BASICALLY, Christian Science is simple, but to be a Christian Scientist is not an easy option, nor is it easy to be a practicing Christian of any denomination. One can so readily be classified as a Bible-thumper, something of a softy, or an interfering do-gooder. Some essential questions might well be, Can Christianity be demonstrable? Is there something more to it than doing one's best to be humanly good and doing as much good as possible? A Christian naturally tries to be good and do good, but many who would not classify themselves as Christians would claim to do likewise. Most would probably think of themselves as good people.
One of the remarkable things about Christ Jesus and about those who immediately followed him is that they classified both themselves and others differently. They preached that man is truly the child of God and proved their words by very practical healing works. They aroused keen interest, and often strong opposition, because they so purposefully marched to a different drumbeat. Beyond human goodness, spiritual strength, derived from God, clearly powered them. One has only to look at the healing work Jesus and the disciples achieved to realize that something out of the ordinary, something radically different from the usual, was required. ``I can of mine own self do nothing,''1 Jesus said.
It is not its lovely poetry and beautiful prose that makes the Bible a supremely important and inspiring book in any age, but rather its vivid record of the way the things of Spirit, God, burst into the receptive thought of great spiritual thinkers to make them capable of doing far more than mere mortals could ever have done from a strictly material basis. The New Testament shows how the good news (the gospel) of Christianity healed and saved, amply demonstrating its immensely practical application to needs of all kinds.
No one is asked to believe what Christian Science teaches just because it teaches it, nor because someone personally insists on its acceptance. This Science has no dogma to be blindly accepted. Understand and prove its teaching for yourself is its watchword. Of course, new ideas do not prove their validity by themselves. Sincere desire, honest effort, and willingness to learn and put to use what one learns are indispensable for success, as they are in any field of endeavor.
Christian Science invites the inquirer to take a very different view of what life and being are all about -- a spiritual view that helps resolve the enigma of mortal existence through a higher sense of what God and man really are. It shows how the evil so prevalent in human affairs can and will eventually be conquered in proof of God's infinite nature and supremacy, in proof of man's spiritual perfection as His likeness. Christian Science has much to say of God, clearing away the mystery that can often make understanding His nature difficult. It opens thought to the deeper, spiritual meaning of the Bible and the power of God's Word to regenerate and heal.
The courageous seeker, undaunted by what the world may say of him, often finds himself feeling at first, ``I can understand that kind of God,'' and ``That is a view of man to which I can relate.'' Then at some point he jumps off the fence of uncommitted observation on which he has been sitting for the time being. Just as some, beginning to learn something of mathematics, become so fired by its vast possibilities that they decide to become mathematicians, so spiritual adventurers come to see reality in that which is above the physical and so become metaphysicians. They can then successfully bring something of heaven to human view with healing effect, demonstrating the validity of what has been understood.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, constantly turns thought away from her personality to her teaching, and through it, to Christ. In the final paragraph of the Preface to her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, which has brought help and healing to thousands in many lands and tongues, she writes, ``In the spirit of Christ's charity, -- as one who `hopeth all things, endureth all things,' and is joyful to bear consolation to the sorrowing and healing to the sick, -- she commits these pages to honest seekers for Truth.''2 No honest seeker can lose anything by exploring the spiritual road, for when did matter ever teach us anything about eternal life?
1John 5:30. 2Science and Health, p. xii.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also. John 14:12