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Sunday, March 10, 2002
                                     
"Think of your fellow man, lend him a helping hand, put a little love in your heart.  You see its getting late, so please don't hesitate, put a little love in your heart.  And the world will be a better place..... and the world will be a better place... for you and me ... you just wait and see."   Lyrics from "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" - Al Green and Annie Lennox

                   I was thinking this week about the traditional religious approach to life in the world.  You know, the old "born in sin" nonsense that is not as predominate as it was at one time but still resident in the world consciousness.  Many Christians mistakenly believe that the doctrine of original sin has always existed.  It has not always existed.  The doctrine did not exist, even in its elementary stages, until about the third century A.D.  And it did not become a generally accepted doctrine until the fifth century A.D., after it was made a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church, through the influence of Augustine.  John Calvin started with the premise that sin is inherited from Adam, and upon this foundation he built the entire system we know as Calvinism.  From Trinity Baptist Church, Livermore, California:  "Man was created in innocence directly and immediately by God, in His spiritual image, for the purpose of fellowship with God and glory for God.  Man was tempted by Satan and sinned, and because of this all men have been born in sin since that time.  Every person has tremendous potential for good, but all are marred by a nature of rebellion and disobedience toward God which the Bible calls sin.  Sin separates us from God, others, and all good things, ultimately and eternally in hell.  All persons need to be saved from their sin."

                I believe most of the problems of the world are based on the premise that there is something inherently wrong with us.  In Religious Science we teach that
"sin" is a mistake, or a missing of the mark.  It may be rightly said that we are born into a world filled with the effects of mistakes (war, racism, poverty, disease, etc.), but to believe that we are born as sinners could never be true.  We are created in the "image and likeness of God" which is "Spirit, Life and Truth."  Believing that we are sinners because of the sins of Adam and Eve or the sins of our parents is denying our Divine Nature.  In the book "The Prophet," Kahlil Gibran states this so eloquently, "Your children are not your children.  They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.  They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.  You may give them love but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts."

             Along with the ideas of being
"born in sin" came the ideas of inherited diseases, inherited mental illness and other inherited tendencies.  All of this has created the effects of "mistakes" in the world.  But, these mistakes have no power over us until and unless we "believe" that they do.  If we believe they are valid then our "Law of Mind" will create the effects in our lives that validate them.  However, if we live "in the world but not of the world" by not allowing ourselves to validate these beliefs in our consciousness, then they have absolutely no effect in our experience whatsoever.  This is the Truth and the Master Mind Jesus stated that the "truth will set us free."  And it does for "it is done unto us as we believe."  Not what the religions of the world teach us to believe, but what we accept and believe in our very own consciousness.

            Charles Fillmore, Founder of Unity and one of the Greatest Metaphysicians and Bible scholars of all time, taught that our sub-conscious is centered in and around our heart.  Our sub-conscious takes all of our firmly held beliefs, even if they are not true, and uses them to create our reactions and experiences in Life.  In order to keep from repeating the mistakes (sins) of our ancestors who believed that we are
"born in sin" and therefore must spend the greatest part of our life overcoming this sin or live in the "cage" of religious rules and regulations, we must "renew our minds" by transforming our hearts (sub-conscious mind).  We must "open our hearts" and cut out all the ideas and beliefs that have held us in bondage to the mistaken beliefs (sins) of the world.  We must remove all things from our hearts that cause us to block the love, the joy and the image of ourselves as beautiful and magnificent reflections of God.  We must cut out the resentments, past hurts and fears that have been created by believing what the world believes about us.  For some of us this requires major open heart surgery.  But we all must do it.

        
Spirit is free and we must be free from all the stuff that blocks the flow of love through us out into the world.  Let's put a little more love in our hearts and as we do this love will express itself automatically creating a world that is a better place for you and me.

 And So It Is! 

                                                            
Letting Love use me in Its own Good Way,
Henry Lee Bates