Recently a number of leading monthly and daily journals,...


Recently a number of leading monthly and daily journals, among them The Century, The Outlook, and the New York Times, have devoted much space to the work of some well-known clergymen in Boston and Chicago in establishing medico-religious dispensaries in connection with their churches. Rev. Elwood Worcester and his associate, Rev. Samuel McComb of Emmanuel Episcopal Church of Boston and the Rev. Samuel Fallows, bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church of Chicago, are the leading ministers engaged in the present attempt to harness medicine and theology in the same team. All these gentlemen have been at pains to explain their method of work, which has also been favorably presented by a leading Boston regular physician. Dr. Richard C. Cabot. In every explanation of their attempt to heal the sick by these leading representatives of orthodox Christianity, the clergymen and their friends have been at great pains to make clear the fact that they accept the position which the medical doctors are tardily admitting—namely, that a certain number of functional diseases may be cured by suggestion, but that the methods of materia medica should be relied on in all cases of organic disorders. And yet, singularly enough, all these priests belong to orthodox church fellowships whose historic attitude has been very clear in maintaining the inerrancy of the Scriptures and the divinity of Christ. Hence the refusal to accept the Bible teachings in regard to the potential healing of "all manner of disease" by the realization of the supremacy of the spiritual over all material limitations, and the substitution of a theory of the possible cure of a few diseases in which mental suggestion is the chief therapeutic agent, throws into bold relief the practical repudiation of the position so strenuously maintained by the churches to which they belong. For when it is remembered that all the great orthodox churches hold to the doctrine of the plenary inspiration of the New Testament; that not only their millions unquestioningly accept this, but that it is in accordance with the creeds and the historic position of all these churches; when we further remember that the churches also hold that Christ is the very Son of God, never having a human father; that he is the second person of the Holy Trinity, the position so painstakingly taken by these orthodox clergymen to show that they do not believe in attempting to cure any disease unless a medical doctor has declared that the patient has no organic trouble, serves to emphasize in a startling manner the fact that modern orthodox Christians refuse to accept certain things which, if their position in regard to the inerrancy of the New Testament and the divinity of Christ be true, must be accepted without question as binding on Christians—certain facts that it is infidelity to the teachings of the Nazarene to deny.

Not in years has the illogical and untenable position of the great orthodox faiths which hold to the dogma of the Trinity and the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures been thrown into such bold and startling relief as since the general agitation made by the advocates of the new union of clergymen and physicians in their effort to check the growth of Christian Science by religio-medical substitution for the position taken by Jesus and the primitive Church and adhered to by the Christian Scientists.

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May 30, 1908

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