Church Membership

Christian Science church edifices vary, but church memberships are similar. The edifices are inspiring in proportion as they express beauty, security, and peace; but the inspiration to be gained from the demonstrated understanding of membership in a church is far greater; indeed, it is so uplifting that it can destroy the human instinct for unkind criticism. When one realizes the heterogeneous nature of the followers of Christian Science, a more sympathetic outlook is at once established. Christian Science draws its adherents from all kinds of people, showing a great diversity in its personnel. All Christian Scientists are united on one point—the truth of Mrs. Eddy's teachings. Aside from this fact their outlook on life covers the widest range possible.

In a Christian Science church membership will be found those who came from the church element of society and those who had no church affiliations; those who formerly believed in a corporeal God and those who had no God; those who believed in some sort of prayer and those who never prayed; those who were superstitious and those who were coldly intellectual. In it are those who came to Christian Science because they were poor in spirit and those who came because they were poor in health; those who came from an experience of great unhappiness and those who have had no bitter trials. There are those from different so-called orthodox denominations; those who have lived in environments steeped in tradition and convention and those who have been nonconformists; those who have been Bible students and those to whom the Bible was a closed book; those to whom the social side of orthodox church life has meant much and those to whom such activities have been meaningless. Here, also, are found those who have had material wealth and those who have had little or none; those who have had cultural advantages and those who have had none of these; those who have been healed of the most serious vice and those who have never known bondage to that type of sin. One could go on enumerating contrasts, but these will suffice to awaken thought to this aspect of membership. Of course, many of these diversities appear in any social group; but it is perhaps safe to claim that in none are found such wide diversities as the Christian Science church, because its membership is drawn from all creeds and from no creeds at all. It thus presents as diverse a cross section of civilized humanity as is to be found anywhere.

Right Thinking
May 20, 1933

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