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What's the purpose of Christian Science?

When people ask what religion I am, and I tell them I'm a Christian Scientist , I've almost come to expect the rejoinder, "Oh, you're the people who don't go to doctors." While it's true tht Christian Scientists rely on prayer for healing , as do many other Christians, it would be a misconception to think that physical healing is the whole of Christian Science.

Far from it. In fact, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, went so far as to say, "Healing physical sickness is the smallest part of Christian Science." And then she adds, "The emphatic purpose of Christian Science is the healing of sin; and this task, sometimes, may be harder than the cure of disease; because, while mortals love to sin, they do not love to be sick." n1

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n1 Rudimental Divine Science,m pp. 2-3

This emphasis on the healing of sin is totally in accord with the teachings of Christ Jesus. The Saviour began his great ministry with the words, "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." n2 The healing of sin was central to his life, and he demanded recognition and repentance of sin as evidence that the gospel was really being grasped.

n2 Matthew 4:17

The fact is, the spiritual healing of sin really has the same basis as the spiritual cure of disease. We could say that the same Principle underlies both forms of healing, which is another way of saying that God acts through divine law. Jesus, as the Son of God, felt his conscious unity with the Father, the very Lawgiver of the universe, and this is what enabled him to heal sickness, sin, and death. Every marvelous act of Jesus was an act of divine law.

It's not surprising, then, when we think about it, that the healing of heart and mind through the spiritual impetus of Jesus' Godlike thought also healed the body. It was Jesus' office as the Saviour to help people be reconciled with their God, the governing Principle of the universe. Whenever this reconciliation takes place, now as in Jesus' time, one's whole being becomes more harmonious. Thus Jesus' healing of disease must be in the context of healing sin.

Imagine, however, that a first-century Greek has asked a new neighbor about his religious beliefs. And that on being informed that his neighbor is a Christian, the Greek replies, "Oh, you're that new sect that believes one of the gods came to earth in human form, was killed, and then rose from the dead." This would hardly have been a full or accurate assessment of this new "sect." And if the Greek had heard about the Christian "miracles" that were so common in the early Church, it would have been equally inaccurate for him to assume that Christianity was merely a mysterious new health care system.

The Christian Scientist likewise wishes to escape sweeping generalizations and simplistic stereotypes. "The emphatic purpose of Christian Science is the healing of sin," and this fundamental purpose of the Church of Christ, Scientist , includes the healing of evil in every form -- physical and moral. Obviously, not every member of this church follows Christ unerringly and without fail. But to be a genuine Christian Scientist means being a Christian in every sense of the word.

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And that means daily Christian discipleship. It means coming to grips with evil thoughts, attitudes, and acts through reformation and spiritualization of life. The Christian realism of the Founder of Christian Science, who said that "mortals love to sin," leaves no room for doubt that sin must be faced and overcome.

Overcoming sin and demonstrating our sonship with God is life's grand adventure. All evil must finally be destroyed, from the smallest moral fault to the original sin that man has a being or life apart from God. Christian Science confronts evil on the basis that sin is illegitimate and no part of the kingdom of God and Christ. As Mrs. Eddy said in her message to her Church in 1901, "The Christian Scientist has enlisted to lessen sin, disease, and death, and he overcomes them through Christ, and he overcomes them through Christ, Truth, teaching him that they cannot overcome us." n3

n3 Message to The Mother Church for 1901,m p. 15

DAILY BIBLE VERSE If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ours elves. I John 1:8

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