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Metaphysical Application Ideas for The Christian Science Bible Lesson on

 Adam and Fallen Man
for May 1 through May 7, 2023

by Christie C. Hanzlik, C.S.,
Boulder, CO • • 720-331-9356 •


As I understand it, this week’s Bible Lesson on “Adam and Fallen Man” explores why we seem to fall for false opinions, how to keep ourselves from falling for false opinions over and over, and how to protect ourselves from the damage false opinions seem to cause. The Golden Text comes from the prophet Elijah, who says, “… How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him;” (GT, I Kings 18:21)

Elijah makes it sound so simple. If we know what’s good and true and right, why would we seem to struggle with false opinions?

For the past year or so, I’ve been striving to let go of all opinions. Let me explain. We tend to form opinions because we feel that we have either data or experiences that legitimize our viewpoint. But as we acknowledge divine Mind to be the source of all true knowledge then mere opinion—even if it is seems to be very well researched—becomes a flimsy foundation. In other words, when we start from a premise that all good and true ideas originate with divine Mind, then opinions from another source are mere opinion. As Mary Baker Eddy states in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “In Christian Science mere opinion is valueless.” (SH, p. 341:11)

Being strongly opinionated, or having lots of opinions, is the opposite of humility, because humility means, in part, accepting divine Mind as our source for all knowledge and strength. True humility, in contrast, would mean accepting divine Mind, divine Truth, as the source of all knowledge, and letting go of “mere opinion.” When we are strongly opinionated, we seem to be more susceptible to trickery, like the trickery of the sneaky serpent in the Garden of Eden myth.

In my experience, the practice of letting go of opinions necessitates being alert to opinions that try to creep into thought as truth. For example, when I notice sneaky stray thoughts that are limiting or less than loving about a neighbor, a stranger, a friend, a family member or even about myself then I tag that thought as “mere opinion,” and try to reject them. The key is noticing the sneaky opinions. “Mere opinions” often begin with statements like, “She’s the type of person who….” Or, “He’s the type of person who …”   Or, “I’m the type of person who….”  These statements tend to be limiting and restrictive, and not from divine Truth. It is so freeing to let these go! And, as we learn in this week’s Bible Lesson, it is never too late to overturn a false opinion, or sneaky-snake opinion, even if we seem to have bought in—or bit in—to it temporarily.

In addition to personal opinion, I am striving to let go of hygiene opinion, medical opinion, biological opinion, political opinion, and so forth. Each time I’m tempted to have a strong political opinion, for example, I recall that divine Truth is the one true government of all nations and Truth’s Law of Adjustment is taking place, so I can let go of opinionated-ness and thus get out of Truth’s way. Letting go of opinions can seem like an ever-evolving project, but I have noticed an expanded sense of love for others and greater freedom from agitation. Note that the practice of letting go of opinions may mean going on a news-fast—this means abstaining from the news—as most news media and social media seems to feeding us an unhealthy portion of opinion. This is one of many reasons to appreciate the Christian Science Monitor’s “News and Values” option that allows readers to select news to read based on positive values like “cooperation” and “perseverance.”

The Responsive Reading is a call to arms to examine where our thoughts originate. Do they originate from the “Tree of Knowledge (opinions)” or from the “Tree of Life”? (Genesis 2: 9) The “Tree of Knowledge” as it’s described in Genesis 2 as the source of knowledge (or opinions) of good and evil that would seem to separate us divine Mind. Mary Baker Eddy defines this type of knowledge. She writes, “Knowledge. Evidence obtained from the five corporeal senses; mortality; beliefs and opinions; human theories, doctrines, hypotheses; that which is not divine and is the origin of sin, sickness, and death; the opposite of spiritual Truth and understanding.”  (citation S8, 590:4)

In contrast, the “tree of life” symbolizes the roots of eternality, without beginning or end. As Mary Baker Eddy states, “The ‘tree of life’ is significant of eternal reality or being.”  (SH p. 538:13–14)


The Responsive Reading (RR) examines the metaphorical fruit that could grow from each symbolic tree. From the metaphorical tree of knowledge would grow the fruit of sin [belief of separation from Good], death, and being ashamed. From the tree of Life grows the fruit of “obedience unto righteousness,” holiness, everlasting life, eternal life, be made alive, glory and majesty, dominion and power, exceeding joy.

The Adam-and-Eve-biting-the-apple-from-the-tree-of-knowledge allegory is, in essence, the mythological origins of sin, death, and shame.  It is the mythological origins of man’s supposed “fall from grace”—the supposed fall from God’s presence.

We correct this so-called “fall from grace” as we realize there is no real “tree of knowledge” and rejoice in the eternal fact that the “tree of life” is everlastingly and ever-presently available to us all.  As we eat from the tree of life—the truth of being—we discover the fruit of healing, the fruitage of Life. As we read in Corinthians, “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” (RR, I Corinthians 15: 22)


The first section covers the two distinct stories of creation in the early part of the book of Genesis. Genesis 1, of course, is about man being made in the image and likeness of God, without beginning or end. Genesis 2, in contrast, is about God forming man out of the dust of the ground, with a start-point in dust. (citation B3, Genesis 1: 1-31; B5, Genesis 2: 6-7)  As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “In Genesis, first the true method of creation is set forth and then the false.” (cit. S3, 568: 9-11)

Genesis 1 is like the tree of life, full of righteousness, glory, and exceeding joy. In contrast, Genesis 2 is like the tree of knowledge: full of sin, disease and the so-called curse on man to be in constant struggle.

The limited and mortal view presented by Genesis 2 is overturned by Christian Science—the truth of being, the understanding that life is beginningless. As Mary Baker Eddy states, “Christian Science separates error from truth, and breathes through the sacred pages the spiritual sense of life, substance, and intelligence. In this Science, we discover man in the image and likeness of God. We see that man has never lost his spiritual estate and his eternal harmony.” (B5, 548: 2)


The second section of the Bible Lesson is a warning not “falter between two opinions.” (GT, I Kings 18:21) There seem to be many things that would try to trick or deceive us. As we learn from Ecclesiastes, “God hath made man up God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.” (cit. B7, Ecclesiastes 7: 29)

The second section tells the metaphorical story of God telling Adam and Eve not to eat from the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” (cit. B8, Genesis 2: 8, 16, 17) Eating from the “tree of knowledge of good and evil” leads to double mindedness, and, as we read in the book of James, “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.”  The book of James gives us hope when we are reminded of the real fruit, the real gift, from the tree of Truth.  As it says in James, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning variableness nor shadow of turning.” (cit. B9, James 1: 8, 16, 17)

Mary Baker Eddy is clear that “The ‘tree of knowledge’ stands for the erroneous doctrine that the knowledge of evil is as real, hence as God-bestowed, as the knowledge of good.”  (cit. S7, 526: 19-22) But the tree of knowledge only offers opinion, which is baseless.  As Mary Baker Eddy writes, “A knowledge of evil was never the essence of divinity or manhood.”  (cit. S9, 537:9-13)

Furthermore, “The forbidden fruit of knowledge, against which wisdom warns man, is the testimony of error, declaring existence to be at the mercy of death, and good and evil to be capable of commingling.”  (cit. S10, 481:12)

Truth is true. There is nothing but truth, and there is no doublemindedness in truth.  In Truth, God does not cause discord. (cit. S12, 231:16) In truth, there is only one basis of being, and that basis is good and good alone. In truth, the only origin and basis of existence is divine Mind.  (cit. S11, 279:26)


It doesn’t make sense that we would possibly want to eat from the metaphorical “tree of Knowledge” when we know that it results in sin—the belief of separation from Good, and results in death.  The third section explores that which tries to trick us toward eating from the “tree of knowledge.”

The section includes the story of the sneaky serpent tricking Eve and Adam into eating the apple from the so-called “tree of knowledge.” (cit. B10, Genesis 2: 18, 21, 22; B11, Genesis 3: 1-6)

The serpent lied.  But the serpent could not make Truth not true.

In the same way, as we look at existence from a limited, narrow, distorted, material perspective, we may see sin, sickness, and death.  But this false view cannot make the truth of being—our eternal nature—not true.

Opinions about the body are one form of the sneaky serpent that seems to try to deceive us into feeling separate from goodness.  As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “Physiology is one of the apples from ‘the tree of knowledge.’ [The serpent] declared that eating this fruit would open man’s eyes and make him as a god. Instead of so doing, it closed the eyes of mortals to man’s God-given dominion over the earth.” (cit. S14, 165:1, 12-13)

Again, the serpent lied. But the serpent could not make Truth not true.

News media, or “the press,” as Mary Baker Eddy called it, unwittingly encourages disease by printing long descriptions and makes readers accept those images in thought.  As she writes, “A minutely described disease costs many a man his earthly days of comfort. What a price for human knowledge!” (cit. S16, 196:31-7)

Nowadays, there is a term for the media selling disease. It’s called “disease mongering.” This phrase was made popular by Lynn Payer in her book, “Disease-Mongers: How Doctors, Drug Companies, and Insurers are Making You Feel Sick” (1992)  [“W. If you actually choose to look up the term “disease mongering,” you’d find dozens of articles and books on it — but beware bigtime of biting into that “apple” and of taking into thought any fable as true.]

The sneaky serpent in the mythological Garden of Eden was the original disease mongerer.

Mary Baker Eddy explains that we should guard ourselves against disease mongering.  She writes, “We should prevent the images of disease from taking form in thought, and we should efface the outlines of disease already formulated in the minds of mortals.” (cit. S17, 174:32)

Yes, we can be alert to not taking in the lies to start with, but also, we are not “cursed” if we inadvertently bite the metaphorical apple. There is no such thing as “biting the apple” as Eve did, and then losing our safety and innocence. No. We are always safe and can reject and defend ourselves against disease mongering even if we seem to have temporarily bought (or bit) into it.

The Science, or knowledge, of the Christ defeats the lies of the sneaky serpent every time. Truth always beats falsity because truth is true. As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “When the mechanism of the human mind gives place to the divine Mind, selfishness and sin, disease and death, will lose their foothold.” (cit. S18, 176:13)


The fourth section includes the part of the Adam-and-Eve myth in which God punishes Adam and Eve after they eat the apple. (Gen. 3:9-17, cit. B14)  The whole story starts off on strange footing, however, because the Lord God has to call out to Adam to find out where Adam is. In other words, in this story, God is a man-like being who is not omniscient. In this myth, Lord God does not even know where Adam is even though there are literally only two people—Adam and Eve—in the whole world! It is strange indeed for God not to be able to keep track of one of the only two people on the planet. This is one of many indications that this story is a myth. Having a talking serpent in the story is another indication.

In this myth, Lord God is a punishing and unforgiving God who curses Adam and Eve. But, again, this is just a myth.

In truth, God is good and only good. As we read in Proverbs, “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.” (cit. B15, Proverbs 10:22)

While much of the world does seem to see humankind as cursed, the Science of Christ, the truth of being, corrects this lie. We are not cursed. We can let truth uncover the error suggested by the mythological sneaky serpent.

While we may at times seem to have accepted a limited and distorted view of ourselves, this view is mere opinion. It is wrong.  And we can let it go.  Mary Baker Eddy describes the sneaky serpent as “corporeal sense,” or limited and bodily sense.  (cit. S19, 533:26-2)  As soon as we are alert to the lie of the mythological serpent, the lie has no hold on us.

We are not cursed. We have the tools to overturn the great lie of the ages…that we are made to suffer.  As Mary Baker Eddy states, “Divine Science rolls back the clouds of error with the light of Truth, and lifts the curtain on man as never born and as never dying, but as coexistent with his creator.” (cit. S21, 557:16)

A couple years ago, I made a three-minute video about letting go of a narrow and distorted view of ourselves as it relates to letting go of the sneaky serpent’s lie.  The video is helpful for this week’s Bible Lesson, and might be something useful in Sunday School. Here’s a link to the video:


The fifth section explains that Christ Jesus showed us the way to overturn the myth of the Adam and Eve curse. It is never too late to see beyond the lie of the sneaky serpent. It is never too late to see beyond a limited, distorted, and material view of existence.  Christ Jesus taught the way to be free from the lies of the sneaky serpent. As we read in Romans: “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (cit. B16, Romans 8:1,2)

The fifth section includes the story of the woman who was bent over, unable to stand upright, for eighteen years. When Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and freed her from her “infirmity.” As he touched her, she was immediately made straight, and glorified God.  (cit. B17, Luke 13:11-13)

Christ Jesus called the woman over to him even though most people would have seen that she did not move easily, and would have walked over to her if they wanted to talk to her. He was not being mean. He was loving her so purely that he did not see her as bent over, as fallen.

It is interesting that the account in Luke says that Christ Jesus freed the woman from her infirmity, and then the next sentence says that she was “made straight.”  The ordering of these statements suggests that the woman’s so-called “infirmity” was not being bent over, but perhaps was the belief of being cursed and separate from God, “fallen from grace.”  Christ Jesus first corrected the infirmity—the belief of separation from divine Love—and the physical healing followed.  He “lifted her…poor thought-model” of herself.

As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “The divine nature was best expressed in Christ Jesus, who threw upon mortals the truer reflection of God and lifted their lives higher than their poor thought-models would allow, — thoughts which presented man as fallen, sick, sinning, and dying [like the woman bent over and unable to stand upright]. The Christlike understanding of scientific being and divine healing includes a perfect Principle and idea, — perfect God and perfect man, — as the basis of thought and demonstration.” (cit. S23, 259:6)

Christ Jesus loved the woman most purely by seeing her as upright, whole and free—not as disgraced and separated from Good.

Christ Jesus showed us the way to heal, to remove the infirmity of the so-called curse. And as we follow him in the way, we can do it too. As Mary Baker Eddy described her own healing practice, “Working out the rules of Science in practice, the author has restored health in cases of both acute and chronic disease in their severest forms. Secretions have been changed, the structure has been renewed, shortened limbs have been elongated, ankylosed joints have been made supple, and carious bones have been restored to healthy conditions.” (cit. S24: 162:16-22)

The Science of the Christ, the Knowledge of Truth, corrects and overturns the lie of the mythological Tree of Knowledge.  We can reject the so-called corporeal knowledge first introduced by the mythological sneaky serpent, and accept the truth of being taught and demonstrated by Christ Jesus. This truth is enough to alter the whole system. As Mary Baker Eddy states, “The Christian Scientist, understanding scientifically that all is Mind, commences with mental causation, the truth of being, to destroy the error. This corrective is an alterative, reaching to every part of the human system. According to Scripture, it searches “the joints and marrow,” and it restores the harmony of man.” (cit. S25, 423:8)

Truth always overturns error. Light always dispels darkness. Christ always overturns the belief of separation from Good. Truth is true. Light is light. Christ is comforting.  Ultimately, the lie of the sneaky serpent must be overturned because it has no foundation. In truth, there is no sneaky serpent. In truth, serpents can’t talk. In truth there is no tree of knowledge nor a bad apple to bite into that caused a curse on us.

Christ-Truth is the comforting awareness that the whole Adam-and-fallen-man myth is false.  Christ Jesus taught and demonstrated the Christ-Truth that we are not fallen or bent, and that, in truth, we cannot be separated from ever-present Love even for a tiny moment. As we understand this divine fact, we can more easily let go of false opinion and accept the truth of being. We can let go of flawed models and accept the perfect—true and complete—model of being. As Mary Baker Eddy explains, “In Science, all being is eternal, spiritual, perfect, harmonious in every action. Let the perfect model be present in your thoughts instead of its demoralized opposite. This spiritualization of thought lets in the light, and brings the divine Mind, Life not death, into your consciousness.” (cit. S27, 407:22)


The sixth section drives home the fact that we can all let go of the opinions and false knowledge originating with the Adam-and-Eve myth.  As we read in I Corinthians, “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (cit. B19, I Corinthians 15:22)

Just as the woman who was bent over for 18 years found freedom from the infirmity of feeling cursed and separated from Good, so too can we each discover our upright nature. We are not fallen or bent. As the Psalmist proclaimed, “Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.” (cit. B20, Psalm 37:37)

We may sometimes feel as it we’re trapped by false opinions and inundated with disease-mongering knowledge, but with Christ—the awareness of our one-ness with Truth—we can find freedom and peace and disentangle ourselves from limiting and restrictive lies. As we told in Galatians, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage…If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”  (cit. B21, Galatians 5:1, 25)

In truth, we are not now and have never been “fallen”.  We are perfectly at-one with Good, at-one with Truth, which is ever-present.  We are upright, whole and free and can never be turned upside down.  As Mary Baker Eddy declares, “The great truth in the Science of being, that the real man was, is, and ever shall be perfect, is incontrovertible; for if man is the image, reflection, of God, he is neither inverted nor subverted, but upright and Godlike.” (cit. S28, 200:16)

As the Golden Text asks, “… How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him;” (GT, I Kings 18:21)  Mary Baker Eddy understood this and knew that the path of the “tree of knowledge” leads to destruction. She understood the redeeming value of the “tree of life” and knew that fruit from the “tree of life” is constantly available to us all.  Like the questioner in the Golden Text, Mary Baker Eddy asks, “Which of these two theories concerning man are you ready to accept? One is the mortal testimony, changing, dying, unreal. The other is the eternal and real evidence, bearing Truth’s signet, its lap piled high with immortal fruits.”  (cit. S29, 494:25)

And we must remember that even if we do buy into (or bite into) lies from the so-called tree of knowledge, it is never too late. As soon as we see the limiting and distorting lies for what they are, we can wake up, rise up, and experience freedom. We are not trapped in a lie. We are not Cursed. Even if we seem to fall for lies temporarily, Christ-Truth “will reopen with the key of divine Science the gates of Paradise which human beliefs have closed” and we will find ourselves “unfallen, upright, pure, and free…” (cit. S30, 171:4)

We can all turn away from the lies of the sneaky serpent, reject mere opinions and accept the truth of being.  As Mary Baker Eddy states, “Let us accept Science, relinquish all theories based on sense-testimony, give up imperfect models and illusive ideals; and so let us have one God, one Mind, and that one perfect, producing His own models of excellence. … Let the “male and female” of God’s creating appear. …Any other theory of Life, or God, is delusive and mythological.”  (cit. S 31, 249:1-5, 10 Any)

We are not sinful mortals destined to suffer.  We are sinless, meaning perfectly at one with Good, and eternal, meaning that we have no beginning and no ending.  As Mary Baker Eddy states succinctly, “The perfect man — governed by God, his perfect Principle — is sinless and eternal.” (cit. S32: 304:14)

As we see truth clearly, it become easier and easier to turn away from the lies of mere opinion and false knowledge. We no longer have to struggle between varying opinions and suffer from limiting lies.  We can follow Christ in the way of freedom and Truth. “If the Lord is God, follow Him;” (GT, I Kings 18:21) If Truth is true, follow Truth.

Some of GEMs of BIBLE-BASED application ideas (from Cobbey Crisler & others) should be POSTED during the week and others will be added to the string and EMAILED together later in the week.  You can always check  for current GEMs at CedarS INSPIRATION website, whether or not you’ve  SUBSCRIBED here for this free, inspirational offering.

Also later in the week, look for Ken Cooper’s
contributions related to this Bible Lesson.

Gifts poured in for over 100 new trees to be planted this fall at camp— as well as bushes, shrubs, and native wildflowers.  All campers and visitors will be
blessed by your generosity and vision for generations to come!

ADDITIONAL GIFTS: Campers and staff will also be blessed by the donations you made to additional areas of camp, including the horse program, activity equipment, camperships, and Christian Science nursing and practitioner services. If you haven’t had an opportunity to check out the GIVING TREE, there are still plenty of needs before summer!

We are deeply grateful for this latest outpouring of love and support,
The CedarS Team

P.S. For more about ways to keep CedarS operations ever more green and flourishing and/or to make a planned gift, a required IRA distribution or an ENDOWMENT GIFT (that will all be MATCHED), feel free anytime to call or text me (Warren Huff. Executive Director Emeritus and Project Manager) at 314-378-2574. I can put you in touch with our Financial Advisor/broker who donates all fee for stock transfers and sharing tailored, tax-advantageously giving approaches.

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