A Christian Science perspective: A path to stopping terrorism.
I’ve read and heard so much news commentary about terrorism, and much of it is lamenting the fact that we’ll never understand why someone would be led to destroy or maim innocent people, especially children.
Many would say that the founder of The Christian Science Monitor, Mary Baker Eddy, did understand the most fundamental force driving a mentality into such evil actions. And even more, she gave society an answer to how everyone will at last find protection from such destructive mental influences and resulting harmful outcomes. She found this answer in the Bible. First, she recognized the Bible’s descriptions of God’s perfect and all-encompassing nature in such terms as Life, Love, and Mind. You might say those terms help explain an existence filled with intelligent caring. She comprehended that the Bible was revealing an infinite, all-good, and intelligent God whose creation manifests perfect Love. But secondly, and vitally important, she explained what was behind the Bible’s warning that “the carnal mind is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7).
She recognized the erring, worldly belief that there could be an opposing power to the one omnipotent God. This awful and aggressive enmity against God, which Christ Jesus called a “liar,” is really a type of hatred of divine Love, perfect Mind, eternal Life. The Bible identifies this evil claim to existence with words such as “devil” or “accuser.”
For me, one of the most important aspects of this recognition that 1) God can be proved omnipotent and 2) the accuser can be proved impotent, is how this understanding leads to a defense against either initiating or being on the receiving end of violence. Throughout her writings Mrs. Eddy pinpoints the importance of understanding that each individual is the innocent representative of God, who is Life, Love, Mind. And she shows in her writings how a prayerful affirmation of this truth protects us from “the accuser” that suggests we could be either a victimizer, or victimized, with a hatred expressed by the so-called carnal mind.
She proved in her own life this protective power. When threatened with a bombing herself, she later wrote, “I leaned on God, and was safe” (“Message to The Mother Church for 1902,” p. 15). There is no authentic power able to introduce into consciousness the terrible lie that there can be action impelling hatred of Life and its spiritually vigorous expression, hatred of the tenderness of Love and its caring manifestation, hatred of Mind, with its intelligent presence and movement. Affirming this fact is a prayer that empowers us with the Bible promise that the accuser can be defeated.
This prayer that acknowledges God’s supremacy and faces down the hypnotic suggestion that we, or anyone, could be made to act with an evil impulse, undermines false, devilish feelings. Everyone can learn to defend his or her consciousness from such feelings. This includes sheltering one’s consciousness from small “bombs” such as inner anger or resentment, or larger eruptions like outward violent actions. The latter always originates in accommodating the former.
Sometimes hostile mental missiles tipped with poisonous intent originate far away geographically. You can fire back a divine weapon, as one writer describes the truths Mrs. Eddy taught: “[Y]our missiles of [divine] Mind have battered down the illusions of sense...” (“Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896,” p. 457).
We all have a role to play in defusing the bombs. There will be real and full security for society as enough people have enough courage and understanding to face the issue squarely, and discover the truth about the lying claims of evil, the devil, the accuser. Those claims always begin in erroneous general mortal thought. While only a relatively few may take the lead in being alert to deal with violent thoughts, this will pave the way for others to take more responsibility in defending their consciousness. Then more and more people will be able to claim with biblical authority, “[T]he accuser of our brethren is cast down” (Revelation 12:10).
If we face down the impersonal impulse to act evilly or to see God’s creation as vulnerable to evil actions, we’ll find ourselves better protected. And ultimately, we’ll find all of society itself fully secure.