All gifts will be doubled for the JL 50th renovation and operations matching grants!

Find Your Liberty through a Deeper Understanding of God
Metaphysical application ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson: God
June 28-July 4, 2010
by Craig L. Ghislin, C.S. of Glen Ellyn, Illinois
[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 thanks to Pascal, in Spanish thanks to Ana or in German thanks to Helga. YOU CAN SIGN UP at]
Liberty is a basic desire for all people. Untold numbers have laid their lives on the line for it. If not the exact words, the spirit of the appeal, “Let my people go” has echoed throughout the centuries. This week the United States celebrates 234 years of freedom. In other parts of the world the battle for freedom and liberty still goes on. Political freedom, as important as it is, isn't the whole of liberty.
Commentators seem to agree that Paul's usage of “liberty” in the Golden Text is referring to the freedom to speak the truth boldly as he understood it. The understanding of God was no longer hidden behind the veil of the temple. Albert Barnes writes, “It states the general truth, that the effect of the Spirit of God was to give light and clearness of view; to remove obscurity from a subject, and to enable one to see it plainly. … Under the influence of that Spirit, therefore, Paul says, that he was able to speak with openness, and boldness; that he had a clear view of truth, which the mass of the Jews had not; and that the system of religion which he preached was open, plain, and clear.” He goes on to say that the Spirit gives “freedom from their prejudices, and their superstitions; freedom from the slavery and bondage of sin; the freedom of the children of God, who have clear views of him as their Father and Redeemer and who are enabled to express those views openly and boldly to the world.” In order to break the restrictive bonds of limited material thinking, we need to understand more about our Maker. This week's Lesson on God does just that.
The deepest understanding of God transcends human reasoning and is far beyond scholastic theology. As the Responsive Reading explains, Paul and the disciples based their spiritual understanding on information they received through the Holy Spirit. They had no interest in worldly principles. The traditional approach taken alike by Greek philosophers and Jewish theologians was to base knowledge on prior teachings. But, the “deep things of God” come directly from the Spirit of God. The apostles also broke with tradition in their method of delivery. Adam Clarke notes, “The Greek orators affected a high and florid language, full of tropes and figures, which dazzled more than it enlightened. The rabbins affected obscurity, and were studious to find out cabalistical* meanings, which had no tendency to make the people wise unto salvation. The apostles could not follow any of these; they spoke the things of God in the words of God; every thing was plain and intelligible….” *This refers to the cabala-a Jewish tradition that found hidden, mystical meaning throughout the scriptures in every letter, word, number, and accent. There is still a tendency to look for mysterious hidden meanings and “secret teachings” in the Bible, but there's no mystery. The truth is plain for all to see.
Some religious traditions still suppose that inspiration regarding God can only legitimately come through priesthood or specifically “chosen” individuals. Such reasoning has a profoundly limiting effect on all the rest of us. The fact is each one of us has the freedom to go directly to God to learn of Him. As the psalmist writes, “Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law.”
Take the time this week to consider how you learn about God. Do you accept the limiting restrictions of material tradition?  Do you feel such lofty aims are best left to scholars?  Let the ideas in this Lesson guide you to a deeper understanding of God and let that understanding of God break those bonds of limitation.  Claim your right to understand, share, and practice your divine freedom.
Section 1: “…Infinity, Freedom, Harmony, and Boundless Bliss”
From the earliest times in the Bible, momentous steps toward liberty have been initiated by deeper understandings of God. The patriarchs knew God as El Shaddai, or God-Almighty. Now, as Moses begins his bid to free the children of Israel from the “burdens of the Egyptians” God makes Himself known as Jehovah, a derivative of I AM, the Self-existent and Eternal (B1).  Can you imagine the sense of awe Moses must have felt at this discovery?  Do you feel that same awe?  Or do you just take it for granted?  In Isaiah (B2) we have a clear indication that God is One.  There is none else beside Him. [What a treat we had at CedarS Sunday night Hymn Sing! Desiree Goyette, here to lead our new ‘i-Songs” Camp with her husband Ed, led off with a request for Hymn 444 that she had written as a solo based on Isaiah 45. (B2) Another favorite selected from the Hymnal Supplement by The Christian Science Publishing Society was Hymn 445 by Susan Mack with its “tender mercies” chorus that we sang with a country western flair. (B7]  
The prophet Hosea recalls the love God has shown for His people (B3).  They were drawn out of bondage not with cords used when breaking in a beast, but with “cords of a man.”  Clarke describes these as “leading strings” used by a nurse to help children learn how to walk.  There's no sense of restriction here-just loving support.
“…Infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss” (S1). Wow!  What more could anyone ask for or desire?  That's how Mary Baker Eddy describes God's being.  It's a far cry from the wrathful, vengeful, disciplinary view of deity held by many throughout the world.  Not only does she conceive of God in wonderfully inviting terms, she tells us that everyone has complete access to know and commune with God.  We may take this for granted, but it is a monumental advancement to be able to get to God without an intermediary. The reference to the “archpriests of yore” points to the Levitical priests of old who, only once in a year, were allowed to go beyond the veil of the temple into the “Holy of Holies” to make atonement for the people. The ceremony was given to only one priest and if chosen, the priest could have the honor only once during his life.  By contrast, our Leader declares we are all “free ‘to enter into the holiest,'-the realm of God.”
Our Leader likens our passage from “sense to Soul” to that of the children of Israel traveling through the Red Sea (S3).  Her description is beautiful and encouraging.  It all begins with a spiritualized concept of God.  The synonyms and attributes for God (S4) expand our views of our Maker like light passing through a prism. She traces the growing understanding of God through the Bible (S5) and points out that the stern views of God that have been held through the ages are mistaken-the result of “false supposition” (S6).  As with every evolutionary step in religious development, so the discovery of Christian Science has included a new understanding of God making the previous views obsolete.
Section 2: God Is Spirit
That God is Spirit may seem a given to those familiar with Christian Science.  But to many it is a remarkable concept.  To be sure, the Scriptures teach it, but scholastic theology has clung strongly to a personal sense of God.  Those looking at the Scriptures with an honest heart cannot miss its intended meaning.  I can't help but admire the thoughts of Adam Clarke, a Methodist minister and theologian a century prior to Mrs. Eddy.  He spent forty-five years working on a voluminous Bible Commentary and he was not afraid to stand in opposition to the theologians of his day. Here is his commentary on John 4:24: “God is a Spirit – This is one of the first, the greatest, the most sublime, and necessary truths in the compass of nature!  There is a God, the cause of all things — the fountain of all perfection — without parts or dimensions,  for he is ETERNAL — filling the heavens and the earth — pervading, governing, and upholding all things: for he is an infinite SPIRIT!”
Albert Barnes, a Presbyterian minister in the early 1800's likewise saw beyond much of the scholastic theology of his peers.  Twice he faced charges of heresy.  He too, found special meaning in John 4:24: “By this is meant that God is without a body; that he is not material or composed of parts; that he is invisible, in every place, pure and holy. This is one of the first truths of religion, and one of the sublimest ever presented to the mind of man.  Almost all nations have had some idea of God as gross or material, but the Bible declares that he is a pure spirit.”
Full recognition of the meaning of this passage had a powerful effect on these men as every true spiritual discovery about God must. God fills heaven and earth (B5). How can such a God be personal or corporeal?  The psalmist also embraced the magnitude of this. He saw that there was no way he could ever escape God's presence.  Wherever he might go God would be there before him (B6).  The psalmist writes, “One generation shall praise thy works to another” (B7). And so they have.
The understanding of God revealed to Mary Baker Eddy is another huge advancement in the unfoldment of the true meaning of God.  She pointed out that infinite Spirit cannot be a physical personality (S7). The old ways of thinking about God must yield.  Mrs. Eddy fearlessly tackles the limited theories of God based on false premises (S8, 9).  She defines “the Christian Science God” plainly and without apology (S10).  She clearly felt that this view led the way out of bondage to outmoded theological views into freedom and liberty.
Section 3: Be of Good Courage
Clarke and Barnes had great courage to stand up to their contemporaries.  Mrs. Eddy, not only confronted orthodox theology, but took on physical science as well.  Virtually every prophet, disciple, and, of course, Christ Jesus himself represented a direct challenge to the status quo.  Each one met the challenge by turning to God for strength.  The Lord's encouraging reply to Joshua's concern (B8) sets the stage for the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (B9). Take the time to appreciate what they were doing by refusing to bow down to the golden image.  How would you fare under the same conditions?  You can substitute whatever you like for the golden image-material medicine, riches, dogmatic beliefs, lust, and so on.  You can do likewise regarding the sound of the music calling for reverence to be made to the image-i.e., physical symptoms, apparent poverty, threats of alienation or heresy, loneliness and so on.  If a situation calls you to bow down to something other than God, what would you do?  The three Hebrew boys were captives in a foreign land facing a king with absolute power.  He even gave them a second chance to explain their actions and hoped they would bow down in the future.  But their minds were made up.  Abingdon writes, “…they needed no further time, and they made no apology. Their answer was bold and to the point. If the God they worshipped were able or willing to deliver them from the fire, he would do so.  But even if not, they were resolved neither to serve the gods of Babylon nor prostrate themselves before the king's image.  This is one of the noblest defiances ever uttered to a false faith.”
When faced with challenges to our faith in God we are under no obligation to capitulate. We don't need to find a diplomatic way around it or excuse our reliance on God. These three boys are our example. Matthew Henry emphasizes the strength of their stance:
“They did not contrive an evasive answer, when a direct answer was expected. Those who make their duty their main care, need not be anxious or fearful concerning the event. The faithful servants of God find Him able to control and overrule all the powers armed against them.  Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst.  If He be for us, we need not fear what man can do unto us. …  They must obey God rather than man; they must rather suffer than sin; and must not do evil that good may come. Therefore none of these things moved them. The saving them from sinful compliance, was as great a miracle in the kingdom of grace, as the saving them out of the fiery furnace was in the kingdom of nature.  Fear of man and love of the world, especially want of faith, make men yield to temptation, while a firm persuasion of the truth will deliver them from denying Christ, or being ashamed of him.”
While there may be some aspects of Henry's theology that remained in old traditions, he certainly saw the importance of standing firmly for one's relationship with God.  Mrs. Eddy held unflinchingly to the oneness and omnipotence of God.  Further, she insists that God and man are inseparable. “Principle and its idea is one” (S12). To think or admit the possibility of a power beside God, saps the strength of our faith (S13). No matter how threatening the surrounding seems to be, God has always proven superior to any opposition (S14).  Giving up the delusion of more than one Mind will free us to perceive man in God's likeness (S15).  Our Leader's words embolden us.  If the world resists Truth, and threatens us, we need not lose heart. “…Science, heeding not the pointed bayonet, marches on” (S16). With God before us nothing can stand against us.
Section 4: Understanding God Heals
The example of courage found in the story of the fiery furnace typifies an unyielding faith.  For some, this seems a bit beyond their reach at the moment. In this section we have the story of a woman who, rather than seeking God first, had spent all her living on physicians in search of healing (B12).  As the first two citations indicate, looking to material means for healing is not all it's cracked up to be. “Is there no balm in Gilead?” asks Jeremiah (B10).  Material remedies tend to tighten the bands of material limitation rather than loosen them.  The woman in need of healing seems almost ashamed to make her faith known-one version of the story said at first, she hid herself.  She may have been content to merge back into the crowd unnoticed, but Jesus sought her out.  Henry notes, “It is great encouragement to humble Christians, that they who hide themselves from men are known to Christ, who sees in secret their applications to heaven when most private. Jesus' acknowledgement of her healing was emphasized as he offered the benediction, “go in peace and be whole…”
Do you suppose she was ever timid about her faith again? This woman was given exactly all she needed. The physicians couldn't cure her of her physical ailments and they certainly could not have met her deeper needs. Love meets every human need (S17).  This powerful message of hope graces the walls of nearly every Christian Science church. It signals those entering the church that we put our faith in God not men, and that our faith is well placed.
Our textbook explains that it is out of God's character to make men sick and it is just as wrong to think God allows men to be sick and then “leaves the remedy to matter” (S18). Sometimes it's argued that God since made everything, this includes medicine for human use. Similarly, that God provides the physicians with the wisdom to know how to heal.  Mrs. Eddy's reply to this may be a metaphorically “hard pill to swallow,” but she explains clearly that the medicine God made was “Mind” (S19).  “Truth is God's remedy for error of every kind…”  Without apology she states that if God provided drugs for human use, Jesus would have used them in his practice.  But, he didn't.  The only power drugs have is the power human belief gives them (S20).  It's as simple as that.  In Christian Science healing occurs because disease and sin disappear from human consciousness as darkness gives place to light (S21).  The divine Principle banishes all sin and disease.  When we realize the omnipotence of divine Principle, everything opposing it melts away.
Section 5: God's Power Brings Peace not Violence
When working with individuals, one can readily see how conditions improve as our understanding of God increases.  But what about the forces of nature?  Facing a storm or flood can seem daunting to anyone.  But whenever we are tempted to think the situation is out of control, whether the flood is actual or figurative, we can turn with confidence to our God to free us.  In the Midwest United States we've had many more storms than usual this year.  The other day callers into a radio show in our area described the helplessness they felt as the strong winds blew over a truck loaded with metal pipes. I prayed to know that nothing was beyond the power of God.  Regardless of the situation, we can always look to God to correct and protect everyone involved.  We are not chained to a series of unfortunate events.  Whether we appear to be at the mercy of a tornado, volcano, of an oil leak in the Gulf, or anything else, the understanding of God can bring harmony.  We can never lose heart when relying on God (B14).  Jesus was completely at peace in the storm, and he rebuked the violence of the wind and waves (B16).  Not only his vessel was safe, but everyone else on the lake too. He walked with the power of Spirit. Jesus wasn't influenced by the environment because he knew the kingdom of God is within (B17). [That is the “Peace Be Still” (P.B.S.) to any wave of fear, anger, sensuality, … See Misc. 307:1]
The textbook declares that everyone, one way or another, will face the claim of a power opposed to God (S22). It tells us that it only our ignorance of God that produces the problem and harmony is restored when we correct our views of God (S23). The vapid, mindless, spiritless violence of material forces of nature have been mistakenly called “acts of God.”  Not so.  They are manifestations of evil showing that matter is not the powerhouse it claims to be, but is flimsy and prone to self-destruction.  The only real power and permanence is Spirit (S24).  Violent acts of nature are contradictions of divine Law (S25).  Appealing to God's law of harmony, which is the natural order of things, has the power to liberate us from impending disaster.
One evening several years ago, I was working on readings for a Wednesday night service when I heard what sounded like a train coming through the neighborhood.  Since we lived within sight of the train station I walked out onto the front porch and looked out into the darkness.  I saw no trains at the station or on the tracks, but the noise was getting louder and sounded at that point like it was coming from above.  I felt it was my duty to hold steadfastly to the omnipresence of Spirit and to know that only the Law of God was in control.  I felt the calm presence of God.  The noise went away in a few minutes.  I found out the next morning that it was a tornado.  No houses were damaged nor were there any injuries reported.  Just a few small planes were overturned at the local airport a few miles away.
This is just one of thousands of such proofs of God's power.  We are not chained or locked in to uncontrollable forces. God is the only power.
Section 6: The Ultimate Liberty [See “The Ultimate Stretch” the “Daily Lift” by Ron Ballard for 6-28-10]
For too long men were taught to fear God.  Jesus dispels this mistake.  He reveals God as man's shepherd and friend providing for our every need.  His will is to give us the kingdom and we have nothing to fear (B18).  Paul reminds Christians that the Spirit frees us from the bondage of fear.  Our connection with God isn't that of slavery, but as sons.  Albert Barnes describes the “liberty of the children of God” as “freedom from sin; from corruption; from evil desires; from calamity; from death. The highest “freedom “in the universe is that which is enjoyed in heaven, where the redeemed are under the sovereignty and government of their king, but where they do that, and that only, which they desire.  All is slavery but the service of God; all is bondage but that law which accords with the supreme wish of the soul, and where commands accord with the perfect desires of the heart.”
We understand in Christian Science that “Love is the liberator” (S26)  Mortal mind is the culprit that binds us to fear, sin, and disease.  These false beliefs also keep us in ignorance as to how to gain our freedom.  We cannot escape sin and sickness through religious dogma or creeds (S27).  We can only break those chains through the understanding of our divine rights.  The discoverer of Christian Science made it her life purpose to free mankind from all forms of tyranny and all bonds of evil.
Nearly everyone is quick to stand up and demand their political and civil rights.  Mrs. Eddy invites us to be equally in earnest for our spiritual rights, which embrace all the others (S29).  We have unwittingly accepted the chains of material belief for centuries.  Until we are free from the beliefs of life in matter we're not free at all.  Let's rise in opposition.  Let's endeavor to find that “infinity, freedom, harmony, and boundless bliss” that comes from a deeper understanding of our God.  That's a liberty worth fighting for.

[PSST: Talk FREELY with God and LISTEN!]
ossible Sunday School Topics by Merrill Boudreaux
for the Christian Science Bible Lesson for July 4th: “God”
P.S.S.T. – Golden Text – This is a good lesson to consider having a conversation with God about our individual and collective freedom.  What is a conversation?  Who speaks?  Who listens?  Is prayer like having a conversation with God?  Consider the prayer of affirmation and what can be affirmed in the Golden Text.  The Spirit of the Lord is where?  Everywhere.  What is the result of this everywhere Spirit for me?  Liberty, Freedom, Fully, Now.
P.S.S.T. – Responsive Reading – How can one behold what God has prepared for each one?  Through the physical senses?  Through inspiration?  Through listening?  Through gratitude?  Have students list the things freely given to mankind by God.  Don’t forget watermelon, strawberries, and ice cream.
There is also the prayer of petition in the Responsive Reading: “Teach me….”  What? “Give me….”  What?
P.S.S.T. – Section 1 – What promise was kept through the conversation God had with Moses?  With whom did God have other conversations?  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. This would be a good time to review these conversations.  What freedom or liberty came to Abraham in Genesis Chapter 12?  What freedom or liberty came to Isaac in Genesis Chapter 22?  What freedom or liberty came to Jacob in Genesis Chapter 32:24-30 and Chapter 33:1-11?
P.S.S.T. – Section 2 – Ask students to read aloud the conversation or prayer in B-6.  Why is it impossible to get away from Spirit?  Why would one ever want to?  One wouldn’t because of the freedoms that come from being with Spirit, God. (S-11)
P.S.S.T. – Section 3 – What are the freedom commands in B-8?  This is a good opportunity to both read aloud and act out the stories in B-9.  When doing so, pay close attention to the conversation underway via the Chaldeans, Nebuchadnezzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; what do you think the princes, governors, captains, and the king’s counselors might have said to each other?  How did the liberty of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego occur?  See S-15.
P.S.S.T. – Section 4 – Another great freedom conversation prayer is wrapped in the story in this section.  Have students create a dialogue between the cast of characters: Jesus, disciples (more than one), a certain woman, and the people.  Have them share the story with dialogue from the different point of view of each of them.
How does Divine Love act?  In, as, and through man, you, me, and all; that is, God does what God does through the ideas created by God.
P.S.S.T. – Section 5 – What is the petition prayer in B-14?  How is that petition prayer answered in
B-15?  What are the affirming freedom prayers in S-23: “…the right understanding of Him restores harmony.”
S-24: “There is no vapid fury….”
S-25: “…the natural order of heaven comes down to earth.”
P.S.S.T. – Section 6 – What is the conversation in this section?  Ask students to list all the liberating or freeing statements in B-18 and B-19. What does Christian Science proclaim in S-29?  What is the result? “…be free!” Is this proclamation limited in any way?  If you were to design a Freedom Flag reflecting any of the liberation stories from your study of this lesson, what would it look like?

[CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletters are provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff who were blessed last summer at CEDARS–as well as to thousands of CEDARS alumni, families, Sunday School teachers and friends who request it, or who find it weekly on our website or through CS Directory.  But, current and planned gifts are much-needed: to cover the costs of running this “free” service; to provide camperships for ongoing inspirational opportunities; and to complete Stages 1 & 2 of Bible Lands Park (BLP)
Your support is always tax-deductible and welcomed–but during the economic downturn, your help has been and continues to be especially needed and appreciated!
Our top need
 is to put our efforts and money where our mission is–by raising–and spending–significant dollars to underwrite camperships for hundreds of campers now applying for aid.
CedarS 3rd Session, July 11-24 has only a few bunks left,
but several of our 4 later sessions and programs still have room. Please help us tell any and all Christian Science Sunday School students and families who you know that there will be plenty of funds available to help them to have their own CedarS Camps spiritual-growth-experience this summer! (Adults are especially welcome at our Midwest Bible Conference, Sept. 16-19, 2010!)  
To support CedarS work you can make a charitable donation to our 501C-3 tax-exempt, charitable organization:
1)  Thank you for considering writing a monthly check payable to CedarS Camps and mailing it to: CedarS Camps, 19772 Sugar Drive, Lebanon, MO 65536;
2)  Thank you for calling Warren or Gay Huff at (636) 394-6162 to charge your gift or to authorize an automatic monthly charge using a Visa or Mastercard or to discuss short-term or long-term gifts of securities or property you are considering;
3) CLICK HERE RIGHT AWAY TO SUPPORT CEDARS WORK with an online gift using, which can be funded using a Visa or Mastercard account.]
[Camp Director's Note: This sharing is the latest in an ongoing, 10-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 “Possible Sunday School Topics” come in a subsequent email.) These weekly offerings are 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 (and angels) 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 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, Executive Director    (636) 394-6162
American Camp Association

(November - May)
410 Sovereign Court #8
Ballwin, MO 63011
(636) 394-6162

(Memorial Day Weekend - October)
19772 Sugar Dr.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-6699

Support our mission!

CedarS Camps

to top