I have been struck throughout the preparation of this series of lectures by the close fit between the Core Concepts as evolved by Ernest Holmes and taught in the Foundations Class and what one might call traditional Christian thought. One of our teachers was once asked, “Is Religious Science a Christian philosophy?” The answer was yes but not exclusively! What a brilliant insight and answer that was because it clarified for me that Ernest Holmes was a Christian philosopher though not exclusively.
Every week as I prepare these lessons I am being drawn to reflect on some aspect of what Jesus taught. I continue to gain insight into Christian doctrine. Last week I spoke about the Parable of the Good Samaritan and in previous weeks often aspects of what would be identified as Christian teaching make it into my lesson. This, in my mind, is a good thing because culturally we are Christian or more accurately Judeo-Christian. We in the west have inherited 6000 plus years of mythology, morality and symbolism that largely still defines us. Travel and the internet has significantly expanded who we tell ourselves we are by making available to us so many more influences, with the result that that if someone now asked us is Canada a Christian country we would have to respond, “Yes but not exclusively.”
Will Canada one day cease to be a Christian country? Perhaps but we will never be without those elements of our culture that we term Christian. I know this conversation makes some New Thought people uncomfortable. Some of us feel so scarred, deceived and manipulated by our religious backgrounds that we want to pretend they didn’t happen to us by rejecting them. I’ll remind you as a Religious Scientist you surrendered the right to make anyone wrong for anything they have ever done. I DO mean anyone and I DO mean anything! You don’t get to be selective in your forgiveness because the forgiveness you extend is NEVER for the other it is always for yourself. You and I are the ones who are changed when we forgive. You and I are the ones who are freed to live fully in the present moment.
There exists back of the life we are living a Universal Harmony, a Justice without judgment that is always automatic. This is an infallible Universal Principle, called the Law of Cause and Effect or the Law of Karma. There is no room in this Principle for something so petty as Divine anger, retribution, or punishment. It is for this reason that Religious Scientists reject the idea of salvation.
The story of salvation from sin is always referenced back to the story of an Abraham willing to sacrifice his only son Isaac on God’s command. I’ve always had trouble with that story. After all in the end Abrham spared his son, something the God of salvation history did not do. When Abraham is portrayed as a more loving and generous father than the Father God he believes in, then we have a problem.