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."
What is Christian Science to you?
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 deify or idolize Mrs. Eddy as a person (which is just one of the many reasons why Christian Science is definitely not identified as a religious cult). The teachings of Christian Science are bible-derived and follow Christ Jesus' example and mission. Christian Science is a religious practice. There is one Mother Church of Christ. Scientist, and there are branch churches around the world. There are also many people curious about CS that study CS at home, without joining a church. Although the church welcomes all, it is a practice that many people (of varying religions) like to study.
I am a fourth-generation Christian Scientist, but as a teen I didn't want to believe something only because my family believed it. As a young girl, I struggled with a diagnosed post traumatic stress disorder and agoraphobia (fear of leaving the house). I decided as a teen that I had enough with the mental turmoil and decided to make Christian Science my own, and study it. I worked with a Christian Science Practitioner, read Science and Health from cover-to-cover and had a permanent healing. I went to a psychologist again to confirm that I was un-diagnosed. There is no trace of these challenges or any physical manifestation anymore.
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...etc.) After so many remarkable healings I thought, how could I not want to rely on divine Love when a challenge arises?!
How does it work to help someone prayerfully? Here is the easiest way I can explain...
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. A loving hug is what shifts thought, and then, therefore, stops the tears. Giving someone a hug (for example) stops the thoughts that produce the tears. If someone has an ailment of some kind, we don't pray to make it go away but to acknowledge the power and presence of Divine Love in their life. Our prayerful study unveils the power of Love and our oneness with Love-- That's the healing prayer that feels almost like a warm hug! Working along these lines uproots underlying fear, and its manifestation on the body. Our thoughts and our experience are connected. Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health that "Mortal mind and body are one." (177:8)
To clarify what I mean by prayer, I don't mean sitting there with your eyes closed and hands clasped, praying to a guy in the sky. 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) This is about the understanding and acknowledgment of divine Love as a power, accessible and here for all. It's about how YOU are included in this Love, how you have "dominion" (Gen. 1) over any challenge, and how you're included in Love's infinite blessings. These truths found in the Bible and Science and Health applied correctly, blesses our experience and heals.
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. Really? Done. Really gone forever? ...Yup. If you talk to others who have taken up this study, you'll find that they study this because they have had wonderful healings, too.
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. God is love, not fear. You are (not God but) God's expression and reflection.
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, from my own understanding, most people that study Christian Science 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.
The best way to learn about Christian Science is by reading an "authorized version" of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. If you feel inspired to further your study, you can also take Christian Science Primary Class Instruction with a teacher of Christian Science. Find links to all study resources in the "resources for spiritual study" tab of this site.
Why do you love 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 Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule "Love your neighbor as yourself" and valuing a strong moral character are big for those who study Christian Science. In addition, this study answers every hard question about life (or even about after this experience) with sturdy and reliable clarity. CS and this inspired and uplifting study of the Bible brings peace and comfort... There are no man-made, willful, scare-tactics that often scare people away from religion altogether.
This is a study all about Love. I love witnessing people's healings in their study. I am grateful to be a student and practitioner of Christian Science.
Why do you do this work?
...To be continued soon!