What is Christian Science?

Have you heard of this term?  Is Christian Science a religion, a denomination, a way of constant thought and of life, or is it some of each of the above?  Do you know what the terms “Christian Science” mean to its adherents, and what they mean to a sometimes misinformed public? Are you aware that Christian Science possesses a 150 year old documented record of the literal salvation of thousands from untoward conditions of sin, disease, accident, situations of war, human disasters, and death?  Do you understand the deepness of the reverence of Christ Jesus, his ministry, his life, the virgin birth, his resurrection and his ascension, held by the adherents of the Christian Science way of life?   Perhaps you have heard controversial public discussion of Christian Science with respect to its treatment of disease.  The intention of this article is to provide a correct and factual first-hand introduction of Christian Science to the inquisitive Christian.

Perhaps you may also have confused Christian Science with a more recently developed and non-Christian movement, a human mind based “ology”, called “Scientology”, a human mind philosophy which shares no commonality with Christian Science whatsoever, but which is far too often confused with Christian Science only account of the common letters “Scien” in their names, and perhaps because both schools of thought address the subject of mind, albeit from totally contrary perspectives.  A recent article  in The Christian Science Journal clears this misunderstanding.

So, what then, really, is Christian Science?  It is the pure Christianity taught and practiced by the Master, Christ Jesus.  It is the healing Christ activity put into action in human lives, explained and made practical in its most solid and absolute sense as an understandable and logical system of one omnipotent power of goodness called God.

Christian Science is thoroughly and best explained as pure and original Christianity in many places in  the words of its Discoverer and Founder, Mary Baker Eddy.  One such source is an article she authored in her book “Miscellaneous Writings” on page 21, entitled “ONE CAUSE AND EFFECT”.  Two paragraphs from this article tell us:

“Christian Science begins with the First Commandment of the Hebrew Decalogue, ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before me.’  It goes on in perfect unity with Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, and in that age culminates in the Revelation of St John, who, while on earth and in the flesh, like ourselves, beheld ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ – the spiritual universe, whereof Christian Science now bears testimony.

Our Master said, ‘The works that I do shall ye do also;’ and, ‘The kingdom of God is within you.’ This makes practical all his words and works.  As the ages advance is spirituality, Christian Science will be seen to depart from the trend of other Christian denominations in no wise except by increase of spirituality.”

Christian Science, then, makes its strongest demands upon spirituality, and hence upon weaning ourselves from thinking and acting on a carnal and material basis.  Christian Science insists that humans can and must begin their journey above and beyond the realm of earthly material limitations, here and now  - in our present earthly human life experience.  Because both heaven and earthly experience are states of mentality, the elevation of our own mentality above the material plane of existence is the only way we will find the way to pure spirituality, to true harmony, to a heavenly and completely peaceful state of mind and existence, in which, as we will soon discover, we already truly reside.

Who does not want this?  In the proportion that we learn, step by step, how to rise above each and every challenge of human or material limitation through prayer and spiritual living, we can learn to disarm that which our senses had previously deemed valid and powerful – namely matter and material law.  This point may seem surprising to the newcomer.  It is supported by a  pure spiritual logic which is seldom considered by the world.  Matter and material law are actually  contrary in nature to Spirit and spiritual law.  We learn in Christian Science that matter and material law are by-products of the mortal nature, the carnal nature, the erroneous and mistaken nature of our thought as humans.   Negative factors are in fact not contained within the realm of God’s infinite and self contained nature – which is pure goodness.  The only possible residing place of negative factors, from the perspective of the all-inclusive and perfect, spiritual, All-in-all God, is in an imaginary vacuum  –  a mental vacuum which would claim to reside outside the confines and influence of God, already admitted to be all-inclusive and therefore without boundaries.  So, how can we be outside of God’s presence?  But to human consciousness this mental vacuum seems quite convincingly to be our earthly reality. This false conviction is universally believed, and is a conviction enforced by what religious sense calls evil, or the devil.

This universal conviction is the reason that educated human mind will often turn immediately from the consideration of a Christianly scientific understanding of life.  General belief is seldom willing to question its already presumed assumptions of its own understanding of reality.   Our climb heavenward is the escape from this stubborn material realm of thought.  It is to find our way to the recognition that we actually reside already in the spiritual kingdom of God. That kingdom is within us, as the Master clearly said.   By guiding and guarding the quality of our human thought, we learn to recognize that which is not God-like, and to therefore reject it from our experience.  We learn, gradually, to recognize and reject that which is in conflict with the nature of God, good, that which is from the divine perspective actually untrue and invalid but convincingly seems to be our human reality.  Jesus was teaching us to re-think our sense of reality.   What was the basis of Mrs. Eddy’s conclusions, upon which she established this remarkable but practical way of understanding God and man?  What events led her to these highly logical but seemingly unorthodox conclusions regarding the relations of God and man?  In the same article (ibid), she continues:

“These facts enjoin the First Commandment; and knowledge of them makes man spiritually minded.  St Paul writes ‘For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.’  This knowledge came to me in an hour of great need; and I give it to you as death-bed testimony to the daystar that dawned on the night of material sense. This knowledge is practical, for it wrought my immediate recovery from an injury caused by an accident, and pronounced fatal by the physicians.  On the third day thereafter, I called for my Bible, and opened it to Matthew ix. 2.  As I read, the healing Truth dawned upon my sense; and the result was that I rose, dressed myself, and ever after was in better health than I had before enjoyed.  That short experience included a glimpse of the great fact that I have since tried to make plain to others, namely Life in and of Spirit; this Life being the sole reality of existence. I learned that mortal thought evolves a subjective state which it names matter, thereby shutting out the true sense of Spirit.  Per contra, Mind and man are immortal; and knowledge gained from the mortal sense is illusion, error, the opposite of Truth; therefore it cannot be true.  A knowledge of both good and evil (when good is God, and God is All-in-all) is impossible.  Speaking of the origin of evil, the Master said: ‘When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar and the father of it.’ ”  ………….

……”Science, understood, translates matter into Mind, rejects all other theories of causation, restores the spiritual and original meaning of the Scriptures, and explains the teachings and life of our Lord.  It is religions ‘new tongue’ with ‘signs following’ spoken of by St. Mark.  It gives God’s infinite meaning to mankind, healing the sick, casting out evil, and raising the spiritually dead. Christianity is Christlike only as it reiterates the word, repeats the works, and manifests the spirit of Christ.”….

…”Jesus’ only medicine was omnipotent and omniscient Mind. As omni is from the Latin word meaning all, this medicine is all-power; and omniscience means as well, all-science.  The sick are more deplorably situated than the sinful, if the sick cannot trust God for help and the sinful can.  If God created drugs good, they cannot be harmful; if He could create them otherwise, then they are harmful and unfit for man; and if He created drugs for healing the sick, why did not Jesus employ them and recommend them for that purpose?”…..

……”Miracles are no infractions of God’s laws; on the contrary, they fulfill His laws; for they are the signs following Christianity, whereby matter is proven powerless and subordinate to Mind.  Christians, like students in mathematics, should be working up to those higher rules of Life which Jesus taught and proved.”

This is Christian Science.  To fathom its meaning and to make it practical requires a willingness to deeply consider and alter as necessary our present frame of understanding of the nature of God, man, and being.  Christian Science includes no humanly based doctrines or traditional religious dogmas, leaving  the thinker free to mentally find his own way heavenward through divine logic and the assurance of God’s ever-present Love.

 

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