What Does Religious Science Teach About God? | John Ankerberg Show

What Does Religious Science Teach About God?

By: The John Ankerberg Show
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By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©1999
Science of Mind teaches that All is One and All is God and God is Good. Therefore, All is Good because All is God. Everything is perfect, regardless of our sense perception that tells us otherwise.

 

What Does Religious Science Teach About God?


Science of Mind teaches monism. In essence, it teaches that All is One and All is God and God is Good. Therefore, All is Good because All is God. Everything is perfect, regardless of our sense perception that tells us otherwise. Contrary evidence in personal experience, history or the testimony of Scripture must be discarded as the illusions or misperceptions of unenlightened consciousness.

Science of Mind also teaches panentheism, that God includes the universe but is not exhausted by the universe. The universe is believed to be God’s “Body.” The Science of Mind glossary defines “Body of God” as “the manifest creation in its entirety.”[1] “From our point of view this would mean that mind—God—acting as Energy becomes what we know as the physical world, according to Law. They are one and the same thing, but God, being infinite, could never be depleted by what is created.”[2] “An evolved soul is always a worshipper of God. He worships God in everything; for God is in everything. God not only is in everything, but He is more than everything He is in!” [3]

But when Holmes said that God was “in everything,” he did not mean the Christian sense of God’s omnipresence. He meant everything is God in essence. “Everything we see is God—the buttercup, the sunset, the morning dew nestling in the petal of a rose; and love and laughter, they are God.” [4]

God is ultimately seen as the infinite essence of and beyond all life, an essence that is believed to manifest attributes of personality. In declaring that God was necessarily personal in some sense, Holmes argued, “To think of God simply as an Infinite Principle would be to resolve the Divine Being into an infinite IT, a cold, impersonal Law, containing no warmth or color, and certainly no responsiveness. Such a concept of God would rob man of his Divine Birthright and throw him, empty-handed, into an abyss of Law and Action, without motive or directions. No worse state of mentality could be imagined than one in which man thought of God simply as Principle.” [5]

Strictly, a principle cannot be personal. Yet Holmes frequently used various impersonal synonyms to describe God: “The Thing Itself,” “One Law,” “It,” “Principle.” This left Holmes in an uncomfortable position of trying to declare the truth of contradictory beliefs. For example, in the following multiple statements, try and determine if God is impersonal or personal. Holmes seemed confused:

As intelligent beings we must realize that God is a universal Presence, a neutral Force, an impersonal Observer, a divine and impartial Giver, forever pouring Himself or Itself upon His or Its creation. [6]

We do not think of God as a tremendous Person, but we do think of the Spirit as the Infinite Personalness in and through all Life. Infinite, Self-Knowingness is the Abstract Essence of all personality. [7]

We begin to see that there is an Infinite Personalness in the universe, an Infinite Presence (not an infinite person) the abstract and universal cause of all personalities. Then it begins to dawn on us that where our life is personified God is personified… hence, it is personal to all who understand its inner presence.[8]

It is not personal in the sense of a human personality, but It contains within Itself the qualities which make up personality.[9]

We have stopped looking for the Spirit, because we have found It. It is what you are and It is what I am; we could not be anything else if we tried…. We have found It. In the universe, we call It Universal Subjectivity…. In our own experience, we call It the subjective state of our thought, which is our individual use of Universal Law…. God is Law. There is a Divine Principle which is God…. GOD IS MORE THAN LAW OR PRINCIPLE. God is the Infinite Spirit…. The One Infinite Person.[10]

Spirit is the Power that knows Itself, [so that] in each one of us, to each one of us, through each one of us, something is personalized, and that which is personalized is personal to its own personification.[11]

Note that Holmes, who criticized Christianity as chaotic, unreasonable, absurd and irrational, has in these statements declared that God is:

Not a Principle A Principle

Not an It An It

Not an Infinite Person An Infinite Person

Holmes also declared that God:

Is not personal Contains the qualities of personality

Is a neutral Force Is Infinite Personalness

Is “Itself “ Is “Himself”

What can we say? Of course, in His ultimate nature, God cannot be both personal and impersonal at the same time. Whatever the RS God ultimately is, to its followers it is whatever they want it to be. As Craig Carter states of God: “It is the Mother of the Hindu, the Father of the Jew, the Christ of the West, and the Buddha of the East. Yet, It is always and ever One!” [12]

Science of Mind thus offers a God who reveals Himself or Itself in contradictory forms throughout history—good and evil, moral and amoral, personal and impersonal, infinite and finite, and so on. Many people would find such a God unsatisfactory and hardly God at all. Certainly the RS God is not the Christian God. As to the biblical God Holmes declares, “Now we are more enlightened and we realize that there could be no such Divine Being.” [13]

The Trinity

Religious Science reinterprets the biblical doctrine of the Trinity to conform to its own ideas. “We have every reason to postulate a three-fold nature of the Universal Being, which we shall call Spirit, Soul, and Body.”[14] The Spirit is “the Power that knows Itself”; the Soul is “a blind Force, obeying the Will of Spirit,” and Body is “the effect of Spirit, working through Law to produce form.” [15] Essentially, Spirit “thinks” (or knows within itself), and by the force or power of the Soul, the Body (the physical universe) is produced. The Trinity is also described as follows: “The Spirit directs and guides, the Law executes, and creation is the result. This is the Trinity: the Thing, the way It works, and what it does.” [16]

 

Notes

  1. Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1939), p. 578.
  2. Ernest Holmes, The Basic Ideas of Science of Mind (Los Angeles: Science of Mind Publications, 1971), p. 12.
  3. The Science of Mind, p. 362.
  4. Reginald C. Armor, Ernest Holmes, the Man (Los Angeles: Science of Mind Publications, 1977), p. 96.
  5. The Science of Mind, p. 618.
  6. Armor, Ernest Holmes, the Man, p. 96, emphasis added.
  7. The Science of Mind, p. 618.
  8. Ernest Holmes and Alberta Smith, Questions and Answers on The Science of Mind (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1953), pp. 8-9, emphasis added.
  9. Fenwick Holmes, Ernest Holmes: His Life and Times (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1970), p. 170, emphasis added
  10. The Science of Mind, pp. 364-365.
  11. Ibid., pp. 86, 89.
  12. Craig Carter, How to Use the Power of Mind in Everyday Life (Los Angeles: Science of Mind Publications, 1978), p. 8.
  13. The Science of Mind, p. 365, emphasis added.
  14. Ibid., p. 129.
  15. Ibid.
  16. Ernest Holmes (compiled and edited by Willis Kinnear), Know Yourself—You Are More Than You Think (Los Angeles: Science of Mind Publications, 1974), p. 24.

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The John Ankerberg Show

Founder and president of The John Ankerberg Show, the most-watched Christian worldview show in America.
The John Ankerberg Show
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