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.

January 21, 1928
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