"the human self need to be evangelized"

Notes and references for 10/28/01
“…the human self needs to be evangelized”

When we wait patiently on God and seek Truth righteously, He directs our path. Imperfect mortals grasp the ultimate of spiritual perfection slowly; but to begin aright and to continue the strife of demonstrating the great problem of being, is doing much.
During the sensual ages, absolute Christian Science may not be achieved prior to the change called death, for we have not the power to demonstrate what we do not understand. But the human self must be evangelized. This task God demands us to accept lovingly to-day, and to abandon so fast as practical the material, and to work out the spiritual which determines the outward and actual.

Evangelism is a unique word in the Christian world, and as well in Christian Science. Webster defines evangelism as: “to convert to Christianity, to teach the Gospels.”

The Interpreter’s Bible Dictionary has a bit of a different slant- page 181:

“In the earliest of times, no doubt, the activity of the apostles was not rigidly distinguished from that of evangelists. Later Christian usage viewed the evangelists as disciples of the apostles, or as imitators of their example.”… “a more restrictive use of “evangelist” to denote the authors of the (four) gospels first appears in third century writers.”

“Imitators of their (the apostles) example” is more consistent with Mrs. Eddy’s use of the word. Letting our lives imitate the example of that which is taught in the Gospels has more to do with our own thoughts and actions then in our ability to convert anyone. In fact, it should be our example only that makes others want to rise higher in their thinking. The citation for this week’s lesson above tells us clearly to convert our own human self, not someone else’s, to the Christianity taught in the four Gospels.

As a quick aside let’s also look at the Manual where she tells us who we should follow as our example. Make sure we are not careless in our use of the word Jesus or Christ. They are never to be used as expletives:

1 Christ Jesus the Ensample. SECT. 3. He
who dated the Christian era is the Ensample in
3 Christian Science. Careless comparison or irrev-
erent reference to Christ Jesus is abnormal in a
Christian Scientist, and is prohibited….A de-
parture from this rule disqualifies a member for
15 office in the Church or on the Board of Lec-
tureship, and renders this member liable to dis-
cipline and, possibly, dismissal from The Mother
18 Church.

Anyway, back to our subject. Mrs. Eddy leaves no room for opinions on what she meant by “evangelize”. It was not to run around trying to explain Christian Science, hand out Science and Healths. We are not a “shout it from the rooftops” religion. We are deep thinkers, examining our own thought, and rising higher in our understanding of the Christ mission. Let’s look at what Mrs. Eddy says exactly:

Ret 93:1-16
In the first century of the Christian era Jesus went about doing good. The evangelists of those days wandered about. Christ, or the spiritual idea, appeared to human consciousness as the man Jesus. At the present epoch the human concept of Christ is based on the incorporeal divine Principle of man, and Science has elevated this idea and established its rules in consonance with their Principle. Hear this saying of our Master, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
The ideal of God is no longer impersonated as a waif or wanderer; and Truth is not fragmentary, disconnected, unsystematic, but concentrated and immovably fixed in Principle. The best spiritual type of Christly method for uplifting human thought and imparting divine Truth, is stationary power, stillness, and strength; and when this spiritual ideal is made our own, it becomes the model for human action.

There it is. “Stationary power, stillness and strength.” That is the best evangelism. We must set an example and draw others to that example. And, it starts with uplifting our thought. Look once more at her letter to Irving Tomlinson when he was selected Reader of The Mother Church.

My 247:10-23

Beloved Student: — Christ is meekness and Truth enthroned. Put on the robes of Christ, and you will be lifted up and will draw all men unto you. The little fishes in my fountain must have felt me when I stood silently beside it, for they came out in orderly line to the rim where I stood. Then I fed these sweet little thoughts that, not fearing me, sought their food of me.
God has called you to be a fisher of men. It is not a stern but a loving look which brings forth mankind to receive your bestowal, — not so much eloquence as tender persuasion that takes away their fear, for it is Love alone that feeds them.

What is meant by “tender persuasion”? It is not proselytizing. It is a behavior that imitates the acts of the apostles. It is purifying one’s own thought. When you are successful at doing this wonderful things happen. Again to our Leader:

Mis 204:23
By purifying human thought, this state of mind permeates with increased harmony all the minutiae of human affairs. It brings with it wonderful foresight, wisdom, and power; it unselfs the mortal purpose, gives steadiness to resolve, and success to endeavor. Through the accession of spirituality, God, the divine Principle of Christian Science, literally governs the aims, ambition, and acts of the Scientist. The divine ruling gives prudence and energy; it banishes forever all envy, rivalry, evil thinking, evil speaking and acting; and mortal mind, thus purged, obtains peace and power outside of itself.

Here are some other references about uplifting your thinking:

The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base, on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind.

The discoverer of Christian Science finds the path less difficult when she has the high goal always before her thoughts, than when she counts her footsteps in endeavoring to reach it. When the destination is desirable, expectation speeds our progress. The struggle for Truth makes one strong instead of weak, resting instead of wearying one.

Here are the other references we worked with this morning:

Ret 65:19
Christian Science is the pure evangelic truth. It accords with the trend and tenor of Christ's teaching and example, while it demonstrates the power of Christ as taught in the four Gospels. Truth, casting out evils and healing the sick; Love, fulfilling the law and keeping man unspotted from the world, — these practical manifestations of Christianity constitute the only evangelism, and they need no creed.

My 342:19-27 (to evangelical)
"The continuity of The Church of Christ, Scientist," she said, in her clear voice, "is assured. It is growing wonderfully. It will embrace all the churches, one by one, because in it alone is the simplicity of the oneness of God; the oneness of Christ and the perfecting of man stated scientifically.
…Its essence is evangelical.”

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