Questions and Answers about Christian Science and this church.
Table of Contents
- How can a loving God allow such evil in the world?
- What is Christian Science?
- Why are you independent?
- Is Scientology like Christian Science?
- How do you view getting medical help?
- Why use Christian Science for healing, when medical science is so advanced?
- Isn’t it stupid to pretend you are not sick when the evidence clearly indicates that you are?
- In Christian Science, should I feel guilty when I have a problem or go to a doctor?
- What differentiates Christian Science from other mental methods?
- How Is Your Church Different?
How can a loving God allow such evil in the world?
A better question is: “What kind of a God would allow such evil in the world?” A cruel God or a mistaken one? Certainly a man‐created God. Mary Baker Eddy provides seven synonyms for God which help thought to let go of this “big Man‐in‐the‐sky” misconception: Mind, Principle, Soul, Spirit, Life, Truth, and Love. These are all rendered in the singular, and are infinite, even as God is one and infinite.
As such, there is no room for evil, any more than there is room for mistakes in the principle of mathematics. Would you blame the principle for a mistake? Time spent questioning why the principle allowed the mistake is time wasted! The longer you spend indulging the mistake instead of applying the principle to correct it, the longer you have it! Only as the sin and sickness of the world are regarded as illegitimate, contrary to the law of God, can we overcome them.
What is Christian Science?
Although used as such, Christian Science IS NOT a denomination or sect with adherents, nor a trademark of the 1st Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston MA!
In the words of Mary Baker Eddy, in the Christian Science textbook Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, we read: “The term CHRISTIAN SCIENCE was introduced by the author to designate the scientific system of divine healing.
The revelation consists of two parts:
- The discovery of this divine Science of Mind‐healing, through a spiritual sense of the Scriptures and through the teachings of the Comforter, as promised by the Master.
- The proof, by present demonstration, that the socalled miracles of Jesus did not specially belong to a dispensation now ended, but that they illustrated an ever‐operative divine Principle. The operation of this Principle indicates the eternality of the scientific order and continuity of being.”
“Christian Science teaches only that which is spiritual and divine, and not human. Christian Science is unerring and Divine; the human sense of things errs because it is human.”
“The Christian Science God is universal, eternal, divine love, which changeth not and causeth no evil, disease, nor death.” As we understand it, Christian Science includes the laws (spiritual) of the universe, and therefore can be operated by anyone, anywhere — consistent with the teachings of Christ Jesus, who praised the Roman Centurion for having more faith than all the children of Israel, and who, in the parable of the Good Samaritan, illustrated the lowly Samaritan to be far more “Christian” than the self‐righteous priest and Levite.
“God is no respecter of persons.” — Acts
Why are you independent?
Mrs. Eddy declared that Christian Science is divine, not human. As such it cannot possibly be restricted to a human organization. She established the concept of church as a vehicle for healing, not profession. She recognized that a powerful, centralized organization would stifle inspiration, and therefore healing. We have found this to be true. Our independence has stimulated a vitality that would not have been possible had we remained a branch church of the organization in Boston.
Is Scientology like Christian Science?
Science in the two names is the only similarity. Below are some telling differences:
- Christian Science was discovered and founded by Mary Baker Eddy; Scientology was founded later by L. Ron Hubbard.
- Mrs. Eddy reached Christian Science through revelation, and regarded it as divine, not human. She claimed the Bible as her sole reference for this revelation; Mr. Hubbard arrived at Dianetics, a set of ideas and practices, through his own intellect and understanding: He claims no specific religious influence.
- Mrs. Eddy emphasized the need for students to study the Bible along with the textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures; Mr. Hubbard laid no such emphasis on the Bible.
- Mrs. Eddy held the immaculate birth, the life, healing and teaching, suffering and final resurrection of Christ Jesus in the highest regard and profoundly influenced every aspect of Christian Science Practice in letter and in spirit see specifically the 2nd chapter of the textbook, “Atonement and Eucharist”; Mr. Hubbard? We honestly confess, we do not know, but have seen little evidence of it in a cursory glimpse of the Scientology websites.
How do you view getting medical help?
There is no more sin in getting medical help than there is in eating and sleeping! The important point is to strive to acknowledge God as supreme in whatever we are doing. We believe, particularly in cases involving children, that if an aggressive physical problem does not yield quickly under Christian Science treatment, it is wise to get help from a medical doctor.
In Christian Science treatment, the first step is to relieve fear, not to test faith. Our God is a loving God, and never leaves us comfortless, and that includes in a doctor’s office or in a hospital!
Why use Christian Science for healing, when medical science is so advanced?
See the testimonies listed on our website. Christian Science treatment brought about those healings despite the “incurable” verdicts of medical science. Christian Science is far more effective and complete because it not only eliminates the symptoms, but also dissolves any latent fear associated with the problem. The Christian Science healing is a “sign of Immanuel or ‘God with us’, a divine influence” (Science and Health), and as such, it is unmistakable.
However, if you are going to ask someone for Christian Science treatment, don’t assume anything. Be sure you can trust the moral integrity of the one you ask. Mrs. Eddy makes the point powerfully: “Better suffer a doctor infected with smallpox to attend you than to be treated mentally by one who does not obey the requirements of divine Science.” (Science and Health)
No organization can certify such obedience.
Isn’t it stupid to pretend you are not sick when the evidence clearly indicates that you are?
Yes, it is stupid, even dangerous to pretend you are not sick when you are. But the correct practice of Christian Science is far from pretending! It is the holding to an unchanging principle, just as the mathematician holds to what he knows to be true, until the problem is solved. A mathematician is not afraid of admitting he has not yet solved the problem, nor should a Christian Scientist be afraid to “tell the truth about the lie,” so to speak.
Mrs. Eddy did say, “If you say you are sick, you plead guilty.” But she was referring to the mental battleground with thought within oneself, not the practical application in a world of observers perhaps unaware of how Christian Science works. Denying that something is wrong to some loving soul who is concerned about your welfare aggravates fear, and is not Science because it is not love!
In Christian Science, should I feel guilty when I have a problem or go to a doctor?
“The vital part, the heart and soul of Christian Science, is Love.” — Science and Health
Only a bastardization of Christian Science could make you feel guilty. Guilt is the false prophet’s means for instituting control over the individual. Religious organizations try to control what people believe in order to justify their particular belief system. With Thomas Jefferson, we should “swear upon the altar of God eternal hostility over every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
It is an abomination for a Christian Scientist to suffer guilt for seeing a doctor or for taking medication, or for having a problem of any kind. Only the use of human will could bring about such a travesty! Christian Science IS NOT a belief system. Any institution or person that attempts to enforce it upon another is messing with the laws of the universe.
“Man’s rights are invaded when the divine order is interfered with, and the mental trespasser incurs the divine penalty due this crime.” — Science and Health
What differentiates Christian Science from other mental methods?
The bookstores are filled with self — help books that use mental means to improve the readers’ experiences. Obviously, they work to some extent and improve self — confidence, otherwise they would not gain popularity. In correct Christian Science practice however, each demonstration of its effectiveness leaves the individual with a stronger sense of the One Intelligence, His closeness and love. It also makes him or her more dependent upon this Intelligence, not less, and more indebted to Him.
To illustrate, if you need a parking spot in a crowded area, many systems of mental means offer techniques of visualization and positive expectancy. When the perfect parking spot miraculously appears, you are delighted with your ability. In correct Christian Science, you would question your motive, that it be not selfish or willful. Only then would you expect that Mind, which knows all, to open the way for you. If the parking spot appears, it is an acknowledgement of His love, and recognition of His governance, “All things work together for good to those that love God.” (St. Paul)
Notice that in the former case, you might get what you want, but it may not be best for you due to some unforeseen circumstance. In the latter case, with infinite Intelligence at the helm, so to speak, your need will be provided only if it is best for you. For this reason, it is a secure mode of operation, while in the former case, since you only get what you want, there is no protection from the unforeseen.
We understand this correct Christian Science mode of operation to be in line with the Wayshower, Christ Jesus.
How Is Your Church Different?
Several people have asked how the Plainfield church is different from the Boston‐affiliated branch churches. This article is intended to highlight some of the more important differences.
These differences in practicing Christian Science should be taken as a call to action for all who love Mrs. Eddy’s pure Science. Recording these differences is for the benefit of people at this time, and also for future generations. The “creeping things” crept into the Boston organization because they were not awake and alert to the workings of evil. If we are not alert, evil, error, or the “human mind” will creep in again and attempt to destroy Christian Science.
- We use the 88th edition of the Manual, the final edition Mary Baker Eddy authorized.
- We answer to God, not to a BOD in Boston. Whatever we do, we ask ourselves if God would approve of this, and then if Mrs. Eddy would approve.
- We write our own Lessons and publish our own magazine. This requires constant demonstration.
- We watch daily, as was done in Mrs. Eddy’s home.
- We strive to maintain a spiritual organization. There is no red tape to get things done. When someone gets a good idea, decisions are made quickly.
- The writings of the early workers are available to be read here. There is no “unauthorized” literature, nobody telling you what you can or can’t read.
- In the Boston organization, class instruction is for ten days, and it was just on paper. The instruction in Plainfield is interactive and continual; it’s not just for ten days.
- Unique is what we are. We simply follow Mary Baker Eddy’s leadership. That is what we focus on. We’re talking about differences because people have asked.
- From Maryland — There is a great sense of responsibility that comes with being here that I didn’t have in the other church. Everything there was just about reading the Lesson and going to church on Sunday; no work had to be done. But here, we’re expected to work every day. That’s why our testimony meetings are so different, because we’re able to share what we’ve been learning and what we’ve been practicing, and what the results are. In the other church, the testimony meetings were just the opposite — nobody had anything to say, because nobody was doing anything. And with this responsibility, comes a great sense of God’s power, because we know something can always be done — we don’t have to sit here and take anything that’s wrong — we can do something about it.
- From Germany — Here in Plainfield, the error is uncovered and then Truth and Love are allowed to come through, instead of saying, “God is Love,” and glossing over everything, with a Pollyanna attitude. Here we’re taught to uncover error, see it, and set it right.
- From California — In the branch churches there was always a niceness, and everything was pleasant and good; but here in Plainfield, it’s real. You can feel the solid truth in it. All that niceness covers up a multitude of sins. We get things out to be healed.
- From Georgia — In the organization, nobody dealt with the moral changes that should come along with the healing. No one talked about someone being selfish, or prideful, or anything like that. I never heard anything like this addressed — no practitioner ever mentioned anything else I needed to work on. It was always, “let Love do the work.” But there are things that need to change. Mrs. Eddy talks about Christian Science healing dealing with character reformation as well, not just getting comfortable. That is why it is so dangerous to go along thinking, “I am a Christian Scientist and everything is fine,” when everything is not fine.
- From California — My mother told me about Plainfield. She gave me a copy of the Plainfield Church magazine, and I started reading — and I found there was no guilt in it. I always felt guilty at the other church, but not here.
- From Pennsylvania — The teaching on animal magnetism is very clear in this church. The stuff I read before was not clear, it was all middle of the road. Here you have no middle of the road, and that is very important.
- From Germany — In working with a Plainfield practitioner, I am always given something to work with and to reflect on. You get to have an involvement — it’s like ongoing class instruction.
- From Georgia — Plainfield stresses the importance of putting God first — God must be first. I did not always read the Lesson the first thing in the morning — maybe I’ll do it later, or do part of it. But here, God is first; we must put Him first — then the practicality of using what you are learning. Through your day these little practical things are truly life changing, to practice Science in the way it should be practiced.
- From Virginia — Something that is very refreshing about this church is that everything is open and honest, everyone shares things, there are no secrets and everyone benefits from everything that everyone says and experiences. That goes along with no pride. You know when someone is truly over something, when they can talk about it and see it was an error, and it wasn’t them.
- From New York — Plainfield Church is financially responsible in managing its finances. The Boston Church was bankrupting itself, and would not even admit that they had done anything wrong.