Upholding law and order in our society

A Christian Science perspective: A prayerful response on honest policing.

This week’s cover story reports on policing around the globe. Police sometimes refer to themselves as “the thin blue line” – the line between law-abiding citizens and criminals in the context of civil unrest. Yet in supporting the police, we might want to consider our own responsibility to contribute to the safety of our communities. This is not a call for vigilantism, and it’s more than self-policing in neighborhood watch programs. It is a call to start from a higher source as the base of all law and order.

This source is divine Love, God, the universal power of good. The idea that Love brings law and order is a concept given in the Bible, for example in Jeremiah: “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (31:33). This is how divine Love governs: by maintaining good within His creation. We see that divine law and order are inherent in all of God’s children. As we look to God’s government, we find in Him a spiritual basis for upholding good in our society.

 Christian Science Founder Mary Baker Eddy explains that being self-governed by God is being motivated to do only good: “Man is properly self‐governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 106).

His governing power is written in our hearts because of our relationship to God as His image (see Genesis 1:27). As His reflection we move by the impulse of Truth and Love. This recognition of our true nature opens our hearts and minds to love only good. As Mrs. Eddy explains: “In obedience to the divine nature, man’s individuality reflects the divine law and order of being. How shall we reach our true selves? Through Love” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 104). Christ Jesus proved this.

He was the best example of being governed by God. Jesus healed the sick, reformed sinners, and revived the dying and dead by always moving under the jurisdiction and direction of God, whom he consummately proved to be divine Love. He showed us that it is our responsibility to live in accord with God by loving one another. He said: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father” (Matthew 5:44, 45).

As children of God, we have His law in our hearts and minds. And that law is fulfilled in us as we learn to express His nature. Our responsibility is to demonstrate this law in our lives by seeing ourselves and others as the expression of divine Love. Our consistent honesty and patience, responding with love and wisdom in our interactions with every member of our community, show we are guided by Truth and Love. In this way we are drawing on the divine power that brings law and order.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

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