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Acknowledge God as the Only Power

Craig L. Ghislin, C.S., Glen Ellyn (Bartlett), IL
Posted Monday, June 15th, 2015

Acknowledge God as the Only Power
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Is the Universe, Including Man, Evolved by Atomic Force?”

for June 15—21, 2015

by Craig L. Ghislin, C.S. Glen Ellyn, Illinois (Bartlett)
craig.ghislincs@icloud.com / (630) 830-8683

[Thanks to last week's donors CedarS has a golf cart with 6+ seats to shuttle groups to & from Bible Lands Park and elsewhere as needed. After 10am Monday check out the 2nd picture on CedarS homepage to see a group of campers who have chosen to make a video with Kemi on the story of how God's power alone helped Gideon win without a fight.]

What brought the universe into being? Did it happen spontaneously in a big bang? What keeps it going? Will it eventually collapse back on itself? These questions continue to motivate both religion and physics. Humans have the irresistible urge to know how things work, and then to do their best to use that knowledge to exert control to achieve favorable outcomes. It should not be surprising that over a century ago, the most profound spiritual thinker since Christ Jesus posed the question of atomic force as a Lesson Sermon topic to be revisited by her church twice a year throughout all time.

I confess to know very little about physics, but from what I can discern, force is an influence exerted on one body or object from another. Common examples given of force are gravity, friction, and magnetism. From the outset, the question of force implies duality—one thing acting upon another. In the Old Testament of the King James Version of the Bible there are a wide variety of Hebrew words that have been translated as the word force and the majority of the applications for force have negative connotations implying conflict, resistance, and violence. Often an alternate choice for the word translated as force is power. But power has a different sense. Both power and force are used in the definitions of the other, but power from a physics standpoint is the rate at which work is done. In Biblical usage, power is the ability to get things done. Additionally, there are not two powers, only one—that is God.

In the Golden Text God is established as the Almighty and only power throughout time and eternity “which art, and wast, and art to come.” With the discovery of physics some might attempt to relegate God’s power to the past, or even to the realm of fantasy. The Revelator saw God’s power as transcending time and space. Those who are conscious of God now, have full faith that He always was, and always will be. Theologian Albert Barnes (1798—1870) writes: “The fact that God remains always unchangeably the same is the sole reason why His church is safe, or why any individual member of it is kept and saved.”

The Responsive Reading begins with a clear statement affirming the existence of God and His omnipotence. He is without beginning and without end, therefore, He is self-existent—derived from nothing else—and the source of all that was made. These verses from Jeremiah were aimed at refuting the heathen beliefs and religious superstitions of the day. Those ancient beliefs were as real to the heathen as modern theories of the creation of the physical universe are to particle physicists.

In explaining Jeremiah’s verses, John Calvin (1509—1564) gives a very lengthy, but eloquent, argument paralleling Jeremiah’s position, by systematically dismantling the science and philosophy of his time. Though Calvin was arguing against some scientific theories that to us would seem absurd, his reasoning is founded on the surety that God is indeed the only causative power of the universe. He says, even a blind man, can eventually find his way out of a room by feeling, and just so, the physical theorists, blind to God, must recognize His supremacy and existence because, as the prophet declared, God is truth and life. Calvin concludes his argument, “doubtless there is life in us, and as we have life, we have an evidence of divinity; for who is so devoid of reason as to say that he lives through himself?” Perhaps Calvin was also refuting the early atheists. According to the latest Webster’s Dictionary the term “atheism” was coined in 1546. Atheistic views of creation still revolve around the belief that the big bang required no first cause, and therefore, God is unnecessary and irrelevant. It should be pointed out that Christian Science teaches that God is not the cause of matter and in fact, has nothing to do with it. Matter is a product of mortal belief not of God. God’s creation is spiritual.

The verses from Psalms parallel Jeremiah but extend to the continuity of creation. Creation, by its very existence, points us naturally to praise for the creator, and ensures that all is evolved and continually maintained by that same power. Again Calvin argues, “It would be absurd to suppose, that the heavens, having been once created by God, should now revolve by chance, and that things should be thrown into confusion upon the earth either at the will of men, or at random, when it is considered that it belongs to God to maintain and govern whatever he has created….”

Section 1: All Power Belongs to God
We begin the first section with a confirmation of God’s supreme power (B1). It is only fitting that we acknowledge this power and praise Him for it. We’re not to keep this acknowledgement to ourselves, but we are to declare it boldly to all men. The God of Israel isn’t viewed as being exclusive to one locality. He made and governs everything, and overrules every imaginary power men might invent. The Bible tells us “all the gods of the people are idols” (B2). According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the word rendered “idols” means “good for nothing.” Isaiah represents God as ready, able, and willing to meet every need. There is debate over whether or not the phrase, “Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the works of my hands command ye me” (B3) should be a question or a statement. Some pose it as God incredulously asking the people, “Do you have the nerve to ask me what I’m doing and command me?” While others, as in the King James Version, make it a statement of God showing His omnipotence, and inviting the people to utilize His power. Isaiah continues with another affirmation that God is the only authority and is alone responsible for all that happens in His universe.

Regarding citation B4, Methodist Joseph Benson (1749—1821) points out that the word “mind” is not in the Hebrew version of Job. Benson explains the verse means, “He is in one, namely, in one way, or purpose, or counsel.” Nothing influences God in any way. Whatever is done is so because God commands it.

As if to answer the question posed in the subject of the Lesson, our textbook states plainly, “God creates and governs the universe, including man” (S1). In complete agreement with the Scriptures, Mrs. Eddy proclaims the allness and singularity of God. Knowing God as “All-in-all” is the “starting point of divine Science” (S2). As noted in previous discussions of the Lessons “All-in-all” doesn’t mean God is “in” all. “All-in-all” is a phrase signifying “all things to a person, or everything desired” (Student’s Reference Dictionary). Modern scientific theories generally leave God out of causative discussions, or if they accept God at all, they say God made the laws of physics that govern the evolution of creation. In Christian Science matter and material laws are out of the picture. God’s creation doesn’t start with a big bang and the combining of elements. God’s creation is an unfolding of thought (S3). The very premise of a material universe is at odds with creation as understood in Christian Science.

As the idols of the people are “good for nothing,” so material theories are inadequate to explain the truth of creation, and are in fact detrimental to understanding the universe as created by God (S4, S5). Mrs. Eddy asserts that these theories have no standing in the presence of spiritual law, and are consumed by it. She completely eschews any notion of material evolution, and presents creation as an “impartation of the divine Mind” (S6).

Section 2: One Unified Family
People who have a relationship with God have the tendency to think their particular group or nation is special, or chosen. Traditionally these verses from Isaiah (B5, B6) are thought of as singling out the Children of Israel who have been scattered abroad on the earth. Some have felt that it means all the believers, and others think it means those who are pre-ordained to be saved. In the context of this Lesson, the prophet is addressing the whole of creation.

Humanly, great emphasis is placed on ancestry, bloodlines, and genetics. Does God have favorites? Not if God is universal. There are many troubled spots in the world today and it appears that certain groups are a threat to others. Does God save one group from another? How are we redeemed? And what do we need redeeming from?

Don’t we all need redeeming from the belief of nationalism, heredity, extremism, and blood feuds? Fear is the cause of many conflicts. Even those desiring to impose their way of life and religion on others are fearful to some degree that their way of doing things is under attack. So they lash out in a preemptive strike. Isaiah urges all of us to fear not. Each one of us is honorable and precious in His sight.

God calls every man and woman in every nation, to come together and join in His praise. We are all called by His name, and the ways and means of men perish in the presence of divine Love. The human paradigm is upside down. God made man, and made us spiritual.

To take this a step further, in addition to redemption from beliefs of nationalism, and bloodlines, there’s the larger need for all mankind to break free from the belief that man is the product of millions of years of evolution. We need to see that the entire human picture is a fallacious theory based on the belief of intelligent matter. We would do well to align with Elihu’s declaration “The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life” (B7).

Our textbook sets the record straight. God’s universe is filled with spiritual beings governed by divine Science (S7). We aren’t a bunch of warring, self-serving, clans or individuals fighting for survival of the fittest. We are intelligent, healthy, cooperative, peaceful offspring of infinite Mind. Nobody is excluded from God’s family. Each individual must act only according to God’s direction (S8).

Intelligent, lively, truthful, and loving ideas come from the one true spiritual Source. Evil, sickly, hateful, and sinful notions have no source at all, and cannot interfere with the real man. It’s impossible that man can originate from two opposing powers and premises (S9). As our Leader writes, contraries cannot both be real. “If one is real, the other must be unreal” (S10). We have to realize there is only one power at work.

It was no small matter for Mary Baker Eddy to take on Darwinism. It was the avant-garde theory of her day. It rocked traditional Christianity to its core, and began a debate that still continues. But Mrs. Eddy even-handedly explains that Darwin’s theory and Christian Science are working from two distinctly opposite standpoints. Christian Science explains that Mind, God, never produces matter nor enters it (S11). Evolutionary theory does not affect man’s development because man was never born into matter to begin with. The only “true theory of the universe, including man, is not in material history but in spiritual development” (S12). The spiritual and immortal explanation of man eliminates all theories of human origins and bloodlines, including genetics and evolution.

Section 3: All Things Are Possible to God
There is nothing outside of God’s law. No matter how entrenched so-called laws of matter might be, the law of God trumps them all (B8). Perhaps Hezekiah received the news of his impending demise in much the same way as one would if a physician pronounced to a patient that they had only a number of weeks to live. It seems to be an edict of unchangeable law. But who makes laws for man? God is the only lawgiver. God’s law is 100% consistent: “He will not afflict” (B9).

Upon hearing the prophet’s words of warning, Hezekiah turns to God and pours out his heart (B10). He clearly had an epiphany of some sort, for the prophet returns to tell him his prayers were effective and he would be healed. Hezekiah can hardly believe it, so he asks for a sign. When given the option, he chooses something that seems impossible to fulfill—that the shadow on the sundial goes backward ten degrees. Strangely, commentators spend a lot of time and ink trying to figure out what really happened. But the particulars aren’t the point. The point is God governs everything, and all things are possible to God. [God even turns back “the hands of time” in response to wholehearted prayers like Hezekiah’s. Our retroactive treatments can specifically “expunge” every false record of the past.]

Even what seems humanly or physically impossible is possible to God because the reality of His law nullifies the material picture. If we let material evidence dictate God’s ability to heal, we would think God to be completely subordinate to laws of physics and health. But Christian Science is only concerned with God’s unerring government (S13). Even the “suns and planets” are subject to divine Principle (S14). As a side note, I think it’s interesting that Mrs. Eddy uses the plural “suns.” She was way ahead of her time in every way. Hezekiah’s is one of many biblical stories that include spectacular events unexplainable by human conventions. A “miracle” is defined as “an event or effect contrary to the established constitution and course of things, or a deviation from the laws of nature” (SRD). Our Leader found such events not contrary to, but in accordance with God’s laws of order (S15).

As the planets’ positions have no power over man (S16), neither is disease an intelligence that can make laws for man (S17). Sometimes we talk of disease as if it is an intelligence in and of itself that’s after us, or has a personal vendetta against us. But disease is not intelligent at all. It’s neither an entity, a thing, or a mind. It’s just a name made up to categorize a material observation. It’s the result of a lie. God never gave it power, and we are under no obligation to believe or accept it. God and man are inseparable, and have an indestructible relationship (S18). Man never leaves harmony, nor comes back to it. He is held forever in perfect harmony and health according to God’s unchanging law. That’s all that ever was, and all that ever will be.

Section 4: Moral Power [the healing value of good cheer & forgiveness—see PS]
Bible commentators are quick to point out that Jesus began his ministry after returning victoriously from his struggle in the wilderness. His experience had strengthened his resolve, and proved his spiritual authority. Thus, he was filled with the power of the Spirit and ready for his mission (B11).

In healing the palsy (B12), Jesus was ready to prove dominion over both sickness and sin, addressing the man’s needs physically and morally. Adam Clarke (1760—1832) writes of this healing, “Moral evil has been the cause of all the natural evil in the world. Christ goes to the source of the malady, which is sin….” Clarke also points out that, “It was a maxim among the Jews that no diseased person could be healed till all his sins were blotted out.” Such a viewpoint could have the unintended effect of making us believe that every time we’re sick, we’re being punished for something. But that’s not necessarily true. Sickness is often no more than a blatant attack on God’s government. Clarke however, has a valid point when he writes, “It may be observed, also, that most people are more in earnest about their souls when in sickness than in health, and therefore are more earnest in prayer for salvation.” In this particular case of the palsied man, most commentators feel that, notwithstanding the Jews’ belief that sin and sickness were always connected, the man must have needed some moral regeneration or Jesus wouldn’t have begun by addressing his sins. The take away for us is that neither sin nor sickness has any place in God’s universe. Again quoting from Clarke: “…for God searches out and condemns all that does not spring from, and leads not to himself.”

Jesus questioned whether it was easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven.” Or to say, “Arise and walk.” Both options were equally provable to Jesus, for he knew that God’s man was neither sick nor sinful (S19, S20). The action of divine Principle dispels both sin and sickness as surely as light eliminates darkness because sickness and sin are not a presence, but a supposititious absence of health and righteousness, just as darkness is no more than an absence of light (S21).

In Christian Science we assert dominion over both sin and sickness as Jesus did. We know that a so-called illness is never physical—it’s always a mental suggestion. When praying, we’re upholding the perfection of God’s man, and as we realize there is no validity to physical ills, we also see that man is sinless, pure, and upright. This benefits the patient in every way (S22). Understanding the true idea of man, and that he is governed only by the divine Principle breaks the spell of sin and disease (S23).

Section 5: Nothing is Beyond God’s Control [even climate change… see PS2]
The power of prayer—of seeing things as God sees them—when applied to sickness or sin is reasonable to most of us, because most of us agree that we have a degree of control over our own thinking; but, what about challenges that seem to be beyond our control? What about environmental, geological, or meteorological challenges? We have to remember that it’s not our control that makes the difference, but the recognition of God’s control. God, as the Creator of all reality never relinquishes control of His own idea. Consequently, there is nothing beyond God’s unchanging law (B13, B14). The Israelites experienced that divine government many times including the parting of the Red Sea, and the commanding of the elements during Elijah’s confrontation with Ahab and Jezebel.

Jesus was absolutely sure of God’s supreme power. According to Bible commentators, the tempest that arose as Jesus and his disciples were in the sea was a sudden violent storm with winds whirling up and down (B16). I’ve seen sudden squalls come up and it almost looks as if time-lapse photography is happening before your eyes. The disciples are understandably concerned, and fear for their lives. Jesus however, wasn’t concerned at all.

I find it strange that while researching this story, several commentators believed that somehow Jesus both created and dispelled the storm to test the disciple’s faith. This view is due to the incorrect belief that Jesus was God in the flesh. Such a view misses the point that storms are not part of God’s plan at all. That’s why Jesus rebuked it. The belief of random, unexpected catastrophe happening as the result of physical forces would make matter its own lawgiver. Jesus knew that God alone governs all including atmospheric conditions. There have been several stories of Mary Baker Eddy also dispelling storms through the understanding of God’s allness.

As our textbook states: “In divine Science, the supposed laws of matter yield to the law of Mind” (S24). I’ve taken notice recently that Mrs. Eddy equates “mortal mind” with everything that opposes God. In this Lesson she writes, “Physical force and mortal mind are one.” In another recent Lesson she equated animal magnetism as the “specific term for error, or mortal mind” (S&H 103:18-19); and elsewhere she writes, “The material body, which you call me, is mortal mind…” (S&H 416:16 only). Throughout her writings the basic error is mortal mind. This mind believes that matter made and governs itself, or that God made matter—both of which are false because matter was never made.

Jesus was awakened to what seemed to be a chaotic, dangerous situation, but he didn’t let the flurry of wind and fear around him sweep him up with it. He remained in perfect peace and with a word, calmed the sea. That word was truly the Logos or Word of God that brought all things into being. Logos is the thought and the expression of thought. The Word of God is His law, and has absolute supremacy. Christian Science declares that same law (S25). It’s the same law Jesus applied to every untoward condition he faced. Laws of physics do not govern the earth and universe. Every so-called law must yield to the law of God. Christian Science is the practice of that law (S26, S27). As Jesus was undisturbed by the tumult surrounding him, so Christian Science remains unimpressed by material pictures, and continues to maintain God’s government (S28).

Section 6: God Reigns Supreme in His Kingdom
The Golden Text began with an acknowledgement of God’s great power. We finish with three expressions of praise from different periods of history. The common threads are God’s unparalleled magnificence, and absolute supremacy over all He has created. The psalmist points out that God’s work isn’t ordinary, but marvelous (B17); the Chronicler proclaims He is great, powerful, glorious, victorious, and majestic (B18); and Paul praises His eternal, immortal, invisible nature, and extols His wisdom. God is the undisputed ruler of His creation.

The realm of this Supreme Ruler is the Kingdom of Heaven (S29). In this heavenly realm, nothing exists to oppose or contradict divine law. It is totally one-sided. Our Leader held firmly that the kingdom of heaven is all there really is. Spirit and its opposite, matter, can never coexist even temporarily. Every theory that tries to join these opposites is mythological (S30). As we understand that God is the only Mind and controls all entirely, all material beliefs will vanish. Science and Health states, “Perfect and infinite Mind enthroned is heaven” (S31). Atomic force has nothing to do with God’s creation. To “evolve” means to “unfold, open, or expand.” There are no opposing forces in the kingdom of heaven to delay, contradict, or reverse the forever unfolding of God’s spiritual creation. Man’s relationship to God is fixed because God’s power is now, always was, and always will be.


[Cobbey Crisler PS1—Matt. 9:2-8—the healing value of good cheer, forgiveness:
Citation B12: “Verse 2, Chapter 9: ‘We have a man in bed with the palsy.” Can you imagine Jesus going by a man who had been that long without moving and telling him to “be of good cheer”? But there’s nothing Jesus said that he didn’t discern was needed. What that man needed, more than physical movement, was to be of good cheer. Jesus said, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.” Jesus knew at a glance the whole history of a case.”
(Verse 3). The scribes say, “This man blasphemes.” In order to get the healing, he has to eliminate the theological obstruction to healing first.
(Verse 5). He says, “What is easier? To say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?”
(Verse 6). “Because the Son of man does have power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy), Arise, take up thy bed, and he goes.”
Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master: A Tax Collector’s Report, p. 42-43
Check out a re-enactment skit written of this Matthew 9:2 healing by clicking the file in the upper right corner of CedarS online version of this Met.]


[Cobbey Crisler PS2 Matt. 8:16-26—Christ stills a storm & climate concerns:
Citation B16: In the stilling of the storm, we have an encouraging answer to today’s weather concerns. This was Jesus’ 4th proof by his works of his Messiahship. (Matthew's records a series of 10 such proofs after the Sermon on the Mount.)
“(Verse 26). Jesus “says, “Why are ye fearful,” immediately seeing the thought, reading the thought, “you of little faith.” He rebukes the wind and the sea; “and there was a great calm.” That tells us something about what it must mean in Genesis 1 (Verse 26) when man “was given dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air.” Is it possible? Is Jesus telling man it is possible that he can exercise dominion over the elements? He has within him the kingdom of heaven dominion that can be exercised over what looks (to be) outside of him…]
Book of Matthew, Auditing the Master: A Tax Collector’s Report , by B. Cobbey Crisler, p. 41, 42]


[Bracketed italics added by CedarS Director, Warren Huff, who’s forever grateful for all the good already received and LETTING 3 ONGOING NEEDS BE KNOWN –
Significant funding is still needed for these special opportunities:
1. It is apparent that getting many to camp will depend on "Love's Provision" of campership assistance.
Could you be one of the angels who gives towards camperships and the life-altaring and life-altering experiences they provide at CedarS?]

2. Over 100 needed items are featured on CedarS Giving Tree that could fit the budget of every grateful Met-recipient and camper. You can choose for yourself $1-and-up ways to give to support CedarS needs. Click here to see 2 young alumni tell their reasons to give.

3. Adopt the Herd” Matching Opportunity! Generous donors, aware of the ongoing need to care for CedarS herd, will match donations for our horse program! (~$15k needed to reach $50k goal)]

[The weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. However, current and planned gifts are a big help and are greatly appreciated in defraying the costs of running this service and of providing needed camperships, programs and operations support. Click http://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/ for more about how you can provide even monthly support online. Or you can always call the Huffs at 636-394-6162 get information or discuss privately how to transfer securities or other assets to help support and perpetuate CedarS work.]

[You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime by
PHONE at 636-394-6162
or MAIL your tax-deductible support to our 501-C-3 organization
(Our not-for-profit, Federal Identification Number is #440-66-3883):

The CedarS Camps, Inc.
1314 Parkview Valley Drive
Ballwin, MO 63011

THANKS TO YOU PRECIOUS DONORS FOR YOUR ONGOING, GENEROUS and NEEDED SUPPORT OF CedarS IMPORTANT WORK!

[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/ ]

[For additional "Director's Notes" on the history, development & 4 translations of CedarS weekly Bible Lesson "Mets" go to Notes in our online online version of it.]

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