Church Meetings and Progress

Corporate meetings of Christian Science branch churches usually involve taking account of and reviewing somewhat the status of the organization in general and the consideration of specific needs in particular. Reports of the permanently organized activities, such as the Sunday school, reading-rooms, literature distribution, and so on, are usually routine matters of great interest to the members. These reports may indicate somewhat the rising or falling mental mercury of the organization, but they may also create a false impression in consequence of the fact that increased outward activities in church work may not always serve as a correct index to progress. On the human plane activity and progress are not necessarily synonymous terms.

It is said that a man who has lost his way will wander in a circle while imagining that he is making progress in a definite direction. This may serve to illustrate the unconscious traditional, or we may say repetitional, tendency of human endeavor. Hence the need of extending our analysis beyond the mere appearance of activity. Religious history since the days of the early Christians is largely a record of this traditional tendency. Orthodoxy, meaning correctness, is its adopted name. It is the effort to make past performance the perpetual standard, and thus stifle progress. It would assume that salvation is to be found in precedent rather than in progress. It argues immunity from challenge or question because it bases its claims on that which was done before.

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