On Guard Against Error

         Although it is over fifty years since Christian Science was given to the world, one is almost astonished at the amount of misunderstanding that still exists among people generally as to the real nature of its mission in the world, and this in spite of the clear and explicit statements on the subject in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" and our Leader's other writings. Error, having failed to destroy the Christ Science by open denial of its truth, by shafts of ridicule and other evil weapons, would pervert and distort the truth by placing it in a false light, and so make it appear what it is not. Thus by many people today Christian Science is regarded as little more than a cure-all for the ailments of the human body, and its sacred mission is to their sense brought down to the level of material systems of healing; while its far more important mission, that of transforming the character and life of the individual so that he may be "born again" and "enter into the kingdom of God," is relegated to the background and to the outsider made to appear of small consequence.

         Scholastic theology has offered to the world a religion which promised the salvation of a man's soul in a far-off, future heaven, but left the care of the body to the doctor, who sometimes was an infidel, an agnostic, or even a libertine. The error which ought surely to be guarded against is the mistaken notion that the chief care of Christian Science is for the human body, while the regeneration of mankind is of only secondary importance. When our beloved Leader founded her church, she restored to Christianity "its lost element of healing" (Manual, p. 17). She gave to the world the whole truth, the seamless garment of Christ. She recognized the healing of the sick as an important and essential part of true Christianity; but on page 2 of "Rudimental Divine Science" she tells us: "Healing physical sickness is the smallest part of Christian Science. . . . The emphatic purpose of Christian Science is the healing of sin." In these statements Mrs. Eddy surely did not intend to minimize the importance of ridding the human body of its ailments, but instead, it seems plain, she wished to place this healing before us in its true light.

         The overcoming of a headache or some other ailment is a small thing as compared to the destruction of anger, pride, resentment, judging, criticism, strife, revenge, hate, and the like, and the supplanting of these in thought with love, kindness, forbearance, unselfishness, tenderness, compassion, and other beautiful attributes which express the Mind "which was also in Christ Jesus." Suppose a man is healed of every imaginable physical ailment, and has a body like an Apollo, but remains dishonest or immoral, how far has his healing really progressed, how far has he advanced toward the kingdom of God? The true estimate of physical healing and its relation to the regeneration of the mind and heart is clearly stated on page 150 of Science and Health: "The mission of Christian Science now, as in the time of its earlier demonstration, is not primarily one of physical healing. Now, as then, signs and wonders are wrought in the metaphysical healing of physical disease; but these signs are only to demonstrate its divine origin, — to attest the reality of the higher mission of the Christ-power to take away the sins of the world."

         While we may not be able to rid all the world in a moment of its false concepts of the Christ Science, it behooves us to do all that is necessary to counteract the malign influence of these beliefs and eradicate them from the public mind. Shall we not in our daily walk and conversation in our testimonies both in public and in private, hold up before men and women, weary of feeding on the husks of materiality, the truth about God and man, thus placing before them a salvation which is able to save to the uttermost, — able to reach the innermost recesses of human consciousness and make them "every whit whole"?


"On Guard Against Error" by Robert H. Teeple
Christian Science Sentinel, September 14, 1918

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