Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 25, 1949

The Devils Lures

R. L. Whiteside

Some additional thoughts on the devil's lures — lure is a bait, always deceptive.

But the devil uses no lure, no bait, to get people to "cuss," and to blaspheme the name of God. No benefits are expected for "cussin' " and swearing. Men and women who engage in such sinful and disgusting practices just swallow the naked hook. But a few other words before we proceed with the devil's lures.

It is a curious fact that some people are much more practical in their off-guard thinking and acting than their theory. Years ago I heard a Missionary Baptist preach a sermon on the text: "For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:20). He mentioned what he considered good points about the scribes and Pharisees, and commented on each item, and at the close of each comment added, "Now, brethren, you will have to be better than that, or you will never go to heaven." In thinking about the practical things in his text he forgot his doctrine of unconditional salvation, and of the impossibility of apostasy. When I was a youngster, a neighbor, a man of years, a Primitive Baptist, told me about a brutal murder in an adjoining county, in a community where he was acquainted. As he described the details, he became so wrought up that he forgot his doctrine of eternal decrees, and said with a lot of warmth, "I just tell you, if there ain't a hell for such folks as that, what is the use of having one?" Perhaps I should have said, "Well, you need one for the non-elect." But the point is, his sense of justice and right triumphed over his doctrine of fore-ordination and eternal decrees. Yes, people are often more practical in their thinking and acting than their doctrine.

As further illustration, consider the "Christian Scientists." Their theory is, that there is no such thing as material substance, and that you do not really see, feel, or hear anything — it is all a delusion of the mortal mind. Do you think I misrepresent their theory? If so, consider the following from their official publication, the "Christian Science Journal": "Christian Science does not say, merely, that the senses do not rightly inform us of the nature of matter; it definitely and unequivocally states that matter is unreal, that it does not exist, that it is a false human concept, an error of belief, an error of statement. In other words, Christian Science maintains without any trace of ambiguity that since Spirit is infinite, all matter has no real being... Christian Science has but one judgment to pronounce on matter, namely, that it is unreal" "Therefore, matter and evil, the alleged products of this so-called mortal mind, have no actual existence, substance, activity, or power." "There has been built up a false conception of existence composed of lie added to lie, until, accepting falsity for reality, they have believed the delusion that man is an individual personality with a physical body." And Christian Scientists teach "the utter unreliability of material sense." "And as a man has no real body, he can have no bodily accidents or sickness, and therefore can neither hear, see, feel, taste, nor smell. All such sensations are delusions of the mortal mind." "Certainly this man, who is the complete manifestation of mind, could not have a material body." "Mortal mind sees what it believes as certainly as it believes what it sees. It feels, sees, and hears its own thoughts." That from Mrs. Eddy. "In other words, mortals see objectified the beliefs of the human so-called mind." Again, "Matter is neither self-existent nor a product of Spirit. An image of mortal thought, reflected on the retina, is all that the eye beholds." This, too, from Mrs. Eddy. But if the body is an illusion, unreal, so must the eye and its retina be an illusion, unreal; for the eye is a part of the body. How, then, can a belief or thought be reflected on an illusion? And how will the Christian Scientist unravel that puzzle? It cannot be done. But the Christian Scientist is more practical in action than in theory. His theory says that brick wall is an illusion — just a picture on the retina of your thought In his theory, therefore, there is no brick wall, and he has no body to be hurt; but you could not get him to run his unreal body at full tilt against that imaginary wall. And if they were not more practical in action than they are in theory, they would all have to be put in a padded cell.

But the main point is, this theory shuts off obedience to God, and puts Mrs. Eddy between its believer and the Lord Jesus Christ. She says, "The divine Science taught in the original language of the Bible came through inspiration, and needs inspiration to be understood." The Journal adds: "We should and do rejoice that, through her consecrated study and devout efforts, our inspired Leader has given to the world the spiritual meaning of the Bible." So what Mrs. Eddy says, not what the Bible says, is the final word of authority. The teaching of Jesus and his apostles means nothing till Mrs. Eddy gives "the spiritual meaning"! She is "our inspired Leader." They obey her, and pay no attention to what Jesus and his apostles taught only as she gives "the spiritual meaning." Yes, her word is final besides, she, and they after her, claim that there is no such thing as sin, and therefore human beings need no redemption. Of the Christian Scientist, the Journal says, "He will steadfastly refuse to accept a concept of man that needs to be healed, changed, or redeemed." Christian Science leads its votaries to disregard Jesus as Redeemer of his gospel as God's power to save. And anything that keeps people from rendering whole-hearted obedience to Jesus our Lord is of the devil.

I have referred to this doctrine as Christian Science, because that is what its votaries call it; but it is neither Christian nor science. It is an awful delusion.

No man can really obey the gospel of God so long as he holds to the notion that it makes no difference what you believe, just so you are honest and sincere. Now, that idea itself is not an honest statement. No person who makes it really believes it. If he believed it, he would not try to convert an infidel or a worshipper of idols. Will anyone say it does not matter if you believe the Bible is false? But it does make a difference what you believe, and to think otherwise is to array yourself against the plain words of Jesus and the apostles. If the devil makes you believe such a notion, then you are his; and you will not so much as try to find out what the Lord commands you to do. Such an idea is one of the devil's choice lures.