The Christian Science
“Again, without a correct sense of its highest visible idea, we can never
understand the divine Principle.” — Mary Baker Eddy
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p.560
Volume 16, Number 2 October 2008
Christian Science Endtime Center P. O. Box 27539, Denver, CO 80227
This Standard contains excerpts from the Christian Science Standard
Volume 4, Number 3, July 20, 1993
Stanley C. Larkin, Author and Editor, 1989 - 2001
THE 65TH ANNIVERSARY OF
“MRS. EDDY’S PLACE”
Sixty-five years ago, [fifty years ago when this Standard was first published in 1993], the Christian Science Board of Directors announced a doctrinal “position” as to Mary Baker Eddy’s place in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. The position was presented in six numbered paragraphs, and was signed by the Directors. “These conclusions,” it states, “are not new; they are confirmed by our Leader’s writings, and the steadily unfolding fruitage of Christian Science bears witness to their truth.” This doctrinal position of 1943 was published in the Christian Science Sentinel for June 5, 1943, and The Christian Science Journal for July, 1943.
THE BASIS FOR THE 1943 OFFICIAL CHURCH POSITION
This position-statement was based on the report of a six-member committee of editors and former editors of the Christian Science periodicals appointed by the Directors in April, 1938, “to discover just what Mrs. Eddy believed concerning herself with respect to Scriptural prophecy.” The committee “was given access to Mrs. Eddy’s private correspondence, as well as to her published writings. After prayerfully and carefully studying the evidence, this committee made a report to the Board of Directors of fifty-seven pages of typewritten evidence that Mrs. Eddy regarded herself as having fulfilled Bible prophecy.” (The Destiny of The Mother Church, by Bliss Knapp, pp. 252-3)
THE CHURCH’S OFFICIAL DOCTRINAL POSITION IN 1943
Mrs. Eddy’s Place
The position of The Mother Church as to Mary Baker Eddy’s place in the fulfillment of Bible prophecy is clearly set forth in the following paragraphs. These conclusions are not new; they are confirmed by our Leader’s writings, and the steadily unfolding fruitage of Christian Science bears witness to their truth.
1. Mrs. Eddy, as the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, understood herself to be the one chosen of God to bring the promised Comforter to the world, and, therefore, the revelator of Christ, Truth, in this age.
2. Mrs. Eddy regarded portions of Revelation (that is, Chapter 12) as pointing to her as the one who fulfilled prophecy by giving the full and final revelation of Truth; her work thus being complementary to that of Christ Jesus.
3. As Christ Jesus exemplified the fatherhood of God, she (Mrs. Eddy) revealed God’s motherhood; she represents in this age the spiritual idea of God typified by the woman in the Apocalypse. (See Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 565:13-22.)
4. Mrs. Eddy considered herself to be the “God-appointed” and “God-anointed” messenger to this age, the woman chosen by God to discover the Science of Christian healing and to interpret it to mankind; she is so closely related to Christian Science that a true sense of her is essential to the understanding of Christian Science; in other words, the revelator cannot be separated from the revelation.
5. This recognition of her true status enabled her to withstand the opposition directed against her by “the dragon” (malicious animal magnetism); she was touchingly grateful to those who saw her as the woman of prophecy and who therefore trusted, obeyed, and supported her in her mission.
6. This same recognition is equally vital to our movement, for demonstration is the result of vision; the collecting of this indisputable evidence of our Leader’s own view of herself and of her mission marks a great step forward; wisely utilized, this evidence will stimulate and stabilize the growth of Christian Scientists today and in succeeding generations; it will establish unity in the Field with regard to the vital question of our Leader’s relation to Scriptural prophecy.
As we record these important facts, we remind Christian Scientists of our Leader’s words (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 308), “The Scriptures and Christian Science reveal ‘the way,’ and personal revelators will take their proper place in history, but will not be deified.”
The Christian Science Board of Directors
THE GOD-POWER BEHIND THE CONFESSION
OF THE MESSIAH
Mrs. Eddy writes: “. . . Jesus purposed founding his society, not on the personal Peter as a mortal, but on the God-power which lay behind Peter’s confession of the true Messiah.” (Science and Health, p. 138:2 emphasis added) We need to understand more clearly what this means.
In the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked his disciples,
Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. [Editor’s note: This is “Peter’s confession of Christ” (from the marginal note KJV, 1611).]
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood [Note: that is, academically; judging “according to the appearance” (John 7:24)] hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father [Note: that is, spiritually; by revelation from the Father; “righteous judgment,” ibid.] which is in heaven. . . . Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.” (Matt. 16:13-17, 20) [Note: A waiting period is required.]
It was only through revelation from the Father that Peter and the other disciples were able to see Jesus as the Christ. Jesus could never be recognized as the Christ by academic, or “flesh and blood,” means.
As a result of their recognition of him as the Christ, Jesus gave the following promise of power:
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matt. 16:18, 19)
Also, to acknowledge Mrs. Eddy’s place is a “confession of the true Messiah,” and is as important to the Christian Scientist in our day, as Peter’s confession of the Messiah
and that of the individual disciples was to the early church. Without these confessions there would be no church, no Christianity, and no Christian Science.
Teachers of Christian Science and their students for the past sixty-five years have been either accepting or rejecting this Christ position as to Mrs. Eddy’s place. Jesus, however, makes clear that a confession must be on the terms he specified when he said Peter’s confession was revealed to Peter by the Father. Likewise, to accept “Mrs. Eddy’s Place” constitutes a confession of the “true Messiah.”
Why was it crucial for the disciples to recognize the Christ? The disciples had to rise above “flesh and blood,” and as they did this through recognizing Jesus as the Christ, the God-power was there. This God-power, or spiritual power, was necessary in order to build the Church of Christ. (It also constitutes the keys by which we can enter the kingdom of heaven.) This God-power was vividly illustrated in the rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem in the time of Zechariah. For seventeen years they had tried to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem and could not even so much as lay the foundation. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Zech. 4:6) However, when Zechariah recognized that the two olive trees and the candlestick, and the two olive branches were “the two anointed ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth,” then the “headstone” (foundation stone) of the temple was able to be laid. The God-power was present and the temple was built. The God-power required to do this was not material but spiritual, through revelation. In Revelation we read:
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, [Note: the two anointed ones previously recognized by Zechariah] and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: . . . (Rev. 11:3-5)
This quotation from the disciple St. John (from the book of Revelation) shows that Jesus and the disciples were familiar with this spiritual law of the Old Testament which requires recognition of the appearance of the “true Messiah” in fulfillment of prophecy. They also knew that just as it was essential to Zechariah in rebuilding the Temple, it was equally essential for the building of the Church of Christ.
Then, just as “the God-power . . . lay behind Peter’s confession of the true Messiah,” and behind Zechariah’s confession of “the two anointed ones that stand by the Lord of the whole earth,” so this God-power is present today for the Christian Scientist who must recognize the importance of making his own “confession of the true Messiah.” By this means, he will possess the God-power which lies behind it, and have the keys to the kingdom. So, it should be clear that the reason for the church position-statement of 1943 (page 2 of this Standard), is to acquaint the individual Christian Scientist with a contemporary pattern of confessing Christ. For two examples of confessions that were essential to the early success of the Christian Science Movement, we go back to those of Ira Knapp and Judge Hanna.
IRA KNAPP’S CONFESSION OF THE TRUE MESSIAH
Just as Peter’s recognition of the Christ in Jesus was the rock on which the primitive Christian church was built, so Ira Knapp’s recognition of Mrs. Eddy as the Woman of the Apocalypse is a rock on which the Christian Science Church is built. This was the central theme of Bliss Knapp’s book written in 1925, titled Ira Oscar Knapp and Flavia Stickney Knapp (pp. 65-66), approved by the Christian Science Board of Directors for Mr. Knapp to circulate:
When Mr. Knapp first studied with Mrs. Eddy, the chapter on the Apocalypse had not yet appeared in Science and Health; but Mrs. Eddy explained to the class the twelfth chapter of Revelation. Her explanation must have conveyed a profound meaning to Mr. Knapp, for although Mrs. Eddy made no reference to herself personally, in explaining that chapter, it was borne in upon him with absolute conviction that Mary Baker Eddy was the woman “clothed with the sun, . . . and upon her head a crown of twelve stars,” described in the Apocalypse. From that moment, Mrs. Eddy’s word was law to Mr. Knapp.
Although Ira Knapp’s knowledge of human nature had taught him never to take any man’s word for granted, all this was completely changed where Mrs. Eddy was concerned. He knew that she was God’s messenger to this age, one of the two divinely appointed witnesses [emphasis added], and he could never question or doubt any instruction or requirement that might come to him from God’s witness. In obeying her, he knew that he would be doing God’s will. When Peter awakened to behold and acknowledge the Christ in his Master, Jesus found in that acknowledgment the foundation for the Church of Christ. In Mr. Knapp’s acknowledgment of God’s witness in his teacher, Mrs. Eddy found a consciousness which could help her in building The Church of Christ, Scientist. This acknowledgment in the hearts of Christian Scientists was the foundation upon which the church must be built. Then the gates of hell could not prevail against it.
JUDGE HANNA’S CONFESSION OF THE TRUE MESSIAH
Again, just as “the God-power . . . lay behind Peter’s confession of the true Messiah,” in primitive Christianity, so today in Christian Science the God-power lies behind the confession of Judge Septimus J. Hanna, C.S.D. His confession included publishing the Totten Messianic prophecy (see the January 1993 issue of The Christian Science Standard) in his Reminiscences of Mary Baker Eddy (Pasadena, 1918). When Totten wrote his Messianic prophecy about the woman, the particular woman, Mrs. Eddy, was unknown to him. So, when Hanna included the whole Totten prophecy in his Reminiscences, Hanna was actually confessing that Mrs. Eddy is the woman of whom Totten wrote. Totten’s prophecy goes well beyond the 1943 official church position-statement “Mrs. Eddy’s Place.” He describes in superb detail and accuracy the two anointed ones and their correspondence with the two trees in the Garden of Eden, as symbols, and explains the profoundly spiritual concept of the woman compassing the man as prophesied in Jeremiah 31:22.
As mentioned in the January, 1993, issue of the Standard, Mrs. Eddy gave the Totten prophecy both Scriptural and scientific authenticity in her essay, “The Second Advent,” from Essays on Christian Science Ascribed to Mary Baker Eddy (Providence, Carpenter Foundation, 1961) p. 146; p. 47 in later edition:
C.A.L. Totten, U.S.A., in his excellent work The King’s Daughter, writes, “It was the creation of womanhood that completed the equation which even yet we have not fully solved.” His prophecies are grounded in Science. They reiterate the sacred Scriptural records and the logical syllogisms in Science and Health where the demonstration of being starts with the manhood of being and rises to womanhood as the Christ idea and the Revelator’s vision thereof, wherein the Spirit and the bride say, come.
Along with this confession by Judge Hanna, was his earlier recognition of Mrs. Eddy’s place described in an unpublished editorial (see pages 271-297 of The Destiny of The Mother Church, by Bliss Knapp). Behind this confession also lies the God-power of which Mrs. Eddy speaks in Science and Health, p. 138:2. Mrs. Eddy’s certification of the Totten Messianic prophecy is actually her own confession as to her place in the Trinity.
THE PROVIDENTIAL WAITING PERIOD
It might be asked why Mrs. Eddy herself did not state the above 1943 position explicitly, or why the Church waited so long to do so. The answer is given in our January, 1993 issue.
Mary Baker Eddy placed a notice in The Christian Science Journal of August, 1890 (Vol. VIII, p. 193), in which she said, with emphasis added:
Mr. Editor: — The late articles referring to me in July issue of the Journal, contain presentiments that I object to having uttered or written now in regard to myself. [Note: The presentiments were regarding her place in prophecy.] God alone appoints the befitting path and place for each of His children; and mankind should wait on Him, and let the ages declare judgment. It is my impression that at least a half century will pass away before man is permitted to render his public verdict on some of the momentous questions that are now agitating the world.
The “half-century” period of prohibition regarding a “public verdict” as to her place was completed in 1940. When the “public verdict” came in 1943, the timing was of God and not of the Directors who doubtlessly were not aware of the required waiting period.
The 1943 official position, issued in “the fulness of time,” is irrevocable and unalterable because it is based on Mrs. Eddy’s own views. At first the 1943 “verdict” was generally accepted by the membership, but opposition developed because the verdict apparently was being perceived intellectually, by “flesh and blood,” or “according to the appearance,” rather than being revealed from the Father.
SIDE-STEP vs. DENIAL
Consistent with the spiritual direction of 1890, whenever Mrs. Eddy was called upon “to render [a] public verdict on” her place in the fulfillment of prophecy, she would side-step. Webster says side-stepping means, “to avoid meeting an issue; to evade a decision; to move out of the way of.” Some of her students did not then, and do not today, recognize the distinction between a side-step and a denial, and mistakenly interpret her side-stepping words and actions as denials. But a side-step, or an evasion, is in no way a denial!
A RADICAL SHIFT OF POSITION DESIRED
It is well known that in some totalitarian states when the hierarchy wishes to shift to an unpopular position or policy, it engages an intellectual to write a scholarly book incorporating in veiled terms the particulars of the desired position-shift. The book is then circulated widely, and the “new ideas” percolate down. A year or so later they are adopted as the correct official position.
Similarly, it appears that some officials of The Mother Church may have followed this pattern, because they wanted to reverse and negate the 1943 position on Mrs. Eddy’s place in Bible prophecy. Over a span of eleven years, from 1966 to 1977, Robert Peel was permitted to publish his authorized three-volume biography on Mary Baker Eddy, building up public confidence in his accuracy and integrity with an eye to the forthcoming shift.
THE MANIFESTO OF 1977
Since the new position is the reverse of Mrs. Eddy’s view, it cannot rightly be called a “revision” of the 1943 official position. It must be called by some other term. Consequently, it is referred to in this commentary as a “manifesto” in order to distinguish its unique and radical character. “Manifesto” is an English word in use since 1620, meaning “a public declaration of views;” its usage here is not in any way a reference to communism.
In 1977, at the end of the eleven-year period, Peel’s third volume, The Years of Authority, was published. Only in this third volume did he incorporate the new position-shift, on pages 37 and 38. The publication date of November 28 may be said to be the date of the manifesto which negates the place of Mary Baker Eddy and Christ Jesus in Bible prophecy.
At the same time, the publication and circulation of the leaflet “Mrs. Eddy’s Place” was discontinued, and in 1991 the teachers of Christian Science were contacted by the Directors and the leaflet officially repudiated (cf. letter dated September 6, 1991 by Lee Z. Johnson to branch church reading rooms and executive boards.)
Although the Directors repudiate the 1943 position, they have not yet replaced it with an official easy-to-understand statement.
In the December, 1977, issue of The Christian Science Journal, page 721, there is a statement from the Directors regarding “the concluding volume of the Mary Baker Eddy trilogy,” in which they say: “All three of these books were written as independent ventures, not commissioned or subsidized by The Mother Church.” This was of course to protect themselves in the event of any questions of doctrinal conflict. However, the book was authorized by the Directors, and biographies by Sibyl Wilbur, Lyman Powell, Irving Tomlinson and others were allowed to go out of print, and the Peel trilogy was promoted as the official church biography of Mrs. Eddy. [Publication of these biographies was resumed in 1991.]
The Directors identify themselves with pages 37 and 38 of The Years of Authority by their book review in The Christian Science Monitor of December 2, 1977, written by a Board member, Mr. DeWitt John. Mr. John was a former editor of The Christian Science Monitor, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and subsequently teacher of the triennial Normal class. Significant extracts from the book review are noted with emphasis added:
The style is cool, factual, rather detached — yet unfailingly colorful and interesting. The author takes into account the whole spectrum of biographical and critical literature on this most controversial of modern religious leaders, though his narrative and conclusions rest on original sources. The evidence he presents explodes some long-circulated myths. [Note: The “long-circulated myths” about Mrs. Eddy are evidently the belief held by many of her followers that she is the woman of the Apocalypse. Apparently Mr. John and Mr. Peel considered this belief a myth. What other belief would be a myth?]
Mrs. Eddy gave careful thought during her last years to the question of a biography that might someday be written. . . . As Peel remarks: “. . . she seems to have been demanding the kind of radical insight into a life that would bring its inner structure to light, as opposed to a mere prowling through the dead lumber of external events.” This trilogy fulfills this requirement admirably. [Note: The Directors appear to be building up Peel as the one who was destined to fulfill Mrs. Eddy’s desire for a true biographer; one who would be able to penetrate her mind, and views, and moods. DeWitt John is indicating that Peel is going beneath the surface, whereas the previous biographers such as Wilbur, Powell, and Tomlinson merely prowled “through the dead lumber of external events”!]
For those who have been acquainted superficially with only the legendary figure [Note: The idea of Mrs. Eddy fulfilling prophecy is a legend?], the emergence in this book of an entirely believable religious leader of profound dimension may be startling. . . . The author lets all the human facets of character show, and consequently in the end the woman who emerges is both believably human and awesomely inspired. . . . [Note: DeWitt John is right! Anyone reading The Years of Authority would be startled at the humanizing treatment of Mrs. Eddy given by Peel! Mr. John must have believed as Peel does on pages 37 and 38 that Jesus and Mrs. Eddy were not “sent” and therefore are of lesser importance].
Mrs. Eddy was an explorer in new realms of prayer, mental causation, and the meaning of Christian ethics. She was a pioneer working with spiritual realities so concrete they could be seen as new discoveries of the underlying scientific laws of existence. . . . [Note: This directly relates to the discussion of scientific exploration on pages 37 and 38 in which Peel equates spiritual discoveries to the discoveries of material science based on “rational inquiry” with little or no thought of divine guidance. It is based on academic/intellectual “appearance,” not on that perception which is “revealed” by the “Father.”]
ENTRENCHMENT IN THE CHURCH’S TEACHING SYSTEM
In addition to their authorization in the Monitor and its obvious connection with pages 37 and 38, the Directors proceeded to “entrench” the new doctrinal views of the book “in the church’s teaching system” (cf. Years of Authority, p. 252, lines 16-17) by calling together “small groups of teachers [in] seven two-day meetings” at The Mother Church “between January 1  and Annual Meeting time.” This call was dated September 30, 1977, two months prior to the publication date set for The Years of Authority.
Later, in a letter dated December 17, the Directors wrote the teachers: “Under the announced theme, ‘The Authority of the Revelation,’ our two days will be spent exploring together the spiritual significance of divine revelation as it applies both to our Cause and also to mankind in general. . . . Included [in the first morning session] will be a talk by Robert Peel and an opportunity to engage him in dialogue. Your careful reading of his book, Mary Baker Eddy: The Years of Authority, is not required reading but is highly recommended! . . .”
For these teachers’ meetings, only the name of Robert Peel was mentioned in the correspondence as a speaker. At least to some of the teachers attending, it was apparent that the Directors were authorizing the doctrine of The Years of Authority. This authorization was the obvious reason for calling the meetings, along with the desire to entrench the doctrine in the church’s teaching system.
The evidence appears undeniable that the Directors engaged Peel to present their manifesto in his third volume at the beginning of the second chapter where no reader can miss it.
The fact that the Directors are not yet able to publish the 1977 manifesto in everyday English is evidence that the percolating process has not been successful. The
issue is stalemated and most members are not aware of the doctrine they are unknowingly embracing and supporting.
THE LANGUAGE OF THE MANIFESTO
While the 1943 position is easily understood, the Directors’ 1977 manifesto is in a style that does not easily render itself to “translation.” On this sixty-fifth anniversary of the official 1943 position, described by the Directors as a “great step forward” (p. 2), this Standard will endeavor to restate the 1977 manifesto (a great step backward!), and give the meaning in everyday English.
The manifesto is so controversial that had it been readily understood in 1977 it undoubtedly would have split the Field. Thus it had to be couched in an obscuring medium consisting of an intellectual style with devious twists of words and terms, using slants and buzzwords (described by Webster as “an important-sounding usually technical word or phrase often of little meaning used chiefly to impress laymen.”) The clever association of words, and the use of important-sounding phrases, impress the reader and deceive him into adopting the writer’s beliefs, — perhaps subliminally, if not consciously.
So, in order to “translate” the message into ordinary English idiom, it is necessary to take into account the methods used to twist the meaning of innocuous-sounding and generally-accepted phrases.
THE BASIS OF THE MANIFESTO
While the 1943 position is based on many pages of evidence compiled from the archives from Mrs. Eddy’s writings, the 1977 manifesto is based on a sentence by Mr. Edward A. Kimball from a book published in 1917 by the Metaphysical Science Association of Los Angeles (a group, by the way, outside of the Christian Science Movement), “collected, compiled and edited by Rev. G. A. Kratzer,” and titled Teaching and Addresses of Edward A. Kimball, C.S.D. The sentence in question is on page 179:
When a thing is to be revealed, there is always one mind more ready than any other to receive it, one higher in thought than anyone else — just as in a mountain range there will be one peak higher than the others, which catches the rays of the sun first.
This mountain-peak symbolism is used more or less throughout the 1977 manifesto, and sets the tone of the two pages, 37 and 38, of The Years of Authority.
THE 1977 MANIFESTO EXAMINED
A POSSIBLE THREAT TO SPIRITUAL TITLES
Page 37 begins with this paragraph:
During 1892 Mrs. Eddy settled on the title that was to describe her relation to Christian Science. Henceforth she was to be known officially as its Discoverer and Founder. “Only,” she wrote Julia Field-King, editor of The Christian Science Journal, “I beg of you to be temperate in using it.”
Mrs. Eddy of necessity chose a neutral “public” title in 1892 of Discoverer and Founder, and was not “permitted” (by God) to use her spiritual titles of revelator of Christ, Truth; the one chosen of God; the God-anointed and God-appointed; etc., because she was required to withhold a “public verdict” in 1890, as discussed above on pages 6 and 7.
Mrs. Eddy’s words to Mrs. Field-King suggest a concern on Mrs. Eddy’s part that the neutral “public” titles might eclipse the more sacred, spiritual ones during the providential waiting period.
ASSOCIATING SPIRITUAL LAWS WITH THEIR DISCOVERER IMPERATIVE
The second paragraph reads:
The double term implied the discovery of a truth and the founding of a system. Discovery suggests exploration and investigation, not merely passive recipience; it suggests that the fact or truth discovered exists independent of the discoverer, yet, once having been made, is historically inseparable from him. Hence Boyle’s law, the Pythagorean theorem, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. [Note: This is an obvious attempt to equate Mrs. Eddy’s spiritual discovery with the material discoveries made by the physical scientists. Peel suggests that the spiritual laws of “Life, Truth and Love” were not dependent upon Mrs. Eddy to discover them either, and that there is no real need to associate Mrs. Eddy with Christian Science or its laws as required by Science and Health, p. 560:15-21.]
Moses did not compete with others on Mt. Sinai, or seek spiritual laws by exploration and investigation, or mere human reasoning. Before receiving the Commandments Moses was “appointed” and spiritually prepared by God. (See Num. 12:1-9) He received the Commandments through revelation.
SPIRITUAL LAWS ATTAINED THROUGH RESEARCH ?
The third paragraph on page 37 reads:
If, in addition, the discoverer is able to systematize his discovery, establish rules for its practical application, perhaps institutionalize it, he may be said to have founded a system, discipline, or practice on what he has discovered. In such a case, technology (in the original Greek sense of . . . as a kind of art) is not merely the child of pure research but is, rather, its alter ego.
Peel is refuting Mrs. Eddy’s revelation of Christian Science as God-given. He is implying that like the physical scientists she attained the technology, — application of the rules, — through pure research.
REVELATION sans REVELATOR
The fourth paragraph reads:
Christian Science, as she saw it and as its name implied, was to be recognized as not only a scientific discovery [Note: material discovery?] but also a Christian revelation. [Note: Christian Science is a revelation, not “also” a revelation. It is not a discovery in any sense as Peel is using it.] As a consequence, some of her followers were persistently drawn to refer to her as the revelator rather than the discoverer of Christian Science. [Note: Her followers were right! That is what they should have done, and should do today!] In her own writings, however, she rigorously abstained from using the word in this way. [Note: Mrs. Eddy did not use the word “revelator” in regard to herself because of the providential waiting period, pages 6-7.] Instead, in dozens of different contexts she wrote, “Science reveals . . .” and with that small phrase indicated a concept of revelation far removed from traditional supernaturalism. [Note: A revelation without a personal revelator is an impossibility. The phrase, “traditional supernaturalism,” belittles the 1943 official church position of Mrs. Eddy as a revelator or the Woman of the Apocalypse.]
Mrs. Eddy’s use of the phrase “Science reveals” was in no way a denial that she regarded herself as the revelator, “the one chosen of God.” Christian Scientists have always understood Science to be a revelation, and Mrs. Eddy to be the revelator (p. 2).
ACHIEVEMENT OF SPIRITUAL EXPLORERS
The first sentence of the fifth paragraph reads:
If, as she believed, revelation was the ceaseless self-disclosure of a God who was infinite Mind and Principle, then it must be open to all; yet historically the fact seemed evident that it broke through only to those spiritual explorers who pushed beyond second-hand theological formulations to the direct confrontation of ultimate Truth. [Note: This is a false statement. The self-disclosure of a God is simply the appearance of a personality and this use of the phrase would put “revelation” in the range of person and personality. This is a 180-degree reversal of Mrs. Eddy’s teaching on the revelation of Principle. She never uses the word “self-disclosure” in her published writings to explain revelation or anything else. Why does Peel use it?]
[Note: Throughout the book Peel uses such phrases as “in Mrs. Eddy’s view,” “as she saw it,” and “as she believed.” In a recent issue of Time Magazine (12 July 93, p. 46) are these words: “There is a name for writers who claim privileged access to the inner workings of the people they describe. The name is novelist.”]
Obviously Peel is stating that all that revelation requires is to be at the right place at the right time. You don’t have to be anybody special. This self-disclosing God does not know any human being therefore does not care any more about people than does the principle of mathematics. According to Peel there are no “chosen” or predestined persons, no “God-appointed” or “God-anointed” messengers “chosen” in advance to discover the various laws. The principle of mathematics did not choose Pythagoras to discover his theorem. There are those who reach the peak where the rising sun strikes first, — as in the case of Boyle, Pythagoras, and Heisenberg (and Mrs. Eddy), and the mountain is “open to all.”
NO CHOSEN PROPHETS OR MESSIAH
The last sentence of the fifth paragraph reads:
In this sense [Note: The mountain “is open to all” — the facts are available to all who seek them via rational inquiry as did Boyle, Pythagoras,
Heisenberg] the biblical concept of revelation through chosen prophets could be reconciled with the facts available to rational inquiry — as one might say that the rising sun “chose” the highest peak on which to shine first, though the choice was in fact the operation of laws quite oblivious of particular geological formations.
Peel links the work and inspiration of the prophets, and Mrs. Eddy, to “rational inquiry.” He demolishes the use of the word “chosen,” saying that it is like the rising sun “choosing” the highest peak to shine on first. Where is there any choice in the sun choosing the highest peak first? But note Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”
According to Peel’s position, “chosen prophets” are “chosen” only as with Boyle, Pythagoras, and Heisenberg, in that the prophets “pushed beyond [the] second-hand theological [or other] formulations” of their day “to the direct confrontation of ultimate Truth,” — at the peak where the sun strikes first.
The Directors via Peel are using the phrase “chosen prophets” in the sense that the principle does not choose its discoverers, and to break down the view that certain individuals are chosen by God. Anyone with spiritual light is “chosen,” but this is meant merely as a figure of speech. Peel implies that the prophets all took advantage of the “facts available to rational inquiry” and pushed forward ahead of others (as did Mrs. Eddy).
BEHOLD THE NEW CHRISTIAN SCIENCE JESUS!!
The sixth paragraph reads:
Using a similar metaphor [Note: He is putting Jesus in the same category with Boyle, Pythagoras, Heisenberg], Jesus could speak of being sent by his Father to lighten the darkness of the world, as a ray of light is “sent” by the sun to do its “appointed” work on earth. [Note: But the fact is, according to Peel, that Jesus like subsequent explorers and discoverers simply reached the peak before others did.] Again, when he prophesied (John 14:16) that God would send [Note: Jesus also said “I will send him unto you” — John 16:7] the Holy Ghost, Comforter or “Spirit of truth” to guide his followers “into all truth,” he was foretelling, in Mrs. Eddy’s view, that the truth he had exemplified in his own life would come as a universal, divine Science, demonstrable by all who accepted and practiced its revelation [Note: without recognizing a revelator] of the true nature of being.
The phrase, “Using a similar metaphor” refers to the fifth paragraph where “the rising sun ‘chose’ the highest peak on which to shine first, though the choice was in fact the operation of laws quite oblivious of particular geological formations.” Using this same metaphor “Jesus could speak of being sent by his Father to lighten the darkness of the world, as a ray of light is ‘sent’ by the sun to do its ‘appointed’ work on earth,” instead of a being (Jesus) sent to accomplish a world mission.
THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
The God-power behind every Christian Scientist’s confession — recognition and acknowledgment — of the Christ as revealed to him from the Father, “will stimulate and stabilize the growth of Christian Scientists today and in succeeding generations; it will establish unity in the Field,” and will give each one the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
As Jesus said:
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: (Matt. 16:18, 19)
Correlative to this, Mrs. Eddy writes:
Heaven represents harmony, and divine Science interprets the Principle of heavenly harmony. The great miracle, to human sense, is divine Love, and the grand necessity of existence is to gain the true idea of what constitutes the kingdom of heaven in man. This goal is never reached while we hate our neighbor or entertain a false estimate of anyone whom God has appointed to voice His Word. Again, without a correct sense of its highest visible idea, we can never understand the divine Principle [emphasis added]. The botanist must know the genus and species of a plant in order to classify it correctly. As it is with things, so is it with persons. (Science and Health, p. 560)
There is no other means for entering the kingdom. Jesus has explained above that the keys are essential for entering the kingdom, and the keys, — and the accompanying God-power, — are given in the recognition of Christ Jesus and Mrs. Eddy as the two representatives of the immaculate idea: “This immaculate idea [Christ], represented first by man, and according to the Revelator, last by woman . . . .” (Science and Health, pp. 565:18-19)
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