The gaudy, meretricious, and ephemeral images and metaphors of the present age lead the unwary and somnolent down the pleasant-seeming garden path. Yet such a stroll will only be diverting or stupefying for a time. The Taxman cometh. To break this spell of materiality, it is not enough to desire something better; we must be willing to go to war for it.
The new year lies before us. Now is the hour to launch a D-Day offensive in our 2009 "warfare with the flesh" (S&H 324; 15). Mrs. Eddy does not use the word warfare often, but when she does she certainly does not mean a tepid or dilatory hissy fit, but a determined and unremitting effort to overcome error. The "Student's Reference Dictionary" has in part this definition of war: "contest; struggle with spiritual enemies". Mrs. Eddy and the C.S. Hymnal also use other war-related terms: soldier, warrior, war, battle, strife, conquer, armor. As has been pointed out before, Mrs. Eddy confronts us with the seriousness and significance of this struggle with Satan in her "Extempore Remarks" on a July 4, recorded in Miscellaneous Writings, pages176-177.
When Mrs. Eddy speaks of war she is not referring to taking up spiritual arms against a case of the sniffles. This conflict between the great red dragon, the basic lie, and Truth must be fiercely prosecuted until the Christ triumphs in one's consciousness. It is not necessary that each of us become W. S. Gilbert's "very model of a modern Major-General" in Christ's army, but neither can one afford the shame of being a carpet knight or miles gloriosus. A wholly united Church of worthy Christian (Science) soldiers would constitute a formidable army for Truth, but on an individual basis we cannot ignore Mrs. Eddy's admonition to take up "warfare with one's self" (Mis 118: 25) as well.
It is certain Mrs. Eddy would not have used the term warfare if she didn't feel our individual and collective lives didn't require that level of commitment. There is no doubt that had Christian Scientists as a church taken up with a vengeance arms against error decades ago, the world would be a different and far better place today. But that is, of course, no justification for dallying now, for our individual spiritual growth and prosperity depend upon it as well.
Note: A recent "advertisement" for Christian Science, or something, which appears (so one hears) on the back cover of a recent Journal, has excited a mini-Vesuvius of concern and maybe interest, which it was no doubt intended to do. It is hard to get too worked-up about it, however, since the numerous self-inflicted betrayals and indignities the periodicals, along with Mary Baker Eddy and The Mother Church itself for that matter, have suffered for many years has set an exceedingly high threshold for any fresh contumely or insult to Christian Science.