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'Can God Protect Us?'

By Juan Carlos LavigneC.S., of Argentina, lectures in The Mother Church / June 5, 1981

Christian Science lecturer Juan Carlos Lavigne says one can find fulfillment in relying on God for safety and protection. His lecture, "Can God Protect Us?, " was given last night in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, sponsored by the members of that church. Mr. Lavigne is from Olivos, Argentina.

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Before devoting his full time to the public healing ministry of Christian Science, the lecturer spent 25 years in the advertising field, starting as an artist. As a member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship, he has lectured in a number of North and South American countries in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Mr. Lavigne was introduced by Miss Allyn Muth. An abridged text of the lecture follows:

Once upon a time there was a man who was afraid of everything. He decided that, in order to be safe, he would buy a suit of armor.

When he put on the armor, felt relieved. "Now I feel really protected," he thought.

But then a mosquito came along and began to circle around his nose. Waving the mosquito away violently with his arm, he lost his balance and fell to the ground. He never got up again. He was trapped in his own defense system.

There are systems of protection that seem infallible but that fail. Some systems create situations that are more dangerous than those that were originally to be solved. For instance, I'm sure you've heard of medicines that are habit- forming or that can give rise to diseases.

Other protective systems leave us defenseless because they're superseded by something new. Think of it: The same engineering that builds a rocket for our defense creates another rocket to intercept and destroy it.

Human defense systems have greatly progressed since the days of primitive stone axes, good-luck charms, and poultices; but they still cannot offer unfailing security. These systems fail because they would have us rely on things that are not wholly reliable. Human error and chance always seem to come into play. The Bible -- and meeting today's needs

But there have always been people who looked in a totally different direction -- who have sought their security through spiritual means. The Bible tells the story of men and women like us who turned naturally to God in search of protection.

There's the Bible account of almost 300 people lost at sea, drifting 14 days during a raging storm. The Apostle Paul prayed to God, and they were saved.

And there's the story about yound David, who later became King of Israel.As you remember, David fought an enemy soldier named Goliath. Goliath had made fun of the soldiers every day, boasting that none of them would dare fight him. He had reason to boast: He was a giant, over nine feet tall, and impressively armed. Everyone was afraid of him.

Only a young shepherd boy, David, accepted the challenge.

The King put a suit of armor on david, but then the boy couldn't move because of the enormous weight of the metal.

But David didn't need any armor to feel protected. He reasoned like this: "The lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine" (I Sam. 17:37). He took off the useless armor and went to meet the giant.

With only the sling of a shepherd, David face the giant who had terrified a professional, well-equipped army. By trusting God, he overcame him.

But, you may say, that was in Bible times. Today,m here, now, can God protect us?

Can God protect me, you, your husband, your daughter? Your work, your home, your health? Yes!God can protect all of us!

As the evening goes along, I'll tell you of some experiences that happened in our time -- experiences that bear witness to the protecting presence of God, at this very moment. These will show how, today, God can protect us from: spiritual death, aggression, and sickness. But first let me clarify some concepts in order to prepare the ground.

Can God protect us? Even Jesus faced this question. It came to his thouht to throw himself down from the pinnacle of the temple, to test God and see if the promise of the Bible was true: that God protects men.