Jul 06

Open Thought to the Letters of Paul: A Messenger of Jesus Christ

“Saul, (Paul) yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord . . . . “(Acts 9: 1).  

The Apostle Paul

Paul is one of the most loyal followers of Jesus, but he was not always a follower.  In fact,  as Saul, he hunted down Christians and imprisoned them for daring to follow a man he did not understand, or care to understand.  However, one day, as he made his way to Damascus, his thought became so enlightened by the Word of God, that he became physically blind–a blindness caused by the expression of the evil thoughts and practices his heart had embraced, and he began to reflect on his actions.  As the “light of truth” shone more clearly in thought, he humbled himself before God and was led to believe that he would be healed by a man called Ananias … and he was healed.  Once regenerated, his name became Paul.

This revelation became a basis for Paul’s journey of

spiritual growth and development, and to date, he is one of the most prolific writers of the New Testament.  This article will look at The Letters of Paul:

                1.  List the Letters of Paul

                2.  Summarize Each Letter

                3.  See How Each Relates to Today’s World 

 

 

Thirteen letters have been attributed to Paul, and are listed in the New Testament as Books.  They are:

 

Romans

I & II Corinthians

Galatians

Ephesians

Philippians

Colossians

I & II Thessalonians

I & II Timothy

Titus

Philemon

Hebrews

The Letters of Paul will be discussed in 11 articles–just as they occur in the New Testament of the Bible–the Books of Romans being the first.   Not only will each article discuss the author’s understanding of Paul’s letters, but will also look at how Christian leaders throughout the ages have weighed in on the meaning of Paul’s letters, and how reading them can aid mankind in discovering the pathway to freedom.

 The first letter that Paul wrote was to the Romans–people he referred to as “beloved of God, called to be saints” (Romans 1: 7).  What is the message that he is sending them?

Many spiritual leaders before Paul spoke to Christians–primarily Jews, but Paul was destined to reach outside of  sect or religion and embrace the Gentile.  His teachings revealed that God is “no respecter of persons,” for he looks at the heart and not the body.  He also embraced the idea that God’s child is not “”born in sin,” but equipped with truth, not error, love, not hate and good, not evil as many leaders of the Old Testament had espoused.

He wrote to the Romans about the clear distinction between God’s law and man’s law–one being good and the other evil–one developing faith and grace, the other sin and fear.  He says in affect:  “sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (6:14).  The law he refers to is man’s law.  Faith, he taught,  is not partial to nationality or religion, it is the same for everyone who has it, and further, every man has the capacity to have it.  Any belief to the contrary, is merely a dictation of human law, not a commandment of God.  Human law is flesh-directed, Spirit is God and man expressing spirituality, is God-directed.

This letter to the Romans also makes it clear that Paul believed Jesus to be not God, but the Son of God.  He says, “what the law (man’s law) could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:” (8:3).  He’s saying that Jesus, God’s son, appeared in the flesh (not God appeared in the flesh) so that fleshly mortals could identify with him and learn that it is possible to overcome sin as humans living in fleshly bodies, but thinking divinely, as Jesus taught.  This nullifies the idea that man is not expected to overcome sin while here on earth because God did not make him able to do so.  Such a view is mortal thinking, not immortal, human, not divine.  The man that God created, as Moses points out in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis, is made in “the image and likeness of God” and has the capacity to be Godlike–to express all that God is.  Once man believes this, he improves his chances of practicing it here on earth.  As long as he believes he is a sinner and cannot cease sinning, he will do so!  As a “man thinketh, so is he.”

 

What Others Say About the Letter to the Romans

 

At this point, it may be interesting to see how other religious leaders view Paul’s letter to the Romans.  The Easy English Bible Version gives a simplified version of Paul’s purpose for writing the Romans:

 

  • To prepare the church in Rome for a visit.
  • To give a clear explanation of the gospel.
  • To give the truth about the Christian faith to any Christians in Rome who had false ideas about it.
  • To give practical advice about how Christians should behave toward each other.
  • To give practical advice about how Christians should behave toward their rulers.
  • To unite Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians.  In many churches, there had been serious arguments between Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians.   

http://www.easyenglish.info/bible-commentary/romans-lbw.htm

Adam Clarke, a British Methodist theologian and Biblical scholar, says:

Paul had made acquaintance with all circumstances of the Christians at Rome … and finding that it was … partly of heathens converted to Christianity, and partly of Jews, who had, with many remaining prejudices, believed in Jesus as the true Messiah, and
that many contentions arose from the claims of the Gentiles to equal privileges with the Jews, and from absolute refusal of the Jews to admit these claims, unless the Gentile converts become 
circumcised; he wrote this epistle to adjust and settle these differences.  http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/view.cgi?bk=44&ch=0 

Around the 16th century, Martin Luther, a German Monk, Catholic priest and professor of theology, defines the words” law, sin, grace, faith, justice, flesh, spirit” according to his interpretation of Paul’s meaning and makes it clear that unless one understands Paul’s meaning of those words, it  is useless to read the Book of Romans.  The following excerpts from his Preface to Romans outline the meaning of those words:

“You must not understand the word law here in human fashion, i.e., a regulation about what sort of works must be done or must not be done. That’s the way it is with human laws: you satisfy the demands of the law with works, whether your heart is in it or not. God judges what is in the depths of the heart. . . . You must get used to the idea that it is one thing to do the works of the law and quite another to fulfill it. The works of the law are every thing that a person does or can do of his own free will and by his own powers to obey the law. But because in doing such works the heart abhors the law and yet is forced to obey it, the works are a total loss and are completely useless.

Luther seems to be saying that there is a clear distinction between man’s law and God’s laws.  Thus, one can conclude that just because something is legal does not necessarily mean it is fair, impartial and just, and  . . . if a person obeys the law out of fear and not out of love, he has no “just reward.”  

Luther interprets Paul’s thoughts about “sin’ this way:

All human beings are called liars (Psalm 116), since none of them keeps or can keep God’s law from the depths of the heart. Everyone finds inside himself an aversion to good and a craving for evil. Where there is no free desire for good, there the heart has not set itself on God’s law. There also sin is surely to be found and the deserved wrath of God, whether a lot of good works and an honorable life appear outwardly or not.

 

The key to this viewpoint is that all human beings are sinners.  It is only when thought unites with the divine that man is able to say and do the “work of God.”  Thus, it is sinful to point out the sins of others when one is not obeying the divine laws himself.  Religion leaders who stand in the pulpit and preach “hell and damnation” to their followers who “commit adultery” and are secretly having “affairs” themselves will be hit with “many stripes.”

 

What about grace?  Grace is that divine influence that comes into thought and makes one morally strong.  It causes us to turn from sin and reach for that which is right and good.  It stops you in your tracks with “Now, you know that is not right, don’t do it!”  Some of us heed the nudging, but others ignore it.  Luther puts it this way, “. . .it means to live well and in a manner pleasing to God, as though there were no law or punishment. It is the Holy Spirit, however, who puts such eagerness of unconstained love into the heart, as Paul says in chapter 5.

 

Faith plays an important role in one’s desire to fulfill divine Law.  According to Luther, “Faith is a work of God in us, which changes us and brings us to birth anew from God (cf. John 1). It kills the old Adam, makes us completely different people in heart, mind, senses, and all our powers, and brings the Holy Spirit with it. What a living, creative, active powerful thing is faith! It is impossible that faith ever stop doing good. Faith doesn’t ask whether good works are to be done, but, before it is asked, it has done them. It is always active. Whoever doesn’t do such works is without faith; he gropes and searches about him for faith and good works but doesn’t know what faith or good works are. Even so, he chatters on with a great many words about faith and good works.” 

 

Faith is the impetus that makes us choose “good works” over the status quo.  It guides and governs through a deep-seated desire to please God.  It constantly unfolds, uplifts and gives a sense of fulfillment and inner peace.  Should you do something and the feelings from what you do bring agitation, upheaval within yourself, you knew what you did was not in harmony with divine law before you did it.  Your faith brought you to the door, but your greed would not let you turn the “knob to get in.”

 

Justice grows out of faith.  One’s faith in God allows him to be just, to obey what is good and true, and to treat others as he wishes to be treated.  It is not a “make an excuse” kind of justice called “self-justification.”  It is a justice that asks “If God were here, is this something He would do?”  If to the depth of your soul you cannot answer “Yes,” the thing you are about to do is unjust.  Self-justification goes like this, “I am going steal this bread because my children are hungry and if God did not want me to do it, He wouldn’t have placed it in front of me.  This is God’s provision!”  That is not God talking, that is human will speaking.  God is not a thief, and He will not lead you to be one!”

 

Luther says of Paul’s teaching of justice:  God’s justice or that justice which is valid in God’s sight, . . . gives it and reckons it as justice for the sake of Christ our Mediator. It influences a person to give to everyone what he owes him.”  

http://www.ccel.org/l/luther/romans/pref_romans.html

Paul speaks of the “flesh” and “spirit” as opposites.  One does not compliment the other, but destroys the other.  If one’s thoughts are focused on pleasing, glorifying or keeping the fleshly body healthy, he is “of the flesh” not of the spirit.  Spiritual thinking focuses on the substance of Spirit, God.  Such qualities are peace, harmony, spirituality, unfoldment , wellness and purity of thought.  Healthy thoughts always turn us toward God, not a fleshly body.  Fleshly body thinking is a great fallacy of mortal thinking–the medical world.  It wants to keep the mind centered on diseases you may have, make get, don’t want to get, your family history of diseases and all of the medicines and surgeries that will prevent or cure them.  Such thinking causes diseases to multiply not cease . . . as they would have you believe.

 They say, “Go and get this test to see if you got it!”  I say, “God created you with perfect thoughts which keep the human body in check!  Blot out those evil thoughts and replace them with thoughts of health–thoughts that align themselves with God.”  Running out getting one test after another does not prevent or cure disease.  Spiritual thinking protects, governs and cures.  I speak from daily practice and experience.

Luther reiterates Paul’s teaching with:  “ Spirit, he says, comes from Christ, who has given us his Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit makes us spiritual and restrains the flesh. ” 

Making a clear distinction between “the Spirit” and “the flesh” enables man to choose whom he will follow.  I think of “Spirit” with a capital “S”–another name for God.  It is that which is pure–without an ounce of error, whereas “spirit” with a small “s” denotes the thoughts of mortal man–thoughts about oneself, and about a god made in the image of man, not man made in the “image of God.”  God is not man-like, man is God-like, and that man is not fleshly, but spiritual.

Paul’s letter to the Romans, is also a letter to the Americans–or anyone else whose seeks to understand divine law, justice, grace and truth.  He spoke in a language the people of his day could understand, and with research into the meaning of certain words, a language we can understand.  Spiritual inspiration directed the thoughts of Paul and the pen he held in his hand, and if you are to understand his words, spiritual inspiration must guide your thoughts.  Seeking only a literal translation of his words without a spark of love in your heart, will never get you there.

Paul spoke of a law that revelation, regeneration and unconditional love for God and all that he created, enables understanding and demonstration.  Half-stepping gets little or no understanding.  It is a justice that is impartial–rising above race, color, creed or sexual orientation, a justice that seeks the perfect man, a man made in the likeness of God–without human shape, form or conditions, but is centered in faith, hope and divine anointing.  It is not words, Paul says, that allow the “kingdom of heaven to glow within us, but spiritual works.  It is not self-justification, self-love and self-glorification that open the pathway of freedom for all, but selflessness, impartiality and perfection that keep the way clear of mental debris and chaos.

Have you read this letter?  More importantly, are you living this letter?  If not, open your thought to the Book of Romans–one of the Letters of Paul, and find a clear view of the message of Jesus Christ!

This is the first article based on the 13 letters of Paul.  Look for the I & II Corinthians to follow.

 

May 14

Open Thought to the “Wisdom” of Tyler Perry!

I don’t think the dreams die, I think that people give up.  I think it gets too hard.”  Tyler Perry 

Do dreams really die or do people give up achieving the dream . . .  and it is the determination and ability to persevere that really dies?  How does one keep pushing ahead when it seems like with every advancement comes double retrogression? What is it that gives us the ability to keep getting up only to be knocked down again?  The answers are played-out and re-played-out in the life of Tyler Perry.

Tyler Perry was born Emmitt Perry Jr. on September  13, 1965 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  He is an actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, producer, author and songwriter.  Wow, what a handle!  Some say, “Wow, what a man!”  I have never met, or seen this giant man of physical stature as well as “stature of success.”  My only contact are the images and stories  generated by his thoughts flashed on my TV screen, or the screen at the movie theater.  Whether you are staring at the tough, overactive, somewhat street mentality of Madea or Perry as a serious actor, you come away thoroughly entertained, challenged in thought and astonished by a man who once lived in a car, and contemplated . . . taking his own life.  Who is he?  What is it that makes him tick?  As I began my research, the answers I received only served to generate more questions–questions like:

 

Who is Tyler Perry and can a single article define him?

What is the core in his psyche that allows the constant flow of ideas and concepts and the implementation thereof?

How does such a talented man have the business acumen that he has?  What or whom does he connect with to achieve the “wholeness” he seems to exemplify?

What can the rest of the world learn from him?

In answering the first question “Who is Tyler Perry?” I decided to see what others say about him.  The answers went something like this:

“He has a way of getting inside of people.  He’s generous and sensitive.  He’s a genius, but also very intelligent.  He gives a lot to people. He connects with his audience.” 

 

Nia Long says, “If you’ve ever worked with Tyler Perry, it’s the most well-oiled machine you’ve ever seen operate.  You get there, you’re treated like a queen, you have fresh flowers in your trailer every day.  It is the most unbelievable thing ever.  Everybody is on point.”  Nia worked with Tyler  on the film The Single Moms Club.

While these answers are insightful and informative, they did not get to the core of the questions above.  I needed something deeper–something that reached into my spirit, soothed my soul and connected with his spirit.   Where would I find such a thing?  I decided to “cyber on over” to Perry’s official website to see what I could find.  The first video I looked at was a collage of celebrities explaining what the “Tyler touch” meant to them.  I listened, but the core of my being remained “untouched.”  I was still clamoring for something more!  I was not sure what, but I knew I would recognize it when I found it!

 

The second video was the voice of the man himself . . . explaining his method of reaching other people, sort of getting beneath the veneer and striking an inner core.   Four words were the essence of this:  “Listen!  Hear!  Question!  Arrive!”   He compared such action to godliness by saying that  “This is what God does.   He asks the question, but He already knows the answer.  He just wants us to figure it out for ourselves” . . . and this is what Tyler Perry does when he talks with people.  He coaches and leads them to answers deeply embedded within.  He helps them uncover things that are beneath the surface, sometimes hidden, but known . . .  and sometimes unknown.  Why did this strike a tender chord with me? Because that is exactly how I communicate with God?  I ask Him questions–questions that lead to more questions–more questions that lead to self-analysis and an analysis that uncovers the most painful answers that I do not want to discover.  But it is through this process that I discover who I truly am–my likeness and oneness with the One God.

Rest assured, if Perry has perfected this process with others, he practiced on himself beforehand!  He has learned that putting God first and foremost instills intelligence that generates ideas, maintains peace of mind and guarantees unlimited success–success that yields to divine order, spiritual law and the exchanging of human thoughts for divine thoughts.  I was beginning to connect!

 

I had begun my discovery of the “wisdom of Tyler Perry!  A second point he makes is that God’s time may not be our time!  What does he mean by this?  He’s saying human will has its own aspirations, time clock and pathway to get from point A to point B, and is never in line with divine will.  All true activity must be God-inspired, God-directed and God-implemented, to be successful in thought, word and deed.  Achieving things before one is spiritually ready for them, leads to disappointment, disharmony and defeat.

 Accept where you are, perfect your thoughts, and perfect actions will follow.  Be patient, trustworthy, confident, and recognize that everything you need, you already have, and it will reach fruition at the appropriate time and place!   This recognition reminds me of a song that I sang in church as a child, “You Can’t Hurry God,” and let me hasten to add, “and you’re wasting your time trying to!”

The third point that put me in touch with the wisdom of Tyler is:  Establishing good works.  He used the biblical verse that says, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day:  the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9: 4).  At first glance, one could gloss over the significance of the words, “works of him that sent me” and concentrate on just the word “work.”  It is important to distinguish between the works of man and the works of God–the works that Jesus is referring to.  This distinction is also what Tyler is espousing.  All of the work that one does, must have a spiritual foundation to reach the heights of spiritual growth and development.  The effect of this growth and development,  is not measured by money, prestige and power.  Many people have achieved those, but lack the qualities that bring mental success:  peace, comfort, enjoyment, satisfaction and grace.

Good works cannot be superficial and totally self-promoting.  They must be rooted in “Do unto others as I would have them do unto me” and “Thou shall have no other gods before me” if they are bring health, happiness and true success.   These are the ingredients that have made Tyler Perry the man he is today, and I believe this article has done a pretty good job of stating that.

How does such a talented man have the business acumen that he has? 

The business acumen of Perry, comes from “being about my Father’s business” and not his own.  He understands that such a business has as its center and circumference love, not fear, Soul, not sense, truth, not error and the expressions of divine Mind, not the human mind.   Thus, he listens for divine ideas, directions from truth and government of Principle.  These never lead toward failure and discontent, but glow in the sunlight of abundance and serenity.  The “bottom line” becomes less important because it is replaced with the “straight line”– the line that bends not from the forces of adversity and power, but holds steady with the forces of strength and mercy.  This is the wisdom of Tyler Perry!

What can the rest of the world learn from him?  Listen!  Hear! Question!  Arrive!  Be mindful of what you are listening to, hear with ears of faith, hope and quietness–ruling out the persistent voices of fear, impatience and self-glorification, question your thoughts, motives and actions every step of the way, and you will arrive in the most comforting and satisfying place for you.

 

Perry says,  “The question that a lot of people ask me all the time is how did you make it? The truth be told, it was nothing but the grace of God.”  What is this grace, but the divine influence acting in one to make him morally strong?  Each of us is equipped with such grace.  Find it, tap into it, and begin  . . . the “wisdom of Tyler Perry!”

Mar 13

Open Thought: What Does the “Stand Your Ground” Law Really Mean?

“STAND YOUR GROUND!” 

Those three words cause some people to swell with pride, and others to shrink from injustice.  The way you feel  depends on whether you are black , brown, red, yellow or white.

  

Shouldn’t they mean the same thing to every American?  We are all citizens of this great nation–have shed blood, sweat and tears to make it what it is today.  Every ethnicity has brought “something to the table.”  No one group did it all!

 Looking at the picture on the left, gives most Americans a sense of accomplishment, freedom and self-respect . . .” we stood our ground against Great Britain–a country that dominated us for too long and finally, we took a stand and gained our freedom.”  Is that what the new “stand your ground” law is claiming?  The answers vary according to politics, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation and race.  This article will look at it from several perspectives and find the true meaning of “stand your ground”–not for some . . . but for all.  Three areas will be discussed:

  1. What does “stand your ground” mean?
  2. Does it meet the needs of all people?
  3. Should it “stand” or be replaced?

 

 What Does the “Stand Your Ground” Law Mean?

Wikipedia says, “A stand-your-ground law is a type of self-defense law that gives individuals the right to use deadly force to defend themselves without any requirement to evade or retreat from a dangerous situation” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stand-your-ground_law).

This definition seems to give a person the right to kill someone without trying to find a solution to an altercation other than “pulling out a gun” and shooting.  Is this legal in America?  What if he initiated the “dangerous situation?”  What if walking away from the altercation would have avoided the killing?  What if the assailant is fleeing?  These are all logical and lawful questions that should be asked.  To secure answers, the writer looked at Florida’s so-called  “stand your ground” law–a law during the first trial that allowed a young person to be killed while fleeing an altercation and the killer given a “free pass” for his death.   The next paragraph is a portion of Florida’s “stand your ground law.”

 776.031 ”Use of force in defense of others.—A person is justified in the use of force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate the other’s trespass on,  . . .   or in the possession of another who is a member of his or her immediate family or household or of a person whose property he or she has a legal duty to protect. However, the person is justified in the use of deadly force only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person does not have a duty to retreat if the person is in a place where he or she has a right to be. “

 

Examining that law gives one pause, especially with the word “reasonably” and the phrase, “in a place where he or she has a right to be.”  Who determines the meaning of reasonable?  The term itself is very subjective–what is reasonable to one may not be reasonable to another.  Further, what is to prevent one from saying he reasonably felt his life was in danger to make a stronger defense position after he has taken the life of another?  To establish a law based on logic so subjective, is very troubling!

Also, why is the determination of what is reasonable left up to the assailant when the other person is unable to give his analysis of the situation?  In such a case, is it justice to invoke “stand your ground” laws?  Should the defense be prohibited from using that law as a defense mechanism?  If the person is dead, the meaning of reasonable and place he has a right to be are very limited–determined only by the person who pulled the trigger.   I ask you, “Is that reasonable?’   Another phrase that seems questionable is, “He believes.”  Because a person believes something does not make it  justifiable or true–again giving the weight of the law’s determination of “reasonable” to the assailant.  Should not the principles and regulations

establishing lawfulness take into consideration the

beliefs of all participants in a given situation and not some?

This is a point of contention among non-white citizens . . .  particularly when statistics reveal that the conviction rate of whites killing non-whites is considerably low compared to non-whites killing whites.  Is the law equally administered by our court system or do whites get preferential treatment?

 

 The following chart reveals statistics relative to whites killing non-whites and non-whites killing whites.  The findings reveal that when a white person kills a black person, there is a 350% likelihood of his being found not guilty, whereas when a black person kills a white person, there is a 0% likelihood that the black person will be found not guilty –suggesting that the law is not equally distributed:

1

For purposes of clarification “SYG” means “stand your ground.”

 

Another section of the Florida law reads:

 776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.—

(1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself . . . .

Wow!  Giving immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action to a person who takes the life of another because he reasonably felt his life was in danger, with no one to challenge that feeling, seems to be placing the law in the hands of the person who committed the act–leaving prosecutors with a very difficult case to establish justice.

 

A study by Texas economics professors observed that the adoption of stand-your-ground laws correlated with a statistically significant increase in the raw homicide rate.  Specifically it states that of the 22 states that have “stand your ground” laws, many see justifiable homicides increased by about 53% in the 5 years the laws have been enacted (http://www.demandaction.org/detail/2013-09-mayors-against-illegal-guns-national-urban-league-vo).

The Stanford Law Review found that aggravated assaults temporarily increased in those states with stand-your-ground (See : http://lawreview.law.miami.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Shoot-to-Kill.pdf).  In the case referenced, two Latino men were shot in the back by a neighbor as they were fleeing from breaking into the house next door to him.  He called 911, was told not to go outside several times, and  . . . that the police were on their way.  He listened to none of that, opened his door and shot and killed two unarmed men.  He was aware of the new “stand your ground” law and felt justified in doing so.   Laws that leave the door open to a defense based on 99% subjectivity, are  begging for misuse.

Another analysis of stand-your-ground laws by economists at Georgia State using monthly data from the U.S. Vital Statistics, observed a significant increase in homicide and injury of whites, especially white males.[13] They also analyzed data from the Health Care Utilization Project which revealed significantly increased rates of emergency room visits and hospital discharges related to gun injuries in states which enacted these laws.

 

 

The Emotion Called “FEAR”

According to research, a leading factor in the passing of such SYG laws is fear–fear  based not on facts, but years of racial discrimination and others “playing into those fears” for financial gain.  Unless citizens have a balanced reporting of news, many believe stories that have “half-trues” or outright lies–thus causing them to seek any means to feel safe and secure.

Fear of African Americans dates back to slavery–wherein some slaves, unable to bear the inhumane treatment imposed by slavery, rebelled against such cruelty by roaming the countryside and killing every white person they saw.  These were very rare incidents, but reeked devastating results on attitudes of whites.  Thus, white patrols were formed and continued for decades as a means of keeping slaves in line (http://www.crf-usa.org/black-history-month/slavery-in-the-american-south).   History reveals that such fear has led to many whites believing that blacks are somehow innately more violent than whites–this, in spite of the fact that data shows the most heinous crimes committed in this country, are done by whites.  What one believes is not necessarily compatible with what is.  Belief, as mentioned above, is subjective–based on mental conditioning and environmental experiences.

 

 

Do Stand Your Ground Laws Serve Equally?

Looking at the data above, the writer concludes that they do not–that they were put in place to calm founded and unfounded fears, soothe prejudices and allow some citizens to basically use the law to act out these emotions without or with little retribution–thereby negating its ability to render “justice to all.”

 

Are the Fears of Whites Justified?

 

This question generated deep concentration and soul-searching for me . . .  yet, I have to answer  . . . yes in many cases.   In spite of the fact that many of the fears of whites are based on historical and ingrain racial prejudices, one has only to look at the data relative to African American and Hispanic behavior in our inner cities to understand why I had to answer “yes.”.  There are many underlying reasons as to why this behavior is the way it is, but no one America caused those reasons, yet each American feels it is his duty to protect himself and his family.   Thus, not only white Americans, but African Americans also are arming themselves with guns.  Let’s investigate why?

 

 

Racial segregation is “live” in America!  The populations of most large inner cities are predominantly black and Hispanic.  The average black person’s neighborhood is 45 per cent African American.  While this article will not deal with the underlying forces causing this disparity, it is safe to say that contributing factors are implicit and explicit institutional racial inequality and cultural forces that create and reinforce racial inequality.  Having said that, let’s look at some of the data:

Crimes in inner cities are real, and most of the people committing those crimes are done by the people who live there–African Americans and Hispanics.   Chances of becoming a victim of crime in many cities is 1 in 7  to 1 in 15 for every 7 or 15 people.  Much of the crimes are in certain segments of the cities–not in every sector.   In one instance, a single zip code was responsible for 40 per cent of the crimes in the entire city– crimes such as murder, rape, robbery and assaults.  The following statistics got my undivided attention:

  • One in six black males has been incarcerated.
  • Out of the 2.3 million prison population in America, 1 million of them are African American.
  • Five times as many whites use drugs than blacks, yet blacks are sent to prison 10 times more than whites.
  • 58% of prison personnel is African American and Hispanic.
  • African Americans represent 12% of the total population of drug users, but 38% of those arrested for drug offenses, and 59% of those in state prison for a drug offense are African American.
  • 35% of black children are suspended from school compared to 20% Hispanic and 15% Whites.

(http://www.naacp.org/pages/criminal-justice-fact-sheet).  

Factors contributing to this data are poverty, lack of adequate jobs, idleness, ease of acquiring a gun and narcotics– as determined by the NAACP.  These numbers are alarming!  A call for action!  It is also these numbers that exacerbate the fears of whites, and cause them to label blacks more violent than whites.

 It is not the intent of this article to cast blame, raise racial tensions, but to say, “Let’s look at the data, band together and find solutions.  There is a solution . . . and it begins with each one of us looking within ourselves and weeding out the prejudices that both sides (black and white) are holding on to.

 

 

Should “Stand Your Ground” Laws Be Replaced?

Unequivocally, yes!  Why?  Because the foundation of those laws is based on fear–founded or unfounded, ignorance, racial-bias, cultural deficiencies and institutional limited thinking.  Therefore, they should and must be eliminated.  One does not solve a problem by adding to the problem, or by covering up ingrained beliefs with unjust laws . . . but by admitting that those beliefs exist, discovering ways to erase them and recognizing that every person has a right to be respected and treated with equality.

What should they be replaced with?  Two eternal laws:  Love your neighbor as yourself” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”   These laws start with equality and end with equality.  No one is judged by external features, historical data or cultural and racial biases; nor is money the driving force to get people to hate and judge each other.  Subtle racism is as devastating as overt racism–both suggest superiority and inequality of man, but the man of God’s creation, is neither black or white, rich or poor, urbanite or suburbanite.  Until the hearts and minds of men rise above the evils of the past, we will never solve the problems of our present and future.

Some believe that the past is behind us . . . “forget it,” they say,  I had nothing to do with what my ancestors did!”  But little do they realize, one cannot forget or overcome the past, unless one forgives the present.  Each one of us is a victim of our ancestry until we take the steps to eradicate it.  Forgiveness is stamping out the roots of pain, feelings of inferiority, superiority, aggression, greed and insecurity.  True security is not afforded by guns, bombs and burglar alarm systems, but by Soul–purity of thought, peace, harmony, spiritual alertness and divine consciousness.   We do have something to do with what happened in the past if we carry the scars of bigotry, guilt, revenge and pride into the open spaces of our hearts.   These scars are not one-sided.  All of us–black, white, red, brown and yellow have scars that need to be removed.  We will never become a “nation under God” until we do so.  It starts with you, you, you and ME!

“Standing your ground means” standing for “truth”– a truth that sets each one of us free–free of selfishness, arrogance, disrespect, ingratitude, greed and hate.  It does not mean taking a gun and shooting your neighbor and hiding behind  human law with cries of “self-defense.”   It does not mean passing laws that soothe the fears of some but inflict pain and suffering on others, and it does not mean robbing and killing others because you have not sown the seeds of responsibility, persistence, perseverance and self-respect that enables you to advance in the human experience.  Blaming others for one’s own mistakes can no longer be a basis for growth and development.  Each of us has a responsibility to ourselves . . . and others.

Let us stand on that ground . . . with dignity, justice and mercy for all.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stand-your-ground_law

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2014/0217/Dunn-loud-music-verdict-Does-stand-your-ground-ask-the-impossible-video

htttp://lawreview.law.miami.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Shoot-to-Kill.pdf

 

Feb 15

Open Thought Asks, “What Do you Mean When You Use the Word “HOPE?”

 


Hope is a word used in conversation many times throughout the day:  “I hope to get married one day.  I hope to get finished with college in June.  I hope to be healed of this disease.  I hope, I hope I hope . . .  .”  What is expected when one hopes?

Hope has a message–what is it?

Is hope a definite or is it a maybe?  Let’s talk about it!

 

HOPE 

Wikipedia says hope is “the state which promotes the desire of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or in the world at large.”  Analyzing this definition, I walk away feeling that hope is a maybe–a wanting, but not sure it will happen–an implication of a trust based on circumstances that can work, or not work.   It’s a “I’m going to take the necessary steps for a desired outcome, but because  of other extenuating circumstances . . . what I desire may not happen.”

 Another meaning of hope–an archaic meaning according to The Free Dictionary, is “confidence; trust.”  I like this one better.  Why?  Because it seems to be more definite–a desire based on concrete evidence that the expected outcome will reach fruition.  How should that evidence be viewed?  Physically and/or metaphysically?  Spiritually or materially?

The answer may lie somewhere in the understanding of the statement in the picture above:  “Don’t lose hope, when it gets dark, the stars come out.”  What is the writer suggesting?  He’s saying that darkness does not always lead to finality or endlessness, but  is a time that generates one’s fighting spirit or determination–inner strength, courage–many times causing the individual to gain knowledge that overcomes the initial stage of mental or physical discord, and reach a state of consciousness that leads to total recovery or dominion over what presented the discord.   Without the experience, he would have remained “in the dark.”  It’s saying, “When I have reached the end, I start looking for another beginning” or “It’s not over until I say it is over.” 

Hope Developed into Action

Hope begins with thought.  It is a sense of expectation, anticipation, watchfulness, when nurtured, leads to action.  It causes the hopeful person to map out a plan–either mentally or physically.   He knows stationary cannot be part of that plan . . . there must be movement–positive movement–forward movement.  Giving-up keeps one in the same spot, therefore it cannot be part of the plan.  What is the plan?  It is rooted in “seeking–” seeking something beyond where one is.  Example:  If you are alone, lost on a dark and deserted road, do you keep thinking, “I am lost, I will never get out of here” or do you think, “There is a way out of here.  There is something that can be done.  I just have to figure it out.”

Such an experience happened to me and my thoughts led me to seek higher levels of thought.  I said, “God, I don’t know where I am, but I know You do, so You’re just going to have to guide me out of here.”   I sat there  . . .  thinking those words over-and over–mentally allowing them to sink in, and grasping and understanding what they meant.  You see, I believed them to be true.  Soon, my thoughts began to lead me out of there.  I heard . . . “Go this way . . . now that way . . . turn here . . . no, that’s not the way to go . . . yea, that’s the turn you need to make”  As I followed each directive step-by-step, I was placed on a familiar expressway that took me home safely.   What if I had kept my thoughts embedded in “I’m lost!”  Do you think I would have been effectively led out of there?   This realm of thought is based in divine law–a law stated by Jesus in Matthew 7:7:  “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find.”   I was familiar with that law, and more importantly, I had faith in that law.

How is Hope Acquired? 

I believe hope in inherent–a godlike quality that each individual has as part of his spiritual make-up.  Having said that, I believe that even though it is within us humanly, it must be developed–brought to the surface of thought, accepted, believed and practiced.  That one statement I made to God the night I was lost, was based on many years of trusting Him to bring me out of many human situations.  It was not happenstance–words without meaning, but a strong belief that “all things are possible to God.”  How does one acquire this?   The picture on the right that describes itself as “Principles of the Program” hints at what I refer to as “spiritual development.”

Why do I use the word “hint?”  because each one of those words must reach beyond human definitions.  For example, “honesty” held at a human level can vary . . . what one person perceives as honesty may be deceptive to another.  However, honesty based on divine revelation will never sink beyond total honesty.  One may ask, “What is honest according to divine law?”  That which is based on the love of God–love of the man God created; faith in all that is good–never that which is evil; hope only in peace, not war or destruction; humility such as bowing before God, not man; justice according to divine law, not just the laws that man has made; courage based on faith that a higher power is at the helm; you get the idea . . . .

Where does divine law originate?  From that which is outside of human logic–such as the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, divine wisdom.  Everything in the Bible is not based on divine law.  Many verses stem from human logic and action.

 As one grows spiritually, he is able to identify one from the other.  Before I understood that God speaks to the human consciousness through the presence of the Christ, I thought everything in the Bible was based on divine law.  Years later,  I learned that verses expressing divine law, are based on inspiration and need inspiration to be understood.   One must be able to speak in the “new tongue” to grasp the meaning of Scripture.  That new tongue is not jibberish, but clarity of thought, spiritual awareness and divine inspiration and revelation.

Hope, given to us by God, is based of faith, understanding, revelation and a deep trust in all that is good, perfect and eternal.  It parallels the faith of the Psalmist who wrote “hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God”(42: 11).  The Psalmist is rejoicing that  hope comes from God–the health (state of mind) of his countenance (appearance or being).  He’s saying “The hope that I have is a state of mind that comes from God, and appears in me, from God.”  Such hope is grounded in devotion, contemplation, dominion and honor to God! Therefore, it can never be a maybe . . . but a surety.  It’s power comes not from man’s ability to do, but from understanding what God has already done!

Let us be cautious however, not to mistake outlining for hope.  Outlining means one decides what action or result hope brings.  True hope leaves the results to God.  The person who hopes and outlines may make a statement like this:  “I hope to have a house built on this property by next year, and God is going to show me how.”  The person who hopes and leaves all to God may say, “My hope is in God, and I know He will unfold in my thought whether a house should be built here or not.”  He recognizes that only good comes from God.  Thus, if he is led not to build a house there, he will accept it and wait for the next step–recognizing that another place could be better or he may acquire a house he likes without having to build one.  He places no limitations on God, but is ready to be guided by Him–knowing that nothing could be better.

Letting go of human will and placing everything in the hands of God, is not easy.  Mankind believes not in God, but in himself.  He thinks he knows what is best, and expects God to “go along with the plan.”  When it does not happen, he says, “God does not keep His promises” and his faith in God begins to wane.  When actually, God never promised him anything of the kind.  It was based on human desire, greed or a false perception of who God really is.

Hope is a gift from God, and understanding and using it in the human experience . . . must be based on godliness.   Hope starts and ends with God, not start humanly, and ask God to “get on board.”

This entire article expresses the words of Paul:  “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11: 1).  Faith is not only whatever you are hoping for . . .  it is also the evidence that you already have it.

Jan 25

Open Thought to the Metaphysics of Dealing with Cancer

“Metaphysics means nothing but an unusually obstinate effort to think clearly.”  William James 

As I stared at the above quote I wondered what William James meant when he penned such a statement.  What does he mean by metaphysics?  How does he define “think clearly?”  The answers to these questions impact whether one accepts or rejects his statement and . . . how one responds to the subject of this article which  in effect is asking can metaphysics really deal with the issues of life, inclusive of cancer?

What is Metaphysics?

     spirituality photo: Spirituality spirituality.jpg                

Like many philosophical terms, metaphyics is not easily defined.  Thus, in order for the reader to grasp a workable knowledge of the term, several definitions will be given.

Wikipedia says “metaphysics is a traditional branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it . . . . Traditionally, (it) attempts to answer two basic questions . . . What is ultimately there? and What is it like?

 Another writer describes metaphysics as: “the branch of philosophy that examines the true nature of reality, whether visible or invisible. Metaphysics includes the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, and fact and value. Basically, metaphysics is the philosophical study of being and knowing”  (http://www.whatismetaphysics.com/metaphysicsintroduction.html).

The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy states:

Metaphysics is a broad area of philosophy marked out by two types of inquiry.  The first aims to be the most general investigation possible into the nature of reality: are there principles applying to everything that is real, to all that is? – if we abstract from the particular nature of existing things that which distinguishes them from each other, what can we know about them merely in virtue of the fact that they exist? The second type of inquiry seeks to uncover what is ultimately real, frequently offering answers in sharp contrast to our everyday experience of the world. Understood in terms of these two questions, metaphysics is very closely related to ontology, which is usually taken to involve both‘what is existence (being)?’ and ‘what (fundamentally distinct) types of thing exist?

http://www.rep.routledge.com/article/N095

Finally, in 5th century B.C., Parmenides, an ancient Greek philosopher, taught reality as a single unchangeable Being.  This thought influenced both Aristotle and Plato, even though deviations from this principle of thought occurred later.  My thoughts on metaphysics are based on the 18th century teacher and healer, Mary Baker Eddy–whose teachings relie heavily on the divine laws expressed and demonstrated by Christ Jesus.  Mary Baker Eddy is the discover and founder of Christian Science.  Her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is used throughout the world and has been translated into 16 languages.

Mrs. Eddy’s  Massachuetts Metaphysical College was chartered in 1881 and was and is the only one of its kind.  Its purpose: “to teach pathology, ontology, therapeutics, moral science, metaphysics, and their application to the treatment of disease.”  These are terms that the average person today has little or no knowledge of.  Thus, in the desire to aid the reader in following all aspects of this article, a simplistic meaning of each word will be expressed.

Pathology is the study of the nature and causes of diseases.  This is highly essential in today’s world because many people believe that diseases are developed physically, whereas, I take an opposite view–diseases are mentally developed.  Ontology studies the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations.  From the definitions of metaphysics discussed above, it is easy to see the close relationship of the two words.  Who are we?  Where did we come from?  What is real and what is unreal?  What are the basics concepts that define one’s being?  Are they related, if so, how?  Finally, therapeutics is having or exhibiting the ability to heal.  Understanding these terms can be essential elements in maintaining health and harmony in one’s life–key ingredients to whether he gets cancer, prevents cancer or heals it medically or metaphysically.  Yea–you read correctly! 

Cancer can and has been healed metaphysically.  I say this because I see metaphysics as defining man’s true nature of being, not physics.  This comes from my study and practice of Christian Science, which  allows me to identify man as created in the “image and likeness”of God, and that likeness  being “spiritual” not flesh and blood. Why do I say this? I say this because God is not flesh and blood, and if I am made in His image and likeness, I have to be spiritual.  I cannot be Spirit because God is Spirit, and there is only one God.  Recognizing this, not only allows me to “deal with cancer,” but every other disease and discord found in the human experience.

However, before delving into the how’s of healing cancer metaphysically, it is necessary to discuss two opposite concepts of the formulation of disease:  Does it begin in the body or does it begin in the mind?

Where Do Diseases Come From?

This article is not an attempt at providing an indepth history or scientific conclusion as to the derivation of diseases, but it seeks to provide a general medical and metaphysical analysis as to whence they derive.  For our purposes, a disease is defined as a kind of suffering caused by something gone wrong in the body.

Medically, Dr. Janet Starr Hull concludes that diseases come from man’s manipulation of the natural forces of the food that goes into the human body through the use of technological advancements and inventions.  She says, “Humans have become dangerously dependent on a monster of their own making–technology and the money and pollution it creates” (http://www.janethull.com/newsletter/0309/the_history_of_disease.php).   For Starr to take such a bold stand in this day of “maybes” given by the medical profession, is nothing more than courageous.  Why?  Because many people believe that identifying a disease as a “it maybe this or that,” is all that doctors have to do.  They do not have to identify its causes or derivation.

William Davis, a cardiologist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, seems to suggest that diseases come from wheat.  He says,  “Wheat is the most destructive thing you could put on your plate, no question.”   Further commentary from the doctor goes something like this:

“In an effort to assist people, as well as my patients, reduce blood sugar–high in over 80% of people nowadays–I asked them to eliminate wheat, including whole grain products, based on the simple fact that wheat products increase blood sugar more than nearly all other foods. The unexpected result: Incredible weight loss; relief from acid reflux and the gas, cramping, and diarrhea of irritable bowel syndrome; increased energy, more stable moods, and deeper sleep; relief from arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis; dramatically improved cholesterol values; reduced blood pressure and inflammatory measures, and on and on. It became clear that this was no coincidence. This was real. And it was all due to eliminating this thing being sold to us called wheat.”    http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2011/07/who-is-dr-william-davis/

Some doctors believe diseases come from animals.  They say:  “Anthrax is a bacterial disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, which forms spores that survive for years in the environment. Cattle, sheep, and goats are at the highest risk of developing anthrax, but other farm animals, as well as wildlife and humans, can contract the disease. Most animals are infected by oral ingestion of soil contaminated with anthrax spores. People develop anthrax when the organism enters a wound in the skin, is inhaled in contaminated dust, or is eaten in undercooked meat from infected animals.”

Of course the medical world has said for years that the leading cause of many diseases comes from poor dietetic practices.

Have you ever wondered why doctors give you a list of causes for a pain or suffering you are experiencing?  They say, “It could be this, this, this, or this, and  . . .  just maybe that!”  Such an analysis takes away any sense of responsibility from them if they do not find relief or a cure , or if death occurs.  Why?  Because if they treat you for one thing and there is no relief, they have already planted in your mind that it could be another thing, or another, or another . . . .   So, you tell a relative or a friend with compassion and sympathy for the doctor that you are so “screwed up” that even the doctors don’t know what you have!  Little do you know that is what they tell everybody else.  Would you accept such an analysis from your financial expert advising you how to invest your money?  I don’t think so!

Where did such thinking stem from?  Many places, but a contributor of such thinking was a person named Elvin Morton Jellinek.  Research shows that Jellinek never received a degree in medicine, yet ended up at one of the top medical research universities in the country–Yale University.   His expertise lay in the areas of statistics and research into the effects of alcoholism on the human body.

At Yale, Jellinek concentrated on the study of alcoholism and in 1960, wrote a book entitled The Disease Concept of Alcoholism, in which he labeled alcoholism as a “sickness, not a moral delinquency.”  Such a definition absolved man from being responsible for the pints of alchohol he placed in his body, because “he was sick” not immoral.  This kind of thinking led to not just alchoholism, but with the development of any disease in the body–it simply occured on its own.  Ministers joined the conversation by announcing that it could even be “the will of God” that one develops a disease.

Finally, many physicians believe diseases come from primitive man–handed down throughout the ages, or a weak immune system, a non-fit physical body, pollution or . . . fast-food restaurants.  Wow!

All of the causes listed above place the origin of diseases as something material, whether physical or inanimate.  None suggest that diseases have a spiritual origin, so it can conceivably be concluded that diseases come from something material and need something material to heal them.  Thus, humans rely on the field of “medicine” to meet that need.

 History recounts that in 8th century B.C., the Greek god Aesculapius was considered the god of medicine and supposedly healed and restored many from death through wisdom given to him by a snake.   Centuries later, this so-called “godliness” advanced to vegetables and herbs as healing agents and later, advancing to the use of drugs, herbs and surgery to bring about healing.

Comparatively, few rely on healing through spiritual means, even though they profess to be followers of Jesus, whom biblical history records as healing exclusively through metaphysics–not herbs, drugs or surgery.  Deviation from metaphysics as a means of healing “all thy diseases,” is “rationally ” explained by saying “Jesus is God, so no one is expected to do what God does.”  Others say, “God created doctors to do His work for Him.”  Hm-m-m. I wonder why the biblical prophets, Paul and many in the New Testament broke the rules.

Paul

Today, people who seek to heal metaphysically are considered “odd balls” and many are prosecuted by our courts if they use this method of healing with their children.  An adult has a choice of treatment for oneself, but not for anyone else . . . without written consent.  A child is a minor, therefore, cannot give consent.  If one dies as a result of treatment other than traditional means, the medical world becomes very accusatory and lists numerous reasons why the person should have sought medical treatment.  What is most baffling is the number of people who die under medical treatment and the verdict is . . . “we did all we could.”   It leads one to ask, “What are the standards for curing diseases and who abides by them?”  If the inability to heal a disease or prevent death is the standard, why prosecute some and not others?

 

 A Metaphysical Explanation of  the Origin of Diseases 

As I listen to sermons of many ministers, I get the idea they believe that if people break God’s laws, He (God) sees this and punishes them for that.  This verse from Deuteronomy is often quoted as proof:  “The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings,whereby thou hast forsaken me” (28:20).   Certainly, my concept of God is in total opposition to this verse (which will be discussed later) but for now, it is appropriate to say that I believe Moses, the writer of Deuteronomy, was either misunderstood or he was not in harmony with divine law when this verse was penned.  Connecting with God mentally, does destroy evil thoughts in consciousness, because good and evil cannot exist in the same spot, but this evil is not viewed by God because He has “purer eyes than to behold evil.”   Physicality is not seen by God as the human eye sees it.  God, Soul is not physical, sees nothing physical and has no knowledge of physicality.  God is Spirit!  This eliminates the notion that He sees an evil person and destroys him.

Let’s briefly investigate the generally accepted beliefs of  three religions in reference to the derivation of disease–Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

Islam began in Arabia (known today as Saudi Arabia) in the 7th century, but has spread throughout the world and is considered by many, the fastest growing religion in the world.  Followers are called Muslims which means in Arabic “one who surrenders to God.”  The religion teaches that there is only one God, called “Allah” and the book used by its followers is the Koran–a book revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by Allah.

My research indicated that, like Christianity, there are different beliefs stemming from the doctrine of Islam.  On the subject of the origin of diseases, one view is that Allah created everything inclusive of diseases–diseases that test  mankind and cause suffering , but through this suffering man moves closer to Allah.  Allah gives his permission for one’s experiencing of a disease.  He knows about it, sanctions it, and gives man tools to overcome it.

Mecca

 Another view is expressed this way, “Allah did not create a disease for which he did not also create a cure.”  Thus, Muslims are encouraged to use herbs, olives and fruit as healing agents in the elimination of disease.  It is held in belief that diseases come from human behavior–behavior that fails to demonstrate morality;  man, therefore, suffers as a result of falling prey to this lack of morality.

Judaism seems to advocate that diseases come from human behavior, not punishment from God.  This behavior is shortcomings of a moral nature.  Roman Catholicism agrees that diseases come from immorality.

As mentioned above, Christianity has several viewpoints on the origin of disease, but traditionally, diseases are thought either to come from God, or God allows them to happen.  Being all Power, He could prevent diseases from happenings if He really wanted to, but for some reason . . . they happen and it is His will for them to do so, otherwise, they wouldn’t happen.  When the question “If God is Love why would He allow suffering to someone He loves?” is posed to such a believer, a typical answer is “It is not for me to question or try to understand anything God does.  I just accept it.”

Research reveals that Billy Graham, a religious world leader was asked this question:

My wife has Alzheimer’s disease and it has really been devastating to us.  Now she doesn’t even know me or our family.  Why doesn’t God let someone find a cure for this?  Or for that matter, why does He let things like this even happen?

Here is how it is stated Graham responded:

Billy Graham

“I’ve had a number of friends over the years who have experienced what you’re facing, and I understand at least something of the heartache and sorrow this terrible disease causes. My heart goes out to you–but more important, God knows what you’re going through and His heart is touched by your suffering.

When something bad happen to us or to those we love, it’s natural for us to ask why God has let it happen. To be honest, I don’t have a full answer to that question, nor does anyone this side of heaven. We live in a fallen, imperfect world, and life is riddled with sorrow and pain. As the Bible says about our years on earth, “their span is but trouble and sorrow” (Psalm 90:10).

The real issue, you see, isn’t why bad things happen, but how we should react to them. Will we react in anger and bitterness or will we respond in faith and trust? Anger is a dead-end road–it only hurts us and those around us, and doesn’t solve anything. But faith gives us hope–hope for the present and hope for the future.

You face a very difficult road during these days but I pray you will not travel it alone. Instead, turn to Christ and thank Him for His presence and strength. Jesus’ promise is true: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

There are answers to those questions on “this side of heaven,” keep reading and you will find some of them.

While this article only touches on the essence of disease by some religious groups, it does shed light on the core of thinking that permeates such groups today.  As a Christian Scientist, my thoughts on the essence of disease can be summed up in this statement:

“The procuring cause and foundation of all sickness is fear, ignorance, or sin.  Disease is always induced by a false sense mentally entertained, not destroyed.  Disease is an image of thought externalized.  The mental state is called a material state.  Whatever is cherished in mortal mind as the physical condition is imaged forth on the body” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 411).  

That statement was written by Mary Baker Eddy.  What is she saying?  She is stating categorically that all sickness and diseases come from mortal man’s thoughts–thoughts of fear, ignorance of divine Law or concentration of evil, whether conscious or unconscious.  Many thoughts lay dormant in mortal mind and must be brought to the surface and healed with the intelligence of divine Mind.  All thoughts from God are pure, good and true–having no vestige of impurity, sin and untruth.  Pure thoughts yield pure behavior and expression.

When mortal man holds evil thoughts in consciousness, they express themselves in many ways: anger, bitterness, murder, hate, cancer, theft, heart attacks, diabetes to name a few.  These expressions are seen by the deterioration of the body, the mind and the moral behavior of mankind.  Fear is the leading cause of all diseases.  Thus, eliminating it, is the first step in healing.  That . . . is no easy task!  Fear is all around us–fear of failure, fear of what the neighbor is saying about you, fear that my husband/wife will leave me, fear of growing old, fear of cancer, which brings us to the initial question, “Can Metaphysics Deal with Cancer?”  Is cancer too strong for divine Law?

Cancer is not stronger than the laws of God!  It, as many other diseases ,  can be, has been and will be healed metaphysically!    Be joyful that healing is just as possible today as it was in Jesus’ time.  Over 40 years of trusting God to heal my diseases, has given me the faith and understanding to accept this as reality.  My book Medicine: A Daily Dose of Spirituality  shares many “healings” that I have experienced over the years.  While faith is a key ingredient in the healing process, understanding and demonstrating those laws on a daily basis is the ultimate factor in achieving success.  One cannot fake understanding or “believing.”  It must be real–you must really believe as Jesus said.

Mary Baker Eddy says, “Spirit blesses man, but man cannot ‘tell from whence it cometh.’  By it the sick are healed, the sorrowing are comforted, and the sinning are reformed.  These are the effects of one universal God, the invisible good dwelling in eternal Science” (Ibid, p. 78).  I have and am living those words.  An example of this is recounted in a recent experience, when I noticed and felt excruciating pain in one of my incisors.  It had become discolored (a reddish tint) and was too painful for anything to touch it–including water.  I spent several hours reading and studying the words of Mary Baker Eddy and the pain subsided so that it was bearable.

 A key citation in effecting the healing was “Mind decides whether or not the flesh shall be discolored, painful, swollen, and inflamed” (Ibid, p, 385).  Mary Baker Eddy makes a clear distinction between divine Mind and mortal mind, and I had to decide which mind was being referred to in that passage.  I reasoned that God, Mind, places only good thoughts into consciousness and mortal mind knows only evil.  Thus, I realized she was not talking about divine Mind when she wrote those words, but mortal mind.

My efforts were directed toward erasing everything mortal mind was telling me about my tooth. “Maybe you should call a dentist; There must be blood behind it because it is turning red; Look, it’s swollen and very painful!”  I could go on-and-on, but I chose to replace those thoughts with “God, divine Mind has no discoloration in Him, and as His image and likeness, neither do I.  God sees me as His perfect creation.  I have perfect health!  Mortal mind, the devil, speaks only lies.”  Such a process, coupled with studying the Lesson Sermon from the Christian Science Quarterly and Bible, drinking in those truths and actually letting them become my thoughts, brought healing.  The healing process was not instantaneous, occurring over a two-week period, but each day, I grew stronger in faith, commitment and dedication, and my tooth and gums yielded to that peace and harmony, and . . .  I was healed.

Patience is a divine quality, so expressing it while the healing process is taking place (just as you do during medical healing), is essential.  There are never any “side effects” from the healing of God!  However, each healing brings a greater understanding of God–thereby, giving one a more solid foundation in metaphysical treatment.

My daughter passed away from breast cancer.  Even though she was a Christian Scientist, she chose to have surgery and radiation treatment medically.  That treatment was a disaster, and she was declared “terminal” and  spent the last six months of her life studying and relying totally on Christian Science.  MamaHighSchool[revised]She was told (by doctors) “there is nothing else we can do.”  She continued to grow spiritually in those six months, and I am confident that this growth made her transition to higher levels of thought easier, and more spiritually astute.

Spiritually, I had more growth to achieve, and it came in my seeking a greater understanding of the true meaning of life.  Over a two-year period, I achieved that growth and learned that Life is God, never in a physical body, but expressed in consciousness–making the body, a state of mind, not physicality.  Only then, did I acquire peace and harmony concerning the death of my daughter.

How do I answer the question “Can metaphysics deal effectively with cancer?”  This way!

Diseases stem from ignorance of man’s true identity.  The science of metaphysics teaches that man is spiritual in nature.  Physics see man as a material being, made of flesh, blood and bones.  These two viewpoints are opposite of each other, and one can never become the other.  To heal effectively with one, the healer must let go of the other mentally and practically.  Many Christians believe that God created doctors to heal, so they combine the two in seeking healing.  The metaphysician knows that to heal effectively, he must remove all sense of materiality from thought and unite with God, Mind and recognizes that God is All-Power–needing no help from doctors to heal.  Mortal thinking does need this help, and that is why one has to free himself from mortal thinking for healing to take place metaphysically.  The human must yield to the divine, and the mortal to the immortal.  Contributing factors to metaphysical healing, are removing deeply ingrained thoughts of sin, sickness and fear, acquiring complete trust in God and letting patience have her perfect work.

Can metaphysics deal effectively with cancer?  Certainly.  That which God cannot heal, man need not attempt to heal. True healing comes from understanding man’s true identity.  He is not a physical being, but a spiritual being.  Disease is not a natural process any more than age.  The man that God created is healthy and ageless.  To acquire and maintain such a state of mind, is achieved daily and hourly, by removing from consciousness every thought that is not in harmony with God, goodness–thoughts such as  hate, discord, sadness, discontent, destructive criticism and materiality, and replacing them with thoughts of  love, peace, joy, contentment, honor, dominion and spirituality.   This requires constant alertness and awareness of one’s true identity, whom he claims as his Creator , and whom he honors as his God.

Related Information

Medicine: A Daily Dose of Spirituality

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