Right wing? Left wing? Or under the shadow of God’s wings (see Psalms 36:7)? If you could select just one of these to describe your standpoint in the face of polarized issues, which would you choose?
If we’ve experienced the healing impact of divine Love, it’s natural to gain an ever-broadening sense of what we can entrust to God’s healing power, which embraces humanity, sheltering one and all. This divine power undoubtedly finds expression at times through political action and policy changes. But lessening our allegiance to political philosophies increases our openness to seeking solutions to society’s problems from a higher standpoint. The Apostle Paul put it this way: “(...the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:4, 5).
The Leader of the Christian Science movement, Mary Baker Eddy, described many ways in which such Christly obedience has a practical impact, including the following: “...those who discern Christian Science will hold crime in check. They will aid in the ejection of error. They will maintain law and order, and cheerfully await the certainty of ultimate perfection” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” p. 97).
This identifies the nature of the mental element at the back of all crime. What needs to be spiritually discerned and ejected is “error,” or a misperception of the true nature of being. This begins with discerning and ejecting matter-based views of ourselves and others. Then what’s genuinely true about each of us can take root in our hearts. We each have – indeed truly are – a purely spiritual identity, expressing God’s nature as divine Principle and Love.
Yielding to this view inspires us to discern more deeply the thoughts and actions that are the expression of Love, and to see how Christ frees consciousness to realize this.
The Christ is God’s power, the spiritual idea that conveys God’s perfect goodness to human consciousness. Instead of fearfully or angrily fixating on the criminality of others, we can diligently discern the Christ-power, which was proved so definitively by Jesus to be an ever-present influence that heals and transforms. Christ impels us to reject thoughts that we are mortals who are not governed by God. And Christ reveals the higher idea of law and order as the kingdom of heaven – the true status of being, where the Principle that is Love and the Love that is Principle is all that is governing, completely excluding dishonesty, self-will, and aggression.
This God-governed state is everyone’s true life, in which God’s law forever maintains the harmonious and secure divine order of being. Our consciousness of this helps to uphold right action, including the work of law-abiding police officers to protect communities from criminal activity and remain safe while doing so. But sometimes, police activity itself crosses the line from law enforcement to lawlessness. Such cases are also crimes that a Christian Science standpoint will help to hold in check.
Looking out from under a political “wing” can distract us from seeing all as being under the shadow of God’s wings, including Black lives and blue lives. Under those divine wings, safety is a given for everyone because there’s no source of danger in God’s infinite goodness.
This safety in the ever-presence of our Father-Mother God isn’t withheld from any of Her children, and no one can be deprived of it as a result of belonging to a particular race or serving in a particular profession. It’s the eternal status of true being, proved when we spiritually identify ourselves and others. By prayerfully affirming and consistently striving to understand the spiritual fact that life is governed by God, we are able to support an all-inclusive safety for our communities where no one is vulnerable.
Watching our thoughts in this way also benefits us, because we can’t care for others without healing our own anger, fear, or hopelessness. When issues are polarized, we can feel we’re wrestling with people, policies, and politics outside of ourselves. But if we let this mental turmoil be brought into obedience to Christ, such thinking yields to the spiritual clarity that Life is God and lovingly supports the safety of all our neighbors.
Adapted from an editorial published in the Aug. 16, 2021, issue of the Christian Science Sentinel.