Our critic's assumption that the Christian Scientist in the...

Oak Leaves

Our critic's assumption that the Christian Scientist in the treatment of the sick is entirely without discrimination as to differing types of disease, and, as he puts it, sees no "difference between smallpox and pimples," is hardly warranted by the facts. However, it may be truly said that Christian Scientists do not carry the question of discrimination to the extent of saying that one class of disease may be healed by divine power, while another class may not be so cured. They find no warrant in the Scriptures for concluding that fundamental and nervous disorders may be cured by the power of God, but that organic diseases must be left to the skill of man, thereby putting human skill above the divine power. The psalmist declares that God "healeth all thy diseases," and it is not recorded that Jesus differentiated between the classes of disease in his treatment of the sick.

The success of Christian Science in the healing of physical disease seems to be the feature which is very frequently emphasized in discussions of the subject, probably for the reason that this is the phase Christian Science which at first most strongly appeals to the average investigator. However, while this successful healing of "all manner of disease" is a matter of intense interest to those who have heretofore been engaged in a desperate and unsuccessful warfare with sickness, nevertheless it is a fact that one cannot be long acquainted with Christian Science without discovering that its chief work is that of moral regeneration. Indeed, one could not possibly be healed in Christian Science without becoming, in some degree at least, less sinful. In this connection it is interesting to note that the critic often makes the mistake of supposing that Christian Science teaches that sin is "best conquered as it is ignored."

No one who is correctly informed on this subject would suppose for one moment that Christian Scientists believe that they can get rid of sin by ignoring it or by simply calling it a delusion. Christian Science woos the sinner from his sin by convincing him that he need not fear sin and cannot love it, because it is not of God. It shows him that God does not create sin, and that He does not permit its existence. It teaches him that sin and evil are entirely contrary to the will of God and that they have nothing to do with God's man. Thus it induces the sinner to abandon his belief in the reality, power, and pleasure of sin, and enables him to win forgiveness by forsaking sin. For this reason it will be seen that it is a mistake to suppose that in teaching the unreality of sin Christian Science encourages the indulgence of sin. On the contrary, it awakens the sinner to the absolute necessity of gaining a love for goodness that will enable him to abandon not only the flagrant forms of immorality and vice, but also the more subtle phases of evil.

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