THE mission of The Christian Science Monitor is to carry forward the Biblical work of reporting and recording humankind's efforts to bring their individual lives, their families' welfare, and their societies' conduct progressively into alignment with God's loving law.
The Monitor's purpose is to help fulfill the Bible's prophecy in the book of Joel, ``I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten'' (2:25). While others in the media may concentrate on the calamities around us in a manner that would undermine the very hope and confidence humanity needs in order to rally from disaster, the Monitor attempts to keep its reporting alert to the prospect and means of improvement. While it keeps our eyes open to troubles that need to be addressed, it remains constructive and not cynical. Cynicism is a mental quality that might claim to be detachment but actually joins with the enemy, undermining our will to recover. For human experience to be progressive, however, our optimism needs a spiritually practical basis.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, saw her Church as an activist denomination--not from a po-litical or social standpoint, but from the basis of spiritual power. ``Every day makes its demands upon us for higher proofs rather than professions of Christian power,'' she writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the Christian Science textbook. She continues: ``These proofs consist solely in the destruction of sin, sickness, and death by the power of Spirit, as Jesus destroyed them. This is an element of progress, and progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfil'' (p. 233).
But what if the reporting of the daily news leaves us cynical, doubting progress is possible? Christ Jesus declared, ``I am the light of the world'' (John 8:12). If we turn to his life and search it, we will find freedom from callousness and gloom. The perpetual light and activity of Christ, Truth, rouses humanity from passive acceptance of evil and misery. The purpose of Christ Jesus' life is to awaken mankind to the ever-available power of divine Love. It develops spiritual activism, a profound caring for all mankind coupled with a growing sense of the supreme power of God to deliver from all evil.
Cynicism is neither intellectually nor spiritually effective. It's really a failure to think; it may mask a fear of feeling. Involvement with the news doesn't call for us to feel all the ills and pains of the world. Rather, it calls for all Christians to develop, to the highest degree possible, a feel for the presence and power of God, the intelligence and creativity of divine Mind, revealing the possibilities for progress and healing.
It is the healing mission of the Monitor that distinguishes it from its worthy peers today. The Monitor surely has no special set of events to report. This newspaper may attempt to stay at the leading edge of technological and professional developments, but it basically uses the words, pictures, graphics, telecommunications-- or broadcast elements for its radio enterprise--that are common to all publications.
Its tone sets it apart. One may gather, in reading or listening to the Monitor, a quiet expectation that the loving will of God will be seen to predominate in human affairs.
A newspaper takes advantage of the mental energy implicit in the commodity of ``news'' to gain and hold the reader's attention. A newspaper or broadcast for people everywhere should encourage consideration of the good to be celebrated and the wrongs to be righted. Thus each day's Monitor can be said to invite a simultaneous prayerful pondering of issues by hundreds of thousands of individuals that itself constitutes a collective force for good.