Among the many opinions concerning Christian Science...

Rochdale (England) Observer

Among the many opinions concerning Christian Science to which the reverend critic gave expression in a recent issue, was the one that "Christian Science is the very negation of the Christianity of the New Testament." It would be interesting to know to which of the nearly two hundred types of Christianity extant, all based on the New Testament, he refers. Anyway, as he supplies no evidence to support his sweeping statement, it is desirable to go to the New Testament itself. It is related there that when the disciples of John came to Jesus saying, "Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?" the Master replied: "Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them." The Master evidently regarded these demonstrations of the power of God as proving the authenticity of his mission. And when he sent forth his disciples to extend the work, he bade them: "As ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils."

Now an unsophisticated reader of the gospels would readily conclude that the doing of these works, rather than theological tests, is the real mark of Christian knowledge and discipleship. He certainly would not say that to rely upon the promises of God, to heal the sick, to dispel fear and anxiety, to give peace and joy, to deliver from vice and crime, were unchristian. And these are the things which Christian Scientists are doing; yet our critic says Christian Science is the negation of the Christianity of the New Testament.

This gentleman holds up to ridicule a number of healings recorded in the Christian Science textbook. I am not sure whether his skepticism is based on the nature of the diseases mentioned or upon the means by which they were cured; perhaps both. But why did he withhold the fact that practically all those he mentioned were accompanied by moral and spiritual regeneration? To have stated this fact would have been to recognize one of the most striking features of Christian Science healing, namely, the coordination of the physical and the moral, and thus weakened his case, which appears to be that Christian Science healing in so far as it is genuine is due to hypnotism.

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