The courtesy of sufficient space for brief comment on...

Leader

The courtesy of sufficient space for brief comment on criticisms of Christian Science contained in a certain pamphlet, recently circulated in your community, is respectfully requested. There is no desire whatsoever on the part of Christian Scientists for controversy with their fellow religionists. Rather do they rejoice in all religious advance. It would seem quite clear that genuine Christian fellowship and a willingness to let each religious group be subjected to Jesus' test, "By their fruits ye shall know them," are incomparably better means of bringing salvation to mankind than bitter doctrinal disputations and angry denunciations of the wrong conceptions of another's religion which bias may give one. How much of this test are our critic friends willing to undertake in order to justify their sweeping assertions that all who do not accept their particular doctrinal beliefs are certain of eternal damnation? It is not enough merely to accept Jesus' command to preach; for Jesus also said, "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils." He also said, according to Mark, that certain signs "shall follow them that believe." These signs he defines as healing the sick, casting out devils—in other words, regeneration from evil.

Most of the contradictions which our critics profess to find between the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, result from contrasting statements about the mortal, material man and the material universe with statements about the real, spiritual man and the real, spiritual universe. If one were to follow this manifestly unfair method of dealing with the Bible itself, it could be said to be full of hopeless contradictions. It was in this manner that Jesus' accusers charged him with contradiction. But Christian Science does not teach that mortal, material man is free from sin, disease, and death; it recognizes that sin, disease, and death are inherently a part of the carnal or fleshly mind; but it teaches with Isaiah, "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" and recognizes with Paul that "to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." In claiming the real, spiritual man to be sinless, Christian Science relies on the statement, "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not." Therefore, instead of merely asserting that evil and disease are unreal, the Christian Scientist is enjoined daily to cleanse his heart, or his thinking, by partaking of the "unleavened bread of sincerity and truth," and thus to cast out and so prove the unreality of evil beliefs and motives by displacing them with spiritual aims and spiritual thinking and living. He is taught to love and acknowledge God above all else, and to love his neighbor as himself. Jesus taught that these sum up the law and the prophets.

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