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Agree with – or “Side with God and win!” [C.S. Hymnal #296]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for October 12-18, 2009
Subject: “Doctrine of Atonement”
by Kerry Jenkins, C.S., House Springs, MO
[+bracketed italics by Warren Huff]

[Editor’s Note: The following application ideas for this week and the Possible Sunday School Topics that follow are offered primarily to help CEDARS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and demonstrate the great value of daily study and application of the Christian Science Bible lessons year-round, not just at camp! You can sign up to have them emailed to you free — in English by Monday each week, or by each Wednesday you can get a FREE TRANSLATION in French from Pascal or in Spanish from Ana. JUST SIGN UP at]

What a great thing it is to agree with God! This week’s Bible lesson, “Doctrine of Atonement”, is all about how we can better understand our unity or oneness with God. If we agree with God, we may have to give up a number of falsehoods that we have accepted about ourselves or about others and, of course, any false concepts of God, as well. That’s what atonement is all about, having new and true views of God and man, the views that Christ Jesus shared, and asked us to put into action in the way that he did.

The Golden Text and Responsive Reading use that word “reconcile” quite a bit, which just means, essentially, to come to agreement with. I really like the idea of agreeing with God. More than just the obvious, it implies that we live in complete agreement with His laws; that our actions convey this agreement, even our thoughts and speech show our complete agreement with the laws of God. This leaves no room for a departure on our part from His paths of goodness, unselfishness, holiness. This, of course, is our purpose as the spiritual idea of God, indeed we can never truly stray from this unity, or agreement with our Father-Mother Love, because He created us to walk in that path of sinless unity. [During CedarS Memorial Weekend Family Camp, Kerry shared some of the ways she demonstrated agreement with God and unity with her dog team while running them in Alaska. You can ask her for details at]  As the Bible says in the Responsive Reading: “…our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament;” That means we can walk the way Christ Jesus did, do his works, preach his gospel, because God made us capable of this.

Section 1: Spiritually understand the atonement rather than just thinking of atonement as a human doctrine.
If you have been raised in Christian Science this particular subject of Doctrine of Atonement may seem a bit different. But in mainline Christianity, atonement is a very important theological issue, one on which Christianity pivots. This is the idea that Jesus came from God, to take away the sins of the world for all time through his self-sacrifice on the cross–and that through his death, we are saved. In fact, the subject is just as fundamentally important to Christian Science as to other Christian religions when seen in the light that Mrs. Eddy shines on it! This first section addresses the spiritual meaning of atonement and the transformation that atonement underwent as we moved from Old to New Testament treatment of sacrifice. The sacrifices of Aaron’s time involved burnt offerings to atone for our sins, whereas Christ Jesus asked for our practice to show our sincerity and our dedication to God. [For more on Aaron and where he worshipped see pages 2 and 8 of]  In this section: Paul talks about being “…reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life” (B-4); and Mrs. Eddy indicates that this death is the death of the belief of life and substance in matter (S-4). Here she states that “mortals need only turn from sin and lose sight of mortal selfhood to find Christ, the real man and his relation to God, and to recognize the divine sonship.” (S-3) To me, the operative word here is “turn”, this means taking action, not just accepting that Jesus came and did what he did and saved our hides! We must make the effort to turn away from the temptations of matter in whatever form they take and to walk in the path that Jesus set for us. We learn of this path not through matter or through human doctrines (so-called health laws, theology, ritual, science with a small s, and so on), but rather through understanding God, divine Love. This is what Christ Jesus came to show us!

Section 2: The Coming of Christ Jesus Demonstrated Our Oneness With Love.
Simply put, Christ Jesus revealed God’s glory by healing sickness and sin and so revealing the true man of God’s creating and also the God who is Love. Jesus moved away that “stone” of accumulated human beliefs that trap us into thinking that we are limited in matter, by matter, of matter, and freed our hope and faith, allowing us, through Divine Science, (Mrs. Eddy’s revelation), to be at one with Love!   [Be hopeful and faithful in all you do to join Christ’s Rock band–the Rolling Stones! Also see the fun cartoon on page 3 of]

Section 3: Jesus Gave Us New Views of God/Helped Us Rethink Our Understanding of God. Jesus asks us to “repent”, which as you know means to “re-think”. And he adds, “for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” In this case, if you think about it, if heaven is here then what are we waiting for? We can only experience this heaven if we are aware of our unity with God, our immortal nature, (since mortality surely isn’t part of heaven). So we can get busy now on this adventure to understand God, His nature and essence as expressed in the [seven, prominent and Biblically-based] synonyms of God [“Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love” S&H 587:7]. We get to this understanding by making the effort to reform (S-10), the right kind of effort! In this section Jesus speaks to publicans and sinners, says Luke, and the Pharisees don’t think much of this. (B-8)  In our own efforts to rethink things are we knocking down the Pharisaical thoughts of our own that would keep us from fresh and true ideas about ourselves? How about true thoughts of our fellow beings? Of God? Are we relegating God to solving a few issues in our life, especially the ones that cause us physical discomfort? Or, are we looking out at the universe from God’s/Love’s perspective? Citation B-11 has the comforting acknowledgement that God “causes us to triumph in Christ,” that “He makes manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.” Doesn’t that mean that we can know Him everywhere, all around us, and that he makes Himself known, manifest, so that we can see and understand Him? Christ Jesus was the one who most helped us to understand the unlimited spiritual and good nature of God. Mrs. Eddy explains in this section (S-12) that our part in the atonement is to “rise into newness of life with regeneration!
[A biblical reinforcement of the message to “side with God and win” is in the New International Reader’s Version translation of II Cor. 2:14 — “Give thanks to God! He always leads us in the winner’s parade because we belong to Christ.” (B-11) In the last line of this verse, think about your deodorizing role today: “Through us, God spreads the knowledge of Christ everywhere like perfume.”]

Section 4: Walk Together With Christ. Here again comes that idea of agreement or reconciliation. I love the way Amos talks of walking together (B-12). This implies action! Are we walking with the Christ at all times? We don’t want to have the [rotten, stinking] “fruits” that come with passively accepting mortality as our birthright. We want the [fragrant] dominion that comes with accepting our Christ-like nature, our God-made selfhood. We learn of this nature bit by bit, daily making efforts to embrace only what God knows of our nature. It’s not hard to identify what parts of our thoughts and actions are Christ-like, true. What we think about ourselves is only true if it can be attributed to God. Yup, this is definitely work. It’s even really tough sometimes, but it is the only way that we can finish our course with joy (S-17). And don’t worry, despite the challenge, well, really because of it, we find the deepest happiness and satisfaction there is!

[Mrs. Eddy says in Message for 1902: “only what God gives, and what we give ourselves and others through His tenure, confers happiness: conscious worth satisfies the hungry heart, and nothing else can.” Conscious worth and satisfaction come from knowing we are the divine image and likeness (d.i.a.l.) and acting like it. B-14, S-14]

Section 5: Saving Man from Sin/Man is Sinless! This section has the story of the man by the pool of Bethesda. In it Jesus asks this man if he wants to be healed. The NIV Study Bible indicates that the reason for this question may be that many people made a profitable income from their disabilities, begging, I assume. It’s also possible that he just plain lost his will to be cured. In any case, Jesus healed him and told him to go and “sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” Apparently he is implying here that sin brings a worse state than physical disability. This confirms Mrs. Eddy’s multiple statements in this lesson that Christ Jesus primary mission was to free us from sin (rather than disease). Why do you think this is so? Because we tend to enjoy sin, which makes us cling to a mortal view of ourselves and renders us powerless, without dominion. While sickness is uncomfortable, we really don’t want to cling to it and are quite ready, normally, to give it up! Fortunately, God works with us to help us give up these mortal desires that don’t really bring true joy. The trade-off is that we gain a wonderful dominion when we give up these sins! The really cool thing is that no matter what we do, we cannot truly be separated from Love. See what Paul says in citation S-22 and what Mrs. Eddy says about what the doctrine of Christian Science is! This is no bunch of words, this is the substance of God’s love for us. This is the difference between traditional theological views of atonement and the view that Christian Science espouses. Christian Science shows us that we are saved and made new by the Christ that is actively demonstrating God’s healing love for man!

Section 6: Loving our Neighbor-Unity with Man-Brings Unity with God. Again, we are to walk in the path that Christ Jesus set before us, that of loving God and loving our neighbor (his condensation of the Ten Commandments). I love this story.  Jesus tells of going to the altar to leave a gift for God. He tells us that if we get there and remember that we are holding a grudge against anyone that we need to fix that first, and then we can approach God with our gift, or our sacrifice. I like to think of this as going to our sacred place in thought to pray, to acknowledge God’s goodness and power in our lives. It’s pretty hard to acknowledge that there is only one, all good Mind, and also think of others incorrectly. It might be helpful to apply this same test to thoughts we cherish about ourselves. Nothing that we keep in thought that is less than God-like will bring us to this recognition of our unity with Love. The sacrifice that Love cherishes is the sacrifice of wrong thoughts, wrong actions. That is Love in action. In giving up incorrect ideas of ourselves and others [and of our work], we feel our oneness with Love…there is nothing better in the universe to feel!

[Dropping work pressures and false burdens brings feelings of spiritual light-heartedness, invigoration, freedom, uplift … In Education at The Principia, Mary Kimball Morgan writes: “do not let your work drive you. … Seek to find deeper joy in your work. One can be deeply in earnest and at the same time spiritually light-hearted.” (p. 222) So, while we are deeply in earnest as “we solemnly promise” the 6th Tenet (S-27), we should stay with the spiritual joy of living the disciplined freedom of modern-day disciples of Christ. As I always tell myself and our staff and campers: “If you’re not having fun practicing Christian Science, you’re NOT practicing Christian Science!” So, smile a lot! Laugh out loud! And, have lots of fun this week!]


[This weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers & staff who were blessed this summer at CEDARS–as well as to thousands of CEDARS alumni, families and friends who request it, or find it weekly on our website. But, current and planned gifts are much-needed to help cover the costs of running this service and of providing camperships for such inspirational opportunities. Your support is always tax-deductible and appreciated — but your help this year is especially precious to us! This is the ideal time before winter to do needed “Maintenance Must” projects, yet our 5-year grant for this has expired. So we look to God–and to friends like you–for help. You can always call Warren or Gay Huff at (636) 394-6162 to charge your gift or to discuss any short-term or long-term gift that you are considering. CLICK HERE RIGHT AWAY TO SUPPORT CEDARS WORK!
Or, while your gratitude for freely receiving is fresh, you can “freely give” a tax-deductible check payable to CedarS Camps mailed to the office: 1314 Parkview Valley, Manchester, MO 63011.]

[Camp Director’s Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 9-year series of CedarS Bible Lesson “mets” (metaphysical application ideas) contributed weekly by a rotation of CedarS Resident Practitioners and occasionally by other metaphysicians. (To keep the flow of the practitioner’s ideas intact and to allow for more selective printing the “Possible Sunday School Topics” come in a subsequent email.) This weekly offering is intended to encourage further study and application of ideas in the lesson and to invigorate Sunday School participation by students and by the budding teachers on our staff. Originally sent JUST to my Sunday School students and to campers, staff and CedarS families who wanted to continue at home and in their home Sunday Schools the same type of focused Lesson study, application and inspiration they had felt at camp, CedarS lesson “mets” are in no way meant to be definitive or conclusive or in any way a substitute for daily study of the lesson. The thoughts presented are the inspiration of the moment and are offered to give a bit more dimension and background as well as new angles on the daily applicability of some of the ideas and passages being studied. The weekly Bible Lessons are copyrighted by the Christian Science Publishing Society and are printed in the Christian Science Quarterly as available at Christian Science Reading Rooms or online at eBibleLesson,com or The citations referenced (i.e. B-1 and S-28) from this week’s Bible Lesson in the “met” (metaphysical application ideas) are taken from the Bible (B-1 thru B-24) and the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. (S-1 thru S-30) The Bible and Science and Health are the ordained pastor of the Churches of Christ, Scientist. The Bible Lesson is the sermon read in Christian Science church services throughout the world. The Lesson-Sermon speaks individually through the Christ to everyone, providing unique insights and tailor-made applications for each one. We are glad you requested this metaphysical sharing and hope that you find some of the ideas helpful in your daily spiritual journey, in your deeper digging in the books and in closer bonding with your Comforter and Pastor.]
Warren Huff, Camp Director (636) 394-6162]


P.S.S.T.–Ways to feel at one with God-in sync, agreement and reconciled-willingly obedient, FOUND and HEALED!
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on:
“Doctrine of Atonement” for October 12-18, 2009
By Tom Evans, a CedarS Sunday School Teacher & Counselor
[W:. bracketed italics by Warren Huff, Director/Editor]

Alright! I hope you find some of the following ideas helpful. I’d like to start off with some definitions for the word Atonement: “atone – expiate: make amends for; “expiate one’s sins. atone – repent: turn away from sin or do penitence” (
“atone – To make reparation, compensation, or amends, for an offence or a crime one has committed; To clear (someone else) of wrongdoing, especially by standing as an equivalent” (
Bible Scholar Christa Kreutz shares some wonderful insights into the original meaning of the word atonement on TMC Youth’s website here is the link for her 2 minute video: .
“The reconciliation between God and man effected by Christ’s life, passion, and death”

The Golden Text tells us to be “reconciled to God.” Let’s take a peek at some more definitions.
“Reconciliation: the reestablishing of cordial relations. Getting two things to correspond” (
“Atonement is a theological term, is an element of salvation that refers to the results of atonement. Reconciliation as a theological concept describes the end of the estrangement, caused by sin, between God and humanity” (

What kind of “reconciliation” are we supposed to be doing here? If we are the inseparable image and likeness of our divine Father-Mother God, where is there need for reparation?

The word reconcile comes up several times in the Responsive Reading from Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth. Try inserting some of the definitions and paraphrasing some verses included in the Responsive Reading. For example: II Cor 5:19 God was in Christ, [reestablishing an understanding relation] between the world and himself…”
Have the kids come up with short definitions for the words “Atone” and “Reconcile” which makes sense to them (and to you). Maybe they can even write them down. Use this definition throughout the lesson.
There are mainstream Christian definitions such as one by John Calvin who “describes reconciliation as the peace between humanity and God that results from the expiation of our sin and the propitiation of God’s wrath” ( ).
These are concepts to discuss with older classes. What do Christian Scientists believe? The interior of every Christian Science church has the following statement: “God is Love.” If this is fundamental to our beliefs, do we agree with the idea that God could ever express wrath?
To reconcile your checkbook with the monthly bank statement means to check your own checkbook addition and subtraction totals for accuracy against the authority (the bank statement), and making any necessary corrections. It’s kind of like checking your concept of yourself against the original (God) and correcting any false concepts or beliefs that aren’t true about God and therefore can’t be true about you: bringing your idea of yourself or others into the accurate picture of yourself as the reflection of God, sinless and perfect. In other words, reconciling yourself to the perfect reflection of God that man really is: our at-one-ment with God. Bank statements make perfect sense to those of us who keep checkbooks, but why don’t you try “syncing your ipod with your computer” or “refreshing your email inbox.” If you download a new song, but you don’t sync your ipod with your song library, you are going to miss out! What if a friend emailed you with an important invitation after you opened your email, but before you went to bed? If you hit the “refresh” button you would be alert to what your friend was telling you.
If do not reconcile yourself to God, you might miss some important angel messages.

Section 1
(B-2, Heb 5:8) How did Jesus learn “obedience by the things which he suffered”?
(B-3, Heb 13:9) What are some “divers and strange doctrines” which we may not even be alert to? Major ones are easy to spot, illegal acts or worshiping golden idols, but what are some of the more subtle diverse and strange doctrines we can be attentive to weed out? Reminiscing about our bad day just for the sake of impressing another is one. What can your students come up with? Don’t have them pick on one another or make judgments, just have them take a closer look at their own doctrines.
Explain who or what is helping us in the process of Atonement. See S&H marker 1. Marker 2 states it plainly. Go through it slowly with your students. It takes some review to get it straight. Look at it piece by piece. Kerry Jenkins did a beautiful job of illustrating human and spiritual “atonement” in her CedarS Bible Lesson notes for this week. Take a peek at this if you have not already done so.
As the teacher, you should be able to explain the following concept in simple, easy to understand language. How do we, as Christian Scientists, explain the connection between atonement to God and healing the sick. Don’t use any 10-syllable words or 19th century scientific phrases. MODERN ENGLISH please. It is all there in section one, but I don’t want Mrs. Eddy’s description, or any Christian Science jargon at all for that matter–I want yours. Make it something that you can use to explain Christian Science to someone who is unfamiliar with it. Now that you have worked this out dear Sunday School teacher, if you think your class is ready for it, ask them the same question.

Section 2
Talk about sin. We don’t think it is real. Why can we still make mistakes or commit crimes materially? What does Christ have to do with the destruction of sin? The key word is “belief.” Talk about this.
[W: Whenever you think you don’t have much in the way of sin to overcome, think about being pardoned for “work badly done or left undone.” S&H 6:7]

Section 3
Okay, one more word for us to define: Efficacy. “Efficacy is the capacity to produce an effect” Mrs. Eddy uses it 3 times in the second chapter of Science and Health called “Atonement and Eucharist”. Have you re-read this chapter lately? It’s a good one for this weeks’ lesson! Teachers, at least read the first dozen pages or so of this chapter. Find some ideas to work with. Come up with some new concepts for yourself. I found some of the following ideas to discuss with a friend:
Love forces us to grow. Divine Love is unchanging. It is not going to move. We are the ones atoning, being reconciled to God. (This is similar to S-10) Another concept from this chapter is that we either make too much or too little of sin. This is similar to the 3rd Tenet found on page 497 of Science and Health.

[W: This Sunday a fellow Sunday School teacher and I (Warren) are performing for 6th graders a 3-minute “Lost and Found” skit
by Martha Bolton that gives a new perspective to the Parable of the Lost Sheep. For $10 you can download the copyrighted script for “Sheep on the Lam” from the website by clicking here. Or at this website for $18.99 you can choose to buy Bolton’s Sermon on the Stage book that contains not only this Lost and Found sketch but also a longer sketch for the raising of Lazarus in next week’s lesson and 13 other bible sketches. Below for you or your class to use–with or without a script and without fees– are possible follow-up questions about loss as well as healing examples that could be shared as appropriate.
1. What one thing (sheep) is very important to you right now because it seems to be lost? A lost (-sight-of-) item? A lost friendship? A lost opportunity? A loss of money or savings? Lost information or lost memory of information you need? When you-like a good shepherd–diligently seek it out, you can confidently affirm that “What I seek is not lost! Merely lost-sight-of for a season.” (quoted from a 1970s Christian Science lecture by Geith Plimmer on the Gadarene)
2. Have you ever had a somewhat miraculous recovery of something that seemed to be lost? Please tell about it and share a truth that helped you reclaim it.
3. My favorite “Lost & Found” example from the Bible is when Elijah reverses the laws of gravity and floatation to reclaim a lost tool that had been borrowed. (2 Kings 6:4-7)
4. Here are my top 3 “Lost and Found” applications. I’ll be ready to enthusiastically share one or more with students on Sunday:
a) I let out a whoop of joy just as the suspicious security guard arrived. It was about 10pm one night-and inspired by a Bible opening to “go after that which is lost until he find it” (B-8, Luke 15:4)–I confidently drove back to the road in front of The Principia School flagpole where over 6 hours earlier a hard contact lens had fallen at the start of a busy student pickup period. With a flashlight and within 30 seconds I had found the lens safely waiting for me in a crack in the asphalt driveway – unscratched–although over 50 cars had driven over it. I happily explained my enthusiasm to the guard.
b) Give up! At the start of a Princeton University final exam I felt totally lost as I previewed the four questions on the exam that asked us to compare and contrast details on eight books–3 of which I had never even read! During my exam prep period I had “lost” the time that I had set aside to read those books when I had an attack of appendicitis and needed to devout my full attention to having a Christian Science healing. I was (and remain) grateful beyond words for that permanent healing–but this exam was my 5th straight one without a study break after that “non-event”. The Shepherd thought that came to me at that seemly hopeless, lost-sheep moment–as I stood up ready to hand in my blank exam with a request for postponement due to health reasons-were these words and the confidence-inspired by my healing–to immediately apply them: “The mine knows naught of the emeralds within its rocks, …yet these are … there. Do not suppose that any mental concept is gone because you do not think of it. The true concept is never lost.” (S&H 87:19-25) I reasoned that the same Mind that wrote these words as well as all the books (and exams) ever written was also my Mind and could flawlessly reveal to me what I needed to know right then and there. I sat back down with confidence and started to write in my blue exam book as the ideas kept flowing one at a time. Through God’s omniscience alone I somehow “aced” that exam! And that raised my final grade in the course! Today I am still humbled and awe-inspired by how the Shepherd showed me how to go when I felt so lost and pressured. That’s why I still delight to help other lost sheep find the Way.
c) I live to give! About a year ago, I had lost much of my mobility, vigor and stamina and could not seem to find bodily comfort in any position –standing, sitting or lying-down. I am grateful beyond words-to actions-to have had a complete healing and restoration-quickly of comfort and vigor, and then of full mobility and stamina. A large growth daily just drained away in proportion as I confidently applied every single word of the paragraph in Science and Health that starts with: “Christian Science brings to the body the sunlight of Truth which invigorates and purifies.” (S&H 162:4) I’m so glad that such “Lost and Found” demonstrations and more are yours as well!]

Section 4
Jesus is the propitiation for our sins. “propitiate – make peace with” (Not making peace with sin, but the work that must be done in thought to overcome sinful thoughts.) Whoa! How many times do we hear this kind of language in mainstream Christianity?
Last week, we talked about “the crown,” the reward for all of our hard efforts. We often jump straight to this crown idea and skip the hard work required to reach the exalted thought. Do you ever jump to human conclusions without listening for God’s direction? This section talks about walking with God. How can we be sure that we are not trying to set the direction ourselves? That would be seeking the glories of the crown before earning them.
Break down the prayerful steps you took in a healing. Did you find yourself being humbled at any point? How does one propitiate? Look again at B-15. What are Jesus commandments? Where does Love come into play?

Section 5
Why are two of the Tenets included in this weeks’ lesson? What is Mrs. Eddy saying here in S-18, the 4th Tenet? Does the language in this tenet seem different than what you are used to? Could it serve as a bridge between Christian Science and other Christian denominations? What similarities are there between Christian Science and other religions? I had to explain Christian Science to a friend this past weekend. I started with similarities. Marker S-22 says “This is the doctrine of Christian Science…” There it is, all spelled out for us. Please restate this in your own words. What is important here? Isn’t this our model of how we can be reconciled to God? Does propitiation here mean to follow Jesus’ example of love? Isn’t this truly being reconciled to God, to express to others the love that God loves us with? “And Love is reflected in love.” S&H p. 17

Section 6
The word “Propitiation” shows up again in this section. That’s twice in this lesson. It only shows up 3 times in the entire Bible!
(B-23) What is compassion? What happened when Jesus had compassion on people? Do we ever feel like sheep without a shepherd? How does this tie back to Section 1: B-3, Section 3: B-8, B-9, and just for kicks, where is the pool of Bethesda located? (By the sheep market!)
(B-24) How does this tie into Christian Science Doctrine? How about the Doctrine of Atonement? Is there a difference? What is the importance of human reconciliation before divine reconciliation? What does it really mean to “love your enemies” (Matt 5:44)? What does that require of us? Hint: see S-23 and S-26. What happens when we do this?

Warren Huff, Executive Director  The CedarS Camps 
Email:  Tel: (636) 394-6162


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