From the Directors

In some parts of the field there appears to be a tendency toward making the qualifications for branch church membership so rigid and severe as to be almost prohibitive. Worthy applicants are summoned to appear before an examining board or membership committee and put through a course of questioning so rigorous and exacting as to make the experience an ordeal so trying that it is contemplated with dread rather than welcomed with gladness. As a result, many prefer to remain unattached who are wholly eligible, and who should not find confronting them a barrier difficult to cross when they are ready to become members of a Christian Science church. They need what the church can give them, and the church needs what they can bring to it.

While the motives of those in charge of the examination of candidates for admission to our churches are commendable, their methods are often open to improvement. It is a mistake so to surround the occasion with an atmosphere of severity that it suggests a trial at court or a civil service examination. To ask a candidate how he would handle this or that error, to pry into his inmost thoughts about things that are sacred to him, or to question him on abstruse metaphysical interpretations, is to cross the line of propriety and possibly to enter the field of personal opinion.

Among the Churches
June 6, 1925

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