The Truth – Seven Smooth Stones

Thanks to Bob Vessels for his following comment bringing more light to our discovery of “Know the Truth – A spiritual Law of Freedom.”

Bob writes, “The story of David killing Goliath with just one of five smooth stones suggests to me that the Goliaths of today — dementia, Alzheimer’s, cancer etc — are ripe for destruction. You see we have a greater arsenal than David did. We have seven stones — Life, Truth, Love, Soul, Spirit, Mind, Principle — available to us. (Mary Baker Eddy in Science and Health defines these terms as synonymous for what is God). What we need to do is make certain they are made smooth by an enlightened understanding, and demonstration. Like David we really only need one smooth stone to do the job, but we are better prepared to do battle if all seven of the stones in our possession are smooth. As I thought about this I felt blessed by the recent postings on the ‘Know the “Truth”’ blogs. They provided very effective ‘polishing agents’ for helping me smooth my concept of Truth as an important stone in the arsenal for destroying the Goliaths of today. Truly ‘… Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free’ from each and every argument being used to convince us that we are less than the image and likeness of God.’”

In a talk entitled “It shall be the duty …” given by Jack Hubbell, CSB, on November 10, 1996, he recounts that in an article in the New York Times in the early Fall of 1996 entitiled “The Spin Doctors,” it discusses the placebo and nocebo effects. Now how does this relate to our seven smooth stones. Jack goes on to say that first, a placebo is a false drug – such as a sugar pill – that contains no medicinal ingredient. The belief of its curative benefit is it’s so called medicinal ingredient. Nocebo is the opposite of placebo. It is a belief in sickness through a mental catalyst an aggressive mental suggestion. Mary Baker Eddy depicts this nocebo effect in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “A man was made to believe that he occupied a bed where a cholera patient had died. Immediately the symptoms of this disease appeared, and the man died. The fact was, that he had not caught the cholera by material contact, because no cholera patient had been in that bed … where did the symptoms come from?” (p. 154) Jack’s talk states that Robert Hahn, an epidemiologist at the center for disease control, wrote in a paper given at a nocebo conference “beliefs can make us sick as well as healthy. The nocebo phenomenon is a little – recognized facet of culture that may be responsible for a substantial variety of pathology throughout the world.”

Now where is this leading us!

The Pharma industry has embraced the “nocebo phenomenon” as central to their marketing model – to communicate and sell the belief of a specific sickness or disease – i.e.: the nocebo – and then to provide the medical equivalent of “a placebo phenomenon” in the form of an FDA approved drug solution, affirmatively entitled by a doctor prescribed controlled process. This Pharma model, nocebo/placebo, is in my opinion equivalent to the anti-Christ – a belief in the power of an aggressive mental suggestion.

Enter today’s David’s with seven smooth stones – Life – our eternal being as created in the image of God; Truth – our spiritual reality resulting in living as the likeness of God; Love – our ever-present unconditional goodness as the enlightened reflection of God; Mind – our infinite intelligence as manifesting the divine cause and effect; Soul – our expressed identity and individuality as being one with the creation of God; Spirit – our spiritual substance as reflective of ever-present Life, Truth, and Love; and Principle – God’s Law in operation, demonstrating His omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent scientific presence, here and now. These seven smooth stones, munitions of Truth, are synonyms for God. “The Great I Am; the All knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all wise, all-loving, and eternal” (Science and Health p. 587). Jack Hubbell concludes, in essence, that a placebo or nocebo belief can have no effect in a consciousness that knows that which is and a consciousness that knows that which is, is a consciousness imbued with the Christ. Being conscious of reality – being conscious of ourselves as we really are – is knowing the Truth that makes us free – not a question of changing reality but of discovering it – The antidote to the anti-Christ!

As Bob Vessels’s expressed it “’polishing agents’ for helping me smooth my concepts of Truth.”

The suppositional belief systems employed in the use of a placebo and nocebo pharma model are not solutions to sin, disease, and death, as is confirmed by empirical medical science in the observation that these beliefs mutate and migrate to new resistant forms of material expression that compromise health and well being which require ever changing Pharma solutions. Mary Baker Eddy speaks to this in Science and Health with the marginal heading “advancing degrees,” “Evidences of progress and of spiritualization greet us on every hand. Drug-systems are quitting their hold on matter and so letting in matter’s higher stratum, mortal mind. Homoeopathy, a step in advance of allopathy, is doing this. Matter is going out of medicine; and mortal mind, of a higher attenuation than the drug, is governing the pellet” (p.158). She states “Metaphysics, as taught in Christian Science, is the next stately step beyond homoeopathy. In metaphysics, matter disappears from the remedy entirely, and Mind takes its rightful and supreme place …Christian Science exterminates the drug, and rests on Mind alone as the curative Principle, acknowledging that the divine Mind has all power” (p.156-157).

The Goliaths of today, aggressive mental suggestions, which are masked and armed in their assault on our consciousness through directed messaging and imposed solutions – dissipate forever when impacted with any and all of the seven smooth stones – confirming the presence of the Christ and polished by the grace of God.

 

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Healing with scientific certainty

The NY Committee plans to invite guest posts on the NY blog. These past few weeks the blog has been discussing Christian Science healing in its biblical context to “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Christine Driessen, CSB has contributed greatly in this discussion, and as a Christian Science Teacher and Lecturer to the understanding essential to scientific divine practice – the Truth that shall set you free. Her post adding more light follows:

Healing with scientific certainty
By: Christine Driessen, CSB

Wonderful quote in the last blog post from Archibald McLellan about the exactness of this Science and the need to follow it exactly!

Christ Jesus said that anyone who followed his teaching would be able to heal as he did and do even greater works than these, but not without absolute obedience to the law of God, Spirit–recognizing and obeying only one power, Spirit; and not worshipping, fearing or obeying matter gods.  In his beloved Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7) Jesus said that we have to first “Seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these other things would be added unto us.”

Today many of our dictionaries have replaced traditional definitions with more secular ones.  For example, “righteousness” is often defined today as “doing what you think is right”–meaning each person can redefine “right” anyway they want.  And then people wonder why prayer doesn’t seem to work!   If we think “righteousness” is something we can redefine according to the beliefs of a particular period, then when we appeal to divine law in our prayers, we may think mistakenly that prayer doesn’t work. And yet a law is not “law” unless it is enforceable and reliable.

However, consider this definition from the dictionary of Mary Baker Eddy’s time, because it’s taken right from the original Greek meaning of this word.  Definition of righteousness (Noah Webster, 2nd ed., 1852):

“Conformity of heart and life to the divine law, the active and passive obedience of Christ, by which the law of God is fulfilled.  Purity of heart, rectitude of life.” “Rectitude” is defined as “exact conformity to truth, or to the rules prescribed for moral conduct, either by divine or human laws.”  “Exact” means “precise, strict, careful, not negligent.”

I also find this passage in Science and Health, 327:17, with the marginal note ‘Peremptory demands”, very interesting:  “To the physical senses, the strict demands of Christian Science seem peremptory; but mortals are hastening to learn that Life is God, good, and that evil has in reality neither place nor power in the human or the divine economy.”

The word “peremptory” is defined as “Express; positive; absolute; decisive; authoritative; in a manner to preclude debate or expostulation.”

Divine law is absolute, allowing no debate or challenge, but that is what makes it so reliable and scientifically certain.

The Bible says the “science of God” (Rom. 11:33) is perfect (Job 37:16) and is found in the secret of the Christ (Col. 2:2-3).  Prov. 1:7 says that the “fear (obedience, love, trust) of God is the beginning of science.”  Those who only read an English translation of the original Greek may never realize that the word “knowledge” is being used instead of science, since “science” means knowledge, but a science is so much more than human knowledge. Translations such as the French use the actual word “science” in these biblical passages and they give a much clearer sense of the meaning.

We don’t ever have to fear obeying God’s will because the Bible shows repeatedly that God is Love itself, merciful, forgiving, healing, redeeming all of us from suffering (Ps. 103:2-4, for example).   Gen. 1 says that everything that God makes is very good and Deut. 32:4 says His work is perfect, and Ps. 18:32 says God makes our way perfect, so we do not need to fear God’s law or His will.  It is always good.  God causes us to succeed and prosper and to be in safety and in good health (Gen.1:28) because health and peace are natural to God’s creation.  Understanding this Science, which teaches that Spirit is the only Mind, creator, power or reality of existence, opens our eyes to our inherent wholeness right now.

Mary Baker Eddy explains in her textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, that it is possible for anyone to learn to heal with “scientific certainty” through the Christ Love demonstrated by Jesus (496:15).  But she was not referring to a human definition of love which changes with every new philosophy or fad.  She was referring to the two great Commandments found in Christianity, Judaism and Islam:  1) Love (obey) God, Spirit, supremely and have only one God.  2) Love your neighbor as yourself (as Christ Jesus demonstrated).  Absolute obedience to these two laws is what enables people to understand and demonstrate the Science of the Christ by healing sin, disease and death.

Sometimes people today say that “heal” means simply to give someone a sense of peace as they are dying or struggling with long-term illness.  And yet there are over 50 uses of the word “healing” in the four Gospels alone.  Not one of those times did the word “healing” mean accepting suffering and death peacefully.  Every single time, Jesus cured the people of their diseases–the blind saw, the lame walked, the deaf heard, the sinners stopped sinning.  Even long standing conditions were instantly healed: hemorrhaging for 12 years, deformity of the back for 18 years, paralysis for 38 years.  And Jesus even raised people from death:  Lazarus had been in the tomb 4 days already, but Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me shall not see death”; and Lazarus immediately returned to normal life.

When we are absolutely obedient to the law of mathematics, then we are able to work out mathematical problems with mathematical certainty!  To the degree that we diverge from the laws of mathematics, to that degree our work fails to demonstrate the exactness of that science.

Eddy uses the phrase “in proportion to” or “in proportion as” almost 60 times in her writings, each time indicating that it is only to the degree that we are obedient to God’s law and faithful to His Science, that we are able to demonstrate the divine Principle of this healing Science.   The Science of God and His Christ is an exact science, and we will begin to discover the exactness of this divine Science–and find that prayer is effective, reliable, scientifically certain– “in proportion to” our exact obedience and fidelity to God’s law.”

Thank you Christine on behalf of the New York Committee.

 

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Know the “Truth” – A spiritual law of freedom

Recently, Christine Driessen, CSB, Christian Science Teacher and Lecturer, commented on my blog post “Knowing the Truth (Christian Science jargon for spiritual healing).” She says “The phrase ‘Know the truth’ is actually a quote from Christ Jesus when he said to his followers, ‘Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.’ John 8:32. Jesus healed every kind of physical suffering we face today–acute, chronic, congenital, hereditary, contagious, long standing problems; and even raised the dead. And he said that anyone who followed his teaching could heal as he did and do greater works than these. John 14:12. Knowing the truth that God, Spirit, is our Father and created us frees us from the belief of suffering of every sort.

St. Paul also talks about the freeing power of this truth when we ‘know’ it to be true. Mary Baker Eddy says on page 113:8 in First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, that Paul declares the truth of the complete system of Christian Science in two verses in the Bible: Rom. 8:1-2, ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit, for the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus frees us from the law of sin and death.’ The word condemnation also means ‘incurability.’ What promise is found in this ‘Truth’!

Archibald McLellan, an Editor of the Christian Science Journal, in a February 1910 article, punctuates this “exacting Science,” system of Christian Science spiritual healing as it relates to the exactness in the scientific classification of Truth in working out a problem analogous to the exactness in the scientific classification of mathematics. He says “It is sometimes said by those who are critical of Christian Science, that its adherents are narrow, that they are persons of one idea, even bigoted in their insistence upon one way and only one way of expressing themselves and the universe. Yet these same critics are not offended by the exactness and ‘bigotry’ displayed by the mathematician, who is equally exact and equally insistent upon the manner in which a problem in mathematics shall be stated and worked out. Just why this should be so is hard to explain, except upon the theory that these critics look upon mathematics as an exact science, and the relation of God to man and the universe as a relation of chance and change; a theory which will not bear analysis.

If, with God, there is, as the apostle James wrote, ‘no variableness, neither shadow of turning,’ then the knowledge of God and His relation to His creation cannot be otherwise than the knowledge of something which is exact and unchangeable, and this knowledge can be rightly expressed only in the most exact and certain way. This is clearly stated by Mrs. Eddy in Science and Health, where she says (p.127): ‘If God, the All-in-all, be the creator of the spiritual universe, including man, then everything entitled to a classification as truth, or Science, must be comprised in a knowledge or understanding of God, for there can be nothing beyond illimitable divinity.’”

Truthematics – Count on it!

 

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Knowing the Truth – Power of positive thinking?

George Henke in his comment to my post last week answers this question saying “Christian Science is not “power of positive thinking, with no Principle behind it.” I am with George on this and believe it is right on point with my answer to the question “How is it that by knowing the Truth, or being conscious of that which is already true, we arrive at healing in Christian Science.” My answer begins with “Knowing the Truth is not a means to healing – it “is” the healing in Christian Science. Then I go on to explain my thoughts on what is knowing the Truth – such as “the Discovery of the perfection of our true being already present”; “the revealing of reality; — not a process of changing reality” and finally, affirmation of wellness based on “understanding why!” which is an essential element to healing and to Christian Science treatment through prayer. Christian Science healing is based on an understanding of spiritual reality not human will power, blind belief or simply positive thinking. Knowing the Truth – is used in the context as know, known, knowing, etc. and is defined by the Random House Dictionary of the English Language as “to perceive or understand as fact or truth; to apprehend clearly and with certainty – In Collins Concise English Dictionary it says: know, knows, knowing, etc. is “to be or feel certain of the truth or accuracy of fact, etc. and in Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary know, knew, known, knowing is “to perceive directly: have direct cognition of, to have understanding of.”

The blog concludes with the “result” that in this way, of knowing the Truth, we experience the miracle of spiritual healing!” It goes on to give Mary Baker Eddy’s definition of miracle as “that which is divinely natural, but must be learned humanly; a phenomenon of Science.” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures p. 591) She also says “the miracle introduces no disorder, but unfolds the primal order, establishing the Science of God’s unchangeable law.” (Science and Health p. 135).

Mary Baker Eddy uses the term “knowing” as fundamental in her depiction of the miracle of spiritual healing in Science and Health to quote “the sick are not healed merely by declaring there is no sickness but by knowing that there is none” (Science and Health p. 447). She also says – “knowing that God was the Life of Man, Jesus was able to present himself unchanged after the crucifixion. Truth fosters the idea of Truth, and not the belief in illusion or error” (Science and Health p. 555).

Larry Wojno adds to this blog topic with the following comment “Both positive thinking and medical practice start from the standpoint of a sick material body that is manipulated in some way to produce a well material body.  My understanding of Christian healing is that it starts from the spiritual basis of perfect God and perfect man as the only reality. Seeing (knowing) this clearly enables us to claim God’s (Truth’s) unchanging reality about our true being.  This seems best summarized in Science and Health (page 476:31-4) when Mrs. Eddy describes how Jesus knew the Truth to find the Kingdom of God intact: ‘Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals.  In this perfect man the Saviour saw God’s own likeness and this correct view of man healed the sick.’”

Clearly Truth (God) is the only power and reality doing the work, whether we see (know) it or not.”

And as George noted in his final comments; our part is simply to know the Truth, but it is the Christ, Truth, it is God, Spirit; Life, Truth, Love, the triune Principle of Christian Science, that actually does the work when we know the Truth.”

Not power of positive thinking but knowing the Truth, in this way, shall make you free! So – By George and Larry too, I think we got it!

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KNOWING THE TRUTH (Christian Science jargon for spiritual healing)

Question – How is it that by knowing the Truth, or being conscious of that which is already true, we arrive at healing in Christian Science?

Answer – Knowing the Truth is not a means to healing – it “is” the healing in Christian Science. This means that through prayer, healing is not recovery; healing is discovery, the discovery of the perfection of our true being already present. Healing in Christian Science is the revealing of reality; it is not a process of changing reality, sick to well. Reality is Man’s being as created in the image and after the likeness of God. Knowing the Truth in Christian Science is thus not a process we use to go from imperfection to perfection by affirming “I am well,” as a means to not being sick. We affirm, “I am well” because I am well, and therefore I am not sick, and I understand why!

Why? – Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science writes, “Hold perpetually this thought, — that it is the spiritual idea, the Holy Ghost and Christ, which enables you to demonstrate, with scientific certainty, the rule of healing” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures p. 496). In the Bible, I John 4:16, we read, “God is Love.” Christian Scientists embrace Divine Love as the expressed image of what we are; our spiritual identity and individuality. Thus as we realize this expression of the Christ, Love, in consciousness, we are “being” the image of Love, and “living” the likeness of Love, from which healing results and well-being ensues proactively. Mary Baker Eddy tells us “To live so as to keep human consciousness in constant relation with the divine, the spiritual, and the eternal, is to individualize infinite power; and this is Christian Science” (Miscellany). Christian Science is thus a reinstatement of the lost art of spiritual healing as taught and practiced by the “Master” Christian Christ Jesus and accessible to each one of us 24/7 through knowing the Truth in proactive prayer.

Result! – In this way, of knowing the Truth, we experience the miracle of spiritual healing! – Miracle as defined by Mary Baker Eddy is “that which is divinely natural, but must be learned humanly; a phenomenon of Science” (Science and Health p.591). Not recovery but the discovery of the harmony and perfection of our true being, as created in God’s image and after God’s likeness – Love.

 

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Divine right for a spiritual health care choice

A friend wrote to me yesterday that Merrill Matthews has an op-ed in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal on why Obama should drop the Health Care individual mandate.  My friend reported that in this article he says that justice – or the deciding of individual liberty! – is “a crapshoot” because of the composition of the Supreme Court. As if justice is somehow absent?! He then puts forth another proposition in the form of a compromise by two Senators and goes on to say that this, of course, is an attempt to hide the real issue – which is man’s individual liberty! Finally, without individual liberty are there “States’ rights?”

I replied to my friend that we are in agreement on the point that individual liberty is fundamental to “States’ rights” and must be the leading edge of civil liberty and justice for all to choose a system of health care that has proven reliable and is results based. We must not be required to pay for or comply with a Federal individual mandate or accept compromise which cannot serve this end!

In my case this form of Health Care is spiritual as taught and practiced by Christ Jesus and fully revealed by Mary Baker Eddy in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. As a Christian Scientist, I believe that divine justice is not subject to dilution, division or a belief of dualism. Mary Baker Eddy states in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “Mortal Man has his appeal to Spirit, God, who sentences only for sin. The false and unjust beliefs of your human mental legislators compel them to enact wicked laws of sickness and so forth, and then render obedience to these laws punishable as crime. In the presence of the Supreme Lawgiver, standing at the bar of Truth, and in accordance with the divine statutes, I repudiate the false testimony of Personal Sense. I ask that he be forbidden to enter against Mortal Man any more suits to be tried at the Court of Material Error. I appeal to the just and equitable decisions of divine Spirit to restore to Mortal Man the rights of which he has been deprived” (p. 440: 20-32).

I believe that it is man’s divine right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness expressed in States’ rights and our individual liberty for a spiritual health care choice.

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Our wish for you at Christmas and the New Year!

Isaiah had a great vision of the ever-present Christ Spirit and divine government: “of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end” (Isaiah 9:7).

First he saw the coming of Christ Jesus and that “…the government shall be upon his shoulder” (Isaiah 9:6).

The Virgin Mary had an even greater vision, in this fulfillment of God’s reign. Hers was the tender, unwavering faith in the coming of the Messiah, the son of God.

Mary’s sense of God as Father resulted in the birth of the child Jesus, the human expression of God’s manhood and his embodiment of the Christ idea, the spiritual man “created in God’s image and after His likeness” (Genesis 1:26). We celebrate this dawn of the Christ in the birth of Jesus and of Christianity in Christmas!

Mary Baker Eddy, 1900 years later in her vision of divine prophecy saw God’s motherhood and discovered the Science of Christianity based on “God is Love” (I John 4:8). It was the birth of a child of Truth and Love; impersonal, immaculate, ever-present, ever-available – the Christ shining forth in full effulgence.

Christian Science reveals this Christ idea in the recognition of God’s omnipotence as man’s true nature – this is the gift of the Magi asserting itself as the divine Law of Love – an irresistible force of good will to men.

The New York Committee’s wish for you and all mankind at this time of gratitude and joy for God’s gift of Jesus Christ and the Christ Science is best expressed from Luke 2: 13-14: “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

This is what we are celebrating in our practice of healing impositions on the public, in a Christian manner and in our mission to be Christian Scientists.

Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year from the New York Committee on Publication.

 

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I’m Just A Jewish Kid From Baltimore

Like many of my colleagues I think a lot about the “state”of the Christian church.  Not only our particular denomination, Christian Science, but Christianity as a whole.  What I’m about to share are my thoughts only, it does not represent my colleagues, many of who will be hearing these particular thoughts for the first time.  And keep in mind, I’m just a Jewish kid from Baltimore.

Many folks in the religion business see declining numbers in church membership and attendance.  I don’t.  I see a different picture.  I should tell you that I spent the majority of my career prior coming to work for the church as a business consultant.  I was very focused in one specific area and that was to get an objective view of the company.  The next phase was to let them know what I saw, which 99.9% of the time was different from what they saw.  That was the easy part, because then I had to help them re-structure, organize and implement change. Or as we like to call it the “kicking and screaming phase.”

Back to the Christian church…

So where most people see declining numbers, I don’t.  OK, Adam, what gives?  In order for me to get a true objective view I need to look at three things:

1. Current reality
2. Beginning
3. Vision

We already know that the “client” sees the company in decline.  So I need to look at how the company started and what their vision is. So for my client, Christianity, I look to the company By-Laws, which starts with the Gospel according to St. Matthew in the New Testament.  Interesting footnote in chapter 1:21 it says, “she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS.  By Chapter 5 Jesus is giving the Sermon on the Mount!  The Christ is instantaneous!

And then it hits me, Christianity in its purest form is the Sermon on the Mount and the Lord’s Prayer.  That IS the beginning of Christianity.  OK, so what was the Vision? Meekness, mercifulness, being a peacemaker, rejoicing, letting your light shine for other men, healing the sick, forgiving men their trespasses and your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  In a nut shell, to love your brother from another mother!

Now back to number 1, current reality.  I don’t see declining numbers.  I see us at the foot of that mountain humbly on our knees ready to live that vision. The numbers aren’t declining, they are primitive.  To be more specific, our numbers are:  Matthew 6:10—Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  According to those numbers, it looks to be a promising year.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

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“We Can Work It Out”

Last week I posted a blog regarding you can’t take the Christ out of Christmas.  Many people really enjoyed the blog.  Some of those that enjoyed it were members of my church, The First Church Of Christ Scientist.  Some folks found it helpful to learn some historical facts about the X in Xmas.  But alas I’m not here to talk to the ones that liked it or found it helpful or funny or cute.  I’m here to address my friend who found it offensive.  Why?  Because it has always been my nature to, as they say:  “leave no man behind.”  That doesn’t mean to convince him I was right or that he should see it my way.  It means to listen to him and not take anything personal.  And if I hear something that resonates I should take an action.  So that is exactly what I’m doing.

My friend said that I compared the Resurrection to Frosty the Snowman.  And I really wanted to get defensive about that.  I wanted to defend my position when he brought it to my attention.  I wanted to be right.  But a wise man once told me:  “Adam you can be right or you can be happy.  And if you are trying real hard to be the first, most likely the second will elude you.”  Also there was no need for me to defend a position, because I didn’t have a position about Frosty.  And I certainly did not mean to compare the two or trivialize the Resurrection.  I was merely attempting to find something symbolic in a cartoon.

This entire incident reminds me of John Lennon and his very unpopular quote about Jesus.  And YES I’m comparing myself with John Lennon… “IMAGINE” that.  But remember I am only trying to” Give Peace A Chance.”

Let me make one thing clear in this comparison.  I am not saying I am a prolific song writer, what I am saying is I am often misunderstood.  And my faith, Christian Science is very often misunderstood.  My colleague in the UK, Tony Lobl, has a blog site devoted to that very topic. It is entitled: “Oh Lord, Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.”  -what Christian Science is, and what it isn’t.  christiansciencecomsuk.wordpress.com

One of the most controversial statements Lennon ever made was on March 4th 1966.  It was published in England’s Evening Standard. Essentially his quote about the Beatles being bigger than Jesus was taken out of context 5 months later by a teen magazine in the US. In context all he was saying that “in England that we meant more to kids than Jesus did, or religion at that time.” Now I love the Beatles a LOT.  I hold them in high regard as a group and as individuals.  But in no way do they hold a candle to Christ Jesus, they just aren’t in the same league.  And in NO way do I think that Frosty the Snowman is a Christ figure. Period.

In November 2008, 42 years after Lennon said what he did and 28 years after he passed on, the Vatican forgave him for that quote.  How long do you think Christ would have taken to forgive? I do know that unlike Lennon, I won’t have to wait that long for my friend to forgive me because he is a disciple and I know that he already has.  You see, he and I sing the same tune and it’s called “All You Need Is Love.”

 

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Guess What? You can’t take the Christ out of Christmas.

Let’s start with a little lesson in etymology:

The word “Christ” and its compounds, including “Christmas”, have been abbreviated in English for at least the past 1,000 years – long before the modern “Xmas” was commonly used.  “Christ” was often written as “XP” or “Xt”; there are references in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as far back as AD 1021.  This X and P arose as the uppercase forms of the Greek letters used in ancient abbreviations for the word “CHRIST” and are still widely seen in many Eastern Orthodox icons depicting yours truly  Jesus The Christ.

There are some people I know who think that by saying or writing Merry Xmas  they were leaving out the “Jesus part” of Christmas. Yet, they were merrily speaking Greek!

Some people may want to replace Santa Claus with Frosty The Snowman.  I don’t claim to speak for Jesus, but I tend to think he’d be happy with Frosty OR Santa.  Santa, because he represents giving to all… unconditional love… and cookies!  And Frosty, because, interestingly – and with a bit of a stretch – he represents Resurrection, when he says as he’s melting:  “I’ll come back again next year.”

Let’s pretend that you actually could take the Christ out of Christmas (you can’t. We’re just pretending – just like you can’t take the 4th out of The 4th of July or the Thanks out of Thanksgiving or the Pass out of Passover or the Atone out of Yom Kippur!)  All you’d be left with is December 25th.  And I’m sorry, but can you actually take a day off of work just to celebrate December 25th? Let’s be really honest: aren’t you glad some of us celebrate religious holidays?  We do pile up the days off on the score-board…you gotta give us that!

For me, Christmas is a day like no other.  We get to celebrate this amazing man who asked us to love our neighbor as ourselves.  We get to honor “a man like no other who has trod the globe.”  And all he asks of us is to be meek, merciful and peacemakers.  Oh – and he asks us to rejoice.  He even let us know that “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” Guess what else?  We get to be wise men and give gifts!  We can humble ourselves and receive them.  We can “give us this day our daily bread!”  We can forgive debts – and debtors.  We can be forgiven.  We can be delivered from evil.  We can live in the kingdom with power and glory forever.  Who wouldn’t want that… EVERY day?

And if that doesn’t sit well…guess what?  I’ll just love you anyway.  ‘Cause dats da way he wanted it!

So the next time you hear Merry Xmas!  You can say in your best Greek “Efcharisto!”  Thank You and a healthy and happy January 1st to you too.

And to all good night.

 

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