CONFUSION: THE JOHN THE BAPTIST SYNDROME !

- by Anthony Whitehouse CS

If there is one personality in the Bible who behaves in an odd manner it has to be John the Baptist. His mother and the mother of Jesus are related, he prophesies the coming of the Messiah, he baptizes and prepares thousands for the coming of Christ but when Christ turns up and even after he recognizes Jesus as the Christ, he has a crisis of confidence and cannot follow him.

How could that possibly happen ? Even Jesus kept sending him proof of his healings as we find in Matthew 11:4 “ Go and shew John again those things which you do see and hear”.

What weapon did error use in this instance ? The answer is the weapon of confusion. And it is this sense of confusion which is the mist which went up from the earth and watered the ground. Confusion is the mingling of good and evil, the lack of clarity which comes from having more than one Mind and more than one creation.
So are we going to fall into the same trap as John the Baptist? I am a great believer in learning from other peoples mistakes. In this instance I think it behooves us to learn from one of the greatest spiritual blunders in history. Interestingly Moses made the same mistake. He never got to the promised land either because he allowed himself to become confused about the existence of God and the validity of His promises.
When John the Baptist allowed himself to become confused about the reality of the Christ in his experience , we see the result only too clearly. He lost his head. In fact his story is a terrible condemnation of allowing ourselves to become confused. The issue here is not really one of doubt but of confusion. We can be in a position where we do not really doubt the creation and perfection of God but we can be led into a position where we are so confused by human events that we lose the mental clarity which allows us to insist and experience the perfection and creation of God as our own reality.

Irrespective of how painful a realization it may be I believe it is essential to realize that error is very good at sowing confusion. The parable of the tares and the wheat witness this phenomenon. It will present us with a so called insoluble problem and we end up totally confused by the situation! Immediately we lose our spiritual clarity and focus. We are persuaded there is more than one creation and more than one Mind. Confounding confusion has to be the result and such result involves our exclusion from the kingdom. Our leader tells us “Man is harmonious when governed by Soul “ but that statement will lose its power if we become confused by a problem.
So the answer must be to always maintain that intense spiritual clarity that is never confused. In order to have this clarity we must totally deny the reality of sin, sickness and death. If we accept error then confusion must result. God warns us against eating the fruit of the tree of good and evil (and even touching it!) but we do not heed the warning. Why? Because the real fruit of this tree is confusion and we have not really recognized its distressing effects.

Jesus’ great strength was that he was never confused by any human situation and he was certainly never confused about his identity as the image and likeness of God. Mrs. Eddy refers to the blessings which came about as a result of both this spiritual clarity and absence of confusion when she writes
No and Yes, page 36:12-26

“The real Christ was unconscious of matter, of sin,
disease, and death, and was conscious only of God, of
good, of eternal Life, and harmony. Hence the human
Jesus had a resort to his higher self and relation to the
Father, and there could find rest from unreal trials in
the conscious reality and royalty of his being, — holding
the mortal as unreal, and the divine as real. It was this
retreat from material to spiritual selfhood which recuper-
ated him for triumph over sin, sickness, and death. Had
he been as conscious of these evils as he was of God,
wherein there is no consciousness of human error, Jesus
could not have resisted them; nor could he have conquered
the malice of his foes, rolled away the stone from the
sepulchre, and risen from human sense to a higher con-
cept than that in which he appeared at his birth.”

So the great challenge we face as Christians and devotees of The Way is whether we are going to make the same mistakes as John the Baptist and Moses? It really is the difference between a stance of mind which says I have a problem to solve and wondering how I am going to solve it ( the stance of confusion ) and the stance of Mind which insists that “ Now are we the sons of God , the separation has never taken place, God reigns, all is perfect now !”

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2 comments on “CONFUSION: THE JOHN THE BAPTIST SYNDROME !

  1. I want to finish my thhogut here. If God treated us fairly Jesus would have never died on the cross. and we would have never been offered salvation. I praise God that He loves me, He never fails me and He goes to plan B and on. Look ho w He blessed Israel, they sinned and went away from God countless times, but He was faithful and loved them any way. Romans 5:8 But God commended His love toward us, in that while we were sinners Christ died for us. Praise be to God!

  2. Reply to Rifky: Christian Science proposes a completely good, spiritual, and infinite perspective on the interpretation of existence as completely spiritual, and as the finality of all things. This point of view differs from the traditionally theological, in that it is completely spiritually grounded, and not at all ever materially grounded. Here is a brief introduction to this train of thought:

    A completely spiritual understanding of what comprises existence can be seen as taught and demonstrated by the life of Christ Jesus when his life is examined carefully and logically – from the pure perspective of infinite Love and Spirit. From this elevated spiritual perspective, one which Jesus had sincerely hoped to teach to his followers and had hoped would be retained by mankind following his presence on earth, suffering is actually impossible! Jesus definitely DID suffer, from a human perspective, but he never recognized the human, material nature of his identity (the human man Jesus) to be his true identity. Rather, Christ Jesus knew that his true identity was in his perfect manifestation of the Christ nature, as the Son of God, as the perfect spiritual God-created man; and that all men, contrary to their understanding, share this identity, this Christ-nature, with God. This man is God’s direct reflection, the Christ-man, incapable of knowing anything opposite to Love, which fills infinity!

    When one considers and understands that Christ Jesus taught man’s nature as the very image and likeness of God, the very expression of God’s nature and being as described in Genesis Chapter 1, then the lessons behind his healing works and their present repeatability, a new spiritual depth to his teachings, and the purpose of his great and final demonstration over the power of death and of his ascension above all material conditions, assume new and sometimes unfamiliar meanings.

    Christ Jesus knew his true identity as the son of God, as the perfect representation of Christ. As his understanding grew, he thought increasingly less as the human man, Jesus, and increasingly more as the Christ. In his earthly life, he successfully strove to continuously think and act from the absolute viewpoint, as the reflection of God; this was in contrast with mortals, who in fact do share the Sonship with God which Jesus perfectly exemplified, but who think and act primarily in obedience to their material surroundings. The real Christ nature of Jesus never actually suffered, and could not possibly suffer. He taught us to begin to learn to experience the Christ nature, just as he did so perfectly. His mission and his final acts were for the benefit of human thought, not for the benefit of God. God needed no help from Jesus to preserve the eternal harmony which was already present. Humans DID need this help in order to see and comprehend their inherent power over all that is unlike good, and the perfection that is already present. Jesus’ mission was to reveal the science and reality of being, as spiritual in nature, and not material.

    Jesus DID offer us salvation – but it was not a salvation from any influence which God knows or could know. It was in fact the salvation from mankind’s own erroneous interpretation of himself as separated from God; a separation and a mode of thought which have no origin in a God who comprises only good, and whose reign and presence is infinite, continuous, and eternal. Humans though, have always falsely misunderstood their sinful natures to have an origin in God. In fact, an all-inclusive infinite goodness cannot logically derive or express His own opposite, evil. Man is the image, reflection of God. When God looks into a hypothetical mirror, He can not possibly see the opposite of Himself. The sinful nature is simply a delusion of human experience.

    Jesus’ salvation comes to us by the lessons taught through crucifixion, his resurrection and his ascension. Human injustices caused his crucifixion, and he defeated human those injustices through his complete understanding of the omnipresence and omnipotence of God. His victory over death demonstrated that in fact life IS, infinite, devoid of death, and eternal. His ascension was his final offering of evidence to mankind that life is spiritual, and not in the body.

    Romans 5:8 describes how the human man Jesus suffered in the human sense, that he might through the resurrection and ascension show us how to elevate our thought to reach the kingdom of Heaven already within us. “While we were sinners” refers not to our spiritual and true identity, but to the mistaken human nature of our identity which we recognize as mortals, which Christ Jesus came to help us lift ourselves from. Paul told us that”this mortal must put on immortality”.

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