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Feel upheld and supported constantly as God's one and only, true creation--spiritual man

Kerry Jenkins, C.S., House Springs, MO
Posted Monday, May 1st, 2017

[Feel upheld and supported constantly as God's one and only, true creation--spiritual man.]
Metaphysical Application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

"Adam and Fallen Man"
For May 7, 2017

by Kerry Jenkins, CS, House Springs, MO
kerry.helen.jenkins@gmail.com (314) 406-0041

[Please consider CedarS TOP NEEDS OF THE WEEK: at end.]

How can we feel that we are close to our Father-Mother? What can we do so that we are not feeling somehow that we are "on our own", here, figuring out how to handle all the suggestions that come to us each day telling us that we are somehow less than God's spiritual, beloved, creation? The Golden Text in this week's lesson opens with the phrase "...I will walk among you, and be your God, and ye shall be my people..." If someone is "walking among you", they are involved in our life. They are here, living with us, walking next to us, guiding. Sometimes we are really being asked to choose what kind of God we want to worship. Is it the God traditionally portrayed in the titles of recent Bible lesson subjects—one who punishes, tests? Or in this week's subject, one who tempts and then condemns His children when they are overcome by this temptation? This is not the God that Jesus revealed in his missionary work, nor the God that Paul preaches, certainly not the God that we find in our study of Christian Science. All of these Christian Science Bible lessons help us to get a clearer picture of the true nature of God as Love. It is not that traditional theology "has it all wrong". Certainly there is a strong belief in a God of Love. But mingled with that picture, there is also quite a bit of contradiction, mystery, unexplained dichotomy. This confusion makes God difficult to understand, an undependable creator and governor of man. It makes His creation uncertain as to where good comes from, and just how reliable it is. In short, false theology makes God mysterious and His creation material and mostly "on our own". This Bible lesson informs us that we are spiritual, upright (righteous, whole, perfect), and that God does indeed govern this true creation.

The overriding sense of the Responsive Reading is that God can be trusted to fill us with love, goodness, truth. His creation is worthy of praise and, of course, that is all that He could possibly make—praiseworthy life, laws that are just and good. He couldn't make anything ugly, violent, sick, dead or subject to death. Now we get to find out how that truth relates to us in our present experience [and how it heals instantly and permanently as noted by Cobbey Crisler in PS#1.]

Section 1: The ideal man/woman is perfect and complete.

We should not be confused by the Bible term "perfect". It simply means whole or complete. We are never talking, in Christian Science, about human perfection, or perfectionism. That is a wholly material idea, unachievable, and frequently damaging to our concept of who we are. When we get wrapped up in trying to be humanly good or perfect, we are no longer focusing on God, or Love. We are wholly looking inward to a material sense of self as separate, as containing our "own" goodness or evil. The pressure we can then feel to achieve can become unbearable and lead to self inflicted problems of all kinds. Likewise, if we accept for ourselves that we are failing, imperfect mortals, we can find ourselves overwhelmed by "our own" evil or poor performance, and see only our own personal "inability" to rise above this view. Either way, we become crushed, bent over with the weight of trying to take personal responsibility for achieving 'something' separately from God. But this lesson gives us a different view of man. It emphasizes throughout, the upright nature of man and the freedom that God has bestowed on us. Citation B2 is so familiar to most Christian Scientists as the proclamation of our true, spiritual nature as God's image and likeness. Notice that he created male and female on equal footing, at the same time. There wasn't an incomplete man, then a woman who is dependent on man, a "lesser piece" of man (represented as rib in Section 2). No, creation, male and female, is complete, whole, perfect! Do a full stop here, this is the only creation there is. We state the truth right here at the beginning of the Bible lesson. One creator—one creation (S2). Subsequent sections help us to more clearly identify the dreams and lies, helping us to see them for what they are!

Section 2: Spiritual creation gives clarity; material creation is full of confusion (mist).

I admit that sometimes it is tempting to look for easy answers to difficult problems. We do need to dig deeper, spiritually, to answer many of today's most pressing issues in society. There are also times when we tend to get much more complicated than we need to. Material sense prides itself on having answers to many of life's most difficult questions. But the answers we get from material sense lead to an endless stream of more questions. In the infinite realm of Spirit, we also have infinite depths of unfolding good to discover. These deep wells of inspiration are interesting, fulfilling, joyous, rewarding. But the questions that material sense proposes lead only to more confusion, sadness, dissatisfaction. This is what we have in citation B3. Creation is complete, whole, good. But material sense doesn't like that this declaration seems not to answer those nagging suggestions: "why does there appear to be evil?". So, the story of Adam and Eve is born. This allegory gives voice to the doubts and fears of humanity about why we seem to be in the condition that we are in. It looks at the evidence before material sense and says, "Where did this evil come from!". As an allegory, Adam and Eve's story certainly does address quite neatly most of the physical and mental challenges that humanity faces. Today, we might attribute woman's childbirth/female issues as born of physique and not her disobedience to God, man's struggle to make a living, as economic, societal, or educational rather than caused, again, by disobedience. But the kind of "story" that explains these evils matters little in the end. It is still a story, made up to explain why we seem to see and experience evil. This article by Laurence Doyle uses a mathematical analogy for answering this question to good effect; maybe you will find it helpful in moving forward in your search for answers to this question of evil: https://sentinel.christianscience.com/issues/2006/2/108-9/do-the-spiritual-math .
I often like to think of this in terms of the idea that we are actually asking the wrong question when we get stuck in an allegorical thought loop. If the answer to the problem is wrong (evil appears real), no amount of pondering where the error comes from will satisfy us. Only truth can settle a question. In the end it is healing through Christian Science that truly gives us our answer to this question. Some months ago on the way to a lunch date at a friend's house after church, our youngest, Charlie, started to feel very ill and like he was going to throw up. Normally I'd just head home in such a circumstance, but I felt led to continue to our friend's home. They are Christian Scientists too, and I took him to their bedroom and began reading to him from the definition of man from Science and Health (S&H). In this definition it tells us a fact that is very much in opposition to our material senses. It says on page 475: "Man is not matter; he is not made up of brain, blood, bones, and other material elements." There is nothing in material sense that will back up this statement. But Charlie and I read this together and talked about all the times when we have felt God with us (walking "among" us as in the Golden Text). That God, Love, never made this error of our senses that could inform us that we feel awful or ill. We talked about what we were grateful for. But most of all, I read this definition slowly and used it as a basis for my prayer for him. Within just a short time he went from tears, and holding a bowl close to his mouth, to smiles and eating lunch. He raced out to play cars and other such things with his brothers and friend. There was no recovery, no time that went by to feel better. [See W’s PS#1.] It was a perfect example of the falsity of material sense. We were not getting rid of a sickness in his body; we were uncovering the truth of his spiritual creation and bearing witness to that! This is clarity, harmony and peace that a material, allegorical creation will never give us.

Section 3: "...knowledge gained from matter" is a lie.

Matter can promise us a lot of things. In citation B4 the serpent promises Adam and Eve that they will have special knowledge that God has kept from them—the knowledge of good and evil. What does the serpent promise you? For each of of us, this "serpent" speaks as our own voice, tempting us with promises: we'll be happier if we eat this—do this—know about this—experience this—have "these" friends. "Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love." Mrs. Eddy tells us on page 57 of S&H—born of God. Pick your "poison"—are you someone who does the wrong thing to get the "right" friends? Have you ever eaten way more of something than you truly want or need because you just feel like you want it at that moment, and then are left feeling uncomfortable and unhappy because of that overindulgence, rather than happier and more satisfied? That is because any time we are motivated by material sense, we are living in that dream of false promises. This doesn't mean we can't have great friends, eat chocolate, and so on. It means that our motives need to come from Love, from purity and goodness—not from self-gratification, fear, loneliness, frustration, and so on. God gives us absolutely everything good; He is the "open fount" that is spoken of in S&H p.13 where she quotes Isaiah 55:1. We can prove this for ourselves! Turn to spiritual sense, to the real story of creation. Let's turn to our wholeness and start from that spiritual basis of completeness. This is where Jesus started each of his powerful healings as recorded in the Bible. We can start there too.

Take a look at citation S12 where Mrs. Eddy speaks of how a literal view of this allegory would "...imply that God withheld from man the opportunity to reform...". Now put yourself in the position of a parent (even if you're not one!). What kind of parent would have a child, (here we are speaking in terms of material creation, of course), then tempt that child with something—put it right in front of him (in the center of the garden!). Make sure this tempting thing is shiny and bright! Maybe your could think of it as a big bowl full of favorite candy. Now what kind of parent would you be if you told your child, don't ever touch this bowl of candy, it has to stay there forever and you can never take any of it! Then you leave the child, the child takes some candy and you condemn them forever to suffer as a "sinner"?! That would be a truly terrible parent! First of all, we don't "tempt" our children (think of the Lord's Prayer, "lead us not into temptation" and Mary Baker Eddy's spiritual interpretation of that verse: "God leadeth us not into temptation..." (S&H p. 17). And secondly, wouldn't we expect, help, and encourage our children to grow in their understanding of good, to spiritualize their desires, to discover more of their true nature and not forever hold them in place—as failing sinners? God doesn't get involved in dreams and lies. God is the source of a perfect unfolding creation.

Section 4: A material origin for man cannot praise God.

In this story of the man born blind from citation B7, the disciples ask the age old question about how the man ended up that way. It's not different from the "where did evil come from " question I mention in Section 2. Jesus turns them away from the false origin of sin on the part of either the man or of his parents, and says that this is really an opportunity to glorify God through revealing the true man. This is a great lesson for each of us today when we feel frustrated by a long-standing or even life-long challenge. We can rejoice in the fact that we are only given glorious opportunities to praise God, to reveal our wholeness, our spiritual, present perfection. Jesus, as we know, spits on the dust, symbolically challenging [and showing his contempt for] the suggestion of dust/matter as man's origin, and heals the man after the fellow washes off that dusty belief of life in matter—of dust-man identity. (Refer to Warren's Cobbey Crisler notes below.) It may be making too much of this, but I think it's interesting to note that Jesus asks the blind man to go and wash off that clay himself. He gives him a role to play in ridding himself of this false conception of man as materially made. Jesus gave us this example to follow when faced with our own challenges. Maybe we can think of these as some steps to take in treating a stubborn suggestion. We can "spit" on that dust idea of man, and then wash away false origins, purify our thinking about ourselves and others. Get a clearer sense of man as created spiritually, in His image. We can think of this work as spiritual baptism, an essential element of healing! Citation S21 confirms this kind of prayer by repeating Jesus' declaration that the kingdom is within us—not matter, genetics, or any other erroneous suggestion.

Section 5: True man lives in Christ (not in matter).

Citation B8 announces in the present tense that Christ makes us alive. That kind of spiritual creation is a continuous and eternal process. We are eternal ideas, not temporary, here and gone. There are not two creations, one spiritual and one material, or even one that partakes of both. The young man in this section is raised up from death by Paul through the recognition that his life was never truly in matter. I love this inclusion in our lesson this week as it continues the theme of uprightness, raising up, and even being unfallen, which is the literal opposite of what appears to have happened in this story! Again, it is the material sense testimony that must be set aside to make room for the true, spiritual sense of man's life as whole, complete, indestructible. If we understand that we were never born into matter, then we cannot depart from it in a process of death. We find that it is God's law of harmony to which we are subject, rather than so-called laws of matter. Paul was ideally suited to share this with his congregation. He was a perfect example of someone who discovered his own spiritual identity in Christ when Jesus spoke to him on his way to Damascus. He realized that Christly living is the only true living, and that such life cannot be ended by violent means. That Christ has continued to thrive throughout the centuries before and after Jesus, who so clearly embodied Christ.

Section 6: The real man is forever upright.

We are not crawling out of the "slime" in some Darwinian model of development. Nor are we springing from dust, egg, or anything else material. We are now and forever "...rising higher and higher from a boundless basis." (S28) What a glorious depiction of man as idea, infinite, forever developing, never going "back" to dust or even a part of some kind of material cycle of "life", however "beautiful" some may find this idea. Instead we exist in eternity, not "eternal material beings", but eternal spiritual ideas of God, with every detail of our identity ever unfolding in completeness, perfection, and infinite variety. We aren't enslaved to a dust concept of creation, or the contemporary medically-scientific model. We are free and unbowed by such a weighted, limited understanding of man. We stand upright, strong, and free!


[Warren’s (W’s) PS#1—Cobbey Crisler notes on Ps. 33:9, 11 (RR)
“Psalms Chapter 33, Verse 9 … alludes to the swiftness of God's treatment. It’s not a process, according to the Bible. It’s not recuperation. It’s not convalescence, or gradual recovery. "He spake, and it was [done]." In case we have had room in our thinking for a possibility of relapse, it is stated, "He commanded, and it stood fast.” No side effects, no after effects.
In Verse 11, "The advice or counsel of the LORD stands" for how long? "For ever." What good is that, if we aren't there forever to receive such advice? "The thoughts of his heart to all generations." What good are God's thoughts unless those are the potions we are supposed to be taking, imbibing, ingesting. God's thoughts, His potions. Take them, eat them up, drink them in. That makes the Bible a pharmacopoeia which is a word the dictionary says describes "preparations issued by official authority and recognized as a standard." [Voice from audience] Pharmacopoeia, which is a word that in its ordinary meaning without uplifting it to what the Bible would require of the term anew would just simply be an authority to which one would turn to know where the remedies all are.”]
Leaves of the Tree: Prescriptions from Psalms” by B. Cobbey Crisler

[W’s PS#2—Cobbey Crisler’s notes on John 9:1-7 (citation B7)
“John 9:2. “who did sin? (A) This fellow over here? Or (B) his parents?”
John 9:3. Jesus had that paper before him as in the examination room on that point many times before. “He says, (C), none of the above… [Or as Warren proposes (D) DNA (DeoxyriboNucleic Acid (DNA) the molecule that supposedly carries encoded genetic instructions Does Not Apply!)] Neither hath this man sinned or his parents.” What’s that saying about origin? Where is that man? His roots are not in parents or in some reincarnated experience…”
Notice what he does in John 9:6 and what it may remind you of. “He spat on the ground, made clay of the spittle.” That reminds you of man being made of the dust in the Second Chapter of Genesis Verse 6 and 7, doesn’t it? Would Jesus ever [by spitting show contempt for or] mock God if he considered that was the real way that creation occurred? Yet, it almost looks like a mockery of that. He’s taking on that concept of the man of dust. He’s spitting on that ground, into the dust, making clay of it, and slapping it on the eyes of the blind man.
John 9:7. The man goes to the pool of Siloam. He can’t see his way there. He’s got mud all over his face. He doesn’t go seeing. He comes seeing.” He comes only after he has washed off that symbolic making or formation of man out of the dust.
In a way, it might even give us a greater hint on what the true meaning of baptism is, the immersion in Spirit, nativity, and washing off every trace of the dust man.”
“Book of John, A Walk with the Beloved Disciple” by B. Cobbey Crisler

**You can buy your own transcripts and audio recordings of most of Cobbey’s 28 talks at a new website: www.crislerlibrary.co.uk Please email your order or inquiry to office@crislerlibrary.co.uk, or directly to Janet Crisler, at janetcrisler7@gmail.com]


[TOP NEEDS OF THE WEEK: (Tractor's mowing! Horses being trained! Double THANKS!!)
1) $15k for needed Bible Lands Park (BLP) upgrades: $7.5k for BLP shade structure to replace by 20-yr old “Tabernacle (tent) in the Wilderness”; and, $7.5k for Bible-verse-pavers on “Paul’s Trail” so BLP visitors and Cable Skiers can hourly “Walk in the Way of the Word”.
2) $2k for a key repair (in $50 increments) to replace (recently discovered) deteriorating subfloor and tile in a large Settlers House bathroom. (Matched!)

3) $3k for grass around our new Sports Center before camp (in $50 sections). Volunteers welcome and coming on remaining May weekends to lay sod 14 feet out from the wrap-around porch where construction was just done to stop mud tracking. (Too late for seed to become lawn before our Memorial Weekend Grand Opening! –Matched!)


Thanks to earlier outpourings of love and support, CedarS is doing other needed Maintenance work before our 56th season, our "adopted" herd of horses are also being well cared for, AND a growing stream of campership applications are being granted. However, we still need donations of about $100,000 more to grant the campership requests that traditionally come during this season. We also need $13.2k to meet our $50k match for Adopt the Herd! (CedarS Adopt the Herd matching fund opportunity goes through the end of our fiscal year, 9-30-17.) Thank each of you grateful for this service and our work, way beyond words and whinnies, for your much-needed MONTHLY gifts, past and ongoing, able to be given at: www.cedarscamps.org/giving ]

[You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime to discuss current credit card and equity gifts as well as planned giving at our winter home/office 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 Office
1314 Parkview Valley Drive
Ballwin, MO 63011

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

[CedarS 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. But, 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.

[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.]

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