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Switch to Forum Live View Concerning "demons"
4 years ago  ::  Mar 12, 2011 - 2:22PM #1
Upperlimits
Posts: 3,049

Can somebody give me the quick (readers digest version) concept of spirits and demons, and how they relate to CS.


I met one of your members on another discussion board. The topic was concerning the existence of demons. This person had identified themselves as a member of CS, and then made the statement, "We have no Devil, Satan, nor demons."


Oddly though, when I went to the official CS website to do some investigation, the very first thing I was met with was a large cross and crown logo encircled by the words, "Heal the sick. Raise the dead. Cleanse the Lepers" and then something about casting out whatever it is that supposedly, CS doesn't believe in...


How, exactly, do you "cast out demons", when (at least, according to this poster) you don't believe in their existence? Isn't this a contradiction of terms?

According to 2nd Corinthians 3:2, there are five gospels in the world. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Epistle of ones own life.  Most people will probably never read the first four.

God desires that our lives would bear spiritual fruit - not religious nuts.
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4 years ago  ::  Mar 17, 2011 - 6:18AM #2
ctcss
Posts: 684

Hi Upperlimits. (My apologies for not getting back to your question sooner.)

First off, I should mention that CS is very much a Bible-based religion. For instance, in English language speaking countries, the KJV is the Bible used in CS church services, CS Sunday School instruction, and for daily CS study at home. The KJV obviously mentions devils, demons, satan, evil spirits, etc. However, as in all religious thought, how a particular religious denomination interprets anything in scripture is one of the main reasons there are so many denominations. CS theology is no different in that we have our own particular way of viewing what the Bible text is saying. And in CS, the view being taken is the primacy of God and what He creates and expresses, combined with the corresponding nothingness of all that is not God and not expressed by Him.

Basically, CS takes a rather logical but often startling view of reality. If God,Spirit is good, and is All-in-all (the Creator of everything who expresses nothing unlike Himself), then anything unlike God cannot have a source, and therefore does not exist. In other words, CS views both matter and evil as unreal and non-existent, since neither is like God in any way whatsoever.

This is a rather radical departure from most religious thought. (Note that this is not a dualistic view of creation, with the bits aligned with God being good and the bits not aligned with God being evil. In the CS view there is only one creation, an entirely good, entirely perfect, entirely spiritual creation, which is the direct manifiestation of God.)

Obviously, the human view of things seems to bear witness to all sorts of evil and misfortune taking place in the world. But if God's kingdom, being infinite, is the only kingdom which truly exists, and is the direct outcome of His entirely good, entirely perfect, and entirely loving nature, the question then becomes, is the human view of creation correct or incorrect? Or, more properly, is God's absolute knowing of His perfect, spiritual, entirely good creation the correct view, or is the human, flawed, often inaccurate, often mistaken, often inadequate take on what seems to be a materialistic creation the correct view? (I'm betting you can guess which view CS says is the correct one.)

But what about the human view of things? How do we reconcile the view of material evil and suffering which humans seem to know and experience with the view of spiritual perfection that God must know? The simple (and surprising) answer is, CS doesn't try to reconcile those two views. CS considers God's view to be the only correct view. If God, Spirit is good and perfect and all, and God's Truth is the only Truth, and God's knowledge and understanding are the only knowledge understanding, and God's Mind is the only Mind, then there is no mind perceiving anything unlike what God, Spirit knows, nor is there an existence unlike what God, Spirit creates. That's the natural conclusion when one has an entirely good, entirely loving, all-God.

Let me repeat that again. If God is perfect and thus God's creation is perfect, and if God is Mind, the only Mind, and thus the only Mind understanding His perfect creation, there is not and cannot be any understanding of, or experiencing of, anything unlike the perfection that God intended and caused to be expressed.

In other words, from the way CS understands things to be, the human, mortal view of things is not only incorrect, it is also non-existent. There is no human, mortal mind, there is only one Mind, God.

So in CS, despite what we seem to experience humanly, we turn to God to understand the truth of His creation, to understand what He knows. Thus, in the case of what are often termed devils, demons, satan, evil spirits,  etc, we "cast them out" by acknowledging God's allness and recognizing their corresponding nothingness. If God doesn't know them or create them, then they have no existence nor power. And in like manner, we deal with any humanly discordant experience in the same way whether it is the belief in sin, disease, or death.

So, does that mean that Christian Scientists understand such things perfectly, so that we experience no problems in life? Of course not! But this is the direction we are walking in. This is what we are trying to understand. That's why I like these rather comforting words of Paul.

 13 Brethren, I count not myself to
have apprehended: but this one
thing I do, forgetting those things
which are behind, and reaching
forth unto those things which are
before,
 14 I press toward the mark for the
prize of the high calling of God in
Christ Jesus.
 15 Let us therefore, as many as be
perfect, be thus minded: and if in
any thing ye be otherwise minded,
God shall reveal even this unto
you.
 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have
already attained, let us walk by
the same rule, let us mind the same
thing.

Christian Scientists are simply trying to work out their own salvation, step by step, moment by moment, with the understanding that they believe God so willingly and lovingly provides to all of His children.


Does that help explain things?

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4 years ago  ::  Mar 17, 2011 - 11:06PM #3
Upperlimits
Posts: 3,049

Hi Upperlimits. (My apologies for not getting back to your question sooner.)


No problem. I appreciate your time. You are certainly correct about one thing: This is a worldview that is foreign to many people.


In other words, from the way CS understands things to be, the human, mortal view of things is not only incorrect, it is also non-existent. There is no human, mortal mind, there is only one Mind, God.


I'm not certain if I'm completely understanding. Do you not allow any place for individuality? Are you nothing more than a question of which God asks Himself?

According to 2nd Corinthians 3:2, there are five gospels in the world. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Epistle of ones own life.  Most people will probably never read the first four.

God desires that our lives would bear spiritual fruit - not religious nuts.
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4 years ago  ::  Mar 26, 2011 - 4:23PM #4
ctcss
Posts: 684

Upperlimits, once again I must apologize for not getting back to you sooner.

Mar 17, 2011 -- 11:06PM, Upperlimits wrote:

I'm not certain if I'm completely understanding. Do you not allow any place for individuality? Are you nothing more than a question of which God asks Himself?




This gets into the CS concept of man as the reflection (image and likeness) of God, as is stated in the first chapter of Genesis. In CS, man has no separate existence apart from God, just a a reflection in a mirror has no separate existence apart from the person standing in front of the mirror. As long as God exists, man, God's reflection, exists. If God is perfect, man, God's reflection, is also perfect. If God is eternal, man, God's reflection, is also eternal, if God is entirely good, man, God's reflection, is also entirely good, if God is Spirit, man, God's reflection, is spiritual, not material, etc.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science talks about this concept throughout her writings. For instance, in Retrospection and Introspection she writes (p. 56:18-24)

"All consciousness is Mind, and Mind is God.  Hence there is but one Mind; and that one is the infinite good, supplying all Mind by the reflection, not the subdivision, of God.  Whatever else claims to be mind, or consciousness, is untrue.  The sun sends forth light, but not suns; so God reflects Himself, or Mind, but does not subdivide Mind, or good, into minds, good and evil."

And in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (the textbook of CS) she writes (p. 516:25-8)

"Your mirrored reflection is your own image or likeness.  If you lift a weight, your reflection does this also. If you speak, the lips of this likeness move in accord with yours.  Now compare man before the mirror to his divine Principle, God.  Call the mirror divine Science, and call man the reflection.  Then note how true, according to Christian Science, is the reflection to its original.  As the reflection of yourself appears in the mirror, so you, being spiritual, are the reflection of God.  The substance, Life, intelligence, Truth, and Love, which constitute Deity, are reflected by His creation; and when we subordinate the false testimony of the corporeal senses to the facts of Science, we shall see this true likeness and reflection everywhere."

And also (ibid p.281:14-17)

"The one Ego, the one Mind or Spirit called God, is infinite individuality, which supplies all form and comeliness and which reflects reality and divinity in individual spiritual man and things."

And, perhaps, to specifically address your question (ibid S&H 336:32-2 to ;)

"God is individual and personal in a scientific sense, but not in any anthropomorphic sense.  Therefore man, reflecting God, cannot lose his individuality;"

(Here, when Mrs. Eddy uses the term "scientific", she is referring to concepts based on the science of Christianity.)

I didn't mean to "quote" you to death, but you ask a good question and there are lots of passages in her writings that cover this concept. There is obviously a lot to such a topic, so I hope what I responded with clears things up a bit.

Does this help to answer your question?


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3 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2011 - 11:42PM #5
Upperlimits
Posts: 3,049

Yes, it does. Thank you. Although, I must say, the contrast between our world views is quite astoundng.


 In CS, man has no separate existence apart from God, just a a reflection in a mirror has no separate existence apart from the person standing in front of the mirror. As long as God exists, man, God's reflection, exists. If God is perfect, man, God's reflection, is also perfect. If God is eternal, man, God's reflection, is also eternal, if God is entirely good, man, God's reflection, is also entirely good, if God is Spirit, man, God's reflection, is spiritual, not material, etc.


So then, what is the nature of the "sin" problem? Dirty spots on the mirror?

According to 2nd Corinthians 3:2, there are five gospels in the world. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Epistle of ones own life.  Most people will probably never read the first four.

God desires that our lives would bear spiritual fruit - not religious nuts.
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3 years ago  ::  Dec 05, 2011 - 9:10AM #6
Kimelaine
Posts: 1

Apr 5, 2011 -- 11:42PM, Upperlimits wrote:


Yes, it does. Thank you. Although, I must say, the contrast between our world views is quite astoundng.


 In CS, man has no separate existence apart from God, just a a reflection in a mirror has no separate existence apart from the person standing in front of the mirror. As long as God exists, man, God's reflection, exists. If God is perfect, man, God's reflection, is also perfect. If God is eternal, man, God's reflection, is also eternal, if God is entirely good, man, God's reflection, is also entirely good, if God is Spirit, man, God's reflection, is spiritual, not material, etc.


So then, what is the nature of the "sin" problem? Dirty spots on the mirror?




Thank you everyone, I've really enjoyed stumbling across this thread.  Error in belief needs to be pointed out and corrected then it is no longer an error, the error is gone.  When I did correspondence school and my school papers were returned with the teachers feedback -ticks and crosses and at the bottom the number of errors noted - I knew these were errors -mistakes that needed to be corrected and once corrected where no longer errors, they stopped existing.  This was in the 70's.


I also recall a small poem in a CS sentinel I still hold dear - 'A grain of mustard is very small but bigger than error, that's nothing at all'.  Error, a misconception is nothing at all and has no power. God is the power, all power. 


I think CS understands the nothingness of nothing, nothing cannot even try to be something.  Not fallen, not mortal... no demons, spirits, etc - these beliefs are cast out through Christ and the understanding that these are errors of belief. They have no power but only in belief. 


And well the mirror - Goodness I remember vaugely the coloured glass window story - little blue CS childrens book talked about looking through different coloured glass and how the horse on the hill was either blue, green, red, etc depending on the plane of glass we looked through and that we should be looking through glass clearly (spotless :-) the right lens so we see the God's reflection (same as looking in the mirror - do we see a mortal living in a mortal world or do we see a spiritual child/ren of God, living in a spiritual world. 


In God's Kingdom there is no sin - if we live, move and have our being in Christ we can't have our being in a mortal world. If we are being mortal, we are believing in sin and all that includes -  A Christian Scientist might be able to explain it better. 1st John 3:1 to 3 explains it for me.


ps. I like the idea of the steering wheel directing, guiding, protecting all the time, bearing fruit not the spare wheel or nuts.  

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