I’m not really interested in Mary Baker Eddy’s personal life. Does that make me, like, a bad Christian Scientist?

“Those who look for me in person, or elsewhere than in my writings, lose me instead of find me.  I hope and trust that you and I may meet in truth and know each other there, and know as we are known of God.”  – Mary Baker Eddy (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, page 120: 2)

 “… follow your Leader only so far as she follows Christ.” – Mary Baker Eddy (Message for 1901)

So I got this flyer in the mail today, telling me about a good deal on biographies about Mary Baker Eddy’s life.  And… I found I wasn’t at all interested in it.  And I’m wondering… does that make me a “bad” Christian Scientist?

The thing is, I’ve always been someone who’s more apt to follow ideas than personalities.  I cherish the ideas that Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, brought to us.  I am beyond grateful to Mary Baker Eddy for the sacrifices she made in her life, and the challenges she had to overcome, to bring her discovery to the world – and I know enough about her life to know that those sacrifices and challenges were immense – her early widowhood, the betrayal of friends and family, poverty, her young son taken from her when she was ill, trumped-up lawsuits, hatred, bigotry, prejudice…

But…

In Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, the textbook for Christian Science, Eddy writes: “In founding a pathological system of Christianity, the author has labored to expound divine Principle, and not to exalt personality.”

I don’t believe Eddy wanted adulation. I do not believe she wanted those who consider themselves Christian Scientists to worship her, or to focus on her personality.

Eddy writes in Science and Health: “People go into ecstasies over the sense of a corporeal Jehovah, though with scarcely a spark of love in their hearts; yet God is love, and without Love, God, immortality cannot appear.”  And later she writes: “It was now evident to Peter that divine Life, Truth, and Love, and not a human personality, was the healer of the sick and a rock, a firm foundation in the realm of harmony… In an age of ecclesiastical despotism, Jesus introduced the teaching and practice of Christianity, affording  the proof of Christianity’s truth and love; but to reach his example and to test its unerring Science according to his rule, healing sickness, sin, and death, a better understanding of God as divine Principle, Love, rather than personality or the man Jesus, is required.”

So there you go.

The healing Truth, Love, is what a Christian Scientist follows, right? Not a human personality. Not a man. Not a woman. But the Christ – Love and Truth and Life.

In one of my favorite books, The Greatest Thing in the World, a sermon on I Corinthians 13, Henry Drummond writes: “‘Love rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth.’… for he who loves will love Truth not less than men. He will rejoice in the Truth—rejoice not in what he has been taught to believe; not in this church’s doctrine or in that; not in this ism or in that ism; but ‘in the Truth.’ He will accept only what is real; he will strive to get at facts; he will search for Truth with a humble and unbiased mind, and cherish whatever he finds at any sacrifice.”

I love that – “…he who loves will love Truth not less than men.” It seems to me that thought is really the basis for all Science.  I believe that to be a true Christian Scientist one must seek Truth,Christ, not human personality.

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9 thoughts on “I’m not really interested in Mary Baker Eddy’s personal life. Does that make me, like, a bad Christian Scientist?

  1. Those who look for me in person, or elsewhere than in my writings, lose me in‐
    stead of find me. I hope and trust that you and I may meet in truth and know each other there, and know as we are known of God. My 102

    I have always subscribed to this. And I remember reading somewhere that MBE answered a question about where she was born, “If you mean Mary, over there in Bow.”

    Having said that, I do recommend the Peel trilogy. They are about the spiritual aspects of the life we call MBE and little about the physical personality.

  2. I’m fairly sure MBE specified in the manual that people should NOT vacation near her or make pilgrimages to her home, so I’m pretty sure she’d be less-than-thrilled that people are obsessively collecting material about her, and making huge trips to Boston/Lynn/where she lived/worked/vacationed/fell on the ice. I think she’d also be pretty horrified about where TMC has taken the direction of CS, but that’s a different issue.

  3. “It is with pleasure I certify that after months of incessant toil and at great expense, Mr. Henry P. Moore and Mr. J. C. Derby of Concord, N. H., have brought out a likeness of me far superior to the one they offered for sale last November. The portrait they have now perfected I cordially endorse. Also I declare their sole right to the making and exclusive sale of the duplicates of said portrait.
    I simply ask that those who love me purchase this portrait.”
    -Mary Baker Eddy

    • This made me giggle. I’ve seen several of the “likenesses” and they’re all rather idealized. In that case MBE might actually enjoy the collection of museums, foundations & other things that have been set up by various entities in her honor… although she’d probably want to over see them all herself – sort of like TMC attempts to tightly control it, and make a profit.

    • Hah! Well, frankly, I can relate to any woman who wants the public to be presented with a flattering picture of herself. I cannot tell you the number of photos I have untagged of myself on Facebook. 🙂 The thing is, though, I meant it when I said I’m not really interested in learning about MBE’s personal life – I mean… so she wanted a nice picture of herself… no biggy. I don’t know if MBE and I would have hit it off and been good friends had we ever met. And, to be honest, that’s not at all important to me. Again, what I value are the beautiful ideas she shared with us about the power of God, Love and Truth, to heal. It’s her ideas, not her human personality, that I find uplifting and healing.

  4. Pingback: Dealing with a possible death in the family. | B2B-TechCopy Technology Marketing Blog

  5. I enjoyed this blog post. I’ve been battling with my own ego lately, it wanting more attention (maybe because I’m not on facebook anymore? 😉 ) And it’s a good reminder that we could all benefit from setting that aside to take a deeper look at what matters.. looking forward to following this blog and reading more!

    • Hello, Eden’s mum! Oh man – I know – ego, begone! 🙂 I really enjoyed reading through your blog – I don’t see any ego there, by the way – what I see is a woman who cares about her world and her family, and who wants to make a positive difference on this planet. I’m so glad we were able to “run into each other” on wordpress. I’m looking forward to reading more of your writing and seeing more of your pics! 🙂

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