ST. PAUL DIDN'T MINCE WORDS when it came to describing the world's hatred toward God. "The carnal mind." That's what he called the nature of this evil aggression. "The carnal mind is enmity against God" (Rom. 8:7). This is the belief that there is another power, an evil power. "The carnal mind" is a term indicating a rejection of the scriptural affirmation that God, the one divine Mind, is Almighty, all power.
Christ Jesus didn't mince words when he referred to this supposed evil mind's effort to defeat the Church he established, "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18). His Church was built on a rock. The foundation of his Church was the healing Christ. And he made it clear that nothing was going to bring Christian healing to a stop!
A decree, described in the book of Ezra, regarding a rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem didn't mince words either when it stated, "Let the work of this house of God alone" (Ezra 6:7). These directions carried authority. They were clear, strong, decisive, and designed to silence any opposition to work on the temple.
Today we can't afford to mince words in saying what must be said to forces determined to silence and even bring to a stop the Church in which primitive Christian healing is being cradled. Vigorous voices are needed to defend this babe of healing and the Church that nurtures it. Those voices come most effectively in a nontraditional way. They might be called the voices of solid demonstration. In other words, when enough healings happen, society takes note. People listen and hear.
I'm persuaded that the Church of Christ, Scientist, is the safest place on the planet for spiritual healing to be sheltered and nurtured. And I feel no doubt that this Church provides the most secure housing for those who love the idea of turning to God for healing. This is where the healing Christ will be uniquely safeguarded. This is the strongest protection from the carnal mind that would, if it could, gobble up Christian healing, "the babe we are to cherish" (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 370).
So where is this battle taking place—this contest between the forces of evil and the Church forwarding the revelation of healing that destroys evil? Three of the most powerful arenas of human thought are science, theology, and medicine. Taken at their best, these three have immense potential to encourage the blossoming of Christian healing. Science is the pursuit of Truth. Its holy spiritual purpose is revelation—bringing reality to light. Theology gives us our love of God, our understanding of His pure, perfect presence. Medicine is the sacred consciousness of health and wholeness, impelled by the Mind that knows our permanent well-being.
The Bible helps us understand the profound nature of good. But it also illustrates again and again, how the carnal mind would attempt to distort or disrupt the ways divine Love would bring the practical healing Christ to individual lives. And this describes exactly what has happened within science, theology, and medicine. In other words, all three of these grand avenues leading heavenward have been infiltrated to some extent by the carnal mind's claims of authority and its antagonism, which aggressively opposes what is divine. In fact, all three have slowed down our spiritual journey. They have taken on some measure of the carnal mind's agenda toward God and His Christ, toward the Church with its divine method of healing.
• Science, the search for Truth, would now insist on the premise that matter, physicality, has life, substance, and intelligence. (As Mary Baker Eddy put it: "The universal belief in physics weighs against the high and mighty truths of Christian metaphysics. This erroneous general belief, which sustains medicine and produces all medical results, works against Christian Science; ..." (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 155).
• Theology would have us believe that God has caused, or at least permits today, a flawed creation of suffering and even potential devastation.
• Medicine would educate us into believing that drugs are our savior. It would advertise us into a life of dependence on matter.
Any individual may feel frustrated over an issue, experience a degree of resentment about a rude remark, have a touch of envy when thinking about what others have attained. But the aggressive suggestion that the carnal mind claims to have invaded an individual's thoughts and feelings doesn't mean he or she can't be redeemed, restored, transformed. And gratefully, that's a parallel with what is now happening in the fields of science, theology, and medicine. These three areas deserve to be valued, cherished, and leavened.
We shouldn't be naive about what's involved in defeating evil nor should we be intimidated.
In the chapter "Science, Theology, and Medicine," Science and Health refers to Jesus' parable of the woman who placed leaven in three measures of meal. This leaven—the Comforter or divine Science—continues through the ages, and "It must destroy the entire mass of error ..." [emphasis added]. The book goes on to point out: "In their spiritual significance, Science, Theology, and Medicine are means of divine thought, which include spiritual laws. ... The parable may import that these spiritual laws, perverted by a perverse material sense of law, are metaphysically presented as three measures of meal,—that is, three modes of mortal thought." And yet, "... the leaven of Spirit changes the whole of mortal thought ..." (p. 118).
Yes, the rules and government in these three avenues of thought are in flux. Regardless of appearances, we are moving toward the laws of Spirit. We are moving away from the carnal mind's effort to pervert these divine laws.
In this age a woman has provided a church to place the leaven of Spirit, the Comforter, into science, theology, and medicine. And the carnal mind is fiercely challenging the Church. It is attempting to use these three institutions to thwart the Church's healing mission. It has been said that organized evil isn't effectively met by random acts of goodness. The world needs an organized church. It needs a church that fosters not random acts of cure but an orderly and systematic approach to Christian healing. The Church of Christ, Scientist, is the indispensable organization that faces down the carnal mind and its efforts to distort science, theology, and medicine. This Church has been designed and organized in a way to confront evil with healing—in a way that will truly defeat it. In a way that nothing else can.
We shouldn't be naive about what's involved in defeating evil nor should we be intimidated. I have a friend who refuses to be bullied by evil. He'll say, "Oh, that's nothing but a bunch of Gashmu." If you're puzzled over that comment, with a little Old Testament research you'll find that Gashmu was one of those individuals who tried to discourage Nehemiah from rebuilding the crumbling temple wall. But Nehemiah was unwilling to come down from the work, unwilling to react to Gashmu's ridicule, plots of violence, and lies about this vital mission. Nehemiah went forward with the job at hand to give the people what they most needed. In one sense, what evil is imposing on science, theology, and medicine is nothing but a bunch of Gashmu!
The world is in urgent need of Christian healing. The Church is here to defend this "babe" until finally science, theology, and medicine are entirely freed from the forces of evil. Then those three modes of thought will acknowledge and support a large-scale rejoicing in the fullness of Truth, the reality of God, the beauty of real healing. All who stand for this Church, its teachings, its sheltering of Christian healing, need to let their demonstrations be a virtual voice. It is the voice of healing that powerfully rejects the carnal mind, shouts down the gates of hell, courageously lifts on high those ringing words, "Let the work of this house of God alone!" We just won't mince words.
More of a battle is raging than most people realize. To whom do science, theology, and medicine belong? The carnal mind or the divine Mind? Who are you shouting for and how loud are you shouting? The stakes are higher than most people realize. The woman who founded the Church of Christ, Scientist, knew the institution would feed leaven (or what might be called a "spiritual status") into the meal. She saw what would happen. She described it this way, "The spiritual status is urging its highest demands on mortals, and material history is drawing to a close" (No and Yes, p. 45).
As the curtain closes, as it drops down, we each need to decide on which side of it we will be standing.
Nate Talbot is a Christian Science practitioner and teacher. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.