Author Archives: Cheryl Petersen

Retrospecting the Reformation

October 31 has been noted as the 500th anniversary of when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and thus was the sufficient beginnings of what is now referred to as the Reformation, or the beginning of the Protestant Movement.

It wasn’t a pretty sight. Fortunately, Luther wasn’t alone, but it all came about with turmoil.

It didn’t matter if Luther’s intent was to reason with church leaders, who were restricting God’s mercy to the ritual of indulgences. Church leaders determined Luther was an irreligious heretic, no longer someone to listen to or include.

Luther himself may have felt a bit sacrilegious for what amounted to addressing the convictions of church authorities and pointing out the backwardness of false promises linked to indulgences. But he stood his ground and brought attention to new ideas about God.

Religion advanced. And human beings slowly followed, despite the destruction that comes with high-strung emotions. Time and experience help justice and mercy win. New ideas were entertained and put into practice over the following centuries.

Pew Research Center reported recently that the theological differences of the 16th century have tempered over the years, “And while the Reformation led to more than a century of devastating wars and persecution in Europe, both Protestants and Catholics across the continent now overwhelmingly express willingness to accept each other as neighbors and even as family members.”

While not denying that the profane in religion needs to decrease, respect goes to the likes of Martin Luther who personified the good in religion.

People who stop defending old ideas, we are open to new ideas. Newness is normal, healing.

New ideas are revealed when religion is no longer workable. What are the new ideas today? Can we entertain and manifest the new ideas sooner than 500 years?

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Spiritual glance at both, front story and backstory

My neighbor Robert, told me a thought provoking story. True story.

The front-story: Robert took care of his step-mother the last few years of her life.

Robert told me, “She was afraid to die. Finally, one day, she asked me, ‘Do you think I’ll go to heaven?’ I told her, ‘If you don’t go to heaven no one else will.’ And she died peacefully a few weeks later.”

Now, Robert didn’t end the story there. He also gave the backstory saying, “My step-mother was a bitter person. She made my growing up hard and miserable. In my 20s, I went from one terrible relationship to another until in my 30s when I stopped what I was doing, even became celibate for a few years, to figure out a better way.”

He figured it out. “Love. Love is life and truth,” said Robert, who has been in a loving relationship for more than 20 years.

See, the backstory is necessary to understand the front story. Otherwise, we’d be tempted to believe we could just repeat Robert’s words and offer peace to someone afraid to die.

The step-mother’s fear came from religious teachings, showing yet again that religion isn’t perfect, but nothing in this world is. She was taught her behavior in this world affected whether or not she’d go to heaven.

Not all religions teach that strategy. Mine doesn’t. I believe heaven is a state of mind, of divine Mind, Love, God, and I can unite and rejoice with God now.

I also believe it was Robert’s earlier spiritual progress that transformed his heart and enabled him to voice those words to his mother with a healing effect.

From 21st Century Science and Health, sixth edition

“Put an end to the chatter in your head and calmly enter spiritual consciousness. In the refuge of sincere intentions, you must deny sin and affirm God’s allness. Become committed, “pray continually,”[1] and go forward with a pure heart to work and watch for wisdom, Truth, and Love. Such prayer is answered insofar as you put your spiritual desires into practice.”

 

 

[1] I Thess. 5:17

Nurture respect already in place

Archeologists have uncovered evidence interpreted to link not only ideas but also actual inscribed words in the Bible back to thinkers and writers who pre-dated Biblical authors.

In his 2016 publication of the book, The Cities That Built the Bible, Archaeologist and Biblical scholar, Robert Cargill gives tangible examples that show some ideas and even words, in both the Old Testament and New Testament, can be traced back centuries before biblical authors were even born.

Correct. Scriptural words were not traced back to God, but to other human beings.

No, no, no, this is not an argument against the presence of God and it isn’t a burial of the Bible or religion. It’s a release.

What if we stopped fearing or revering religion and its accompanying materials? What if we doubled up our efforts to cultivate the respect for one another already in place? What if we acknowledged a truth presenting itself anew for the sheer fact it identifies with ongoing purpose and eternal life?

From the introduction of Sixth Edition of 21st Century Science and Health:

“Truth is ever-revealing itself, it can’t be stopped. It embraces and moves us. With respect to all truth-seekers, I share 21st Century Science and Health.”— Cheryl Petersen

best cover

 

Cheryl Petersen

Brooklyn Book Festival

What a fabulous day at the Brooklyn Book Festival, last Sunday.

Met wonderful, unprejudiced minds. Sold books. Had fun with the family.

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Our daughter also sold her newly published fiction for young adults, Magenta’s Family Christmas, click below to order

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Eliminating radical thoughts for peace

Radicalized religion has our attention. What else does it want?

War with religion? War with those of us struggling to practice a religion of love and a life of meaning?

I doubt it. No matter how much destruction radicals inflict upon religion, radicalized religion would be destroyed if they messed with religion.

But we can ask, why did radicalized religion reach such a crisis point?

Perhaps it’s because our religious policies are failing us.

Perhaps it’s because religion is divided by creeds specific to human behaviors and thinking rather than specific to worship of God.

Perhaps it’s because we are so busy lighting candles, reading Bible lessons, and maintaining buildings rather than increasing spirituality and correct interpretations of spiritual texts?

Thing is we need to do more because radicalized religion doesn’t only bother the religious. The nonreligious are also afflicted since radicals aim at anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

The nonreligious try to stop the radicals with bullets. How can the religious help?

It is time for religious thinkers to take the baton and run the race that eliminates radicalization by designing relevant policies and practices. It is time for religious thinkers to hold off defending their beliefs and go full force advocating the love of Christ.

The new ideas that come with progress don’t mean we give up lighting candles or stop reading sacred texts.

The other night I attended a village prayer vigil. We came together with our differing religious backgrounds.

Scriptures read were: I John 4:7-8, 18-21 and Isaiah 58.

A moment of individual prayer was respected.

And we all sang together a couple of times. The departing song was:

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. Everywhere I go, let it shine, let it shine. Won’t let anyone blow it out; I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. All around the world, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

prayer vigil

 

Q & A’s on Christian Science

What is Christian Science? The mental process for improvement; the law of Truth and Love interpreting harmony to the universe.

When did Christian Science come into being? It’s existed forever.

How do I discover Christian Science? Through prayer, meditation, and revelation. It finds you.

Where is Christian Science? Everywhere.

Who has written about Christian Science? Many people however in the 19th century, Mary Baker Eddy wrote extensively on this Mind-force she termed Christian Science.

What has happened to Christian Science since Eddy’s time-period? The law of Truth and Love is still intact and translating harmony, health, and holiness to humanity however Christian Science has been buried in misunderstandings.

Why is Christian Science confused with a church? Because Eddy founded a church before she died and human beings began linking the law of Truth and Love to a religious organization and its behaviors rather than share it as a universal Mind-power for good.

How do I separate Christian Science from a religious organization? Know yourself as the representative of Truth and Love, not the representative of a religious organization. Know Christian Science as never able to be locked into a church or book.

Christian Science is free. The law of Truth and Love illuminating life and wellbeing is free. You are free. You can mentally know this power as able to support humanity in its endeavors to improve mind, body, and spirit.

Happy thoughts: The flower hat my granddaughter made me…

flower hat no eyes

Outstanding movie

Wow, the film, Hidden Figures, is outstanding. I highly recommend.

As described online at IMDB, it’s the story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program.

Hidden Figures shows how progress can come without violence.

This is not to belittle the people who fight for equality and encounter violence, because sometimes fighting for equality and freedom isn’t pretty but is necessary for the good of humanity.

However, all examples of nonviolent progress can be recognized as significant and attractive. Hidden Figures does this.

I also appreciated the evidence of families working together and staying strong in their faith and faithfulness.

From 21st Century Science and Health:

At first, Truth leads the few and faithful. As time marches on, the few and faithful thoughts of Truth move forward with the motto of freedom. The powers of this world will react and the old-guard will try to stop truth and make it submit to their human standards and systems. Science, not distracted by threats or assaults, continues to progress. There is always some chaos; however a mobilization to truth’s standard is inevitable.

Improvement comes as mindsets improve. World history illustrates the might of Mind and shows human power to be proportionate to its embodiment of right thinking or spiritual clarity. Words and actions, breathing the omnipotence of divine justice and wisdom, are what powerfully break through discrimination, human agendas, and diminishing returns. Not by weapons and blood does the breath of freedom come. Love is the liberator.

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