March 12, 2011 in Features

Three questions you may have about Christian Science

Bill Scott Special to The Spokesman-Review
 
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We’re giving readers the opportunity to write about spiritual issues important to them.

Once each month, a guest column will appear in this space. These columns can comment on issues previously raised here. Or they can explore new philosophical ground, or discuss faiths and beliefs that may be unfamiliar to many people.

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When you see the words Christian Science, what comes to mind?

Christian Science Reading Rooms, perhaps? The Pulitzer Prize-winning Christian Science Monitor?

Hopefully, you don’t think of Tom Cruise. Nothing against Tom, but he is a devout Scientologist, and Scientology is not related to Christian Science.

Did you know that there has been a Christian Science church in Spokane since 1896? For the past 115 years, members of the Spokane community have experienced Christian Science healings, many medically diagnosed, of heart disease, rheumatism, stroke, astigmatism, appendicitis and also of addictions to smoking, gambling and alcohol.

I, too, have experienced physical healings through my study of Christian Science. I was raised to believe that health was normal and natural, not requiring drugs to maintain it, and have always appreciated that.

But why is this true? The following three questions shed light on why reliance on God for healing, as taught in Christian Science, is effective and safe.

1. What is it and why is it called Christian Science?

Mary Baker Eddy discovered Christian Science, or the Science of the Christ, as the result of a healing she experienced in 1866. She then founded the Church of Christ, Scientist, in 1879. Today Christian Science churches are in more than 60 countries.

What Eddy discovered is profoundly Christian because it is biblical to its core, emphasizing the teachings and ministry of Jesus. The virgin birth, the crucifixion, the resurrection, the ascension, and healing both the sick and sinning are central to Christian Science teachings.

Along with the Bible, the book used by church members and others studying Christian Science is Eddy’s “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.”

This book is not considered a replacement for the Bible or a second Bible. Together the Bible and “Science and Health” bring out the core message of God’s love for His creation and explain how to heal and live as Jesus taught.

Christian Science uses the word “science” because it’s based upon a set of provable spiritual principles – laws relating to the loving nature of God and His creation. These laws can be applied with expected, consistent results to solve problems we encounter in daily life, including physical ones.

2. Isn’t Christian Science the same as faith healing?

No. Christian Science does not involve blind faith, pleading with God to heal the sick and accepting that His will could be either good or bad.

Nothing in Christian Science theology says it is God’s will that anyone suffers, gets sick or dies. Christian Science shows God to be entirely good, and therefore His will for each individual is always health, life and prosperity.

3. Is it true that Christian Scientists are against doctors?

No, not at all. The doctors and medical nurses I’ve known do their best to help people; how could anyone fault that?

The rumor that Christian Scientists are against doctors is proven false in a local Spokane story that took place during the great influenza epidemic following World War I.

At the time, Spokane’s Fort George Wright was being used as a military hospital. Many of the hospital’s nonmedical staff were infected with influenza and couldn’t work.

The hospital reached out to local Christian Scientists for help and they responded by keeping the hospital clean and operable. They also did not contract influenza.

This story, published in Michigan’s Grosse Point News in 1948, exemplifies a common desire for a safe and healthy community.

I hope this piece has helped provide more understanding about what Christian Science is – and what it isn’t. If you’d like to learn more, please visit christianscience.com or my blog at washingtoncommittee.com.

Bill Scott is the Christian Science Committee on Publication for Washington state. His office provides accurate information about Christian Science to the media, government and the public. 


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