A Philosophical Question
Let’s address a philosophical question: Is anger justifiable? When directed against evil, the answer is a resounding “yes”. When directed against righteousness, the answer is a resounding “no”. Let’s consider the actions of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ with respect to anger. John 2 tells us:
13¶ And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,
14And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;
16And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
Why was Jesus angry? He was angry because the people were disrespecting the temple. He was angry because the people were blatantly sinning. He purged the temple of such activity. Jesus did not teach us to tolerate sin, but to eradicate it. Christians are instructed to exercise the mind of Christ. Jesus, as the perfect exemplification of Christ, maintained no tolerance for any wronging of God or of God’s man. He did not tolerate sickness, or storms, or lack of food. He did not tolerate the appearance of any situation which appeared to be contrary to what he understood to be the present perfection of God’s universe. He did not tolerate blindness. He openly showed contempt for the belief in the forces of evil by spitting on the ground before he rubbed the clay into the blind man’s eyes, who he then instantaneously healed by his perfect Christ-understanding.
Here is a common human confusion factor about anger: God is Love, and God is All. Hence, contempt for evil, God’s antipode, is the expression of love, while tolerance for evil is exactly its opposite, namely, the expression of evil. Human beings are commonly falsely taught that it is loving to be tolerant of another’s errors and sins. Nothing could be further from the truth, and the life of Jesus Christ supports this point of view.
Yes, we must understand that in the ever-present and spiritual kingdom of heaven there is no evil, by virtue of the fact of God’s omnipotence and omnipresence. Accordingly, we must take care that we do not inadvertently honor evil by being complacent about it, by failing to address it, even by failing to be aware of its influence upon our human experience. Evil can never touch our divine consciousness and experience. But we live now in the false belief of being human. Are we prepared to be able to live the Christ as Jesus lived it, and to simply rise above consciously living life on earth as human beings? No human being is so prepared, but that is exactly what is required in order to be able to live completely above the effects of the belief in evil, or sin. Our ultimate goal is to live the mind of Christ. We have a long road to climb! Until then, we must remain on the climb heavenward, up and out of the mire of life as human beings, step by step.
Clad in the panoply of Love
And while we understand that evil has no power to touch us because we are spiritually safely wrapped in the panoply of Love, we must take care that we are really wearing that armour of Love. To do so is to live a constant prayer. Are any of us really living a constant prayer? Humans live in a world of foolish deceit in which we talk the right and live the wrong. The very action of entertaining a human sense of ourselves renders our own experience susceptible to evil beliefs. In the absolute sense, we are continually protected against evil. But humans are not yet living their experience wrapped in that absolute assurance of God’s protection which Jesus encouraged. Christians are donning that armour thread by thread, but in this still human state of consciousness, there remains a battle to fight against the appearance of evil.
Our God-Granted Rights
Where is this discussion heading? With respect to the human erosion of God-granted constitutional rights, we must realize that in the absolute sense, God-granted rights cannot be taken from us. And our prayers must be always so directed. But we cannot sit back and fail to address the aggressive suggestions of evil. We must deny them and resist them in our conscious lives. The danger lies in our human experience, and that is the consciousness we presently experience. It is a danger which vanishes in the light of the divine, but until we climb the ladder all the way to the kingdom of heaven in thought, we live life under the influence of our own false human beliefs which continue to be made manifest as the evil in our experience.
When evil presents itself to our experience, we must do the work of an evangelist and cast it out. We cannot afford to idly sit back and wait, secure in the false confidence that evil cannot touch our experience because we know that God is All-in-all. We have to consciously and actively prove that God is All-in-all.
A mere profession of faith does nothing to lift us heavenward. We have to take action. Mrs. Eddy writes “Who would stand before a blackboard and pray the principle of mathematics solve the problem?” We know that God’s goodness saves us all, but that knowing will never become our experience until we live and breathe that knowing. Evil will continue touch our conscious experience for as long as we are still climbing up and out of this human dream. We have to handle it every day. The higher we go spiritually, the more we isolate ourselves from it humanly. But it takes conscious action and consecrated prayer to reach the point of such demonstration, just like it take constant study in mathematics in order to reach the point of solving differential equations. Jesus knew this, and he demonstrated no tolerance at all for evil.
What would Jesus do?
Evil appears to be manipulating human beings into attempting to take our rights away. Should we be angry? We should always ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” God certainly does not tolerate any opposition to Himself. As God’s image and likeness, neither can we tolerate any opposition to God’s goodness, and to our natural rights to self defense, our right to free speech, our right to a fair trial, search and seizure, etc, etc. etc.