RECENTLY a large city daily ran an Op-Ed column, ``The danger of denying illness,'' 1 that warned against minimizing or denying the impact of a medical diagnosis. But other credible voices have argued that some patients are more likely to survive when they respond to a devastating diagnosis with great human determination to reject it. Which side does Christian Science line up with in this sort of public debate? The answer is neither (probably to the surprise of some readers who may have accepted the misleading stereotype that Christian Scientists are hostile to doctors)! Actually, Christian Scientists feel that either position leaves a patient without an adequate solution.
The way the issue is normally argued, the human mind plays the key role. Some feel that unless one consciously and firmly admits the reality and full implications of a diagnosed disease, he may fail to take immediate and complete advantage of all the medical technology available to combat it. Others suggest that one must use the full mental energies of the human mind to reject and resist all that the diagnosis implies.
Christian Science shows that while these arguments appear to be opposing views, they actually occupy common ground. The real issue isn't which of these sides the human mind is taking; the central problem is the human mind itself. This mind is the very origin of the disease, and as such it cannot be depended on to furnish a sure and lasting solution--either by searching for the solution in matter or by trying to deny what it has itself originated.
And yet Mary Baker Eddy's2 teachings do illustrate the value of denying disease--but a very different kind of denial. The Bible helps us understand that God is Mind, the one source of wisdom and intelligence, the genuine origin of true consciousness. The Bible also assures us that God is infinitely good. His will is perfect, divine. The healing solution for illness, Christian Science explains, is Almighty God's denial--divine Mind's denial--of disease. His very nature, as a good and loving and ever -present God, constitutes an utter denial of disease. God's eternal and unwavering will is that man be free from suffering.
There is no long-range answer in the human mind's denial of disease; to the world of the human mind, disease is very, very real. Mrs. Eddy writes: ``Sickness is neither imaginary nor unreal,--that is, to the frightened, false sense of the patient. Sickness is more than fancy; it is solid conviction.'' 3 But is the human mind actually capable of seeing reality as it is? It distorts reality, insists Christian Science. Authentic existence can be seen only from the standpoint of divine Mind -- man's true source of thought.
How did Jesus heal disease? He didn't destroy a reality. He destroyed a painful, debilitating concept of the human mind called disease. He so faithfully aligned himself with the will of God that his rejection of disease was vastly more than a denial by a personal mentality; it was God's denial of disease. It was the perfection of Christ, Truth, shining in his life, revealing God's changeless will of health for His beloved children.
A personal effort to deny disease is the human heart crying out against such injustice. But that injustice is truly dissolved only as we adequately align ourselves with God. This begins to happen as we admit that God is the only Mind, the only genuine source of will, and that man individually expresses this one God.
Relinquishing a limited, finite, mortal mentality and admitting God to be the source of all thought takes great humility. In fact, such an admission is related to the whole Christian process of redemption, of transforming our thought from a fearful, disease-susceptible mentality to having ``the mind of Christ.'' 4 The Bible calls on each individual: ``Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, wi ll of God.'' 5
Should you deny disease? Yes, to the extent you understand that God, divine Mind, is the source of your thoughts and that He didn't make disease; and to the extent you realize that because God is all-encompassing good, His very nature and presence are the thrust and power underlying a denial of disease.
Then you are truly letting your life reflect the power of Jesus' prayer, ``Thy will be done.'' 6 This is the basis of true and permanent healing taught and practiced by Christ Jesus. 1 The Boston Globe, September 15, 1985. 2 The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 460. 4 I Corinthians 2:16. 5 Romans 12:2. 6 Matthew 6:10.