EVERY time I read I Corinthians 2:14, it reminds me of a friend who seems to fit the description: ``The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.'' Actually, my friend isn't the only one who thinks ``the things of the Spirit of God'' are foolishness. But this particular friend comes to mind because he had come to the conclusion that any belief in God is foolishness. Especially when taken as far as I, as a Christian Scientist, take it by relying on God for healing. For him, matter is the sole reality: the material world -- what we see between birth and death -- is all there is. Period. And he often tried to convince me of the same.
His reasoning became clear to me one night while I was watching the news. It seemed to be a pretty bad day for the world; lots of strife, discord, accident. Then the thought struck me: if I believed those images to be the reality of life, how could I possibly believe in anything else? How could a good God, divine Spirit, cause or even permit any part of that? I realized that the reason my friend found it foolish to believe in God was that the idea that Spirit and matter could mix is utterly illogical. I was also wondering what his reaction would be to learn that I agree with him!
The Bible asks, ``Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.''1 And Christ Jesus asked his followers, ``Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?''2
So what separates my friend's views from mine is what we choose to believe is real or permanent: Spirit, or matter. The belief in matter as the sole lawgiver would make the material senses indisputable and present God as an imaginary product of the human mind. The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, points out, however, ``The central fact of the Bible is the superiority of spiritual over physical power.''3 This is the spiritual standpoint that says that Spirit, God, is supreme.
The Master, Christ Jesus, demonstrated unequivocally that God, Spirit, is indeed All, and that matter and its supposed laws don't have the totality they may seem to have. And his works were the result of his uncompromising trust in the supremacy of God.
Because I have seen evidence of God's supremacy firsthand, I just can't explain away Christ Jesus' life as a fluke or a fiction. The departure of arthritis symptoms and freedom from severe cramps and depression are only three of the many healings I've had. This is why my friend's attempts to dissuade me from trusting God as I've learned to in my study of Christian Science were futile.
A willingness to acknowledge God and let go, even just a bit, of the idea that ``the things of the Spirit of God'' are foolishness, enables us to begin discerning spirituality and witnessing the supreme power of God for ourselves.
1James 3:11, 12. 2Matthew 7:16. 3Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 131.
You can find more articles about spiritual healing in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine.