|By: Dr. John Ankerberg, Dr. John Weldon; ©1999|
|Morality involves distinguishing good from evil, discerning what is right or wrong in conduct. But in the perfect universe of Religious Science, evil is merely an illusion, and Jesus was a principal exponent of this idea.|
Morality involves distinguishing good from evil, discerning what is right or wrong in conduct. But in the perfect universe of Religious Science [RS] evil is merely an illusion, and Jesus, the very one who died for sin (evil), was a principal exponent of this idea. “Therefore, following the advice of Jesus, it [Religious Science] refuses to believe that evil has any reality of its own, but that its only claim to existence is that given it by the belief of man.”
Yet in examining the Gospels, we find that Jesus unequivocally upheld morality and always distinguished good from evil. Clearly, He believed that evil really existed. He spoke of “the evil servant” (Matt. 24:48 KJV), and that from one’s heart “come evil thoughts” (Mark 7:21). He urged us to pray, “Deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13 NAS). He spoke of “an evil and adulterous generation” (Matt. 12:39), and that God was kind even to evil persons (Luke 6:35). And He said that people loved darkness because their deeds were evil (John 3:19). How can Religious Science deny such statements as: “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt. 12:34), and “the world cannot hate you; but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil” (John 7:7).
Over five hundred verses in the Bible treat evil as real. Either Jesus, the Bible and the testimony of history and common sense are false, or Religious Science has a terribly deficient worldview. Religious Science loses all credibility when it denies that which is so obvious.
Science of Mind is as much a reaction to evil as a denial of it. As in similar religions (New Thought, Christian Science and others) the popularity of Religious Science is in some ways due to a desire to escape from the real world’s evil and suffering. Philosophically, it’s a type of emotional buffer against the harsher aspects of reality in order to make life easier in some respects. Holmes wrote:
How much easier it is to know that I am part of this Light of Lights, that I am supported by it, that I don’t have to do everything myself, that behind me is God. Lifting me up is the Energy Force, and smiling at me from ages past and ages to come is the Happy Love of Universal Mind.... I don’t need to worry any more.... I am delighted to know I am on the path of Truth and I am grateful I have this lovingness around me.... I look past the body of these people and see the Inner Self. I remember that the spiritual man is always perfect! 
Thus RS philosophy is severely deficient ethically. Because evil has no reality, and only good exists, what we perceive as evil must really be part of the good. The moral implications of this view are hardly insignificant. This is why the Bible warns, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.... Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes...” (Isa. 5:20-21). Nevertheless, in Religious Science evil is part of the good. Holmes and Kinnear state that “we seek a greater good and we call the lesser good, evil.”  In Your Invisible Power, “God,” speaking through Ernest Holmes, says, “I create both saint and sinner, know neither... good or bad” 
RS denial of morality leads to logical and practical contradictions. For instance, how can we deny that which is intrinsically good? That is, if evil is good, albeit a “lesser good,” why not support it rather than deny or oppose it? If All is One and good, including God, what can ever be evil? As we quoted earlier, “There is nothing but God and good in the Universe.” Because the “lesser good” is still good, logically it should be affirmed as good. So where are the RS “positive affirmations” for the lesser good? “Right now in Divine Mind I affirm theft, rape, adultery and child abuse as Good, for only Good exists.” Can Religious Science live with this? It must, if its first principles are taken seriously. Evil must be affirmed.
But the problem here is compounded. If evil is simply “lesser” good (that is, part of the good), is not this good also the very evil we are told we must not believe or affirm in order to effectively live the principles of RS? “I let go of every contrary belief. I refuse the appearance of sin sickness and poverty.” Even as RS must logically affirm the evil in God, it must simultaneously deny that very affirmation in order to succeed. This means Religious Science cannot work in the manner it claims. Consider the following two citations: “It is sometimes difficult for a new student of Science of Mind to see that everything is One.... Two things for a person to do and perhaps that individual is you—are to believe all is One and to start consciously thinking of everything as one Super Being.”  “Freedom and bondage, sickness and health, poverty and riches, Heaven and Hell, good and bad, big and little, happiness and misery, peace and confusion, faith and fear, and all conditions which appear to be opposites, are not really a result of the operation of opposing powers, but ARE THE WAY THE ONE POWER IS USED.” 
Once we admit the One power contains within itself both good and evil and can be used for both good and evil, Religious Science practice is over, for there is no way to win. Thus the illogical resolution is simply to see everything as God. Thus, if the perfect Spirit is always perfectly present in one’s life, as claimed,  then everything one does is by definition a divine act and perfect. The monistic gurus (Sai Baba, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Muktananda, Rajneesh and others) say the very same: whatever the God-realized person does is, by definition, perfect and divine, even if it is evil. Virtually any crime or immoral act will, in theory, be seen as the perfect working of the Spirit who is perfectly present in one’s life. Who are we to judge the motives of the infinite amoral Spirit? After all, some people (even Hitler?) may have seemed evil, but, “We should recognize the divine in them, no matter what the apparent seems to declare. The man who... is seeing two powers, good and evil, he has not discovered that the evil is simply the good misdirected.” “To think otherwise is to suppose duality, and duality cannot be.”  “See God in ALL and the trouble will soon be healed.” 
But can and do RS believers really take comfort in the “lesser good,” or divinity (“God in ALL”), of the actions of Hitler or groups like Jonestown, or The Branch Davidians (David Koresh), or Aum Shinrikyo, or the pimp and the rapist? Doesn’t evil destroy millions of lives? It is at precisely this point that RS dismantles itself a second time; no RS practitioner can consistently live or logically justify a philosophy that teaches evil is good.