The Oregonian in a recent issue contained statements by...

The Oregonian

The Oregonian in a recent issue contained statements by three Portland ministers of as many denominations relative to Christian Science. With a pleasing sense of fair-mindedness two of them give measurable recognition to the good that Christian Science is accomplishing, even though they do not accept the full import of its teachings. The other, however, continues to misinterpret and misapply the teachings of Christian Science in regard to evil and sin; to insist that it teaches something which it does not teach; that Mrs. Eddy meant only what he thinks she meant; that her statements are contrary to the Bible, as he says "all Bible readers know;" and that finally to end it all and, I suppose, to put an end to Christian Science, he has written a book to prove that Christian Science is just what he thinks it is. Perchance this reverend doctor may learn by experience, if not otherwise, that many truth-seeking people will be turned by his mistaken criticisms to an honest investigation of the teachings which he deplores, and will find there good things that satisfy and make glad, things that for the time being the clouds of prejudice have put beyond the critic's ken.

The doctor seizes upon Mrs. Eddy's statement that "man is incapable of sin, sickness, and death" (Science and Health, p. 475) as proof positive that Christian Science proclaims the man in the street to be incapable of wrong-doing. Applying this mistaken conclusion to himself he says, "If I am incapable of sin I am warranted in giving myself little concern regarding it." Of course Mrs. Eddy did not mean that the critic or any other mortal is incapable of sin. What she meant, as every one who has studied her writings with an open mind knows, was that the spiritual man, made as the Scriptures state "in the image of God," is sinless and eternal. Nor is Mrs. Eddy's teaching contradictory to the Bible, as the critic opines. Referring to the God-created man, John said, "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; ... he cannot sin, because he is born of God." "Anybody," Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health (p. 345), "who is able to perceive the incongruity between God's idea and poor humanity, ought to be able to discern the distinction (made by Christian Science) between God's man, made in His image, and the sinning race of Adam." Certainly this is not too much to expect of the reverend critic.

While the doctor is making light of the negative nature of evil as taught by Christian Science, those seeking freedom from the bondage of sin and sickness are finding in its teachings nothing that encourages its followers carelessly to ignore sin, as he mistakenly believes, but rather a system of divine metaphysics that enables man to eradicate from human experience, in an ever increasing degree, sin, fear, sickness, and discord of every kind through correct scientific thinking. By this process of right thinking, the very same that enabled Jesus to overcome sin, disease, and death, Christian Science is enabling its adherents today to gain in some part the good things of God, and thus prove by works more than by words the potency of right-mindedness to master the belief of mortals that evil is coequal and coeval with God.

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