Discovering a larger God

March 12th, 2007

(Journal entry, June 1998, John Andrews) I found an admirable God in the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy in the first 40 years of my life. But then I found a truly awesome God, the Adorable One, in the pages of the Bible. This God soon took me by storm.

This was a larger God, a God who was willing and able to do amazing things that Mrs. Eddy’s God could not or would not do. I just had to follow this wonderful God. I just had to give myself to him totally.

This God could and did make the whole world around us, the actual physical universe. That God whom Mrs. Eddy presented did not make any of it.

This God could and did create the human me, all of me, body and mind, heart and soul, the person that I am here and now, and all the human beings that people my world. That God, again, did nothing of the kind.

This God, in designing me as an improbable blend of matter and spirit, accorded me the dignity of freely choosing to accept or reject his authority over my life, and the responsibility of living forever with the consequences of my choice. That God gave me no such freedom.

This God could and did clothe himself in human form to live among men for a few years as Jesus Christ, and to die at the hands of men in proof of his infinite forgiveness for the sin that corrupts me and everyone else. Whereas being made flesh as a helpless baby, tramping the dusty roads of Palestine as an itinerant preacher, or bleeding on the cross as a lamb of sacrifice, are all deemed impossible for that God whom Mrs. Eddy presents.

This God who exists as one supreme being in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, can literally indwell my physical and mental being with the Holy Spirit.

This God, again through the Holy Spirit, can knit together my being with that of other believers so that all of us are joined as one indivisible Body of Christ, no less tangibly than Jesus’ own fingers were joined to his hands when he lived here among us. That God whose synonyms I learned in Christian Science was not a spirit capable of involving itself that way with human beings individually or collectively.

When the Scriptures invited me to follow a larger, closer, kinder God, a God who is truly omnipotent and Lord of all, in contrast to the deity of limits and boundaries presented by Mrs. Eddy, what could I do but obey?

Others may, for reasons of taste or loyalty, prefer that smaller God regardless. But some of us will feel compelled to say with Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Note: While many Christian Scientists value the contribution of J. B. Phillips in giving us “The New Testament in Modern English,” few know of his short evangelical work, “Your God is Too Small.” You will like that book if you liked my essay above.

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