Mother Church Membership

Through spiritual enlightenment Peter had dimly recognized man's true selfhood when he said to Jesus, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." The Master told him that the vision he beheld came to him not through the material senses, but through spiritual sense, which alone recognizes the spiritual idea of God; and that when all error had been destroyed from his thinking, the perfection of man in its fullness would appear. This was the rock whose substance was divine Truth, on which the Church of Christ would be built, and against which, as Jesus declared, "the gates of hell shall not prevail." Thus was typified the warfare of which Mrs. Eddy speaks in her book "Pulpit and Press" (p. 20), when she says: "From first to last The Mother Church seemed type and shadow of the warfare between the flesh and Spirit, even that shadow whose substance is the divine Spirit, imperatively propelling the greatest moral, physical, civil, and religious reform ever known on earth." The Mother Church is, then, that human institution which brings to mankind the vivifying power of reform, leading humanity out of the material and human sense of existence into the spiritual sense of true being.

Membership in this church means far more than the mere enrollment of names. It means that we have entered upon the warfare between the flesh and Spirit,—the warfare in human consciousness between the claims of material or mortal beliefs and the truth of spiritual existence. While it is essential to maintain a visible organization in order to exemplify the higher office, the vital part, the heart and soul of Mother Church membership is our willingness to enlist in the service of the cause of Christian Science to the end that the Christ—the manifestation of God's ever-presence—may the sooner be revealed to the world, and God's "will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." Membership in The Mother Church affords the opportunity of assisting in the great work of redeeming the world from sin and death. It means that we are striving to be Christlike, to have the Mind of Christ; and that we are endeavoring to reflect and demonstrate the truth which heals and saves; for only in this way can we assist in accomplishing the high and holy purposes of this church. Such membership means that we have consecrated our lives to follow in the Savior's footsteps by proving anew to human thought the true idea of Life and Love, whereby the works of the devil—sin, disease, and death—shall be entirely destroyed and the son of God be fully revealed. It means that having entered the "wide channels of The Mother Church," wherein God supplies "dutiful and sufficient occupation for all its members" (Manual, Art. VIII, Sect. 15), we are laying down our earthly all and are coming out from the material world; that we will, therefore, wait patiently and unselfishly on illimitable Love, and humbly walk before our God, until the full power of being is revealed and the Savior's mission is fulfilled.

In order that the benefits and blessings of Christian Science may be enjoyed by all mankind, it is necessary in our present belief of a human state of existence to maintain an organization through which moral reform may be carried on; and, moreover, it is only through such an organization that the demonstration of spiritual unity can give solidarity and vitality to our cause. In order that this visible organization may accomplish its purpose of extending and promoting the religion of Christian Science, Rules and By-laws are necessary; and it is most important that members of The Mother Church should implicity obey them in spirit and in letter. Hence, membership in The Mother Church requires that its members obey its Manual; for, as Mrs. Eddy says therein (Art. 1, Sect. 9), "law constitutes government, and disobedience to the laws of The Mother Church must ultimate in annulling its Tenets and By-Laws."

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"Search the scriptures"
June 3, 1922

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