“New Thought,” “Prosperity Gospel,” and Christian Science

This question was posed in a Facebook group: “What would you say are the main differences between Christian Science and other New Thought teachings?”

I love questions like this – questions that lead me to think in a deeper way about my way of life.

Here was my response:
Okay. Hold on. First, I’ve got to find out what “New Thought” means. 🙂

The Encyclopedia of Chicago says: “New Thought, a mental healing cult closely related to Christian Science, first emerged in the 1870s. Its leaders promised that thought could shape reality, and that if one meditated upon a goal, that goal—be it health, spiritual enlightenment, or wealth—would be reached.” (http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/886.html)

Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science, does talk about the power of our thoughts on our experience (“Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupation of your thoughts…”) – but, I think – for me, anyway – the goal in Christian Science is a little different than the goal in “New Thought.”

Although Christian Science has sometimes been viewed as a “prosperity gospel” by people outside of it, that’s not what Christian Science is, for me. For me, Christian Science isn’t all about the “end product” – it’s not about if you meditate the right way you’ll get this this, or if you have enough faith you’ll get that – it’s more about how to live my life in every moment – not for what I’ll get at the end – but to recognize the reality of the universe and God – to recognize the good that is already here, everywhere, always – and to recognize my place in that. So it’s an active knowing and being and doing. It’s actively applying what I know and understand about Love and Truth (God) to bring me into my at-one-ment with Love and Truth.

I’m not using my mortal mind to change my situation – I’m endeavoring to draw close to the one Mind – to the thoughts of Mind Itself. Mary Baker Eddy defines “angels” as “God’s thoughts passing to man…” and I believe that’s where the healing, transforming power comes from – it comes from the thoughts of God, not from the thoughts of mortal minds.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

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