Latent Error

Notes and References, 11/19/00
Latent Error

Sin is traditionally thought of in most churches as knowing something is wrong and doing it anyway or knowing something is right but not doing it. Fundamentalist churches believe in original sin and that you can only be saved by accepting Jesus Christ into your hearts. Mary Baker Eddy viewed sin differently. We will naturally be able to find her thoughts on the subject in the Bible because everything in Christian Science is Bible based. Paul said: (II Cor 10:4,5)

(For 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;

Here we learn that governing your thinking and bringing it into accord with the Christ is our approach. What better way to accept Jesus Christ then to bring your every thought into accord with Christ? But, it also points to the fact that there is a subtle or hidden problem that needs to be addressed in thought as well as the obvious problem that we may be facing. Look at the first page of the last chapter of the textbook:

This angel had in his hand "a little book," open for all to read and understand. Did this same book contain the revelation of divine Science, the "right foot" or dominant power of which was upon the sea, — upon elementary, latent error, the source of all error's visible forms? The angel's left foot was upon the earth; that is, a secondary power was exercised upon visible error and audible sin.

Christian Science heals both the “latent error” and the audible sin. You are required to examine thought and identify the false belief about yourself or others that you are accepting as real. In our original definition of sin it would appear that you are not able to sin if you are ignorant of the sin or mistake. Christian Science says, “not so”. Look at this reference in her chapter Footsteps of Truth:

The belief that God lives in matter is pantheistic. The error, which says that Soul is in body, Mind is in matter, and good is in evil, must unsay it and cease from such utterances; else God will continue to be hidden from humanity, and mortals will sin without knowing that they are sinning, will lean on matter instead of Spirit, stumble with lameness, drop with drunkenness, consume with disease, — all because of their blindness, their false sense concerning God and man.

This teaches us that we are sinning (or believing in a power opposed to God when we look to matter for answers or are dependent on matter. Problems occur because we have not changed a wrong belief. Mrs. Eddy takes us through the process of advancing out of matter and into a spiritual understanding of Life on page 115 of the textbook:



First Degree: Depravity.

PHYSICAL. Evil beliefs, passions and appetites, fear, depraved will, self-justification, pride, envy, deceit , hatred, revenge, sin, sickness, disease, death.

Second Degree: Evil beliefs disappearing.

MORAL. Humanity, honesty, affection, compassion , hope, faith, meekness, temperance.

Third Degree: Understanding.

SPIRITUAL. Wisdom, purity, spiritual understanding, spiritual power, love, health, holiness.

Here we start with the problem. Mrs. Eddy is showing us the transition out of a false belief but we will never heal a thing that way. It is only a process. You cannot start with the problem in Christian Science and dig your way out. The correct way is to take the Christian Science approach of starting with God. Look at the Translation of Immortal Mind.


GOD: Divine Principle, Life, Truth, Love, Soul, Spirit, Mind.
MAN: God's spiritual idea, individual, perfect , eternal.
IDEA: An image in Mind; the immediate object of understanding. — Webster.

Starting with God and seeing yourself as His image or reflection leaves no room for false belief. Again from Footsteps of Truth we find the explanation I support of this argument:

Mind, not matter, is causation. A material body only expresses a material and mortal mind. A mortal man possesses this body, and he makes it harmonious or discordant according to the images of thought impressed upon it. You embrace your body in your thought, and you should delineate upon it thoughts of health, not of sickness. You should banish all thoughts of disease and sin and of other beliefs included in matter. Man, being immortal, has a perfect indestructible life. It is the mortal belief which makes the body discordant and diseased in proportion as ignorance, fear, or human will governs mortals.

If there is in reality no sin then where do bad results come from? She says fear, ignorance or human will. Elsewhere in Science and Health she says “fear, ignorance or sin.” Thus human will must be the same as sin.

The procuring cause and foundation of all sickness is fear, ignorance, or sin. Disease is always induced by a false sense mentally entertained, not destroyed. Disease is an image of thought externalized. The mental state is called a material state. Whatever is cherished in mortal mind as the physical condition is imaged forth on the body.

We all have choices. If you were walking down the street and there was a “Y” in the road. One side has a sign that says, “Dead End”. The other way has no sign. Which road will you take? The obvious answer is the one with no dead end sign. Now lets make it more difficult. The Dead End is beautiful. It has a party going on, great food, money, everything! The other road is barren and uninteresting. Now which road? Not as easy to answer is it? The Dead End however is totally material and grow old, boring and is filled with unseen problems. The other way keep getting better and better, forever. It grows more beautiful and satisfying around every turn. Make the right choice.

The assignment for next week is to solve a riddle: Another “Y” in the road. One way leads to a fire-breathing dragon. The other to safety. There are two Indians standing at the Y. One always tells the truth and one always lies. You are allowed only one question. You can ask it of either Indian. What is the question to ask that will tell you with 100% surety the road to safety?

See you next week.

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