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The Forum is dedicated to each week's lesson, and may be used to post questions, comments, and constructive replies that strive to uncover the inspired meaning of the text. The Bulletin Board is for gratitude for Christian Science and the Church, as well as timely excerpts from the Bible, the works of Mrs. Eddy, and the early workers that help and encourage. We are very grateful for all posts that conform to these guidelines, but will edit or remove anything that the Practitioners feel is not in complete accord with pure Christian Science or in any way disrespectful of it.
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This week’s lesson includes the startling statement by Jesus, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife,…(Luke 14:26) I’m so grateful for the following from Mrs. Eddy about it, found in “the Blue Book.”
“The Bible says, ‘Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long,’ etc.; then when it says, Luke 14: 26, ‘If any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.’ This would look like a direct contradiction of the words just quoted but is not; after we have honored our father and mother, then comes the next step – forsaking the flesh for Christ.
We must be Christian Scientists and do as we say we believe or else be hypocrites. We say Spirit is All and then when we have to take our choice between Spirit and the flesh we cry, the flesh, the flesh. God is coming very near to us; is making demands upon us. … What is the result of forsaking all for Spirit? Dominion over the earth.” (Course In Divinity and
General Collectanea “the Blue Book” Page 20)
I look forward to others’ thoughts about this subject. It doesn’t seem easy to me. Are we to stop loving one another in practical ways? Is it about day by day listening?
Thank you for posting this. I thought to look up the word “hate” in the 1828 Webster’s dictionary and it gives this definition:
2. In Scripture, it signifies to love less.
This would then make sense, then. Jesus is asking that we focus on, and prioritize, God and His Christ above all else in our lives.
Thanks so much Susanne, very helpful.
Dummelow’s Bible Commentary says, regarding “hate”: “This does not imply the FEELING of hatred, but a readiness to ACT as if one hated. The nearest and dearest must be forsaken, and opposed, and offended, if need be, to follow Christ.”
Thanks Joanne. This post was helpful also.
Thanks for the posts giving clarity to what would appear contradictory. And a perfect example is in these two verses from Matthew 4:
21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.(Emphasis Added)
It is God first always, no matter who and no matter what……..In doing that we trust God with All too.
For me there is always the nuances that are difficult when translating human words into explaining the meaning of God’s Spirit Word. When young and going through tough times (when comparing to classmates in school for example [and having no clue what they were going through but looked better than my situation from the outside]) and the loss of many favorites through ‘accidents,’ I decided the solution was not to love anymore because it was too painful!? Christian Science has shown me that it was painful because it was the false, human personal (Rule for Motives and Acts) sense of Love. Very selfish. While it has been a struggle to become as ‘God Loves’ it is well worth it. I Love my parents better now than when I ‘loved’ them as a child for what they ‘gave’ me but their reward was more cravings on my part and too much disobedience from my material acts even though quite well behaved from the ‘material view.’ By striving to Love my Mother-Father God first I feel I love others better and more productively while am constantly being accused of being un-loving due to not going through some of the ‘human love’ which when from the wrong motive is unfortunately malpractice on my part. So I feel my Love for my parents today though they ‘passed’ many years ago is now a blessing to all of us and feel at peace though their were what I viewed at the time as great verbal fights for ‘survival’ with my dad.
So grateful for Christian Science that I have evolved to this point and now need to apply it to the rest of the universe including myself.
To me that hating phrase is reversed in a sense because the Love that both Christ Jesus and Mary Baker Eddy poured forth was so pure and fruitful to all just being in the world somewhere with them(!!) that how could it be seen as ‘hate’ by many which is what was mostly poured upon them in return?
Thanks for the question and the responses:)
Thank you for these posts!
While reading all this today, I was reminded of the order of operations in mathematics. Basically, if you have 2 + 4 x 3 and you add the initial two numbers first, you are already going to get the wrong answer. If this is the beginning of a larger problem, who knows how wrong it will all be.
In Christian Science, I am sure we have many such examples, but Alertness to Duty from the Daily Duties feels a good start:
It shall be the duty of every member of this Church to defend himself daily against aggressive mental suggestion, and not be made to forget nor to neglect his duty to God, to his Leader, and to mankind. By his works he shall be judged, — and justified or condemned.
First, I must work to subtract any aggressive mental suggestion, which – as I’ve been learning here – is: belief in a self apart from God; personal sense of family or responsibility; pride; discouragement; or anything else that would have me veer off the path.
Then in that humble state, I must go to God. If and when I need help going to God, I need to look to what our Leader says – working, watching, praying, obedience … Mrs. Eddy covered it all! Only after all this am I ready to meet the needs of mankind, in general or specifically. At this point, if God directs, I am ready to work for the church or give my kids and others what they need.
It’s easy to see in the course of this how the addition of human desires or self would throw the whole equation off, and get my work condemned. Any error at all would be not good, but compounded while working out the whole problem would be disastrous! To do that would be a truly hateful thing to do to those we profess to love.
How much better to begin rightly by starting with God, since, as Mrs. Eddy says, “To begin rightly is to end rightly.” (S&H, p. 262)
I am so grateful to the church and my practitioner for teaching how to understand and live Christian Science. Learning to see the inherent spiritual logic that God built right into the universe is an amazing and wonderful experience, and shows me why we need to go to Him first, and always! Thank you!
I am reminded of a time when I used Mrs. Eddy’s statement from Science and Health, “…Truth and error are irreconcilable.” To justify leaving a husband (at his request) rather too willingly. In that case there was too much self-righteousness and human will involved on my part to be the least bit scientific, or loving.
I guess I am reminded of this, because it seems that its one thing to know the rules and another to know how and when they apply.
Excerpts from Orison Swett Marden’s masterwork, Pushing to the Front:
“James Watt, I never saw such an idle young fellow as you are,” said his grandmother; “do take a book and employ yourself usefully. For the last half-hour you have not spoken a single word. Do you know what you have been doing all this time? Why, you have taken off and replaced, and taken off again, the teapot lid, and you have held alternately in the steam, first a saucer and then a spoon, and you have busied yourself in examining and, collecting together the little drops formed by the condensation of the steam on the surface of the china and the silver. Now, are you not ashamed to waste your time in this disgraceful manner?” The world has certainly gained much through the old lady’s failure to tell James how he could employ his time to better advantage!
Frederick the Great was terribly abused because he had a passion for art and music and did not care for military drill. His father hated the fine arts and imprisoned him. He even contemplated killing his son, but his own death placed Frederick on the throne at the age of twenty-eight. This boy, who, because he loved art and music, was thought good for nothing, made Prussia one of the greatest nations of Europe.
Ignorant parents compelled the boy Arkwright to become a barber’s apprentice, but Nature had locked up in his brain a cunning device destined to bless humanity and to do the drudgery of millions of England’s poor; so he must needs say “hands off” even to his parents, as Christ said to his mother, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” (Emphasis added.)
Galileo was set apart for a physician, but when compelled to study anatomy and physiology, he would hide his Euclid and Archimedes and stealthily work out the abstruse problems. He was only eighteen when he discovered the principle of the pendulum in a lamp left swinging in the cathedral at Pisa. He invented both the microscope and telescope, enlarging knowledge of the vast and minute alike.
The parents of Michael Angelo had declared that no son of theirs should ever follow the discreditable profession of an artist, and even punished him for covering the walls and furniture with sketches; but the fire burning in his breast was kindled by the Divine Artist, and would not let him rest until he had immortalized himself in the architecture of St. Peter’s, in the marble of his Moses, and on the walls of the Sistine Chapel.
Pascal’s father determined that his son should teach the dead languages, but the voice of mathematics drowned every other call, haunting the boy until he laid aside his grammar for Euclid.
The father of Joshua Reynolds rebuked his son for drawing pictures, and wrote on one: “Done by Joshua out of pure idleness.” Yet this “idle boy” became one of the founders of the Royal Academy.
Turner was intended for a barber in Maiden Lane, but became the greatest landscape-painter of modern times.
Schiller was sent to study surgery in the military school at Stuttgart, but in secret he produced his first play, “The Robbers,” the first performance of which he had to witness in disguise. The irksomeness of his prison-like school so galled him, and his longing for authorship so allured him, that he ventured, penniless, into the inhospitable world of letters. A kind lady aided him, and soon he produced the two splendid dramas which made him immortal.
The physician Handel wished his son to become a lawyer, and so tried to discourage his fondness for music. But the boy got an old spinet and practiced on it secretly in a hayloft. When the doctor visited a brother in the service of the Duke of Weisenfelds, he took his son with him. The boy wandered unobserved to the organ in a chapel, and soon had a private concert under full blast. The duke happened to hear the performance, and wondered who could possibly combine so much melody with so much evident unfamiliarity with the instrument. The boy was brought before him, and the duke, instead of blaming him for disturbing the organ, praised his performance, and persuaded Dr. Handel to let his son follow his bent.
“Jonathan,” said Mr. Chase, when his son told of having nearly fitted himself for college, “thou shalt go down to the machine-shop on Monday morning.” It was many years before Jonathan escaped from the shop, to work his way up to the position of a man of great influence as a United States Senator from Rhode Island.
A parent might just as well decide that the magnetic needle will point to Venus or Jupiter without trying it, as to decide what profession his son shall adopt.
Wellington was considered a dunce by his mother. At Eton he was called dull, idle, slow, and was about the last boy in school of whom anything was expected. He showed no talent, and had no desire to enter the army. His industry and perseverance were his only redeeming characteristics in the eyes of his parents and teachers. But at forty-six he had defeated the greatest general living, except himself.
Give every boy and girl a fair chance and reasonable encouragement, and do not condemn them because of even a large degree of downright stupidity; for many so-called good-for-nothing boys, blockheads, numskulls, dullards, or dunces, were only boys out of their places, round boys forced into square holes.
Thank you for all these posts!! I am very grateful for the Forum.