CAN anything replace the Bible's unparalleled message of hope, healing, and regeneration? In contemporary society, many material and psychological theories of healing have been tried. Yet, for genuine reformation, progress, and healing, the inspired lessons of the Holy Scriptures are absolutely essential--and irreplaceable. The Word of God--presented in the Ten Commandments, in the Sermon on the Mount, in the rich accounts of Christ Jesus' life--touches people's lives so many ways. And the Bible's truth defines and provides what is needed for worthwhile living in every age.
Nothing can substitute for spiritual truth. God's truth is a healing power that deserves the most serious attention our society can give it. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, commenting on the Bible and on her closely connected book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, writes in No and Yes: ``If the Bible and Science and Health had the place in schools of learning that physiology occupies, they would revolutionize and reform the world, through the power of Chris t."
The power of Christ is what gives vitality and contemporary meaning to the Bible's message. Christ Jesus exemplified this power. God's law was synopsized by one of Jesus' questioners in Luke's Gospel, who said, ``Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." When we conscientiously obey this law we can expect to experience all its healing impetus.
The effect of divine power in human experience is healing and regeneration--lives made new and whole in Christ. For example, once I was swimming with a group of people in the ocean. The waves were tremendous, and in getting back to shore my leg was cut on some coral.
That night I opened my Bible and prayed about the injury. God's omnipotence and the perfect, spiritual nature of man created in God's likeness are essential teachings of the Bible, and I knew that a clear understanding of these facts could heal me. Yet it seemed that I couldn't get the mental images of the thrashing waves and sharp coral out of my thought. After a time of humble listening, I remembered the Bible's words in I Kings: ``The Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and
brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice." To me this meant that God's power to keep me spiritually perfect was unopposable. The power of nature couldn't alter my spir-itual, perfect nature--the way God has created me. The Bible passage showed me that God is so powerful, He doesn't need to shou t; a ``still small voice" is adequate to dissipate fear. By the next day there was no sign of the injury.
The benefits of Christian healing are universally available-- everyone is worthy of God's love. In the light of such a gift, it is interesting to note Jesus' words, found in Luke's Gospel: ``Unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required." The example of Jesus' life indicates how vital spiritual-mindedness is to the fulfillment of that requirement. So as we look at our place in today's world, is that same call for what is integral to Christian healing--deep spiritual-mindedness--too much of
a demand? No. Spirituality is really the most natural thing in the world. In our ``Book of books"--the Holy Bible--we have a wellspring of instruction, knowledge, and example to help us cultivate spirituality.