On what grounds the evangelist made the statement that...


On what grounds the evangelist made the statement that Christian Science is atheism is not clear from the report of his speech. Atheism means, by definition, a denial of the existence of God. In the concordance to the Christian Science text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mrs. Eddy, the various references to the word "God" occupy about ten pages. In Strong's concordance to the Bible the references to the word "God" occupy about thirteen pages. Allowing for the greater size of the Bible and the different arrangement of the concordances, it would seem to be an entirely safe assertion that the references to God are relatively as numerous in Science and Health as in the Bible. This comparison is made only for the purpose of pointing out the absurdity of the charge of atheism, for it involves the accusation that Christian Scientists are assiduously engaged in the study of a Supreme Being whose existence they are said by the evangelist to deny.

It is to be assumed that the critic's activity in a religious cause is proof of his desire to overcome sin. In that commendable desire all men should join. The question of the best method by which sin may be overcome is one to be tested by experience. Christian Scientists are better satisfied with their methods than with those of the older churches, since the latter have failed either to draw or to hold them. This satisfaction does not lead them to speak hard words about their Christian brethren in other folds, and they protest against being spoken of harshly merely because they have found the "more excellent way."

As proof that Christian Scientists share the views of other followers of Jesus the Christ respecting the desirability of overcoming sin, Mrs. Eddy's statement that "the Christian Scientist has enlisted to lessen evil, disease, and death; and he will overcome them by understanding their nothingness and the allness of God, or good" (Science and Health, p. 450), should be sufficient. The same statement should bar any such criticism of Scientists as that voiced by our critic, based on his belief in the reality of sin and their knowledge that it is real to no one but the sinner himself. The criticism is one of method, as to which the only proper basis for judgment is not personal opinion, but successful experience, and on that Christian Scientists are willing to rest their case.

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A Table in the Wilderness
September 30, 1916

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