Loving God? Or fearing evil?
CAN we love God and fear evil? Yes, says the human mind. No, says divine logic--certainly not at the same moment! Certainly not in the deepest sense of loving God. To believe that it is possible to do both can keep our lives in turmoil. But the Bible's accounts of the triumph of God, good, over evil are living testaments to the peace that comes from really loving God. Christ Jesus, particularly, demonstrated that steadfast love of God gave him dominion over any fear of or subjection to evil. One of John's epistles tells us: ``God is love'' and ``There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.''1
In the degree that one truly accepts the supremacy and ever-presence of God--loves God in the most profound sense--his fear of and subordination to evil disappear. Yet we need more than a concept of God as some kind of super person, for this limited concept would also limit faith. The Christlike adherence to an understanding of God as infinite, omnipotent Spirit and Love, as the Bible portrays Him, enables us to see through evil's false claim of power.
Loving God supremely gave Jesus an absolute conviction of the powerlessness of evil. He had no hesitancy in calling the devil a liar and nullifying evil's claim to wield authority. The master Christian exhorted us, in accord with the First Commandment, to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. He gave no excuse for not doing so and, in fact, indicated that doing so would bring us into the kingdom of God.2
Christian Science refutes the age-old belief that it's natural to bow down to evil of one kind or another as well as to worship God. The understanding of God as totally good includes the recognition that He is incapable of creating the opposite of Himself and that our true selfhood is God's expression, the manifestation of good alone. This doesn't mean that Christian Scientists ignore evil or pretend that it doesn't exist. They do believe, though, that human ills can be healed through an understanding of the spiritual reality taught in the Bible--the reality, transcending what our eyes and ears tell us, of God's supreme power and of man's safety in His care.
As a longtime student of Christian Science I treasure what it has taught me of the supremacy of God and the powerlessness of evil. This has enabled me to heal hatred and misunderstanding in my experience, overcome many illnesses and sorrows, find protection from injury, prove God's provision to be the reality rather than lack, attain peace of mind in the place of conflict.
Being grateful for and understanding something of the divine Mind's omnipotence and its provision of intelligence to man enabled me to prove that feelings of confusion, of inability to think or reason, were invalid. To cherish the love expressed by others even in a small degree was to refuse to accept hatred as part of the man of God's creating, and so I learned how not to feel hatred or jealousy.
I found that to accept the guidance of omnipresent Spirit as perpetually active was to find a solution to unemployment --and so I found meaningful employment during the Depression. I learned that to exercise spiritual sense was to discern the presence of the healing Christ and the indestructibility of man as God's image, and this healed me of grief after the passing of loved ones.
Isn't it God's purpose for His children to feel their unity with His omnipresence and omnipotence? And that purpose cannot be thwarted! The Christian Science textbook by Mary Baker Eddy3 urges: ``Let us accept Science, relinquish all theories based on sense-testimony, give up imperfect models and illusive ideals; and so let us have one God, one Mind, and that one perfect, producing His own models of excellence.... Let us feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life and recognizing no mortal nor material power as able to destroy. Let us rejoice that we are subject to the divine `powers that be.' Such is the true Science of being. Any other theory of Life, or God, is delusive and mythological.''4
1I John 4:8, 18. 2See Mark 12:28-34. 3The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. 4Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 249. DAILY BIBLE VERSE O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever...The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. Psalms 118:1,6