She Asked a Really Good Question

In an email message I received this morning a friend of mine asked me a really good question. She wrote:  “I’m preparing an address this winter and am asking long-time CSsts why they’ve remained so very long in Science?  When the smoke of battle clears, why is CS still our passion?  What is it that makes it matter so much?”

I probably need to start a response to her question by being honest: I haven’t always been the most disciplined practitioner of Christian Science. There have been long periods when I haven’t stepped inside a church building or read the weekly lesson-sermon, and there have been times when I’ve stepped back from the organized religion called “Christian Science” and wondered if I really wanted to be part of it. There was even a time when I wondered if God was leading me to atheism – which probably tells you something about the way my pointy little noggin works.

But “when the smoke of battle clears” – after a life-time of daily skirmishes with sickness, ego, lack, guilt, anger, hate, and fear – this Science still stands upright on the battlefield, unmarred and whole. I have seen that an understanding of Christian Science heals, and that it heals in a most effective and reliable way.

Christian Science is really, for me, a way of looking at the world – a way of living. It’s taught me that I don’t need to buy into any and every man-made theory about health, supply, and success. It’s helped me come to understand that my health and happiness, in fact, aren’t dependent on matter at all. Divine unchanging, never-ending, ever-present Love has been proven, through Christian Science, to be the only power and presence I need. When I’ve used my understanding of the Science of the Christ to let go of fear and anger, and align my thoughts to Love, I have experienced healings such as these in my life: an instantaneous healing of bronchitis; the disappearance of what my eye-doctor diagnosed as melanoma; a hugely-inflamed hand that deflated in two days – results that came back on the third day from a blood test led the doctor’s office to call me and recommend I see a rheumatologist – the nurse was surprised to learn that my hand was no longer inflamed and was completely fine; the natural birth of my son after I’d been brought down to the OR for a cesarean – one of the surgical nurses told me she’d never seen anything like that – she was crying because the experience was “so beautiful”; the healing of a dog who’d been shot through the head – two weeks later she was running and chasing balls; and finding meaningful and happy employment.

Every new friendship, every happy new adventure, and every new opportunity to experience and share good in my life is proof, for me, of the power and presence of Love – of what I’ve learned to call “God” in Christian Science.

Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, writes in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: “Christian Science destroys material beliefs through the understanding of Spirit, and the thoroughness of this work determines health.”. I have proven this statement to be true in my own life.




11 thoughts on “She Asked a Really Good Question

  1. As a committed Christian Scientist I very much appreciate all that Karen wrote here and learned and proved…..but there’s a problem. And it’s not Karen’s problem alone at all. It belongs to everyone who sees the beautiful value of Christian Science, but also recognizes how the practice of Science has gradually, steadily “fallen off the rails” over the decades to the point of the near-extinction of the organizational forms of the church in most of the world. We need to look at both the success stories (such as Karen’s) as well as what has tended to cause many to abandon a practice of Christian Science. Scientists in all fields of human sciences examine fearlessly both successes and failures in something called “root cause analysis” which includes noting where a system begins to diverge from its norm and dysfunction emerges.
    Exit polling is something Christian Scientists have never been really good at. That is asking those who no longer have any involvement in or faith in God or Science as they see it, and then (a) finding out how they reached that standpoint. Then (b) asking ourselves if that point of spiritual divergence is an individual phenomenon or a general trend. Then and maybe most importantly (c) committing ourselves to doing something about what caused that spiritual divergence not just in a few instances but in many.
    The self-knowledge that Mrs. Eddy points to includes not just our self-knowledge of our spiritual essence but more so awareness of where we’ve screwed up and gotten off track (e.g. see Mis. 355). So an airplane manufacturer needs to ask themselves not only what makes a jet’s wings adhere to the plane’s fuselage, but also what might cause those wings to ever fall off. Then that manufacturer must make sure that the latter does not or cannot happen. Root cause analysis doesn’t have to be an endless goose chase of aimless or random fault-finding. There are lots of reasons for the disillusionment that many have felt about the practice of Science that they have observed, and ways to correct that mis-practice. Lots of dogma to examine closely and purge. This blog can help with that path of problem-solving. And then there’s the follow-through….

  2. George – in the last several years I’ve come to separate the Science of Christian Science from the religion. I don’t know if this is the “right” thing to do. I don’t know if I’ll always do this. But it’s where I am right now. I love the fellowship I feel in my little branch church. I enjoy meeting with like-minded people and being part of a church community of members who support each other and genuinely care about each other. But as CS churches have transitioned with the needs of modern society, a lot of time has been spent debating stuff that just really seems unimportant to me and not worthy of spending time debating. If something doesn’t lead to Love, or come from Love, I’m not interested in it. So, for instance, when people start debating which translation of the bible we should be allowed to use, or which people we should exclude from membership, or what kind of music we should allow in church – I get a little exasperated. I believe our readers should be allowed to use whatever Bible translation best conveys the thought they want to bring out; anyone who is an “honest seeker’ after Truth, and is committed to progressing in Christian Science should be allowed to join in fellowship with the church; and any music that inspires us and uplifts our thought is fine by me.

    Okay. That’s a start, I guess. I’m going to think about your post some more and see if I have anything to add here… 🙂

    • Karen, I agree with what you do. The Bible talks about the need to “gather out the stones” that the way may be made plain for others. A stone here might be the quibbling over translations when Mrs. Eddy used a bunch of translations, e.g. the front-piece of Science and Health, and also left the branches to do things as they saw fit autonomously from a central organization. I believe there’s a part of the Hobbit (haven’t read this, but a friend mentioned it) where the Hobbit is captured by dwarves who can’t decide whether they should boil or roast or do whatever to the Hobbit before they eat him. Every time they seem to come to a conclusion about what they should do, the Hobbit by ventriloquism intervenes, “But maybe we should fricassee him instead!” which notion seems to come from the mouths of one of his captors, and they go back to debating until the sun rises, and he is able to escape. (I’ll look this one up after I write this!) The liar would get us debating the dumb stuff and ignore the larger issues that really need a shift. Jesus said that the Pharisees ignored the “weightier” matters of the Law. The Message: “You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but on the meat of God’s Law, things like fairness, and compassion and commitment—the absolute basics!—you carelessly take it or leave it.” (Matt. 23:23) There are things that require thought and discussion. Too often religious folks get side-tracked like the dwarves and let the goods disappear, or the possibility of real progress escape them. Cheers, George

      • Trolls. The dwarves are the good guys. The trolls are trying to eat the hobbit.

        Sorry…I realize that really isn’t the point here. Lol.

        I’m a member of a Yahoo list that I fondly call The Oddball Christian Science list. Most of the people on it are not members of the Mother Church (I am now, but wasn’t when I joined)…but they are such sincere seekers of the Truth. When I speak to people on this list or in my branch church, I can see that CS is alive and burning like a brilliant torch…but I don’t see that everywhere.

        I like to think that the places where the torch is burning will rekindle the other places.

        Two other thoughts. 1) I believe there is something to Anne Beal’s belief that something important got dropped from mainstream CS. (If you don’t know Anne, go check out The Bookmark. She keeps all the old CS writers alive there:

        2) My husband converted from atheist to Catholic…after CS saved his life. He found the same thing with the Catholic church. It had kind of shriveled up in the 60s to 80s and had lost a lot of members. Now some of them have lit up again and are rekindling others. It is interesting to see them remember what their purpose is.

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