The word demarcation as used in Science and Health is of the deepest significance, and the idea which it embodies cannot be too often pondered and applied in the working out of our human problems. In absolute Science God and His manifestation constitute the whole of reality, and a declaration of this truth, based upon spiritual understanding, in many cases heals the sick and awakens the erstwhile sufferer to a new sense of life. Mrs. Eddy tells us, however, that “the new birth is not the work of a moment. It begins with moments, and goes on with years; moments of surrender to God, of childlike trust and joyful adoption of good; moments of self-abnegation, self-consecration, heaven-born hope, and spiritual love” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 15). All this calls for a clearly defined line of demarcation between mortal belief and spiritual understanding; in other words, between “the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,” and “the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness,” to quote St. Paul.

         There is no denying that the mortal concept is “deceitful” through and through, therefore mortals deceive themselves even more than they deceive others, foolishly believing that they can pass muster in the presence of Truth by professions of religion. This error was uncovered by Christ Jesus, who declared that no one could enter the kingdom of heaven by mere affirmations of loyalty, by saying “Lord, Lord,” but only by doing the will of the Father, a lesson which is needed by Christian Scientists as much as by others. When the allness of God, good, is affirmed in Christian Science, this by no means includes any element of evil; on the contrary, it excludes all that is unlike God, and to be clear about this calls for the understanding which, as Mrs. Eddy tells us on page 505 of Science and Health, “is the line of demarcation between the real and unreal.”

         It is needless to say that proof is what all are seeking, that which was designated a “sign” by the Master; and this can only be gained in the truest sense where an entire separation is made between the mortal or material and the spiritual, and this by both practitioner and patient. It is, however, fair to assume that the practitioner is more advanced than the patient, hence the line of demarcation should be very clearly marked in his thought, speech, and action, so that he may be able to aid the other, both by precept and example, to reach man’s likeness to God, with its entailed dominion over all evil. He must show that the line of demarcation is well defined between purity and impurity, between honesty and dishonesty, between unselfish love for his fellow man and selfishness; in brief, between Truth and error, the spiritual and the material. This does not release the patient from strict obedience to the divine demand, but it should aid and inspire him to meet it, and thus reach the stature of Christ.

         The Christian Science statement as to the line of demarcation between the false and the true is only another way of saying: “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, . . . and ye shall be my sons and daughters.” At this point we should remember that understanding alone can rightly make the separation between Truth and error, and this never means the drawing aside of the robe to avoid personal contact with one who has not awakened from the mortal dream of life in matter, neither does it mean that we can flee from error as did Moses from the serpent. If we attempt to do this, we too shall have to turn and face it fearlessly. Then we can obey our Master’s command to handle serpents and prove their stings powerless. Furthermore, it means that we shall not hesitate to define sharply in the secret chambers of our own thought the difference between right and wrong, between the material and the spiritual, not with a gloomy sense of self-condemnation, but with an unwavering determination to rise to the moral and spiritual altitude of the real man, of whom it is written, “Thou hast put all things under his feet.”


"Demarcation" by Annie M. Knott, CSD
Christian Science Sentinel, December 25, 1915

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