Christian correction -- rebuking sin in ourselves and others
edited by Robert Nguyen Cramer
The Bible (TEV)
Mar 1:15 - The Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the Good News! (NASB/TEV)
2Ti 4:1-5 - 1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and because he is coming to rule as King, I solemnly urge you 2 to preach the message, to insist upon proclaiming it (whether the time is right or not), to convince, reproach, and encourage, as you teach with all patience. 3 The time will come when people will not listen to sound doctrine, but will follow their own desires and will collect for themselves more and more teachers who will tell them what they are itching to hear. 4 They will turn away from listening to the truth and give their attention to legends. 5 But you must keep control of yourself in all circumstances; endure suffering, do the work of a preacher of the Good News, and perform your whole duty as a servant of God.
Mat 18:15-17 - 15 If your brother sins against you, go to him and show him his fault. But do it privately, just between yourselves. 16 If he listens to you, you have won your brother back. But if he will not listen to you, take one or two other persons with you, so that ‘every accusation may be upheld by the testimony of two or more witnesses,’ as the scripture says. 17 And if he will not listen to them, then tell the whole thing to the church. Finally, if he will not listen to the church, treat him as though he were a pagan or a tax collector.
Luk 17:3,4 - If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in one day, and each time he comes to you saying, 'I repent,' you must forgive him. (TEV)
Joh 8:11 - Jesus said, "I do not condemn you either. Go, but do not sin again. (TEV)
Gal 6:1 - My brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in any kind of wrongdoing, those of you who are spiritual should set him right; but you must do it in a gentle way. And keep an eye on yourselves, so that you will not be tempted, too.
2Co 2:7 - 7 You should forgive him and encourage him, in order to keep him from becoming so sad as to give up completely. And so I beg you to let him know that you really do love him.
Jam 5:19,20 - 19 My brothers and sisters, if any of you wander away from the truth and another one brings them back again, 20 remember this: whoever turns a sinner back from his or her wrong way will save that sinner’s soul from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.
The writings of Mary Baker Eddy
S&H 9:2 During many years the author has been most grateful for merited rebuke. The wrong lies in unmerited censure,--in the falsehood which does no one any good.
S&H 29:1-5 Christians must take up arms against error at home and abroad. They must grapple with sin in themselves and in others, and continue this warfare until they have finished their course.
S&H 30:26 If we have triumphed sufficiently over the errors of material sense to allow Soul to hold the control, we shall loathe sin and rebuke it under every mask. Only in this way can we bless our enemies, though they may not so construe our words. We cannot choose for ourselves, but must work out our salvation in the way Jesus taught. In meekness and might, he was found preaching the gospel to the poor. Pride and fear are unfit to bear the standard of Truth, and God will never place it in such hands.
S&H 53:6 He [Jesus] rebuked sinners pointedly and unflinchingly, because he was their friend; hence the cup he drank.
S&H 92:21 Uncover error, and it turns the lie upon you. Until the fact concerning error--namely, its nothingness--appears, the moral demand will not be met, and the ability to make nothing of error will be wanting. We should blush to call that real which is only a mistake. The foundation of evil is laid on a belief in something besides God. This belief tends to support two opposite powers, instead of urging the claims of Truth alone. The mistake of thinking that error can be real, when it is merely the absence of truth, leads to belief in the superiority of error.
S&H 447:12-14, 20-27 Ignorance, subtlety, or false charity does not forever conceal error; evil will in time disclose and punish itself.
Expose and denounce the claims of evil and disease in all their forms, but realize no reality in them. A sinner is not reformed merely by assuring him that he cannot be a sinner because there is no sin. To put down the claim of sin, you must detect it, remove the mask, point out the illusion, and thus get the victory over sin and so prove its unreality.
S&H 452:12-14 When error confronts you, withhold not the rebuke or the explanation which destroys error.
S&H 453:18 You uncover sin, not in order to injure, but in order to bless the corporeal man; and a right motive has its reward. Hidden sin is spiritual wickedness in high places. The masquerader in this Science thanks God that there is no evil, yet serves evil in the name of good.
S&H 454:17 Love for God and man is the true incentive in both healing and teaching. Love inspires, illumines, designates, and leads the way. Right motives give pinions to thought, and strength and freedom to speech and action. Love is priestess at the altar of Truth. Wait patiently for divine Love to move upon the waters of mortal mind, and form the perfect concept. Patience must "have her perfect work."
S&H 458:20 Sin makes deadly thrusts at the Christian Scientist as ritualism and creed are summoned to give place to higher law, but Science will ameliorate mortal malice. The Christianly scientific man reflects the divine law, thus becoming a law unto himself. He does violence to no man. Neither is he a false accuser. The Christian Scientist wisely shapes his course, and is honest and consistent in following the leadings of divine Mind. He must prove, through living as well as healing and teaching, that Christ's way is the only one by which mortals are radically saved from sin and sickness.
S&H 570:26-18 When God heals the sick or the sinning, they should know the great benefit which Mind has wrought. They should also know the great delusion of mortal mind, when it makes them sick or sinful. Many are willing to open the eyes of the people to the power of good resident in divine Mind, but they are not so willing to point out the evil in human thought, and expose evil's hidden mental ways of accomplishing iniquity. Why this backwardness, since exposure is necessary to ensure the avoidance of the evil? Because people like you better when you tell them their virtues than when you tell them their vices. It requires the spirit of our blessed Master to tell a man his faults, and so risk human displeasure for the sake of doing right and benefiting our race. Who is telling mankind of the foe in ambush? Is the informer one who sees the foe? If so, listen and be wise. Escape from evil, and designate those as unfaithful stewards who have seen the danger and yet have given no warning. At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good. Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil.
Man 40:7-11 In Science, divine Love alone governs man; and a Christian Scientist reflects the sweet amenities of Love, in rebuking sin, in true brotherliness, charitableness, and forgiveness.
Man 51:14 Preliminary Requirement.... No Church discipline shall ensue until the requirements according to the Scriptures, in Matthew 18:15-17, have been strictly obeyed, unless a By-Law governing the case provides for immediate action.
Mis 212:24 If, consciously or unconsciously, one is at work in a wrong direction, who will step forward and open his eyes to see this error? He who is a Christian Scientist, who has cast the beam out of his own eye, speaks plainly to the offender and tries to show his errors to him before letting another know it.
Mis 213:10 No risk is so stupendous as to neglect opportunities which God giveth, and not to forewarn and forearm our fellow-mortals against the evil which, if seen, can be destroyed.
Mis 265:27 I am constantly called to settle questions and disaffections toward Christian Science growing out of the departures from Science of self-satisfied, unprincipled students. If impatient of the loving rebuke, the student must stop at the foot of the grand ascent, and there remain until suffering compels the downfall of his self-conceit. Then that student must struggle up, with bleeding footprints, to the God-crowned summit of unselfish and pure aims and affections.
Mis 266:24 If I correct mistakes which may be made in teaching or lecturing on Christian Science, this is in accordance with my students' desires, and thus we mutually aid each other, and obey the Golden Rule.
Mis 272:29-2 I have endeavored to act toward all students of Christian Science with the intuition and impulse of love. If certain natures have not profited by my rebukes,--some time, as Christian Scientists, they will know the value of these rebukes.
Mis 277:23-7 No evidence before the material senses can close my eyes to the scientific proof that God, good, is supreme. Though clouds are round about Him, the divine justice and judgment are enthroned. Love is especially near in times of hate, and never so near as when one can be just amid lawlessness, and render good for evil. I thunder His law to the sinner, and sharply lighten on the cloud of the intoxicated senses. I cannot help loathing the phenomena of drunkenness produced by animality. I rebuke it wherever I see it. The vision of the Revelator is before me. The wines of fornication, envy, and hatred are the distilled spirits of evil, and are the signs of these times; but I am not dismayed, and my peace returns unto me. Error will hate more as it realizes more the presence of its tormentor. I shall fulfil my mission, fight the good fight, and keep the faith.
Mis 356:2 Thus will a life corrected illumine its own atmosphere with spiritual glow and understanding.
Mis 359:19-20 Peter's impetuosity was rebuked. He had to learn from experience; so have we.
Ret 21:13 It is well to know, dear reader, that our material, mortal history is but the record of dreams, not of man's real existence, and the dream has no place in the Science of being. It is "as a tale that is told," and "as the shadow when it declineth." The heavenly intent of earth's shadows is to chasten the affections, to rebuke human consciousness and turn it gladly from a material, false sense of life and happiness, to spiritual joy and true estimate of being.
Ret 63:14-19,23 God is good, hence goodness is something, for it represents God, the Life of man. Its opposite, nothing, named evil, is nothing but a conspiracy against man's Life and goodness. Do you not feel bound to expose this conspiracy, and so to save man from it? Whosoever covers iniquity becomes accessory to it.
Sin is worse than sickness; but recollect that it encourages sin to say, "There is no sin," and leave the subject there.
Ret 64:24 It is scientific to abide in conscious harmony, in health-giving, deathless Truth and Love. To do this, mortals must first open their eyes to all the illusive forms, methods, and subtlety of error, in order that the illusion, error, may be destroyed; if this is not done, mortals will become the victims of error.
Ret 80:12 Though the divine rebuke is effectual to the pulling down of sin's strongholds, it may stir the human heart to resist Truth, before this heart becomes obediently receptive of the heavenly discipline. If the Christian Scientist recognize the mingled sternness and gentleness which permeate justice and Love, he will not scorn the timely reproof, but will so absorb it that this warning will be within him a spring, welling up into unceasing spiritual rise and progress. Patience and obedience win the golden scholarship of experimental tuition.
Ret 81:8-10 The letter of the law of God, separated from its spirit, tends to demoralize mortals, and must be corrected by a diviner sense of liberty and light.
Ret 86:1-4 To energize wholesome spiritual warfare, to rebuke vainglory, to offset boastful emptiness, to crown patient toil, and rejoice in the spirit and power of Christian Science, we must ourselves be true.
No v:1 It was the purpose of each edition of this pamphlet to benefit no favored class, but, according to the apostle's admonition, to "reprove, rebuke, exhort," and with the power and self-sacrificing spirit of Love to correct involuntary as well as voluntary error.
No 8:3-22 We should endeavor to be long-suffering, faithful, and charitable with all. To this small effort let us add one more privilege--namely, silence whenever it can substitute censure. Avoid voicing error; but utter the truth of God and the beauty of holiness, the joy of Love and "the peace of God, that passeth all understanding," recommending to all men fellowship in the bonds of Christ. Advise students to rebuke each other always in love, as I have rebuked them. Having discharged this duty, counsel each other to work out his own salvation, without fear or doubt, knowing that God will make the wrath of man to praise Him, and that the remainder thereof He will restrain. We can rejoice that every germ of goodness will at last struggle into freedom and greatness, and every sin will so punish itself that it will bow down to the commandments of Christ,--Truth and Love. I enjoin it upon my students to hold no controversy or enmity over doctrines and traditions, or over the misconceptions of Christian Science, but to work, watch, and pray for the amelioration of sin, sickness, and death.
Pan 13:10-13 Beloved brethren, the love of our loving Lord was never more manifest than in its stern condemnation of all error, wherever found. I counsel thee, rebuke and exhort one another.
'02 18:12-13 Jesus was compassionate, true, faithful to rebuke, ready to forgive.
'02 18:30-15 The nature of Jesus made him keenly alive to the injustice, ingratitude, treachery, and brutality that he received. Yet behold his love! So soon as he burst the bonds of the tomb he hastened to console his unfaithful followers and to disarm their fears. Again: True to his divine nature, he rebuked them on the eve of his ascension, called one a "fool"--then, lifting up his hands and blessing them, he rose from earth to heaven. The Christian Scientist cherishes no resentment; he knows that that would harm him more than all the malice of his foes. Brethren, even as Jesus forgave, forgive thou. I say it with joy,--no person can commit an offense against me that I cannot forgive. Meekness is the armor of a Christian, his shield and his buckler. He entertains angels who listens to the lispings of repentance seen in a tear--happier than the conqueror of a world.
Hea 2:20-23 But why should the world hate Jesus, the loved of the Father, the loved of Love? It was that his spirituality rebuked their carnality, and gave this proof of Christianity that religions had not given.
My 18:18-21 "Beloved brethren, the love of our loving Lord was never more manifest than in its stern condemnation of all error, wherever found. I counsel thee, rebuke and exhort one another.
My 129:32-7 Refrain from public controversy; correct the false with the true--then leave the latter to propagate. Watch and guard your own thoughts against evil suggestions and against malicious mental malpractice, wholly disloyal to the teachings of Christian Science. This hidden method of committing crime--socially, physically, and morally--will ere long be unearthed and punished as it deserves.
My 162:18 But the love that rebukes praises also...
My 130:13-19 I have neither the time nor the inclination to be continually pursuing a lie --the one evil or the evil one. Therefore I ask the help of others in this matter, and I ask that according to the Scriptures my students reprove, rebuke, and exhort. A lie left to itself is not so soon destroyed as it is with the help of truth-telling.
My 180:22 In our struggles with sin and sinners, when we drop compliance with their desires, insist on what we know is right, and act accordingly, the disguised or the self-satisfied mind, not ready to be uplifted, rebels, misconstrues our best motives, and calls them unkind. But this is the cross. Take it up,--it wins the crown; and in the spirit of our great Exemplar pray: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do."
My 248:26 You go forth to face the foe with loving look and with the religion and philosophy of labor, duty, liberty, and love, to challenge universal indifference, chance, and creeds. Your highest inspiration is found nearest the divine Principle and nearest the scientific expression of Truth. You may condemn evil in the abstract without harming any one or your own moral sense, but condemn persons seldom, if ever. Improve every opportunity to correct sin through your own perfectness. When error strives to be heard above Truth, let the "still small voice" produce God's phenomena. Meet dispassionately the raging element of individual hate and counteract its most gigantic falsities.
My 294:7 In a certain city the Master "did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief,"--because of the mental counteracting elements, the startled or the unrighteous contradicting minds of mortals. And if he were personally with us to-day, he would rebuke whatever accords not with a full faith and spiritual knowledge of God. He would mightily rebuke a single doubt of the ever-present power of divine Spirit to control all the conditions of man and the universe.
My 343:27-30 Dissensions are dangerous in an infant church. I wrote to each church in tenderness, in exhortation, and in rebuke, and so brought all back to union and love again.
To further explore the requirement of forgiving along with the need for rebuking,
Copyright 1996-2002 Robert Nguyen Cramer