Purposeful rebellion

Throughout history individuals and groups of people have rebelled against forms of tyranny and injustice. Certain rebellions have brought progress and greater freedom. Others, with the stated intention of increasing liberty, have actually led to greater oppression.

Christianity calls mankind to a type of rebellion - in one's own consciousness - that brings lasting freedom. Christianity calls us to overthrow sinful thoughts and actions. It challenges us to break away from the oppressive rule of pride, dishonesty, and lust. And it enables us to learn of God's fatherhood and man's actual identity as God's child.

Throughout the Bible and through subsequent history, courageous individuals have discovered the satisfying spiritual liberty that comes from opposing sin and knowing God as the only genuine power. These individuals were often considered rebels by those who could appreciate only the temporal seats of power.

By most measurements John the Baptist was a rebel. He vigorously opposed the sins governing his contemporaries. He detested hyprocrisy, greed, and violence. When people came to him, he called them to repent - to rebel against the evils that dictated their behavior. And today Christianity calls us to this higher emancipation, a truly purposeful rebellion.

Through diligent daily prayer and Christlike living we can discover and feel the tender presence of God. We can begin to discern and experience the spiritual fact that God perpetually and harmoniously governs His creation. Accompanying this understanding is the conviction that the man of God's creating cannot truly be controlled by sin.

It may be useful to remember that rebelling against sin does not necessarily enthrone spirituality. The evil which is overthrown needs to be replaced with what is good and true. In one of Christ Jesus' parables, an unclean spirit is cast out of a man. But later it returns to find its former abode ''empty, swept, and garnished.'' The account concludes, ''Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.'' n1

n1 See Matthew 12:43-45.

One must not only abstain from sin; he must do right. The absence of proper government, whether within the individual or an entire nation, leads to government by evil. However, when rebellion against sin is accompanied by the implementation of a sturdy, God-impelled system of maintaining freedom, the process of rebellion is indeed a blessing.

The teachings of Christian Science show us how, through divine law, to maintain freedom from sin. This Science explains that God has not created man a slave to wrongdoing. It fully embraces the Biblically established truth that man has dominion over evil; that in God's sight evil has neither power nor existence , because God is infinite, and He alone governs man and the universe. Through prayer based on this understanding, we gain authority over anger, dishonesty, and sensuality.

Man, in truth, is the very expression of God. And God permits no vacuums in His creation. He does not leave open certain portions of His creation to government by evil. God's goodness is never absent.

Christ Jesus taught, ''The kingdom of God is within you.''n2 This kingdom cannot be taken from you, so it is wise to rebel against any thought to the contrary. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, states: ''Rise in the strength of Spirit to resist all that is unlike good. God has made man capable of this, and nothing can vitiate the ability and power divinely bestowed on man.'' n3

n2 Luke 17:21.

n3 Science and Health wiht key to the Scriptures, p. 393.

We are not to adapt to sin. We have a God-given right to rise in rebellion against all forms of sin and to discover true freedom. As God's loved offspring, man is not at the mercy of evil's tyranny. Freedom has always been the fact of our actual identity, and we can begin, through prayer, to prove this. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin I John 3:9 .

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