Last night I was watching to a speech which was called “Kaplan and Reconstructionist Judaism” by Emmanuel Goldsmith
It was a very nice presentation about how the founder of Reconstructionist Judaism wanted to end the separatism of the past and embrace new things from non Jewish cultures as well as export the good things and ideas to others. In other words to promote unity and adjustment to the modern world. He goes on to say that Zionism today should motivate others to perpetuate the same wherever they are – as one people. Not to see Zionism as a land battle but as a sense of corporate unity and destiny.
The speaker points out another Jewish opinion which he defines as ultra orthodoxy which seeks to destroy democracy and then defines democracy as a purpose of kindness and goodness, to raise harmony, to free the human mind to use the most Divine Power which he or she can grasp or possess. Further defining God as a “good” force demonstrated by good acts – not a supernatural man on a throne who lives the bonds and shackles of organized religion. To reach his potential man must align himself with that of the cosmos and realize that Good is a synonym for God thus we should demonstrate that by realizing and working with Good in our lives and not seeking to please a human style God in obedience only from fear or ritual. He further asks us to consider the word God as a verb or functional noun rather than as a noun proper. To rid ourselves of this “supernatural” idea of God – the man on the throne concept in favor of “naturalism” that God is naturally a force – of the cosmos without a godhead.
In Christian Science Zion is the name given to the city foursquare a “consciousness” of the full understanding of God rather than a land or country called Israel. Mrs. Eddy wrote in 1896: “God hath indeed smiled on my church,—this daughter of Zion: she sitteth in high places; and to deride her is to incur the penalty of which the Hebrew bard spake after this manner: ‘He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision'” (Miscellaneous Writings, p.126).
In the CS Sentinel dated March 20th 1956 we read the following : “A vehicle to carry these benefactions to mankind was necessary, one which would guard, perpetuate, and faithfully express the revelation. The Mother Church is that vehicle. A careful study of its rules of membership, coupled with continued observation of the effect of these rules upon many individual members, forces home the conviction that in obedience to these rules lies the antidote for the ungodly qualities of the so-called human mind; that what the human mind most needs for its evangelization is the discipline afforded in more clearly understanding and more fully obeying the rules governing membership in The Mother Church. These By-laws were written by Mrs. Eddy, the one who in this age most accurately knew the elements of the so-called carnal mind and their cure, the divine Mind. (Laura Dunbar Hagarty)
From the above, it is clear that there was a time when God, Church and organised religion were more or less synonymous. Mary Baker Eddy wrestled with this concept many times and at least once completely dissolved her Church in favor of having a group instead. Jesus did not begin a Church despite the Catholic interpretation that Peter was the first Pope. It was a mindset within Judaism which eventually had to move out to survive as it organised and changed itself over the first few centuries. Joel Goldsmith, the ex CS Practitioner who founded the “Infinite Way” movement refused to organize his movement to keep it pure and Ernest Holmes often battled with the idea of whether he should set up a Church or simply centers knowing the perils of God and Human Institutions being mistaken for each other using human sentiment and caste.
As a child I was taught that organised Churches had “free reign” over God and it seemed to me that some of these Churches felt that God only belonged either in the tabernacle (the box at the front) or to the hierarchy – imparting blessings, allowing the kissing of Bishop rings and leading services with nice long robes (or suits). Indeed a view which seemingly has continued. So my question then is why in the time of the virus were these men the first to “run” close their doors and hide? After all – they felt they had exclusive access to God – they didn´t even engage in dialogue with the Governments. The Vatican in Rome is closed The Mother Church and Branch Churches were the same – many immediately disbanding long before there was any requirement to do so – where was God then and now? Locked until the men are available again? So Government law can displace God now? Now that these men have been removed with their god – do many of us care – would it matter in the grand scheme of daily life if they didn´t reopen?
We need to work hard to overcome this idea of the punishing God who waits for the right moment or the devil with the fork who prods our hips with a fork chasing us like some kind of Benny Hill cartoon in favor of a scientific entity who can be seen in pure unselfed Love and accessed by everyone everywhere and at every time. To mistake this for a church is fatal unless we redefine the word Church itself as Mary Baker Eddy did.
To simply ask people to close their eyes for a few moments daily with a verse like “I and my Father are one” to gently bring them to a child like trust in a greater power and to foster a trust in it is all that is needed to begin to see healing and to reshape our world.