Is Evil As Well As Good Of Spirit?
Dear Rev. Jamison,
You teach that Spirit is the power behind everything that exists in physicality. Evil is very evident on our planet. Does this mean that evil as well as good is of Spirit?
Early Christians solved the dilemma of evil's existence by declaring that there were two gods; the creator god of the Jews, who was the embodiment of evil, and the loving god taught by Jesus. By the fourth century, these early Christians were wiped out by later Christians who established the orthodoxy that has come down to us today. That orthodoxy incorporates both the god of the Old Testament and the god of the New Testament as being the same. Some pressure was then taken off of the vengeful god image by bringing in a demigod, or second class god, named Satan, who could more readily be blamed for evil in the world.
In Unity Christianity, we know that Spirit is absolute good and is the only spiritual power there is. In 1894, it was declared in Unity's earliest published book, LESSONS IN TRUTH, that there is no evil. This is not a statement of naivete, like saying the sun revolves about the Earth because the Earth's rotation makes it look that way. Instead, as the author, Dr. H. Emilie Cady, explains on page 44, "Apparent evils are not entities or things of themselves. They are simply apparent absence of the good, just as darkness is an absence of light. But God, or good, is omnipresen[ce], so the apparent absence of good (evil) is unreal."
The "apparent" absence of good is a misperception, in other words. This does not negate the fact that evil acts are reported in the news daily. People are responsible for those evil doings, not Spirit. In its absolute goodness, Spirit endowed all of creation with free will. People have the free will to be constructive or destructive in their dealings with others. Our planet still is habitat for some rather backward living people, even after all these millennia of evolution. Evil is live spelled backwards. Evil doers are backwards in their living. Rather than help them move forward, people who presume to wield power over others choose to either incarcerate evil doers (a temporary fix at best) or eradicate them (which eliminates any possibility of rehabilitation).
Claiming that evil doers cannot help their behavior because they are devil possessed is even more useless than punishing them. Calling them sinners simply condemns them to a continuing life of crime because, after all, being sinners, they cannot help it. They, however, have as much free will as do we. They can choose to express goodness as easily as badness. They simply need an evolutionary attitudinal adjustment. We simply need to discover how to administer such a therapeutic treatment without engaging in evil practices ourselves. Forcing others to comply with your wishes, good as they may be, is an evil practice and, therefore, does not work.
What does work? Consider what works for you. You do not wake up in the morning hoping that you won't rob or kill before evening. The Ten Commandments are not responsible for your good behavior. It just never occurs to you to be evil. How come? Could it not be because at a deep, semi-unconscious level, you know yourself to be soul, an extension of perfection from Spirit, on this planet to have an interesting physical experience? The mission of Unity is to teach this awareness to those willing to see its validity. With only 1,000 Unity churches in the entire world, progress is slow, but it is not impeded by an unwilling god or an interfering devil. It is simply the nature of nature that evolution is neither rapid nor equally distributed.
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