INTRODUCTION OF NEW BLOG SERIES: During "Christian Science. What it is and how it heals" webinars, some questions I get to and others don't catch my attention until the hour is past. This "What say you?" series will address some of the leftover questions.
Keep in mind that these remarks are not meant to be exhaustive, but should merely serve as thought-starters for your own further research. One way to think more deeply about these questions is to ask yourself: "How might I answer?"
Do Christian Scientists use the same method for casting out demons as for healing the sick?
The method for casting out demons – evils, errors – is the same as in healing sickness, because sickness is a component of demonic belief. The terms “devil" and "devils" (King James Bible), "demon" and "demons” (New International Bible) have many definitions and uses in the Bible. The Glossary of Bible terms of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures brings together many of them:
“Devil. Evil; a lie; error; neither corporeality nor mind; the opposite of Truth; a belief in sin, sickness, and death; animal magnetism or hypnotism; the lust of the flesh, which saith: ‘I am life and intelligence in matter. There is more than one mind, for I am mind, — a wicked mind, self-made or created by a tribal god and put into the opposite of mind, termed matter, thence to reproduce a mortal universe, including man, not after the image and likeness of Spirit, but after its own image.’” (584)
Christ Jesus said, “These signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons.” (Mark 16:17 NIV). The King James Version uses the word “devils” for “demons” here. To heal in Christ’s name involves understanding and expressing the true Christ-nature as the reflection or manifestation of God, or Good. As one is roused through revelation, research, reason, prayer, and demonstration - from material beliefs about God, man, life and body, to understand Spirit and Spirit’s perfect, real and present creation, - errors in thought and practice are quite naturally cast out.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "He who has named the name of Christ, who has virtually accepted the divine claims of Truth and Love in divine Science, is daily departing from evil; and all the wicked endeavors of suppositional demons can never change the current of that life from steadfastly flowing on to God, its divine source." (Miscellaneous Writings, 19)
If matter is just human thought, then what is something that is discovered? Example: a star that we didn't know existed until an astronomer discovered it? Did the astronomer's human mind create the star?
I like these kinds of questions because they indicate a desire to reason deeply. True, Science and Health explains that matter exists only in a supposititious mortal consciousness. “Supposititious” is an interesting word because it means “designed to deceive." Mortal consciousness – that is limited thinking – tends to fold in on itself, to implode, when spiritual reasoning pushes beyond the confines of deceptive mortal beliefs.
How is the questioner seeing the star? Is it considered as a discovery of some previously existent matter form? Then, yes, he will one day have to admit that the material concept is self-created in a human, mortal consciousness, and therefore is limited and destructible. Science and Health explains, “Mortal mind sees what it believes as certainly as it believes what it sees. It feels, hears, and sees its own thoughts.” (86)
Scientific discovery in material heavenly bodies is no more accurate, real, nor true than scientific discovery in material human bodies. Detailed examinations of matter in both cases mislead the scientist who doesn't understand that matter exists only in a supposititious mortal consciousness. Hence he is self-deceived.
But does that mean we should flush all discovery within the vast and beautiful cosmos as if it means nothing? No. Spiritually considered, the cosmos and every element in it reflect the creativity and order of the divine universe, but not as chaotic, random matter. Even more, Spirit, the creator and source of all that is real, permanent and indestructible, maintains and reveals the identities of all Spirit's ideas,"from a blade of grass to a star, as distinct and eternal." (See Science and Health, 70)
Mrs. Eddy makes precise, “To take all earth’s beauty into one gulp of vacuity and label beauty nothing, is ignorantly to caricature God’s creation, which is unjust to human sense and to the divine realism. In our immature sense of spiritual things, let us say of the beauties of the sensuous universe: “I love your promise; and shall know, some time, the spiritual reality and substance of form, light, and color, of what I now through you discern dimly; and knowing this, I shall be satisfied. Matter is a frail conception of mortal mind; and mortal mind is a poorer representative of the beauty, grandeur, and glory of the immortal Mind.” (Miscellaneous Writings, Eddy, 87)
Stay tuned for more QAs on the blog.
I have practiced Christian Science professionally in
some form since 1979.
But my journey with
Christian Science started
in a Sunday school
where as a young child
I was taught the Scriptures and some simple basics
of Jesus' method of
scientific Christian healing.
A significant experience
at the age of twelve
opened my eyes to
the great potential
of this practice.
After impaling my foot
on a nail,
I prayed the way I had learned
in Sunday school.
the pain stopped
and healing began.
By the next morning the wound had disappeared completely.
the great potential
of Christian Science,
there would be no