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Be a child of the day!

Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn (Bartlett), IL
Posted Monday, May 26th, 2014

Let the Light Shine… You’re Children of the Day!
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on:

Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced

May 26—June 1, 2014

By Craig L. Ghislin, C.S.

Glen Ellyn, Illinois (Bartlett)  craig.ghislincs@icloud.com / (630) 830-8683

[Bracketed italics by CedarS Director Warren Huff.  Life-transforming camperships needed!]

Perhaps the oldest tale of conflict in myth, literature, and the human psyche is the ongoing battle of light versus darkness. This symbolizes the conflict between good and evil, purity and impurity, intelligence and ignorance, reality and unreality. To human sense, this ongoing conflict seems almost natural—the darkness of the night is chased away by the morning sun, the sun goes down and the darkness returns until morning again—a never-ending cycle.

Often, the darkness is depicted as an entity in and of itself, pursuing, blocking, or overtaking the light. When we think of it logically, that really doesn’t make sense because darkness isn’t a presence; it’s an absence of light.  We’re told that in fact, even the night sky is filled with light, and all we need to see that light is for something to reflect it.

In the Golden Text, we have a thought-provoking translation that puts a different spin on our familiar King James Version, which states, “The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.” That sounds like the light, which in this case symbolizes the Christ, is present in the dark, but the darkness, or ignorant mortal consciousness, is simply incapable of understanding it.  But the Good News Translation says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.”  The Amplified Bible expands on the passage: “And the Light shines on the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it].

The obvious point is that darkness has no relationship to the light whatsoever.  They simply do not mix.  In Christian Science, rather than giving the darkness equal power, as do mythology and literature, the light has all power and presence, and the darkness is powerless and never present.  The darkness only stands for the belief that there is a power opposed to God or that we can be separated from Him.

In the Responsive Reading when feeling lost and alone the psalmist counts on God to light the way for him.  He trusts that in the light, he will be able to see all the divergent byways and dangerous obstacles that may hinder his journey.  He is resolved to distance himself from the workers of iniquity, and to hold continually to the law of God.  He relies on God’s law to keep him safe, and he devotes himself to the service of the Lord.

The psalmist doesn’t only declare that God’s light will help himself; he is confident that it will help anyone who seeks that help—even those who are the “simple” ones.  I find it interesting that several protestant scholars make a specific point of emphasizing this declaration in specific opposition to the early Roman Catholic tradition that purported the Scriptures to be comprehendible only by the priesthood.  Here David clearly states that the Word of God is for all men to read without exception.  That’s something we might consider when we’re tempted to think Christian Science is too difficult to understand.  The light of truth can be embraced and understood by everyone from a child to a PhD.  No one is ever left out.

Section 1: All Is Light; There Is No Darkness
The first section is very simple and gets right to the truth.  Human wisdom, understanding, or counsel has no standing with God (B1).  God can’t be argued with, reasoned out of relevance, or denied.  God is all there is.  God isn’t “a light” or “the light” (B2).  God is light itself—all the light in the universe.  This light doesn’t emanate from a finite source.  It just is—filling all space.  Nothing unlike God exists at all.  He is only what He is.  As Albert Barnes writes, “He [God] is perfectly pure, without any admixture of sin. He has all knowledge, with no admixture of ignorance on any subject. …  He is infinitely true, never stating or countenancing error; he is blessed in all his ways…”  Those who acknowledge this are those who walk in the shining light of God’s countenance (B3).  They can’t help but rejoice, and this awareness of that omnipresent light blesses them.  God is the source of all their strength, power, protection, and government.

Taking these scriptural passages as face value, it is clear that nothing exists to oppose God.  But to human sense it seems that another power is at play.  This belief in another power is the darkness, which as we’ve mentioned above, is no more than a “mortal sense of the absence of light” (S1).  When the light is present though, the belief in darkness vanishes.  Reasoning from the basis that God is All-in-all, we can logically conclude that evil is a “suppositional lie” (S2).  Mary Baker Eddy uses a specific term for the lie of evil—“animal magnetism.”  We have to remember that this is only a term.  It is the collective belief of the minds of mortals stating that mind is in matter, and both evil and good, and that evil is just “as real as good, and more powerful.”  This is the false belief we talked about earlier—the mythological, traditional human drama—a duality of good versus evil, light versus darkness.  Now Mrs. Eddy tells us, “This belief has not one quality of Truth.”  That is fairly straightforward isn’t it?  As we live in the power and recognition of the perfect light of God, we leave material sense behind, and grow ever closer to an uninterrupted understanding of that light (S3).  This is the basis of Christian Science practice and demonstration.  God is the light, the light is All, and there is no night there (S4).

Section 2: God Is All: There Is No Other
If God truly is All-in-all, why would we look anywhere else for salvation?  The scriptures caution us not to be tempted to turn aside and look to other powers vying for our attention (B4).  The belief that there are other powers aside from God, is totally misguided, and is the result of the aforementioned animal magnetism.  Animal magnetism—the “false belief that mind is in matter, and is both evil and good; that evil is as real as good and more powerful” would have us believe the very opposite of what is true.  In effect, it gets us to believe that evil is good, and good is evil (B5).  It tries to get us totally confused.  But the psalmist urges us to pray for delivery from such confusion (B6).  Amidst all the evidence of the material senses, and opposition to God and spirituality, we are encouraged to hold steadfastly to God and his laws.  God’s laws provide stability and safety.  Those who trust in God aren’t agitated or afraid when challenges arise.  They intuitively look for the light in the darkness (B7).

A major part of the belief of life in matter is that we have an unknown future—that even though things are going well, trouble might be around any corner. Or if things are tough, the outcome is uncertain, and things could get worse.  To the mortal mind, these concerns are practically “givens” that are unavoidable.  But to those who trust in God, the future is robed with hope and expectancy of good.  The spiritually-minded aren’t afraid to give of the good they have for fear of what may happen tomorrow; they disperse good gifts freely because they know that God is always supplying them.  At CedarS this summer the metaphysical theme is Live 2 Give.  That’s what we do as Christians following the light.  We give freely without holding back.

God commands all the earth to turn to Him in every way.  He doesn’t reserve His care for one race, religion, or nationality (B8).  Looking anywhere other than to God for help is futile, because God is All.  There is none else.

It’s clear that God can’t create anything unlike Himself.  Evil was never created; it’s an outright deception (S5).  The ancient philosophical query wonders, if God is All, and God is good, whence comes evil?  Christian Science doesn’t get tangled in that line of inquiry.  Rather, it starts with God and works its way from there: “If God, or good, is real, then evil, the unlikeness of God, is unreal” (S6).  Christian Science doesn’t try to explain how God allows evil or accommodates it because it maintains the clear logic of knowing that only goodness emanates from God, and everything else is wrong (S7). The only power evil seems to have is the power we give it.  Evil isn’t an independent intelligence wandering around looking for someone to ensnare.  It’s non-intelligence that requires a believer to accept the false claim that it exists.  Those who understand God do not provide evil with a believer (S8).  “In Science”—which is another way of saying “in reality”—God is the All and Only, and evil has no more presence than a shadow does (S9, S10).  It’s really very simple.

Section 3: The Light Brings Healing
The validity of this simple logic is proved through healing.  The world generally believes in more than one power; and most of the time, the worldly approach is to fight evil with evil, or in any case, look in every direction except to God for help.  We’ve already seen that God, good, is represented by the light, and anything unlike God is represented by the darkness.  Mortals, believing in a power other than God, and an existence apart from Him, are living in the dark.  But Christ shows us the light of Truth (B9).  While the world would attempt to combat darkness with yet more darkness, Christian Science utilizes the light of Truth to overcome all ills.

Christ Jesus brought light to mankind figuratively and literally. He healed every disease, and proved the power of the Truth by demonstration. But the world still didn’t believe it, in part because the carnal mind opposes anything it doesn’t understand.  Jesus’ detractors made the absurd claim that his ability to cast out demons was because he himself was in league with Beelzebub, the prince of the devils (B10).  Jesus deftly explained that their logic was faulty and proved it through his healing ability.  The Christian doesn’t turn to worldly means because such means do nothing but enforce the false worldly conceptions; whereas, spiritual, Christly reasoning dismantles worldly belief, and nullifies everything that would oppose the knowledge of God (B11).

Jesus’ explanation included the example of “binding the strong man” in his explanation to the Pharisees.  This explanation provides another indication of what makes spiritual healing stand out from other methods.  The material method would be to focus on the individual and the physical problem, and then to attempt to eradicate it through physical means—darkness casting out darkness.  Jesus taught that not the individual or the body needed to be treated, but the root belief, mortal mind, needed to be “held in subjection” in order to conquer the beliefs of sin and disease (S12).  Christian Science heals in the same way Jesus did.  “A patient under the influence of mortal mind is healed only by removing the influence on him of this mind…” (S13).  The supposed activity of mortal mind is animal magnetism.  We destroy the beliefs of sin and disease through the understanding of Spirit.  The effect of Christian Science treatment is as sunlight shining through the darkness.  It stirs “the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind” (S14). [This passage from S&H 162:4 was key to the remarkable Christian Science healing related in Warren’s P.S..]  Christian Science has no relation to any other human method or practice.  It is totally spiritual and the resulting changes it brings to consciousness are irreversible (S15).  Applying the Christly truths introduces a power that trumps all else.

Section 4: The Light of Truth Overrules False Influences
The influence of mortal mind or animal magnetism has become so engrained in human thought that it seems normal and in some ways impenetrable. These influences are supported by the material senses, which neither originate nor comprehend anything that’s true (B13).  In Genesis, when the light comes out of the darkness, it represents an all-encompassing spiritual light that fills all space.  This light doesn’t originate in a material source: It simply exists, completely independent.  In the same way, the light of Christ isn’t an offshoot or outgrowth of any material progression.  It’s brand new, and it utterly outweighs any opposition.  It’s the power of the infinite, eternal, unseen that dissolves the temporal sludge of material thinking (B14).  Christians aren’t impressed or perplexed by the seeming density of material belief. We have complete confidence that the light of eternal Truth will win the day (B15).

Albert Barnes furnishes a thought–provoking insight on II Corinthians 4:6.  Aside from pointing out the reference to Genesis as we’ve just done, he intimates that the darkness into which mortal man is plunged, is deepened by ignorance of God, and is made worse by “the course of life which people lead; by their education; or by their indulgence in sin…”  Mrs. Eddy’s account of the Kaspar Hauser story (S17) illustrates Barnes’ point in that the so-called laws of mortal mind are the result of educated beliefs.  She also mentions that hypnotists are examples of how a false influence can make people believe the very opposite of what is really going on.  Material sense is a mesmeric state in which sensual evidence seems real and makes it very difficult to determine what is real or unreal, good or bad, right or wrong.  In fact, all sensory evidence is questionable, and there is no inherent truth or reality in material existence.

The influences of material belief are drilled into us daily through education, advertising, and news stories, to name a few.  Take a few moments to ask yourself what is influencing your tastes, ideas, desires, or fears.  Chances are, at some point, you have been impacted in one way or another by these deceptive influences of animal magnetism.  Christian Science helps us see through the morass of material uncertainty with the light of Truth (S19).  The spiritual reality is fixed and intrinsically real.  It isn’t dependent upon trends of thought or wavering theories.  It is true now and forever.

Section 5: The Light Can’t Be Stopped
Barnes tells us that the word “night” as used in Romans 13:12 (B16) denotes a state of ignorance and crime and is synonymous with the word darkness.  It represents the obscurity of sin in contrast to the full splendors of the gospel of Christ whose pure beams fill the unclouded, eternal sky.  As we’ve been considering, the way to overcome that darkness is with the light of Christ, Truth.  The clash of light and dark is often depicted as a battleground.  Therefore, Paul encourages us to “put on the armor of light” to protect us in the warfare.  Clothed in this light we can clearly see that no power can oppose God’s command, or inhibit His purpose (B17).  Christ Jesus relied totally on God for his authority and strength.  He identified so fully with God that the light of Truth was manifested in every activity Jesus engaged in, and everyone who accepted him received the benefit of that light (B18).  

Jesus promised that when he was no longer here, we could expect a Comforter, “even the Spirit of truth” (B19).  The Comforter’s authority proceeds directly from God.  In the same way that the light shining out of darkness in II Corinthians evoked images of the first creation of light independent of any material origin, so, the “spirit which is of God” spoken of here in I Corinthians (B20), is not an outgrowth of human wisdom.  It comes to us through the Holy Ghost.  As noted before, mortal consciousness—“the natural man”—cannot apprehend it.  But we “have the mind of Christ.”  In other words, we strive to see things as Jesus did, in their true light.

Traditional theology, as we’ve mentioned earlier, generally accepts the belief of mortal existence that embraces a duality of light and dark, good and evil, forever at war.  But Mary Baker Eddy discovered that it didn’t have to be that way.  In Christian Science, God is All, as the Bible tells us, and as such, evil is nothing.  To human sense, this is an extraordinary claim.  Mrs. Eddy contends that her discovery of the Science of Christianity was the result of divine power (S20).  She says the revelation consists of two parts: The discovery itself, and its proof through demonstration (S21).  Rather than conceding equal power to evil and goodness, Christian Science demands that error is destroyed through the power of God, good.

Christ has been called the “verb form of God.”  Christ is the activity of God in our lives.  To human sense, it seems as though everything has an opposite—for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.  As Christ is the activity of God, animal magnetism, by the mortal rule of opposites, is the supposed activity of evil (S23).  Christian Science challenges the belief of opposites.

I recall when I was a child, my mom used to read to me a book from the Reading Room called Elizabeth and Andy.  It was a book about two young Christian Scientists and various challenges they faced growing up.  In one of the stories, I remember one of the children sitting in an orchard with their father, before sunrise.  The father spoke about the coming dawn and how impossible it is to stop the dawn from coming.  In the same way, the light of Truth cannot be hindered or delayed.  It must come.  The light of Christian Science is here right now.  There’s nothing that can stop it from dissolving the darkness.

Section 6: You’re Children of the Day
I wrote a song that’s used in the closing montage in this year’s promotional video for CedarS Camps called “Children of the Day.”  When I wrote it, I was thinking of the verse from I Thessalonians (B21). [Click http://www.cedarscamps.org/videos/ by Tues. (5/27) to hear this closing song at the end of “CedarS 2014 video, “Children of the Day Live to Give!”]   We don’t have to be brought down by the apparent darkness of worldly thought, nor do we have to accept the worldly view of opposites.  We are children of the day.  Jesus called us “the light of the world” (B22).  The purpose of light is to illuminate the path, and to enable us to see what’s around us.  The worldly thought blinds us to God’s kingdom.  But we have the great privilege of being Christians who understand the Bible scientifically and have accepted the call to prove that to the world.  As a city “set on an hill” we obviously stand out from the worldly-minded.  If we go along with world thought, we won’t be very effective witnesses for Christ.

Jesus commanded his disciples to heal, cast out devils, and even raise the dead! (B23).  [That’s CedarS 2014 theme as we “freely give” (B23, Matt. 10:8) by imparting “truth, health, and happiness” (Miscellany 165).]  That means taking an active stance against everything that this belief of light and dark stands for.  The last Bible citation (B24) declares that the darkness is already past, because the light is already shining.  This statement is written in the style of the “prophetic perfect.”  It is in effect declaring “the end from the beginning” which is familiar to us because when we pray we always start with perfection in order to end with perfection.  The Cambridge Greek Testament Commentary makes an important point in their discussion of this passage.  It says, “Darkness is never personal; it is not an effluence from Satan as light is from God or from Christ.  It is the result, not of the presence of the evil one, but of the absence of God” [emphasis added].  This reinforces what we were saying in the beginning of this discussion.  Evil isn’t a presence, it’s a supposititious absence.  And it’s also good to remember that evil is never personal.  We often feel that evil is out to get us.  But evil is mindless.  It doesn’t know you, or me, or even itself.  The whole thing is a lie.

In Science, the only realities are Life, Truth, and Love (S25).  Just like the sunrise in the Elizabeth and Andy story, nothing can stop the light of Science from dawning.  You and I as Christian Scientists have an obligation to prove that the light of Truth dispels all darkness (S26).  We are tasked by our Leader to denounce every claim of evil.  We do this by first being a law unto ourselves, to be sure we don’t fall prey to the dark lies of opposites (S27).  Once we’ve cleared our own thought, we can go into the world honestly, from the standpoint of our own demonstration and prove our theories by living in accord with them (S28).  Talking isn’t enough.  We have to live it.  Our Leader echoes our Master when she tells us we are the light of the world (S29).  You are the light of the world.  You are the children of the day.  Darkness is not a presence to overpower, or even challenge, the good.  The light of Christ, the Spirit of Truth, is the only presence.  Nothing can ever put it out.  So:

“Let the light shine through you,
Dispel those shades of gray.
Let your hearts be joyful,
You’re children of the day!”

from Children of the Day, by Craig L. Ghislin


[Warren’s P.S. on the (S14) passage from S&H 162:4 that was a key in my remarkable Christian Science healing: Almost 6 years ago, I experienced “the Lord’s doing” in my restoration to fullness of life from a Hezekiah-like, near-death experience.  Since then, thanks to God’s healing- and guiding-hand and to the financial support of one-time and monthly donors, I have been eagerly engaged in a mission to develop a 30-acre Bible Lands Park at CedarS.  Its purpose is to bring out, in a fun and life-transforming way, the Bible’s lively, spiritual answers to every challenge of today.  Our latest project (executed first on 5-25-14 with 3 Sunday School classes) is criss-crossing this sacred terrain with Bible Frisbee (Disc) Golf Tournaments that re-live “Aha! Moments” of Bible characters when and where they felt their sacred wholeness in Oneness with God. (In coming issues details and take-home ahas! will be shared with Sunday School classes and individuals worldwide as this idea is developed and
funded, hole-by-whole!)
Here are excerpts about my “Aha! Moment” healing as first told in the footnote to a Bonus Thanksgiving 2009 issue of CedarS Mets and as repeated in a related PS to the May 18, 2014 Bible lesson.  “About a year ago-after a joyous 2008 summer and fall of service, I found myself agonizing in the passenger seat during our evening move home from camp.  I sang (along with the sound system) many hymns that I knew by heart--due to years of camp Hymn Sings. (Last night CedarS & its Bible Lands Park echoed with the 170 beautiful Soul-filled voices of our 2014 Memorial Weekend guests.  On my 2008 healing car ride home,] I belted out hymns at first through tears of intense pain, and later through tears of immense gratitude.  For the first part of the trip the disabling discomfort just wouldn't let up, no matter how I changed my position or what hymns or citations I prayed.  The pain seemed to radiate from a huge internal growth that had been steadily growing for several months. It had attempted to rob me of my vigor as well as of all ability to lift one of my legs. In deepest humility--and with prayerful support from the dear driver, from my mom and from a precious practitioner who I kept calling-I continued to reach out to God and to sing each word with renewed understanding, conviction and vigor.  With tears of joy I cherished the truths about my spiritual nature as if they were being tenderly told to me in order to save my life for God's service—and that they did!  All pain finally broke thanks to this all-out, fervent praying and singing—and I have hardly stopped smiling or singing since.  I remain eternally grateful that I took "God-is-All" instead of Tylenol—that rather that opting to just temporarily relieve suffering, I chose the light of Christian Science treatment to eliminate not only the darkness of pain, but also of its supposed cause.  I knew when I got home without pain that I was healed, although the draining and dissolving of the growth took several more weeks of consistent "ray-delineation therapy" which "dissolves tumors" with the invigorating purity of "the sunlight of Truth" that "Christian Science brings to the body." (S&H 162:4, S14)  I applied each ray of this divine, healing sunlight –shining the specific, promising laws and wonderful ideas laid out in the precious paragraph that starts with this powerful sentence: "Christian Science brings to the body the sunlight of Truth, which invigorates and purifies…” (S&H 162:4). Have fun being invigorated (refreshed, revitalized, stimulated, enlivened, energized, animated, rejuvenated, strengthened) and purified (cleansed, disinfected, sanitized, decontaminated) as you sing-out this transforming "sunlight of Truth"!]

[The Met application ideas above are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp!  YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) at http://www.cedarscamps.org/metaphysical/ ]

[THANK YOU in advance for MAKING A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE GIFT ONLINE,
BY PHONE at 636-394-6162,
OR BY MAIL at:
CedarS Office, 1314 Parkview Valley Dr, Ballwin, MO 63011

[Additional Director's Note: You can sign up to have these application ideas emailed to you free – by Monday each week in English; or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION: in German, thanks to Manfred and Jeanette; or in Spanish, thanks to a team of Ana, Erick, Claudia and Patricio, or in Portuguese, thanks to helpers of Orlando Trentini in Brazil.  A voluntary French translation by Rodger Glokpor, a Christian Scientist from Togo (West Africa) has been contributed.  Thank you, Rodger and all translators! Go to http://www.cedarscamps.org/ and click "Newsletters" to sign-up for a free translation into these languages.  This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 13-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson "Mets" (Metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians.  (Ask and look for "Possible Sunday School Topics "and "Possible Younger Class Lessons" in emails to follow.) 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 "and Sunday School ideas are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way serve as 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 and in a variety of useful formats 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-26) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy (S-1 thru S-32). 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.]

 

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