Practice vs. Theory

In Kansas City (Mo.) Times

THE world is reaching a period in its history where it is demanding something more than the theories and impracticable, time-honored systems of the past, especially along the lines of religious beliefs and curative systems. Christian Science is not at war or even at variance with any religious or curative system, but is the "advanced thought"—the child, born in due season, as the natural and necessary outcome of the desire to be delivered from pain, to know the future, and the universal longing for immortality (complete salvation).

The teachings of Christian Science promise for implicit faith in God a relief from all pain, but this implicit faith must be of the type referred to by James: "I will show thee my faith by my works"—faith based upon understanding. It is true that both the ignorant and the learned, as well as the halt, the lame, the blind, the deaf, the sorrowful, and the sinner turn to Christian Science—"this advanced thought of the day"—for relief, not merely because it promises, but because it fulfils its promises by healing them of both sickness and sin, and establishing in them a higher moral and ethical standard for the community in which they live, which may be seen by any one who will observe their daily lives.

There is a much larger following of Christian Science than is indicated by its actual church membership, for the church receives to its membership only such as have some practical knowledge of its teachings, and who are ready to subscribe fully to its tenets. Unlike some religious denominations, Christian Scientists do not proselyte or invite people to become members of their church because they believe in Christian Science, but they explain to them the necessity of their having a practical understanding before they would be fitted to assume the responsibilities of church membership, for Christian Scientists are not mere believers in Christianity, but are aware of the necessity of living Christian lives, in accordance with the Mosaic decalogue, the Sermon on the Mount, and the teachings and practice of Jesus Christ.

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The Lectures
May 16, 1903

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