An Unauthorized Criticism

Dr. William Carter is quoted as saying in his late address before the Ministers' Alliance, "Three things might be said to be responsible for the vigilant research, unrest, and dissatisfaction of the present age. They are fear of pain, desire to know the future, and the universal longing for immortality." The writer heartily agrees with Dr. Carter in his analysis—that the fear of pain, desire to know the future, and the universal longing for immortality cause the unrest, dissatisfaction, and research of the age—and wherefore? 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 systems, but is the "advanced thought"—the child born in due season as the natural and necessary outcome of the very circumstances mentioned; namely, desire to be delivered from pain, to know the future, and the universal longing for immortality (complete salvation).

Continuing, the speaker stated: "The Christian Scientist promises for implicit faith a relief from all pain." With this statement as a whole I am compelled to take issue. The teachings of Christian Science promise for implicit faith in God a relief from all pain, but this implicit faith must correspond to the faith referred to by James: "I will show thee my faith by my works"—faith based upon understanding—and to say, "The credulous and ignorant public, eager for freedom from bodily pain, accepts its teachings after a mere reading of its promises," is widely to miss the mark, and implies a gross lack of appreciation of the actual facts concerning Christian Science. 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, and which may be seen by any one who will observe their daily lives.

It is an error to state that two years ago it was announced from the Mother Church in Boston that the members numbered a million or more. The writer was present at this meeting, but heard no such statement, nor does it appear in the printed reports of same on file. The statement no doubt has been made that the movement has a million or more adherents or followers, since there is a much larger following of Christian Science than it has in actual church membership, for the church is designed to have for its members only such as have some practical knowledge of its teachings, and who are ready to subscribe fully to its tenets. Christian Scientists ask no favors they do not concede. They do not proselyte nor invite people to become members of its church because they believe in Christian Science, but they explain to them the necessity of their having a practical understanding before they are 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 and practising Christian lives, in accordance with the Mosaic decalogue, the Sermon on the Mount, and the teachings and practice of Jesus Christ.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.