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Evil isn’t

From the June 2014 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Rather than being overcome by an almost incessant clamor of malice and immorality in the world around us, is it possible to see things more deeply and spiritually, beholding plainly and in a healing way the omnipotent power of God and our own dominion as reflections of Him?

When a person turns for help to the dual pastor of Christian Science—the Bible and Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures—and begins a deeper study of these books’ profound ideas about the wonder and allness of God, he or she soon naturally starts to understand that death, sin, and sickness aren’t authentic as they appear to be. Often it’s not long before one becomes overjoyed by the dawning truth that, in the light of God’s encompassing allness, evil isn’t a real thing at all; it’s a term for absolutely nothing. In other words, God is. Evil isn’t.

Oh, but hang on. Evil isn’t real? It surely seems real. Many thoughtful people would say that there are times when it seems and even feels really, really real! Well, we won’t presume to cover all the intricacies of this concept in one single article.

What if, though, this statement about God in the Bible is actually true? “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last” (Revelation 22:13). Let’s consider for a moment that this kind of allness, gratefully, would preclude any other force or presence.

Is it possible that since God, good, is eternally all, that a lie about God being absent, mistakenly accepted and believed, is the very definition of evil? In other words, if God is present and all, which He most certainly is, then evil must be nothing. As you gain the higher and broader view of things in the light of the Alpha and Omega—the ever-presence and authority of God—you’ll find that this view heals, redeems, and restores.

In your study of Science and Health, you’ll quickly notice that words such as error, mortal mind, shadow, and animal magnetism are not terms employed by Mary Baker Eddy to make any reality out of evil. Those terms are there to expose some particular guise of the lie of evil, whether it is coming to us as a horrible feeling, a repetitive, maybe shocking mental picture, or depressing words—lies that would imply a power other than God, Love.

Here is something worth thinking about: If the goodness that is God truly is all, then before death, sin, or illness can even have the appearance of being real—whether on a body or in a world—they first must be introduced into thought. Once they are believed, they then appear to be real to you. You see what you believe, as the saying goes. That is why watching thought is important. Jesus warned, “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation” (Mark 14:38). And he observed, “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things” (Matthew 12:35).

A better question is, “God, if You are all and evil isn’t, will You please help me and reveal to me more about this?”

Certainly, then, bringing thought into line with the loving influence of God is a vital daily objective. Take a moment to stop and rejoice whenever you find yourself doing this. To be in control of your thought means that you are in control of your experience. All the mistaken beliefs on earth in death, sin, or disease can’t become a part of human experience unless they are permitted entrance.

How do we keep thought clear and clean? By allowing it to remain filled with the intelligence and truth of God. Mary Baker Eddy knew this and wrote in one of her poems, “Fill us today / With all thou art” (Poems, p. 29). Prayer in action is to allow God to fill one’s thoughts with ideas, views, and feelings of reality and goodness—of unchanging and absolute truth. Doing this is to practice Christian Science healing.

A good illustration of how this all works happened to me when I was inadvertently struck in the face by a very hard-thrown baseball. I hope I can properly describe what a life-changing moment that was for me! The pain and damage felt very real. Yet, what predominated in those first seconds was my love for God. The joy of God’s presence just filled my thought. Everything else was, in a way, excluded. In the omniaction of God, I just couldn’t agree with the suggestion of some evil action. There was no need for recovery. Immediately, I was perfectly fine. Everyone watching there that day was happily stunned. It’s not that the power of God caused real evil to go away. It was the power of God that operated within thought, revealing that an “evil” accident wasn’t actually real in the first place.

You, I, and everyone everywhere, as immortal creations of God, are at one with God, and at one with nothing else. “This mortal seeming is temporal; it never merges into immortal being, but finally disappears, and immortal man, spiritual and eternal, is found to be the real man” explains Science and Health on page 190. It’s worth it to let the beautiful truth that God, and God only, is present remain in the forefront of thought. Evil just isn’t. Any other perspective isn’t factual. It’s simply what is defined as an error, a mistake about God’s creation—and that’s all it ever will be. Evil’s seeming legitimacy can only seem so in belief, not in actuality. And we don’t need to be afraid of errors and mistakes—that which is only belief and not actuality.

You can’t get anywhere asking God why evil is real, or even seems real. A better question is, “God, if You are all and evil isn’t, will You please help me and reveal to me more about this?” Again, we can pray, “Fill us today / With all thou art.” You’re on the right track whenever you do this. In every corner of every place and in every corner of thought, be filled to overflowing with a love for God. Everything that God is remains all that is present. Can you see how profoundly this blesses you and the world?

Mark Swinney is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher, who teaches his classes in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He’s also a member of the Christian Science Board of Lectureship.

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