RECENT changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe are heartening. They point to the fact that oppression can't, in the long run, survive. Of course, it would be naive to think that tyranny has suddenly disappeared. But we can be thankful for concrete steps forward and for an illustration that no matter how formidable injustice seems to be, it is vulnerable and ultimately self-destructive. But why is freedom inevitable? Because the one God, good, is almighty. And because freedom is the natural state of man as the offspring of God. It's not just a desirable human condition; it's a divine right supported by all the power of God's law.
If freedom rested strictly on a human basis, it would always be susceptible to the destructive influence of the carnal mind. But freedom in its truest sense has a spiritual basis. It's an aspect of the divine, eternal reality of God and man.
Man, as God has actually created him, is God's spiritual likeness, inseparable from the freedom inherent in the creator. Freedom, then, is inevitable because of the very nature of true existence, which must, sooner or later, come fully to light.
If we view life as a perpetual warfare between good and evil, then there's little reason for hope. Human progress will always seem fragile, subject to reversal. But if we admit that there is one totally good, omnipotent God, who is Love, we open the way for lasting progress. This isn't wishful thinking; it's powerful truth. ``Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,''1 the Bible affirms.
Evil can't forever obscure the spiritual reality of God's supreme power and of man's freedom as His image. What is eternally true of God and man must at some point come to light. And the breakthroughs in behalf of freedom around the world point clearly to that fact. The liberty that belongs to all is not only expressed in political reform; it's found in release from disease and sin and deprivation, as Christ Jesus' teachings and healing works illustrate. Man, God's image, naturally mirrors God's nature. And it's our right to prove this through prayer.
Prayer, springing from a realization of man's actual, spiritual identity, helps bring out the perfection of that identity. Such healing is supported by our striving daily to live in harmony with divine law. It's supported by our allegiance to the one God -- to divine Spirit -- in thought and action.
Clearly, it's not enough simply to talk in abstract terms about man's freedom. Freedom has to be demonstrated; the spiritual reality has to be brought out in human experience. And communion with God is essential in this work. Thankfully, individual lives are being restored today through the power of prayer, and this proves its effectiveness. And although political maneuverings would sometimes discourage us, our prayers must help dissolve the carnal-mindedness that underlies tyranny.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says reassuringly: ``The power of God brings deliverance to the captive. No power can withstand divine Love.''2 And says a few pages later: ``Discerning the rights of man, we cannot fail to foresee the doom of all oppression....God made man free.''3
There's still much need for our prayer, but it's cause for gratitude that man's God-given freedom is becoming more apparent as we enter the 1990s.
1II Corinthians 3:17. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 224. 3Ibid., p. 227.