"A church without creeds"

WE read in the Historical Sketch at the beginning of the Church Manual (p. 17): "In the spring of 1879, a little band of earnest seekers after Truth went into deliberations over forming a church without creeds, to be called the 'Church of Christ, Scientist.' " Mrs. Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, was wise enough to know that true Christianity is entirely spiritual, and as such should be unhampered by creeds or doctrines, and she therefore endeavored to keep Christian Science free from man-made fetters of all kinds. It was for this reason that she instituted the Lesson-Sermons, of which she says in the Explanatory Note in The Christian Science Quarterly, "The canonical writings, together with the word of our textbook, corroborating and explaining the Bible texts in their spiritual import and application to all ages, past, present, and future, constitute a sermon undivorced from truth, uncontaminated and unfettered by human hypotheses, and divinely authorized."

In studying the history of Christianity one finds that as soon as the professing Christian substitutes fair seeming for a life lived in accordance with the example set by Jesus of Nazareth, human opinions begin to hold sway and codes of laws are drawn up to which men may pay outward observance while giving no definite proof of their Christianity by the only result as demanded by Jesus from his disciples, namely, their fruits. As soon as a definite creed is formulated, therefore, and all that is asked of a man is that he conform strictly to the letter of it, the spirit of it tends to become lost, because the letter can be interpreted in as many varying ways as there are human opinions. The inevitable outcome is the formation of numerous sects of religion, differing from one another in some minute particular. Another danger arising from strict adherence to the letter alone is that it tends to encourage hypocrisy, to lay stress on the tithes of mint, anise, and cummin rather than on judgment, mercy, and faith, as was the case with the Pharisees in Jesus' time.

June 11, 1921

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