“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…
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.