My attention has been called to a statement in Mr. Bieder-wolf's...

The Austin (Texas) Daily Statesman

My attention has been called to a statement in Mr. Bieder-wolf's sermon as published in the Statesman, which reads as follows: "Others, by the relegation of sin to the realm of the imagination, rob it of any real existence, and therefore of the need of forgiveness and expungement through atonement, and this they call the philosophy of God and dub it Christian Science."

To any one who knows anything about the teachings of Christian Science this remarkable declaration will at once reveal a strange misunderstanding of the subject. One might even infer that if Christian Science teaches that sin is but an imaginary thing, there would be no necessity to take up arms against it. That nothing could be farther from the fact is known by every one who has even a slight understanding of the subject. There would be no occasion to say anything in this connection were it not for the fact that the critic's published statement is very misleading, and by inference, with respect to evil, reflects upon the position taken by many of our good citizens who are Christian Scientists. No religionists are waging a more relentless warfare against sin of every sort than are Christian Scientists, and they never speak of it as "imaginary." They recognize that sin must be fought to utter extermination, but they do not dignify it by asserting that God is the author of it, and hence they have courage to strive against it with calmness and composure.

What Christian science teaches about sin can best be understood by studying the text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy, as this is what all Christian Scientists accept. She says: "Christians must take up arms against error at home and abroad. They must grapple with sin in themselves and in others, and continue this warfare until they have finished their course" (p. 29). "If we have triumphed sufficiently over the errors of material sense to allow Soul to hold the control, we shall loathe sin and rebuke it under every mask" (p. 30). "Sorrow for wrong-doing is but one step toward reform and the very easiest step. The next and great step required by wisdom is the test of our sincerity,—namely, reformation" (p. 5). "Without punishment, sin would multiply. Jesus' prayer, 'Forgive us our debts,' specified also the terms of forgiveness. When forgiving the adulterous woman he said, "Go, and sin no more' " (p. 11). In addition to these statements, others of similar import are to be found on almost every page of the same book.

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