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[PSST: Stop imagining by imaging your original! Guard your door of thought against even subtle cv-19 hypnotism.]

Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on
Ancient and Modern Necromancy, alias Mesmerism and Hypnotism, Denounced for Sunday May 31, 2020

By Tom and Amy Evans, former staff members and big fans of CedarS

In the Subject of the Lesson this week, three imaginary dark practices (Necromancy, Mesmerism, and Hypnotism) are “denounced”.

  • What does the word denounce mean?
  • Why is it important to disprove scary and controlling yet imaginary conventions?

Each of the imaginary items in the Subject might be considered someone’s profession. There are people who call themselves Mesmerists, Hypnotists and Necromancers.

  • Does that make these fields of practice more valid? (NO)
  • If someone were trying to hypnotize you, how would you pray? (begin by understanding hypnotism is unreal, stand porter at the door of thought…)

The subject suggests there is a difference between ancient and modern practices of these three claims. What might the difference be? (possibly more obvious is the past, more subtle in modern versions)

The subject of the lesson describes Necromancy as “Alias” Mesmerism, and Hypnotism.

  • Define the word “alias”
  • Why might necromancy, which is the supposed act of speaking with the dead, be the same as attempting to control another person’s thoughts?

Here is an article in this month’s Christian Science Journal in which the author, Elena Simpson, denounces modern hypnotism and finds healing.

How is CoViD-19 an obvious or subtle example of hypnotism?

PSST for Golden Text and Responsive Reading

The Golden Text asks “What will you imagine against the Lord?”

  • The words imagine / imagined / imagination are used 27 times in the lesson this week.
  • Compare the word “Image” in citation S15 to imagine and the imaginations of mortals throughout the lesson. [WH: Take away the in from the middle of imagine & you have image which citation S15 defines as the Christ! “The Christ is incorporeal, spiritual, — yea, the divine image and likeness, dispelling the illusions…” (SH 332:11)]
  • What kinds of ideas or false claims are you holding on to [that should be dispelled]?
  • Are there false beliefs which are not a part of God's kingdom trying to weasel their way into your thinking?
  • How can you stop yourself from playing the “what if” game?
    • What if I get sick?
    • What if I get hurt?
    • What if something bad happens?
    • When harmful imaginations creep in to your thought, how do you stop them?
  • Christ, the image of God [ — “that Mind … in us which was also in Christ Jesus”] denounces false claims [SH 497:25]

P.S.S.T. for Section 1 – God is all-power

Where does power come from (citation B3)? Why is this important to consider? Discuss citation S1. How does Mary Baker Eddy reason that there is only one God? What is significant about this citation?

P.S.S.T. for Section 2 – The Tower of Babel, Past and Present

Read citation B4 about the Tower of Babel.

  • Think about the egotistical goals of the people involved
  • Look at the way God is depicted
    • Do you think God becomes jealous of people? (No)
    • Does God respond to sinful motives with wrath (No)

Read citation S3 (the definition of Babel in the Glossary of Science and Health).

  • How does this citation along with citation S4 set the stage for understanding the need to avoid building on false material foundations?
  • Why should we seek spiritual, rather than material goals?
  • Can you think of any examples in your life when material desires came tumbling down? [WH: How does this relate to Mary Baker Eddy’s statement on page one of her textbook: “Desire is prayer. And no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, that they may be moulded and exalted before they take form in words and deeds.” (SH 1:10)]

How does the tower of Babel set the stage in Section 2 of the lesson this week for denouncing mesmerism?

Why does Mary Baker Eddy devote two pages of Science and Health to explaining the history of mesmerism and the French commission that investigated and denounced it? (S&H pp. 100-101)

  • Why does she mention that Benjamin Franklin was one of the commissioners?
  • Why does she mention the years when Mesmer claimed its reality and when the French commission denounced it? (These events lend factual, historical evidence to disproving Mesmer's theory.)

P.S.S.T. for Section 3 – I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!

Talk about the comforting citations in this section. What does it mean for your foot to not be taken (citation B11)?
Since God doesn’t give us the “spirit of fear” (citation B12, II Timothy 1:7), but instead “of power, and of love and of a sound mind”, what is there to be afraid of? (Hint: nothing) Discuss what it means if there is only light and no darkness (citation B13).
Citation S11 compares false beliefs to children afraid of ghosts. How do you know that there are no monsters under your bed? How can you have the same reasoning regarding mortal beliefs?
Notice in citation S13 how Mary Baker Eddy describes Science as ending “hypotheses involved in false theories and practices” (S&H 484:24). It’s all about acknowledging that something false is false. No combating something real.

P.S.S.T. for Section 4 – Healing

There are a lot of healings described in citation B15. This is a verse that is often found in the lesson to set the stage for the impact Jesus had on the region. Dive deeper with your class. Jesus was around Galilee, but the Bible says his fame was in all of Syria (Damascus is about 75 miles from Galilee). Why do you think it was stated that knowledge of Jesus spread so far?

Citation B16 describes Jesus healing Peter’s mother-in-law of a fever. Was there any difference to Jesus between healing someone with a fever or healing someone who was lunatic, or someone with palsy?

Look at citation S14 to see how Jesus healed.
What does Mary Baker Eddy say is “a Christian Scientist’s medicine” (citation S17)? Citations S18, S19 and S20 give explanations about how to heal. Notice how all three citations refer to imaginary power or illusion.

P.S.S.T. for Section 5 – Don’t imagine evil (don’t sin!)

Why is it important to not “imagine evil” (citations B18 and B19). What are we directed to do instead? How do you show mercy and compassion to your brother? Why do you think both of the Bible citations in this section warn against imagining evil? The Bible Lens Bible Translations in the online Bible Lesson includes the following translations for each citation, both from the New Century Version:

Citation B18, Proverbs 12:20 Those who plan evil are full of lies,

but those who plan peace are happy.

Citation B19, Zechariah 7:9, 10

This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: ‘Do what is right and true. Be kind and merciful to each other. Don’t hurt widows and orphans, foreigners or the poor; don’t even think of doing evil to somebody else.

The bold sections are the different translations of “imagine evil”. How do those translations change the way you read the Bible verses in this section? Discuss citation S21. Mary Baker Eddy is pretty clear about the importance of handling hatred, lust, revenge, deceit immediately.

Citations S22 and S23 focus on sin and eliminating it. What do those citations have to do with the Bible verses? How are you “pour[ing] in truth through flood-tides of Love (citation S24, S&H 201:17)? What will be the result?

P.S.S.T. for Section 6 – No mental malpractice

Discuss what Paul writes in Romans 8 (citation B23)? Is there anything that separates us from Christ? (spoiler: no!) Why are we blessed when we are persecuted (citation B24)?

The Bible Lens Research includes insights into this citation about persecution. What is mental malpractice (citation S26)? How do we defend ourselves against mental malpractice?

Citation S27 begins with the sentence found in many Christian Science churches (S&H 494:10). What is significant to you about the second sentence in that citation? What is Mary Baker Eddy looking forward to in citation S30? How are you recognizing the Science of Christ and loving your neighbor as yourself?

P.S.S.T. for Section 7 – Ending imaginations

Both the Golden Text and the final Bible Marker in the lesson this week include Nahum 1:9. What message can we take from this bookend passage?

Good things

  • The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble;
  • God knows them that trust in God.

Distractions and suggestions

  • Whatever they plot against the Lord,, He will bring to an end;
  • Trouble will not come a second time. (NIV)
  • Affliction will not rise up a second time. (NKJV)
  • By the end of the lesson when we read Nahum 1:9 the second time, we have all we need to prevent suggestions from rising up a second time.

In citation S31, how can Mary Baker Eddy say Truth cannot be reversed, but the reverse of Error is true? Why is this?

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