"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32

Thought for the Week - click here for last week's message 

ARE SIN, DISEASE, AND DEATH REAL? 

The fact that Mary Baker Eddy ordained three lessons (Reality, Unreality, and Are Sin, Disease and Death Real?) to be read in sequence each fall and spring, indicates how important she felt it was to establish convincingly that God is not the author of any discord or ill.  There is no other source or creator, so we can safely conclude that such ills are not authentic, not fearsome, but are mistaken human beliefs to be corrected with Truth.  This conclusion accords with the first Chapter in Genesis where we read that “God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” (Gen. 1:31) 

Yes, the Adam and Eve account follows in Genesis 2-4.  But most Bible Scholars agree that Noah was the first actual character in the Bible, and his ark (or parts of it) have been located on Mount Ararat.  So let’s resolve not to be deceived, but to understand God’s will or purpose and thus be “filled with the Spirit” (Eph.5:18)   Let’s resolve to do what we read in Proverbs:  “Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.” (Prov.23:23)  

Then we will be dwelling “in the secret place of the most High” and abiding “under the shadow of the Almighty.”  (Ps.91:1)   Mary Baker Eddy puts it this way:  “All reality is in God and His creation, harmonious and eternal.  That which He creates is good, and He makes all that is made.  Therefore, the only reality of sin, sickness, or death is the awful fact that unrealities seem real to human, erring, belief, until God strips off their disguise.  They are not true, because they are not of God.” (S&H  472:24-30)   Yes, the “vigorous claims of evil” can seem very real “until the Science of man’s eternal harmony breaks their illusion with the unbroken reality of scientific being.”  (S&H 494:18)   

We don’t have to make Truth true!  We simply have to know it, even in the face of what appears contrary and sometimes startling.  Mrs. Eddy assures us:  “The eternal Truth  destroys what mortals seem to have learned from error, and man’s real existence as a child of God comes to light.’ (S&H 288:31-1)   That “existence as a child of God” has always been the only reality.  The Psalmist must have known this, because he writes of God:  “He is my refuge and fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”  Therefore none of us need be “…afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flieth by day.” (Ps.91:2,3,5)  

It should be obvious that sin, sickness, and death are NOT as real as Life, Truth, and Love!  And that evil cannot proceed from good.  Therefore, the evils Jesus came to destroy are not God-derived and so must be false.   It should be obvious that “We sustain Truth, not by accepting, but by rejecting a lie.”  And that “Since God is All, there is no room for His unlikeness.” (S&H 356:5-6 and 339:7)   

How, then, do we overcome what seems to be evil?  By good.  The Psalmist put it this way:  “Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;  There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” (Ps.91:9-10)   Christ Jesus proved this when he healed the Canaanite women’s daughter of what appeared to be a devil.  (Matt. 15:21-30) So, the answer to the question posed by this lesson is simply NO!   Or as Mrs. Eddy puts it:  “God is as incapable of producing sin, sickness, and death as He is of experiencing these errors.”  (S&H 356:19-21) 

It follows that man, made in God’s likeness, cannot be subject to any negative beliefs.   She also writes:  “Truth is affirmative, and confers harmony.  All metaphysical logic is inspired by this simple rule of Truth, which governs all reality.” (S&H 418: 20-22)   Jesus proved this by restoring a young man named Eutychus who appeared to have died from a fall.  As Mrs. Eddy promises:   “We can, and ultimately shall, so rise as to avail ourselves in every direction of the supremacy of Truth over error, Life, over death, and good over evil…” 

Yes, “Every day makes its demands upon us for higher proofs rather than professions of Christian power.  These proofs consist solely in the destruction of sin, sickness, and death by the power of Spirit, as Jesus destroyed them.  This is an element of progress, and progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfil.” Yes, we can rejoice here and now that we are subject only to the divine “powers that be.” (S&H 233:1 and 249:8-9)  And that the only power of evil is to destroy itself.    

Jamae van Eck