Whom should you trust?
A Christian Science perspective.
With ever wider access to news, information, and talk through the Internet, and even gossip, humanity is flooded with more data to process than ever before in history. And that information pool will surely grow.
The question is, How can one determine what information to trust as unbiased, or at least not dishonest? Type “global warming” or “economic stability” into a search engine, and you’ll find plenty to read. Is an alarming report meant truly to protect others – or does it have a darker purpose? Which of two opposing reports is actually true?
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and established Christian Science, also founded the Monitor to provide a trustworthy window on truth and balanced reporting for the world. As an inspired theologian, she perceived that each individual needs to be alert to what he or she accepts into thought. In her seminal work, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” she wrote, “In a world of sin and sensuality hastening to a greater development of power, it is wise earnestly to consider whether it is the human mind or the divine Mind which is influencing one” (pp. 82-83).
Christian Science provides a way for people to discern the right influences. Adopting Truth as a name for God, it lifts this concept above personal opinions – “my” truth versus “your” truth – to an understanding of Truth as omniscient but also impartial Deity, which views creation with love, and also with intelligence.
While destructive, hateful voices may claim to speak with authenticity, it’s possible to get beyond their sometimes subtle messages through this guidance from Science and Health: “Truth brings the elements of liberty.... Whatever enslaves man is opposed to the divine government. Truth makes man free” (pp. 224-225). Whatever promotes liberty to do good stands as a powerful sign of Truth’s presence. For the Christian Scientist, this force for good is the Christ – the spiritual idea of God that Jesus taught and proved through his healing ministry.
Understanding God to be the one and only influence in one’s life – and in the world – has transformative power. It can liberate people and nations from destructive or self-seeking behaviors. It can break down centuries of division and distrust, and open the door to reconciliation. It can reach the helpless invalid and bring healing.
Truth is able to do all this because it is the guardian that forever separates creation, including all people, from the first lie – the assertion that God’s sons and daughters are born into matter or condemned to live in it. Each lie we face today, whether about health, politics, jobs, or other issues, stems from that first lie.
When we are able to see circumstances from this standpoint, it becomes easier to cast out ungodlike thoughts that claim to be our own. We gain some of the dominion that Jesus had in his healing work and are less likely to be fooled by the subtle or even blatant lies that a material sense of life and being holds as true. Insisting on evidence of God’s presence in any situation helps shift the balance in thought from fear to expectation of good and a conviction that Truth does prevail on earth as in heaven.
This change in thought helps reveal exactly what is empowered by divinity, and what is not. Justice, intelligence, wisdom, strength, and joy are all facets of Truth, whose purpose is only for good. Whatever is said about individuals, places, nations, and policies can and should be measured against the spiritual reality of God’s allness, goodness, and love.
And this measuring isn’t that of a superior standing in judgment of others. It has a radically different purpose: to comfort and strengthen all who are in trouble. Jesus made this point with the promise to his followers that after he was gone, God would send a Comforter who would guide them “into all truth” (John 16:13-14). He went on to say that the Comforter would “glorify” him – that is, uplift the spiritual sense of Jesus’ ministry and enable the healing work to go forward. And it has, culminating in Mrs. Eddy’s discovery.
This same Comforter is with us today in the form of the Christ Science, or divine law, which Mrs. Eddy presented through her writings and the practice of spiritual healing. Through many years of dedicated work that clarified the nature of this law and how to experience its blessings, she provided the means by which each individual can experience the truth of his or her inseparability from God’s goodness and be freed from fear, pain, sin, and evil.
The divine law Mrs. Eddy discovered separates the wheat from the chaff in any experience – personal, local, or global – and enables each of us to tell the difference. It is a true guide in deciding which influences one can trust. Christian Science reveals that Truth’s purpose is to free, to save, and to heal, but never to destroy. Only the chaff – the material sense of living – is destroyed. The wheat – our goodness in Spirit – remains to nourish and bless a spiritually hungry world.
From an editorial in the Christian Science Sentinel.