From the Directors

Individuals comprising a committee for interviewing applicants for church membership should be Christian Scientists of wise discernment, of unprejudiced thought and Christlike compassion. Not infrequently the mental attitude of an admission committee will either forward or retard the growth of a Christian Science church or society. If the right qualities of thought are present on the committee, the interview will bless both the committee and those interviewed. Because of what the committee understand of God and the real man, any sense of superiority or inferiority should fade away; for, in the words of our Leader, "When we are willing to help and to be helped, divine aid is near" (The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 166). In this loving atmosphere any sense of fear or timidity on the part of the applicant will be disarmed, and he will express himself naturally and freely.

For the most part applicants for membership are but babes in Christ, ready to drink in "the sweet revealings of a new and more spiritual Life and Love," as our Leader puts it on pages 15 and 16 of "Miscellaneous Writings." But whether the applicant knows much or little of Christian Science, that much or little should glow with new meaning for him as a result of his interview.

Interviews for membership have a twofold purpose: first, to determine the readiness of the applicant for membership; secondly, to spiritually strengthen, fortify, forewarn and forearm him that he may become an intelligent, alert member of the Christian Science church. This purpose is not accomplished in an atmosphere of austerity, nor by questions so numerous that they amount to cross-examination. The interview is not for the purpose of finding out what the applicant does not know about Christian Science, but rather to help him to understand it more fully and to love it more genuinely. An applicant for membership should be versed in the rudiments of Christian Science, but not necessarily conversant with its deeper metaphysical aspects. If he is not clear as to these rudiments, the committee should be able to dispel his misconceptions and lift his thought into a realization of the ever-presence of God and of man's relation to Him. It is of utmost importance that he clearly understand the line of demarcation between Christian Science healing and other methods of healing, so called, and to see that the two do not conjoin.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

A Sure Defense
January 20, 1940

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.