St. Paul Enterprise, May 28, 1915


Editor St. Paul Enterprise:

I perceive that I have hurt the feelings of a Christian Scientist named Smith. I regret this and am sorry that Mr. Smith did not mention which statements of mine seemed to him "harsh epithets." I would have expected him rather to say: "All is truth; there is no error. All is love; there is no harshness." I assure all your readers that I know of no untruth and no harshness in my argument, and I invite proofs to the contrary. I did not deal in references and suggestions of evil intentions, as does Mr. Smith. I believe the Christian Scientists are hones and, of all people, ought to be honest.

Mr. Smith asked, "In what manner, then, did Mrs. Eddy deal with the mystery of evil?" I answer that she ignored it and said: "There is no evil." Denying that there is evil, she could not deal with it at all.

I note Mr. Smith's proof texts, which, he assures, teach that God is everywhere and in everything. But these texts do not so read. They do declare that God's Wisdom extends throughout the Universe; that His eye or discernment grasps everything throughout the world; and that His mighty Hand or Power can everywhere be exercised. Thus although we properly address Him as "Our Father, which art in Heaven," we realize as Solomon did, that the heaven of heavens does not contain Him in the sense of limiting His knowledge and power, which extend beyond the heavens to the remotest parts of the Universe. My claim is that the Bible teaches such a personal God. It is not necessary to think of God as having a shape like a man, nor even necessary for us to know what is His shape. The Bible declares Him to be a soul, a personality. It explains that there is a natural body and there is a spiritual body, and that the glory of a natural, earthly body, is one thing, but that the glory of the heavenly or spiritual body is different. It tells us that the overcoming Church will be spirit beings and will be like Jesus in His glorified condition; and that Jesus is the "express image of the Father's person." The Apostle says, "It doth not yet appear what we shall be." God has not revealed, explained, the difference between a human and a spirit body. But unless we realize that God is a person, possessed of intelligence and power, we cannot worship Him, as the Bible directs.

Friend Smith passes by the meaning of the word person, declaring that it has too many definitions. We refer him to the Standard Dictionary and give him a very simple and truthful definition of person, thus: "Any being having life, intelligence, will, and separate, individual existence." A principle is not a person, but a power which acts uniformly, as "the regulative principle in nature; "" a vital principle; "" that which is inherent in anything; "" a general truth or proposition; "" a settled law or rule of action." The personal God of the Bible has a place of residence- "Our Father, which art in heaven." He has fixed principles of character revealed to us through the Bible Justice, Love, etc. I hold that a serious mistake is made in the doctrine of the omnipresence of God, that He is everywhere present in all parts of the earth at the same instant, and in all parts of the Universe at the same instant, in everything at the same instant. This unscriptural view has worked great injury to Christians of all denominations, to whatever extent they have held it. They all profess to hold it, but only the Christian Scientists and a few others appear really to believe it.

I am glad to note that Mr. Smith's view of Christian Science holds on to the personality of God. We commend this. We believe that many Christian Scientists are in a similar position. My wish is to call their attention to the fact that they contradict themselves when they say, as Mr. Smith says, "God is personal in the highest and truest sense of that term. He is the deific, infinite, omnipresent person." The God of the Bible is infinite. That is to say, He is not finite not limited in power or influence or knowledge or wisdom or otherwise. We object to the word deific because giving an uncertain meaning; for instance, deific energy might be understood to mean a supreme power without signifying a personal God using or directing that energy or power. We object entirely to the expression, omnipresent person, because the thought of personality is in direct conflict with the thought contained in the word omnipresent. We have already given the standard definition for person- "Any being having life, intelligence, will, and separate, individual existence." Separate existence means, apart from other things not in everything and everywhere. The more Mr. Smith and other Christian Scientists think on this, the more, I am sure, they will agree with me that they must choose either the one or the other proposition and either believe that God is a person, "Our Father in Heaven," or else believe that God is not a person but a principle, omnipresent, operating mechanically and not intelligently, according to the meaning of the word principle.

I was much interested in knowing that Christian Scientists have been sending literature to the warring armies. But I wonder why. If there is no evil, war is not an evil. If there is no pain and no death, the soldiers at the front are merely amusing themselves and doing no harm.

This is not unkind. I would merely incite the many noble people who are Christian Scientists to think and talk more logically and thus to come nearer to the Truth nearer to what I am presenting as the Bible Truth. There should be no war. There should be no pain. There should be no dying. (Rev. 21:4) In due time all these things are to be done away. But so surely as they are to be done away by Messiah's Kingdom in the near future, then surely are these things with us now pain, sorrow, death, sin.

Respectfully, C T Russell

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