How can you say that evil doesn’t exist, when all you have to do is turn on the TV to see it?

QUESTION: How can you say evil doesn’t exist? Turn on the news any day of the week and you’ll see that’s not true. Heck, just meet some of the kids at my school and you’ll know evil’s real.

Phil DavisPhil Davis says: says: While I was managing my church’s federal office for Committees on Publication back in the 90s, I once had a guest who represented an evangelical Christian group. He was a great guy, who was known for being gregarious and blunt. As he stood in my office, he took a copy of Science and Health from my desk and thumbed through it.

“OK, Davis,” he asked after a moment. “What’s all this nonsense about you believing evil is unreal?”

I paused in prayer, then offered him the following. (I’ll call my guest “Al.”)

“Al,” I said, “do you remember that the Bible says that there will come a time when all tears will be wiped away and that there will be no more death, sorrow, or pain?” 1

He was quick to reply. “Right. From Revelation.”

“In essence,” I said, “this is saying there will be no evil.”

He nodded.

“Well, the only difference between you and me, Al,” I went on, “is that you believe this takes place after we all die and go to heaven. But I feel that we can prove God’s allness and evil’s nothingness right here on earth, right now. That’s what healing is all about.

“And I come to this conclusion because Jesus himself said, ‘The kingdom of God is within you.’ That means right now!” 2

At that, Al looked down at Science and Health for a moment, carefully put it back on my desk, and said, “OK, Davis. You won that one!”

I continue to stand by that answer. The only way to reveal evil’s nothingness is by knowing more about God’s allness.

Yes, I do see a lot in this world that isn’t right. And some of it is downright evil. In Christian Science, though, the way we witness God’s presence and see it in practical ways—ways that heal—is to learn what is true about God and more about our connection to Him. And there is no greater fundamental truth than to know that God is all good, all love, and all powerful, and that therefore, evil has, in fact, no power or presence.

Obviously we can’t be naïve about the needs of this world. However, the affirmation of these spiritual facts is the only way I know to gain the kind of spiritual understanding that actually brings results—real healing.

Phil is a Christian Science practitioner and authorized teacher of Christian Science in Chicago, Illinois.

What do YOU think? Add your comment below.

Notes:

  1. See Revelation 21:4
  2. See Luke 17:21

Comments

  1. Loral says:

    Thanks again for an other great subject. It’s a difficult for many people to understand this. But you have a very good  way of explaining it. Thank you so much

  2. Aela says:

    Can anyone tell me any experiences they had that prove what Phil is saying?   I am interested!

    • Phil says:

      Hi Aela,

      I was thinking of various healings I’ve had in my practice that illustrate what you’re looking for and then quickly realized that every healing by every Christian Science practitioner results from the premise of affirming both the allness of God and the nothingness of evil.  Mary Baker Eddy referred to these as the two cardinal points of Mind healing:

      SH 52:19-23

      The “man of sorrows” best understood the nothingness of material life and intelligence and the mighty actuality of all-inclusive God, good. These were the two cardinal points of Mind-healing, or Christian Science, which armed him with Love.
      This is a fundamental for Christian Science teachers in teaching how to pray scientifically and effectively.  The healing I had last year of falling on ice and losing the use of my left arm, was quick and complete due to the strong declarations I made of the inability of a material body and the infinite ability of an all-powerful God who is divine Love.

    • Lyn in Alabama says:

      Absolutely. One morning last summer, I woke up with a piercing pain in my eye. It was excrutiating and I felt panicked about getting rid of it. I prayed that God would guide me to healing. I opened my thought to ideas and quickly saw a site online with an audio of the 23rd Psalm and the Lord’s Prayer. Listening to the scriptures and the calm voice of the women saying them calmed me and then I saw Mark 11:24 “For this reason I tell you, whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” I prayed that comfort and health were all that were real and that I had already received it. After a few seconds, the pain vanished. I was grateful,  joyful actually. I put in my contact lenses and left to walk my dog with my neighbor. I testified to her about the healing. Pain and perfect health cannot co-exist. The pain never returned. The pain was simply nothing trying to be something. God is the only power and creates onlygoodness. I realized that mentally as I had arrived for a second in a state where there was complete comfort and serenity. That was all it took. The Bible says (Matthew 17:20) “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’ “

  3. Ashley says:

    Agreed!

  4. Such a great question. And your answer, Phil, was so spot on. What a wonderful example you gave. Your word choices made it so clear and easy to undersand.

    The problem with thinking evil is real lies in the false idea of duality — that opposites exist. The physical world is an illusory composition of dualities — saying that both good and evil exist, both truth and lies, health and sickness, intelligence and stupidity, compassion and cruelty — the list is endless — that these opposites co-exist. Yet when you realize something is a lie, what happens? The lie disappears and you see the truth. When you’re sad and then something makes you happy, what happened to the sadness? It disappeared. When the sun shines brightly, what happened to the darkness? It disappeared. Opposites do not co-exist.

    People don’t understand that what we hold in thought is what appears in the physical world. Jesus healed the sick because he envisioned  health in people as the only reality. He brought this thought to the level of manifesting physically. Health was the only reality, The power of his thought, which aligned only with what God is creating, became the experience. Consequently, sickness and deformity disappeared. When we seek to have the mind of Christ, this is our endeavor. When we pray that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven, our desire is to have good alone, at which point evil automtically disappears.

    Christ healed countless people by simply doing what Mary Baker Eddy tells us to do in Science & Health with Key to the Scriptures (pg 261:4)  “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.” This is the science that Christ used to heal and she named it “Christian Science.”

    Quantum physicists and many other people are discovering the exitence of this truth today. Examples are found in Eben Alexander’s Book, Proof of Heaven and Anita Moorjani’s book Dying to Be Me. Both
    of these authors had what they call near death experiences and their understanding of God as
    love and our true nature as spiritual beings resulted in complete healing. Both had diseases that doctors in the medical field and medical science  said were impossible to heal. Evil did not exist in their thought and love and truth became their only recognition of reality. Both recognized that our physical existence is shaped by our thought and the truth indeed set them free — free from evil, free from disease.

    Evil only has the power we give to it and our battle today is to overcome the collective consciousness (society’s group think and expressed ideas) that says evil and other depravity is real. It’s only as real as you make it, fear it or agree that it exists.

    It’s also interesting to note that Mrs. Eddy says this about evil (SH 207:1-4): “Because God is Spirit, evil becomes more apparent and obnoxious proportionately as we advance spiritually, until it disappears from our lives.”

    We have expressions for this occurrence like “it is always darkest before the dawn.” Evil seems to make its last stand and turns into the great red dragon in Revelations before becoming nothing — which is what it was all along — a lie trying to pass itself off as truth.

  5. Katie says:

    what’s the best way to see more of God’s allness when you are smack in the middle of bad things?

    • Phil says:

      Great question!  And there are several good answers to this question.

      One is to acknowledge the presence of God somewhere in your life no matter how small or insignificant it seems.  This is not positive thinking.  When things look bad and the bad seems to surround you, that is a hypnotic state brought on by this world’s materialism.  It does not represent the spiritual facts of God’s omnipresent Love for you and others.  To see even a glimmer of light from God and be really grateful for that insight helps to break that hypnotic hold.  From there you can continue to see more of God’s presence until harmony and good is restored.

  6. nina says:

    Phil the story you told above really resonates with me.  I’ve always loved the way you convey CS basics in language that non-CS audiences can easily hear.  Here you found common cause with a student of the Bible.  Other times we find other commonalities.  Your ease in doing this is a wonderful model for us all!

    • Phil says:

      You’re absolutely right Nina.

      To someone else, not versed in the Bible, my answer would end up with the same conclusion but I would take a different road to get there.  Thanks!

  7. Marietta says:

    Think of the testimony and report of the material senses: the sun seems to move from east to west. But we know the truth that the earth moves from west to east. It is the exact opposite.

    Do we trust the truth or the testimony of the material senses? ;-) We KNOW the truth and trust it. I am sure you will think of many examples where the material senses are trying to deceive and you won`t  be deceived, will you?

    And I like Miscellaneous Writings by MBEddy, p. 60 that “every creation or idea of Spirit has ist counterfeit in some matter belief. Every material belief hints the existence of spiritual reality,..”

    Just where evil SEEMS to be there already IS good, God. I  learned by Christian Science more and more to trust in the truth, and not in the report of the material senses.  Staying with truth brings healing.

     

     

     

     

  8. Rob Scott says:

    Thank you, Phil, for tackling the difficult questions.

    I will always remember your healing comments on how you learned to love yourself by first understanding that God loved you.  Spot on!

    I found this today from our beloved leader, Mary Baker Eddy, who addressed a similar question as it is a perfect compliment to your answer which posted here:

     
    QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
    By Mary Baker Eddy

    From the December 1883 issue of The Christian Science Journal

    Mary Baker Eddy has been verified as the author of this unsigned article by The Mary Baker Eddy Library.

    This article was later republished in Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896:Mis 44:6-48:22

    “C. H. S. writes: “If God made all that was made, and it was good, where did evil originate?”

    It never did exist as an entity; it is but a belief that to good, God, there is an opposite intelligence, or mind, termed evil; which belief is idolatry, having “other gods before me.” In the Scripture, John 1:3, we read: “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” The mortal admission of the reality of evil perpetuates the belief or faith in evil, and the Scriptures declare, that “to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are.” This leading self-evident proposition of Christian Science, viz., that good being real, evil, its opposite, is unreal, needs to be seen in its divine requirements. It would then be adopted as true, and found adapted to destroy evil, beyond any sense of evil, ever before entertained.”

     

    Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity, to ALL mankind.

    Rob Scott

    Chicago, IL

     

  9. Gabriele says:

    Thank you very much indeed, Phil!

    You wrote, “The only way to reveal evil’s nothingness is by knowing more about God’s allness”- I totally agree, that’s  the key and the gateway to put Biblical promises and words into action now. And it’s not about positive thinking – it’s about overcoming negative believing and about getting to know God and all good that comes with it.

    Growing up with common misconceptions about God, as I see it today, left me with an inner emptiness. Eventually I suspected God to be a delusion. There were inner conflicts. Many years later I read this: “Error would fashion Deity in a manlike mould, while Truth is moulding a Godlike man.” (Mary Baker Eddy: No and Yes). – So, the delusion about God prevented my knowing the truth about God!  I certainly wanted to know more about Truth/God and how it was affecting me. So, over the years, I found Christian Science, the Science of Christianity, provides all that is needed to find roots and wings, and to work out a better concept of Life, thereby helping meet true needs of the world.

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