What is Christian Science to me?
Republished from the "About CS" section of this website.
What is Christian Science?
"Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, defined Christian Science as 'the law of God, the law of good . . . ' (Rudimental Divine Science, p. 1). She’d learned that God is infinite Love, and completely good. A clear glimpse of this through prayer has power to heal and transform anyone.
Mary Baker Eddy was a lifelong student of the Bible. And she’d always wanted to find solutions to human suffering. When she was critically injured in 1866, she turned to God with her whole heart. While reading accounts of Jesus’ swift, powerful healings, she experienced a new sense of God. She saw that God, Spirit, is the only reality. And she was completely healed. She wanted to understand what happened, so she studied the Bible and found universal and dependable laws of God. These laws are the foundation of Christian Science.
Since then, many have found that when they better understand their relationship to God through this Science of Christianity, their health is restored and character transformed. And each healing inspires a heartfelt desire to help others know and experience how loved we all are by God." - christianscience.com
What is Christian Science to me?
Mary Baker Eddy discovered Christian Science in 1866. Mrs. Eddy found we all can find healing today, not just in Biblical times. She wrote a book all about the Science behind Christ Jesus' healing ministry. (Note that Christian Science is not Scientology.) Christ Jesus said, "The works that I do, he will do also, and greater works because I go unto my Father." Christian Science is all about primitive Christianity, it brought back Christianity's lost element of spiritual healing.
Mary Baker Eddy's book is available to study today and it's titled, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. For me, this book opens up the Bible and teaches that healing is not only natural, but practical. As a figurative key to the Scriptures, one learns about God as Love that is spiritual, available and present, rather than a man far away, up in the sky. God is a power rather than a person...Father and Mother, expressing both masculine and feminine qualities of love and protection.
Although Mrs. Eddy was (and is) a loved and respected leader in spiritual healing, Christian Scientists do not follow Mrs. Eddy as a person (which is just one of the many reasons why Christian Science is not identified as a religious cult) but these teachings follow Christ Jesus' example and mission.
I was born a 4th generation Christian Scientist, but as a teen I didn't want to only be something just because my family was. I struggled with a diagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Agoraphobia (fear of leaving the house) as a young girl. I decided that I had enough with the mental turmoil and decided to go back to Christian Science. I worked with a Christian Science Practitioner, read Science and Health from cover-to-cover and had a permanent healing. I even went to a registered psychologist again to confirm that I was un-diagnosed. After this healing as a teen, I was so taken with Christian Science that I took Christian Science Primary Class Instruction, which is a course on healing for the public and also a prerequisite to becoming a Practitioner. After this, I had many more healings and found Christian Science to be the most reliable and most safe way to find healing. (Pneumonia, swine flu, salmonella poisoning, fractured bones, infections, relationship challenges...I prayed about it and found healing.) After so many remarkable healings I thought, how could I not want to rely on God when a challenge arises?!
Here is the easiest way I can personally explain helping someone prayerfully--
If you had a friend that was crying, what would you do? Would you pray to fix the tears, or would you show them love and maybe give them a hug? Of course, the latter...Praying to make tears go away would be silly. Our thoughts and our experience are connected. Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health that "Mortal mind and body are one." So, with your friend you would most likely give them a hug, or show them that they are loved. By doing that, you are being a good friend and stopping the thoughts that are producing the tears. Understanding God's Love for us all in our prayer is essentially that hug we need. So, we pray to learn more about God's love for us, rather than to fix a body. To clarify what I mean by prayer, I don't mean sitting there with your eyes closed and hands clasped. Rather, "The prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the sick is an absolute faith that all things are possible to God, — a spiritual understanding of Him, an unselfed love." (Mary Baker Eddy, SH 1:1–4)
When I was younger, I was also diagnosed with an issue that would cause bodily pain for the rest of my life. The doctor said that there was nothing I could do to cure it, but I could manage stress and that would help. Even as a young teen, the idea that removing stress or fear from my experience could actually aid my health, was profound. I eventually had a permanent healing in Christian Science from that diagnosed physical challenge- Meaning complete freedom and no more pain. Completely gone. Like, done. Really gone forever? ...Yup.
I read the other day on a Lululemon bag, that "99% of all illness is stress-related." In Christian Science treatment, an important element is removing fear (or stress). Not because it's necessarily the cause for a disease, but fear can seem to retard healing. (If you are looking out at the sun, you won't see the sun when there is fog on the window. Removing the fear is like wiping off the fog so we can have a more clear view of reality.) However, Christian Science is not about managing or coping with fear by human will, but it's about learning more about God's will for his creation and how it's our divine right to experience mental peace--As that's a gift we have from God, divine Love.
There was a Netflix special on healing recently. It wasn't about Christian Science, but the documentary's message was about how medical did not need to be the only form of health care. A woman on the show had a rash, which was said to have been incurable and stress-related by the medical field. Instead of putting steroids on the rash, she calmed her thought. She found that the solution was not in fixing the skin with a million lotions, but shifting her thought. She realized in her spiritual discovery that she needed to forgive her sister, and this pent up hatred towards her sister had her holding onto a lot of fear. Once she forgave her sister, the rash was gone. Now, that's not necessarily Christian Science as CS is a prayer-based Science and an established practice, but this example only hints at the vast possibilities of spiritual healing.
Christian Scientists respect medical doctors and all they do to help others. There is no rule against doing something medically. However, most Christian Scientists find they don't need to handle things with medication, herbs, pills..etc. because they already find healing first in their practice and study of Christian Science.
So what do I love about CS?
I love Christian Science because this practice promotes spiritual growth and develops one's understanding of Love, God. As an outcome of this study, people find health, freedom, and peace. Following the 10 Commandments and the Golden Rule "Love your neighbor as yourself" are big for those who study Christian Science. This is a study all about Love. And lastly, I love witnessing people's healings in their study.
I am so grateful to be a student and Practitioner of Christian Science.