Self-Determination And Government
A GREAT cry for self-determination is coming from citizens in many areas around the world who are oppressed or victimized, even by their own governments. Some are openly protesting in the name of democracy for honesty and integrity in government. And many others are also yearning for something better than what they have in the way of a government. Perhaps what they are reaching out for is a more God-governed life.
We, as world citizens, can resist the temptation to feel powerless or apathetic toward oppression. We can do something about it by turning to God in prayer ourselves. God really does govern all his creation right here, and now, and everywhere. The power of prayer is more than equal to the challenge of bringing to light God's righteous government. Prayer shows us that because man is created by God, he is subordinate to God alone.
Self-determination, or the right of a people to determine the way in which they are governed, is vital to mankind's freedom of thought and expression. But such self-determination is unshakable only as it is based on an understanding that man is spiritual. As we begin to recognize that because God is our Father, as Christ Jesus taught, our own true identity is that of blessed children of God, we begin to experience the freedom, happiness, and holiness of living wholly under God's government.
God does indeed ``govern the nations upon earth,''1 as the Psalmist puts it. We see more of His government ``upon earth,'' however, as we accept only His government in our individual lives. And as we see more and more clearly that God governs all governments, then the oppression and corruption that are so rampant in some nations will begin to yield to responsibility and integrity in government.
There is, in reality, only one true government: God's government. His government can include no oppression, no abuse of any kind, but only spiritual freedom, harmony, and brotherly love. Understanding this truth brings us into harmony with God's government and helps us to gain the victory over evil in our lives and in our nations. And as we are individually more receptive to divine government, we can expect our national governments to come closer to the spiritual ideal.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes: ``To be `with the Lord' is to be in obedience to the law of God, to be absolutely governed by divine Love, -- by Spirit, not by matter.''2
Whatever fosters reliance on God as the Lawgiver speeds mankind's progress toward just government throughout the world. And in proportion as we allow God to govern us, He will also be governing our governments and human justice will be improved by our understanding of divine justice. When mankind, as well as governments, is subordinate only to God, we will indeed have righteous government, and all mankind governed by God.
1Psalms 67:4. 2Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 14.
Healing through prayer is explored in more detail in a weekly magazine, the Christian Science Sentinel.