Kindly permit me to reply to a rabbi's attack on Christian Science,...

Virginian Pilot

Kindly permit me to reply to a rabbi's attack on Christian Science, published in a recent issue of your paper. One might imagine from his attitude that Mary Baker Eddy had attacked the teachings of Judaism in her textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," whereas as a matter of fact she has shown the profoundest reverence for that portion of the Bible known as the Old Testament, which records the experiences of the Hebrew people in their struggle out of bondage up to a higher and holier concept of God. In this textbook Mrs. Eddy makes only a few direct statements about the teachings of Judaism as distinguished from the teachings of Christianity. In one place she says: "The Jew believes that the Messiah or Christ has not yet come;" and in another, "The Jew who believes in the First Commandment is a monotheist; he has one omnipresent God" (ibid., pp. 360, 361). Neither of these statements can rightly be termed "a woeful misconception of Judaism." The rabbi's assertion that "it is difficult to read Mrs. Eddy's book without being greatly befuddled" has been proved untrue in numerous instances; for frequently the reader who approaches this textbook with an open mind is so impressed by its logic that immediate healing results. However, when one reads it from a biased, prejudiced point of view, it is possible to become "befuddled."

The speaker further charges that Mrs. Eddy borrowed her "fundamental doctrine" from Grecian philosophy or Mohammedanism; whereas she went back even farther than these for her authority, even to the first chapter of Genesis. Here may be found the account of creation which Christian Science accepts; and in the last verse of this chapter we read, "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." This record does not include any reference to the creation of evil, because the omnipotent God, good, could not create evil. So the teaching of Christian Science that good is real and evil unreal is in harmony with the Bible. This does not mean, as the rabbi claims, that Christian Science ignores the distressing phases of evil encountered daily. It means that Christian Science recognizes the qualities of good as eternal and indestructible, and evil as a transient experience without divine authority, which can be eliminated through obedience to spiritual law.

While Christian Science heals those who turn to it for relief from sin, disease, poverty, and sorrow, this does not imply that Christian Scientists do not give aid and comfort to the needy and suffering who may not be interested in the teachings of their religion. The Mother Church, in Boston, Massachusetts, has a relief fund to which contributions are sent from all parts of the world, to be disbursed as needed in times of disaster. The Christian Science movement maintains a home where its aged workers may enjoy every comfort and convenience. It has a large sanatorium in operation near Boston, while another is in process of construction in San Francisco, California. Readers of The Christian Science Monitor know full well that the Christian Science movement, through this its newspaper, is working for the spiritual regeneration of human society; that it champions the cause of social and political justice, and encourages the promotion of all that is worth while in education, modern industry, and invention. Christian Science is distinctly a religion founded on the teachings of Christ Jesus. It does not offer anyone complete freedom from all difficulties and problems by relieving them of all responsibility and obligations. It demands strict obedience to the Mosaic Decalogue both in letter and spirit, as well as the practice of the Golden Rule given by Christ Jesus: "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." Furthermore, it demands that its adherents give proof of their understanding of spiritual law by healing the sick and the sinning. This proof was given by the prophets, by Christ Jesus, by his disciples, and is to-day being given again through the practice of Christian Science. Although one might infer from the rabbi's remarks that healing the sick is the whole of Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy has stated in her book "Rudimental Divine Science" (pp. 2, 3), that "healing physical sickness is the smallest part of Christian Science. It is only the bugle-call to thought and action, in the higher range of infinite goodness. The emphatic purpose of Christian Science is the healing of sin; and this task, sometimes, may be harder than the cure of disease; because, while mortals love to sin, they do not love to be sick."

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January 21, 1928

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