'Evil: Its Nature and Demise'
"None of us need fear evil," James Spencer, a Christian Science lecturer, said yesterday in The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston. Mr. Spencer, speaking on "Evil: Its Nature and Demise," reasoned that God's all-power can be effectively brought to bear on personal and social evils.Skip to next paragraph
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The lecturer, from Boston, is a former United States marine and served as an Army chaplain. He is experienced in the healing ministry of Christian Science and is a teacher of this religion. As a member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship, he has traveled much of the world, including college and university campuses, explaining Christian Science.
The lecture was sponsored by the members of The Mother Church, and Mr. Spencer was introduced by David Driver, the First Reader.
An abridged text follows:
When I was in South America I went to see what is probably the most outstanding natural wonder on that continent --tween Brazil and Argentina. More than 270 separate falls make up this one scene, known as Las Cataratas.
As I stood at the foot of the falls, I couldn't help but feel the power of the thundering water all around me. It reminded me of God's ever-present, inexhaustible power. God's power is never used up.It never runs out. It's always right here, available for us to feel and respond to.
Later I climbed to the top of the falls and walked along little bridges right at the edge. When I wound around the backwaters, I saw peaceful lakes on one side and torrents of water catapulting over the edge on the other side.
It was then that I began to see that the waterfall might also symbolize the apparent power of evil. I thought about how calm the water was until it started rushing downhill. And I thought about how many people must feel that life often seems tranquil and happy until, for some reason seemingly beyond their control, everything starts rushing downhill, and they're drawn into stronger currents that pull them further and further along in a predetermined way.
But we're not like mindless globules of water sucked along under some gravitational pull. And a spiritually scientific knowledge of God can enable our thought to flow in a more spiritual direction under the impulsion of divine Love, or God Himself.
Stagnant pools of thought that have been muddied up by unhappy experiences, by cultural or educational development, by chance or accident, even by directed hate or hypnotic projection -- all these phases of evil thinking can be washed away by the broad rivers of pure thought that flow directly to us from God. These rivers, or channels of thought, feed us with spiritual ideas which sustain us, and protect us, and heal us. Allness rules out nothingness
Today many different phases of evil confront us -- violence, crime, sickness, want, loneliness, boredom. The list goes on and on. To many people, evil appears very real, quite inevitable, and often stronger than good.
Now with all that we see around us, if I were to say, 'There's no evil," you'd probably come right back with, 'Boy! Those Christian Scientists! They sure live in a Never-never Land!"
Well, I want to assure you that Christian Scientists don't ignore evil. We don't close our eyes to it. We don't turn our backs on it. We don't pretend it isn't there, or just hope it'll go away. We recognize the awful effect of evil when left unopposed.
However, we have found a radically different way of confronting evil. We turn the laser beam of spiritual understanding on evil, cutting it right down to its core, exposing it for what it is, uncovering its methods, and negating its operation. We literally obliterate it by understanding God's allness and evil's nothingness.