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It’s a no-brainer – intelligence is not in “MATTER.”
Application Ideas for the Bible-lesson on Matter for Sept. 19, 2004
Prepared by Kathy Fitzer, CS of St. Louis, MO

Be alert!  Refuse to bow down to the wanta-be, good-for-nothing, man-made god called matter – the NOT!

There is only one God.  Unfortunately, we sometimes get fooled into thinking that the suppositional opposite of God, Spirit – called matter –  also has power.  Snap out of it – without your consent, matter has no authority to make any rules at all!

The Golden Text:  The root of the problem – man thinks he’s a creator
The paraphrase from Kenneth Taylor (found in The Word:  The Bible from 26 Translations) says:  “Can men make God?  The gods they make are not real gods at all.”  And Peterson in The Message puts it:  “Can mortals manufacture gods?  Their factories turn out no-gods.”  Don’t be taken in by a fake!

The Responsive Reading:  Don’t unwittingly worship that which is not – worship God!  A mistake has been made in perception, and it needs correcting.  The New English Bible translates Ps. 19:12 as, “Who is aware of his own unwitting sins?”  That’s the point.  Mortal mind has created and worships its own “wanta-be” god, matter, and doesn’t realize its own horrible mistake. The fact remains, (Ps. 96: 5) “all the gods of the nations are idols.”  The original Hebrew word, translated here as idol comes from the root word, ‘al, meaning not.  It can also be translated: good for nothing, no value, thing of nought.  And yet, we act as if matter is god and has all kinds of power.  The Responsive Reading tells us that truly God has created the heavens and the earth and everything they contain.  Our privilege is to rejoice in this fact and honor it!

Section I:  There can only be one omnipotence – one creation!
The first chapter of Genesis clearly states that God created heaven and earth, filling all with light, making it good, creating man in His image.  Nothing can change what God has done.  The second chapter of Genesis has a report of creation that conflicts with the first.  Herein begins the belief of a material creation, and is the root of the confusion.  Mrs. Eddy describes this second chapter as “the exact opposite of scientific truth as before recorded.  The history of error or matter, if veritable (true), would set aside the omnipotence of Spirit; but it is the false history in contradistinction to the true.” (#3, p. 521)  All that follows based on this material record of creation involves error.  It is a human concept – starting from effect (the testimony of the material senses) trying to explain the origin of the lie.  We can’t mix a lie with the truth if we hope to live by the truth.  We can’t mix Spirit and matter.  Both traditional theology (the teaching of traditional churches) and physics teach that both Spirit and matter are real.  Christian Science reveals the facts:  “Spirit is good and real, and matter is Spirit’s opposite.” (#1, p. viii)  Again, matter is the idol – the “not” of creation.  Matter is nothing but a NOT – nothing but a false human concept.  It is just as “not” as the human concept that the sun moves and the earth is still.  We accept the scientific explanation that corrects that perception, so let’s stop basing everything on the false human concept called matter and let Science correct it with God’s perfect spiritual creation – full of light – full of understanding.

Section II:  Don’t be fooled by the testimony of the corporeal senses – you’re not in the flesh, but in Spirit.
We have to decide which testimony about the universe (including man) we’re going to believe.  God gives us the only true report.  Error, or corporeal sense, has its own version.  Error in the realm of mathematics has its own version of things, too (like the ignorant supposition that 8×8=88), but we don’t get upset about that.  We just correct it with the understanding of multiplication.  So, let’s correct the false suppositions regarding man.  Chapter 2 of I Corinthians explains that the eyes and ears don’t see the good that God has prepared for us.  But God reveals the truth to us through spiritual sense (through the Holy Ghost).  The truth is (Gen 1) that man is spiritual.  This section describes what man is and what he is not; what matter is and what it is not.  Look for what Science and Health teaches about that.  It teaches us what Christian Science reveals, versus the lie presented by the corporeal senses.  Try taking different colored pencils or highlighters and identify the testimony of Christian Science (dependable) and of the opposite belief (the corporeal senses).  Notice where each one leads us – the one to destruction, the other to unlimited possibilities.  Then you decide which testimony you will entertain.  Your identity is not in a material body any more than the sun is moving around the earth – no matter how it appears.

Section III:  It’s a no-brainer – intelligence is not in matter.
Jesus illustrated that mind is not in matter by healing the insane man. (# 9, Mark 5) I was interested as I read the account this time of the description of the man “cutting himself with stones.”  Today’s teenagers are sometimes tempted to cut themselves in response to depression or desperation.  This is as much an imposition on their thought, as it was on this man’s thought.  It was believed that the devils tormenting people like this man may have been the spirits of fallen warriors, violent in nature, which possessed the bodies of the living and transformed their personality.  This seems absurd to our educated sense.  Yet, do we allow ourselves to be tormented or haunted by beliefs of hereditary mental illness or that a difficult experience in childhood can now disturb us and cause imbalance, or that chemical imbalance of the brain can cause insanity or dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.  The basic problem lies in the belief of mind in matter.  Jesus’ treatment of the case clearly illustrates how to treat such cases today.  Jesus approached this man with compassion, recognizing that the difficulty was not with the man, but with the supposition of mind in matter.  He addressed the false belief directly – spoke directly to the devilish belief of a mind apart from God.    This suppositional mind responded.  It referred to itself as Legion – boasting of its size and power.  Once again we have the the belief of many minds – tugging in different directions.  Knowing that it was doomed in the presence of the Christ, Truth, the devils request to be put in the swine, grazing near-by.  Perhaps Jesus allowed the “devils” to “move” from the man to the swine in order to clearly illustrate that the problem was not in matter – not in a brain.  The belief destroyed itself as the swine ran of one accord, but without reason, over the cliff to their destruction.  The man we then freed from this imposition and seen in his right mind – with no lingering aftereffects.  We each have the mind of Mind, God – and only that mind.  Jesus demonstrated that for all time.  We should follow his example by distinguishing between the truth and the lie.  Mrs. Eddy asks and answers the key question, “How can intelligence dwell in matter when matter is non-intelligent and brain-lobes cannot think?  Matter cannot perform the functions of Mind.”  (#11, p. 478)  Accept it!  Give God the credit.  We can’t accept a healthy (or brilliant) brain, while rejecting a diseased (or less-intelligent) brain.  Mind in not in matter, or brain, period!

Section IV:  Matter unreliable help in overthrowing disease – Christ only sure aid
Jesus healed all kinds of diseases in order to demonstrate to the people the power of the Christ.  His opponents believed that he used the power of the devil (Beelzebub, chief of the devils) to cast out devils.  How absurd!  As Jesus explained, if Satan cast out Satan, his kingdom would be divided, and would fall.  Further he acknowledged that he was not the only one who cast out devils and that being the case, “if you’re slinging devil mud at me, calling me a devil who kicks out devils, doesn’t the same mud stick to your own exorcists?  But if it’s God’s finger I’m pointing that sends the demons on their way, then God’s kingdom is here for sure.” (The Message — #12, Luke 11)  Thus, Jesus’ assurance that the Christ-power was for all.  Dependence on medicine to heal is turning to matter to heal matter – like turning to the devil to heal the devil.  It doesn’t work.  It may have a temporary effect because of the faith behind it, but it is not a permanent solution.  That is what distinguished Jesus’ work from the work of the exorcists of his time.  Mrs. Eddy identifies the first idolatry as “faith in matter.” (#17, p. 146)  So, faith in matter – to make sick or to cure is the first NOT – the first “good for nothing.”  The absurdity of human reasoning is illustrated in marker 19 or Science and Health, p. 421.  How tempting it seems to investigate the symptoms of a disease and to treat the symptoms (either with a material application or prayerfully trying to make the reality of the symptoms somehow disappear).  The answer lies in this:  “Insist vehemently on the great fact which covers the whole ground, that God, Spirit, is all, and that there is none beside Him.  There is no disease.  That gets back to the truth of Genesis I, and the falsity of material mis-conceptions.  “Christian Science and Christianity are one.   … Matter is not self-sustaining.  Its false supports fail one after another.”  (#20, p. 372)  Jesus, as well as his disciples and apostles fully demonstrated the power of Christianity to heal all manner of disease.  Christian Science provides us with the understanding of how to practice these proofs today – why allow ourselves to be tempted to try to cast out material beliefs with matter?  Matter is just a big NOT!

Section V:  Freedom in Spirit – Courage to reject matter
The apostles were thrown in prison for healing.  Yet, the angel of the Lord freed them.  They then acted in direct opposition to their captors, returning to the place from which they were banned, continuing their healing practice.  They expressed no timidity, realizing that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”  (#15, II Cor. 3)  We can practice that same kind of moral courage – undisturbed by the reports that Christian Science doesn’t heal, or is an unreliable method to rely on in caring for children.  The Sadducees thought they could stop the Christ by arresting the apostles.  Their limited theological views persecuted the Truth in those days.  To some extent this is still the case, but Mrs. Eddy expands on this sense of persecution with this statement:  “The determination to hold Spirit in the grasp of matter is the persecutor of Truth and Love.”  (#22, p. 28)  Whenever we fall into the trap of believing we are healing a real material problem, rather than a false belief regarding the nature of man, we are persecuting Truth and Love.  Look in this section for references to the relation of Spirit and matter (or the lack of relation) and where we need to go in thought in order to “depart from material sense into the spiritual sense of being.”  (#25, p. 40)

Section VI:  Patience must have her perfect work!
The full recognition of life in Spirit – with matter so clearly seen as a NOT that it disappears from our experience – is not something that will come in a moment.  It requires patience and persistence.  But the promise is made that perfection will be seen. “When the substance of Spirit appears in Christian Science, the nothingness of matter is recognized.” (#28, p. 480)  Paul had to learn patience as he spread the word and demonstrated the power of the Christ.  He encouraged his students to practice what they did understand, and assured them that what needed correcting would be revealed to them, in time, by God. (#17, Phil. 3)  Paul didn’t do it by himself – he gained followers and they, in turn, preached to others and they company grew.  It was the result of the dedication of those who had seen the light, though, that challenged them to go out and share what they had and encourage others.  We must be gentle with ourselves and others, but we must persist.  “Emerge gently from matter into Spirit.”  (#27, p. 485)  It won’t happen in a day, but it will never happen if we don’t start emerging.  When you prepare to go on a trip, you have to pull the car out of the garage and get started or you’ll never get to the destination.  And along the way, you enjoy the journey.  So it is with our spiritual journey.  Practice what you know and enjoy the journey! Look in this section for the commands in Science and Health.  Look for the sentences that start with verbs and look for Mrs. Eddy’s usage of words such as must, requires, etc.  Then, practice!  Imagine the effect on the world (not to mention our personal lives) as we persist in fighting “the battle between Spirit and flesh.”  (#26, p. 253)  As we love God and love man, we’ll naturally let go of all the “NOT-beliefs” that would bind man and we’ll be happy for “divine Love to move upon the waters of mortal mind, and form the perfect concept.” (#30, p. 454)

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