Monthly Archives: August 2014

“Our Father which art in heaven” – Q&A #11

Our Father which art in heaven,
Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious

Question: Did the Apostle Paul and the disciples of Jesus, believe and teach that God is our Father?

Answer: Yes, this was the “good news” that Jesus brought to mankind, and his followers continued to preach and teach this fact. You may be familiar with something the disciple John once wrote: “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should
be called the sons of God.” (I John 3:1)

Paul travelled beyond Jerusalem to other regions, including Greece and Rome, spreading the message of Christ. At Mars Hill in Athens, Paul announced to the public that gathered to hear him: “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.” (Acts 17:28)

Paul wrote to the Romans: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.”  (Rom. 8:16-17)

In a letter to the Galatians, Paul wrote: “And because ye are sons, God hath set forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” (Gal. 4:6)

Abba is a word from the Aramaic language, which is a tender expression for father, similar to our “Daddy.” Jesus used this term when praying to God on the night of his betrayal by Judas. In his darkest hour, Jesus did not forget that God was his ever-present Father. He left an example that his followers should not forget: God is Abba, “our Father.”

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(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three:  The Lord’s Prayer”
Copyright 2005)

Our Father - Q &A #11

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Our Father which art in heaven – Q&A #10

Our Father which art in heaven,
Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious

Question: Does man ever become separated from his Father-Mother God?

Answer: No. The belief that man can be separated from his Creator is the greatest of lies. The story of Adam and Eve illustrates what happens when man believes he is separate from God or from his complete selfhood. All sin is a belief in this separation. We might say that sin stands for “Separate In Nature.”

Mrs. Eddy gets across the point of man’s close relationship with God in many different ways. Here are a few:

“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. The Scripture reads: ‘For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.’” (S&H 361:16)

“The real man being linked by Science to his Maker, mortals need only turn from sin and lose sight of mortal selfhood to find Christ, the real man and his relation to God, and to recognize the divine sonship.” (S&H 316:4-7)

“Mortals will lose their sense of mortality — disease, sickness, sin, and death — in the proportion that they gain the sense of man’s spiritual preexistence as God’s child; as the offspring of good, and not of God’s opposite, — evil, or a fallen man.” (Mis. 181:25)

Notice the word preexistence in that last citation. That means man lived before what appears as a human birth. We co-exist with our Father. We have always been God’s beloved children!

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer
Copyright 2005.  For explanation of this book and blog please read the About page.)

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“Our Father which art in heaven” – Q&A #9

Our Father which art in heaven,
Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious

Question: If God, our Father-Mother, is perfect, is man also perfect?

Answer: Jesus was very certain of this. He told us: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matt. 5:48) After all, if man is the image of God, we should be like Him. But this does not mean mortal mind or material bodies are Godlike. Man has a spiritual identity that expresses God.

“God is the creator of man, and, the divine Principle of man remaining perfect, the divine idea or reflection man, remains perfect.” (S&H 470:21-23)

In our prayers, then, we must include the truth that there is perfect God and perfect man. Why is this important? Mrs. Eddy gives us many reasons, one of which reads:

“Unless you fully perceive that you are the child of God, hence perfect, you have no Principle to
demonstrate and no rule for its demonstration. By this I do not mean that mortals are the children of God, — far from it.” (My. 242:8-12)

This truth of perfect God-perfect man, is one that heals. A testimony is recorded in Miscellaneous Writings by one who told what happened when she began to read the textbook:

“I had already been healed of sick headache, almost instantly, by declaring that I was God’s child, and, as God is perfect, His child must be perfect also. This had given me great happiness, and a quiet, peaceful state of mind I never had known before.” (Mis. 430:4-8)

This same peaceful state of mind is one we can gain in our times of prayer by knowing of our perfection.

* * *

(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three:  The Lord’s Prayer”
Copyright 2005.  For information explaining this book and blog please read the “About” page)

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“Our Father which art in heaven” – Q&A #8

Our Father which art in heaven,
Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious

Question: How does God show us that He is our Father-Mother?

Answer: Think of all the things your own parents or guardians do to take care of you. God is     actually the origin of these good qualities and ideas that make a good parent. They appear to us as human moms and dads meeting our needs. Our earthly parents should be honored for their jobs as caretakers, just as the Fifth Commandment tells us to do. But God is the one true Parent of everyone. The Bible and Science and Health are filled with descriptions of God’s Parenthood.

Two of the best examples can be found in the 23rd and 91st Psalms, which speak of God’s care and protection. You might want to read those carefully, and see if you can point out the qualities of a good parent. Mrs. Eddy also writes of God:

“Spirit duly feeds and clothes every object, as it appears in the line of spiritual creation, thus tenderly expressing the fatherhood and motherhood of God. Spirit names and blesses all.”
(S&H 507:3-7)

“The divine Mind, which forms the bud and blossom, will care for the human body, even as it clothes the lily.” (S&H 62:22-24)

“The poor suffering heart needs its rightful nutriment, such as peace, patience in tribulation, and a priceless sense of the dear Father’s loving-kindness.” (S&H 365:31-2)

As God is our Father-Mother, we can expect our needs to be taken care of.

* * *

(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three:  The Lord’s Prayer” 
Copyright 2005.  For information explaining this book and blog, please read the About page.)

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“Our Father which art in heaven” – Q&A #7

Our Father which art in heaven,
Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious

Question: If the Bible calls God our “Father,” why does Science and Health call God our “Father-Mother”?

Answer: The people of Bible times lived in what is called a patriarchal society. Fathers were the authority figures for families. It was more natural for them to think of a powerful God as “Father.”

The writer of the first chapter of Genesis stated that God made man both “male and female.” Mary Baker Eddy saw that this could only be possible if God was also Mother. That is one reason why her spiritual interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer names God “Father-Mother.” She
writes in the textbook:

“Father-Mother is the name for Deity, which indicates His tender relationship to His spiritual
creation.” (S&H: 332:4)

“In divine Science, we have not as much authority for considering God masculine, as we have for     considering Him feminine, for Love imparts the clearest idea of Deity.” (S&H 517:10)

What does this mean for man? First, that we can feel loved and embraced in the idea of God’s Motherhood. Secondly, that as God’s idea, or reflection, each of us has qualities of both Father and Mother. We reflect this completeness, as Mrs. Eddy explains:

“Man and woman as coexistent and eternal with God forever reflect, in glorified quality, the infinite Father-Mother God.” (S&H 516:21)

We reflect completeness!

* * *

(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three:  The Lord’s Prayer” 
Copyright 2005.  For information explaining the book and blog, please read the About page.)

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“Our Father which art in heaven” – Q&A #6

Our Father which art in heaven,
Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious

Question: What does it mean that man is an idea of God?

Answer: Once we accept the truth of the Bible that God created heaven and earth, including man, and we see that God is our Father, we want to understand more of what that really means for us.

We learn in Christian Science that God is the one divine Mind. Mind can only create ideas. Mind’s kingdom is a realm of thought, not material things. Mrs. Eddy included in the textbook a dictionary definition of the term idea, which reads: “an image in Mind; the immediate object of understanding.” (S&H 115:17-18) This is the meaning she uses when she writes the following
about man as the idea of divine Mind:

“God creates and governs the universe, including man. The universe is filled with spiritual ideas, which He evolves, and they are obedient to the Mind that makes them.” (S&H 295:5-8)

“Man is the eternal idea of his divine Principle, or Father. He is neither matter nor a mode of mortal mind, for he is spiritual and eternal, an immortal mode of the divine Mind.”  (No 25:13-16)

Just like the thoughts we seem to have in mind, or consciousness, God’s ideas exist only in divine Mind. They are not separate or outside of Mind. Therefore, our true home remains within the divine Mind, even if we cannot see that for now. It is one of those facts, or truths, we
should affirm about our identity as man, the idea of God, in spite of appearances.

(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer” 
Copyright 2005.  For information explaining this book and blog, please read the About page.)

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“Our Father which art in heaven” – Q&A #5

Our Father which art in heaven,
Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious

Question: If God made everything, did He also create evil?

Answer: No, He did not. Evil is nothing more than a lie about God, good. This is an important point that can be hard to understand sometimes, and even harder to remember when faced with evil of some kind. But it is the truth.

We are taught in Christian Science to speak the truth about all error and evil. One truth about the lie of evil is that God did not create it. It would be impossible for Good to have any evil. Here are some strong statements from Mrs. Eddy:

“God is not the creator of an evil mind. Indeed, evil is not Mind. We must learn that evil is the awful deception and unreality of existence.” (S&H 207: 8-10)

“The Science of Mind disposes of all evil. Truth, God, is not the father of error.” (S&H 473:4-5)

“Mind is not the author of matter, and the creator of ideas is not the creator of illusions. Either there is no omnipotence, or omnipotence is the only power. God is the infinite, and infinity never began, will never end, and includes nothing unlike God.” (S&H 249:12-16)

This last citation is a good one to ponder as we pray and acknowledge God as “our Father.” We can affirm that God is everywhere and has all power. How can His children, then, be touched by any evil of any kind? How can there even be a place for evil to exist? We can speak the truth to evil with these simple words: There is no spot where God is not!

*********************

(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer” 
Copyright 2005.  For information explaining this book and blog please read the About page.)

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“Our Father which art in heaven” – Q&A #4

Our Father which art in heaven,
Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious

Question: What did Jesus teach about the Fatherhood of God?

Answer: Jesus demonstrated his relationship to God, as Father and Son, by word and example. He expected his followers to do likewise. This idea of a close, loving parent-child relationship
was a new concept to most at that time. So, Jesus, who is our Wayshower, gave us examples of how to think, speak, act, and pray as children of a divine and loving Father. Mrs. Eddy explains:

“Jesus acknowledged no ties of the flesh. He said: ‘Call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.’ Again he asked: ‘Who is my mother, and who are my brethren,’  implying that it is they who do the will of his Father. We have no record of his calling any man by the name of father. He recognized Spirit, God, as the only creator, and therefore as the Father of all.” (S&H 31:4)

When the disciple Philip asked Jesus to show them what the Father was like, Jesus responded, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father . . . the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the work.” (John 14:9-10)

In your study of the Bible, perhaps you can look for examples of how Jesus taught his disciples the nature of God, and man’s relationship to Him. Can you think of any now? Have you learned the Beatitudes yet? Do you remember this:

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matt. 5:9)

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(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer,”
Copyright 2005.  For information explaining this book and blog, please read the About page.)

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“Our Father which art in heaven” – Q&A #3

Our Father which art in heaven,
Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious

Question: Did the Hebrew people of the Bible believe that God was their Creator?

Answer: Although the ancient people in Old Testament times did not seem to understand the close individual relationship that existed with God as a Father (the kind that Jesus later taught), they did believe that God was their Maker. The citations below explain:

The prophet Isaiah wrote: “Thus saith the Lord . . . I have made the earth, and created man upon it.” (Isa. 45:11-12)

“For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.” (Isa. 45:18)

In the story of Job, young Elihu said: “The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” (Job 33:4)

And in Psalms we read: “Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” (Ps. 100:3)

John, the disciple of Jesus, would later write of God: “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3)

God is our Maker, our Creator! He is not a distant Creator separated from His creation. He is “our Father.” It was the mission of Jesus to demonstrate this close relationship. We will learn about that, too.

******************

(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three:  The Lord’s Prayer”  Copyright 2005.  For information explaining this book and blog please read the About page.)

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“Our Father which art in heaven” – Q&A #2

Our Father which art in heaven,
Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious

Question: What does it mean that God is our Creator?

Answer: A creator is someone who causes something to come into existence. A creator makes things. The Bible names God as our Creator, or Maker. In fact, the very first sentence of the Bible tells us: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1)

We also learn in the first chapter of Genesis, that God created the grass, herbs, seeds, trees, sun, moon, stars, fish, birds, and animals. Then we read:

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over
every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (Gen. 1:26)

God was praised as the Maker of the whole universe throughout the Old Testament. For instance:

“By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth . . . For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.” (Ps. 33:6,9)

When the Bible says God made “man,” this does not refer to males only. In this situation, man is a term that includes women as well as men, just as the verse below indicates:

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Gen. 1:27)

* * *

(Excerpted from the book “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer”  Copyright 2005.  For information explaining this book and blog, please read the About page.)

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