Channels of Good

Christian Scientists are frequently confronted with calls to engage in activities other than those named in the Church Manual. Error, apparently, knows of no more successful method of defeating the purposes of Truth than to tempt its exponents to employ their energies in a manner not directly promotive of spiritual progress. This temptation presents itself in most alluring forms. It may appear under the guise of civic duty as a promising opportunity for the promotion of the general welfare, as aiding a righteous movement, as advancing good government, as an occasion to improve one's social standing—these and a host of other equally attractive causes are put forth to lure Christian Scientists from the straight course provided by our Leader for all who really desire to progress spiritually through aiding their fellow-men.

Christian Scientists, who are awake to the subtlety of evil's ways, are not misled by these attempts. Recognizing as worthy of one's devotion only that which advances mankind spiritually, they turn more completely to Spirit, relying more and more upon the prayer of understanding to perform the healing and regeneration of which the world is so greatly in need. Mrs. Eddy wonderfully illuminates the situation in "The People's Idea of God" (p. 1): "Every step of progress is a step more spiritual. The great element of reform is not born of human wisdom; it draws not its life from human organizations; rather is it the crumbling away of material elements from reason, the translation of law back to its original language,—Mind, and the final unity between man and God."

The temptation frequently presents itself to Christian Scientists to join this organization or that, the purpose of which in itself may be good and the personnel of which may include highly respected citizens, good men and true. It is not difficult for one to find convincing arguments in behalf of the proposed step; the reasons are many and cogent; the case seems complete. But in the Church Manual. which every Christian Scientist willingly and gratefully accepts as the guide to his conduct, are specific provisions adequately covering the situation. Section 16 of Article VIII states as the duty of members of The Mother Church "to promote peace on earth and good will toward men;" and it adds, "But members of The Mother Church shall not hereafter become members of other societies except those specified in the Mother Church Manual." This passage, apparently, may be most clearly understood when read in terms of the preceding Section of Article VIII: "Members of this Church shall not unite with organizations which impede their progress in Christian Science. God requires our whole heart, and He supplies within the wide channels of The Mother Church dutiful and sufficient occupation for all its members."

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Unity Among Brethren
June 2, 1923

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