as Mind. The Golden Text is repeated, using different words, and an additional verse is included that tells how God saw everything he made and it was very GOOD! (B-2) What Job says of God is true - God does all things. The NRSV translation puts it this way, "For he will complete what he appoints for me; and many such things are in his mind." (B-3) We are never asked to do MORE than we can do. If a task is put on our plate, we can trust God to complete it. He's never over-worked, overwhelmed, or burdened. Our job? How do we feel this power? By rejecting the belief that we are mortal - or that human ability is ever the source.  As the prophet Isaiah put it ... "Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?" (ESV) We learned last week that breath (pneuma) is the Holy Spirit that gives life to all, and certainly cannot be confined to a mortal body. What God (Mind) thinks, He does!   We just need to accept that fact - despite material evidence to the contrary. As we give up the false belief that there is more than one Mind - a material, human mind acting independently - we will find ourselves as God's likeness - unlimited, infinitely capable - reflecting ALL of God's infinite goodness. (S-6)
 
Section 2: Don't succumb to the serpent's subtleties
The second chapter of Genesis starts out by reiterating the truth of creation -- it was complete, with God as the author! Then, an allegory is put forth which includes such fictional characters as a talking serpent, a man made from dust, and a woman made from the man's rib. (B-6) Mrs. Eddy helps us see that the purpose of this allegory (a story which uses symbols to convey a deeper meaning) is to "depict the falsity of error and the effects of error." (S-8)  According to Dummelow's Bible Commentary, the intention of the writer is to answer the question, "How did sin and misery find their way into the world?" We shouldn't just blithely deny the presence of sin and misery. It is important to understand the nature of the liar and how temptations come to us, in order to deal with them quickly and effectively. Lesson one ... the problems start when we admit that man is made of a combination of Spirit and matter -- dust and the breath of God. God's instructions were clear ... do NOT eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or death would follow. Yet, Adam and Eve fell prey to the temptation that came to them to eat of the forbidden fruit. The consequence .... they found themselves outside of the realm of good. Why a serpent? Dummelow suggests that a serpent was a natural choice because, like the evil tempter, a snake is associated with stealth and deadly venom. Mrs. Eddy notes the subtlety of the serpent -- presenting evil in the name of good. (S-11) How many times do we justify our actions or thoughts, convincing ourselves and others that the result will be good, so the method doesn't matter. Obedience to God's law is the bottom line. Disobedience never pays off in the long run - and gets us in trouble. The first commandment insists that we acknowledge Spirit (Mind) as the ONLY creator - the only reality. Taking the bait (tasting and digesting) the belief that life is even a little bit governed by matter - faulty cells, DNA, healthy or diseased organs, and even a material personality - is the idolatry of the age. These falsities MUST fall at the feet of Christian Science - the truth of man made in God's likeness as presented in the more inspired first chapter of Genesis. (S-12)
 
Section 3: ENTIRE obedience required
It's not enough to mostly accept the spiritual nature of the universe, including ourselves, but believe that there are some elements of matter that we can (or have to) "live with" at this point. King Asa is a good example of what can happen when we choose to honor God, but don't rid our thought completely of the idols of material living. When he started his reign, he cleaned things up by getting rid of the idols of his predecessors, removing idolaters from the temple and destroying altars. But, he didn't totally destroy the pagan shrines. In the beginning of his reign he depended completely on God to deliver him from his enemies, but as time went on he leaned more and more on material solutions and mortal personalities, rather than going directly to God for his protection and provision. Ultimately, Asa was confronted with a disease in his feet and we are told he turned to the physicians rather than to the Lord. Although he had previously trusted God with ALL his needs, over time he lost his clear vision. Unfortunately, in the end, the physicians couldn't help him and he died.  His son, Jehoshaphat, may have learned some things from watching his father. When he started his reign, he thoroughly destroyed the pagan shrines which his father had left.  He continually turned completely to God and was consistently delivered from his enemies. 
 
Do we sometimes feel we need a back-up plan - that matter sometimes has a better answer? We may start with prayer, but if prayer "doesn't work" there's something else we can turn to? We're all learning and doing the best we can. Mrs. Eddy is clear that we must not condemn or rashly judge ourselves or others when different forms of religion and/or medicine are chosen. (S-17) In fact, the sentence that immediately precedes the beginning of this citation on p. 444 says, "If Christian Scientists ever fail to receive aid from other Scientists, - their brethren upon whom they may call, - God will still guide them into the right use of temporary and eternal means." But, what we need to learn from Asa is the importance of always moving in the direction of totally destroying all belief in and dependence on matter to either help or hurt us.  We can't let down our guard or start believing that the ultimate answer ever lies in doctoring a material body or a material economy or a material personal relationship. Divine Mind demands our "entire obedience, affection, and strength" because an understanding that Mind alone makes perfect - an understanding of Mind's supremacy and allness - provides the only means to establish lasting health and happiness. (S-13 &18)  We must "flee from idolatry." (B-13) We need to mentally run as fast as we can from dependence on anything other than God for our well-being - including human intelligence, strength, personality, or material aids of any kind. Striving to be obedient to Mind alone, we can't harbor a smidgen of criticism or judgment for those who are dealing with things differently. And we need to remain patient with ourselves, too, if we don't match up some days to what we know we'd like to be demonstrating. God is patiently and lovingly leading each one! "Step-by-step"! We just need to do our best, trusting God!
 
Section 4: Fear is the fountain of disease. The allness of Mind destroys fear
Would we be afraid if we were SURE there was nothing to be afraid of? That's what God has assured us of. Psalm 53 reads, "there they are in great fear, where no fear was." It continues, "For God has scattered the bones of him who encamps against you:" (B-14, NKJV) God has already destroyed the enemy. So, what are we afraid of? Fear is the only enemy - and the fountain of disease. Fear (and all sin and disease) is mastered through divine Mind. (S-21)  This is illustrated in the story of the woman healed of an issue of blood. (B-15)  She had been to lots of physicians over the years, who had most likely declared this "disease to be a fixed fact," thus firmly implanting it in thought, and fertilizing it with fear. (S-20) But, as in the case of Asa, the physicians had not been able to help this woman. Having heard of Jesus' healing powers, she reached out to touch his robe - perhaps still superstitiously believing that the healing power was in the tassels that every Jew wore on the corner of his cloak, reminding him of Jehovah's commands. (Dummelow)  But, Jesus demanded that she come forward -- overcome any lingering fear and timidity - and be shown that her faith in Christ had made her whole. (B-16) In refusing to accept the physicians' verdict - this woman refused to be "conformed to this world." (B-17)  And she also demonstrated that "the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, his Spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control." (B-15, Good News Bible)  Mrs. Eddy showed great respect for physicians, acknowledging them as "grand men and women," with honorable motives. But, their treatment starts from the basis of matter, rather than Mind, and so the methods they employ lack the spiritual influence that Christ Jesus and Christian Science healing demonstrate. If the belief is present that "something stronger than Mind - namely matter - governs the case" the treatment will be tentative and "invites defeat." (S-20 & S-22)  We can be confident as we rely on Mind - the Mind that is all (the only causation) - that God will heal every ill that tempts us - do so from the inside out. (S-23)
 
Section 5:  "Mind is the source of all movement" (S-27)
Jesus was unimpressed by both the physical claim of a withered hand that couldn't move (and prevented the man from being fully productive) and the inflexible attitude of the scribes and Pharisees that weren't willing to move off of their narrow interpretation of the law regarding "keeping the Sabbath." (B-19)  Jesus understood that "Mind is the source of all movement ..." (S-27)  Check out Mrs. Eddy's reference to this healing in her book, "Unity of Good" (in Prose Works), p. 11. Jesus taught his disciples to heal, and Peter, refusing to recognize the possibility of man being paralyzed, demonstrated the operation of the action of Mind on the body when he healed Aeneas. (B-20) Mindless matter isn't the source of movement, and can't stop the perpetual movement of Mind! Just like the men in these Bible stories, we, too, must respond to Christ's command.  And, like Jesus and Peter, we can speak with the authority of Christ in demanding that the body correspond to the movement of Mind. Muscles, bones, etc. have no intelligence and are "never capable of acting contrary to mental direction." (S-25) Destroy the false, idolatrous belief of intelligence in matter, and the movement of Mind is demonstrated to be supreme and uninterrupted!
 
Section 6: Mind ends war and brings peace
Immortal Mind governs all -- not only in what is generally considered the "spiritual" realm, but in what appears to be the physical realm. (S-28) There is only one creation.  What appears as the material world is only a mis-perception (a distorted sense) of creation. The key to harmony on earth is to recognize Mind's supremacy and realize that "everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory." (B-24, NLT) The Bible tells us that God stops war. (B-22) Where there is ONE, there is no conflict. ONE Mind holds all ideas in perfect concord. Our job is to acknowledge only Mind, reject the belief of many little minds, and be guided by the perfect Mind as Christ Jesus was. (S-29) When faced with war of any kind - war in the body, between personalities, conflicting beliefs, and even nations pitted against nations -- the demand is to "be still, and know that I am God." (B-22)  This is how that verse reads in The Message, "Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything."  It is only by viewing a situation from the clear perspective of Mind being all - and in charge - that we can hope to see the peace that is of God - and thus inherent in Mind's idea - and let God's government shine forth.   

[PSST-live Life to the fullest! By choosing your words & thoughts carefully. See Section 6]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for August 22, 2010 on "Mind"
Prepared by
Steve Henn, St. Louis, Missouri
 
Golden Text (GT) - How do you shape something after an idea or Mind? Perhaps it requires changing the whole structure of how we think about image, reflection and substance. Consider introducing the concept of a "paradigm-shift" to your students - discuss how completely changing our perspective might impact our experience.
 
Responsive Reading (RR) - Search the Responsive Reading for Mind's attributes. Discuss how these attributes give us a clearer picture of what Mind is, and perhaps a clearer sense of who we are as Mind's idea and reflection.
 
PSST--Section 1
Bible - The idea of reflection, or of Mind as the creator of all, carries through this section. Look at citations B1 and B2 to discuss God/Mind as the origin of all - and then look at B3-B5 to discuss the results of Mind creating all. How confident are your students in the power of Mind? What is the difference between telekinesis and the power of Mind? Do your students see the importance of choosing between "man, whose breath is in his nostrils" and the one Mind?

Science and Health
- Refer back to your conversation of "paradigm shifts" when looking at citation SH4. What is substance and how does this description of it match up with what we think substance to be? Look at SH6, 5, & 2. Why is it important that Mind is one? (think sports teams with the same objective). Mrs. Eddy spent plenty of time developing this point, so it must be important to her. Should it be important to us?
 

PSST--Section 2
Bible - What is the result of looking to matter as a source of intelligence, life, beauty? Mortal has been defined as "bounded or limited in magnitude or spatial or temporal extent" (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/mortal). What happens to life when it is bounded within material forms, such as dust and body? If we look for intelligence in an apple, what happens when the apple is gone? (or beauty in body, or companionship in others)

Science and Health
- SH7, 9, 12 expose error's chief tactic - duality.
When we believe in both good and bad happening at the same time, there is no fixity, no Principle. Can numbers be both positive and negative at the same time? Can an idea be both complete and incomplete simultaneously? Can darkness exist in the same place as light? SH9 also points out how believing in this allegory at the start has led to every other erroneous belief. What do your students know about duality? Develop more of that conversation about one Mind from the first section. If there is more than one mind, what are we opening ourselves to? And if we reason from a right basis - that of there only being one Mind, what results do we realize?
 
PSST--Section 3
Bible - Is God a vengeful God? If we mistakenly turn in the wrong direction, does God punish us?  The command seems to be that we must not turn to idols, or false foundations. Asa did not follow God completely and look what happened to him as compared to Jehoshaphat.
Does this mean we're in danger if we do not follow God with our whole heart?
 
Science and Health - The reason for such strong demands in God, Mind, becomes apparent in these citations. If you hesitate in the middle of a sports game, or performance of any kind, you will be unable to complete the play or performance perfectly. Look to Mrs. Eddy's demands and ask your students if they come in a threatening or unreasonable way. Why is she so strong in her comments? The language could seem inflexible - but if the Principle of Christian Science is Love, can that be? Where is the wisdom of Mind in these comments, and how is it ultimately loving?
 
PSST--Section 4
Bible - Why are there citations about being afraid before this story of the woman with the issue of blood? Do your students know the risks this "unclean" woman was making - and do they know the earth-shattering (at the time) nature of Jesus' response? If you read a bit outside the lines of B15, you will find that Jesus calls this woman "daughter"; previously she had been considered an unclean outcast - someone who could not actively participate in society. And now The Christ had rendered her whole and raised her up in the rungs of society. (check out http://tmcyouth.com/media/library/backstory-woman-with-issue-of-blood
for a bit of context on this story) Isn't it interesting that in this story, Jesus pressed the woman to reveal herself and her healing - whereas in other stories, Jesus is said to have pressed the healed people to not speak. Why is that? Consider Jesus' desire to break all societal barriers in this work.
 
Science and Health - What are your students going to acknowledge as God, as fact, as reality? If we look to matter as reality - we can expect to find fear (SH20, 21) and as a result find sickness, sin and ultimately death. But do we need to honor sickness with the status of "fact" in our lives? How can we change this (SH20, 23)?
 
PSST--Section 5
Bible - (B19) - The Pharisees watched Jesus to see if he would "break the law" and heal, or do work, on the Sabbath. But Jesus defied them and healed anyway. What ridiculous laws do your students get caught up in? Can your students tell the difference between following God's law and the laws of matter? One thing to think about is how much "self" is in the picture - if I am following a rule because it makes me personally feel or look good (i.e. the Pharisees or anyone who blindly follows tradition, custom, rules, doctrine, etc...), I can be pretty sure I'm not following God's law. And the benefits of following God's law extend far beyond Jesus' ministry (B20).
 
Science and Health - Here we get down to the gritty and practical stuff. Examine SH25 and challenge your students to take all of these wonderful things and put them against the questions/lens Mrs. Eddy presents here. If matter is intelligent, then all these problems can be real - but if we start with the premise that Mind is real and is all, what room is there for any issue? The real thing going on here is a discovery of Science and Law.   If something is a law, it must be followed in all instances - but when does the body ever follow the same rule all the time? When does Mind not follow/express Principle? Never.
 
PSST--Section 6
Bible - Refer back to the concept of One: one Mind, one creation. This section begins by stating that God is one ... why is that important? Look at B22 & 23 to see some pretty amazing results of God being one. Have your students yet changed their paradigm to see that Mind is powerful, Mind does have in itself more reality than our physical experience ever dreams of?
 
Science and Health - Why does Mrs. Eddy use phrases like "physical realm, so-called"? She often puts in little additions like, "supposed" or "so-called" as in this case - why doesn't she just say "the physical realm" and leave it at that?   Help your students understand the importance of language and consistency. Our language is an externalization of our thoughts, and if we don't recognize in our language that error is illusion, or that matter is "so-called" reality, then we are liable to believe these lies in our thinking. We must be consistent in our thoughts about Life, reality, and Mind. Otherwise, the world will choose our beliefs for us. Look over SH29 and highlight the emphatic words (thoroughly, all, no other) to realize just how important these issues are. This is an opportunity to live life to the fullest! Are your students well prepared??
 

[CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletters are provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff who are being blessed this summer at CEDARS--as well as to thousands of CEDARS alumni, families, Sunday School teachers and friends who request it, or who find it weekly on our website or through CS Directory. But, current and planned gifts are much-needed: to cover the costs of running this "free" service; to provide camperships for ongoing inspirational opportunities; and to complete Stages 1 & 2 of Bible Lands Park (BLP).   (Keep returning to the blog--http://blog.cedarscamps.org/-- for more pictures and write-ups on CedarS Bible Lands Park.) For those of you wanting to see CedarS new Bible Lands Park first-hand, there are still some few places left in the Midwest Bible Conference being put on at CedarS by Bible Studies Seminars from Sept. 16-19, 2010!)

Your support is always tax-deductible and welcomed--but during the economic downturn, your help has been and continues to be especially needed and appreciated!  To support CedarS work you can make a charitable donation to our 501C-3 tax-exempt, charitable organization:
1) Thank you for considering writing a monthly check payable to CedarS Camps and mailing it to: CedarS Camps, 19772 Sugar Drive, Lebanon, MO 65536; or
2) Thank you for calling Warren or Gay Huff at (636) 394-6162 to charge your gift or to authorize an automatic monthly charge using a Visa or Mastercard or to discuss short-term or long-term gifts of securities or property you are considering; or
3) CLICK HERE RIGHT AWAY TO SUPPORT CEDARS WORK with an online gift using PayPal.com, which can be funded using a Visa or Mastercard account.]

[Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 10-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 "Possible Sunday School Topics" come in a subsequent email.) These weekly offerings are 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 and background as well as new angles (and angels) on the daily applicability of 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.B-1 and S-28) from this week's Bible Lesson in the "Met" (Metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-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, Executive Director   director@cedarscamps.org

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