On Guard Against Error

Although it is over fifty years since Christian Science was given to the world, one is almost astonished at the amount of misunderstanding that still exists among people generally as to the real nature of its mission in the world, and this in spite of the clear and explicit statements on the subject in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" and our Leader's other writings. Error, having failed to destroy the Christ Science by open denial of its truth, by shafts of ridicule and other evil weapons, would pervert and distort the truth by placing it in a false light, and so make it appear what it is not. Thus by many people to-day Christian Science is regarded as little more than a cure-all for the ailments of the human body, and its sacred mission is to their sense brought down to the level of material systems of healing; while its far more important mission, that of transforming the character and life of the individual so that he may be "born again" and "enter into the kingdom of God," is relegated to the background and to the outsider made to appear of small consequence.

Scholastic theology has offered to the world a religion which promised the salvation of a man's soul in a far-off, future heaven, but left the care of the body to the doctor, who sometimes was an infidel, an agnostic, or even a libertine. The error which ought surely to be guarded against is the mistaken notion that the chief care of Christian Science is for the human body, while the regeneration of mankind is of only secondary importance. When our beloved Leader founded her church, she restored to Christianity "its lost element of healing" (Manual, p. 17). She gave to the world the whole truth, the seamless garment of Christ. She recognized the healing of the sick as an important and essential part of true Christianity; but on page 2 of "Rudimental Divine Science" she tells us: "Healing physical sickness is the smallest part of Christian Science.... The emphatic purpose of Christian Science is the healing of sin." In these statements Mrs. Eddy surely did not intend to minimize the importance of ridding the human body of its ailments, but instead, it seems plain, she wished to place this healing before us in its true light.

Obedience to the Manual
September 14, 1918

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