Friday, January 05, 2007

Response to a comment

I received a nice, loving note from Culley yesterday, who cares enough about my soul to have written in detail some objections to Christian Science. Culley's comments seem to indicate that she? he? believes in a literal reading of the Bible. Read the entire note in the comments here.

So thank you for writing, Culley, but I hope you'll respect my differing point of view. I also hope you can see that it's possible to coexist spiritually without having to change each other.

You know, I’m sure, that the Bible story you reference (Lazarus and Dives) is an example of Jesus' parables. I don't believe Jesus was saying these things happened in actual fact. Jesus crafted his parables to make a spiritual point, and he used metaphors his listeners would understand.

And when you imply that since God is perfect, the Bible must be as well, I feel bound to remind you that while yes, inspiration from God is perfect, it's still human beings who had to write it down. Human beings make mistakes and/or don't always get it right. The Bible then remains as a living testament to inspiration that requires inspiration on our part to read and to understand.

To me, reverence for Jesus Christ and a study of the Bible is the foundation of my spiritual growth. I am deeply committed to following the Way that Jesus exemplified. I do believe Jesus' died "for our sins," which to me means he was crucified because he came to a world struggling with sin, which he challenged and which fought back. In gratitude for what he did, I continue to fight the battle against sin in myself, and to help others when they request it.

No, I don't believe heaven and hell are actual places. Did not Jesus say, "The kingdom of heaven is within you"? To me, this means that heaven is a state of mind. It is alignment with the Mind that is God. When we are aligned with this Mind, we experience heaven. When we are out of synch with this Mind, we experience discord, hell.

Thank you, Culley, for your suggestion that I consider calling upon Jesus as a way to gain salvation. I appreciate your wanting to help me, and I'm sure accepting Jesus in the way you describe has comforted you. Jesus is the Way, but you and I each have chosen a different "way" to grow closer to him. My conviction is that we're both headed in the same direction, and I hope someday you'll see that, too.

I'd be happy to talk with you if you want. Much love.


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4 Comments:

At 1/05/2007 08:16:00 PM, Anonymous Emily said...

Your response is right on the mark.

My reply to skeptics goes something like this: "In order to convince me that Christian Science is wrong, you will first have to convince me that I don't exist."

You see, in 1974, my parents sought a Christian Science teacher's help to heal my mother of infertility after her doctors gave up and told her to let it go and just adopt.

I was born the following year. :)

Some Christians' insistence upon materializing worship both frustrates and saddens me, because it seems to me that they've missed the lesson Jesus was trying to teach the Pharisees.

Look at the Sermon on the Mount: Jesus isn't excusing anybody from following the Ten Commandments. He's just saying, "Look: It's great that you're following the commandments, but you're missing the point. 'Thou shalt not kill' isn't about homicide. It's about LOVE: If you let your enemy live, but you still hate him, you are NOT upholding that commandment. 'Thou shalt not commit adultery' isn't about fornication. It's about LOVE: If you stay physically faithful to your wife, but you're secretly drooling over that hot chick next door, you are NOT upholding that commandment. The whole point of all these laws is for you to love God and each other. If you really loved God, and you really loved each other, you wouldn't even WANT to break any of these other commandments."

Then Paul came along and riffed on that same idea in his letter to the Corinthians: "It's great that y'all are speaking in tongues and prophesying and giving to the poor and yadda, yadda, yadda, but guess what? If you don't love God and your fellow man, none of it is going to do you one little bit of good. It's all about LOVE. If you can't get the hang of that one basic concept, you're pretty much wasting your time with all this other folderol."

Christian Scientists just take those ideas and try to go deeper with them, so that they become part of our consciousness every minute, and not just something we talk about on Sunday and Wednesday and forget about in between.

We're not just sitting around trying to heal whatever flavor-of-the-week physical malady has presented itself. We're trying to get closer to God, which means we're trying to cast out any error in thought that would interfere with our relationship to God. The physical healings are just a nice side effect -- the "sign following" that proves we're moving forward and outgrowing false beliefs.

The Beatles weren't Christian Scientists, but they gave the best summary of CS that I've ever heard when they wrote "All You Need Is Love." If Mrs. Eddy had been a '60s pop artist, I expect she would have come up with those lyrics herself.

 
At 1/08/2007 08:28:00 PM, Anonymous Heather said...

Hi, Laura.

I thought your response was very gracious. Another way I like to look at it is that salvation is never man doing the work. Ever. If accepting Jesus into your heart and asking him to save you, you have surrendered your will to God's, asking Him to lead your life, and guide you, and protect you, and save you from sin. Your work, in essence, is to turn from sin to God.

Same with CS: when we prayer, we're "working" to hear God, see His Power and watch It unfolod and protect us, and see how His protection never stopped. In both instances, one is "working out their salvation with fear and trembling."

Both ways come down to a choice: do I surrender the material man up to the spiritual truth? Do I quiet the material pride/sin so I can hear God whole-heartedly?

 
At 6/25/2007 09:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Laura, Why did you direct the question, Do you believe in medical attention, to another web site? I want to know.

 
At 6/25/2007 10:09:00 AM, Blogger Laura said...

I'm not sure what you mean here, Anon.... could you be more specific?

L
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