The gentleman who conducts "The Listener" in the Sunday News-Advertiser...

Vancouver (B. C.) News-Advertiser

The gentleman who conducts "The Listener" in the Sunday News-Advertiser apparently labors under a misapprehension regarding the Christian Science movement and its methods, judging by his remarks in the issue of Nov. 19, for I respect his sincerity too much to believe he would deliberately misrepresent a cause whose sole object is the good of mankind, even to provide some entertaining paragraphs for the readers of your paper.

I might say for his information that the expense of the lecture mentioned, as well as others that have been given from time to time, was borne entirely by the local Christian Scientists; and the fact that they are willing to provide these lectures in "the most costly house in Vancouver," without so much as passing a collection plate, would hardly be considered a subject for adverse criticism. It is rather lame logic, to make the best of it, to conclude because they go to this great expense, and are willing to spend of their means for the welfare of others, that it is a sign of love of money. The critic's "smile" was, at least, untimely if it was prompted by such an argument. Does this gentleman think the Christian Scientists should have rented a cheap hall and charged an admission fee? Would that, according to his sense, have been the more unselfish way? If such a course had been adopted the criticism in all probability would have been that the motive was mercenary, a conclusion which, in the present case, seems to have been drawn from an opposite premise.

His thinly veiled sarcasm respecting the wealth and prosperity of the Christian Science denomination leads me to wonder what this critic expects the Christian church should be if not prosperous and abundantly supplied with the funds necessary for its work. Would an unprosperous, poverty-striken church appeal to him as presenting the best evidence of faithfulness to the Master's teachings? Does he believe Christ Jesus expected or desired his followers to wander through life as homeless waifs and with such "a supreme contempt for money" that they must depend upon the charity of unbelievers for support? The Christian church should be at least as deserving of success as a private individual or business firm, and as entitled to prosperity according to its usefulness; but one would almost imply from this critic's attitude that poverty is a sign of divine favor, and, therefore, that the poorer churches and Christians may be, the more closely they are following their Master.

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February 10, 1912

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