Joining a Christian Science Church

One of the most important steps in the career of students of Christian Science is the joining of The Mother Church or a branch church or society. If church membership consisted solely in having one's name added to an already existing list of members, it would be a simple matter. A Christian Science church, however, does not consist merely of a body of men and women; rather is it the demonstration of the truth they know. A Christian Science church is more than a material structure including an organ, platform, desks, and pews. In her remarkable definition of "Church," on page 583 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," our Leader writes in part: "The Church is that institution, which affords proof of its utility and is found elevating the race, rousing the dormant understanding from material beliefs to the apprehension of spiritual ideas and the demonstration of divine Science, thereby casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick."

While a Christian Science church edifice, beautiful in its simplicity and attractive because of its pleasing and practical design, is essential, the material structure of itself does not heal. It is the truth understood and demonstrated by the church members that brings about the healing and redeeming work; and this is the all-important part of every activity of the Christian Science movement.

Why is it that people are healed of some belief of sickness or perhaps of some sinful habit at the church services and at the lectures? It is because the truth voiced is understood, and because the Readers or members or lecturers are demonstrating what they know. Every Christian Scientist should be practicing Christian Science; one cannot claim to be a Christian Scientist without being willing and able to heal the sick. At first many who accept Christian Science recognize that sacred privilege before they seem to be in a position to devote the whole of their time to Christian Science work or practice. No Christian Scientist can be sure of the basis upon which he stands or from which he helps others, until he has demonstrated what he understands by "casting out devils, or error, and healing the sick."

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The Field of Thought
July 4, 1925

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