Monthly Archives: June 2014

First Commandment – Q&A #7

The First Commandment

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me”

Question: If there is only one God, and He is everywhere, where does man fit in?

Answer: Think about how a ray of sunshine stretches forth from the sun. It isn’t the sun, but it has the same qualities of the sun, such as warmth and light. In a similar way, man expresses God’s nature through spiritual qualities. You simply cannot be separated from Him at any time or any way! Mrs. Eddy explains:

“As a drop of water is one with the ocean, a ray of light one with the sun, even so God and man, Father and son, are one in being . . . ‘For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.’”  (S&H 361)

“Principle and its idea is one, and this one is God, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Being, and His reflection is man and the universe.” (S&H 465-466)

“Do religionists believe that God is One and All? Then whatever is real must proceed from God, from Mind, and is His reflection and Science. Man and the universe coexist with God in Science, and they reflect God and nothing else. In divine Science, divine Love includes and reflects all that really is, all personality and individuality. St. Paul beautifully enunciates this fundamental fact of
Deity as the ‘Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.’ This scientific statement of the origin, nature, and government of all things coincides with the First Commandment of the
Decalogue, and leaves no opportunity for idolatry or aught besides God, good.” (’00 4)

Practice: Today, try being that ray of sunshine. Feel God’s Love shining through you to light up your day!

(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume One: The Ten Commandments”  
Copyright 2001)

Note:  To print out image below, which is from the original book, click on the image and save to your computer]

First C #7

Next:  First Commandment – Q&A #8

List of all pages and lessons in Volume One: The Ten Commandments

Advertisements

First Commandment – Q&A #6

The First Commandment

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me”

Question: In what ways did Jesus obey the First Commandment?

Answer: Jesus constantly reminded his followers that he had only one Father: God. He taught that God was the source of his goodness and power. For instance, we read: “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19)

Mrs. Eddy further explains: “Christianity, as taught and demonstrated in the first century by our great Master, virtually annulled the so-called laws of matter, idolatry, pantheism, and polytheism. Christianity then had one God and one law, namely, divine Science. It said, ‘Call no man your father upon the earth, for one is your Father, which is in heaven.’ Speaking of himself, Jesus said, ‘My Father is greater than I.’ Christianity, as he taught and demonstrated it, must ever rest on the basis of the First Commandment and love for man.” (Pan. 8)

It may be hard to say or think that God deserves praise for the good you seem to accomplish on your own, but give it a try. Start by thanking God for the talents and skills you have, and also for the opportunities to use them.

Practice: Today, when you start on a new task, tell yourself you will do it for the glory of God. Use the task to express God-like qualities such as patience, cheerfulness, thoroughness, and beauty. Do it with love for God and man, and do your best. That is real success!

(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume One: The Ten Commandments”
Copyright 2001)

[Note: If you would like to print out the image below, which is from the original book, click on the image and save to your computer]

First C #6

Next:  First Commandment – Q&A #7

List of all pages and lessons in Volume One: The Ten Commandments

First Commandment – Q&A #5

The First Commandment

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me”

Question: How do I know if I’m breaking the First Commandment?

Answer: Mrs. Eddy writes: “Evil was, and is, the illusion of breaking the First Commandment, ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me:’ it is either idolizing something and somebody, or hating them: it is the spirit of idolatry, envy, jealousy, covetousness, superstition, lust, hypocrisy, witchcraft.”  (Mis. 123)

“It is plain that elevating evil to the altitude of mind gives it power, and that the belief in more than one spirit, if Spirit, God, is infinite, breaketh the First Commandment in the Decalogue.” (Pan. 6-7)

In these statements of Mrs. Eddy’s, you see that giving power to something, or someone, else besides God — whether that is the power to do good or evil — is breaking the First Commandment. Only God has true power, so you should not fear or worship anyone or anything else. Worship means to adore someone or something, or to focus attention on them, above all others. It is right to worship and adore God. It is also right to love and be of service to our fellow man. But, we do not worship them. God must come first in our hearts.

Practice: Is there someone you often see, who frightens you just a little? Today, when that person comes to your thought, or you see him or her, tell yourself that you will not break the First Commandment by being afraid. Do not give the other person the power to hurt you! Remember, you are both God’s children, and are loved by Him. Ask God to help you show that love in a wise and helpful way. Don’t let fear rule!

(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume One: The Ten Commandments”
Copyright 2001)

[Note: If you would like to print out the image below, which is from the original book, click on the image and save to your computer]

First C #5

Next:  First Commandment – Q&A #6

List of all pages and lessons in Volume One: The Ten Commandments

First Commandment – Q&A #4

The First Commandment

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me”

Question: What would happen if everyone on earth obeyed the First Commandment all the time?

Answer: Mary Baker Eddy paints a wonderful picture of a world in which only one God is acknowledged:

“One infinite God, good, unifies men and nations; constitutes the brotherhood of man; ends wars; fulfils the Scripture, ‘Love thy neighbor as thyself;’ annihilates pagan and Christian idolatry, —  whatever is wrong in social, civil, criminal, political, and religious codes; equalizes the sexes; annuls the curse on man, and leaves nothing that can sin, suffer, be punished or destroyed.” (S&H 340)

“It should be thoroughly understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love. Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this fact becomes apparent, war will cease and the true brotherhood of man will be established. Having no other gods, turning to no other but the one perfect Mind to guide him, man is the likeness of God, pure and eternal, having that Mind which was also in Christ.” (S&H 467)

“As mortals give up the delusion that there is more than one Mind, more than one God, man in God’s likeness will appear, and this eternal man will include in that likeness no material element.”
(S&H 191)

Practice: Look for opportunities to turn to “the one perfect Mind to guide” you today. Maybe you need help finding a lost object, or to make an important decision or choice. Turn in prayer to God and ask for His guidance. Listen.

(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume One: The Ten Commandments” (Copyright 2001)

[Note: If you wish to print the image below, which is from the original book, click on the image and save to your computer]

First C #4

Next:  First Commandment – Q&A #5

List of all pages and lessons from Volume One: The Ten Commandments

First Commandment – Q&A #3

The First Commandment

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me”

Question: What difference would it make to me if I obeyed this command?

Answer: Mary Baker Eddy certainly had great expectations in the power of the First Commandment when obeyed:

“The First Commandment in the Hebrew Decalogue — ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me’ — obeyed, is sufficient to still all strife. God is the divine Mind. Hence the sequence: Had all peoples one Mind, peace would reign.” (My. 279)

“The First Commandment of the Hebrew Decalogue, ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me,’ and the Golden Rule are the all-in-all of Christian Science. They are the spiritual idealism and realism which, when realized, constitute a Christian Scientist, heal the sick, reform the sinner, and rob the grave of its victory.” (My. 5)

Do you know the “Golden Rule” mentioned above? Although he did not call it the Golden Rule, Jesus gave this command to his followers: “As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to
them likewise.” Sometimes you will hear it simply as: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

We learn from Mrs. Eddy’s statements here that if we obey the First Commandment, we can expect to heal sickness, sin, and death, as well as bring a lasting peace. But we have to do our part.

Practice: Today, ask God to show you the way to follow Him, and to keep you in that way. Then, look for opportunities to use the “Golden Rule” by treating your friends and family in the way you
would like to be treated.

(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume One: The Ten Commandments”  Copyright 2001)

[Note:  If you would like to print out the image below, which is from the original book, just click on image and save to your computer]

First C #3

Next:  First Commandment – Q&A #4

First Commandment – Q&A #2

The First Commandment 

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

Question: What are “other gods”?

Answer: Mary Baker Eddy describes “other gods” in several statements in Science and Health, some of which you will read in other lessons. We learn that giving power to anything or anyone but God, is making an “idol” of it, just as the people in the Bible did when they worshipped statues of wood or gold. Here is a definition of “gods” found in the Glossary of Science and Health:
“GODS. Mythology; a belief that life, substance, and intelligence are both mental and material; a supposition of sentient physicality; the belief that infinite Mind is in finite forms; the various
theories that hold mind to be a material sense, existing in brain, nerve, matter; supposititious minds, or souls, going in and out of matter, erring and mortal; the serpents of error, which say,
‘Ye shall be as gods.’” (S&H 587) 

Have you read about Adam in the Bible yet? Adam represents “other gods.”

“ADAM. . . the first god of mythology; not God’s man, who represents the one God and is His own image and likeness; . . . a so-called finite mind, producing other minds, thus making ‘gods many and lords many.’” (S&H 579-580)

Practice: When we believe there is a mind in anything but God, the divine Mind, we are having “other gods.” One way we can be obedient to this commandment is by refusing to let the five
physical senses become “gods” when they try to report pain in our bodies. Today, try to talk back to any suggestion of pain that might come to you, with the truth that God, good, did not make it.

(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume One: The Ten Commandments” Copyright 2001)

{Note, to print out image below, which is from original book, just click and save to your computer]

First C #2

Next:  First Commandment – Q&A #3

List of all pages and lesson in Volume One: The Ten Commandments

 

 

Before You Begin

These lessons are based on the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy. It is assumed that
the grown-up working with the child on these lessons is a student of Christian Science, or
someone who is not opposed to a Christian Scientist’s point-of-view with regard to the
Ten Commandments. It is also helpful if there is a Bible available for study, along with
“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” by Mary Baker Eddy, and her other
books contained in Prose Works. This is not mandatory, however, because most of the
citations are included within each lesson. Further study is sometimes recommended, but
the books are not required when reading the individual lessons.

For younger children, the parents will want to read through the lessons, and choose
the ones appropriate to the child’s age or ability to read or understand. With children, it
is important to realize that they do not usually develop the ability to understand abstract
concepts until about age twelve. The youngest ones are generally very literal-minded.
You can read them the citations, but they may not be able to grasp the significance
without a concrete illustration, or “parable,” to think about. I have tried to include these
whenever I could, but you will know your child best, and may have some good ideas how
to help get the points across. Many of the more abstract or absolute statements of Science
are there to provide authority for the comments I have directed to the children. Those
citations are for the benefit of you, the teacher. You can choose which ones to share with
your younger children.

Although I have defined the terms that are central to each lesson, I was not able to
offer definitions for all the more difficult words that are found in the citations, due to space
limitations. I have left it up to the readers to take time to look up those words where there
is a need. I do not recommend skipping a lesson if there are too many big words, since one
way a child learns the vocabulary of our textbook, as they would for any new subject, is
simply to hear the words spoken in context, even if they do not understand right away.
Depending upon the age and interest of the pupil, you can stop and look up new words.
You will notice that each of the lessons for the older children ends with an idea of
how to put the lesson into practice, or recommendations for further study. These are only
suggestions, and it is good if you and your child can come up with ideas of your own. In
order to make these practice ideas work, you might want to check in with your children
later in the day to remind them of the ideas you discussed in the morning, or go over the
lesson again at night, and discuss how they might have used the ideas that day.

Although the lessons generally focus around one theme for the day, some of them
may have a number of ideas to juggle, and you can certainly spread one lesson out over
several days, or use only what your child can handle. You can also choose to go over all
the lessons based on one particular commandment before moving on to the next set, or
you can mix them up. For your first time through, I recommend going over the lessons in
order as they appear in the book.

(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume One:  The Ten Commandments”)


Next:   Explanation of Format

List of all pages and lessons from Volume One: The Ten Commmandments

Questions and Answers on Christian Science

Return to Top of Page

 

 

First Commandment – Q&A #1

The First Commandment

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

Question: Who is the “me” referred to in this commandment?

Answer: Mary Baker Eddy writes: “It is plain that the Me spoken of in the First Commandment must be Mind; for matter is not the Christian’s God, and is not intelligent.” (Mis. 23)

However, Mrs. Eddy also tells us: “The first demand of this Science is, ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’ This me is Spirit. Therefore the command means this: Thou shalt have no intelligence, no life, no substance, no truth, no love, but that which is spiritual.” (S&H 467)

We learn in Science and Health that God has seven special names, which Mrs. Eddy tells us are synonyms. Synonyms are words that share a similar meaning, but are slightly different in some way.
The seven synonyms for God are: Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, and Love. They each refer to God, but a close study of the Christian Science textbook, as Science and Health is known, will show that each name reveals a special view of what God is and what He does. That is how the “me” in the First Commandment can be both Mind and Spirit — as well as Soul, Principle, Life,
Truth, and Love!

Practice: Say to yourself today, “God is the only Mind, and that Mind is good. I will only welcome thoughts that are good and true. I will not listen to thoughts that are bad or unwise.” Try to use this idea during the day if you notice bad or unhappy thoughts coming to you. Replace them with ideas you are learning about God. You will be practicing the First Commandment already!

(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume One: The Ten Commandments” – Copyright 2001)

{Note – To print out image below, click on image, save to your computer]

First C #1

Next: First Commandment – Q&A #2

List of all pages and lessons in Volume One: the Ten Commandments

Explanation of Format

In the original books, each lesson was typed in an outlined box, two boxes on each page.  These were referred to as “clip and carry” lessons.  The text was limited to the lines and spaces within each box.  I will be keeping to the lines as they appeared in the boxes, minus the boxes, but added paragraph spacing for easier reading.  The “clip-and-carry” idea was for the purpose of having portable lessons that the children could carry with them to focus upon.  Notes could be made on the back; they could easily be mailed, or tucked into the Books or the Quarterly Bible Lessons.  At one point I came back and added images from the book of the clip-and-carry lessons, which may be saved and printed out.

Due to space limitation in that format, I did not spell out in full the sources, nor the exact line numbers from Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. That format will stay for these excerpts.   Here is the source information found in the front of each Volume:

All quotations from the Bible are from the authorized King James’ version.

All other quotations are from the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and
Founder of Christian Science and the author of the Christian Science textbook,
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.

The following abbreviations may be used in giving sources of quotations from the
writings of Mary Baker Eddy:

S&H . . . . . Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
Mis . . . . . . Miscellaneous Writings
Man . . . . . . Church Manual
Ret . . . . . . . Retrospection and Introspection
Un . . . . . . . Unity of Good
Rud . . . . . . Rudimental Divine Science
No . . . . . . . No and Yes
Pan . . . . . . . Christian Science versus Pantheism
’00 . . . . . . . Message to The Mother Church, 1900
’01 . . . . . . . Message to The Mother Church, 1901
’02 . . . . . . . Message to The Mother Church, 1902
Hea . . . . . . . Christian Healing
Peo . . . . . . . The People’s Idea of God
Po . . . . . . . Poems
My . . . . . . . The First Church of Christ, Scientist and Miscellany


Next:  The Ten Commandments Background

List of all pages and lessons in Volume One: The Ten Commandments

Return to Top of Page

The Words of The Ten Commandments – the Long and the Short

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of
any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in
the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor
serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of
the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them
that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and
keep my commandments.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the
Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou
labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord
thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter,
thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that
is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the
sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord
blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

5. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon
the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

6. Thou shalt not kill.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

8. Thou shalt not steal.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy
neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor
his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

(Exodus 20:3-17)

(The short version of The Ten Commandments, used in the book:)

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
10. Thou shalt not covet.

(Exodus 20:3-17)


NextFirst Commandment – for Little Children

Return to The Ten Commandments – Background

See also:

Becoming a Living Monument to the Ten Commandments – essay
Teaching Children the Ten Commandments – essay

Return to Top of Page