Church Membership

In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 583) Mrs. Eddy defines "Church," in part, as "the structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle." This spiritual elucidation of the word "Church" should be a revelation to those who may have accepted the popular concept of church as mainly an assemblage of personalities.

Mrs. Eddy gives the further definition of "Church" as "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." We should never forget that the true Church is a glorious spiritual idea, the comprehension of which is far beyond the reach of presumptuous mortal perception. Nevertheless, until mankind rises to the full understanding of God, forward-looking and progressive church organization is a prime requisite for the promotion of all that is good and true.

In the Christian Science movement The Mother Church is unique. Surely our Leader was in communion with the divine Mind when she evolved the rules for the government of her Church and its branches, which are inseparable from the parent organization. Individuals have the inestimable privilege of becoming members of both The Mother Church and a branch church. Without The Mother Church organization there could be no Christian Science periodicals, no Lesson-Sermons, no lectures, no Committee on Publication, no authorized teachers, and no authenticated list of practitioners. "How shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?" Further, it is a truism that without a vine there can be no branches. Indeed, the very name "branch" predicates a vine.

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October 2, 1937

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