Man, Spiritual, Material Or Both?

PHOTO: cfsstl.org

PHOTO: cfsstl.org

CHRISTIANITY, as with most religions, readily accepts that man is spiritual. Material man, on the other hand, defined by the five physical senses, is prone to sin, sickness, mortality. The Scriptures refer to this man as ‘flesh and blood’ or ‘the carnal mind’. The Bible has different accounts of creation. Genesis 1 is the spiritual record of creation, where God, Spirit, makes man in His image and likeness – both male and female. The Bible says God pronounces His work ‘very good.’ This is the only record of spiritual creation. All the other Biblical accounts start with matter. Genesis 2 presents man, Adam, as made from dust, but enlivened when God breathes into his nostrils. A second record, Genesis 2, presents woman, Eve, as made from a rib. A third material account, (Genesis 4), presents man, Cain, as made from an egg.

In modern times, other theories of human creation have been propounded viz. evolution from apes, and the Big Bang theory, which favours atomic force. In more recent times, following the successful cloning of ‘Dolly’ the sheep on July 5, 1996, the lead researcher at Oregon Health and Science University, USA, Dr. Shoukhrat Mitalipov, announced a major break-through in the field of human cloning, when they successfully produced embryonic stem cells from human skin. Do all these accounts make a case for man as a mixture of spirituality and materiality? In the Bible, Ecclesiastes 7:29 says that God made man upright but they sought out ‘many inventions’. Isaiah 2:22 admonishes that we cease from man ‘whose breath is in his nostrils’. Job 14 says man born of a woman [or an egg] is full of trouble. Lamentations 4:2 and Romans 1:21-25 both allude to the falsity of the various ‘inventions’ of material creation. Galatians 3:3 warns that it is folly to think that flesh can perfect what Spirit began, thus hinting that man is not a mixture of spirit and matter. Interestingly, in Genesis 2, Adam falls into a deep sleep before his rib is removed. There is no evidence that he awoke thereafter. Does this not suggest that material creation is really a dream state? Ephesians 5:14 urges that we awake from sleep, to the light of Christ. The more we accept Christ as the model of the real man [Ephesians 4:22-24], the more willing we put off the old, corrupt, deceitful, lustful [or material] man, and put on the new or spiritual man created after God in righteousness and holiness. Then we are renewed in the spirit of our mind – we express the Mind of Christ, rather than the carnal mind. Jesus saw everyone as wholly spiritual, and it resulted in healing. In Science and Health with key to the Scriptures, Christian healer, Mary Baker Eddy, writes that the Saviour, Jesus, saw man as perfect and spiritual, rather than either sinning and materially mortal, or a mixture of the spiritual and material. She goes on to say that this correct view of seeing man as God’s likeness healed the sick. Eddy proved practically that accepting man as wholly spiritual, as Genesis 1:26 teaches, heals.

• Moji Solanke m_asolanke@hotmail.com
The Media Representative of Christian Science Church in Nigeria



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