Church Membership

[Reprinted from The Christian Science Journal, April, 1959]

Perhaps nothing is more important to the progress of the student of Christian Science than church membership. It opens up an entirely new field of activity, and when the student makes the most of the opportunities afforded, great spiritual growth follows.

Church membership involves far more than attending church services, but this does not mean that one should unduly delay making application for membership. The individual who has been an earnest student of Christian Science for one year or longer may well give prayerful thought to taking this important step. An earnest student daily studies the Bible and "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker Eddy, usually with the aid of the Lesson-Sermon, contained in the Christian Science Quarterly. He also reads the authorized Christian Science periodicals, regularly attends the church services, and relies absolutely on God for healing.

Why is church membership so important to the student's spiritual progress? Primarily because joining church is an active expression of gratitude for benefits received from his study of Christian Science. In Christian Science, one does not join the church to be saved, nor is his motive to gain something for himself. The student has learned from his study of the writings of our beloved Leader, Mrs. Eddy, that man is in reality saved already and has all good by reflection. Furthermore, the student has witnessed the practical proof of this truth in his daily life. Therefore, he seeks church membership in order that he may give tangible expression to his heartfelt gratitude by having an active part in bringing the teachings of Christian Science to those who are receptive and who so greatly need the healing and comfort of the Christ, Truth. Thus, in joining church the student is animated by the Christspirit and in return receives the blessing promised by the Master (Luke 6:38), "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom."

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