Christian Scientists and Compensation

ONE of the results of the legislation which has been urged against Christian Science practice in several of the states is a quite general expression of opinion as to whether Christian Scientists are entitled to compensation for their healing services. So far as we have heard the expression of private opinion, it is to all intents and purposes onesided: that is, that Christian Scientists are as fairly entitled to reasonable compensation for their services as any other class of citizens. As to the opinion of the press, so far as it has come to our notice, it is all to the same effect. This is true whether the newspapers commenting thereon were friendly or unfriendly to Christian Science. In either case they unite in the opinion that persons who employ Christian Scientists and rely upon their method of healing, should be willing to give them fair remuneration therefor.

This is so sensible and logical that one is amazed ever to find it questioned. When it is questioned—as it sometimes is—the questioning seems to rest on the supposition that because it is spiritual truth it should be absolutely free, in the world's sense of freedom. Such a sense of freedom is too apt to be that all obligation rests on the side of the giver of spiritual truth and none on the side of the receiver. This would be a most uneven balance, an inequitable condition of things that exists in no other department of life. There is no Scriptural warrant for such a doctrine. A careful student of the Bible will find that in every instance of spiritual benefit there must be some act or deed on the part of the one seeking it. The Bible abounds with statements to this effect: If ye keep my commandments and obey my statutes ye shall receive the things of God or Truth, but not otherwise. There is an inevitable condition attached to the impartation of Divine Truth. It does not follow in all cases that the evidence of willingness to receive or of obedience must be in the form of monetary compensation; but, as the world goes, this is one of the legitimate means whereby the beneficiary may acknowledge the benefit received. Christian Scientists must live and meet their material obligations as well as others. Surely it would be neither wise nor Christianly to put them out upon the world as an army of paupers. No reasonable person would expect this.

The Missouri Bill
April 11, 1901

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