SELF-EXAMINATION AND CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

Twice a year the subject "Sacrament" constitutes the Lesson-Sermon in the Christian Science Quarterly. In branch Churches of Christ, Scientist, the order of service is changed on those occasions to conform to the provisions of the Manual of The Mother Church by Mary Baker Eddy for the observance of the communion (see Art. XVIII, Sect. 2). In many branch churches new members are admitted at this time, and the Lesson-Sermon often includes citations which set forth qualifications for membership in a Church of Christ, Scientist. Such a passage is Mrs. Eddy's statement on page 35 of the textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," "We can unite with this church only as we are newborn of Spirit, as we reach the Life which is Truth and the Truth which is Life by bringing forth the fruits of Love,—casting out error and healing the sick."

The signing of one's name to the membership roll of a Church of Christ, Scientist, may occur on a certain date on the calendar, but truly to unite with Church is a continuous and timeless process. It is the unfolding in consciousness of the true idea of Church, which is defined in part by our beloved Leader as "the structure of Truth and Love; whatever rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle" (ibid., p. 583), and the utilization of this unfoldment in our every activity. Keeping ever before us the spiritual concept of Church, we soon realize that in that which "rests upon and proceeds from divine Principle" there can be no fear, friction, mistakes, apathy, prejudice, lack, limitation, human will, mental malpractice, personal domination, or anything else that would claim to becloud the perfection and completeness of "the structure of Truth and Love."

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HELPING THE CHILDREN
February 3, 1951
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