Divine Science Interpretations of Christian Doctrine
Creation rests in the Mind of God as the ideal of that Mind and known by that Mind. Therefore, the Divine Scientist understands the nature of God as Mind, interprets visible creation in the light of its spiritual nature. We see every physical manifestation as externalized ideas in the Mind of God taking form according to individual consciousness.
Man rests in the Mind of God as the Christ Idea. Man is the individualized expression of God, and is ever one with Perfect Life, Perfect Love, Perfect Intelligence, and Perfect Substance. Man is the image and likeness of God and his true individuality is the Christ. Therefore, whatever God is, man is, because he is one with his Father in Heaven. Whatever is true of man was true at the beginning of Creation. Man's thought of himself changes as he expands in consciousness; and from change of thought comes change in his outer experiences.
The purpose of right thinking is to recognize the true nature of our Being in God, to recognize the unity of Spirit, Soul, and Body, and to declare the perfection of God on earth as it is in Heaven. Man becomes aware of the good that is always at hand through right thinking. A pattern of thought produces a like pattern in a man's life.
Truth is the eternal, changeless, underlying principle of life. It is always with us, yesterday, today, and forever. There is no new truth because the Divine pattern can never change. All was created in the beginning and was declared good and very good. The only thing that changes is our false conception of God and our recognition of the true nature of our being.
GOD AND THE DEVIL
Divine Science teaches there is only God, the One; there is no devil or evil power. In fact, the practice of the presence of this one power is the basic principle of this teaching.
Divine Science teaches that evil is a false belief in a presence and power other than God. Man's unfolding process causes him to see only partially the truth of his nature and the spiritual reality of the world around him; and these false images in man's mind causes a misconception of life. To believe a lie is to make ourselves susceptible to its power. As soon as the Truth is perceived, the belief in the power of evil dissolves and a man's world changes.
Jesus, having in the flesh incarnated, or fully manifested the Christ of His Being, became the perfect effect of perfect cause. Therefore, we can no longer separate the Christ and Jesus. He, who was Jesus of Nazareth, historically speaking, became the full embodiment of the Christ Idea.
THE HOLY TRINITY
Divine Scientists believe that God is Mind; that Mind and Intelligence are behind all creation. This One Mind acts through thought and thought expresses as Word. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us." (John 1:14; R.S.V.) Flesh means matter of any kind. Divine Scientists see a new trinity that applies to this new thought of all creation coming forth from Mind -- Universal Mind, infinite and unlimited Mind. Through thought, the Word comes into expression as idea just as our ideas take outward form and so come into visibility, or into the outer world. Therefore, we say there is one Creator, one Creative Action, which is the movement of Mind, and one Creation.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by
him; and without him was not anything made that was made. ....and the Word
was made flesh." (John 1:1-3, 14 R.S.V.)
THE VIRGIN BIRTH
Divine Scientists interpret the Immaculate Conception as the realization that man's origin and source is perfection, or God. Man is not born of blood, nor of the flesh, nor of the will of man alone, but by the Will of God. That which is born of Spirit is Spirit. Like begets like. We are born of the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Wholeness, and all Good. The old teaching would have us believe that we are born of sin and conceived in iniquity. This new teaching gives us a new understanding that we are of God, pure, immaculate, and divine. "Call no man on earth your Father..." Heredity, therefore, is not something we need to fear any longer for our heritage is spiritual, not material. Our ills do not come from our parents or our grandparents. God is our only Father; therefore, we find all the good of God belonging fully to each one of us. Our Source is Divine Perfection.
Divine Scientists are baptized when the individual is immersed in Spirit. Here man is released from false beliefs in the outer world and becomes aware of the perfect state of being.
We believe that communion takes place in consciousness during quiet periods of contemplation and meditation. Divine Scientists try to hold a constant spiritual communion with God at all times, for they know the very flesh and blood of their being is the Spirit of the Living God functioning in and through them. The actual taking of bread and wine, therefore, no longer becomes necessary.
Divine Science teaches that miracles are the logical result of Spiritual Oneness with God. Jesus the Christ, when confronted with the material world, was able to realize this Oneness in every situation. Through his inner understanding of the perfection of every being and his absolute knowledge and faith in the Father as the source of all good, the inner eternal Truth was manifested bringing forth what the world would call a miracle.
True prayer is practicing the Presence of God. It is acknowledging by thought and deed the true nature of our being. Prayer is a state of receptivity in which Truth is realized. It is communion with God for the sole purpose of experiencing His Presence. The added things that come to man through true prayer provide those things that are truly beautiful and good in his life. By this quiet turning to God, man opens his mentality to the flow of the great Universal Mind and receives what has been there all the time.
"Talking about God is not the same as experiencing God. I have found
whenever prayer becomes an intimate feeling rather than an intellectual
analysis, the soul consciousness takes wings, and demonstrations come quickly
and easily. Feeling is the key to prayer. Perhaps you have noticed, too, that we
do not always demonstrate what we think; but we always demonstrate what
we feel." Dr. Max H. Ballard, Minister Emeritus
Divine Science teaches the principle of healing as it was taught and demonstrated by Jesus Christ. It is just as possible today to demonstrate a healing of mind, body, and affairs as it was 2,000 years ago. The same One Power that forgives us our trespasses just as willingly heals all our diseases.
Divine Science teaches that sin is the result of man's ignorance of the truth of his nature. In fact, the early Greek meaning of the word is translated as the "missing of the mark." The mark is Oneness with God. We sin, or miss the mark, when we fail to attain our highest calling, which is the realization of our Christ nature.
SIN AND ATONEMENT
We are individualized expressions of God and we are responsible for our own atonement. Therefore, Divine Scientists believe we have atoned for our sin when we know our Oneness with God.
Sickness is the result of a belief in two powers; a lack of the full realization that we are, in Truth, spiritual beings. Through experience, Divine Science has shown that when an individual is expressing on a high level of consciousness and knows completely that he is Spirit, he cannot be ill, for he is in complete harmony with the one creative power, God. Modern medicine has come to a partial acknowledgment that physical illness is the expression of an inner attitude towards life. However, we do not teach that a person should not consult a physician if the situation in his life warrants it. Since we are all individuals on our own path of unfoldment, it would be folly to interfere in any way with an individual's choice to seek the help he needs at the moment.
Divine Science teaches that death is only one of many experiences in the spiritual unfoldment of the soul. At this time, the soul simply moves into another level of expression. Life never ceases for all is life eternally expressing through a multitude of forms. What is true at one point in life is true at all points in life; therefore, man, the spiritual being, can not and does not die. "Science tells us that nothing in nature, not even the tiniest particle, can disappear without a trace. Nature does not know extinction. All it knows is transformation." - Dr. Werner von Braun.
LIFE AFTER DEATH
We believe in the continuity of life and that we all are contained within God now as immortal, perfect expressions of Him. All life is is in an evolutionary state and change is a constant factor not to be feared but embraced. Even after death, man continues its individualized expression as God's beloved Son. "I will never leave you nor forsake you," is the promise given to us by the Father in Heaven.
HEAVEN AND HELL
In Divine Science, we teach that heaven and hell are states of consciousness. According to our belief, we are sometimes in heaven and we are sometimes in hell right here on earth. Man suffers only as a result of his own state of awareness, his view of life. Conversely, he avoids hurt of any kind to the degree he is aware of God in Heaven. All things on the earth plane of expression are the result of the Law of Cause and Effect, for the law is "as in mind, so in manifestation."