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Everyday Spirituality

Discovery:

In the 1860s, Mary Baker Eddy discovered a reality of divine mind and its manifestation. She called it Christian Science and said it included a system of mental healing, the same system used by Christ Jesus and prophets.

Before organizing a church, Eddy taught mind-healing to students in a classroom setting, using the Bible as her source of information. Her Christian background unsurprisingly caused her to identify God with divine Mind, capitalized.

In 1875, Eddy published a textbook on Christian Science, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. She revised and updated Science and Health until her death in 1910.

Platform:

Christian Science involves four fundamental propositions:

  1. God is All-in-all.
    2. God is good. Good is Mind.
    3. God, Spirit, being all, physical matter isn’t the reality we believe.
    4. Life, God, omnipotent good, deny death, evil, sin, disease—Disease, sin, evil, death, deny good, omnipotent God, Life.

Tenets:

Christian Scientists were instructed in Science and Health not to stress religious policies or creeds but to observe the following six tenets.

  1. As adherents of Truth, we take the inspired Word of the Bible as our sufficient guide to eternal Life.
  2. We respect one supreme and infinite God, the Truth of Christ, the Holy Spirit, and man and woman as the image and likeness of God.
  3. We acknowledge God’s forgiveness of sin in the destruction of sin—though sin will be punished until spiritual understanding casts it out as unreal.
  4. We acknowledge Jesus’ example as confirmation that Love unfolds our unity with sinlessness and health.
  5. We acknowledge that Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection signify the ability to increase our faith to the understanding of eternal Life.
  6. We solemnly promise to watch and pray for that Mind to be in us, which was also in Christ Jesus; to do to others as we would have them do to us; and to be merciful, just, and pure.

Mission:

Although physical healing is part of Christian Science, it isn’t the main purpose. Eddy wrote that the primary goal of Christian Science is to take away the sins of the world.

Sin:

Sin is a term applied to the energies and beliefs that oppose God.

God is defined as: The great “I AM;” the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence.

Application:

Christian Science treatment begins and ends with God. Through prayer or meditation, individuals are guided by Godlike thoughts to follow through on the best answer for each given problem.

Religious Structure:

Eddy’s charisma and devotion gained a following, and in 1879, she founded the Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Eddy also opened the Massachusetts Metaphysical College and taught students who came from afar and would return home to start and build branch churches.

In 1895, Eddy dictated that sermons in all churches must consist of pre-constructed readings from The Bible and Science and Health, read by lay-members. The two books became known as the Pastor to students of Christian Science, or Christian Scientists.

Connections:

Christian Science is not associated with Scientology, New Age, hypnotism, or quantum physics.

Past:

From early- to mid- 20th century, recorded testimonies of successful spiritual healings are found in Christian Science literature. But about fifty years ago, for many and complicated reasons, failures apparently surpassed successes. Branch churches began closing. Although in her time, Eddy was widely known as a pioneer in mind-study, her legacy has since been dismissed by mind scientists and researchers.

Future:

The spirit of Christian Science, defined by Eddy as the law of divine Mind forever interpreting harmony to the universe, can’t be stopped. Even if the physical structures symbolizing Christian Science are losing ground, the power of a loving, healing Mind takes new forms.

A reboot of Eddy’s Science and Health is now available for the public. It’s titled, 21st Century Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: A revision of Mary Baker Eddy’s Science and Health. The contemporary book is for all healing practitioners, from many faiths and backgrounds, including physicians, who are recognizing the power of systematic prayer.

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