Under the caption "The Churches," the Journal recently...

Nebraska State Journal

Under the caption "The Churches," the Journal recently published an opinion that Christian Science is not orthodox. It is quite time that this much abused word orthodox should cease to be the football of every religionist who thinks he has an exclusive formula for getting to heaven. The dictionary definition certainly gives no one church the exclusive right to the term; and under this definition Christian Science clearly has a right to be considered orthodox. The fact is that Christian Science has a double claim, for it not only obeys the command of Jesus to preach the gospel, but also to heal the sick.

The heterodoxy of to-day is the orthodoxy of to-morrow, and every enthusiast or bigot, whichever it may be, asserts a claim for his religion on the basis of fundamentals, when in truth and fact it is only a difference in the understanding of how the problem should be worked out. For example, in the article under review it is naïvely suggested that the writer's church believes in the personality of God. Now it is equally true that Christian Scientists so believe, and therefore up to this point we have only opened the subject, not concluded it. It now becomes incumbent upon the adherent to say what he means by the personality of God, else he has used a phrase that conveys no meaning.

We agree that there is no "patent on good cheer and healing through prayer." Neither is there any patent on the words "personality of God," although there may be on what is meant by the phrase. Mrs. Eddy has very clearly and comprehensively said what she means by that term. Has the Congregational church been equally frank? We do not ask the Congregational church to recognize Christian Science. That is a matter resting in their own province. We do suggest that it would be more seemly to keep in mind the facts of history and recall that only a few short years ago the ancestors of Congregationalists were so unorthodox that they had to migrate to a new country. To this ancestry we owe the establishment of a government where liberty and toleration are the pillars of every hearthstone, and it ill becomes any descendants of the Puritan fathers to assume a strain of dogmatism or tyranny that should be left in the oblivion of history.

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November 24, 1917

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